Posts for: June, 2018
There are usually two moments when primary (“baby”) teeth generate excitement in your family: when you first notice them in your child’s mouth, and when they come out (and are headed for a rendezvous with the “tooth fairy”!).
Between these two moments, you might not give them much thought. But you should—although primary teeth don’t last long, they play a pivotal role in the replacing permanent teeth’s long-term health.
This is because a primary tooth is a kind of guide for the permanent one under development in the gums. It serves first as a “space saver,” preventing nearby teeth from drifting into where the permanent tooth would properly erupt; and, it provides a pathway for the permanent tooth to travel during eruption. If it’s lost prematurely (from injury or, more likely, disease) the permanent tooth may erupt out of position because the other teeth have crowded the space.
That’s why we try to make every reasonable effort to save a problem primary tooth. If decay, for example, has advanced deep within the tooth pulp, we may perform a modified root canal treatment to remove the diseased tissue and seal the remaining pulp from further infection. In some circumstances we may cap the tooth with a stainless steel crown (or possibly a white crown alternative) to protect the remaining structure of the tooth.
Of course, even the best efforts can fall short. If the tooth must be removed, we would then consider preserving the empty space with a space maintainer. This orthodontic device usually takes the form of a metal band that’s cemented to a tooth on one side of the empty space with a stiff wire loop soldered to it that crosses the space to rest against the tooth on the other side. The wire loop prevents other teeth from crowding in, effectively “maintaining” the space for the permanent tooth.
Regular dental visits, plus your child’s daily brushing and flossing, are also crucial in preventing primary teeth from an “early departure.” Keeping them for their full lifespan will help prevent problems that could impact your child’s dental health future.
If you would like more information on the right care approach for primary teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Importance of Baby Teeth.”
For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.
After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.
As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.
Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.
Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.
What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.
To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.
If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
Both you and your little one need to make oral care a priority for the whole family.
From the moment your child is born you want to do everything possible to make sure they remain healthy and happy. Of course, while you may be focused on making sure your little one doesn’t catch infections or other health problems, it’s also important that you are starting them early on the path to good oral health. Our Clackamas, OR, pediatric dentist Dr. David Doyle is here to tell you how to ensure that your child’s smile remains healthy.
But my child doesn’t have teeth?
Even though your little one’s baby teeth haven’t started to erupt yet you still need to make sure that you are keeping their gums healthy. This means wiping the gums with a soft cloth after feedings. You won’t have to use toothpaste or anything like that during this stage. Just make sure that you are gently wiping their tongue, cheeks and gums after eating to prevent bacteria from forming.
My child’s first tooth is coming in. Now what?
This is a great question. That first little tooth sighting can be quite exciting for parents. Of course, now that the tooth has erupted we know that the rest are sure to follow. Once your child’s first tooth appears it’s time to call your Clackamas, OR, children’s dentist to schedule an appointment. When you come in for your child’s first visit this is a great way to establish rapport with us and for us to get to know your family. We love seeing new patients in our offices, especially young ones that are getting a jump start on their oral health. Once your child’s first tooth comes in or by the time they turn 1 year old (whichever comes first) they should come in for their first appointment.
How do I clean my child’s first tooth?
It’s important that you find a toothpaste that is geared toward your baby’s age. Using a baby-friendly toothpaste, only use an amount about the size of a grain of rice. As your child gets older you can continue to increase the amount of toothpaste used to brush their teeth.
When should my child get involved?
Until your child turns 7 or 8 years old you will need to brush their teeth for them. You can find ways to make brushing and flossing your teeth a fun family affair. Turn on fun videos or shows while brushing and spend time doing it together. Also, show your child the proper brushing and floss techniques so that they know how to do it once they reach the appropriate age.
Sunnyside Dentistry for Children in Clackamas, OR, is dedicated to providing the very best dental care to children of all ages. No matter whether it’s your child’s first dental visit or they’ve been coming here for years, don’t hesitate to reach out to us whenever you have questions or concerns, or if you just need to make an appointment.