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The Importance of Dental Checkups for Kids

July 27, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 8:55 pm

Pediatricians and dental professionals suggest that all children have their first dental check-up by age one (or when they get their first tooth). It is easier to build a relationship with a family dentist at an early age, as it helps:

● Reduce dental anxiety
● Avoid tooth decay before it starts
● Catch problems when they’re smaller and easier to correct

We want your child’s first visit to the dentist to be a pleasant one. We can help your child have healthy teeth for life by performing routine check-ups and providing preventative care. As a result, they’ll link dental services with something fairly enjoyable or even fun in the future.

Why Early Cleanings Matter

Although children are not as susceptible to periodontal disease as adults, they do develop tartar and plaque accumulation on their teeth. Without regular removal, these deposits can contribute to gingivitis and social issues that can leave them feeling self-conscious.

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more accurate. A child’s primary (baby) teeth can decay at an alarming rate. It is easier to analyze and handle difficulties before they become larger issues. For example, a deep groove in the tooth can be sealed up rather than repairing a cavity six months later.

What Happens at a Child’s Dental Checkup?

During your child’s dental cleaning, we’ll gently remove plaque and buff away any surface stain with a soft polishing cup. You’ll probably notice that their adult teeth are slightly darker than their baby teeth when they grow in. This is perfectly normal because permanent teeth have a thicker layer of yellow “dentin” beneath the enamel.

Our Bryan team will also take X-rays, discuss underlying medical issues that may affect their oral health, and provide age-appropriate oral hygiene instruction for better home care between visits.

Fluoride Treatments for Kids

We’ll apply a professional fluoride varnish or gel once your child’s teeth have been thoroughly cleaned. The fluoride will be applied with a small brush or tray, depending on the solution. Professional fluoride in its concentrated form helps to remineralize weak enamel in your child’s mouth, making it more resistant to tooth decay.

For children considered “at-risk” for cavities, such as those who wear braces, have reoccurring decay, or have a family history of cavities, we may also prescribe a fluoride rinse to use at home each night.

Early Check-ups Can Save You Money

Your insurance plan will usually cover preventive cleanings, fluoride treatments, and protective sealants. Even if you don’t have insurance, paying for preventive care is less expensive than preventative, more costly treatments once your child ages. When issues do arise, we can intercept them earlier with minimally-invasive restorations.

Schedule a Check-up

At Safari Dental & Orthodontics, Dr. Manshadi suggests a six-month check-up beginning around the time your child’s first teeth erupt. Call us today to make an appointment.

How to Prevent Summer Dental Emergencies in Kids

June 29, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 9:13 pm

Did you know that summer is one of the busiest seasons for dental emergencies in Bryan? Not only are kids on summer break, but they’re more likely to participate in outdoor activities and recreational sports. As a result, they are more likely to be involved in scenarios where accidents, knocks, falls, hits, and other injuries occur frequently.

Here’s what you can do this summer to reduce your children’s chances of a dental
emergency or a broken tooth:

Have Them Wear a Sports Mouthguard

The mouth and face are involved in a high percentage of athletic injuries. There can be a lot of pain associated with summer injuries like busted lips or chipped teeth. Choosing to wear a protective sports mouthguard during these activities can reduce your child’s chances of breaking a tooth or suffering a head injury.

A word of caution: not all athletic mouthguards are created equal. Professionally fitted appliances provide the highest level of security. If your child wears braces, consider purchasing an OTC mouthguard to prevent uncomfortable injuries without harming their orthodontic wires.

Wearing a mouthguard can help prevent sudden problems including:

Busted Lips and Lacerations

Your teeth are sharper than you realize. As a result, when you take a blow to the mouth, you may experience heavy bleeding in your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Use a clean cloth to apply gentle pressure. If it does not go away, please contact our office.

Concussions and Jaw Injuries

Broken jaws and concussions are common injuries in summer sports, but they can also occur in non-contact sports such as cycling/biking, baseball, soccer, and so on. Wearing a mouthguard can be beneficial and reduce the risk of your child being injured.

Keep Up With Routine Visits

Routine checkups allow you to stay on top of your child’s oral health before minor issues
become major problems. Before summer issues arise, we can intercept dental issues while they are reversible or easier to treat by scheduling regular visits. No one wants a dental problem during the summer camp or on vacation. Having a thorough checkup before tooth pain arrives can help prevent problems like:

Toothaches

Having a snow cone to cool things down? Sugar may cause an undiagnosed cavity to
flare up and send a “zing” through your mouth that draws your attention. Because sweet
sensitivity is a sign of cavities, your summertime indulgences may be a warning sign of
a larger problem.

