what is fluoride

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is everywhere. It is in the water your child drinks, in the toothpaste he or she uses, and even in mouthwashes, but what is it?

We will take a look at exactly what fluoride is and why it is an important part of your child’s dental care.

Fluoride is Like a Superhero That Fights Cavities

Think of fluoride as a cavity fighting superhero. Without exposure to enough fluoride, your teeth are left weak. Weak teeth are extremely susceptible to tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay over time can cause cavities.

Fluoride helps naturally fight cavities by building up the strength of the enamel on your child’s teeth. The enamel is the outer surface of the tooth. It provides your child’s teeth with the structure and stability he or she needs to talk and chew. The stronger your child’s tooth enamel is the more resistant your child’s teeth will be to acid attacks and bacteria that can cause tooth decay and cavities.

Early Signs of Tooth Decay can be Reversed with Fluoride

Even children who brush and floss on a regular basis may show signs of early tooth decay. Fluoride can help reverse the early signs of tooth decay and prevent gum disease or cavities from forming.

Each and every time your child’s teeth are exposed to fluoride it starts to slowly rebuild any weakened enamel. This process is called remineralization. The fluoride targets specific weakened points on the tooth’s surface and rebuilds it so it is strong enough to fight against tooth decay.

While fluoride does help to reverse early signs of tooth decay, it cannot completely eliminate tooth decay. If your child has extensive tooth decay or the enamel on his or her teeth is severely damaged, fluoride treatments may not be enough. In situations like this, a pediatric dentist can provide treatment recommendations that will help improve your child’s oral health.

Find Fluoride in the Water Your Child Drinks

Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in almost all rivers, lakes, and oceans. Unfortunately, when public water companies filter water to get it to your home, the natural fluoride is eliminated. In an effort to improve the oral health of your child and yourself, most public water suppliers have started to add additional fluoride to the water. Additional fluoride increases fluoride levels so your child has some protection against tooth decay.

Additional Fluoride can be Found in Toothpastes and Mouthwashes

Parents who are concerned about their child not getting enough fluoride can purchase toothpastes and mouthwashes that have been fortified with additional fluoride.

If you use fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes with your child, it is important you keep these tips in mind:

  • Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Make sure your child spits out all the toothpaste
  • Use the proper amount of toothpaste for your child’s age. Children three and under should only have a small smear of toothpaste that looks like a grain of rice on their toothbrush, while children three to six should have a pea sized smear.
  • Use fluoride mouthwash only if your child is six years old or older. Younger children are likely to swallow it.
  • Purchase fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash that has an ADA Seal of Acceptance on it

Consider a Fluoride Supplement

Some areas don’t put additional fluoride into the community drinking water. This leaves children extremely susceptible to tooth decay as the enamel doesn’t get built up from the fluoride. People who live in these areas may want to consider fluoride supplements.

Fluoride supplements are available by prescription only. Typically, fluoride supplements are prescribed for children between the ages of six months and 16 years who are at high risk for cavities and who do not have regular access to fluoride enhanced water. They can be prescribed by a dentist or family doctor and come in tablet, lozenge, or drop form.

Fluoride Treatments are Administered at Routine Dental Checkups

Fluoride treatments are often administered as part of your child’s routine dental checkup. Professional application of fluoride can be done a number of different ways. Dentists can apply a fluoride gel or form directly to the teeth or they can administer a fluoride rinse. The type of fluoride treatment your child receives will depend upon their age.

The dentists and dental staff at The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida are willing to answer any further questions you may have about fluoride. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

 

Bad Habits

Bad Habits for Your Child’s Teeth

From a very early age, your child could pick up bad habits that could compromise their oral health. Over time, those bad habits could cause everything from cavities and tooth decay to tooth loss and gum disease. If you don’t encourage your child to change their ways and develop healthy dental habits, those bad habits could stay with your child throughout his or her entire life.

Many parents are unaware what bad habits can cause long term problems for their child’s oral health. The following are some examples of bad habits parents should immediately start to discourage if they notice their child doing them.

Drinking from a Bottle at Night or Before Bed

Giving your child a bottle right before bed might be a regular bedtime ritual, but it can be extremely bad for your child’s teeth.

