Category Archives: Children’s dentistry

Parents: How To Avoid Passing Dental Fear On To Your Kids

Parents: Avoid Passing Dental Fear To Your KidsSome of the most fun times at our practice are when kids come in for their check ups.

Whether they’re shy, playful or loud and chatty, they bring smiles all around (it’s hard not to when you’re so darn cute).

Beyond fun, what we love even more is the opportunity to give them a positive, happy dental experience. There’s no better opportunity to make a good impression as when they’re young and, well, impressionable.

Unfortunately, many adults have experienced the opposite. Going to the dentist was scary, boring or just plain unpleasant, planting the seed of fear that few can shake off over the years, despite numerous advances.

Today, dentistry is more comfortable than ever before, from

–effective anesthetics,

–fast acting materials, to

–cushy chairs…with pillows,

happy gas (yippee!) or something stronger, and

–iPods for music to tune out, if need be.

But mostly, we care a whole lot more about your comfort.

Regardless, as parents, we always aim to do better for our children. In terms of establishing good habits, one of the best things we can do is to NOT pass on our fears to them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the taste of broccoli (yum, in my opinion!), a fear of heights or, going to the dentist.

If we encourage good habits in our children and do so in a positive light, they will not only be better received but practiced more authentically.

Which is exactly why this is so important. If you had a not-so-great experience with your dentist, passing dental fear on to your kids will only continue the negative cycle.

Using a dental visit as a “threat”: if you don’t behave, I’ll take you to the dentist, be ready, it’ll hurt or I always hated the dentist...comments such as these may sound innocent enough but children, especially as young as 2 or 3, take them to heart. Already, going to the dentist or brushing their teeth becomes a punishment rather than part of taking care of themselves.

Instead, using positive reinforcement, prizes or treats for a job well done, as well as oohing and aahing about healthy, bright and shiny teeth can be a better alternative.

These little steps can go so far in breaking the negative cycle. Kids start appreciating the value of oral health, and establishing good habits that last for life.

Every day is a new opportunity to start fresh. Let’s take the positive approach and get our children started on a path to a lifetime of great oral health.

If you’re ready to get your kids off to a great start on their oral health (and have fun while doing it), call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                             www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Experience, Oral Health, Wellness

5 Common Dental Questions Asked By Moms and Dads

Q. 1. Even though my child’s baby teeth will fall out, do I still need to take care of them? 5 Common Dental Questions

A. Yes, please.

**letting go of cavities in baby teeth sets a bad stage for adult teeth that have yet to come.

Q. 2. My dentist suggested sealants on my child’s teeth to prevent cavities. Do they really work?

A. Yes, they do.

**prevent early, and there’s less to cure later.

Q. 3. I’ve always been afraid of the dentist, so I “scare” my kid that I’ll take her to see one too if she doesn’t behave. Is that bad?

A. YES!

**negative breeds negative. Make it a positive, fun experience and the beneficial effects will last a lifetime.

Q. 4. I’ve heard letting my toddler sleep with a sippy cup full of milk is not good for his teeth. Is that right?

A. Oh my gosh, yes.

**milk has a lot of sugar that can damage teeth when coating them for a long time. Ditch the cup/bottle or fill it with water instead.

Q. 5. The best thing I can do for my kids is build good habits for taking care of their teeth from a young age and use positive reinforcement. Do I rock or what?

A. Heck yeah you do! (HI-FIVE!) 🙂

**that’s the best any parent can do..rock on!

Need a positive dental experience for you and your family? Call or email us:

(214) 522-3110                www.raodentistry.com

Image Source: Simon Howden

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Wellness

A Simple Guide To Understanding The Dental Specialties

If I ever wanted to learn a foreign language, French or Spanish would top my list.  pebble skipping on water

Some that would not make my list are Legalese, Techno-jargon, Pig Latin (does that still exist?) and Mumbo Jumbo….

I would need a translator!

And one that wouldn’t make your list is ‘Dental-ese’.

At times, when the dental treatment you need is more than what we can provide, we refer you over to the pros who can.

To help you better understand which dental specialist does what, here is a plain-English breakdown of the pro-list:

1. Endodontists

Oh, the nerve. I don’t mean to play favorites, but I will. Endodontists are root canal wizards. If you have a toothache that won’t go away, or an infection headed to funky town, this is where you need to go.

They test, they diagnose, they get you out of pain. A root canal is the last resort to save your natural tooth, and if it can be salvaged, they’re the ones who can help.

2. Periodontics

Masters of all things related to gums and bone, periodontists will pull you back if you’re teetering over the edge of periodontal disease. In addition, they’re pros at placing dental implants to replace missing teeth, as well as help identify and treat various gum ailments.

3. Pediatric Dentists

They see little people…aka kids. They are the go-to specialists for children who need to be sedated for treatment, are really young, or have special needs.

However, even kids who don’t need any of the above sometimes feel more comfortable in a pediatric dental setting–and who could blame them? Their offices are more colorful and fun than those for adults, and they know how to cater to their pint-sized patients.

