McCordsville Family Dentistry7397 N. 600 W. Suite 400
McCordsville, IN 46055
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Your dentist can tell you when it’s safe to start using fluoride toothpaste, but a pea-sized amount is usually recommended after the age of 2. Children should learn to spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water to prevent dental fluorosis. You can start teaching your child how to brush on their own after the age of 3.
How to floss properly should be introduced once teeth are large enough to touch each other. Regardless of when they start brushing their own teeth, children should be supervised until they are responsible enough to do it properly on their own.
Dentists recommend that children visit the dental office by their first birthday, and have regular dental visits twice a year — just like anyone else. Your dentist or pediatric dentist will not only check for signs of tooth decay, but can also look for any pre-existing conditions that may cause future dental problems.
A dental visit is a great time for your dentist or dental hygienist to show you the proper way to care for your child’s teeth. And thanks to modern dental practices combined with a gentle, caring dental staff, your child has no reason for dental anxiety.
Remember, excellent dental care will turn children’s toothless grins into gorgeous smiles, so get them started early for a lifetime of dental health.
Posted on October 28, 2011 in Sedation Dentistry by Scott
A Dream Cure for Dental Anxiety?
According to Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, about 30-40 million Americans suffer from some degree of dental anxiety. There’s good news if you’re someone who gets sweaty palms at the thought of going to the dentist. Sedation or “sleep” dentistry can help you get the dental care you need without being crippled by swells of anxiety and debilitating fear.
If you like choices, you’ll love sedation dentistry. You can choose from light to mild sedation, which help you feel relaxed and calm but keep you awake and aware, or deep sedation, which puts you to sleep and makes you unaware of treatment. Unsure what’s right for you? Consider talking to your dentist about the range of sedation options now available.
Sleep dentistry is a catchall term used to describe a dental office that offers IV dental sedation or general anesthesia or both. This type of sedation dentistry is ideal for people with mild dental anxiety. With IV sedation, you won’t feel, hear, taste or smell anything and won’t have any memory of the procedure. However, you may be conscious enough to respond to the sedation dentist. General anesthesia is the most complete form of sedation, under which you are totally asleep and unaware.
Conscious sedation dentistry refers to light and moderate forms of sedation, including nitrous oxide and oral sedation. A sedation dentist administers nitrous oxide through a mask and oral sedation through a pill. With conscious sedation, you remain awake and aware but also relaxed.
Dental sedation is not a painkiller. It is designed to relax patients who feel nervous or anxious during dental treatments. With dental conscious sedation, patients remain awake and able to respond to the dentist. Under general anesthesia, patients are completely unconscious. To help with pain, sedation dentists rely on a local anesthetic like novocaine to numb parts of the mouth that require dental work.
Be Careful With Toothpicks
Most dentists agree that toothpicks should be used sparingly as a method of teeth cleaning and should never be considered a substitute for brushing teeth and flossing. Fact is they should be used only when a toothbrush or floss is not available, for example, when you are in a restaurant and have food trapped between teeth.
Toothpicks that are used overzealously can damage tooth enamel, lacerate gums, and even cause a broken tooth in severe cases. People who have bonding or veneers can chip or break them if they aren’t careful. Overly aggressive use of toothpicks can severely wear the roots of teeth, especially in cases where gums have pulled away from the teeth and leave teeth with root surfaces exposed, notably in the elderly.
Toothpicks date back to 3,500 BC when the earliest known oral hygiene kit featuring a toothbrush was found at the Ningal Temple in Ur. In China, a curved pendant, made of cast bronze was worn around the neck and used as a toothpick. In 536 BC, the Chinese mandated a law that required the use of the toothpick because their armies suffered from bad breath. In the Old Testament, it is written that “one may take a splinter from the wood lying near him to clean his teeth.”
Today, most toothpicks in the United States come from “toothpick trees” in Maine. The tree is a white birch which has its trunk cut into thin sheets that are cut again to the thickness and length of toothpicks.
Dentists can tell when they have a habitual toothpick user in their dental chair. There are the tell-tale signs of toothpick marks. So use them if you have too, but don’t make it a habit. Brush and floss instead.
Kids and cavities seem to go hand in hand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of children ages 2 through 5 have at least one dental cavity, compared to 24 percent a decade ago.