Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Childhood Obesity and Periodontal Disease

A recent study made a concerning connection between children who are obese and their risk of developing gingivitis. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is especially important for young people. Gum issues that are detected early and treated are usually reversible. Here’s what you need to know from the study.

Understanding Gingivitis

Gingivitis can sometimes go unnoticed. It is a mild type of periodontal disease. The longer it remains untreated, gum disease becomes more severe. Gingivitis can cause swollen gums, bloody gums, and bad breath. Gums begin to recede when infected, eventually leading to tooth loss.

What the Study Found

The study examined 90 children. Nearly 99% of those classified as obese had gingivitis of some degree. For children classified as overweight, 85% were found to have gingivitis. Previous studies have found similar correlations in adults.

Steps You Can Take

If your child is overweight, it is imperative you help them keep up with their oral health. Instill good daily habits. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes, two times each day. Encourage the use of dental floss and a mouthwash that fights gingivitis. Keep up with a regular routine of periodontal examinations in our office. We can help to detect problems early and will recommend treatment options if needed.

While the sample size of this study was small, the results are still important to consider. Obesity in adults has been linked to increasing the risk of developing gum problems, making these results less surprising but nonetheless imperative. If your child is overweight, talk with their doctor to develop an appropriate weight-loss plan. Include our team to provide your child with a comprehensive periodontal examination. When left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more severe complications. The key to fighting gum disease is to detect it early and take preventive measures through your child’s daily oral hygiene routine.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our Tyler Pediatric Dentist, please contact Tyler Pediatric Dentistry.

 

Tyler Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (903) 531-9000
2301 S. Broadway, Ste. B-10
Tyler, TX 75701

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Is Your Child Using the Right Toothbrush?

Nothing fills your heart more than seeing your child smile. But what toothbrush is best for your 3 month old? What about when they turn 3 years old? With so many different choices it can be overwhelming to decide which toothbrush is best for your child at different stages of their life. That’s why we put together a brief description with your child’s changing oral health needs and what type of toothbrush will suit them.

General Guideline

Regardless of your child’s age, the toothbrush that they use should easily fit into their mouth and be easy to grip. Toothbrushes with soft bristles won’t irritate their gums and long handles will help them to move the brush in their mouth.

Babies

Many parents choose to use a damp cloth but you can begin to clean your child’s teeth with a toothbrush before their teeth come in. Using a toothbrush designed for babies allows you to clean their teeth while getting them used to brushing. These toothbrushes are very small, which allow you to comfortably brush baby’s gums. 

Toddlers

Around the age of two, your toddler will begin to take an interest in brushing their teeth. This is an important age to teach how to brush teeth and to get your child into the routine of brushing twice a day. Toddler toothbrushes are small with a longer handle, allowing easy gripping for the child. There are also powered toothbrushes that children can use at this age, which can make brushing a bit more fun. Make sure to brush your child’s teeth, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Ages Five to Eight

At this age, your child is becoming more independent when it comes to oral health but will still need supervision while brushing. Many of the toothbrushes have fun characters on them and have a slimmer handle than a toddler brush. Choosing a favorite cartoon character may help your children maintain their interest in brushing.

Eight and Up

No longer needing supervision while brushing, children eight and up have very similar toothbrushes to adults. The only difference in the toothbrush is that it is smaller in size with a longer handle. Although manual toothbrushes clean just as effectively, powered toothbrushes can help those who may have issues using a manual toothbrushes properly..

Toothbrushes alone won’t guarantee your child’s oral health. Make sure to instill a regular brushing and flossing routine to keep your child’s smile healthy.

Contact Tyler Pediatric Dentistry today to schedule your child’s next exam and cleaning.

 

Tyler Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (903) 531-9000
2301 S. Broadway, Ste. B-10
Tyler, TX 75701

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Oh No! My Child Chipped a Tooth!

The unfortunate truth is that accidents happen whether it be sports injury, a fall of their bike, or simply tripping.  While most chipped teeth are not serious, if the damage is beyond the tooth’s enamel layer, there is a risk of infection and tooth loss.  Some children seem to be accident-prone, so it’s important to know what to do just in case:

Before your dental appointment:

  • Rinse the mouth well with warm water.
  • If there is bleeding, apply pressure with a piece of gauze until the bleeding stops.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication, if needed.
  • The tooth may have sharp areas that can damage the tongue or cheeks, so use a piece of sugarless gum or dental wax on the affected area to protect soft tissues.
  • If your child must eat, they should consume only liquids or soft foods.
  • And, most importantly: reassure your child that everything is going to be okay!

