Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Oral Hygiene

We know that a lot of parents out there are new parents, and therefore want different opinions for what is right for their child. We have a little set of guidelines that we like to go over with all of our new patient's and their parents, and we thought we would share that with you today on our blog!

  • Children need to have their first dental visit by age 1. This can just be a consult, a meet and greet, whatever you need it to be in order for you to get a better understanding of how to help your child's teeth progress in a healthy way.
  • Once you have met some dentists and felt comfortable with one of them, establish a "dental home." This way your child is not being shuffled from one dentist to another and can grow comfortable with the dentist. A lot of children are afraid of the dentist and this is normal. Developing that relationship with a dentist will help your child to not only become unafraid of the dentist, but also actually like to go to the dentist.
  • Once you have established a "dental home," start making routine visits to your dentist twice a year.
  • As soon as your child's first tooth appears, immediately begin brushing with just a smear of toothpaste. This will not only aid in the growth and development, but also start getting them in the habit of brushing at an early age.
  • Don't put your child to bed with milk, or sugary drinks. The milk or sugary drinks will stay on your child's teeth over night and therefore cause those cavities that we are trying to prevent by brushing their teeth.
  • When you start potty training, we know it is easier to bribe them with candy. AVOID ALL STICKY CANDIES. These include but are not limited to: Starbursts, fruit roll-ups, skittles, and gummy bears. these sticky candies can sit on your chiuld's teeth and cause cavities. If candy is your way to bribe them, try M&M's. Chocolate melts and does not sit on your child's teeth.
  • Around the age of 2 start using a fluoride toothpaste. There is no fluoride in our water here in Baton Rouge so the only fluoride they are getting is from toothpaste and the fluoride treatments your dentist uses.
These are our basic guidlines for all of our new patients. If you have any other questions or just want to come by and check us out, call us at (225) 769-1969. We would love to meet you and have you choose us for your "dental home."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chocolate Toothpaste

We recently came across an article that we thought our patient's would be interested in hearing! We know that a lot of moms out there are looking for products that have more natural ingredients and here is one!

About 30 years ago,  a New Orleans Lab discovered a substance that challenges fluoride.Dr. Tetsuo Nakamoto discovered "Theobromine" in chocolate and has since then worked to put that in toothpaste. The substance is safer for children to swallow because it is made from chocolate and is all natural.

 The substance is now available in "Theodent" toothpaste. according to Theodent CEO, Dr. Aman Sadeghpour, "Theodent is a fluoride free toothpaste. Rennou, our active ingedient works better to re-mineralize the surface of human teeth." Sadeghpour is also quoted in the article as saying "Fluoride has been the gold standard in oral care for 100 years. there hasn't been any substance to challenge fluoride in a century. That's crazy. In all other aspects of technology you constantly see innovation, a new Iphone every two or three years, but in toothpaste it has been the same."

The toothpaste is available at Theodent.com or at Whole Foods Market, and the children's flavor is chocolate. I know a lot of our patient's that will be thrilled to have chocolate toothpaste :)! And for those adults out there who would like to try it, it is available in Mint for the grown-ups!

You can find the original article at www.wbrz.com/news.

What do you think about this new substance? Do you think you will try this product out as an alternative instead of fluoride?

It is important that the children in the Baton Rouge area are getting fluoride from their toothpaste because we do not have it in our water. And remember only use a pea size amount!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Permanent tooth or Baby tooth??

I was calling a patient back at work a couple days ago and the parent entered our consult room with the child and seemed terribly concerned. The parent mentioned the child sucked her thumb and it was ruining her permanent teeth. Looking at the patient's information, I noticed the patient had just made five years old. Although it is possible, most kids her age don't completely have their upper permanent teeth in the front. I explained to the parent to not worry and that it all could be fixed. After taking the patient to the back and sitting her in the exam chair I immediately looked and saw the patient had all primary (baby) teeth. Then, I got to thinking, most parents don't know the development of their child's teeth. I didn't know the development of teeth until I started studying the world of dentistry. So today, I am going to have a quick overview of when children's teeth begin to erupt, how many teeth they get, when they begin to exfoliate and how many permanent teeth they get to replace the primary teeth.

On average your child's first tooth should erupt between 6-8 months of age. There are cases where children are born with teeth, also called neonatal teeth. Some children don't get their first tooth until after a year old. Although that may not be the average it is not abnormal. I always remind parents, boys tend to develop slower than girls. The first teeth to come in are the lower central incisors (front two teeth in the middle, see charts below) or the upper central incisors. Then, the lateral incisors (upper or lower). There are rare cases where we see teeth erupting out of sequence, meaing the canines erupt before the laterals. Once again although this is not within the average of most children it is not abnormal or mean there is a problem. After the front four (top and bottom) are in, the 1st molars will erupt, canines and the 2nd molars will follow. Your child should get 20 teeth total by the age of three.

Around age 6 children began to lose and gain teeth. The central lower incisors (see chart below) are usually the first to fall out. Most of the time children's teeth will fall out in the order they erupt. Children tend to lose all the incisors (front teeth) and then their development takes a 1-2 year hiatus and the molars/canines will exfoliate. But noticed I mentioned that children also gain teeth at this age. A child's 1st secondary molars begin to erupt around age 6, commonly known as 6 year molars. Children do not lose any teeth in replacement of the teeth erupting. They erupt in the very back of the mouth, 1 tooth in each quadrant. We get several calls a day from parents concerned because their child is in pain or they see "half" of a tooth in the back of their mouth. All of these symptoms are normal, it is as if the child is going through teething all over again. You can administer motrin/advil, etc. to help with your child's discomfort. Around age 9, your child should begin to exfoliate the remainder of the primary teeth and should be finished losing teeth around age 13. Around age 12, another set of molars erupt behind the 6 year molars called the 2nd molars. This gives your child 28 teeth total. Most commonly known as wisdom teeth, the 3rd molars can erupt around the age of 17 but are usually extracted surgically because our jaws do not accomodate the space needed. Your dentist should evaluate the wisdom teeth around age 17. If the wisdom teeth do erupt and remain on will have 32 teeth total.

There are several cases where some are congentially missing teeth whether baby or permanent. Most orthodontist can adjust to this happening and still make your remaining teeth natural and symetrical. For any other questions about development of teeth you can check out ada.org or call us at 225-769-1969.

This chart depicts the dentition of permanent teeth.

This chart depicts the dentition of the primary (baby) teeth.