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Brush up on Oral Health Tips for Children’s Dental Health Month

Brush up on Oral Health Tips for Children’s Dental Health Month
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During the month of February the American Dental Association celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month.  This month-long national health observance reinforces the importance of oral health in children as well as helping parents with tips to keep their child’s smile on track! At Bear Coast Dentistry, our dentist and staff are taking this opportunity to share oral health tips and raise awareness of the importance of pediatric dental care at an early age.

YOUR CHILD’S TEETH

Teeth help your child chew and speak. Baby teeth also hold a spot for permanent teeth to come in.

TEETHING

Teething babies may be fussy, drool and want to chew. If you want to let your child chew on a teething ring, go for one that is hard and solid.

Steer clear of teething products that have benzocaine in them. The US Food and Drug Administration advises against benzocaine use due to potential illness and may even cause death.

CAVITIES

Too reduce your child’s risk of cavities, help him or her

  • Brush twice a day with a pea sized amount of fluoride containing tooth paste
  • Use Fluoride Varnish applications at dental checkup visits
  • Limit processed sugary snacks and drinks

TOOTHBRUSHING

Clean your baby’s gums daily. Until those teeth come in gently wipe a damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria after each feeding.

We advise to start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day when the first tooth comes in.  Make sure to use an infant toothbrush as adult brush heads are too large for their tiny mouths.

For children under 2 years, use not more than a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Children ages 2-6 should use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

We recommend to brush younger children’s teeth for them. Children younger than 6 years old can handle toothbrushing themselves, but supervision is advised as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.

FLOSSING

While daily brushing is an important part of a child’s oral hygiene routine, bacteria that causes tooth decay can still linger between teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. That’s why it’s so important to help your kids incorporate flossing in their daily routine.

Begin flossing between teeth once your child’s teeth touch.

FLUORIDE

Fluoride helps to strengthen the other layer of teeth against cavities.  Use of fluoridated toothpaste is 1 way to take advantage of fluoride’s benefits. Having your child drink fluoridated water is good, too. Fluoridated water is public water with enough fluoride to help keep teeth healthy. Sometimes some areas do not have access to fluoridated water and you may want to add fluoride tablets or drops to your water.  Fluoride varnish applications at dental check-up appointments is another way to provide fluoride for your child’s teeth.

SUGAR AND CAVITIES

Teeth are covered with a thin sticky film of bacteria called BIOFILM, which produces acid when exposed to sugar. These acids are what cause cavities.

One significant oral health risk for infants and young children under the age of 1 is from baby bottle tooth decay. This occurs when your child consumes sugary liquid and bacteria in their mouth consume the sugar and produce acid. This acid attacks the enamel on baby teeth can trigger tooth decay after continued exposure. Drinks are the largest source of sugar in the US diet. Liquids that contribute to this baby bottle tooth decay include milk, formula, fruit juice, soda and any other artificially sweetened drinks. If your child needs to sleep with a bottle, water is the safest option without any risk. If feeding a child during the night and brushing their teeth is not possible, Bear Coast Dentistry recommends to use a wet washcloth to wipe the surfaces of the teeth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests avoiding juice for the first year of life.

VISIT THE DENTIST

Take your baby to see your dentist at Bear Coast Dentistry sometime after the first tooth comes in, but before his or her first birthday.

The dentist may

  • Perform an oral examination
  • Assess your child’s risk of tooth decay
  • Check to see that the teeth are developing on schedule
  • Identify whether any habits like thumb sucking or pacifier use are affecting your child’s oral development

Bear Coast Dentistry advises parents to take care of your child’s teeth from the time the first tooth comes in to help get him or her started on the path to good oral health.

Call 949-348-0880 to schedule your child’s visit today!

Information reprinted from February 2019 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association

(2019;150(2):160)

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Emergency Dental Care: Getting Dental Treatment During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Emergency Dental Care: Getting Dental Treatment During the Coronavirus Outbreak
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You probably already know it. That the dull ache underneath that tooth won’t subside on its own. That chipped tooth will only get worse if it continues to go untreated. That uncomfortable sensitivity to hot or cold food or drink will only increase in severity. Yet, as the world hunkers down to wait out the current coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, many Americans are wrestling with a crucial question, “is my dental problem urgent enough to seek treatment now?”

Find out what qualifies a dental emergency during the Covid-19 outbreak and take a look at what dental offices are doing to accommodate people just like you who need emergency dental services.

Note: This content does not constitute medical advice. Talk with your primary care physician about your personal risks to the Covid-19 outbreak to inform your decision of whether or not you’re healthy enough to interact with strangers.

Can I See a Dentist If I Have to Shelter in Place?

Yes, you can still see a dentist if your issue qualifies. Emergency dental care is considered an essential service during this outbreak. However, the American Dental Association has called on dentists nationwide to suspend all elective procedures.

In states and municipalities under order to shelter in place, dentists have been urged by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to suspend non-emergency dental services to limit person-to-person contact.

What Qualifies as a Dental Emergency?

Broadly, a dental emergency is any oral-facial issue, including facial trauma, that is extremely time sensitive – that is, any issue affecting your mouth or facial bones that’ll become much worse if you don’t act soon.

The things that make a dental issue an emergency are elevated pain and increased vulnerability:

What Should I Do If I’m on a long-term treatment plan?

Call your dentist to get guidance on what you can do at home to maintain the progress you’ve made during treatment until normalcy returns and you can resume treatment. If your treatment is considered an “elective procedure,” your emergency dentist will likely ask you to hold off until they restore normal operations.

What If My Issue is Urgent, But Not an Emergency?

Consider telemedicine. As movement across the country continues to tighten, dentists are increasingly adjusting to these limitations by offering virtual consultations. You may be able to get a preliminary exam via a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer equipped with a camera and microphone. It may be the next best thing to a 24-hour emergency dentist for the time being.

What Can I Do At Home If I’m in Self-Isolation Due to the Coronavirus?

The best things you can do to maintain your dental health at home are pretty much things we should all be doing daily: brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash twice every day.

What Are Dental Offices Doing to Minimize the Risk of Infection for Patients and Staff?

Like other small and midsize businesses, emergency dentists have been following the CDC’s Infection Control guidelines to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19.

These measures include increasing the frequency of cleaning, taking extra care in sanitizing high tough points and minimizing person to person contact. Some dental offices are updating their websites with projected wait times for patients and are offering virtual consultations.

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