Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group

High Quality H2O

Whether you’re drinking from a glass that is half-empty or half-full, drinking a glass of water is always beneficial to your health. Human beings are 50-65% water; so staying hydrated throughout the day, especially during the summer months, is crucial for the hydration of tissue, the distribution of nutrients, and the removal of waste from your body. And, did you know? Drinking water is not only beneficial to your overall health, but your dental health as well! Please Note: Infants under 6 months of age should not be given water, speak to your pediatrician about the appropriate age for your child to start drinking water.

Here are four reasons why water is the best beverage for your child’s (and your!) teeth:

1. Water helps to keep the mouth clean.

Water cleans your mouth with every gulp and swish! As your drink, water can wash away some of the leftover food and possibly even a portion of the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. So while drinking water is not a substitute for brushing and flossing, it can help to keep your body and your smile healthy (and perhaps cavity-free).

2. Water (with fluoride) strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, aka “nature’s cavity fighter”, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight cavities. While almost all water contains naturally-occurring fluoride, the community water systems that serve most American households adjust the level, usually by adding fluoride to achieve the right amount to reduce tooth decay. Health organizations, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say this is one of the major reasons most people no longer need the dentures that were so common before widespread fluoridation, and studies have shown that it is why dental costs are lower and oral health problems have declined in fluoridated communities!

3. Drinking water fights dry mouth.

Saliva, which is made mostly of water, is the human mouth’s first defense against cavities. Saliva helps wash away residual food and coats your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. When your mouth doesn’t have enough water, it may struggle to make saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay. When your mouth is feeling dry, drink a glass of water to quench your thirst, and strengthen your teeth!

4. Water is free of calories.

Drinking sugary beverages can create a cavity-prone environment within your mouth, and can lead to weight gain. Studies show that drinking water instead of juice or soda is the best way to go, for the health of your teeth, mouth and body as a whole.

If you have questions regarding water consumption or your overall dental health, don’t hesitate to call Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group at Perry Hall / White Marsh Phone Number 410-248-3384 today!

Strong Teeth

While teeth and bones are both hard and heavy with calcium, they are also very different from one another. Teeth are composed of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals. They are mostly made of calcified tissue called dentine, and are covered in hard, shiny enamel. And, unlike bone, teeth cannot heal themselves. Bone is also tucked away under the skin, muscle and other tissues while teeth are bare and on display – which is why it’s important to look after your pearly whites! Strong Teeth

Now it’s time for some strong-tooth trivia!

What’s the strongest substance found in living organisms?

A) Elephant tusks
B) Human bones
C) Spider silk
D) Bear claws
E) Snail teeth

If you chose E, you’re right! Aquatic snails, commonly called limpets, have teeny tiny teeth that are made of the hardest biological material ever found. Their teeth are made from a composite of proteins and minerals, and is 5 times stronger than spider silk (the previous record-holder), and almost as strong as artificial carbon fibers! And as long as we’re comparing, limpet teeth are about 10 times harder than human teeth.
Snail teeth are pretty hard to see because they’re so small–often less than a millimeter long. So why do snails even need such strong teeth? According to recent research, these snails use their extra strong teeth not only to scrape yummy algae from rocks, but also to excavate small shelters in the rocks themselves!

Teeth are always important, no matter how tiny! Let Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group look after your pearly whites for you! Call us today!

Pregnancy and Oral Health

pregnancy and oral health

Pregnancy is an exciting time when your body is going through many changes. You may be wondering how this will affect your teeth and gums. This blog is meant to answer your oral health questions and give you the information you need to help both you and your baby!

 

Keep Up Your Routine. It is important to keep up your brushing and flossing routine. You may be indulging your cravings for sweets, so make sure you brush regularly. It is important to continue regular check ups and cleanings. Let your dentist know your stage of pregnancy when you make your appointment, as well as any changes in your medication or special advice you may have received from your doctor. If you have a high-risk pregnancy or other medical condition, they may recommend certain procedures be postponed.

Pregnancy Gingivitis. During pregnancy some women are prone to a mild form of gum disease, called gingivitis that causes gums to be red, tender, and sore. Keeping your teeth clean is important for the prevention of pregnancy gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to help control any signs of the disorder, because, if left untreated, it can lead to more serious gum disease.

