Children & Teen Dental of Georgia Accepts Medicaid Dental Coverage for Kids!

Do you need a Medicaid dental provider for your children - a dentist who creates a warm environment so your kids feel comfortable?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Children & Teen Dental of Georgia accepts Medicaid dental plans for kids at their 3 offices in Suwanee, Hamilton Mill and Cumming, GA.

We created our offices with your kids and families in mind. Your kids will actually have fun at his/her dentist appointment!

We are confident that our dentists will provide the best dental care for your kids. Our patients trust us as their Medicaid dental provider. We also accept many other dental insurances, in addition to Medicaid.

It’s our mission at Children & Teen Dental of Georgia to provide top-notch dental care to families who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Every one of our young patients receive the best dental care for happy smiles!

We welcome every child with Medicaid dental plans. So schedule your appointment today at our office nearest you. You can find all of our offices here: https://www.childrenandteendental.com/contact

We look forward to being your family’s preferred Medicaid dental provider of choice!

7 of the Worst Foods for Your Child’s Teeth

shutterstock_573417244.jpg

You probably know that a lot of food items that line the aisles of the grocery store probably aren’t great for your child’s teeth.

However, when they’re saying, “Mom, can I get these please?” and it has been a long, tiring day, it’s easy to cave in and buy something for them that you know probably isn’t healthy (it’s okay– no one is perfect, we won’t tell anyone).

That being said, there are a few foods you should try to limit your child’s intake of if you want them to have healthy teeth and gums as they grow older. We know it isn’t always easy, but the effort will pay off in whiter teeth, brighter smiles, and less costly dental work down the road.

For all you moms and dads out there who want to keep your child’s teeth healthy, here’s our list of the 7 worst foods for your child’s teeth.

1 Chewy, Sugary Candy

candy-canes-square.jpg

It’s no surprise that chewy, sugary candies are at the top of the list. Sugar isn’t just bad for your teeth, but can lead to a host of other health problems down the road. While there are hundreds of different types of candy, here are a few popular ones that should be limited:

  • Skittles

  • Starburst

  • Laffy Taffy

  • Sour Patch Kids

  • Twizzlers

  • Gummy Bears

  • Butterfinger

  • Warheads

  • Jolly Ranchers

  • Ring Pops

  • Airheads

  • Marshmallows

And so many more. Like we said at the beginning of this article, we aren’t saying that your children can never have any candy; that’s probably a bit unrealistic. What we are saying is that, as the parent, you can make a concerted effort to limit your child’s intake of sugary candy that can harm their teeth, gums, and cause other health problems.

It’s important that unhealthy candy is viewed as a “special treat” as opposed to a part of their daily diet.

2 Citrus Fruits

I can hear you now, “Are you saying that oranges and grapefruits aren’t healthy? That’s crazy!”

First of all, we all know that orange juice is delicious. Second of all, you can have too much of a good thing. There’s really just one reason and one reason only that oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits aren’t great for your child’s teeth:

They’re acidic fruits.

Acid can erode tooth enamel, which isn’t good for your child’s oral health and well-being.

Once again, everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb here. We’re not saying that your child can never have a citrus fruit, but it’s not something you want to go overboard with either.

Here is a great article from Colgate that you may want to read:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/acidic-foods-everything-in-moderation-0316

3 Bread, Chips and Pasta

potato-chips-square.jpg

Starchy foods such as bread, chips, pasta, and so on should be consumed in moderation. If not brushed away quickly, starchy foods can be converted into sugar while stuck in between teeth, potentially damaging teeth (which can lead to cavities for your child).

It’s usually a good idea to brush your teeth after eating a big meal, especially if you’ve consumed bread, chips, or pasta. Consider teaching and passing along this “healthy habit” to your little one!

4 Dried Fruits

Oh these packaged food companies and their sneaky marketing! Often concealed as “healthy” and even “organic,” dried fruit snacks aren’t nearly as healthy as the food industry would lead you to believe.

