Posts for: December, 2017
A lot happens in your child’s mouth from infancy to early adulthood. Not surprisingly, it’s the most active period for development of teeth, gums and jaw structure. Our primary goal as care providers is to keep that development on track.
One of our main concerns, therefore, is to protect their teeth as much as possible from tooth decay. This includes their primary (“baby”) teeth: although your child will eventually lose them, a premature loss of a primary tooth to decay could cause the incoming permanent tooth to erupt out of proper position. And we of course want to protect permanent teeth from decay during these developmental years as well.
That’s why we may recommend applying topical fluoride to your child’s teeth. A naturally occurring chemical, fluoride helps strengthen the mineral content of enamel. While fluoride can help prevent tooth decay all through life, it’s especially important to enamel during this growth period.
Although your child may be receiving fluoride through toothpaste or drinking water, in that form it first passes through the digestive system into the bloodstream and then to the teeth. A topical application is more direct and allows greater absorption into the enamel.
We’ll typically apply fluoride in a gel, foam or varnish form right after a professional cleaning. The fluoride is a much higher dose than what your child may encounter in toothpaste and although not dangerous it can cause temporary vomiting, headache or stomach pain if accidentally swallowed. That’s why we take extra precautions such as a mouth tray (similar to a mouth guard) to catch excess solution.
The benefits, though, outweigh this risk of unpleasant side effects, especially for children six years or older. Several studies over the years with thousands of young patients have shown an average 28% reduction in decayed, missing or filled teeth in children who received a fluoride application.
Topical fluoride, along with a comprehensive dental care program, can make a big difference in your child’s dental care. Not only is it possible for them to enjoy healthier teeth and gums now, but it could also help ensure their future dental health.
If you would like more information on topical fluoride and other dental disease prevention measures, 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 “Fluoride Gels Reduce Decay.”
Have you always wanted a straight, healthy smile, but just never received orthodontic correction? Are you at a point where you have no confidence when you smile in public? Consider a consultation with your dentist in Billerica, MA, Dr, Kunio Chan, at One Dental Care. He offers innovative Invisalign clear aligners, an outstanding way for older teens and adults to get well-aligned smiles discreetly, efficiently, and comfortably. Read on to learn all the details.
Invisalign has straightened smiles all over the world for the past 20 years. Instead of metal or ceramic brackets and wires, patients wear customized, clear aligners that are smooth, comfortable, and virtually unnoticeable. Older teens and adults may qualify for Invisalign if they have mild to moderate smile problems such as:
- Open bite
- Cross bite
- Orthodontic relapse (teeth drifted after braces were removed)
- Tooth tipping
- Tooth rotationOvercrowding
Through oral examination and digital X-rays, your Billerica dentist will tell you if Invisalign is your best option. If it is, you'll wear 18 to 30 pairs of aligners over nine to 15 months, a shorter treatment time than traditional orthodontics. Additionally, you'll enjoy aligners that are:
- Removable for special occasions, meals and oral hygiene
- Easily cleaned with non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft brush
- Computer-designed to achieve effective and attractive smile alignment perfect for your unique needs
- So discreet few (if any) people will notice them
Who can get Invisalign?
Many people, except the most complex of orthodontic cases, may qualify. Even teens, who sometimes have difficulty complying with orthodontic oral hygiene routines and dietary restrictions, do well with Invisalign. In fact, Invisalign Teen aligners are fitted with compliance tabs which change color to indicate if the appliances are worn properly. (20 to 22 hours a day is the minimum.)
In addition, people with busy school and work schedules love the simplicity of Invisalign treatment. They see Dr. Chan every four to six weeks so he can check their progress and deliver the next aligner pairs in the care plan. There are no painful or lengthy adjustments to endure, and oral tissues and gums suffer no sore spots as are common with traditional braces.
Are you interested?
If it sounds as though Invisalign could help you, contact One Dental Care for a consultation with Dr. Kunio Chan in Billerica, MA. He has extensive training and the expertise to know if Invisalign is best for your smile. Call the office today at (978) 667-0691.
Teething is a normal part of your baby’s dental development. That doesn’t make it less stressful, though, for you or your baby.
This natural process occurs as your child’s primary teeth sequentially erupt through the gums over a period of two or three years. The first are usually the two lower front teeth followed by the two upper front ones, beginning (give or take a couple of months) between six and nine months. By the age of three, most children have all twenty of their primary teeth.
The disruption to the gum tissues can cause a number of unpleasant side effects including gum swelling, facial rash, drooling, disrupted sleep patterns and decreased appetite. As a result a child can become irritable, bite and gnaw to relieve gum discomfort or rub their ears. Every child’s experience is different as well as their degree of pain and discomfort.
As a tooth is about to erupt, you may notice symptoms increasing a few days before and after. The symptoms will then subside until the next tooth begins to erupt. In a way, teething is much like a storm—you mostly have to ride it out. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lessen your child’s discomfort during the teething episode.
For one thing, cold, soft items like teething rings, pacifiers or even a clean, wet washcloth your child can gnaw on will help relieve gum pressure. Chilling the item can have a pain-numbing effect—but avoid freezing temperatures, which can burn the tissues. You can also massage the gums with a clean finger to relieve pain. But don’t rub alcohol on their gums and only use numbing agents (like Benzocaine) for children older than two, and only with the advice and supervision of your healthcare provider. The use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen might also be used under the advice of your doctor.
If you notice your child has diarrhea, extensive rashes or fever, contact your physician immediately—these aren’t normal teething symptoms and may indicate something more serious. And be sure to consult with us if you have any other questions or concerns.
Teething can be a difficult time for your baby and family. But with these tips and a little “TLC” you can keep their discomfort to a minimum.
If you would like more information on caring for your baby’s developing 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 “Teething Troubles: How to Help Your Baby be Comfortable.”