Most of the drinks you give your child contain lots of sugars. Those sugars, when left on the teeth overnight, can start to slowly wear away at your child’s tooth enamel. When the enamel wears away it can cause cavities to develop.

The best thing to do is to avoid giving your child a bottle at night. If your child absolutely must have a bottle at night, try to clean your child’s teeth as soon as possible. This will help get rid of the sugars that will eat away at your child’s teeth.

Nail Biting When Nervous

Nail biting is a nervous habit children develop. While it might calm their nerves, it can cause extreme damage to their teeth. Nail biting can cause teeth to fracture or chip. When this happens, the only option is to extract the tooth or place a crown on it.

Parents should discourage their children from biting their nails if they notice they are starting this habit. Some ways to discourage nail biting include raising awareness that the child is doing this action, painting nails with nail polish, or trying to keep the child busy with other, safer activities.

Swallowing the Toothpaste When Brushing

Children’s toothpaste is safe to swallow. However, just because it can be swallowed doesn’t mean it should be swallowed especially if it contains fluoride.

Swallowing fluoride toothpaste can cause your child to develop a condition known as fluorosis. Fluorosis, which happens when the body gets too much fluoride, causes unsightly brown or yellow spots to appear on the teeth.

Discourage your child from swallowing toothpaste while brushing even if they are using a non-fluoride children’s toothpaste. It may take a while for them to learn not to swallow the toothpaste, but it will help improve their oral health.

Sucking on Their Thumb

Children often find sucking on their thumb to be extremely calming. Unfortunately, this bad habit can cause numerous problems to develop over time.

If your child sucks their thumb after their permanent teeth start to grow in, it can cause the teeth to come in crooked or uneven. This misalignment of permanent teeth can cause a number of problems ranging from difficulty talking or chewing to tooth decay and pain.

Parents should allow their child to suck their thumb while they still have their baby teeth. However, once a child reaches the age of four, it is a good idea to discourage this habit as this is when permanent teeth start to grow in.

Failure to Visit the Dentist on a Regular Basis

Children learn from their parents the importance of visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Teach your child that visiting the dentist every six months, or more if there is a problem, is important by scheduling them for regular, routine visits with their dentist.

Regular checkups with a dentist will help your child get into the habit of visiting on a regular basis. This habit will hopefully stay with your child throughout their childhood and well into their adult years.

Start your child on the right path to developing good dental habits by scheduling an appointment at The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. Our award-winning pediatric dental health practice can do everything from teaching you ways to improve your child’s oral health to conducting routine checkups.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment at one of our two locations in central Florida.

 

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Preparing for Sedation

Dentists find that when sedation is used their patients are more cooperative, feel less anxious, and experience less discomfort during their dental treatment. If your dentist has recommended sedation for your child’s upcoming dental procedure, there are a few things you will need to do to prepare for the appointment.

The following will discuss some of the preparations you may need to do prior to your child’s appointment.

Notify the Dental Office of Any Changes in Health or Medicine

A lot can change between the time you schedule your child’s appointment and the day of the actual appointment. Your child could become ill, have a change in medicine, or become injured. These things could cause you to have to postpone your child’s dental appointment.

Notify your dentist office if your child experiences any of the following things:

  • Develops a fever
  • Suffers from an ear infection
  • Develops nasal or chest congestion
  • Head trauma
  • Starts taking any new medicines (prescribed or over-the-counter) or herbal supplements
  • Develops any new allergies

Once your dentist is notified of these changes, you may be told to reschedule the appointment or given certain instructions, such as not taking a specific medicine on the day of the appointment.

Learn about Food Restrictions Before Sedation

In the hours before your child’s appointment, you will be instructed to limit the types of food and drink they consume. Food and drink restrictions are recommended with sedation because it helps reduce the likelihood that your child will experience any vomiting or nausea after their appointment.