While fresh fruits are great, they lose water as they dry and turn into something that resembles candy that’s made in the lab.

The result? A sticky, “natural candy” that has lost a lot of nutrients and will now get stuck between your child’s teeth.

Again, we’re not saying you should never give your child raisins, that would be crazy. What we’re saying is understand that dried fruit isn’t as healthy as fresh fruit. If you want to keep your child’s teeth healthy, it’s fresh fruit all the way!

5 Ice

Obviously ice isn’t real food and since it’s just water, how can it possibly be bad for you?

It’s not really the ice that is bad for you, it’s chewing on ice. When ice is fresh out of the icemaker or freezer, it is really hard (like hard as a rock). If your child bites into ice with too much force, there is a good chance that it will be their tooth and not the ice that gets the bad end of the deal.

So when it comes to drinks with ice, make sure your kids know not to chew on ice with too much force!

6 Sports Drinks

Powerade and Gatorade are healthy drinks, right? I mean after all Lebron James, Tiger Woods, and a whole lineup of athletes drink them. They must fuel performance?

Yes and no. These types of sports drinks are loaded with carbs that can give you energy, but they also contain sugar that, just like many other drinks, can lead to tooth decay and erosion of enamel.

While your child drinking the occasional sports drink with their teammates at the ballgame isn’t going to hurt, it’s not a great idea to make a habit of keeping them in the fridge for your child to consume on demand.

Water is a much healthier (and cheaper) alternative!

7 Dark Cola

Most children don’t like coffee, but they do like dark colas. These dark, sugary drinks are one of the worst things your child can consume on a consistent basis. They can stain your child’s teeth, as well as erode tooth enamel.

Sure, having one every now and then (and brushing afterwards) won’t hurt much, but it’s good to get your child in the habit of drinking healthy drinks as opposed to dark, sugary colas.

Avoiding These Foods Will Help Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy!

junk-food-square.jpg

By avoiding some of the worst foods for your child’s teeth, you’re setting them up for a lifetime of better eating and drinking habits, as well as healthier teeth!

It’s important to note that avoiding the foods/beverages above will not only have a positive impact on your child’s oral health, but will help keep their body healthier, as well.

Oh and one more thing…if you happen to be in the market for a new pediatric dentist for your child, we thank you for visiting our website. Please find our location nearest you and contact us today to schedule your child’s first appointment!

5 Signs Your Baby is Teething (And Needs to See a Dentist Soon)!

feature-image-teething-baby.jpg

There’s nothing like the roller coaster of emotions that a mom experiences during the infant and toddler years! On one hand, most mothers wouldn’t trade those years for anything, while on the other hand it can be a very stressful (and busy time).

If you’re looking for signs that your baby is teething, then you’re obviously experiencing this roller coaster of emotions right now!

But do you know one thing that shouldn’t keep you up at night?

Your baby’s oral health.

Sure, it can seem like it’s just one more thing to worry about, but if you know the facts about teething, then what may seem abnormal to you may actually be quite normal.

That being said, if you think that your baby is experiencing any symptoms outside of the normal teething symptoms, you’re encouraged to schedule an appointment with your dentist or pediatric dentist right away.

So when should my baby first see a pediatric dentist?

baby-toothbrush-300x300.jpg

Before we talk about the signs of teething, let’s first talk about when your precious baby should see a dentist for the first time.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (whose position we agree with) states that children should have their first dental exam when their first tooth appears, and certainly no later than their first birthday.

Really, if your baby has at least one visible tooth, it’s not a bad idea to at least call and see if you need to bring them in.

At Children & Teen Dental, we want to alleviate any stress of fears that moms have regarding their child’s teeth, and will encourage you to come in “just to be safe” if we feel the occasion warrants a visit.

