How to Spot These 7 Dental Issues in Your Children

Having kids is an enormous (and enormously fulfilling) job. As the saying goes “kids don’t come with a manual.” While there isn’t a manual, there are dental experts! If you’re a parent and are wondering if your child’s oral habits are normal, or if it’s time to get help, read on for how to spot common dental issues in kids. 

Thumb sucking 

Thumb sucking is a natural way for babies to sooth themselves. But when is a child too old to suck their thumb? Is there a point when parents should be concerned? According to the American Dental Association parents should intervene if their child is still sucking their thumb at age 5. If you notice your child’s baby teeth are being affected by thumb-sucking it is a good time to talk to Walker-Barr DMD about ways to curb the habit. Thumb sucking can affect the way permanent teeth come in and can also affect the development of your child’s palate and bite. 

Pacifier use

Using a pacifier is like thumb sucking. If you notice it is affecting primary teeth or speech development, it’s time to say good-bye. There are a lot of ways to transition away from the pacifier. You can have the pacifier fairy collect the pacifiers and leave a toy in exchange. Or, some parents prefer to show their child the pacifier going in the trash and saying goodbye. If you want to offer a gradual approach, you can start by removing the option to have the pacifier during certain times like riding in the car or nap time. 

Tongue thrusting

 You may notice your child’s tongue sticking out between the front teeth more often than other kids. If so, they may be thrusting. Children who have used a bottle, sucked their thumb or paci for too long can create a poor swallowing reflex. They may push their tongue against the back of their teeth. In some children this can create an overbite or open bite and affect speech development. If you are concerned, call us and Walker-Barr DMD can look and see if there is an issue. 

Lip sucking

Some children develop a habit of sucking on their lips. The child will pull the lip between the teeth, like sucking their thumb or pacifier. Lip sucking can cause the same bite and speech issues as thumb sucking or pacifier use. If your child sucks on their lips, let us know. 

Early childhood Caries (ECC)

When young kids have cavities, we refer to them as early childhood caries or baby bottle caries. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines early childhood caries as: “The presence of one or more decayed (noncavitated or cavitated lesions), missing (due to caries) or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child under the age of 6.” Cavities are common in kids, but they are avoidable. It’s important to start kids off with good brushing and flossing habits. Also, limiting sugary drinks and snacks help. For further reading on early childhood causes and prevention, read the American Academy of Dentistry Statement on Early Childhood Caries.

Premature tooth loss

Sometimes kids lose teeth before the tooth is ready. Weather it be a fall or other kind of trauma, kids are prone to chips, cracks and tooth loss. The most important thing you can do as a parent if your child damages a tooth is to come in. Fractured or cracked or chipped teeth may leave your child exposed to infection. If your child knocks a tooth out, we need to make sure we preserve the health of the gums and jawbone. 

Sleep disordered breathing 

If your child is unusually sleepy during the day or if your child is acting out in school or has mood swings, they may have trouble sleeping. If you suspect your child may sleep poorly, let us know. We will do an oral exam and if needed recommend a sleep study. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea could be the issue.   

No matter what, the best way to find out if your child has a dental issue is to ask Walker-Barr DMD.
Walker-Barr DMD are ready to take your call

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10 Dental Words You Need to Know

Have you ever been sitting in the dental chair only to hear your dentist or hygienist say a word you’ve never heard before? It’s common for any industry to have terminology specific to the field. But, as a patient, not knowing what your doctor is saying can be confusing. Here are some common (but strange for patients) dental words you may have heard.

Prophylaxis or “Prophy”

In simple terms, a prophylaxis or ‘prophy’ for short is the professional teeth cleaning. Your hygienist typically performs the prophy during your regular maintenance appointments. He or she will use a special tools to remove plaque, measure pocket depths, take x-rays and polish your teeth.  

Arch

An arch is the term dental professionals use to describe the upper or lower denture. Or, to describe the bony structure beneath the teeth. Most of the time you will hear them say ‘upper arch’ or ‘lower arch’ to explain the location in the mouth. 

Dental caries

Caries is another name for cavities. Dental caries and cavities are the terms used to talk about what happens when bacteria cause the teeth to decay. Another synonym you may hear is tooth decay. 

DDS/DMD

Have you noticed DDS after your dentist’s name? DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery. If your dentist has DMD after their name it means they are a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. Despite the name difference, the education is the same for either a DDS or DMD, it’s the choice of the university which designation is given. 