The type of food and drink restrictions that are in place will vary depending upon what type of food your child eats. The following is an example of some of the restrictions your child will have on food and drink:

  • Solid food (especially fried and fatty foods) – stop 8 hours prior to appointment
  • Formulas, milk, and light food – stop 6 hours prior to appointment
  • Breast milk – stop 4 hours prior to appointment
  • Clear liquids that include juices, water, and tea – stop 2 hours before appointment

To make it easier on parents, most dentists will just tell you to stop all food and drink six to twelve hours before the appointment. This makes it easier to remember and reduces your stress as you prepare for this appointment.

Create Your Child’s Outfit for the Day of the Appointment Ahead of Time

To make your child’s appointment easier for them and the dental staff, it is recommended that your child wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Wearing this type of clothing allows the dentist to place monitoring equipment on your child that will monitor their breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

Some recommendations for loose-fitting clothing include:

  • Comfortable pajamas
  • Sweatpants
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts

Make Arrangements to Have a Babysitter for Other Children

While your child’s siblings are always welcome in the waiting room, if your child has an appointment that requires sedation it may be best to leave their siblings at home. This allows you to solely focus on your child who is being sedated and not experience any distractions before, during, or after the appointment.

Arrange to Have Another Adult with You for the Drive Home

Your child will not be sent home after their sedation appointment until they are fully ready. However, problems can still occur in the hours after the appointment, which is why it is important to arrange to have another adult with you on the drive home.

Driving with another adult in the car allows one individual to drive and another to monitor your child. The individual monitoring your child can watch for any changes in your child’s behavior or breathing.

Reduce Your Stress by Asking any Questions You May Have

Parents worry about their child, especially when they are having a dental appointment that requires sedation. To help reduce your stress, feel free to ask the dentist or the office staff any questions you may have about the procedure or the preparation. Feeling properly informed will help you focus more on your child as you aren’t stressing out about the appointment.

The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida offers sedation for certain types of dental treatment. Call our office today to learn more about sedation dentistry or to ask any questions you may have about this type of dental procedure.

 

Dentist Showing Teeth Xray To Child Patient

Crowns vs. Fillings

If your child’s tooth experiences extensive decay, you may find yourself in the position of having to make a decision between a dental crown and a filling. Both options can help restore your child’s tooth, but depending upon the situation one may be better than the other.

Several factors, such as your budget and personal preference, will determine whether you should choose a dental crown or a filling. Here are some factors you should carefully consider before making a final decision whether to go with a dental crown or a filling.

The Overall Cost of the Procedure

Cost is a huge factor when determining whether to have a dental crown or filling. A composite filling, even a large one, is considerably cheaper than a dental crown. The considerable difference in price is often why many people choose to go with a composite filling before a dental crown.

While the cost of the procedure will vary from dentist to dentist and depending upon which tooth is being worked on, the complexity of the restoration, and what materials are used, you can still expect to pay the following for each procedure:

  • Composite fillings – $110 to $370
  • All metal dental crown – $650 to $1,440
  • Porcelain and metal dental crown – $775 to $1,600
  • All ceramic dental crown – $800 to $1,800

While dental insurance – if you have it – will typically cover a portion of your procedure, whether your child will get a crown or a filling, you are still responsible for the remaining balance. Depending upon your insurance, you could be responsible for paying anywhere from 20% to 80% of the cost of the procedure.

The Time Commitment Involved with the Procedure

Composite fillings, no matter how large, can be completed in one office visit. The office visit can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending upon the size of the filling.

On the other hand, dental crowns require a larger time commitment. When getting a dental crown for a permanent tooth, you will have to plan on at least two office visits. The first office visit you will have impressions taken, the tooth prepped for the dental crown, and a temporary filling placed. Several weeks later, usually 6 to 8 weeks later, you will return to the dentist. During this visit your temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is placed.

If your child is getting a dental crown on a baby tooth, the time commitment involves is significantly different. Baby tooth dental crowns can often be completed in a single office visit.

Which Tooth Needs to be Restored

Composite fillings tend to be more successful in smaller, front teeth. This means if your child has a large cavity in a first molar, a dental crown may be a better long term solution as it will have less chance of failing or causing additional problems.

Another factor to consider is whether the tooth is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. Baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth. This makes fillings a better solution for most baby teeth as they are less costly and the tooth will eventually fall out. However, if the baby tooth isn’t going to be lost for several years, a dental crown may be a better, more durable solution.