Ok, here are the 5 signs your child is teething

1: You often catch your baby rubbing his or her face and ears

When a baby is teething, they may get frustrated and try to “solve the problem” by pulling, prodding, and rubbing anywhere they may find relief. If your child is teething, you may see them rubbing their ears and face.

2: Excessive drooling

Obviously, babies drool quite often (just take a look at your favorite dress or shirt!). That being said, if your child is in the appropriate age range to begin teething, and you notice even more drooling than normal, it could be a sign of teething.

3: Gums that appear as if they are bulging or swollen

When teeth are preparing to erupt, some babies will show signs of swollen or bulging gums. If this is accompanied by pain or discomfort, then there is a good chance your child is teething.

4: Rejecting the foods they love

While not eating could potentially be a sign of something more serious, in many cases it’s a sign of teething. If your child has a tooth that is on the verge of eruption, then chewing food may be painful. If this is the case, they may avoid foods they love, which is code for, “Hey mom, I need to see a pediatric dentist now!”

5: Trying to suck and chew on everything

A shoe, a chair, a dog toy…if your child is trying to chew, bite or suck on just about anything, that’s a clear sign they are teething. If you notice this behavior, it means that their first tooth may not be far away!

These things may make you anxious as a mom, but they are normal

If your child is driving you a little crazy by displaying some of the behaviors mentioned above, then congratulations; they are developing into a happy, healthy toddler!

At Children & Teen Dental we know that teething can be a difficult time and it requires a lot of patience. That being said, if your child already has their first tooth or will have it soon, then it isn’t too early to schedule your child’s first dental appointment at Children & Teen Dental.

So don’t wait, give our location nearest you a call today to schedule your child’s first pediatric dental evaluation.

Family Dentist vs. Pediatric Dentist: Which One is Best for Your Child?

feature-image-kid-in-chair.jpg

If you’re looking for a good dentist for your child, there are probably several things you’re considering. You want to ensure your child’s teeth are cared for, you want your child to be comfortable around the dentist and to have a good experience, and you want to ensure that you have a positive relationship with the dentist.

One common question people ask is, “Should I take my child to a family dentist or a pediatric dentist?” In this article, we’ll explore the differences between family and pediatric dentists so you can decide which one is best for your child.

What is a Family Dentist?

A family dentist is similar to a general dentist. Rather than specialize in a specific field of dentistry like endodontics or orthodontics, they provide a range of services. Although general dentists might sometimes restrict the age of people they will treat, family dentists provide dental care to people of all ages.

Although a family dentist might have some special skills, they typically focus on the more general issues like reducing plaque buildup around teeth, eliminating tooth decay, filling cavities, and ensuring that gums remain healthy. For more severe problems, a family dentist will often refer you to a specialist.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Like all dentists, pediatric dentists attend four years of dental school in addition to receiving a bachelor’s degree. Unlike other dentists, pediatric dentists undergo an additional two to three years of training. The specialty training teaches them how to deal with children’s behavior, make kids feel comfortable, and treat the unique dental needs and issues of children. Pediatric dentists also receive training and qualifications for treating children with special needs.

Pediatric dentist offices also tend to revolve around children. They have a play area, they use smaller tools that look more kid-friendly, and they are great at explaining dental procedures and terms to their patients. Because pediatric dentists only treat children, their experience enables them to quickly identify issues unique to children, and help solve those issues, as well.

Advantages of Both Family and Pediatric Dentists

When choosing between things, it’s often helpful to weigh the advantages of each. To start, let’s look at the advantages of choosing a family dentist over a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • You and your child can visit the same dentist.

  • They are typically comfortable treating children, even if they have less experience with kids than pediatric dentists.

  • They sometimes can provide multiple specialties under one roof.

Now, we’ll compare that to the advantages of choosing a pediatric dentist for your child:

  • They have an additional 2-3 years training, enabling them to specialize in treating children.

  • Because they treat only children, they have more experience with kids.

  • Their offices tend to be more fun environments designed to ensure kids have a great time.

  • They use smaller and more kid-friendly dental tools.

