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Pediatric Dentist Pelham | Pacifiers and Teeth Development

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

One of the best ways to calm fussy babies is by giving them a pacifier. However, as babies grow this can be a difficult habit to break. The use of pacifiers can cause improper mouth development which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here’s what you need to know about the impact pacifiers have on your baby’s smile.

Negative Effects of Pacifiers

Physical development is crucial for children’s overall health in the first few years of their life. What you do now can affect them for their entire life. Pacifiers can influence the shape and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw. It can move the front teeth forward and you may notice your child developing crooked teeth or bite problems. The front teeth may also not meet when their mouth is closed and there can be changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth.

Positive Effects of Pacifiers

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits for parents and children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) babies up to one year of age who are offered a pacifier at night have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What You Should Do

Since pacifiers can be beneficial for other health reasons, you should speak with us about how to wean your baby off of pacifiers. We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth develops.

Breaking the habit of pacifier use can be difficult, but there are various ways you can wean your child off a pacifier. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.

Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team today.

Indian Springs Pediatric Dentistry
6496 Quail Run Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
(205) 739-7773

Pediatric Dentist Pelham | 6 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

Pelham Children’s Dentist

Oral health is important at every stage in life. Just because your children are going to lose their primary (baby) teeth eventually doesn’t mean that we can ignore the importance of dental care. Tooth decay can be painful and uncomfortable to treat. To protect your child’s smile, it is vital to understand optimal preventive care.

  1. Explain the important of routine dental care to your children and turn brushing and flossing into something fun that they look forward to each day.
  2. Schedule routine appointments to our office for cleanings and dental exams. Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. Make sure to continue visiting us twice a year for optimal oral health.
  3. Include crisp and fibrous foods into your child’s diet. Fruits and vegetables high in water content help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Foods such as apples increase saliva which inhibit bacteria from sticking to their teeth.
  4. Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar. Soda, juice and candy are all treats that most children love to eat. However, these can be detrimental to your child’s teeth and overall health.
  5. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Water flushes bacteria and acid away from teeth. Encourage your children to drink water especially after eating.
  6. Ask us about dental sealants for your children. Sealants can add a layer of protection to your child’s teeth where bacteria build up to prevent damage.

Tooth decay starts out as a small problem, but left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. By adding a few minor habits into your daily routine, your child’s oral health can change for the better. Simple changes in diet and routine can keep cavities at bay.

Call us today to schedule an appointment for your child.

Pelham Children’s Dentist | Your Child’s Dental Filling Appointment

Children’s Dentist in Pelham

You never want to hear that your child has decay in one of their permanent teeth. If our team advises you that your child needs a dental filling, please remember that you and your child are in good hands.  Here are a few tips to help guide you through this process:

First, stay calm. When you deliver the news to your child that they will need a dental filling, stay calm and be confident. Just like the first shot from their pediatrician, your child may feel scared about their first filling. However, if you stay relaxed as you explain that this is a simple treatment to help keep their teeth healthy, your child will likely follow your lead.

Second, know this is a quick and comfortable treatment. If your child is experiencing anxiety, the use of sedation dentistry may be recommended to allow them to relax and stay still as the filling is placed.

Finally, consider sharing your own filling story, or that of another child. Let your child understand the process by discussing another’s experience with getting teeth filled. Knowing that their parent, sibling, or friend has experienced the same treatment with great results can be a major mental victory for many children.

For more recommendations on how to discuss dental fillings with your child, contact our team.

Kids Dentist Pelham | Common Questions from Parents

Children’s Dentist Near Me

These are some of the most common questions we hear from parents, and the answers we provide:

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

Our team recommends that you schedule an appointment for your child as soon as your baby’s first tooth develops. If your child does not have teeth by their first birthday, you should schedule an appointment so we can ensure their teeth are developing properly. You can help protect your child’s teeth by establishing a pattern of regular dental visits.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

A pediatric dentist must complete additional education necessary to provide care to children. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training to treat the specific oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special needs.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

At your child’s first visit, you should expect to:

  •      Review your child’s history
  •      Respond to questions and concerns
  •      Bring any questions you would like answered
  •      Have your child’s mouth examined and cleaned
  •      Have our team help set your child at ease and make their visit fun

For other questions, please call our office. We’re here for you and your child.