X-ray Safety. If you suffer a dental emergency or need an assessment, dental X-rays are sometimes necessary. Don’t worry – you will be covered with a leaded apron that will protect you and your baby from any harmful exposure.

Food for You and Your Baby’s Teeth. While pregnant, many women tend to crave sweets or snack more, both of which can put them at higher risk of tooth decay. It is important to choose low-sugar snacks that contain the nutrients your body needs. Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between the third and six months of your pregnancy. Eating foods rich in vitamins A, C, and D, as well as protein, calcium, and phosphorous will give both you and your baby what you need for good dental health.

Being a mother is an exciting and wonderful time! Start your family off on the right foot by establishing or continuing your healthy dental routine while you are pregnant and remember, we will want to see your baby before his or her first birthday or as soon as the first tooth erupts!

 

Preparing your Little One for the Dentist

Just like adults, children can also be a bit afraid when it comes time to visit the dentist. Whether it is their first visit or tenth, the concept of dental work may seem scary to them. We are here to tell you that our first job as pediatric dentists is to make sure that your child feels comfortable. If your little one isn’t comfortable, he or she won’t sit still in the chair and we won’t be able to finish the job. From the moment you step into the lobby to the time your child is sent home with a sticker, we are dedicated 7 to making him or her feel comfortable and safe. That is our job to do as a practice, but you may be wondering, what can you do at home to help your child prepare for his or her first dentist appointment?

With just a bit of preparation and lots of communication, you can ensure that your little one remembers their visit as pleasantly as possible.

Prepare Your Child

The most important way you can prepare your child for the dentist’s office is to start a healthy oral care routine at home. As soon as teeth start to appear in your child’s mouth, brushing and flossing for them will help them to have healthy and happy teeth. This helps them to be familiar with the general idea of oral health, and also allows us to avoid unnecessary work (fillings, etc.) and therefore anxiety while they are in the chair.

Communicate

Prepare Your Little OneBefore the visit, discuss with your child what dentists do, why they’re important, and what they look for.

Be Supportive and Reassuring

During your appointment, be supportive and reassuring. The new faces, sights, sounds, and machines in a dentist’s office can be daunting! Sit next to your child during their appointment, and make sure to give your doctor time to explain what the different machines do before they are put into use.

Praise and Rewards!

Afterwards, praise and compliment bravery: your little one did it! Make sure to grab a prize on your way out, encouragement and a reward go a long way.

A little bit of preparation means you can ensure your child has a positive experience at the dentist that will set the stage for happy memories down the road.

If you’re looking for a dentist that specializes in working with children, call Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group on 410-248-3384 today!

 

Seven Facts About Teething

Teething can be quite the ache; a source of sleepless nights and stress for both parents and babies alike. Did you know new teeth typically start to show up by the time your child is 6-8 months old? However, some teeth can be late bloomers, making their appearance after 12 months of age.baby teething

Understanding Teething

Some signs that the first tooth may be arriving soon: drooling, grumpiness, unexplained tears and your child may even start to chew on hard objects.

In most children, teeth will usually first develop in the bottom jaw, with the two bottom front teeth often appearing first, and then being joined by two top front teeth. Children will usually have a full set of baby teeth (20 total) by the time they are 3 years old.

Teething can be painful, and difficult to adjust to. The best way to handle new teeth is to use a teething ring, or gently rub your child’s gums with a clean, damp washcloth.

Continue to wipe gums as instructed, even before the tooth appears, to keep your child in the habit of getting his or her mouth cleaned. Then, as soon as teeth start to show up, start brushing and flossing! Cleaning is the first step to healthy teeth and gums.

It’s recommended to go to a pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth shows up, or at least by your child’s first birthday. Part of keeping teeth healthy is having a professional on your team, making sure your little one’s teeth are properly cared for.

It’s never too late to visit the dentist! In case of emergencies, like getting a tooth chipped, or even knocked out, it’s very important to be prepared. Keep our number handy and we’ll be ready to respond!
410-248-3384

There’s More to Cavities!

We’re all familiar with cavities – the anxiety before going to the dentist, the satisfaction of leaving without having to return for fillings. As routine as cavity treatment seems, tooth decay, or dental caries, is more complex than we often realize. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on tooth decay and how you can prevent it!

child in dental chairWhat is tooth decay?

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, is the bacterial destruction of the tooth’s enamel.