Possible treatment options may include:

  • Smoothing: Not every chip requires extensive work.  We may just polish or smooth out rough edges.
  • Fillings: Typically used for more severe chips or on molars. This will help keep the chip from getting worse, and also help the tooth feel better in the mouth.
  • Crown: A ‘cap’ for the tooth to help prevent further damage, and restore the tooth to normal function, especially if it is in the front of the mouth.
  • Root canal: Usually reserved for more serious or vertical breaks in the tooth, especially if it’s one of your child’s adult teeth.  A root canal therapy is performed when the pulp of a tooth that is either damaged or infected, and is usually accompanied by a crown.
  •        Tooth removal: In severe cases the tooth may need to be removed.  We use this as a last resort when the tooth structure has been severely compromised, such as when cavities have weakened the tooth from the inside out, resulting in the crack.

Chipped and cracked teeth are scary for anyone, especially a child.  We encourage patients to wear a mouthguard, especially if they participate in a contact sport.  Please contact our Tyler Pediatric Dental office immediately if you feel anything is wrong.  Thankfully, most chipped teeth are minor and easy to fix!

For more information or to schedule your appointment, contact Tyler Pediatric Dentistry today!  We are accepting new patients and we’ll be happy to help you! 

 

Tyler Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (903) 531-9000
2301 S. Broadway, Ste. B-10
Tyler, TX 75701

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Healthy Transitions: Trading Bottles for Cups

 Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist

Helping your child switch from bottles to cups can be challenging. Babies may become emotionally attached to their bottles as a source of comfort as well as nutrition.

However, bottles can also become dangerous to your child’s teeth over time. Continuing to use a bottle too long can cause your child’s palate to narrow. This can lead to an increased need for orthodontic treatment as they grow.

Bottles also expose a baby’s teeth to liquids over an extended period of time. Liquids such as milk, formula, and juice contain sugars that can increase the risk of tooth decay. To help protect your child’s teeth, you should encourage your child to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday.

It is important to consider your choice of training cup. There are many and varied options of child training cups available. Here are some things to consider when selecting cups for your child.

Keep the goal in mind when choosing a style of training cup for your child.

Cups advertised as “no spill” often contain a special valve beneath the spout. This valve does protect against easy spilling, but also prevents sipping. Instead, these cups require your child to suck on the spout, essentially replacing one type of bottle with another. This can slow your child’s training on cup usage. In some cases, these valves may even require a high level of suction, making them frustrating to use.

Look for a cup with a simple spout rather than a “no spill” spout.

These cups are easy for your child to use and help them learn to sip. Cups with handles can be easier for small hands to learn to hold. If spills are a concern, look for a cup with a weighted base that can help it self-right.

Remember that transitions occur in stages.

Phase out the bottle in favor of the cup, don’t try to change all at once. Once your child can use the cup, limit the bottle to water. This can help make the bottle less desired. Provide the bottle less often over time to allow your child time to adjust. Once your child has mastered training cups, start offering a small plastic cup without a lid. When they can use this new cup, phase out the training cup.

For more pediatric dental information about bottle to cup transitions or to schedule an appointment, contact our pediatric dental office.

Tyler Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (903) 531-9000
Fax: (903) 531-9003
2301 S. Broadway, Ste. B-10
Tyler, TX 75701

Pediatric Dentist Tyler TX | Help Your Child Avoid Dental Fear

Pediatric Dentist Tyler TX

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should see a dentist at least once every six months. Depending on your child’s individual oral health needs, they may need to see the dentist more frequently. Our pediatric dentist will advise you on how often your child should be seen.

In our pediatric dental office, we love to help children learn how to keep their teeth healthy and beautiful. Unfortunately, some children can develop fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist, even before they’ve ever been to one. We have found that the very best way to combat dental fear is to stop it before it starts. Here are some of our most effective tips for preventing your child from suffering from dental fear:

Start young. Your child should be having regular dental checkups starting by age one or within 6 months of their first tooth growing in. When checkups start from a young age, it is easy for your child’s dentist and hygienist to build positive memories with your child and ward off anxiety.

Stay simple. We like to tell young children that the dentist will check their smile and count their teeth, and that the hygienist will clean their teeth and teach them how to care for their teeth better. Too much detail about treatments and examination can be overwhelming and cause stress about the unknown.

Keep it positive. When you explain to your child that they are going to the dentist, don’t start detailing the things that could be negative. Instead, just explain that the dentist helps to keep their teeth healthy. If and when we need to treat your child further, our team is trained and experienced in explaining treatment without causing fear.