The Long Term Outlook

There are no guarantees when it comes to dental procedures. Some procedures will last several years, while others could fail several weeks later. Even though you cannot predict how long a crown or filling will last, you can get a general time frame.

With proper maintenance, a dental crown for a permanent tooth can last several decades. Their durable design dramatically reduces the likelihood that they will fail. For a baby tooth, the crown will last until the tooth falls out or until your child turns 12.

Composite fillings are a bit more unpredictable. Some patients can have a filling that lasts 5, 10, or even 25 years without any problems, while others could have a filling that will fail within the first two years. If a filling fails, it could lead to the need to have other dental work performed, such as a root canal, tooth extraction, or placement of a dental crown.

In addition to the possibility of the filling failing, there are other problems that can occur. Over time, a filling may leak, which can cause extensive staining on your child’s teeth or it can fall out.

Making the decision between a dental crown and a filling for your child can be difficult. The dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida can help you explore your options and determine which procedure the best solution for your child. Call our office today to schedule an appointment for your child.

 

Female dentist patiently polish teeth to child

What to Expect During a Regular CheckUp

Regular, routine dental checkups play an important part in helping your child maintain his or her oral health. Understanding exactly when you should schedule an appointment for a checkup with a pediatric dentist, learning about what happens during the appointment, and why checkups are so important will help you keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy for a long time.

When and How Often Should You Schedule a Dental Checkup for Your Child

Children should start visiting a dentist for regular checkups within six months of their first tooth. If a child has not gotten his or her first tooth by their first birthday, regular checkups should start at that time. Remember, it is never too late to start regular checkups. Even if your child is 3 or 5 years old and has never been to the dentist, you can start now by scheduling an appointment with a pediatric dentist.

After completing the first dental visit, regular routine checkups should be scheduled approximately every six months. In some cases, a dentist may recommend a child visit every three to four months, but most of the time regular checkups are scheduled every six months.

What to Expect During a Regular, Routine Pediatric Dental Checkup

The goal of a pediatric dental checkup is to monitor your child’s oral health and spot any changes before they become problematic. Most of what occurs during a dental checkup is designed to help your dentist and his staff chart your child’s oral health so they can spot problem in the future.

Some things that will occur during a routine dental checkup for your child include:

  • Visual examination looking for tooth decay, cavities, and tooth growth
  • Monitoring fluoride levels
  • Cleaning and polishing of the teeth
  • Provide a fluoride rinse
  • Application of dental sealants
  • Monitor and chart tooth development, jaw placement, and other important information
  • Run x-rays if cavities are suspected  

During your child’s routine dental checkup, the dental hygienist will often ask a number of questions that will help them determine any habits that may impact your child’s oral health.

Some questions that may be asked include:

  • Does your child suck their thumb?
  • Does your child use a pacifier?
  • Does your child drink out of a regular cup or a sippy cup?
  • What types of foods does your child eat on a regular basis?
  • Does your child engage in any activities that may damage their teeth?
  • Have you noticed any teeth grinding or jaw clenching?
  • What dental work has been performed in the past? This question is usually asked if you are a new patient.

Regular Checkups Help Create a Safe, Comfortable Dental “Home”

Dental emergencies can be stressful for children. They are in pain and the entire situation can be scary. Regular checkups with a pediatric dentist can help reduce the stress your child experiences should they have a dental emergency.

In the event your child should experience a dental emergency, they will feel safe and comfortable with their dentist because they have seen them on a regular basis. Your child will be familiar with everything from the dental equipment in the office, the dental staff, and the dentist.

Regular Checkups Allow Dental Staff to Provide Guidance to Parents to Improve Oral Health

One of the biggest benefits of regular routine checkups is the opportunity for dental staff to provide you with valuable information that will help you improve your child’s oral health. Taking the information the dental staff obtained from the appointment, they can provide you with tips on how to make sure your child keeps their teeth and gums healthy.