Gingiva

Gingiva is another word for gums, or the soft tissue surrounding your teeth. You might hear your dentist talk about not brushing the gingiva too hard, or you might hear the word gingivitis, referring to a condition where your gums become infected.

Interproximal

The term interproximal is a fancy way to say: ‘The space between the teeth’. You may hear it referenced if your doctor is explaining where a cavity is forming or where you need to focus cleaning better.  

Malocclusion

If occlusion refers to the way the teeth line up when the jaw is closed, malocclusion means the teeth are misaligned or crooked when you bite. There many reasons you may have a malocclusion. Your doctor may suggest teeth-straightening, jaw work, bonding, prostheses placement or many other solutions depending on what is causing your problem. 

Sealants

If you have children, you may have heard your doctor mention sealants. Dental sealants are a way for Walker-Barr DMD to provide an impenetrable layer of protection on your child’s back molars. Walker-Barr DMD may suggest sealants if your child has beginning stages of tooth decay or are at risk. By placing sealants, it protects the surfaces of the teeth from cavity-causing bacteria. 

Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is a special procedure for patients that need a deeper cleaning because of periodontal disease. Scaling is the removal of tartar from below the gumline. After we remove the tartar, we smooth the underlying tooth root out for the gums to reattach. 

Veneers

Veneers are typically a cosmetic procedure to help patients correct smile imperfections. A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that we sculpt to replace the smile surface of the tooth. If you have a discolored tooth, damaged tooth, or other imperfection you’d like to smooth out. Veneers can correct many issues. Some patients get full veneers, this is where the entire smile is rejuvenated. The procedure requires etching the natural tooth down a bit, so once you have veneers you need them for life. If you have questions about veneers, schedule a consultation with Walker-Barr DMD!

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Can People Really Have Soft Teeth?

In many fields of science there is folklore mixed with scientific facts. Stories and beliefs handed down from previous generations can permeate the way we still talk about and understand things. One of these myths is ‘having soft teeth’. 

We hear it at least once a day: “I’m sorry doc, I just have soft teeth!” Or “Everyone in my family has soft teeth.” Here’s the thing, teeth are made of a very hard structure called enamel. Enamel does not grow in ‘soft’. Let’s take a closer look at what it really means to have soft teeth. 

Enamel Isn’t Soft

Enamel is the hard-mineral structure that makes up the outermost layer of the tooth crown. It is mainly comprised of hydroxiapetite, calcium and phosphate. It is the hardest structure in the body — even harder than bone. It cannot be “soft.” 

What people mean when they say they have soft teeth

In rare cases the enamel does not develop properly and can erupt with small holes (pits and fissures) or be thin or underdeveloped. Developmental Dental Defect (D3) is also known as Enamel Hypoplasia. They say this developmental problem affects 1 in 14,000 people in America. People with diagnosed Enamel Hypoplasia will have small teeth, discolored teeth, holes and indentations in the teeth when they emerge. Most people that tell us they have ‘soft teeth’ do not suffer from Enamel Hypoplasia.

When people tell us they have soft teeth, they usually mean they feel more susceptible to dental decay. They likely have experienced many diagnoses of cavities and believe it’s because of soft teeth. The problem with blaming soft teeth is patients disregard or miss what may put them at risk for tooth decay. 

Real Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

According to the American Dental Association, these are the primary risk factors for tooth decay:

  • Sugary Foods or Drinks: Bottle or sippy cup with anything other than water at bedtime (ages 0 to 6 years) or frequent or prolonged between meal exposures/day (ages >6 years)
  • Eligible for Government Programs: WIC, Head Start, Medicaid or SCHIP (ages 0 to 6)
  • Caries Experience of Mother, Caregiver and/or other Siblings: Carious lesions in the last 6 months (ages 0 to 14 years)
  • Special Health Care Needs: developmental, physical, medical or mental disabilities that prevent or limit performance of adequate oral health care by themselves or caregivers (ages 0 to 14 years)
  • Chemo/Radiation Therapy (ages >6 years)
  • Visual or Radiographically Evident Restorations/Cavitated Carious Lesions: Carious lesions or restorations in last 24 months (ages 0 to 6 years)
  • Noncavitated (incipient) Carious Lesions: New lesions in the last 24 months (ages 0 to 6 years)
  • Cavitated or Noncavitated (incipient) Carious Lesions or Restorations (visually or radiographically evident): 3 or more carious lesions or restorations in last 36 months (ages >6 years)
  • Teeth Missing Because of Caries: Any (ages 0 to 6 years) or in the past 36 months (ages >6 years)
  • Severe Dry Mouth (Xerostomia; ages >6 years) or Visually Inadequate Salivary Flow (ages 0 to 6 years).

