Wednesday, May 4, 2016


With the eruption of the permanent 6 and 12 year molars, we start discussing dental sealants with parents. Sealants are a relatively easy preventative procedure. It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. Many parents have researched dental sealants and may be concerned about to introduction of BPA. Our sealants are BPA free. The list of BPA free sealants, compiled by the ADA, is listed below. The brand we use is Clinpro (3m ESPE). We hope this blog helps answer any questions you may have.

What are Sealants?
                A sealant is a flowable liquid we apply to the chewing surface of molars to aid in the prevention of cavities. It acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid. Thus, it protects the decay-prone areas of the teeth. Sealants will not protect your child from getting decay in between the teeth. Therefore, regular brushing and flossing is still strongly recommended.

Here are before and after pictures of a dental sealant

How do Sealants work?
                Ensuring that your child is brushing and flossing properly is a tough job. When their permanent molars begin to erupt, the pits of these teeth are deeper than most. Sometimes, even if your child is brushing and flossing like they should, these deep grooves aren’t getting clean. This is where sealants come into play. They “seal” the biting surface of a molar in order to prevent plaque and food from embedding into the grooves, decreasing the risk of decay.

How are sealants applied?
                We start by “etching” the tooth. This process preps the tooth, allowing it to retain the sealant. Next we bond the tooth. The bond acts as an extra measure to ensure the sealant stays on. Afterwards, the sealant is placed. Similar to having a filling done, a UV light is used to harden the sealant. During this process, we isolate the tooth to prevent your child from swallowing any of the materials.  

How long do they last?
                If cared for properly sealants can last for years. Your dentist should check them at every 6 month visit. Repair and re-application may be recommended if necessary.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Did You Know?

If we were to ask if you think drinking diet sodas is better than drinking regular sodas, we bet that you would answer “yes.”
Now if we were to ask you if you give your child sports drinks during after school activities, we bet again you would answer “yes.”

We are here today to tell you that unfortunately, sports drinks and diet sodas are JUST as bad for your teeth as regular sodas, and even candy!

Recently Melbourne University’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Center “tested a wide range of sugar-free soft drinks, sports drinks and sweets and found that many of them can be just as harmful to teeth as their sugared counterparts due to their chemical composition.” These results showed that diet sodas contain phosphoric acid, and lemon-lime flavored drinks (such as Gatorade or PowerAde) contain citric acid. These acids break down the tooth’s surface enamel, which could lead to a whole host of other problems. Chalkiness, denseness, tooth sensitivity, and decay are just some of the complications that could arise from drinking these drinks. The researchers found that “most soft drinks and sports drinks caused dental enamel to soften by 30% and 50%.

Keeping these facts in mind, swap out those diet sodas and sports drinks for water. Do you or your kids hate the taste of water? Try Dasani or Mio drops in your water bottles.  The ADA lists the top nine food and beverages that damage your teeth. You can also visit where you can figure out the best foods and drinks for your child based on his or her activity levels. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Conscious Sedation

Every day we have patients come into our office for their normal cleaning and exam and we find decay. This is when we bring up the two words that parents are always concerned about “Conscious Sedation.”
In today’s blog we are going to go over the most common questions we receive from parents in regards to a conscious sedation. We have heard every question under the sun and we are sure parents will have plenty more questions. Hopefully this post will help you guys better understand!!

What is Conscious Sedation?
                Unlike general anesthesia, oral sedations do not make a patient unconscious. Conscious Sedation reduces a child’s anxiety about treatment and helps them cooperate during treatment. In our office, we use two different conscious sedation medications; Demerol and Versed. While they are both used for in office sedations, they do have different effects on children. Both medications are in liquid form and are given orally. The dosage is based on your child’s weight. Every child that we sedate is weighed before we dose out the medication. 
Demerol sedation takes a full hour for it to go into effect, during this time you will be with the child to monitor them. You may or may not notice a difference in your child and this is completely normal. Once the patient is in the restorative rooms for treatment, we do place a nitrous oxide mask on them, which is when they usually begin to relax. For those patients that do not fall asleep, we have TV’s on the ceiling to keep them occupied.
Versed sedation has an amnestic effect, meaning it helps with the child not remembering the procedure. It takes only 15 minutes for it to go into effect.  You will notice a change in your child almost immediately. They will be dizzy, unable to stand on their own, and very emotional.  A small percentage of our patients may get irritable, happy, or sad depending on how their body responds to the medicine.  