  • They have extensive knowledge when it comes to preventative care for kids.

  • They are better equipped to provide optimal care for children with special needs.

While a family dentist can certainly care for your child’s teeth and help prevent cavities, they cannot provide the same specialized care your child would receive at a pediatric dentist. In the same way that you would take a child to visit a pediatrician, we always recommend taking your child to a pediatric dentist.

Making the Final Decision

kid-in-chair2-300x300.jpg

If you’re still not sure which is best for your child, the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation. Speak with a quality pediatric dentist and a family dentist, visit their offices, and see which feels right to you.

Most are happy to schedule a consultation, which will give you and your child a good feel for each option. Taking this step can give you confidence that your child will have a great experience at the dentist.

If you are in the Hamilton Mill, Suwanee, or Cumming, GA area, then Children and Teen Dental is a great place to investigate the benefits of pediatric dentistry. Many of our pediatric dentists have also spent time as family dentists before receiving their specialization training. This gives them a unique perspective and gives you the best of both worlds.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation - we’d love to meet you and your child!

Sources:
Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Family Dentistry
What is a Pediatric dentist?
Pediatric Dentistry

Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for an Autistic Child

video-poster.jpg

Taking your child to the dentist can be a daunting task, especially if they’re on the autism spectrum. Many adults find the dentist a scary place, and now you’re supposed to take your child there?

But don’t worry, a trip to the dentist doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Pediatric dentists have special training and kid-friendly offices that can make the dental experience fun for children. If you have an autistic child, there are several things you should consider when choosing a pediatric dentist.

Why a Pediatric Dentist?

kid-in-chair4-300x30.jpg

It’s important to take your child to the dentist on a regular basis. Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy lifestyle because you don’t want tooth decay and pain to hold them back.

Many parents ask why they should take their child to a pediatric dentist over a regular dentist, and there are several benefits:

  • Pediatric dentists receive two to three additional years of training after dental school. This additional training helps them understand the unique needs and best methods to treat young children, including children with autism.

  • The dental room is designed to be kid friendly, and they typically use smaller and “less scary” dental tools to help children feel more comfortable.

  • Their offices are typically brightly decorated and stocked with the best toys and games, giving children something to look forward to.

  • They communicate throughout the appointment to keep children informed and engaged.

As you can see, there are many great reasons to look for a pediatric dentist for your child. But how do you find the right one for your autistic child?

Step 1: Ask for references

If you know other parents with autistic children, ask them about their dental experiences. Have they had good or bad ones, and if good, where did they go? What made it a great experience? If you find some great recommendations, then that is a great place to start!

If you’re struggling to find any good references, you can always search online. Many modern dentists will have a review page on their website, and checking these reviews and testimonials can also give you a good indication about the dentist’s ability to treat the special needs of children.

Step 2: Talk to your potential pediatric dentist

When looking for a pediatric dentist, call the office and discuss your son or daughter’s needs. Speaking with the dentist and learning as much as you can will make you more comfortable about your decision. Some useful questions to ask include:

  • Do they have experience with children who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

  • Do they have special procedures in order to optimize each visit for your child?

  • Can you accompany your child in the room during the dental exam?

  • Can you schedule your appointment at a time of day when your son or daughter is at his or her best?

  • Can you see the same staff at every visit for consistency?

You know your child and what they will be comfortable with, so if you’re not happy with the answers to your questions, consider another dentist. Be aware that some dentists may not be willing to treat your child because they’re unsure how to make them comfortable. If this is the case, they might be able to refer you to a dentist who is great with autistic children.

Step 3: Discuss sensory issues

Children with autism often struggle with certain sensory issues. It’s important to discuss these with your pediatric dentist and look for strategies to deal with them. For instance, if your child doesn’t like the sensation of being moved backwards, you should recommend the dental chair starts in the leaned back position before they arrive. If they’re sensitive to light, let them wear sunglasses as the dental chair can be quite bright.