4 Ways to Make Oral Hygiene Fun

It can be difficult to get your child to practice proper oral care unsupervised. However, the long-term benefits of an early start to optimal oral hygiene are worth the effort. Below are some tips to help you make oral health a fun part of your child’s daily routine.

  1. Brush with a Buddy.

Your child will be much more excited to floss and brush their teeth if it’s a family activity. Brush your teeth with your child, or if they have siblings, have the kids brush together. This will help make the time more fun and help your child to subconsciously accept oral hygiene as a normal part of a daily routine.

  1. Choose the Right Supplies.

Let you child pick out their own toothbrush. This will help them feel like they have a say in their oral care routine.

  1. Reward Good Behavior.

A little incentive can go a long way. When trying to get your child to floss and brush on their own, it might be helpful to implement a simple reward system. For example, your child could track their own brushing on a calendar and trade it in for a small gift or prize after a month of twice daily brushing.

  1. Educate to Empower.

It’s important that your child understands why practicing good oral hygiene is so important. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about the dangers associated with poor oral health.

There are a lot of strategies you can use to make brushing a fun part of your child’s day, rather than a chore. You know your child better than anyone, so don’t be afraid to come up with some additional techniques that will work better for them!

Regular professional dental cleanings are an essential part of any good oral hygiene routine, so contact our dental team to schedule your child’s next appointment today.

Kids Dentist Near Me | Make Your Child Smile at the Dentist

It’s always important to have fun with our children. New experiences, new people and new surroundings can seem overwhelming to little ones. Read on for ways to make a trip to the dentist fun for your child and for you!

  1. Explain the Profession

Treat each experience at our office as a chance to educate your child. Look for way to discuss how different adults have different professions. Explain to your child that a dentist is a doctor, who treats and cares for teeth. Watch your child’s initial fear of the unknown transform into curiosity.

  1. Explain Why

Children as young as 3 can value an explanation. Whether imparting the importance of sunscreen or a winter jacket, children often understand far more than most realize. Explain the importance of visits to the dentist as well as daily brushing and flossing. This will help them to enjoy their visits as they understand the role we play in their healthy body and smile.

  1. Make the Visit Fun

Our dental team will always greet you and your child with a smile. We understand the importance of making each appointment enjoyable. With your assistance, we can create a fun and educational experience at each and every visit. This will establish the foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child.

  1. Reward and Applaud

When your child leaves with a smile, make sure he or she is given attention for excellent behavior at our office. Spending special one-on-one time with your child after his or her appointment can create a routine that both you and your child will enjoy.

Please know your child’s oral and overall health is important to us. Call us any time with questions or concerns. We’re here for you.

The History of the Tooth Fairy

Children losing their first tooth is an exciting stage in life. They often run to you as soon as their tooth falls out asking if the Tooth Fairy will visit them at night. Most children know about the Tooth Fairy, but many people don’t know where or when this tradition started. The concept surrounding lost baby teeth has been around for centuries. Below we have shared common historical traditions that have helped evolve the Tooth Fairy into the tradition that it is today.

  •         A story, originating in Spain, is very similar to the modern Tooth Fairy. A mouse named Perez exchanged gifts for teeth, which were put under pillows of sleeping children.
  •         There’s a reason mice have a tradition with teeth. Rodents’ teeth grow for their entire lives.
  •         In France, there is a fairy tale about a queen who is imprisoned by a king. She receives assistance from a mouse who happens to be a fairy. The fairy knocks out the king’s teeth and hides them under a pillow.
  •         Teeth have been disposed of in ritualistic ways since ancient times: buried, burned, or even swallowed.
  •         The fairy has been depicted in a wide range of forms in popular culture. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a sports star who is turned into the fairy in the movie the Tooth Fairy. The mythos of the Tooth Fairy isn’t even safe from the horror genre.  In 2003’s Darkness Falls the Tooth Fairy is depicted as a vengeful spirit.
  •         The Royal Canadian Mint sold quarters depicting the Tooth Fairy in the years 2011 and ’12.
  •         A survey completed by Visa showed children in the United States get an average of $3.70 per tooth.
  •         In the 1970s, a radio DJ based in Chicago mentioned the Tooth Fairy. The American Dental Association ended up receiving an enormous amount of calls regarding the figure and had no way to answer.

