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Safari Dental Blog

7 Complications of Premature Tooth Loss

October 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 3:19 pm

Did you know that each baby tooth has a specific time period in which it’s supposed to fall out (exfoliate) on its own? A child’s first set of teeth are meant to help with proper speech and facial development. In addition, primary teeth serve as placeholders for permanent ones, helping guide them into the proper position. Losing baby teeth prematurely can cause several complications 一 here are the most common:

  1. Speech Development

Our oral anatomy plays a big role in giving us the ability to pronounce words and sounds correctly.  If a child loses teeth prematurely, they may develop a speech impairment because they simply can’t pronounce things as they should.

  1. Facial Development

Baby teeth impact all aspects of the jaw, muscle, and facial development. The maturing jaw bone needs the presence of teeth to stimulate proper growth and shape.

Prematurely losing primary teeth can lead to a narrow upper airway, which in the future can cause issues like obstructive sleep apnea or snoring.

  1. Difficulty Chewing and Poor Digestion

The teeth throughout the mouth have different shapes and sizes, which helps them succeed in their specific role.  Some teeth are meant for biting into or tearing food, while others are best for chewing.  Missing teeth can make breaking down food difficult for a child 一 choking hazards become a factor, as do digestion issues.

  1. Misaligned Teeth and Crowding

Since a baby tooth serves as a placeholder for the corresponding permanent tooth, it’s important for the primary tooth to stay in place until the new one is ready to come through.  If the original tooth is lost prematurely, the neighboring ones will drift toward the space, limiting the room that the permanent tooth has to erupt through. As a result, when the new tooth does come in, it may be misaligned, crooked, and crowded with the others.

  1. Impacted Teeth

In severe cases, after losing a baby tooth prematurely, the neighboring teeth have closed in the gap, blocking the permanent teeth from coming through; thereby causing impacting teeth that remain within the jaw bone and never erupt.

  1. Orthodontic Concerns

When permanent teeth come in crowded and crooked, they will often need to be properly aligned with braces.  However, in the case of teeth that haven’t erupted due to not having the space, orthodontic treatment is more involved and takes longer to complete.

  1. Irregular Tooth Wear

While braces can fix a lot of problems that are brought on by premature baby tooth loss, some issues like wear, can’t.  When a child is missing teeth for a long period of time, the ones that remain are put under more stress than they’re intended to receive. This abnormal pattern causes an irregular and often significant wear on other primary teeth and even some permanent ones.

Children’s Dentist In Bryan

To ensure that your child’s baby teeth stay healthy and that they remain on the right track for a developing smile, schedule an exam with our Bryan pediatric dentist. Dr. Manshadi and the friendly professionals of Safari Dental & Orthodontics are here to help. Give us a call today.

Tips for Teaching Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

September 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 5:31 pm

Our Bryan dentist believes that starting a good oral care routine with your child at an early age is essential for the long-term health of their teeth. But we know that getting a young child to understand the importance of brushing their teeth can be an uphill battle, so we’ve put together a few tips that will help your family along the way:

1. Start Brushing At An Early Age

Ideally, you should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first one shows up during infancy. Continuing on as more teeth erupt will help get them used to a routine. Once they’re at an age where you feel comfortable letting them try brushing on their own, then go for it – under your supervision of course.

2. Let Them Pick Out Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Whether it’s a special character or a certain color, allowing your child to pick out the toothbrush and toothpaste of their choice will get them excited to come home and put their new tools to work.

You may want to consider getting a children’s electric toothbrush. Not only do they look cool but they will typically clean their teeth better too.

Remember to replace your child’s toothbrush with a new one every three months.

3. Educate Your Child

Remind them of the importance of brushing and why you do it so often. Teach them about germs, cavities, and bad breath.

4. Brush Along With Them

Your child may be more willing to brush their teeth if you make it a group activity. Brush your teeth alongside your child or have an older sibling do it with them.

5. Make Brushing Fun!

What small child doesn’t like a fun activity? To most of us, brushing our teeth is a chore that gets boring and no one really wants to do it. To keep your son or daughter interested, make brushing fun. Consider turning it into a game but don’t make speed a winning factor. You could even sing a song, and/or make a reward chart.

Playing “dentist” with their favorite doll or stuffed animal is also fun to do.