4. Orthodontists

Brace yourself…..they will set you–and your teeth–straight. If you’ve had braces, no doubt you’ve  spent many an afternoon in an orthodontist’s office. Get checked early enough and they can check for any funkiness in your jaw growth or an off-kilter bite.

Make no mistake, though. They treat adults as well, those who perhaps didn’t get the chance to straighten their smile growing up.

5. Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeons

Now that’s a mouthful. Better known as “Oral Surgeons“, not only do they take wisdom teeth out and place dental implants, they also do fancy-schmancy stuff like sinus lifts, facial reconstructions after trauma and help those with birth defects such as cleft lip or palate.

6. Prosthodontists

Prosthodontists are like specialized general dentists. For complicated situations that involve full mouth reconstruction or perplexing bites or jaw issues, they are your best resource.

(The American Dental Association lists a few more specialties, but the above list includes those commonly seen for most dental issues.)

It’s always more comforting to understand (rather than guess) the different aspects of dental treatment, should you need it.

Hopefully the above guide served as a good translation of ‘Dental-ese’ to help better understand the major dental specialties.

Still have questions? Ask us in the comments. Or, call or email us:

(214) 522-3110          www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Dental, Dental Implants

How To Floss With Braces, The Right Way

The metal. The wires. The bands.

No, it’s not a rock party. I’m talking about full-on metal braces, the gear you sport on the way to…

a fabulous smile.

You know, the one that boosts your confidence, makes your pictures come alive, and lets the whole wide world know that you have straight teeth.

Alas. Beauty comes at a price.

And part of that price is the work it takes to get there.

With all that hardware, keeping your teeth and gums healthy can seem like a daunting task.

If you’re a parent, you know all this already.

You also know that the last thing you want is gum disease or a mouthful of cavities after a couple of years in braces, because the teeth and gums weren’t given the TLC they needed.

But getting your child to take an active interest in his or her oral care while in braces….well, let’s just say it’s nice to get some help.

Here is a handy video (courtesy Bracesquestions.com) via YouTube that, in 3 minutes, shows how to floss the right way when you have a mouthful of braces:

Have questions? Ask us in the comments. We’ll get them answered, or tap on our friendly neighborhood orthodontist’s shoulder to help out 😉

(214) 522-3110        www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health, Smile

The Essentials Of Teething In Babies

Teething in babies can be one of the quirkiest, unpredictable and interesting experiences.

And that’s just for parents.

But your little bundle of joy knows no different. She cannot communicate yet what she’s feeling. So she does what she feels as her little baby teeth (a. k. a. “primary teeth”) get in line to come forth.

Speaking of which….

When do babies start teething?

As early as 3 months, as late as 14 (often preemies). It’s rare, but some are even born with a tooth or two. Hey, I did say unpredictable.

More commonly, though, their first tooth sprouts around 6 months, and it’s usually the bottom front one (“incisor”). Teeth like to come in pairs, so once you see the first, the partner is soon to follow. Then come the ones on top.

Here’s a handy-dandy chart (from TheBump.com) of the order in which baby teeth come in:

You can download and print this chart (pdf) by clicking on the image or here. (You can fill it in as teeth come in, and it makes for an interesting addition to the baby book.)

I think my baby is teething early!

You may think so, if your little one starts gnawing and chewing on anything she can get her hands on as early as 2 or 3 months.

Most often, though, all the drooling and chewing doesn’t lead to an actual tooth until around the 6 month mark, or even later. My daughter, a preemie, could not chew enough when she was 4 months old, but didn’t get her first tooth till 11 months. Go figure!

As those teeth come in, you may wonder….

When should my child start going to the dentist?

When the first tooth appears in the general rule of thumb, but no later than her first birthday.

Your dentist can make sure everything is looking a-ok in there, answer any questions, prevent small issues form getting bigger, and offer tips on how to take care of their mouth at different stages of teething.

In addition, early positive dental experiences build good oral care habits from a young age so your little ones grow up with healthy teeth right from the start.

Need more information? Call or email us!

(214) 522-3110            www.raodentistry.com

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Wellness

How To Seal The Deal And Save Money

There are some things people just should not do.

                  Talk with their mouth full.

                  Send the wrong text to the wrong person. Oops.

                  Wear skinny jeans, three sizes too small. Really?

And my personal favorite,

                  Pick their nose. In public.

On the other hand, there’s something pretty high up on my list of things they should do. And that’s getting sealants placed on their children’s permanent teeth.

I shouldn’t, but since we’re here anyway . . . .

Sealants are protective coatings placed on freshly sprouted permanent molars as a preventive measure; they drastically reduce the chances of those teeth getting cavities.

While they’re not a free pass to skimp on brushing, flossing, consuming sugary food in moderation or a dose of fluoride, they can get your children’s second (and last) set of teeth off to the races.