Did you know these facts about the Tooth Fairy? Now when your child asks where the tooth fairy came from, you have answers. Don’t forget to schedule a dental exam and cleaning as soon as your children’s teeth start developing. Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

Pediatric Dentist Pelham | Let’s Get This Straight

Children’s Dentist in Pelham

Braces create a beautiful, straight smile, but how do you maintain these results after treatment? Your final orthodontic results depend on your retainer. Retainers help maintain the position of straighten teeth, so be sure to follow up with us for additional treatment after your braces have been removed.  Read the information below to learn more about retainers and how to care for them at home.

Types of Retainers

There are a few different types of retainers that may be recommended to you:

  • Clear Retainers – A removable, clear plastic tray that fits over your teeth.
  • Traditional Retainers – A removable appliance made of acrylic and a wire that sits on the front side of your teeth.
  • Bonded Retainer – A thin, fixed wire that is temporarily bonded to the lingual (tongue) side of the anterior teeth.

Other Ways Retainers Help

Besides maintaining straight teeth, retainers have many other advantages. Straighter teeth are easier to clean which decreases plaque buildup and reduces the chance of developing tooth decay. Special types of retainers may help improve breathing and snoring at night. Retainers can also adjust the placement of your child’s tongue, which helps with speech impediments during vocabulary development.

Caring for Retainers

Just like teeth, retainers should be brushed daily with toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush the entire area. Be extra careful around the wires so that they don’t bend out of place.

Your retainer is an important part of completing your orthodontic treatment, so take care of it and it will take care of you. Once your braces have been taken off, the retention phase begins. It is vitally important to follow through with retention in order to maintain your newly straight smile. Retainers may also help with additional problems like speech impediments or trouble breathing.

Call us to schedule an appointment today to see if retainers are the right fit for you or your child.

Kids Dentist Pelham | 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Tooth Decay

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

A happy smile is a healthy smile! There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Here are a few suggestions from our team.

Eat a Tooth Friendly Diet

Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances.

We suggest you reduce grains, beans, seeds, and nuts in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and bones due to their acidic content. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diet such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth.

Dental Sealants

Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. However, dental sealants can benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and minimizes exposure of the tooth to harmful acids and sugars that wear down enamel.

When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution.

Don’t forget to schedule your next visit to our office. Our team can provide a professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay.

Pelham Kids Dentist | Teething Tips for Toddlers

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

Your baby’s first teeth developing can be a difficult experience for both you and your child. Most teeth begin to appear as early as 3 moths to 1 year old. This process can be uncomfortable and cause sleepless nights. However, there are things you can do to keep your toddler less irritable while they are teething.

What to Expect

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when your baby starts teething. Below are a few symptoms to look for:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling more than usual

It has been thought that teething may cause fever and diarrhea, but research shows that this is not true. If your baby is experiencing any of these symptoms or they worsen, call us for an appointment.

What You Can Do

View the many different ways to safely soothe your teething baby below:

  • Rub your baby’s gums. Use a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to rub your baby’s gums. The pressure can decrease any discomfort your baby might be feeling.
  • Keep their mouth cool. A cold washcloth, spoon, or teething ring can sooth your baby’s gums. However, make sure the object is not frozen because extreme cold can be harmful. Also monitor your baby so they do not swallow any small objects.
  • Introduce hard food. If your baby is already eating solid food, you might want to give them a chilled carrot or apple slice. This can ease their pain and make them less irritable.

 

Tip: Contact us before using any teething medications or numbing gels that may pose a risk to your baby.

Teething is a difficult process for not only your baby, but also you. You can relax knowing your baby is more comfortable by using the tips above.

Also, don’t forget to schedule your baby’s first dental appointment as soon as their first tooth has fully emerged. Call us for an appointment today.