Some of the things you can learn from the dental staff during a routine checkup include:

  • Proper cleaning techniques for brushing and flossing
  • Discovering how often your child should be brushing and flossing
  • Discovering what type of toothpaste is best to use for your child
  • Recommendations for diet changes that will reduce the likelihood that your child develops cavities or extensive tooth decay
  • Recommendation for changes that will improve oral health such as transitioning from using a sippy cup to trying to help a child stop sucking their thumb

Schedule Regular Checkups with Your Pediatric Dentist

Schedule an appointment for your child at The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. We have offices in Maitland and St. Cloud, Florida. Our experienced, caring dental professionals will provide a safe and comfortable place for your child. We will conduct a complete dental checkup. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Pediatric dentist examining a little boys teeth

Problems with Untreated Tongue Tie

Every individual is born with a small strip of skin that is attached to the tongue. This strip of skin helps hold the tongue in place. Unfortunately for some individuals, the strip of skin is shorter than normal. This is called ankyloglossia or, in common terms, tongue tie.

A tongue tie can present numerous problems if left untreated. The following will explore who is impacted by a tongue tie, what problems may happen as a result of an untreated tongue tie, and briefly explore what treatment options are available for tongue tie.

How Common is Tongue Tie?

It is believed that approximately 4-11% of all newborn babies are born with tongue tie. The severity of the tongue tie will vary. In some children, the strip of skin is only slightly smaller than normal, which will cause minimal problems in the future, while in other children the strip is significantly smaller.

Any child is likely to be born with a tongue tie. However, boys tend to develop it more than girls. It is also believed to run in families, but not always.

What Problems can Occur with an Untreated Tongue Tie?

An untreated tongue tie can create a number of problems that will impact your child from infancy to adulthood. The problems your child experiences now and in the future will vary depending upon the severity of the tongue tie.

Some of the problems that occur in infants with tongue tie include:

  • Inability to breastfeed
  • Failure to thrive as your child is unable to consume the right amount of food/formula
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Difficulty making the transition from formula to solid foods

Some of the problems that children with tongue experience include:

  • Difficulty chewing or consuming solid foods that are age appropriate
  • Occasional gagging
  • Potential for choking or vomiting when eating
  • Dribbling or spilling liquids from the mouth when drinking
  • Delay in speech development
  • Behavior problems
  • Dental problems such as extensive tooth decay or improper tooth growth
  • Developing bad habits that are used to compensate for the difficulties presented from the tongue tie

When not treated at a young age, your child will continue to experience problems with their tongue tie into adulthood. Some of the problems your child will experience as an adult with an untreated tongue tie include:

  • Inability to properly open their mouth when eating or talking
  • Development of speech problems that impacts self-esteem and confidence levels
  • Pain develops in the jaw
  • Garbled or unclear speech when he or she tries to speak fast, soft, or loud
  • Experiences dental problems that include tooth decay, cavities, and inflamed gums
  • Protrusion or misalignment of the lower jaw
  • Experiences frequent migraines

How is a Tongue Tie Treated?

Treatment for a tongue tie will vary depending upon the age of your child. In infants, the procedure is extremely easy and pain-free. A doctor or nurse will typically cut the piece of skin. No anesthetic is involved when doing this with infants.

 

The procedure is a bit more complex in older children. Children are often administered a general anesthetic so they will be asleep during the procedure. Once they are asleep, a nurse or dental hygienist will hole your child’s head while the doctor or dentist will use a laser or a pair of surgical scissors to cut the tongue tie.

Does a Tongue Tie Really Need to be Treated?

Whether or not to treat a tongue tie is often a personal choice. Some parents choose to have their child’s tongue tie treated in an effort to reduce the likelihood that any problems occur in the future. Other parents will often take the “wait and see” approach. They won’t treat the tongue tie, but if problems develop they will seek treatment for it.

 

For some children, problems develop very early on from the tongue tie. When this happens, treatment is suggested to help stop any problems that are present.

 

If your child has a tongue tie, the dentists at The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida can help. Our dentists can assess the situation and determine whether treatment is needed for your child’s tongue tie. If treatment is recommended, we can perform a tongue tie revision right in our office.

 

Call us today to schedule an appointment to discuss potential treatment of your child’s tongue tie.