Who is a good candidate for oral sedation?
                Children who have a heightened apprehension to dental treatment, injections, etc. are prime candidates for sedation.  Sedation also helps with children who also are too young to understand how to behave/cooperate during treatment.
                A lot of times we have children who do perfectly fine during a regular dental check-up, but as soon as they hear the word “treatment” they become afraid. They may be afraid of the situation, because it is unknown territory to them, or they have had a bad experience elsewhere. The sedation will help with this anxiety.
                Sedations are very beneficial for children with special needs.  These patients may not understand that we need them to sit still for 10 minutes to an hour depending on the amount of treatment needed. They also have to have their mouths open for extended periods of time, and this is something that may feel unpleasant, or simply something that they are not typically used to. Sedations allow them to become more relaxed, and less worried about the procedure.  We find these patients are, all around, leaving with a more pleasant experience.

Why Sedation?
                Sedation is for the comfort and safety of your child during a dental procedure. There are different tools that are used during treatment that could potentially harm your child if they are constantly moving around, and trying to grab our hands or instruments. Sedation allows your child to relax and be comfortable in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.

Is it safe?
                Dr. Johnnie Hunt and Dr. Brooke Wood both follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for sedation. They are Board Certified Pediatric Dentists, meaning they went to school an extra two years, and continue to go to lectures in order to stay up to date with the latest technology.  Your child’s pulse and oxygen levels are noted using a monitor before we dose out any medications in order to establish a baseline.  We also measure these vitals throughout the procedure.  If there were any drastic changes, the necessary steps would be taken. There are also reversals for both of these medications that are always within arm’s reach of the doctors and assistants at all times in the case of an emergency.
                We thoroughly review the child’s medical history before administering the sedative to ensure that there are no medical problems that we should be aware of. For any medical conditions that a child has that are not conducive to sedation, we would then present alternative options to the parent for completing the treatment.  The parent ultimately will decide which route they would feel most comfortable taking.

Pre Op Instructions
                We ask that your child not have anything to eat or drink 4 hours before the appointment. If the patient does not have an empty stomach, he/she could become extremely nauseous to the point of vomiting during the procedure.
                Even though most of our sedated patients are fairly young, they may be aware of their parent’s anxiety. If a parent is afraid or anxious, the child may start to become afraid or anxious. You are more than welcome to call our office with any questions in order to make you feel more comfortable about the sedation process. Dr. Hunt and Dr. Wood will also talk to you, and will answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure.

Post Op Instructions
                Each child reacts to sedations differently, so do not judge your child’s recovery process based on their sibling or other family members who have also been sedated. Each and every experience is specific to each child.  Both medications may stay in their system for up to 8 hours after initial dosing, so they will need adult supervision for the rest of the day. They are not to go back to school, participate in any after school activities, etc. after a sedation.

We hope that this post was helpful and informative. As always we are more than happy to answer any other questions you may have about your children’s dental care!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Benefits of Chewing Gum

Who loves to chew gum? Did you know that there are actual benefits to chewing gum on a regular basis? 

According to the ADA, "Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay." 

The simple act of chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after meals, increased salivary flow can help counteract and get rid of the acids that are formed when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, creating the settings for decay. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help reinforce tooth enamel. (1)

Now obviously, chewing gum does not replace brushing your teeth. Brushing and flossing is the most important, and you should make sure you are doing both 2 times a day!!

