Rose Tree Kids

Rose Tree Kids
Making your visit personalized and fun for your child!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nicolas's First Visit

First, let me say that I am still new to the world of blogging and my sister Kasey (who accompanied me as my personal photographer and Nicolas’s rescuer) and I take terrible pictures with our iPhone. Well, terrible in comparison to a decent camera. If you thought you were getting quality here, think again. 

Also, if you thought my son would be a gem in the dental chair, you were absolutely wrong. Just like majority of the 1 year olds we see in our office, Nicolas, my precious, happy baby, yelled his head off. Even though he happily lets me brush at home, an unknown environment with people he doesn’t remember set him off. It didn’t help that he didn’t get a full nap that morning and was becoming fussy on the ride there. Lets face it, that’s the way it goes when you’re the parent of a toddler...

It is important to establish a dental home for your child by age one. Check out THIS post about why. If you missed me crying last week about how I couldn’t cope with my son turning one, click HERE to read about it. I only cried a little bit...  :I

Just like every one of you, I walked through the front door, checked in, and waited. Nicolas played with the toys and another patient. An adorable toddler who shared and played with him. She also pushed him down. I guess it is about time he learned what the real world is like. And my little weirdo kept going back for more. Like I said, she was adorable. 

Hanging out at Rose Tree Kids




When Dr. Alex finished with her previous patient, our favorite assistant, Miss Ashley (yes, there are two of us and yes it can be confusing...) called us back. 

So out of my element (or completely in it??) I sat in Dr. Alex’s chair instead of the patient chair when I walked in the room. 
“Wrong chair, mom!” -says Dr. Alex. Ha.
Sitting in the right chair now, we begin...
Normally, we would spend the first few minutes with mom or dad discussing oral health and nutrition, any medical concerns or medications, snacking habits, or any other daily habits. You would be really surprised how much simple things effect those little teeth. 
Since Dr. Alex and I talk about this on a regular basis we skipped it. 
Moving right along, we started with a knee to knee. This is what a knee to knee looks like. Your child has the comfort of being close to you, but their head is in docs lap. 
This is ideal in situations where children may not understand the idea of cooperation. With their head positioned like this, we can see much more with a quick look. He cried (not as bad as when he gets vaccines at the physician though).  I held his hand while Dr. Alex used a mirror for an exam (a), a toothbrush for an easy clean (b), and a little brush to apply fluoride (c). 
And just like that, it is all over! 
                             Aunt Kasey, Save me!!!

                       He did forgive me.... 

                                 I’M FREE! 

From here on out, he will visit the dentist every 6 months. Just like an adult. He is a little ahead of the game with all of his teeth. Nine fully erupted teeth and three making their debut. It is very important to keep them clean. One of the teeth that is now erupted with be in his mouth until about age 12. 
Here is a chart if you are unsure of the eruption pattern:

Just remember that every child is different and there is a wide range for what is considered "normal". 

If you have any questions about this visit or whatever else you might be thinking, feel free to ask! I love questions :)


And feel free to "Like" me on Facebook @ Tiny Teeth with Ashley, RDH and the rest of our dental family @ Rose Tree Kids to stay up-to-date! 








Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Visit Coming!

Next week I will be introducing my little guy, Nicolas, to the dentist (our very own Dr. Alex) for the first time. I will be blogging about the whole experience from a moms perspective instead of a dental hygienists perspective. Whether he is the best little patient who ever walked through the door, or Dr. Alex's worst nightmare, you guys will hear all about it!

He turned one on July 11th and it has been quite a journey this past year. I don't know if I am the only crazy emotional mom out there ( I doubt it) but I did cry a little as he turned one.

Day one 

Happy 1st Birthday, Nicolas! 

He now has 9 1/2 cute tiny teeth. I have been brushing those little teeth since day one so he is now very accustomed to it; as long as I sing the brushing song he will gladly open and let me brush!
Since next week will be his first exam I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the first blog I wrote with Delaware County Moms Club…

This is my little guy by the way :)

I felt the whole world outside of kids dentistry was coming against me on this subject of bringing children to the dentist at age one, mostly because they are accustomed to the old practices of relatives. So, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my "Your One Year Old" email from baby center the other day that covered this very topic. It clearly stated the importance of this visit. 
If you would like, you can check it out here! 