Whatever your child’s unique needs are, you should discuss them with your dentist. If you’ve found a good pediatric dentist, they will have coping strategies for reducing sensory issues and can help you think through potential issues and solutions.

Step 4: Schedule some easy visits

You don’t want your child to receive extensive dental work on their first visit. Instead, schedule some easy and quick visits to the dentist first. This will help you and your child get to know your pediatric dentist and build trust. It will help your child get used to the dentist and the things that will happen in the office.

If those early visits don’t go well, you might need to consider choosing another pediatric dentist.

Step 5: Look for communication skills

Pediatric dentists are great at communicating with children. We tend to follow the “tell, show, do” method.

  • First, we tell your child what we are going to do.

  • Next, we show the tool or action we are going to use and might even let them touch the tool.

  • Last, we actually do the action we’ve discussed.

Communicating in this way helps eliminate uncertainty for your child and puts them more at ease. If your child struggles with communication, we might ask the parent to help communicate, or allow them to watch their brother or sister receive the same treatment so they get an idea of what is about to happen.

Other considerations

Hopefully those steps will help you choose a pediatric dentist for your autistic child. It’s also important to explore other topics that may be relevant to your child:

  • Does your child struggle with seizures? If so, your dentist should be aware for treatment, and can also discuss tactics for protecting your child’s teeth during seizures.

  • Should some form of sedation be considered? It can help relax your child without causing them to go to sleep.

  • Can your pediatric dentist help with good oral hygiene habits? Sometimes getting your autistic child to brush their teeth can be a real challenge. A good pediatric dentist can provide strategies for improvement.

Looking for a pediatric dentist in North Atlanta?

doctor-and-kid-300x300 (1).jpg

If you are in the Hamilton Mill, Suwanee, or Cumming, GA area, then Children and Teen Dental is a great option for pediatric dentistry. Like you, we want the best for your child and we have significant experience working with the unique needs of all children.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to chat about how we can help provide dental care to your child with autism. We’d love to meet you!

Sources:
Taking your Son/Daughter with an autism spectrum disorder to the dentist
Finding a Pediatric Dentist

Metal-Free Fillings: The Advantages for Your Child

shutterstock_119131420.jpg

Uh-oh. While visiting the dentist for a check-up you’ve learned that, despite your exhaustive efforts to keep your child’s mouth clean, some stubborn residue remained and is now causing a cavity in your child’s beautiful smile. It’s important to remove the tooth decay and receive a filling in order to prevent further decay, but what type of filling should your child receive?

What are “Silver” Fillings?

fillings-square.jpg

Dental amalgam is what most people commonly know as “silver” fillings and is a mixture of metals comprising liquid elemental mercury, silver, tin and copper. Dental amalgam fillings have been called “silver” fillings because their appearance resembles that of silver, even though it consists of elements besides silver.

Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is (elemental) mercury by weight. Using elemental mercury is necessary in creating amalgam because its chemical properties enable it to bind the silver, copper and tin particles together. It also makes the filling material pliable so that the compound is soft enough to press into a tooth, yet hard enough (when dried) to withstand the forces of biting, talking and chewing.

Why Use Amalgam at all?

For over 150 years, dentists have used dental amalgam to fill cavities. Amalgam is strong and durable. It is less likely to crack or break than other types of fillings. It generally lasts a patient 10-15 years without issue.

Amalgam also may be less expensive than other types of fillings, which is why many parents, especially those who have multiple children or have a child who needs multiple fillings, choose amalgam.

Growing Concern for Amalgam

In recent decades, people have questioned the safety of using dental amalgam to fill cavities because of its mercury content.

Scientists do know that amalgam releases low levels of mercury in the form of vapor, and these vapor particles can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. It is also known that high levels of exposure to mercury vapor are associated with adverse effects in the kidneys and the brain.

Some people believe that a toxic substance, like mercury, could be responsible for cases of autism, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Evidence for this, however, is inconclusive.