Notice, soft teeth are nowhere on the list, neither is Enamel Hypoplasia. Instead of blaming soft teeth, patients should pay attention to the items listed by the ADA and considering if any apply — if so, what they can do about it. 

Treating Tooth Decay

The great news is your dental team is educated and equipped to help you better understand what is causing your dental decay. We can assess your medications, behaviors and diet and help come up with a plan to mitigate your risk of decay. It’s important for our patient to understand the real reason they are getting cavities so we can work together to get your mouth healthy. If you have decay, its paramount you clean out the decay and restore the tooth or teeth to function first. We have all the restorative methods you might need, right here in-office.

If you struggle with tooth decay, let us help you figure out what is causing it. Once we know the cause we can plan to help you prevent decay. Contact Walker-Barr DMD today!

We do not intend the content of this blog to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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What Type of Denture is Right for Me?

According to the American College of Prosthodontists 36 million Americans are edentulous (have no teeth) 120 million are missing at least one tooth and of the edentulous population, 15% have dentures made each year. To keep up with the number of people missing one, some, or all their teeth the dental community has innovated to offer people with tooth loss all kinds of options for teeth replacement. But, with all the denture options, how do you know what’s right for you?

Traditional dentures

When we hear the word ‘denture’ this is typically the denture we picture. It’s a false set of teeth that fit on top of the gums, secured with an adhesive. Traditional dentures can be life changing for someone who has been edentulous. Dentures can increase a patient’s self esteem and get them excited about smiling again. They are moderately priced and great for patients who don’t mind removing their dentures to clean them.

Partial dentures

Partial dentures fill the space of a smile for someone who has lost a few teeth. We can secure partial dentures with plastic or metal. Plastic partials may cause more damage to the soft tissues and teeth compared to the removable metal denture.  

Implant supported dentures

A common complaint from denture-wearers is the anxiety and embarrassment when dentures slip, gap, click or look unnatural. If you prefer a more permanent solution, implant supported dentures might be a good option. Just like the name implies, we secure these dentures to the gums with dental implants rather than relying on nearby teeth or sticky adhesives. Dental implants are strategically and surgically placed in the jawbone. Once healed we can attach a custom denture for a strong, secure fit. To be a candidate for implant-supported dentures, you must have an adequate amount of jawbone for the implant to fuse to. Some other names used for implant-supported dentures are overdentures, All-on-4®, or snap on dentures.  People love implant supported dentures because of the comfort and natural look and feel. 

Immediate Dentures 

Immediate dentures are a special denture procedure where a temporary denture can be placed the same day or within 24 hours of tooth extraction.  After tooth extraction, it’s difficult to go back into the world with no teeth at all. With the immediate denture procedure, you will receive a temporary denture or implant supported denture right away. The temporary can help with healing and maintaining bone structure and help the patient feel more confident immediately after their extractions. 

Benefits of dentures 

Dentures can transform the life of a patient with missing teeth. Dentures do more for than allow a person to smile again. Dentures also help preserve the bone structure of the dental arches and jaw. Dentures can help people regain their ability to speak and eat a healthy diet. If it interests you to learn more about the dentures we offer, please contact Walker-Barr DMD today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Veneers

Cosmetic dental procedures have come a long way in the past decade. With better imaging technology and on-site milling, patients are receiving better quality, better looking, cosmetic dentistry than ever before. Depending on your desired outcome, porcelain veneers may be a great way to enhance your smile. However, with the various options, it’s good to know what is out there in order to make an informed choice. As always, we’re here to offer a free consult, just contact Walker and Barr DMD in Brandon, FL

The Basics

Veneers are thin shells that adhere to the teeth in order to produce a smooth, straight, white appearance. Veneers can correct many dental issues including:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Overlapping teeth
  • Discolored teeth

When you decide to get veneers, you should be prepared for several appointments. During your first appointment the doctor will examine your teeth, take x-rays images, and photos. He or she will go over the procedure and detail the steps he or she will take to get your perfect smile. You will discuss the color and shade of the veneers, how many teeth will be covered, and how long the procedure will take. Depending on the type of veneers and the technology available, you may be able to preview your results before you begin! On your procedure day, we will make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. For some procedures local anesthesia is used. To make sure the veneers adhere well to your natural teeth, there is etching or preparing of the natural tooth that happens first. The amount of natural tooth that is etched or shaved down depends on the type of veneer you choose. Then, once the teeth are prepped, the doctor will bond the individual veneers to the teeth. Sometimes you will leave that appointment with temporary veneers, sometimes you leave with your final veneers—again, it depends on the specific procedure. If you need to come back for a final fitting, you will come back one more time to get your final veneers!