So, schedule your babes first exam soon! And, of course, I would love to see them myself! Rose Tree Kids provides you with one on one care while treating your child in a fun and happy environment! We even send out a fun personalized book that will help them become familiar with the visit. 

Have a great week everyone! 
~Ashley 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Arrgh Matey!

My family recently went on a pirate cruise in Wildwood, NJ.  Dark Star Pirate Cruise is located on the bay in Wildwood Crest.  I took my son last summer and he enjoyed it so we decided to check it out as a family this summer.  Thanks to the deal they posted on Living Social in the spring we were able to go at a great discounted price.  They also posted one on Groupon so keep your eyes out!
The trip starts with the kids receiving an eye patch and having the chance to get their face etc painted. Then it's all aboard.
The ride consists of crew members in pirate character as you ride out in the bay.  The show is interactive and the kids are very involved.  As well as some parents, my husband was the target of many of their jokes.   The kids help the crew and captain find a treasure map, fight off another pirate with water canons and then find the treasure.  The kids get to pick a piece of treasure.  The crew has a lot of energy and puts on a great show for the kids.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Healthy Teeth: Battle the Braces



You finally got your child to willingly brush two times a day, and maybe even to floss a couple times a week. Good job, Mom and Dad! That means it is time for another problem to arise, right? Good oral hygiene is difficult with braces and more important than ever.  Let’s talk about how to tackle it. 

The results of poor oral hygiene...
The very beginning stages of a cavity are called White Spot Lesions. You’ve probably seen them, they have an opaque, chalky-white appearance. They are a brighter white compared to the enamel on the rest of the tooth. White Spot Lesions occur when plaque has been sitting long enough on the surface of a tooth to demineralize it. Not only do we worry about these white spots, but poor oral hygiene during orthodontics can potentially slow down movement of the teeth if the infection moves into the bone.  


Brushing
The angle of the toothbrush matters even more during ortho treatment. The tooth brush must be angled above and below the braces so that the bristles can really get all around the bracket. Otherwise, plaque will be left behind. Plaque left on teeth is very similar to velcro in the sense that EVERYTHING grips right to it. 

  1. Brush directly onto the brackets. 
  2. Make sure to brush the surfaces of your teeth without brackets (the backs of your teeth!) Often focusing on all the brackets, people forget that they need to brush this area as well. 
  3. Angle the brush below the brackets so that the bristles go up through them. 
  4. Angle the brush above the brackets so that the bristles go down through them. Also, this are is very important to keep plaque from building up along the gum line. 

However, brushing alone does not get the job done. Brushing only cleans 80% of teeth surfaces. 

Floss, floss, floss! 
Flossing is a necessity while in braces. It is much more tedious to do and it is even more important. It can be very difficult to start but after a few days your child can be a master flosser! There are several ways to get the job done. 

Floss threaders:

Ortho picks:
Designed like flossers but one end is thin enough to fit between most areas.

WaterPik:
 My personal favorite! 

Mouthwash
Keep up with rinsing daily. Mouthwash helps kill bacteria and those with fluoride will not only prevent cavities but help reverse the beginning stages of a cavity. There are many products to chose from. 

See your hygienist!

Everyone knows that visits to your hygienist and dentist two times a year will help keep your mouth healthy. Some people should visit 3-4 times a year. Visiting more often will help keep plaque build up minimal and reinforce good oral health care. In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the wires before a cleaning and replace them after. 




Friday, July 11, 2014

Franklin Institute Quick Review!!!


YOU HAVE TO GO!

My oldest loved science and my husband wanted to see a movie in Imax.  He thought we could just show up at the Franklin and watch IMAX and not tour the museum.  Technically you can, but seriously with a kid who loves science that isn't going to happen!!!!  So we made it a day trip that turned into a membership.  