Molars typically come in around ages 6 and 12. Why molars? Because they have the most nooks and crannies where bacteria can gather and party harder than a Vegas nightclub. So those are the ones we pick to seal.

And here are 6 good reasons why:                                                    

1. Protect teeth and prevent decay

 And yes moms, they’re tooth colored and BPA-free.

2. Quick and easy

 Usually take less than 20 minutes.

3. No needles!

Ain’t that a treat at the dentist’s! Sealants are only placed on healthy teeth, so no anesthetic or drilling required.

4. Save money

The cost of sealants is a fraction of fillings or other restorations. Get those healthy teeth sealed early, and your child has the best chance of keeping those teeth decay-free.

5. Last long-term

Sealants adhere to teeth simply by getting into their crevices before bacteria do, and are not permanent. They can also come loose while eating certain (crunchy) foods.

That being said, they can last anywhere from 6 months to, more commonly, several years. Most dentists will replace them at no charge if unsuccessful within 6 months or a year.

6. Easy intro to dental visits

If sealants is the first “major” dental visit your child has had, they’re going to breeze through it.

In turn, this establishes a healthy comfort level at a young age should they encounter dental issues down the road. Trust me, that is no small accomplishment.

It’s pretty much a win-win on many levels. Unlike calling someone “swagdaddy”. Yeah, I don’t know either.

We’ll let you know at your child’s check up when their permanent teeth are ready to be sealed. And when they’re in for their visit, we’ll walk them through each step, make it easy and even fun.

Plus, they all know about the goodies in the Treasure Chest after they’re done, as they should.

What they shouldn’t do, is quote The Jersey Shore. That’s just an awful situation.

Questions? Thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

www.raodentistry.com     (214) 522-3110

If you like what you see, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. Gratzie.

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health

7 Smart Tips for All You Baby Mamas

Ahh . . . the joy of a new baby.                                                                                     

For any new mom, it is truly a wondrous time. The little fingers, the little toes. Aren’t they just adorable?

They look at you, you look at them, and say, You had me at whannn.

That is, between 2am feedings, diapering, feeding, 4am feedings, bathing, rocking, 6am feedings. Sigh.

You feel the need . . . . the need for sleep.

As the weeks go by, your little one eventually falls into a routine. You hope.

But around 6 months or so, expect another change; this is when your baby is most likely to start teething.

Unless, of course, yours is an overachiever, in which case, this can happen earlier.

You’ve got the basics down (hey, anyone’s a pro after their 127th diaper change). So what the heck do you do now that your baby is trying to grow his or her first chopper?

Because you’re a busy mom (is there any other kind?), I’ve compiled a list of basic do’s and don’ts as a quick guide to help you so you can snooze instead of trying to do this yourself.

Please, hold the applause.

DO . . .

1. Keep your baby’s mouth clean

Elementary, my dear Watson. Yes, starting from babyhood, clean your baby’s mouth just as you would your own. Well, not exactly the same. Just grab a clean, wet washcloth, wrap around your finger and gently rub their gums. A couple of times a day is plenty, preferably after feedings.

2. Start brushing when the first tooth comes out

When that first tooth sprouts, it’s time to switch to a children’s soft toothbrush. Wet with water and gently brush once a day.

As more teeth join the ranks, you may use non-fluoridated toothpaste (small smear) on their toothbrush twice a day. A children’s fluoridated paste is not recommended till at least age 2 or 3, when they are able to spit.

3. Take your child to a dentist

The first check-up is recommended between 6 months and their first birthday. The dentist can make sure it’s all good in the hood, and growth is normal. They can also help answer any questions, and guide you on what to expect as more teeth come in.

Taking your little one in every 6 months is ideal, and builds a good foundation early on. Remember, if you build it, they will come.

4. Encourage a healthy diet

Leave the junk in the trunk. Literally. Offer your child healthy food options, and limit sugary snacks and drinks. You want cavities in baby teeth to be strangers, not friends.

On the flip side,

DON’T . . . .

1. Let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of anything other than water

Juice, formula and breast milk all have sugars that can pool in their little mouth and provide an unlimited buffet for decay-causing bacteria (also known as “baby bottle tooth decay”). This one’s a BIG no-no!

2. Give them over-the-counter teething ointments

The FDA recently issued a warning against these, so skip them. To soothe any teething pain, try teething rings instead.

3. Underestimate the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy

Yes, they’re the starter set, but keeping them cavity and infection-free sets the proper stage for the permanent ones to follow suit. Cavities may prevent your little one from chewing food, or worse, be painful. And nobody puts baby in the corner.

Learning to keep up with your baby is an ongoing journey. Just when you think you’ve got one thing down pat, here comes another. Although I hear the teenage years are a breeze.

But when it comes to taking care of baby’s teeth, take heart.  You are now fully armed.

May the force be with you.

Have questions? Or thoughts to share? Let us know in the comments. Oh, and more cheesy movie lines are welcome too.

www.raodentistry.com    (214) 522-3110

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Filed under Children's dentistry, Oral Health