Traditional Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a tried and true procedure for people looking for a smile makeover. Typically, you will be fitted with temporary veneers before your final set is complete. Porcelain is a wonderful material as it looks very natural and is stain and odor resistant. 

Lumineers®

Lumineers are a popular request by patients. They are a specific brand of veneers that are as thin as a contact lens and require very little prep of the natural teeth. Ask Walker and Barr DMD if you are a good candidate for Lumineers at your next appointment.

CEREC Same Day Veneers

If you are interested in veneers in a single appointment, some dentists have an in-office machine that can make your custom veneers in a single visit. After taking a series of images the machine custom mills the veneer in a matter of minutes. The technology allows you to go home with your permanent veneers instead of temporaries. Ask Walker and Barr DMD about CEREC same day veneers. 

If you are curious about veneers, we would love to discuss the option with you! Give us a call today to schedule a free consultation.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Should I be Concerned about My Bad Breath?

Bad breath happens to the best of us. Even if you brush and floss exactly how your dentist tells you to, a garlicky meal or acid reflux can make your breath less than kissable. So, what do you do? How do you know when it’s just a job for some mouthwash and gum, or if you need to see your dentist? Let’s look at why people get bad breath, how to treat it, and when it may indicate a more serious dental issue. 

Where Does Bad Breath Come From

Having bad breath can be embarrassing and may cause people to avoid social situations. With aisles and aisles of products promising to cure, blast, and freshen up bad breath how do you know where to even start? It’s important to figure out what is causing your bad breath, to make sure you choose the best remedy, or seek professional care if needed. Let’s look at a few causes of bad breath. 

  •  Food 

We’ve all experienced this one. After a strongly seasoned meal, we may taste (and breathe out) garlic or onions for days. Food particles can get trapped and decompose, causing a bad odor

  • Smoking

Smoking can also cause less-than-lovely breath. Not only does the smoke itself smell bad, smokers and tobacco users are at higher risk for gum disease. Gum disease or periodontal disease can also be a source of bad breath as we will see in number 4. 

  •  Nose or throat conditions

If you experience post-nasal drip, throat infection, or other bacterial infections; those bacteria can also have an unpleasant odor. 

Gum disease is caused by bacteria growing beneath the gumline, causing gum tissue degeneration and eventual tooth loss. The process of decomposition can create a foul smell on the breath. Professional deep cleaning and product use are necessary for proper treatment of the disease.     

  •  Medication use and dry mouth 

Certain medications can impact your breath by drying out your mouth. When you don’t produce enough saliva, bacteria can thrive and cause odor and damage to the teeth. 

Let’s get real. If food particles get stuck between teeth and gums and aren’t properly brushed or flossed away, they decompose—yuck! If you don’t want breath that smells like hot garbage, make sure you are brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes and flossing daily. Removing the food from cracks and crevices will make a world of difference for your breath

When to seek help for your bad breath

If your bad breath is chronic, and won’t go away no matter what you try, you may have a more serious underlying issue. You could have an infection, the beginning stages of gum disease, or dry mouth. If you can’t manage your bad breath, make an appointment with Walker and Barr DMD today and we will help figure out what is causing it and how to best get your breath smelling fresh and clean!

 
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Everything You Want to Know About Teeth Whitening

Are you considering teeth whitening before a big event? Do you want to have a smile that is the star of your wedding? Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure and can boost confidence, eliminate stubborn stains, and give you a look that really shines. However, like any dental procedure it’s important to understand why your teeth are stained in the first place, what teeth whitening is like, and finally, how to prolong the results of professional teeth whitening. Book a consultation with Walker-Barr DMD today!

Common Causes of Teeth Staining

A column in TuftsNow by clinical professor Ronald Perry outlines some common causes of extrinsic staining, or staining of the enamel:

  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Wines, red and white
  • Dark-colored food (beets, chocolate)
  • Berries
  • Popsicles
  • Candy
  • Pickles
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry
  • Smoking 

The good news about extrinsic stains is we can treat them with teeth whitening and proper brushing and flossing. There are also ways Dr. Perry suggests you mitigate staining agents. He advises drinking dark liquids through a straw to avoid contact with the teeth, brush and floss after consuming food and drink, chewing sugarless gum, and finally eating a diet high in fiber. However, if your efforts to mitigate staining have started too late, he suggests teeth bleaching as a good option to eliminate extrinsic stains. 