 

Little girl at dentist looking up and smiling. man and woman dentists examining one girl

Tips to Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Taking your child to the dentist can be stressful for both you and them due to dental fear. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow a few simple tips. Your child may see the dentist’s office as a scary place right now, but you can change all that and make things easier for yourself at the same time. Here are the top tips to overcoming dental fear in children.

A Positive Attitude

It may seem simple, but a positive attitude when talking about the dentist can make a major difference in the way that your child perceives dental visits. When you tell your child that they’re going to the dentist soon, speak in an upbeat manner. Don’t give too many details about what will happen at the dentist’s office, as this is only likely to make your child more anxious. It’s especially important that you avoid talking about your own dental experiences if they were difficult. Cheerful and upbeat talk is key. Speak about a visit to the dentist much like you’d talk about a shopping trip, a visit to relatives, or any other routine life event. This will help your child to see the dentist as just another part of life and help them to develop a “that’s no big deal” approach. If you try to bring up the dental visit every day or two up until the actual day of the appointment, your child will be well prepared and quite accepting of what’s to come.

Provide Comfort Through Distraction

Talk to the dentist before your child’s next dental visit if they have a lot of anxiety or fear about dental visits. It may be possible for you to accompany your child during the visit, which allows you to provide distraction while the dentist works on your child. Take along a book, toy, or other object that your child finds comforting and bring it out as they start to get anxious or fussy in the dental chair. Talk in soothing tones, telling a story or making lighthearted or even humorous comments to help your child get their mind off what’s going on in the dentist’s chair. Parents and dentists can work as a team to help keep kids both distracted and comfortable during their dental visits.

A Fun Book About the Dentist

A children’s book about the dentist can be a great way to prepare for your child’s dental visit when they’re anxious. There are a number of fun kid’s books that focus on topics like a first dental visit, teeth cleaning, filling cavities, good dental hygiene, and other topics that kids can really relate to. By seeing charming fictional characters going through the same things that they are, your child will start to relax and will realize that they can handle this. Read the book frequently in the days and weeks leading up to the visit to help your child accept the dentist as a normal part of their life.

Playacting: Dental Visits at Home

Playacting is often a favorite activity for any child, and you can take advantage of this when it comes to helping them overcome dental fears. Arrange a “dentist’s chair” at home and pretend that you’re the dentist. Invite your child into the chair, ask them to say “ahhh,” discuss checking for cavities, and talk about things like cleaning the teeth and performing dental care. Make positive comments about how well your child has been caring for their teeth and tell them that you appreciate their grown up behavior during the “exam.” Give your child a reward for their good behavior, for example a sticker or a small non-food treat. You might also want to mention that the next visit to the dentist (the real dentist!) are likely to yield fun new things like a new toothbrush.

Do You Need a New Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is ready to help if you’re looking for a caring, compassionate and highly experienced pediatric dentist for your child. Call us anytime to arrange a dental care visit, necessary dental procedure, or a check-up.

Air, oxygen, nitrous oxide - medical gases. concept.

Nitrous Oxide: What Does It Do?

Nitrous oxide is a dental sedative, administered in gas form, that is often used for dental surgeries or other dental treatments.  It can alleviate pain and anxiety very effectively. Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida offers nitrous oxide sedation for their young patients when they need to have surgery or other dental procedures. This type of sedation is widely used because it’s very safe for patients of all ages, including even young children. Nitrous oxide is often an excellent choice for patients who are fearful of the dentist, for patients who are resistant to having dental care, or for patients who are too young to really be able to cooperate properly for dental treatment.

Preparing for Nitrous Oxide

The dentist will give you a set of guidelines to help you prepare your child for a dental treatment with nitrous oxide. These guidelines are simple and easy to follow, and there’s usually no special preparation needed until the day of or the day before the dental appointment. Patients shouldn’t have dairy products on the day of their dental appointment, and children shouldn’t eat or drink for at least three hours prior to the nitrous oxide being administered.

What Does Nitrous Oxide Feel Like?

Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and is administered via mask before the dental procedure begins. It takes only around 20 seconds for the nitrous oxide to reach the brain. The painkilling properties will kick in in only two or three minutes and the treatment can then start.