We went three shows, IMAX and the 3D, plus the planetarium! The IMAX and the 3D show are extra and the planetarium is FREE!!!  They all were fabulous and the girls loved them.  We only were able to get around 1/2 the museum because we integrated them in which was fine because now we decided to upgrade to a membership.

What were my favorites?  The heart of course!  It was magical to see my girls venture through something I had as a kid.  They thought it was amazing!  

You were also able to make your own paper and the girls thought that was a great experiment.  It was something they could make and take.  The final result, the paper would be revealed at home so they loved it!  They were able to draw on it and make something with their experiment!

They also have a room of locomotives.  My girls don't LOVE trains, but they sure loved investigating how they worked!  


Please go to their full site to learn more about the other exhibits.  We were there all day and didn't get through it all.  Kids and adults and all interest levels would love this museum.  You can touch almost everything, there are activities for the kinesthetic learner, and you can take a break by watching a movie packed with interesting information.  Their gift shop is packed with science gadgets, experiments and cool t-shirts.

Tips or tricks I will remember for next time...  Pack snacks and drinks in your bag.  They do have a small snack bar, but as you can imagine things are way overpriced.  There aren't too many restaurants around the museum either.  It is COLD inside so bring a sweatshirt.  I am not kidding we were freezing.  There is a garage for parking however we did find street parking.  Check events that are happening around Philly or call in advance just in case the museum might be packed that day or weekend you are planning to go.  You can purchase your tickets in advance but the museum was quiet the day we went.  If you do get tickets you have 7 days to decide if you want to put your ticket purchase towards a membership.  Please see the membership information on their page to get more information and details.

This is a great day trip.  We can't wait to go back!!!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brushing: The Ultimate Battle

How is everyone's summer going? With beach trips, pool days, soccer tournaments, and BBQ's, it is definitely a busy time of year!

During the summer, kids want to be out of the house early and play until you drag them back in! So, it is understandable that keeping up on consistant oral hygiene can become difficult. With all of the sugar consumed in cold refreshing desserts, it is one of the most important times to make brushing a priority.

So, in case you missed it, I decided to revisit a previous blog about brushing.

 

If you are experiencing any problems getting your kids to brush, perhaps one of these techniques will help. 

As parents, we learn to choose our battles and compromise. Oral health is a battle worth fighting. 

As always, feel free to ask any questions! I love to hear from all of you!

-Ashley (Dental Hygienist at Rose Tree Kids)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

*Hot Summer Topic*

Drowning scares me, but I never gave it much thought until I had kids.  I'll never forget when my son was 2, with no fear, jumped right into a pool with out either of us in it waiting for him.  There in started my phobia of going to the pool without being one on one.  In the last year I have seen more and more articles and news coverage about dry drowning. Talk about taking anxiety to a new level!
I wanted find an article that explained it simply, with out the personal stories.  This article on MSN is full of great information.

We will likely be splashing around in our summer special blow up kiddie pools for a few more summers before this mama is prepared to tackle the public pools!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Am I Getting A Shot?"

By Ashley Valco

We believe that encouraging a child to have a pleasant dental experience will shape their future dental visits. Very young children sometimes cry, yet, establishing a dental home and bringing them back every six months will kick off a lifetime of positive dental visits. Positive dental visits have an impact on dental health. 

Countless times a day I am asked, “Am I getting a shot?” 
“Are you gonna drill me?” 
“Are you gonna take my teeth?”
“Is this going to hurt?”
Oh, how I hate these questions. I never will lie to a child: that will never establish trust. These words are terrible though! The best I can do is redirect the question and answer it positively.
These questions are often asked through quivering lips that tears are pooling onto. Sometimes kids are looking apprehensively for Mom to save them. Sometimes they are rubbing the tears away trying to be strong. Most give me the opportunity to explain what they are having done that day. Luckily, I can honestly say to a child that I will never give them a shot. Once I show them everything I have and what I will do with it they relax and the appointment goes great; but this doesn't help Dr. Alex! 

So, let us talk about how we can handle this better. 

Most importantly, we need to remember that kids pick up on everything! 