Broken Teeth

Time is of the essence when it comes to broken teeth that occur because of untreated cavities. Call Safari Dental & Orthodontics right away because we need to see you within the hour if
possible. If possible, locate your broken tooth fragment and place it in a container of milk or contact solution and bring it with you to your appointment.

Have an Emergency? Give us a Call!

Dental injuries occur at the most inopportune times. For extra summer safety, keep a first-aid kit on hand, with a small container to keep a tooth if it breaks off or is knocked out. Even if you aren’t prepared, we are always ready for an emergency. Call Dr. Manshadi today.

What Are Sealants and When Should My Child Get Them?

May 31, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 7:54 pm

Have you ever heard of children’s dental sealants and wondered what they were or what they did?

They are usually covered by dental insurance at 100%, but if you have to pay for them out of pocket, they are not expensive. A single sealant could cost as little as $20-$50 on average.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Bryan dental sealants are preventative, protective barriers that protect teeth from decay. They’re made of a resin that’s almost plastic-like and coats the outermost layer of tooth enamel on a tooth’s chewing surface. The thin layer of material is placed in deep crevices or pits on teeth to make cleaning them with a toothbrush easier. As a result, less food debris and bacteria remain on the tooth to cause cavities.

It’s important to remember that sealants are only semi-permanent and are more of a temporary protective layer. The ultimate goal is to apply a sealant to a child’s tooth so that they can enter adulthood with a cavity-free smile. Excellent oral hygiene and regular dental preventive care are still considered necessary.

When Your Child Should Get Dental Sealants

In general, Dr. Manshadi does not recommend sealing baby teeth. Despite the importance of your child’s first teeth, the grooves are usually quite shallow.

Permanent teeth have deep grooves, making them a top priority to protect. Permanent adult molars are ideal for sealants as soon as they erupt. Because you can’t seal teeth that are already weakened by cavities, it’s best to seal them when they’re new and healthy. Adult molars erupt around ages 6 and 12, respectively, so these are the timeframes when most sealants are applied. However, there is no upper age limit. Adults can have their teeth sealed as well, as long as their teeth are still cavity-free.

Benefits of Dental Sealants

● Sealants make brushing more efficient
● Bacteria and acids are prevented from settling in the deep, narrow grooves of children’s teeth
● Reduces the likelihood of developing cavities in later childhood
● Fast and easy application
● Protection begins immediately

Cleaning molar chewing surfaces can be difficult, if not impossible. Tight spots can be so small that toothbrush bristles don’t even fit into them, and they can cause problem areas that go unnoticed until it’s too late. Sealants can help prevent demineralization and active cavities caused by these tiny spots.

Dental Sealant Application

Dental sealants are typically applied in our Bryan office and are simple and painless. In fact, children’s dental sealants are typically applied during a routine cleaning as they generally only take a few minutes to place.

To ensure the sealant forms a complete bond, your child’s teeth will be dried and gently prepped with a gentle etching material. The hygienist will then apply the sealant and finish the curing process with a UV light.

In just a few minutes, your child’s teeth will benefit from long-lasting sealants.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment

Sealants are an excellent way to reduce your child’s risk of cavities and help them maintain a healthy smile. Contact Safari Dental & Orthodontics to schedule a sealant appointment and determine your child’s eligibility. We are currently accepting new patients, and our pediatric staff is eager to ensure that your child’s smile will last a lifetime.

Four Reasons for Your Child to Drink More Tap Water

April 28, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 7:29 pm

When it comes to their children’s health, parents want the best for them: nutritious food, fresh air, and safe drinking water. Because they are concerned about pollutants in tap
water, some parents only let their children drink bottled water or other types of easy-grab drinks. However, doing so may be damaging to youthful smiles.

Drinking water right out of the tap has a lot of benefits that you may have not considered. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to help your child have a healthy smile. Dr. Manshadi recommends tap water for children for a lot of reasons, and some of them might surprise you.

Regulated Fluoride Levels

There’s nothing wrong with drinking bottled water, but it is missing one thing — consistent fluoride levels. Fluoride is an essential mineral for strong enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It’s found in foods all throughout the world, and it’s often added to municipal water supplies. Fluoride at controlled amounts strengthens teeth, especially during development.