Many patients grow drowsy, and may even lightly doze. Some patients experience tingling feeling in their arms and legs or a sense of deep warmth throughout the body. Your child may even say that they feel like they’re floating or flying. NItrous oxide can give a sense of eupohoria, making the dentist’s office suddenly seem a lot more fun than it ever has before.

Sometimes nitrous oxide is also referred to as laughing gas because it causes some young patients to giggle and can make them feel extra happy. The nitrous oxide is so effective that some patients don’t even realize the procedure is over, and have no memory of it thereafter.  Your child will continue to breathe on their own and be fully responsive throughout the procedure, but nitrous allows them to relax and be out of pain. When your child is fully relaxed, the dental procedure may seem to pass in the blink of an eye.

After Nitrous Oxide: What to Expect

After nitrous oxide, children usually feel like themselves again quite quickly. The effects may linger for a few hours, and it’s possible that your child may feel a mild amount of nausea. Children can have a light meal whenever they’re ready to eat after the appointment as long as all guidelines from the dentist are followed in regards to food choice. Your child should be monitored for around eight hours after the nitrous oxide was first administered to make sure that they’re feeling fine. If your child is ill or exhibits any unexpected symptoms, call the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida office right away for guidance.

Is Nitrous Oxide the Right Sedative For Your Child?

Many parents wonder whether nitrous oxide sedation is the best choice for their child’s dental procedure. The dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida are happy to discuss this with you. For most young patients, nitrous oxide is a particularly good choice because it’s very safe, only lasts for the day of the procedure, and is easy for even quite young children to tolerate well. You can relax and feel reassured that your child won’t be in pain or feeling a lot of anxiety if they have a dental procedure using nitrous oxide sedation.

Does Your Child Need to See the Dentist?

Looking for a new pediatric dentist or need to make your child’s first dental appointment? The team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to help. Patients in the Orlando area can call anytime to arrange an appointment with one of our caring and highly efficient pediatric dentists.

Kids Hand with one milk tooth. First tooth lost.

Best Ways To Pull Loose Baby Teeth

If your child is starting to shed his or her teeth, you may be feeling a little exasperated by the process. Around the age of six, kids start to shed their baby teeth. Usually, the teeth are lost in the same order in which they presented. You can expect your child’s front teeth, which are called the incisors, to loosen and fall out first.

As a child’s permanent teeth grow in, the roots of the baby or primary teeth dissolve. As a result, a baby tooth becomes wiggly and eventually detaches completely from the gums. Although the natural detachment of the tooth is generally painless. Little ones may complain a bit about the discomfort associated with a wiggly tooth.

If your child has a loose tooth that seems bothersome, you may be interested in ways to safely detach it. Home remedies, such as tying one end of a string around the tooth and the other around a door knob to yank the tooth from its socket as the door is shut, can cause pain. If the tooth is yanked too early, the dental roots may not be fully dissolved.

Here are some of the best ways to pull loose baby teeth:

Offer your child an apple.

Hard, crunchy foods, such as raw apples, can assist in the removal of a loose primary tooth. As a child chews, the bite pressure can move the wiggly tooth back and forth. This can eventually help the tooth work its way completely loose from the gums. The tooth may even become caught in the flesh of the apple, gently pulling it from your child’s mouth.

Brushing, Brushing and More Brushing

Brushing is a great way for your child to keep his or her teeth healthy. However, the practice can also place detaching pressure on a wiggly tooth. To encourage a loose tooth to fall out, have your child brush several times a day. The gentle pressure of the brushing is unlikely to be uncomfortable. However, it can be significant enough to further loosen the tooth.

To ensure that your child doesn’t damage any of his or her other teeth while brushing, be sure to have the little one use a children’s toothbrush with soft bristles.

Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth.

If you rock your child’s tooth back and forth, you may inadvertently increase your little one’s discomfort. Still, wiggling a loose tooth can encourage the tooth’s detachment. If you choose this method to pull a loose baby tooth, allow your child to rock his or her own wobbly tooth. Youngsters can easily gauge their own discomfort level and will instinctively stop the wiggling if they experience pain.