Avoid negative words such as “pain”, “drill”, shot”, or “hurt”. These are trigger words. There really isn’t a situation where they can be used in a positive way. Even if you say, “This isn’t going to hurt”, it can reflect negatively. If the child wasn’t worried to begin with, they will now wonder why you said that. 

The word shot itself sounds terrible. Children will associate “shot” with “gun” and they all know guns are dangerous.  

We encourage parents to let us explain any procedure since we are aware of these trigger words. For example, we replace “shot” with “sleepy juice” and “extract” with “wiggle”. If you aren't sure how to talk about it with your child, you can always say that you aren't sure what the doctor is going to do, but she will explain everything to you.

Also, think about your own dental fears. Even during infancy, children look towards their parents to learn how they should react in any situation. Experts say, around 6 months of age babies will begin assessing the expression on their mothers faces to see if a stranger is ok. 6 months of age! If you have apprehensions about the dental setting, it may be best to have another family member bring your children to the dentist. While at home, choose your words carefully as to not raise anxieties in children that were not already present. 



I know many parents use the results of poor dental care as a scare tactic to get their kids to brush. I absolutely get that. To some extent we have done it as well. Generally, it is kids that are older and have already had enough dental experiences to form their own opinion about what happens. Even then, it might be more beneficial to google some images of cavities or periodontal disease and use the visual aids instead of scary words like “shot” or “pain”. We stress the importance of brushing being about healthy teeth and associating it with a positive instead of preventing a negative.

Younger children will associate the scary words with the visit itself instead of the results of poor oral hygiene. So it is best to avoid them entirely. 


If you are ever unsure about how to approach a visit, feel free to call your office ahead of time to get all the right words and phrases. Our ultimate goal is for every child to have a healthy mouth and a happy visit. 


Win Phillies Tickets!





















Who doesn't love a great Phillies game? Rose Tree Kids wants to give one of our followers some tickets! All you have to do is head on over to our Facebook Page at Rose Tree Kids and "LIKE" us!         
We also would love to hear who your all time favorite Phillies players is. Write their name on our wall and triple your chances to win! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gummy Vitamins: A Sticky Situation

By Ashley Valco

We want to do what is best for our kids, always. This, of course, includes making sure they are getting all the nutrients they need. So, many of us turn towards vitamins to get our daily dose of goodness. The current trend seems to be Gummy Vitamins. Many of my patients tell me they are giving them to their kids every day. While they might be the trend now, they have actually been around since the 60’s! Do the benefits of these gummies outweigh the risks of the damage they can do to teeth? Let's find out...

Do you even need them?

First, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician before giving your children any kind of supplement. Having a balanced diet will go much further than any supplementation. 

If your child does need further supplementation for their diet, be sure that whatever product you are choosing has the significant amount of the vitamin needed. 

When I was pregnant, I was so nauseous that I couldn’t even bare the thought of swallowing that horse pill of a prenatal vitamin. So, reluctantly, I turned to the gummy version. Looking at  the ingredients, I noticed that they didn’t have any Folic Acid! What is the point of a prenatal vitamin without it? It just shows that all vitamins are not created equal. Make sure the vitamins you are giving your kids have what they need!

So, what’s the problem? 

Even if Gummy Vitamins meet all the nutritional needs of your child, they can still cause enough damage to their teeth that make them not worth the purchase. Look past the vitamins and minerals they need that are contained within the gummy, to the ones that do the damage.
They are like our favorite sticky candy, the gummy bear! They contain large amounts of glucose syrup to get that chewy, sticky consistency. Glucose syrup is a mixture of water and glucose - a kind of sugar. Yep, sugar. Even if they are sugar free, these “candies in disguise” still contain damaging ingredients. To get a chewy texture without glucose syrup they need to use a sticky gelatin or citric acid. 

What does all of this mean?

Run your tongue over the biting surfaces of your back teeth. Feel all of those crevices and grooves? They are much more narrow and deep that your tongue can detect. Children have even deeper grooves. When sticky substances get inside those grooves, they stay there. Toothbrush bristles are not always able to get into those grooves to get that stuff out. Bacteria eventually consume the sugary substance and produce acids that break down the tooth (aka a cavity). Citric acid will only move this process along quicker. 