An important element for tooth and bone health, fluoride is rarely found in bottled water or sports drinks. Drinking, brushing, and cooking with solely bottled water excludes your child from getting healthy doses of this essential mineral.

Sports Drinks Can Cause Dental Issues

Did you know that sports drinks include artificial sweeteners and sugars that cause tooth decay in the same way that excessive soda intake does? Several studies suggest that young athletes who use sports drinks have worse teeth decay than individuals who drink soda on a daily basis.

Even if your child is in good health, exercises regularly, and eats a well-balanced diet, a simple beverage like water is better for their teeth and for staying hydrated. Consider bringing fluoridated tap water to the gym or your child’s sporting activity the next time you’re headed out. It will not only help save them from serious tooth decay, but it will also save you a lot of money on avoidable dental treatment.

Tap Water is Stain-free

Tap water doesn’t stain your child’s teeth, clothes, or the seats of your car. Over time, juices, sodas, and other color-altered drinks will leave unsightly stains. If your child does drink any of these beverages, it’s important to make sure that they rinse afterward. Rinsing will help remove some of the staining agents and the sugary film that’s left behind.

To keep your child’s smile healthy, stick to basic H2O.

Water Naturally Rinses Away Acids

Acid exposure to our teeth is increased by frequent snacking or drinking throughout the day. When we drink sugary drinks, the liquid covers our teeth, exposing them to acid on a regular basis.

After enough acid exposure, enamel begins to decalcify, soften, and degrade. It’s better to stick to water when your youngster is picking a drink between meals. Water is not only good for them, but it also cleanses their mouths while they drink it.

Pediatric Dentist in Bryan

Remember to visit Safari Dental & Orthodontics on a regular basis to keep your child’s dental health in check. If it’s time for your child’s exam or you have a concern about their teeth, call our Bryan office today!

What is “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay”?

March 30, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 5:44 pm

Did you know that “baby bottle tooth decay” is one of the most prevalent and preventable childhood diseases?

Known to dental professionals as ECC (Early Childhood Caries), baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that causes severe cavities in baby teeth, especially the front ones. Although it’s easily preventable, it’s a serious condition and requires immediate care. When left untreated, it can cause significant dental and developmental problems later on in life.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

A specific type of sugar-eating bacteria lives on teeth. These bacteria produce an acidic waste product that causes erosion and eventual holes in the teeth (cavities).

A healthy diet that’s low in sugar and good oral hygiene habits is enough to keep cavities to a minimum. For a few reasons, small children are more at risk than adults:

● They are unable to properly brush their teeth without assistance.
● They enjoy frequent sipping on drinks such as juice and milk, often falling asleep with a sippy cup or bottle still in their mouth.
● Frequent liquid exposure to their teeth as they suck, without brushing afterward.

If parents are not vigilant about their child’s oral hygiene and feeding cycle, baby bottle tooth decay can be a serious problem.

Consequences of Bottle Decay for Toddlers

Tooth decay can lead to painful abscesses in the baby teeth, affecting adult teeth later in life. Life-threatening infections can result from abscesses. Children with cavities can also have trouble eating healthy foods and learning proper speech. Sometimes, hospitalization is necessary.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Cavities don’t just happen! Fortunately, baby bottle tooth decay can be prevented. You can take several positive steps to help reduce your child’s chance of developing tooth decay or problems later in life.

Be aware of your child’s feeding schedule and sugar intake

Although sugar doesn’t cause cavities, it can fuel the bacteria that cause decay. Sugary drinks like juices and those with processed carbohydrates can cause acid to build up in children’s mouths, which can lead to tooth decay. Replacing sugary foods with healthier alternatives like water between meals can help prevent decay.

Eliminate bottles at bedtime

ECC was named “baby bottle teeth decay” for this very reason. Children who regularly fall asleep while drinking milk or juice are most at risk. If your child still prefers a bottle at bedtime, only plain water should be given. Going to sleep with anything other than water is an instant risk to your child’s dental health.

Use fluoride toothpaste twice daily to brush your child’s teeth

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens tooth enamel against cavities. When used in small amounts, it’s an excellent choice to benefit your child’s teeth. To reduce the number of sugars and bacteria that cause cavities, brush your children’s teeth twice daily with a rice grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Schedule regular dental checkups

As soon as your child gets their first set of baby teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Manshadi. Safari Dental & Orthodontics at Bryan will track the development of your child’s smile and alert you to possible problems to watch out for. For more advice on preventing pediatric tooth decay, call our office today!

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