Is Amalgam Safe?

After reviewing this evidence in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deemed amalgam fillings safe for adults and children over the age of 6. The credible scientific evidence reviewed by the FDA did not show a correlative relationship between the mercury released in dental amalgam and adverse health effects in the general population.

Furthermore, it is important to note that mercury is a naturally occurring metal found in the environment. Mercury can enter your body through the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the water you drink. Studies have shown that the amount of mercury released into your body through amalgam is no more than that which enters your body through the environment.

Despite FDA conclusions, concern still exists and some groups have asked the FDA to reconsider. This review is underway, and many parents are not willing to take the risk with metal fillings.

Furthermore, because clinical data is very limited or non-existent for mercury’s effect on pregnant women and fetuses, breastfed infants, or children under the age of six, patients who fall within these circumstances should talk to their dentist about the safest options available to them.

Alternative Types of Fillings

teen-braces-square-300x300.jpg

Whether due to possible health concerns or other reasons, if you feel that amalgam fillings are not right for your child, talk to your dentist about alternative filling types. There are other options available to your child.

  • Composite Resin: made from plastic and small glass particles.

  • Ceramic: most commonly made from porcelain

  • Glass Ionomer: made from acrylic and a component of glass called fluoroaluminosilicate

Advantages of Non Metal Fillings

Besides averting a possible health risk, you may choose a non-metal filling for your child due to one of the many other benefits these offer, including:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Non-metal fillings, especially composite resin fillings, match the color of your teeth and therefore looks far more natural. This is especially important when fixing front teeth.

  • Strength of Tooth: Non-metal fillings bond directly to the tooth, making the tooth itself stronger than those with amalgam fillings and preventing future fractures.

  • Less Drilling: Most children and adults hate the sound of a dentist’s drill. The less drilling, often the more pleasant the visit.

  • Less sensitive to heat and cold: Metal fillings are more prone to toothaches because they are more sensitive to heat and cold. Metal-Free fillings will be less sensitive.

  • Protection and Prevention: A non-metal filling of glass ionomer actually releases fluoride, which can help protect the tooth from further decay.

Ready to choose metal-free fillings?

It’s no surprise that you want what is best for you child, and here at Children and Teen Dental, we do too. If you are in the Hamilton Mill, Suwanee, or Cumming, GA area, then contact us today to schedule an appointment at either of our three locations to discuss the metal-free fillings we can offer your child. Because of our commitment to the latest in dental technology and the best for your child, we choose to offer metal-free fillings. Let us begin to take care of their beautiful smiles so that hopefully, in the future, choosing a filling type will not even be a necessary decision!

Sources:
Dental Amalgam a Health Risk
Types of Fillings
Dental Health Fillings
Dental Amalgam

Kid’s Teeth Not Coming in Straight? Here’s What to Do

family-banner.jpg
teen-braces-square-300x300.jpg

When your children lose their first few teeth, it can be a very exciting time for them. They might feel proud to know they’re getting older, or they might even get a visit from the tooth fairy. As a parent, it can be exciting too, even if it’s hard to believe your baby is already losing their baby teeth!

As their new adult teeth come in, you may become concerned that they are not coming in straight. But don’t panic, we’ve got solutions for you. Here’s what you need to know about kids growing their adult teeth.

Why do teeth not come in straight?

It’s very common for children to grow adult teeth that are not straight. Most commonly, this is caused by hereditary factors like extra teeth, large teeth, missing teeth, wide spacing, or small jaws. These can be compounded by habits like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, premature loss of baby teeth, or a poor breathing airway caused by enlarged adenoids. The result is crowded teeth and/or malocclusion (a bad bite).

Step 1: Maintain regular visits to the dentist

As soon as your child first grows baby teeth, it’s important that they begin regular trips to the dentist. Not only can your dentist help ensure your child’s teeth stay clean, but they can keep an eye on the inbound adult teeth. If they notice some teeth are not coming in straight, then they can refer you to an orthodontist.

