How Pediatric Dentists are Different
The ABPD requires that all members remain current in the latest developments in care, research, and technology. Once certified, in order to remain in good standing, additional continuing education in the field of pediatric dentistry above and beyond the minimum required to be a pediatric dentist must be undertaken on a yearly basis. Learn more at the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Mann is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist!
Facts about Baby Teeth
- chewing and eating
- providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into position
- allowing for proper jaw bone and muscle development
- for proper speech and having an attractive appearance
Permanent teeth begin appearing around age six, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately 21 years of age, if there is space for the third molars (wisdom teeth) to erupt in.
Special Needs Care
As a parent or caregiver, you may have concerns about your child’s ability to tolerate a dental visit. Please do not postpone dental care. Dr. Mann is always available to discuss any concerns you may have prior to meeting with you and your child. Dr. Mann and her team are highly experienced in caring for patients with special needs, and are happy to provide the extra care and TLC you and your child need to feel comfortable.
Some tips to help with oral care:
- http://specializedcare.com is an excellent resource with educational videos on caring for another person’s teeth, oral care kits and adaptive surround toothbrushes.
- If your child or adult you care for cannot be brushed with toothpaste, due to an inability to spit or gagging, brush with a fluoride rinse.
- Talk to Dr. Mann for more suggestions, she is happy to make individualized recommendations for your child or adult’s particular needs.
Cleaning those Baby Teeth
Starting at age two or three, you can begin to teach your child to brush. You will still need to brush before or after their turn. Use one hand to draw the cheek away and the other to move the brush in circles or back and forth strokes at a 45 degree angle towards teeth and gums.
For ages 2 and up, a smear of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended. Once your child can spit out the excess paste, a pea sized amount of toothpaste may be used.
To help your child learn where to brush, it can be fun to let them rinse with mouth rinse that will “stain” their teeth temporarily and then brush them clean, like Listerine Agent Cool Blue Tinting Rinse or Inspector Hector Plaque Detector.
Other good food choices for teeth are firm and crunchy foods like: apples, pears and vegetables. The high water content of these foods will dilute their natural sugars and stimulate saliva to wash away food particles. Popcorn is another good snack choice that is crunchy to clean teeth.
Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize their acids.
Snacking or ‘grazing’ throughout the day can cause cavities, since constantly eating food leads to more sugars in the mouth and more frequent acid attacks. It is better to eat three meals a day with limited snacks than eating constantly throughout the day.
Sipping on a sugary drink or licking a hard candy slowly to make it last will create a longer lasting acid attack.
Be careful with starchy snacks such as pretzels, goldfish and potato chips, as starches break down into sugars too.
If you are unsure if your community’s water is fluoridated, we offer complimentary fluoride testing of your child’s drinking water. Just bring a 2-3 oz sample of water in a plastic container to your child’s first visit.
Early detection of incipient enamel lesions (tiny in-between the teeth cavities) that would be invisible without x-rays, allows Dr. Mann to create an individualized home care plan that can stop or even reverse those small cavities when caught early. X-rays help Dr. Mann to be conservative in her care.
- 16 mrem/year = living in a state that borders the Gulf or Atlantic coasts
- 10 mrem/year = cooking with natural gas
- 7 mrem/year = living in a brick house instead of a wood one
- 5 mrem = flying in an airplane cross country flight
- 0.1 mrem = digital x-ray
Obviously, you would probably not move from New Jersey, refuse to fly on an airplane, stop living in a brick house and never cook with gas, because of the small amount of radiation you receive from those activities.
A digital dental x-ray exposure is 0.1 mrem. It is a 90% exposure reduction compared to the “old fashioned” dental x-rays. Dr. Mann’s practice only uses digital x-rays to minimize your child’s exposure to radiation. Lead body aprons and thyroid shields are used to further protect your child from exposure.
“Radiation Dose Chart.” American Nuclear Society. Updated 2012.
How Parents can Help for Treatment Visits
- Sleepy jelly = topical anesthetic
- Tooth pillow = bite block
- Sponge Bob nose/ Fighter pilot nose = nitrous oxide
- Tooth ring = clamp
- Raincoat = rubber dam
- Princess tooth/ Superhero tooth = crown
- Mr. Thirsty = suction
- Fairy light = curing light
- Tickle brush = prophy cup
- Whistle brush = high speed handpiece
- Bouncy brush = slow speed handpiece
We ask that you avoid using words that could create dental fear, such as “needle” or “shot”, “hurt” or “won’t hurt” and “don’t be afraid”.
These are ways that you can actively help make your child’s visit a success
Suggestions for stopping a pacifier habit are: a visit from the pacifier fairy, giving the pacifiers to someone with a new baby or bringing them into our office to put in the “binky bank”. What all of these choices have in common is going cold turkey. When you are ready to do it, go for it and don’t look back.
- Keep it positive. It is difficult for a grown up to break a habit, and hard for a child too. Patience and understanding with positive praise when your child is not sucking is best.
- Reading books, such as David Decides, Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit or Thumb Love may help. These may be available at the library or Dr. Mann is happy to lend you one of her copies.
- A reward calendar where the child can track days they have avoided thumb sucking with marks or stickers. Agree on a motivating reward ahead of time and after 30 consecutive days, enjoy the reward. If the program isn’t succeeding after 2-3 months, tell your child that it seems as though you haven’t started at the best time for change and that you are stopping temporarily. Tell your child that the program will be started again on date that the child will recognize, like Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving.
- Reminder finger polish, like Mavala, available at Amazon.com, has a bitter taste which serves as a reminder not to place fingers or thumb in the mouth. Mavala is applied regularly 2-3 times a day on the nail and surrounding skin. This helps the child to become aware of their habit to help them to stop.
- Dr. Mann and her team can encourage your child to stop sucking and explain why it is important to stop the habit too.
Try to determine the underlying cause is and address that as children tend to suck their thumbs when they are feeling insecure or bored.
Suggestions for nighttime:
- Try placing a band aid on the favorite finger or a sock or mitten gently taped at the base of the favored hand or an ace bandage gently wrapped around an elbow (which prevents the arm from bending at the elbow to get a thumb in). These can be tracked on a reward calendar for each night the child is able to keep it on and dry.
- For something that cannot be removed, the ThumbGuard or FingerGuard are clear plastic cones with a hospital bracelet that a parent must cut with a scissor to remove in the morning.
These suggestions are usually enough to successfully stop the habit. If it is not enough, Dr. Mann can help with other strategies, such as fabricating a habit appliance.
It may be caused by an obstruction in the airway, such as enlarged adenoids and tonsils, or the size of the airway, muscle tone or nasal congestion.