Set an example. The leading cause of dental fear in children is their parents’ dental fear. Make sure you are following your own recommended schedule for preventive care and treatment. When your child sees you being positive about dental care, they will feel more confident about their own dental appointments.

Parents have the greatest influence in their child’s perception of dental care. Show your child that their oral health is important and that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth healthy and beautiful.

For more tips or to schedule your child’s appointment, contact our pediatric dental office.

Tyler Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (903) 531-9000
Fax: (903) 531-9003
2301 S. Broadway, Ste. B-10
Tyler, TX 75701

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved.

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age:

Hygiene

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months.

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use.

Diet

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water.

Sealants

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you.

Dental Care

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified.

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office.

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | To Floss or Not to Floss?

By now, you have likely seen news reports questioning whether flossing is necessary for your oral health.

We want to answer your question right away with an absolute YES. Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums.

Whether you use traditional string dental floss, a water flosser, an interdental (between teeth) brush, or other form of interdental cleaning, it is important that you clean between your teeth correctly and on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, in the quest for catchy headlines, many news agencies have been providing a great deal of incomplete and inaccurate information.

Here’s the truth: Plaque and bacteria can be prevented from building up between teeth when flossing is done correctly on a daily basis.

Why does that matter? Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and many other systemic health issues.

The next time you visit our office, ask your hygienist to show you the most effective way to clean between your teeth. For more information on flossing and interdental cleaning or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Getting a Healthy Start with Children’s Dentistry

Our convenient local dental office is featuring children’s dentistry services for families in our community. The American Dental Association recommends that all patients follow a routine of dental examinations at least every six months, or as directed by their dentist. This is particularly important for growing children.

Regular professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s appointment, we will screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. During your child’s dental cleaning, any buildup of plaque or tartar will be gently removed.

We may recommend a topical fluoride application for your child’s teeth as part of their preventive treatment. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay.

Sealants are also highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities on your child’s molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves. Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. These sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.

The process of applying sealants is quick and easy. The application steps include:

  • Your child’s teeth are thoroughly cleaned
  • The teeth are dried
  • A liquid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth
  • The solution is cured using a special curing light

Sealants act as a barrier to protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before reapplication is needed. So long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.

However, sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to have your child maintain proper oral hygiene and continue to follow up with professional dental cleanings as recommended by our dental team. In addition, sealants do not protect between the teeth, so it is essential that your child continues to floss daily.

Without proper dental care, children are susceptible to oral decay. Healthy smiles should not stop at our dental office. Our caring team will educate both you and your child on how to make healthy food choices and how to properly brush and floss at home.

Our doctor and team have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood. For more information or to request an appointment, contact our office.

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | How Chocolate Affects the Health of Your Teeth

Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% Iron
  • 58% Magnesium
  • 89% Copper
  • 98% Manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium

Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.

Chocolate and Your Teeth

Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.

Chocolate and Your Health

Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Chocolate Benefits

Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.

Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.

While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly. To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.

Tyler TX Pediatric Dentist | Can You Inherit Oral Health Issues?

Most serious oral health issues can be prevented by maintaining an effective routine of dental hygiene and in-office care. However, you could be at higher risk for some oral illnesses due to hereditary factors. Awareness and proper treatment can help minimize these risks. Here are a few of the most common oral health concerns that are affected by genetics.

Tooth decay – One of the most common oral issues, some tooth decay has been linked to a genetic deficiency of a protein called DEFB1. If your parents experienced an unusually high rate of tooth decay, then you may want to be more vigilant regarding your own dental care.

Oral cancer – Certain genetic factors can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Our doctor recommends annual oral cancer screening for early identification and treatment. In addition, certain lifestyle choices, such as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption, can help reduce your risk of oral cancer.

Periodontal disease – Recent research has found that some forms of gum disease may be linked to mutations in genes that affect immunity and inflammatory response.

Misaligned or supernumerary (extra) teeth – Genetics can play a role in having misaligned or even extra teeth. The size of your jaw is determined mostly through heredity, and is the most common reason for an overbite, underbite, or dental crowding.

Canker sores – In most cases, canker sores are an isolated reaction to fatigue, stress, or menstrual cycles. However, there are certain inherited diseases that count canker sores among their symptoms. Crohn’s disease and Celiac sprue are two such conditions.

While you may not be able to avoid hereditary oral health issues entirely, we can help minimize or even reverse their effects with proper treatment and care. If you suffer from any of these inherited conditions, contact our office for an oral health evaluation. We can help.