Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
We are located at:
125 Ed Schmidt Blvd,
Call Us: 512-982-1500
Mon-Fri: 8.30-5.00 PM
Sat: 8.00 - 12.00 PM (2nd Saturday Of the month)
Begin daily brushing as soon as the child's first tooth erupts. For children under the age of two, a 'smear' of fluoridated tooth paste should be used. A 'pea' size amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to
swallow it. By age 4 or 5, children should brush their own teeth twice a day with supervision until about age seven to make sure they are doing a thorough job.
However, each child is different. Your dentist can help you determine whether the child has the skill level to brush properly.
Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. When teaching children to brush, place toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, start along gum line with a soft bristle brush in a gentle circular motion. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help fresher breath and remove bacteria.
Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. You should floss the child's teeth until he or she can do it alone.
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet.
Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children can eat lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks,
the greater the chance for the tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long
time, which cause longer acid attacks on the tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese
which are healthier and better for children's teeth.
Beware of Sports Drinks
Due to the high sugar and acids in sports drinks, they have erosive potential and the ability to dissolve even fluoride-rich enamel, which can lead to cavities.
Good oral hygiene removes bactetria and the leftover food particles that combines to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauge or clean washcloth to
wipe the plaque from the teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water to prevent cavities.
For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends six month visits to the pediatric dentist beginning at your child's first birthday. Routine visits will start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.
Your pediatric dentist may also recommend protective sealants can be applied to your child's molars to prevent decay on hard to clean surfaces.
A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque, and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Fluoride is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little
or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, which
is a chalky white or brown discoloration, or pitting of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize.
The benefits of fluoride are not obtained through ingestion. Fluoride's main beneficial effect is through topical application on the teeth. When acid attacks teeth it removes calcium from the teeth which weakens the tooth and eventually becomes a cavity. Fluoride, when applied topically to teeth, can replace lost calcium and actually make the tooth stronger.
Sources for topical fluoride include fluoridated water, fluoridated tooth paste, fluoride rinses and gels, and professional fluoride applications at the dentist. It is important to consult with your child's dentist to ensure that your child is getting the optimum amount of fluoride.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of Xylitol on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons
with special health care needs.
The use of Xylitol Gum by mothers (2-3 times per day) starting 3 months after delivery and until the child is 2 years old, has proven to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time the child is 5 years old.
Studies using Xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing prevention methods. This Xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
Studies suggest that to consistently produce positve results, Xylitol intake must be between 4-10 grams per day divided into 3-7 consumption periods. Higher quantities did not result in greater reduction of cavities and may lead to diminishing results. Similarly, consumption frequency of less than 3 times per day showed no effect.
To find gum or other products containing Xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the internet to find products containing 100% Xylitol.
When a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, injuries can occur. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth
protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child's smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the
face or mouth.
Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe.
Ask your pediatric dentist about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.
Tongue Piercing - Is It Really Cool?
You might not be surprised anymore to see people with pierced tongues, lips or cheeks, but you might be surprised to know just how dangerous these piercings can be.
There are many risks involved with oral piercings, including chipped or cracked teeth, blood clots, blood poisoning, heart infections, brain abscess, nerve disorders (trigeminal neuralgia), receding gums or scar tissue. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection is a common complication of oral piercing. Your tongue could swell large enough to close off your airway!
Common symptoms after piercing include pain, swelling, infection, an increased flow of saliva and injuries to gum tissue. Difficult-to-control bleeding or nerve damage can result if a blood vessel or nerve bundle is in the path of the needle.
So follow the advice of the American Dental Association and give your mouth a break - skip the mouth jewelry.
Tobacco - Bad News In Any Form
Tobacco in any form can jeopardize your child's health and cause incurable damage. Teach your child about the dangers of tobacco.
Smokeless tobacco, also called spit, chew or snuff, is often used by teens who believe that it is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. This is an unfortunate misconception. Studies show that spit tobacco may be more addictive than smoking cigarettes and may be more difficult to quit. Teens who use it may be interested to know that one can of snuff per day delivers as much nicotine as 60 cigarettes. In as little as three to four months, smokeless tobacco use can cause periodontal disease and produce pre-cancerous lesions called leukoplakias.
If your child is a tobacco user you should watch for the following that could be early signs of oral cancer:
1)A sore that won't heal.
2)White or red leathery patches on the lips, and on or under the tongue.
3)Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips.
4)Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue; or a change in the way the teeth fit together.
5)Because the early signs of oral cancer usually are not painful, people often ignore them. If it's not caught in the early stages, oral cancer can require extensive, sometimes disfiguring, surgery. Even worse, it can kill.
Help your child avoid tobacco in any form. By doing so, they will avoid bringing cancer-causing chemicals in direct contact with their tongue, gums and cheek.