What are My Options for Teeth Whitening?

We’re all familiar with the over-the-counter teeth whitening strips. While convenient, there is the danger of falling into the ‘more is better’ trap, explained by Dr.  Adam S. Harwood, DMD in Dentistry Today. The idea that adding more peroxide, charcoal, or other trendy solution to your at home regimen will cause whiter teeth, isn’t necessarily the case. Too much of anything can be damaging.  Professional teeth whitening is a safer and more predictable option. There are several brands of professional whitening, but most fall into two categories: In office and at home solutions.

In office whitening

If you choose an in-office approach, you will choose the level of whiteness you wish your teeth to reach with your dental provider. They will then prep your teeth and gums for safe application of the specially formulated whitening gel. Some offices will then shine a special activation light on the gel to speed up whitening, others don’t. When your whitening session is complete, the gel is cleaned off and a topical anti-sensitivity product applied. We send you on your way with instructions for avoiding certain food and drinks to maintain your new bright smile. 

 At home professional teeth whitening

If you prefer to whiten in the comfort of your own home, your dentist will fit you for professional plastic whitening trays. Then they will provide prescription-strength gel to fill the trays and wear at home. Depending on the solution, you may wear the trays several days in a row, or for a few days a month until you reach your desired shade. At-home whitening can be a great way to whiten your teeth on your schedule. 

What Your Dentist Wants You to Know

Teeth whitening under the supervision of your dentist is ideal. You can get a bright white smile that is also healthy. You will also get professional recommendations on how to maintain your results, and most dentists will also provide at-home touch up options to keep your smile bright between visits. If it interests you to whiten your teeth or you have questions, please reach out! Contact us Walker-Barr DMD!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

About 30-40 million people a year avoid the dentist due to feelings of anxiety and fear. Fear of going to the dentist is common and thankfully being talked about more and more in the dental world. Many dentists go to great lengths to help patients feel comfortable. They will offer spa-like amenities like warm towels, headphones, soothing music and aromatherapy. However, the comforts don’t always do the trick. Some patients need a little more help to feel comfortable. Enter sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can be an excellent tool to help patients that have anxiety or fear when going to the dentist. 

3 Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are three main levels of sedation used in dentistry each with their own delivery method. Inhalation, oral and intravenous. Sedation dentistry is where the patient will feel a level of relaxation but still be awake for the procedure. It is not going under general anesthesia. Most patients like that they stay awake, but feel calm and often, barely remember the appointment. You should take certain precautions if you will be sedated during your dental appointment. Arrange for a friend or family member to help drive you home.

Inhalation Sedation: Nitrous Oxide 

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is an easily administered type of sedative. Many people who are nervous about going to the dentist can ask for nitrous and have an easier experience during their cleaning or procedure. We administer nitrous oxide through a mask and the nitrous gas is mixed with oxygen. The patient takes a few deep breaths and then feels giggly and relaxed. The patient will stay awake during the dental procedure but will feel a sense of relaxation. The Nitrous is eliminated from the body quickly and so the patient is usually fine to drive themselves home after treatment. Nitrous is common during pediatric appointments. 

Oral sedation

Oral sedation is where the patient takes a pill, orally an hour before their appointment. Typically, the dentist will prescribe a sedative in the Benzodiazepine family. Medication like Triazolam are common for dental procedures. When under oral sedation, the patient is still awake, and can follow common commands, but may not remember much about the procedure. If you are under oral sedation, you will want to plan for someone to drive you home. 

Intravenous sedation 

IV sedation is where you receive the sedative through a vein instead of orally. This allows the sedative to work quickly, and the dentist can adjust the level of sedation during the procedure. You may feel more deeply sedated than with oral sedation, but you will not ‘go under’ like general anesthesia. Not all dentists are trained in IV sedation, so if you are looking for that option, be sure to ask. 

Sedation can help any nervous or anxious dental patient experience less stress during their dental appointment. If you fall anywhere on the spectrum from nervous to phobic, your dentist can help you determine which sedation option is best for you. If you have further questions or want to read more about sedation dentistry, look at the resources here: The Academy of Medical and Dental Sedation or call us and schedule a consultation.


