Twenty years ago having braces was more embarrassing than anything else for a child. However, today braces are being seen as a fashion statement with people in Asia even buying prosthetic braces kits to apply at home for fashion reasons only. Although Invisalign does offer clear orthodontic care without the will need for wires, most kids are still wearing traditional metal braces.
Parents who come into my Portland, Oregon pediatric dental practice often tell me, “My baby loves juice and I just cannot take it away, so I water it down.”
These parents love their babies and want them to have all the good things in life. Juice is sweet and delicious and healthy too. Right?
Most people have heard about dental plaque but not everyone knows what it is.
Dental plaque is a thick sticky waterproof cream-colored coating that develops on teeth over time. It is made up of bacteria and their wastes with saliva components.
Sticky mucopolysaccharides are the mortar of dental plaque. They protect the bacteria by gluing the whole colony to tooth enamel and making them resistant to washing off with normal eating and drinking.
A four year old boy from Portland came in with his mother, complaining of swelling around his baby molar.
When I looked at it, I noticed that there was an infection around the last molar, next to where the permanent tooth develops.
Since it could be either an infection of the tooth that spread to the gingiva (gums) or an infection of the gums that could affect the developing teeth, we took an x-ray.
Keeping braces clean is so important to moving teeth that it bears repeating. Keeping braces clean is so important to moving teeth.
Why is it important you ask? To completely correct a badly positioned tooth, the tooth must slide the brace along the wire in the brace only a few millimeters.
That is NOT very far! Two years to move something the thickness of a pencil!
As a pediatric dentist, I specialize in children and special needs patients. Nevertheless, a large part of my job is overcoming parental fears.
Parents have an incredible influence on their children; both positively and negatively.
Kids are so tuned into parental non-verbal communication that even if a mother does not say anything negative about an upcoming dental visit, their own worries and fears will cause their child to worry too.
You know that hard stuff that seems to grow on your teeth and that sounds screechy but makes your teeth feel nice and smooth when the dental hygienist scrapes it off?
That is calculus (Greek for ‘small stone’) and also called tartar (but has nothing to do with the sauce).
Tartar forms by many days of mineral-containing saliva or spit washing over your teeth and calcifying any plaque on your teeth. Because plaque forms continuously, people who have lots of minerals in their saliva make more tartar.
Permanent molars usually have very deep pits, grooves, and fissures on the biting surface. These holes can be very difficult to keep clean so they are the most common place to get cavities.
In the 1970′s dentists started cleaning out these pits and fissures then squirting runny plastic into the cleaned out grooves to keep bacteria from growing there. This procedure is called a dental pit and fissure sealant.
Many parents are rightfully confused about when is the right time to start their children’s dental visits. Some Pediatricians say the first dentist visit should be about age two or three.
Many general dentists have difficulty managing young children so they ask parents to bring them in after age three.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that the first dental visit be soon after the first tooth erupts or by age one.
A toothache is one of the most painful experiences in life. It has been compared with severe back pain and even childbirth.
Although there are many potential causes of toothache, the most common cause is a cavity that infects the pulp inside a tooth and that infection spreads throughout the tooth and into the surrounding bone.
As the infection enters the bone, our bodies try to stop the infection by making chemicals that attract our attention – pain.
- We have been taking our daughter... April 23, 2013We have been taking our daughter here for a couple years and have had great treatment and attention. Yesterday was my 2.5 year old sons first appointment and they did AWESOME at testing his boundaries and not pushing beyond.
- Dr. Mutschler and his staff are... April 13, 2013Dr. Mutschler and his staff are all very competent and caring. It makes the dental experience as good as could possibly be.
- My son did very well with the dentist... April 9, 2013My son did very well with the dentist and was not scared
- Hayden was. Dry nervous about the... March 23, 2013Hayden was. Dry nervous about the dentist and it hurting but after the dentist talked to him he felt more comfortable about everything.
- they are awesome and very good... March 21, 2013they are awesome and very good and patient with my children!