Since you should be sending your children to the dentist at a young age, we highly recommend sending them to a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist specializes in dental care for children, with 2-3 years of additional training to focus on pediatrics. They know how to relate well to kids, how to recognize and cure bad habits, and how to make dentistry fun.

Step 2: Correct Bad Habits

Your dentist can help you identify and correct bad habits that might cause teeth to not come in straight. For instance, pacifiers can be a great way to soothe a baby and even provide health benefits for infants. By the age of two, however, you should have weaned your child of the pacifier. Otherwise, it can cause teeth to grow incorrectly.

Another big instigator of crooked teeth is thumb sucking. Although it may seem like a natural, safer alternative to pacifiers, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends pacifiers instead of thumbs. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s much easier to control pacifier use than it is to prevent thumb-sucking.

The best way to identify bad habits and create a plan for breaking them is to work in consultation with your pediatric dentist. They will have extensive experience helping children change habits, and know how to provide the right kind of motivation to cause change.

Step 3: See how they grow

Some children will have adult teeth that erupt (break through the gums) in a very crooked fashion. They might seem terribly crooked in the early stages of growth, but sometimes they will have corrected themselves by the time they’re fully grown. So if they’re initially crooked, there’s no need to panic. Again, regular visits to your child’s dentist will provide professional insights about any required treatments.

Step 4: Visit the Orthodontist

If your dentist refers you to an orthodontist, then you should definitely go. The sooner your child visits an orthodontist, the earlier they can begin treatment. The earlier treatment begins, the easier (and cheaper) it can be to fix their bite. The reason for this, of course, is they can start correcting things when they’re minor issues instead of waiting until they become major issues.

For this reason, we recommend a child first visits the orthodontist around the age of 7. Adult teeth have started to come in, and the orthodontist can assess if early treatments are necessary to prevent major treatments in the future.

Step 5: Two-Phase orthodontic treatment

kid-in-chair2-300x300.jpg

In some cases, your orthodontist may recommend a two-phase treatment plan. As you can guess, this consists of two separate periods when a child receives orthodontic treatment. The first phase of treatment begins early, while the child still has many or most of their baby teeth. Braces may or may not be used during the first phase of treatment, and your orthodontist will likely provide orthodontic appliances in this early phase.

There are several appliances that can be used at an early age to make orthodontic treatment easier and quicker when your child reaches their teens. For instance, Tongue Spurs helps reduce tongue movement or thumb sucking that can cause teeth to become crooked. A Palatal Expander is useful for creating space for new teeth or correcting a bite.

The second phase of treatment happens once the child has most or all of their permanent teeth. During this phase, braces are almost definitely used to correct the crooked teeth and bite. Braces treatment typically lasts from 18-36 months. It’s important that your child takes good care of their teeth and braces, because the better they treat them, the shorter they will actually have to wear them.

What now?

If you’re looking for more guidance on what to do now, then why not come visit us at Children & Teen Dental? We have convenient locations in Cumming, Hamilton Mill, and Suwanee Georgia. Not only do we have trained pediatric dentists who love working with children, we also have an orthodontist on our team. At Children and Teen Dental, you can be sure that you’ll be welcomed like a family member and your child will receive the best possible care. Contact us today to schedule your appointment, we’d love to meet you.

Sources
The Basics of Braces
Children and Orthodontics
Will my Baby Develop Pacifier Teeth?

Candy Canes, Cookies, and Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy This Holiday Season!

feature-image-christmas-cookies.jpg

We love the holiday season at Children & Teen Dental. It’s a wonderful time for families to take a break, enjoy time together, and celebrate!

Now, healthy teeth might be the last thing on your mind this holiday season, but a broken tooth or cavity is not the way you or your children want to finish this holiday season. Taking care of your child’s teeth, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a grinch.