Every day your child will chew this vitamin only adding to her chances of getting cavities. I find many of my patients will eat them after brushing, which means that gummy is now hanging out all day or night, increasing the chances of a cavity.

While chewable, chalky vitamins (think Flinstones) also settle into those groves, the chalky substance is dissolved by your saliva at a much quicker rate. These are much better options for the overall health and dental health of your child, if supplementation is necessary. 

Do you give your kids vitamins? What is your favorite brand?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

There’s An App For That

By Ashley Valco

Before I had my son I was one of those people that said, “I will never hand my child my iPhone. It’s expensive and it isn’t a toy!” Bah! What a joke. The kid loves it and he will search it out. Around 6 months he knew how to unlock it, talk with Siri, and throw it. Hello, Otterbox! While my phone took a back seat as my most valuable possession, it occurred to me that this generation will be growing up surrounded by smart electronics. Yes, I still give him books and he loves them. However, he will grow up with “smart” fingers and will never know anything else. Lightbulb! Why not use this for brushing? Of course, there is an app for that! So, I scoured the internet for apps that can help. These are my top 3, and they are all FREE! Let me know what you think about these apps, if you have used any and how they help! Do you have a favorite that I missed?








As you brush, the screen brushes away a cloud to reveal an image. Exciting and interactive, it encourages children to brush for the recommended 2 minutes. It can reveal up to 16 different Disney and Marvel characters. You get a sticker (digital) after each brush and it allows you to track progress and milestones. The only draw back is that you need a Crest or Oral-B Pro-Health Stages product for this to work. 
Lucky for our patients, that is exactly what we put in our goody bags!! 











The fairy tale kingdom is under attack! Become a toothsaver and save the day! This app  starts out with a story about why you need to brush and is a game that is played while brushing. It also tells you how to brush while brushing. You have 2 minutes to save fairy tale land by brushing the characters teeth. Checking out the app myself, I found fun characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Pirates and Princesses. Every time you brush you unlock the next level. You can also play against each other! 










Did you know that there is a name for that signature swirl of toothpaste that goes on your brush? Mrs. Herman, one of my instructors in school, taught us that little quirky word. I will never forget it. Who knew one day it would be a character?
Help Nurdle get all of those teeth clean! With a fun song and a timer, Nurdle will help you brush all of your teeth and have fun doing it! This is a much simpler version of brushing apps. 








I hope these apps get your little one brushing! 





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Morning Appointments Are Best

Why Morning Appointments Are Best
By Ashley Valco


You just spent the entire day running errands, working, straining your brain, or whatever it is that you do every day. You are tired, probably hungry, and would love to take a nap. Instead, you have to go to the dentist. Not everyones favorite place, I know... You suck it up and get through it. Hey, maybe you even appreciate the fact that you can lay down for 30 minutes in a quiet room! Either way, you have had a lifetime of learning how to act appropriately in a situation you would absolutely rather not be in. 

Now, imagine you are 3 years old. It is 4:45 pm. You are hungry, cranky, and you need a nap. You are being forced to go to the dentist and you don’t understand why you can’t just stay asleep in the car. Now someone is expecting you to sit quietly with your mouth open and it seems like torture. You have not yet learned how to act appropriately in any situation...

This is common, and it is why we encourage morning appointments for the little ones. We want to make sure your child has the best experience possible, which is why it is imperative to schedule their appointments accordingly. Just like you, children are well rested in the morning and will be much more cooperative and refreshed. As the day goes on they become tired and cranky. This puts the appointment in a difficult situation before it even starts. 

We recommend early appointments for young children that are scheduled around their nap time. No one wants to get their teeth cleaned when they should be sleeping! I had a child in my chair not too long ago that was 4 years old. Mom brought her into the office during a time that she would normally be napping. She was so tired that she couldn’t even keep her mouth open for me to examine her. After a few minutes, she began to cry. Not because she was afraid, or apprehensive, or even because she wanted her mom. She cried because she was tired and wanted a nap. Just like most children. Of course, Mom felt terrible for her and said she simply didn’t think about it when she scheduled the appointment. She made sure to schedule future appointments with this in mind. 