What causes tooth decay?

Even with an effective dental care routine, bacteria in the mouth cause plaque to form on the teeth. When the bacteria in plaque react with food in your mouth, it produces acid that wears away at the enamel.

Stages and treatments:

There is a range of treatment methods for dental caries depending on the severity of the decay:

Fillings and restorations are the most common cavity treatments. We use inlays and onlays to treat tooth decay because they’re similar to traditional fillings but are more stable and longer lasting.
Crowns are necessary if the decay goes deep enough to make the tooth weak or unstable. These tooth-colored caps are secured to the tops of damaged teeth to strengthen them and restore them to normal function.
Root canal therapy (RCT) is needed when the cavity goes deep enough to infect the pulp in the tooth. Sometimes the damage is severe enough that root canal therapy is not effective, and if retreatment is unsuccessful an apicoectomy is performed. During an apicoectomy, the infected pulp tissue is removed through the tooth’s root. Then the root tip is cut off and replaced with biocompatible material.
• If the tooth is beyond saving through one of these previously mentioned methods, extraction is the way to go. Dental implants offer a sturdy, long-lasting solution to extracted teeth to restore your smile.

 

Give us a call so you can achieve that bright, beautiful, healthy smile!

“Baby Root Canal” – Pediatric Pulp Therapy

Damage to the tooth’s pulp is commonly caused by tooth decay or traumatic injury. Pulp damage in baby teeth can affect the development of your child’s permanent teeth later on. Rather than pulling the affected tooth, sometimes pulp therapy is the best choice, a technique similar to a root canal in adults that maintains the baby tooth’s vitality. Keep reading to find out more details about pediatric pulp therapy!

child brushing teethWhat is pediatric pulp therapy?

Pediatric pulp therapy is designed to save infected or damaged primary, or baby, teeth. It’s important to save the affected primary tooth until the permanent tooth grows in. There are two types of pulp therapy:

  • Pulpotomy is a partial pulp removal. Damaged pulp from the tooth’s crown is removed, leaving healthy pulp in the root canals. Once the pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with a disinfecting agent to prevent further infection, and it is stabilized it with a crown.
  • Pulpectomy is the total removal of damaged pulp, not just in the crown but the roots, too. Once pulp is removed, the tooth is filled with an absorbable cement for support, and then stabilized with a crown.

Although these techniques are associated with pediatric dentistry, they can also be performed as the initial steps of root canal therapy (RCT) in mature, or adult, teeth.

Why choose pulp therapy over tooth extraction?
Saving baby teeth with pulp damage is preferred to extraction because primary tooth extraction can cause a variety of consequences. If you have a baby tooth pulled, the surrounding teeth may develop at an angle, resulting in impacted premolars that leave little room for a permanent tooth to grow in its place. Keeping the baby tooth as a placeholder allows the permanent tooth to grow in trouble-free!

What are the symptoms of damaged pulp?

  • Tooth pain
  • Temperature sensitivity when eating
  • Swelling and redness
  • Unexpected loose tooth

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, give us a call to see if pulp therapy is an option. Saving those baby teeth is the best way to ensure healthy oral development!

A Braces Friendly Balanced Diet

The food you choose to eat affects not just your overall health, but your dental health too! Making the right food choices and eating healthy will keep both your body and your teeth strong. Having braces can make you feel like you’re limited when it comes to food choices, but it’s important that you maintain a balanced diet.

A Braces Friendly Balanced DietSo, what should you be eating?

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates should make up ¼ of your total energy requirement for the day. Carbohydrates are an easy group for those with braces because most grain, corn and rice products are soft and easy to chew!

Dairy Products:

Milk and dairy products should make up another ¼ of your total dietary needs. Strong bones and teeth rely on a diet that is rich in calcium, a mineral found in dairy products. Dairy products are also a good source of vitamin D, potassium, and protein. Dairy products are an easy choice for those with braces because they’re soft and don’t require much chewing. To get your needed calcium, vitamin D, and protein, try incorporating milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese into your diet!

Fruits & Vegetables:

Vegetables should also compose another ¼ of your diet. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals for growing bodies. Though vegetables can be a challenge for those with braces, they can be cooked and mashed for easier eating, as well as cut into smaller bite-size pieces.