If your child can wiggle a loose tooth with no indication of discomfort, the tooth may be ready to dislodge. Be sure that the child can rock the tooth in all directions without pain. If you notice that the tooth fails to wiggle freely, it may still be too firmly attached in the mouth for removal. If the tooth appears ready to fall out, you can follow the steps below for a gentle home removal:

Have your child wash his or her hands thoroughly and begin wiggling the tooth back and forth in a rocking motion. The child can even gently twist the tooth to encourage its release.

  1. Once the tooth releases, apply pressure to the space on the gums with a piece of medical gauze to stop any bleeding.
  2. Closely examine the gap left by the tooth. You may notice a bit of the permanent tooth peeking through the gums, but no remnants of the primary tooth should be left. If you notice what appears to be fragments of the baby tooth, contact our office.
  3. Enjoy your role as your little one’s tooth fairy.

Visit the dentist.

If your little one’s tooth just doesn’t seem to be loosening as quickly as you believe it should, contact our St. Cloud or Maitland office for an appointment. We can assess the tooth to ensure that it is progressing as it should.

dentist examining boys teeth

Dental Sealants: How do they work?

Dental sealants are ultra thin protective coatings that are applied to the teeth’s chewing surfaces. Typically, they’re used on the back teeth — the molars and the pre-molars — to help keep the teeth healthy as a child grows. Dental sealant immediately moves into the tiny cracks and grooves of the teeth, creating a shield that can’t be penetrated by food and bacteria. Once on the teeth, your child won’t be able to tell any difference in how their teeth feel. The dental sealant is ultra thin and adheres seamlessly to the teeth. Dental sealants can do a better job of preventing tooth decay than even the most careful brushing and flossing can do alone. Of course, even with dental sealant applied it’s always important to maintain regular brushing and flossing at home.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

The application of dental sealants is a quick and easy process. In most cases, the whole process requires only a single short visit, and it will be pain-free for your child. Before the dental sealant can be applied, a complete teeth cleaning must be done. This gives the sealant the best (and healthiest) surface to adhere to.

Once the teeth are cleaned, they are completely dried. Cotton will be placed in the area around each tooth to help keep the teeth dry during the sealant application.  Next, a special solution is applied to the teeth’s chewing surfaces. This solution makes the surface of the teeth slightly rougher and better able to bond with the sealant.

 

Finally, the sealant is painted onto each tooth. It will quickly bond to the tooth enamel and will then harden. A curing light may also be used to help ensure good sealant bonding. Once this is complete, your child can go home and resume their regular routine. The dentist may give you some precautionary aftercare guidelines, but in most cases your child can eat and drink normally after having dental sealants applied.

Is Any Special Preparation Needed Prior to Getting Dental Sealants?

No, there’s no special preparation required to get dental sealants. The dentist may recommend that dental sealants are applied in the same appointment as a regular check-up, or they may be applied at a separate appointment. Simply have your child brush and floss in the usual way prior to getting dental sealants.

At What Age Should a Child Get Dental Sealants?

In most cases, the dentist may recommend that dental sealants are applied on pre-molars and molars when they emerge. Dental sealants are especially useful for the age group between 6 and 13, as these can be the years when children may not be especially vigilant about their oral health. The dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida are happy to evaluate your child to determine if they need dental sealants and what age would be best to apply them.

What is the Lifespan of Dental Sealants?

The lifespan of dental sealants can vary, but in most cases they can last for anywhere from three years up to a full decade. It’s very important that children who have dental sealants continue to see the dentist at the recommended intervals (usually twice a year.) During regular check-ups, the dentist can look for any sealant problems such as chipping. If needed, the dental sealants can be replaced so that teeth continue to have the protection required to prevent decay.

Will Insurance Cover Dental Sealants?

This can vary from one insurance provider to another, but many insurers do cover dental sealants for children today. Dental sealants are often classified as preventive dentistry. In the long run, having dental sealants can prevent tooth decay — and the costly dental care that could come along with that. Therefore, many insurers may see dental sealants as a good investment.

 

Looking for a new pediatric dentist for your child, or need to schedule your child’s first dental appointment? The team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is highly dedicated to giving gentle and enthusiastic dental care to their young patients while providing the support families need. Call anytime to arrange an appointment.

 

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