In this post, we’ll discuss several ways you can keep your child’s teeth healthy in a festive way.

Replace candy canes with peppermint gum

candy-canes-square.jpg

Candy canes are a popular treat this time of year, but can cause quite a few problems for your teeth. Hard candy, in general, isn’t good for oral health because it takes so long to consume. As the hard candy slowly dissolves inside your child’s mouth, it gives the sugar plenty of time to just sit and expedite tooth decay.

Hard candies are also problematic because it’s tempting to take a bite out of them. Biting hard candy creates the risk of chipping a tooth and causing instant damage. And of course, most kids are tempted to lick their candy cane to create a sharp point, which can easily cut or hurt their gums.

A great alternative to get that peppermint taste is sugar free gum with the ADA stamp of approval. Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which in turn cleans the mouth and helps fight tooth decay. Chewing gum makes a great stocking stuffer for kids, as well!

Choose cookies with less sugar

Cookies are a very popular treat during the holidays. The problem is, most cookies are full of sugar. Sugar causes tooth decay by fueling bacteria growth and acid production in your mouth. Fortunately, there are some delicious holiday cookies that are low in sugar.

For instance, gingerbread cookies have a smaller amount of sugar and are also high in fiber. Another example is oatmeal cookies where you can replace the sugar with applesauce and they are still delicious! For more ideas on healthier cookies and desserts this Christmas, check out Healthy Holiday Snacks for you and your kids.

Imitate reindeer

Many families have a tradition of leaving cookies out for Santa, but don’t forget about the reindeer! Leave some carrots out for them, and then you can make eating carrots fun for the kids. Invite them to do their best reindeer impression and you can turn carrots into a treat!

Limit sugar time

cavities-square.jpg

While it would be difficult to go the entire holiday season without any sugar, it’s important to limit the amount of sugar time. The longer sugar is in your child’s mouth, the more time it has for bacteria and acid to grow and cause decay. One of the best ways to limit sugar time — only eat treats with meals.

This is good for multiple reasons:

  • It means sugar is only in the mouth two or three times a day. When we snack on cookies, chocolate, and candy canes throughout the day, your child’s mouth will not get a break from sugar.

  • Eating food increases saliva production in your mouth. Saliva does an excellent job of neutralizing acid and cleansing the teeth. When a sugary cookie or piece of pie is eaten with turkey, green beans, and a glass of water, then it won’t be able to stick around throughout the entire season.

  • It’s also very important that no sugar is eaten after the bedtime teeth brushing. While it might be tempting to imitate Santa and eat some late night cookies, you really don’t want the sugar causing decay all night long. So make sure everyone in your family brushes their teeth before bed.

Recruit Hermey the Elf

Hermey the Elf, famous for wanting to be a dentist in the holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, has teamed up with the ADA to make taking care of teeth fun for kids this year. Visit Hermey’s Mouth Healthy Holiday workshop to take a quiz on healthy teeth, download and print coloring sheets, or get Hermey’s Holiday Brushing Chart.

Brush and floss teeth regularly

girl-brushing-teeth-300x300.jpg

Excitement around presents, family, and fun activities can make it hard to remember to brush and floss. It’s also difficult when routines go out the window, and during the holidays kids are home from school and parents take time off work.

If Hermey’s Holiday Brushing Chart isn’t enough motivation, try encouraging your kids to hum their favorite holiday tunes as they brush. Many songs last about two minutes, which will help ensure they brush for the appropriate amount of time to keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Visit the dentist

After all the fruit cake, cookies, parties, and other festive activities, it’s not a bad idea to visit the dentist to get your child’s teeth cleaned. Here at Children & Teen Dental, we specialize in pediatric dentistry. We love working with children and know how to handle their specific needs, and we treat everyone like family.

If you’re in the Cumming, Hamilton Mill, or Suwanee area, then contact us today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help make sure those teeth stay healthy this holiday season!

Other sources:
Kid’s Healthy Teeth during the Holidays