Monday, February 16, 2015

Common Problems Treated in a Pediatric Dentistry Office

Pediatric Dentistry
As a provider of pediatric dentistry, we get to see all kind of dental challenges that children face. As teeth develop, so too do children develop habits that may be detrimental to their teeth and long-term oral health. Childhood is a time for experimenting with many new things, like new snacks and playing sports, some of which could end up damaging a child's teeth. As such we have the ability to work with your child from a young age to help reinforce some of the good behaviors you are teaching them, while also identifying possible problems early on and working proactively to fix them. Kids' dental care is much different from adult dental care since it involves a mouth that is growing, developing, and constantly changing. While more challenging, working with a child's teeth also gives us the opportunity to put them on a path to strong, healthy, and positive oral habits.
As a kids dental care provider, the most common problem we see are children that come in with cavities, or decay that is threatening to become a cavity. Given how much most children love to eat sweets, especially the sticky kind that does so much damage to the enamel, most kid's dental care providers anticipate that children will develop some cavities. The important thing for parents to note is that cavities and decay can be avoided with the right kind of supervision and by teaching your children good habits. Candy, while delicious, is no friend to the teeth and should be restricted as much as possible. Also getting your children into the habit, which may be enforced by you at first, of rinsing their mouth after meals and particularly after eating something high in sugar, can help reduce the occurrence of decay and cavities.
Some of the most common pediatric dental problems that we see on a regular basis are:
  • Tooth Decay: Caused by leftover deposits of food in the mouth, tooth decay is one of the easiest problems to curtail. Carbohydrate-rich foods like candy and cookies, which children are so fond of, form a buildup of plaque on the teeth. This plaque releases acid, which in turn attacks the child's enamel and ultimately results in tooth decay. In our pediatric dentistry office, we can give your kids a fluoride treatment to help protect their teeth from decay.
  • Sensitive Teeth: Just like adult providers, kids dental care providers find that children too can develop tooth sensitivity. Hot and cold food or drinks can cause a child to wince in pain if they have a sensitive tooth. Often time's sensitive teeth are caused by the wearing down of tooth enamel or the occurrence of microscopic cracks. 
  • Grinding: Also known as bruxism, teeth grinding is very common among children. This can be especially prevalent at night. Typically, children will outgrow this habit as they get older, but in order to protect the permanent teeth it may be necessary to prescribe a night guard for the child. Grinding can, and usually does, wear away the enamel on the teeth causing a lot of pain and may even lead to sensitivity in the teeth. 
In our pediatric dentistry office, we can help your child to feel comfortable and stay in excellent health through regular teeth cleanings and exams.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Can I Have a Teeth Whitening Treatment With Sensitive Teeth?

Teeth Whitening
In our dental office, we provide teeth whitening services, and it is normal for those with sensitive teeth to ask if the procedure is safe. The answer is – yes when performed in our dental office. It is always wise to remain under the care of a dentist, when performing any treatments on your teeth. Even natural home remedies can damage your enamel if you are not careful. For this reason, we recommend scheduling a consultation or dental exam to discuss the best way to get the smile you have always wanted.

There are several reasons why having your teeth professionally whitened is better than trying it at home.  To start, the whitening solution in store bought products is not as strong, and this often leads people to overuse them.  If, for example, you use whitening strips and don't think your teeth got white, you may be tempted to buy whitening trays from the store and use them right away.  This is unwise because overexposure to the solution can irritate your teeth and gums.  Instead, it is better to visit our dentist office because our whitening solution produces dramatic results the first time, so there is no need, or risk, of overusing them.
Additionally, if you purchase teeth whitening trays in the store, there is the risk that the solution will leak out.  They design the trays to fit a variety of people and a variety of teeth.  This means that they won't fit your teeth perfectly.  Naturally, this creates leakage problems but when you visit our office, a custom tray can be created using a mold of your mouth.  With a fit that is snug and tight, there is no risk for leakage when using the right amount of solution.  This is important because the gum tissue is sensitive, and when the whitening solution comes in contact with it, people experience immediate irritation that can sometimes last for a few days.

The American Dental Association further explored the issue of teeth whitening for those with sensitive teeth and released a paper with their findings.  Titled, “Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients”, the recommend that patients use potassium nitrate as a way to mitigate any sensitivity concerns.  Several toothpaste brands have this ingredient in them and by switching your paste prior to whitening your teeth, you can reduce the chance of irritation.  Simultaneously, the ADA recommended that dentists place potassium nitrate into teeth whitening trays and apply it to the teeth for thirty minutes prior to starting the treatment.  These solutions are simple, yet effective and must be administered under the care of a dental professional.

Once your teeth have been whitened, you can help to keep them that way by watching what you eat and drink.  There are several types of foods that will lead to staining.  For example, drinking red wine and coffee may cause staining as will eating a lot of red pasta sauce.  You can decrease your risk of staining by rinsing your mouth immediately after or brushing your teeth right away.