Sometimes we simply don’t think about the time. We, as moms, have so much going on that it may be the last thing we are thinking of when we are scheduling. Just as I am writing this I am remembering when I scheduled my sons pediatrician appointment at 9:30am. He was 6 months old and took a nap every day at 9am. I don’t know what I was thinking. My God did I regret that so bad! He screamed through the entire thing. My son is a very happy baby. Most people comment that they never see him upset or crying. Always smiling! However, he was being poked at prodded and everything else when he should have been fast asleep cuddled up with his Wubby.

With older children there is another aspect that should be considered. Especially for restorative appointments (fillings, extractions, crowns, sealants, etc). Some children are apprehensive about what may occur during the visit. We do everything we can to make them feel comfortable. When they are scheduled for an after school visit they have the entire day to think about it! By the time they walk into our office they are about to burst from anxiety! If your child does not have any anxieties about the dental office than no worries here. Some are very nervous so it would be best for them to schedule earlier appointments.  

We know that this can be very inconvenient for some parents, however, the Rose Tree Kids staff puts the safety and comfort of your child first. A positive dental experience will have an impact on their dental health as they grow into young adults. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The 411 On Fluoride

The 411 On Fluoride


By Ashley Valco

What is the deal with fluoride? Just like everything else, fluoride is only good in moderation. Even water can cause harm if consumed in large quantities. The benefits of fluoride far outweigh any possible risks. Good or bad, agree or disagree, I am simply going to list the most important things you need to know about fluoride along with the most frequently asked questions. 

What is fluoride?
Fluoride occurs naturally in several minerals of the earth. It is used topically and systemically to prevent tooth decay and sensitivity. 

How does fluoride work to prevent cavities?
Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth. When that bacteria consumes the sugars and carbohydrates you eat, it produces an acidic waste that removes essential minerals from the enamel (surfaces of your teeth). Enamel is strong and solid but weakens when exposed to acid. Fluoride helps remineralize those weakened surfaces to prevent cavities from forming or reverse small cavities that have started. 

My child is already getting fluoride at home, why should we get it in the office?
This is a very common question I am asked often. There are two different types of fluoride therapy: systemic and topical. 
Systemic fluoride is ingested, ie: water, tablets, or drops. It is beneficial during the development of teeth, before they erupt. 
Topical fluoride is applied to the teeth, ie: toothpaste, rinses, gels, varnishes. This is beneficial after the teeth are present in the mouth. 
There are lower amounts of fluoride in regular toothpaste than in fluoride treatments in the office. In our office we use a fluoride varnish. It is painted on the teeth and uses a much smaller amount that the older process of rinsing or using trays. It is very tacky and sets within seconds, allowing you to eat and drink right away. (Avoid hot and crunchy!) This delivery of fluoride will be absorbed into the teeth until it is cleaned off that night. Avoid cleaning for 4-6 hours to get the full effect. Because of the tackiness there isn’t a risk of ingestion and it doesn’t rinse away. 
Children sometimes have white spots on their teeth. They are called White Spot Lesions and they are the demineralized beginning stages of a cavity. These areas are those that benefit most from applied fluoride to reverse them. 

Does my public water system have fluoridated water?
Just about all water naturally has traces of fluoride, however, not usually enough to prevent tooth decay. Many communities decide to modify the amount of fluoride in the water to reduce the occurrence of tooth decay. 
It is best to call your own water company to find out if your water is fluoridated. 
I was under the impression my own water was fluoridated. When I had my son I called Peco to find out, just in case. They told me someone from their lab would call me back. About 15 minutes later, a lab technician called me back to tell me that I did not have fluoride in my water. Glad I called! 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named water fluoridation one of the Ten Great Public Health Interventions of the 20th Century. 