The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Guilt Free Advice for Great Pediatric Oral Health

Parenting is no joke. It is equal parts rewarding and exhausting. Moms and dads know how much effort it takes to keep kids healthy and happy. And, everyone from mommy-blogs to mothers in law have an opinion on where parents are falling short. Are they eating a balanced diet? Is their homework done? Do they get enough sleep? Do they limit screen time? Do you spend enough time as a family – but also enough time alone to encourage their independence? Are you a helicopter or free-range parent? Are they making friends? Not just friends, but the RIGHT friends? You get it. Of course, you need to also add brushing and flossing regularly to the list. After a long day of work, school, sports and homework it’s a miracle if they make it to bed in their pajamas. All that to say, this isn’t supposed to be a guilt trip. This information is meant to help already busy parents have burning questions answered quickly in order to efficiently take care of their child’s oral health

Question: When should my child go to the dentist for the first time?

Answer: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child’s first dental appointment happen before age one. But, if your child is already two or three and they haven’t been yet, don’t worry. Just make the appointment. If you missed the official window the best thing you can do it take them in now.

Question: Should I find a pediatric dentist, or can I take my child to my regular dental provider?

Answer: There is no absolute right answer here. If you have a great relationship with your dentist and they see children your child’s age, you can try it out. However, there are benefits to seeing specialized pediatric dentists, such as:

  • Pediatric dentists have extended education in caring for children’s oral health, including the psychological and developmental health of children.
  • Pediatric dentists use child-sized equipment (x-rays and drills) specifically made for children’s teeth. 
  • Pediatric dentists chose to work with kids, so you can be confident they want to work with little ones.
  • Pediatric offices are typically more child friendly. Often, they provide age appropriate activities, fun rewards for good behavior and other amenities specifically for children. 
  • Pediatric teams are trained on how to communicate with children and parents. For example, instead of saying plaque or bacteria, they may say ‘tooth bugs’ so children better understand what is going on. 

Question: I can’t get my kids to brush and floss like they are supposed to…and I’m at the end of my rope, what can I do?

Answer: Take a deep breath mom and dad. Resisting brushing and flossing is a normal part of being a kid. These days there are some fun and engaging ways to encourage good oral hygiene. Try a few and see what sticks. 

  • Shop for a fun toothbrush and new toothpaste. 
  • Gamify tooth brushing and flossing. Let them earn points or stars that lead to a reward. Or, find a free dental app to help gamify the experience. 
  • Pair the activities with something they already do. Have them brush and floss in the shower or while they watch TV.
  • Reward brushing and flossing with the home WiFi password.
  • Set a reminder or an alarm on their phone.

Question: My child has a cavity in a baby tooth – can’t we just pull it? It’s going to fall out anyway.

Answer: Baby teeth, or primary teeth are more important to the long-term growth and development of your child than you may realize. Baby teeth assist in chewing healthy foods, speech development and proper growth and shaping of the jaw. If baby teeth are extracted unnecessarily you may risk normal development of these things. The best course of action is what Dr. Walker or Dr. Barr suggest. 

Keeping kids teeth healthy isn’t easy. Kids can be stubborn and strong-willed and it’s hard not to feel like a failure if they aren’t cooperating. However, there are resources available to you to help. First, ask your dentist for advice. If you don’t know how to handle something or notice your child having issues – make the call. Think of your dentist and dental team as both your cheerleaders and experts when it comes to your child’s oral health. If you have burning questions or concerns, contact Walker-Barr DMD for an appointment today! 

“The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.”

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Why Have a Dental Implant?

Dental implants replace an entire tooth—including the root—with a permanent replacement. Dr. David Walker and Dr. Sarah Barr can tell you it is the #1 most popular tooth replacement method in all of dentistry, but there are many reasons dental implant surgery may be recommended.

Dental implants may work for you if you have one or more teeth missing, your jawbone has reached full adult growth, and you’re willing to commit several months to the implant process. Other times when dental implants might be a good dental solution include:

  • When gum tissue is healthy
  • When bone density is adequate to support an implant
  • When a patient wants to speak more clearly 
  • When a patient wants to eat and chew easily
  • When a patient does not want to wear dentures
  • When the patient does not use tobacco

Walker and Barr DMD wants you to have a full, functional smile that you are proud to show off. Though implants are more of a marathon than a sprint, they do provide a permanent, beautiful solution for missing teeth. If you have questions or concerns about dental implants, get in touch with your Brandon dentist today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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