Friday, February 22, 2013

When Will My Child Lose His or Her Baby Teeth?

Just after the excitement has worn off about them all coming in, your child will begin to lose their baby teeth between the ages of 5 and 6. It’s a funny thing that the first teeth that come out are typically the ones that came in first. So, watch out for loose front teeth along the upper and lower rows. Following those first four top and bottom teeth, the ones that usually follow are the lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and the second molars.

Children can also lose teeth due to injury or tooth decay. When a tooth comes out before it should, crowding can occur and could force other permanent teeth to come in crooked. This is why it is oh so important to take very good care of the baby teeth. The dental hygiene habits and overall dental health established at an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, or not! As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that:
  • Your child brushes twice each day-this activity should be supervised by you. To make it easier and more fun, consider using an hourglass egg timer, a cool toothbrush and learning a few songs or poems about brushing, like this:
    • Your teeth are important - they help you to chew,
    • They help you to smile and say, "How do you do?"
    • Be sure to take care of them morning and night
    • By brushing and flossing, you'll keep your teeth bright.
  • Make sure your child flosses each night before going to bed.
  • Limit in-between meal snacks and do not allow your child to have sugary drinks, candy, or an excessive amount of sweets and processed foods. Think of healthy fruit, vegetable and whole grain options. You will be setting them up for success if you do this simple thing!
  • Schedule regular trips to the dentist and discuss with your doctor or hygienist the choices of fluoride treatments and sealants.
When those first baby teeth become loose, they are the focus of all of your child’s attention. It can be an exciting time since this milestone usually means a visit from the “Tooth Fairy”. However, it can also cause a child anxiety as they worry about the pain they could experience when the tooth comes out. If your child begs you to help them pull a loose tooth, follow this procedure:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Have your child take a seat, and you get down to their level.
  • Hold plain tissue or gauze between your thumb and index finger so you can firmly grasp the tooth-Warn your child not to be afraid and that a little blood is no problem.
  • A quick twist should do it!
  • For teeth that are resistant, tell your child it is not time. Keep an eye on it, and schedule a visit to the dentist if it does not come out on its own.
As you wait to hear, “I’ve got a loose tooth!”, be aware that little girls usually lose their teeth before boys their age. Overall, the last baby tooth should have fallen out by the time your child is 13 years old.

For more ways to make brushing fun, check out these resources:
If you have questions about your child's baby teeth, contact Dr. Simon Melcher, visit his website or call us at 919-782-0548.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Caring for a Child's Baby Teeth

Why is it important to fix baby teeth that have decay; aren’t they going to come out soon anyway? The condition of a child’s teeth and gums establishes their future dental health, which is why it is vital to take excellent care of them. Even though they will lose their baby teeth, when decay is present, it will impact the development of the permanent teeth.

Unfortunately, today’s children are exposed to more sugary and processed foods than ever before. That fact alone is why parents of young children need to be extra diligent about their children’s oral health. Cavities form very quickly with youngsters, which is also why it is so important to help them brush and take care of their teeth. Although baby teeth will come out, when tooth decay is present, the permanent teeth will suffer. Common problems that occur when early childhood dental care is overlooked are:
  • Weak permanent teeth
  • Teeth that come in stained
  • Pits and irregularities within the tooth enamel
Think of the baby teeth and their supporting gums as the foundation for the permanent teeth. When that foundation is jeopardized, the child’s future dental health is on shaky ground. Establishing good habits and making regular visits to your family dentist will ensure that your child’s oral health is on the right track and stays there! See Dr. Simon Melcher to ensure the health of your children's teeth, now and in the future.

Friday, February 8, 2013

When Should My Children First See the Dentist?

According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists, children should be seen within the first year or within 6 months after their first tooth comes in (See: Kids' Dental Care Tips for Parents). This may seem too soon, however, early dental visits are key in establishing good dental health and learning how to prevent tooth decay. Here are a few topics that a dentist will address with their youngest patients and their parents:
  • Tricks and methods for brushing and keeping a baby or toddler’s mouth and baby teeth healthy
  • What are the child’s fluoride needs?
  • When and how to begin using toothpaste?
  • What type of tools to use with very small children, such as a washcloth or very soft toothbrush?
  • How to prevent ECC or Early Childhood Caries that are often associated with drinking from or falling asleep with a bottle?
  • What to expect and how to help your child adjust to the pain of teething?
  • If there are any beginning signs of decay and what to do to avoid any future problems.
Bringing your children to the dentist early will help them become familiar with the dental visit experience and they are less likely to be fearful. Of course, it will also help them establish good dental hygiene habits for life!

Call 919-782-0548 to schedule an appointment for your child with Dr.Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC.

Friday, February 1, 2013

What Is the Difference Between a Cap and a Crown?

When a tooth is severely cracked, broken or damaged from decay, it will be necessary to restore it. Sometimes the removal of old fillings will also require more repair than just replacing the original filling. Tooth restoration is done for both cosmetic reasons and out of necessity. Severely damaged teeth can make eating difficult and even affect a patient’s speech.

The process of restoring a tooth back to its original condition calls for a crown or cap. There is really no difference between the two. What differs is the material used in the process. It may be a matter of personal taste or what the patient’s insurance company is willing to cover. There are caps and crowns made from a composite material that match the teeth. Other popular choices are porcelain, gold, and stainless steel.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Simon Melcher at Implant and General Dentistry in Raleigh, NC for a routine dental check-up or to evaluate your options for caps and crowns: 919-782-0548.

Learn more about caps and crowns here: Dental Treatments - Crowns

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Crowns for Damaged, Decayed, or Broken Teeth