The American Dental Association actually has its stamp of approval on a few different brands of gum. But how does the ADA approve these gums? By showing with scientific evidence that the gum is effective for one or more specific signs, such as reducing plaque acids, promoting remineralization of tooth enamel, reducing cavities and/or reducing gingivitis. (1)

Here is a list of gums that the ADA has approved:
1. Dentyne Ice Sugarless gum
2. Ice Breakers Ice Cubes
3. Stride Sugarless gum
4. Trident Sugar Free Gum
5. Extra Sugar Free Gum
6. Orbit for Kids 
7. Orbit Sugar Free Gum (This one is a personal favorite of PDS employees) 

Please head on over to for more information on chewing gum!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Pacifier Weaning System

Having trouble getting your child to stop sucking a pacifier? Looking for a way to get them to stop without all the tears and drama?

Look no further!!!

A fellow Pediatric Dentist and mom of four has come out with a new pacifier weaning system. Five pacifiers that look identical but each nipple is just a tad different than the other. At your own pace, you switch pacifiers until you get to pacifier number 5. At this point, your child will have lost the need to have a pacifier all together and then it is Bye-Bye Paci!!!!

Here is a picture of what the pacifiers look like! You can see that you start out with a normal paci, but you gradually go down to nothing!! Each child is different and some will take longer than others to get to step 5 but don't be discouraged!! Some children have stopped in as little as 5 days and others in 5 weeks!

This system is available online at ONESTEPAHEAD.COM

Head on over and check them out and give us feedback on how long it took your child to stop! We love to hear from you guys about our posts!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Disney Magic Timer app

We know that there are PLENTY of parents out there who have a lot of difficulty getting their kids to brush their teeth! And getting them EXCITED about brushing their teeth?? You can forget that!!

Thankfully our friends at Disney have partnered with Crest and Oral-B and created a fun new app that allows your kids to interact with their favorite Disney characters while brushing their teeth!!

Can we just first give a huge THANK YOU to Disney, Crest and Oral-B???

This app is not only a game, but it is also a timer that helps your child to brush for two minutes, while unlocking a secret photo that is stored in their own personal photo album on the app!!

Having kids brushing better could mean better dentist check-ups for them (and your wallet :))!!

Here is how to get started:
Download the FREE app at your Itunes or Goggle play app store
Scan any Pro-Health Stages product
Watch your favorite characters come to life!!!

If you have more than one child with different character toothbrushes?? Have one child scan his/hers and play, then have the others follow suite!! It is so easy and fun!!

Want to see more??? simply click on the link below and watch the tutorial presented by Disney, Crest and Oral-B.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Did you know that if you leave the water running when brushing your teeth you are wasting approximately 5 gallons of water? Sounds small but consider this: If you are brushing twice a day as recommended by your dentist, you are wasting 10 gallons of drinking water in one day; 280 gallons over one month; 3360 gallons over one year! A family of four would use the equivalent of a 24' round above ground swimming pool: 13440 gallons of water just brushing their teeth! (1)

So what are some ways we can conserve energy and water and recycle???

We can start by shutting our water off when we brush our teeth!! This will save (as seen in the above paragraph) an astonishing amount of water!!!

How about those old mouthwash bottles?? We can keep those and take them to the recycling bins in our areas! If you are not sure where your local recycle bins are, ALL Whole Foods Markets have them outside their doors!! You can drop them off there! They even take your old yogurt containers!!

Do you have an electric toothbrush?? Once you see that the toothbrush is fully charged, unplug it to save energy!

Regular toothbrushes? KEEP them!! Parents, you can use these to clean those tiny spaces around your house! such as the grout in your bathroom, the tile in the shower and even your jewelry!!!

Switch to canvas totes for groceries instead of plastic/paper bags! Keep your old yogurt containers as leftover containers (That's what I do :))

These are just a few helpful tips that we found when searching the internet! Do you have any other helpful ideas for us?? Leave your tips in the comment section below!!

Want to celebrate Earth Day?? There is an Earth Day Festival in Downtown Baton Rouge going on Sunday April 27th from 12-5:30 and then live music until 8:30!!!