6. Encourage Your Child

Think for a moment about how you feel when someone motivates you. It’s empowering, isn’t it? Be your child’s cheerleader. Let them know that they’re doing a good job brushing their teeth and that you’re so proud of them. Positive reinforcement is a great way to ensure that your little one will make having a good hygiene routine an important daily activity.

7. Find The Right Dentist

Having a top-notch dental team by your side is crucial for instilling a lifelong commitment to good oral hygiene. Dr. Manshadi and the fun-loving team of Safari Dental & Orthodontics are here to help you along the way. Visiting our Bryan office twice a year for cleanings to give your child the boost of energy that they need to continue to be committed to healthy teeth at home.

If it’s time for your little one to see the dentist, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

The Dangers of Thumb, Finger, and Pacifier Sucking

August 13, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 8:37 pm

The Dangers of Thumb, Finger, and Pacifier Sucking

Most pediatric dentists recommend helping children discontinue sucking habits by their first birthday or shortly thereafter. If your toddler or preschooler is still sucking their fingers, using a pacifier, or routinely relying on a sippy cup, there are some serious growth complications that can arise. Here are just a few:

Irregular Bone Growth

The irregular pressure that a thumb or finger places (during sucking) on your child’s mouth will cause unnatural growth patterns in their:

  • Palate (roof of the mouth)
  • Upper arch of teeth
  • Mandible (lower jaw)
  • Occlusion (biting relationship)

Over time, these skeletal differences may become so significant that, if not addressed early, they require surgical intervention later on in life. One of the most common is an “open bite,” where the front of their mouth does not close together all the way.

Speech Delays

Extended sucking changes the shape of your child’s mouth as well as the way their tongue moves. When bones and teeth don’t form properly, it can cause serious speech delays or permanent impediments in your child’s speaking patterns. Even speech therapy may not be completely effective if skeletal patterns are atypical.

Tongue Thrusting

Thumb, finger, and pacifier sucking are especially known to create an irregular swallowing habit known as “tongue thrusting.” This is where the tongue presses forward between the front teeth when your child swallows, instead of in the roof of the mouth and behind the upper front teeth. It’s typically caused by prolonged sucking habits and is quite difficult to “treat” as it’s an instinct that must be learned.

Tongue thrusting tends to cause splayed out front teeth.

Jaw Disorders

By the time the bone growth patterns, tongue, and jaws do not function naturally, it begins to radiate into other areas of the facial anatomy. In this case, your child’s jaws. If they cannot swallow properly or chew correctly, their TMJ will need to accommodate for those unnatural relationships, which can gradually lead to joint pain and headaches.

Increase in Dental Emergencies

Splayed-out front teeth are a common side-effect of sucking habits. Since they jet out further than the rest of the teeth—even sometimes between the lips—they’re more prone to fractures during common bumps or falls.

Orthodontic Needs

Last but not least, pacifier and finger sucking can create major orthodontic problems that would not have otherwise existed. Without early intervention or growth modification, those issues can result in years of orthodontic therapy or potentially even surgeries in an attempt to correct them.

Early Intervention is Key

Working with a pediatric dentist can help you be aware of any unnatural growth patterns or movements in your child’s mouth. If your child is still using a pacifier or sucking their finger(s), it’s time to make a game plan.

A Pediatric Dentist Can Help

Dr. Manshadi and our Bryan pediatric dental team are passionate about helping kids enjoy healthy smiles for life. During early development, your child’s oral health will impact their orofacial function and dental wellness for decades to come. For tips on thumb sucking or to schedule a checkup for your child, call Safari Dental & Orthodontics today.

Tongue Ties/Lip Ties in Infants

July 7, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 2:15 am

Tongue Ties/Lip Ties in Infants

When you think of visiting a pediatric dentist, you probably always relate those thoughts back to your child’s teeth. But specialists like Dr. Manshadi also help with soft tissue oral needs, such as tongue ties and lip ties in infants.

 

What is a Tongue or Lip Tie?

Although lip ties and tongue ties are two different things, they are almost identical in their causes. Each is the result of a tight, short, or dense strip of tissue in the middle of the mouth, either immediately behind the lip or just under the tip of the tongue. This tight strip of skin (“frenum”) restricts the movement of the lip or tongue.

Sometimes the severity of a lip or tongue tie can be so significant that it’s noticeable within hours of your baby’s birth.