Fruits for those with braces can be quite challenging! Hard fruits can be difficult to bite into with your brace brackets. Remember to cut hard fruits into small bite-size pieces. After an orthodontic appointment, opt for soft fruits like berries or bananas, they’re easy to chew and shouldn’t get caught in your braces!

Lean Proteins:

Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. With braces, remember to avoid eating any meat from the bone.

Always avoid foods that can interfere with your braces or bend your wires! You should be avoiding foods such as nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice, and sticky foods like caramel and chewing gum. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing are crucial for those with braces. For an overall healthier body and teeth, remember to eat a balanced diet, avoid foods that could damage your braces, and brush and floss regularly!

The Truth Behind Sippy Cups

Mom and Dad, we know how difficult bottle weaning can be, the sippy cup can become your knight and shining armor during the transition away from bottle feeding! Though convenient, sippy cups can cause cavities among toddlers during crucial development of baby teeth.

child drinking from sippy cupUnfortunately, sippy cups are becoming overused among parents due to their ability to prevent spills. Sippy cups are designed to transition your child from bottle feeding to drinking from a regular cup. With their spill-proof design, sippy cups are being used by children for extended periods of time–veering from the design of the transitional devise. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) finds that when kids sip for extended periods of time on sugared beverages, they’re exposed to a higher risk of tooth decay. Sippy cups should only contain water unless it’s mealtime! A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comparing the dental health of Americans in 1988-1994 and 1999-2002 found that while cavities decreased among older children, cavities in two- to five-year-olds actually increased 15.2 percent!

The Journal of Dentistry for Children found that one-third of toddlers with tooth decay problems used sippy cups. If left untreated, baby tooth decay can result in pain and infection. Baby teeth are important because they hold the place for permanent teeth, helping guide them into the correct position. Tooth decay among baby teeth can affect the development of permanent teeth. Though they can be detrimental to healthy baby teeth, sippy cups are not the sole culprit of baby tooth decay—children are simply not making the trip to the dentist soon enough! The AAPD recommends that initial visits to the dentist should occur after the first teeth appear, 6 months to a year.

Here are some tips for parents to prevent the presence of cavities in young children:

  • The sippy cup is a training tool to help children transition from a bottle to a cup. It shouldn’t be used for a long period of time – it’s not a bottle or a pacifier!
  • Unless being used at mealtime, the sippy cup should only be filled with water. Frequent drinking of any other liquid, even if diluted, from a bottle or no-spill training cup should be avoided.
  • Sippy cups should not be used at naptime or bedtime unless they only have water in them.
  • Let children drink sugary beverages only through a straw. Sippy cups with flexible rubber straws are okay!
  • Get children involved in dental care early on. Wipe infant and toddler’s teeth with a damp cloth once a day. By age 2, introduce brushing with a soft-bristle brush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Children should have regularly scheduled dental visits (every six months) beginning when the first tooth appears, but not later than their first birthday.

Sports Drinks: What to Know Going into Summer Sports!

Whether you’re heading into spring and summer sports with your children, or your children are fans of the beverage, sports drinks are everywhere! While sports drinks may seem like the healthy alternative to water, they can in actuality be quite damaging to your child’s teeth.

child drinking Sports DrinksHow do sports drinks damage teeth?

While sports drinks do tend to have high amounts of sugar, that’s not what makes them detrimental to your child’s oral health. The real culprit behind sports drinks is the acidity that can cause irreversible damage to young teeth. The acid in sports drinks breaks down enamel, the shiny outer layer of your teeth, causing them to become overly sensitive to temperature changes, touch, and more susceptible to cavities. The General Dentistry Journal found that sports drinks contain such a significant amount of acid that they can begin destroying the teeth in as little as five days!

What can you do to prevent the negative affects of sports drinks?

Water! H20 is the best way to quench thirst and keep teeth strong. Eliminating sports drinks from your child’s diet completely may be impossible, so here are some tips that can help reduce the damage:

  • Wait at least 30 minutesbefore having your child brush their teeth. Brushing immediately after drinking acidic drinks, i.e. sports drinks, can cause serious corrosion of dentin, the layer below a tooth’s enamel.
  • Drink with a straw or in one sitting. Remember, “Sip all day, get decay!”
  • Neutralize the effect of sports drinks by alternating sips of water with the drink.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or rinse the mouth with water following consumption of sports drinks.