Is my child getting an appropriate amount of fluoride?
This should be discussed with your dental hygienist and dentist. Every child has different needs and your dental professional will be able to tell you how much fluoride they need. 

When should my child start using fluoridated tooth paste?
This is directly from The Journal of the American Dental Association (Feb 2014)

▬ For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice (Figure). Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist. Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use the appropriate amount of toothpaste. 
▬ For children 3 to 6 years of age, caregivers should dispense no more than a pea-sized amount (Figure) of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by a dentist. Supervise children’s brushing to minimize swallowing of toothpaste. 
▬ It is especially critical that dentists provide counseling to caregivers that involves the use of oral description, visual aids and actual demonstration to help ensure that the appropriate amount of toothpaste is used.


What are the indications for fluoride therapy?
Your dental professional should always look at your child as an individual. Always consult with a dentist before starting any home fluoride regimen. Keep in mind that topical fluoride is just as beneficial to adults as it is to children. Any of the indications below apply to adults and children:
  • White spots
  • Those that are at high risk of developing decay
  • Dry mouth 
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Areas of tissue that have receded and exposed a root surface
  • Present decay
  • Reduction of tooth sensitivity
  • Children that live in areas without fluoridated water for added protection
  • Those with special needs that prevent adequate cleanings at home
  • Those using inhalers or asthma medications 


If you have any further questions about fluoride ask your dentist/hygienist. Feel free to call our office as well. Myself and Dr. Alex would be more than happy to answer any questions you have! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Child Chipped Their Tooth! Now What?

My Child Chipped Their Tooth! Now What?


By Ashley Valco


Like most Americans, I spent the weekend gardening and going to BBQ’s. Beautiful weather for a holiday weekend. One of the BBQ’s I went to had hundreds of water balloons and the kids were going crazy! A friends child was chasing the other kids and fell right on his face and hit his mouth on the stone that outlined the garden. 

Instant screaming ensued, from the child and the Grandmom, as well as a fountain of gushing blood. 

Now what?

Well, let's first make sure nothing was cut open. Luckily, a trip to the hospital on Memorial Weekend wasn’t in the cards for them. Once everyone had calmed down, and the blood had been cleaned off, we could assess the situation. Joey had a swollen lip, a cut tongue, and a chipped front tooth. 

The swelling will go down, the tongue will heal. While tissue trauma to the mouth bleeds very heavily, it also heals faster that any other place on the body. What about the tooth? 

I told Mom it would be all right to wait until tomorrow to get an appointment with Joey’s dentist. There are several different types of “chips” and they are determined by how many layers of the tooth are affected. This can only be seen by an x-ray. Therefore, it is necessary to take an x-ray of the tooth when they go into the office.

If he had a tiny chip on the edge of the tooth, and the x-ray looked fine, the dentist would probably smooth the edge so it isn’t jagged. 

If it was a larger chip it could be or become sensitive to cold air and water because of the exposed nerve. In this case the tooth might require more extensive treatment. 


The biggest concern is if a tooth is knocked out of the mouth or if it is knocked out of position.  In this case, time is of the essence.  You must get to the dentist or hospital within 90 minutes.  If the tooth has been fully knocked out of the mouth, placing it in a cup of Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution or milk will help maintain the tooth until a dentist can be seen.  When touching the tooth, try to hold the tooth by the crown (the part we see when a person smiles) instead of the root (the part that is inside the gum tissue).  

In Joey’s case it was a good sized chip and it was a little wiggly. Even though it is loose now, it can still repair itself and become tight again over time. It might become discolored as time passes depending on the trauma to the nerve inside. I believe Joey’s tooth will just need time to heal. The bone and tissue will tighten. His hygienist and dentist will closely examine it at every visit until it looks normal. 
Then it will just be a bad memory. 

Just keep in mind that the amount of blood you see after a fall is not an indicator to the amount of damage. The mouth bleeds very easily and it is very scary to the child and anyone observing, especially Mom. 


If after a fall, there are no serious cuts that would require immediate attention, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and contact your child’s dentist. 


I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Weekend! Did you do anything special? 

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