 

Side-Effects of a Lip Tie, Tongue Tie in Babies

Without flexible range of motion in your lip or tongue, issues like speech become a major concern. But in infants, the impact is immediate. Many babies will struggle with latching to nurse or bottle feed, causing frustration on their part and the person feeding them. Babies often become fussy or frustrated, not eating enough. And if mother is breastfeeding, latching can be extremely painful.

The signs of a lip or tongue tie are typically easy to identify as long as you have a pediatrician, lactation consultant, or pediatric dentist who is able to peek into your child’s mouth.

 

How to Treat Them

Most lip and tongue ties can be treated in just one trip to our office. By releasing the tissue tension behind the lip or under the gum—a procedure we call a “frenectomy”— your child immediately benefits from improved range of motion. The tissue can be released by either a small tool to gently trim or laser the tight area so that it stretches further like it’s supposed to.

For infants, issues such as latching during feeding typically see an immediate improvement. Feeding usually becomes easier on everyone, including nursing mothers. Since the baby is able to open their lips wider and protrude their tongue forward more, sucking becomes more efficient and feedings are less stressful.

Mild to moderate ties may not require treatment, but severe lip and tongue ties ought to be addressed as early as possible.

 

Call our Bryan Pediatric Dentist

One of the fastest ways to figure out if your baby has a tongue or lip tie is to visit a pediatric dentist. As an expert in children’s oral anatomy, pedodontists like Dr. Manshadi can quickly assess your child’s soft tissues to determine if there is a “tie” that needs to be correct.

If your baby, toddler, or older child has a suspected lip tie or tongue tie, feel free to request an exam. Even if your baby is a newborn. Safari Dental & Orthodontics will work to answer all of your questions and provide your child with the gentlest care experience possible. Relief is just a phone call away. Contact our Bryan office today for an appointment.

Why do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need to be Filled?

April 19, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tech Support @ 1:12 pm

Why do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need to be Filled?

One of the most common questions we hear at Safari Dental & Orthodontics is, “If my child’s baby tooth has a cavity, why does it need a filling if it’s going to fall out anyway?” Although there are occasional times — like when the tooth is about to fall out — where Dr. Manshadi may recommend leaving the tooth alone, the standard of care is to treat the cavities in baby teeth. Here are just a few reasons why:

 

Baby Teeth Can Become Abscessed

Cavities can expand quite quickly in baby teeth. When they do, it’s simply a matter of time before the decay reaches the nerve inside of the tooth. At that point, the tooth can abscess. It’s important that you don’t use pain as a determining factor for treatment, because an abscessed tooth is dying and may not exhibit pain in some cases. But in rare circumstances, abscesses can pose serious life-threatening illnesses (such as brain infections) in children, requiring hospitalization. The better choice is to treat the cavity before it grows larger. 

 

The Decay Can Spread to Adjacent Teeth

 

Tooth decay can “jump” from one tooth to another. So, if a baby tooth has decay but isn’t treated promptly, the adjacent tooth may also have a cavity by the time your child is due for their next checkup. Infections can also spread down through the baby tooth into the developing permanent tooth below it. Essentially, creating a chain reaction throughout your child’s entire mouth. That’s why early dental care can help set your child up for better oral health as an adult!

Consequences of Losing the Tooth too Early

 

“Why not just pull it?”

 

We hear that question a lot, too. But extracting a baby tooth too early can also lead to a chain reaction of complications. Your child’s surrounding smile needs that tooth as a placeholder and guide. Premature tooth loss can cause adjacent teeth to tilt inward, blocking the permanent tooth below it. In turn, your child’s orofacial anatomy is altered. A few years down the road, you’re having to consider major orthodontic correction. The better solution is to maintain healthy growth patterns and preserve the guide for the developing adult tooth. 

Dental Fillings for Kids

 

We recommend bringing your child to our Bryan office every six months for a routine checkup. If Dr. Manshadi identifies early signs of decay, we can intercept it while the cavity is still small. In fact, demineralization (before the cavity forms) can also be reversed!

 

If your child does need a filling, it’s best to place a small one before the decay has a chance to spread. Most of our pediatric dental fillings are made of white composite, which is minimally invasive and bonds better to the tooth. We also offer gentle nitrous oxide sedation to help your child feel relaxed; chances are, they may not even realize what’s going on. 

 

Has it been six months or longer since your child’s last dental appointment? Call Safari Dental & Orthodontics today to schedule their next exam and cleaning.

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