What should I do during a dental emergency?
Dental emergencies occur when you least expect them. When a dental emergency occurs, the most important aspect of handling the emergency is to have your child brought to our office as soon as possible.
Should your child complain of a toothache, have them rinse their mouth copiously with warm salt water to flush out any debris that may have accumulated. If your child requires medication to relieve the pain, have them take either Children's Tylenol or Children's Advil. Do not apply any medications to the affected tooth or gum. Immediately contact our office and arrange for an appointment so that we can correctly diagnosis the cause of the toothache.
If A Permanent Tooth is Accidentally Knocked Out
If the displaced tooth has accumulated debris, rinse it gently under cool water. Do not make any effort to scrub the tooth clean. Gently replace the tooth in its socket and hold it in place. If you are unable to reseat the tooth in its socket, place the tooth in a container of cool water. Come IMMEDIATELY (within 30 minutes if possible) tour office, where may be able to reimplant the tooth. The tooth’s viability is very much dependent on the amount of time that has lapsed from the time of the injury to the time of its reimplantation. Time is, therefore, of the essence in these cases.
A baby tooth is knocked out
If a baby tooth is accidentally knocked out, do not panic! Simply rinse your child's mouth with water and call our office as soon as possible. At the office, we will conduct a thorough examination to make sure that no further damage has occurred.
* Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to re-implant a baby tooth as this may damage the permanent tooth which is developing!
Bitten tongue or lip
Both tongues and lips tend to bleed profusely when cut or bitten. To stop the flow of blood, apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with gauze or a clean cloth. If you cannot stem the blood flow, immediately bring your child to our office or to a hospital emergency room.
Broken or chipped tooth
Immediately contact the office and bring your child to the office. Immediate action can prevent infection and reduce the need for extensive dental treatment. Use cold compresses to minimize swelling.
If your child participates in any recreational sport where there may be contact, we recommend having your child wear a form fitted mouthguard which may be fabricated at our office. Mouthguards help prevent injury to the teeth and may protect against head and neck injuries by cushioning blows that might otherwise cause concussions or lead to jaw fractures.
What are the proper flossing guidelines for my child?
Dental Floss is the finest tool we have to clean between teeth. Toothbrushes cannot reach between the tight. contacts of a child's back teeth. We, therefore, recommend that parents floss between their children's teeth. By the age of 10, children are generally able to floss by themselves.
To ease in the flossing procedure, there have been several innovative tools that have been invented. Among the easiest to use are the different varieties of flossing wands.
How to Floss
1. Use an adequate amount of floss – generally between 15 – 18 inches.
2. Guide the floss gently between the teeth and see-saw through the contact.
3. Once it is through the contact, gently slide the floss along the sides of both teeth.
4. When flossing go in a predictable order. For example, start on the upper right, go entirely around the upper arch and then move to the bottom and go in order on that arch as well.
How can braces help straighten my child's teeth?
The goal of orthodontics is to correct a malocclusion – a bad bite. Teeth may be crowded or crooked or the upper and lower jaws may be out of alignment. Occasionally, even when teeth appear straight, the patient may have a bite which is not even and which may be causing further dental problems.
Malocclusions may be inherited familialy, may be developmental or may be caused by poor oral habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting.
Orthodontic treatment seeks to address any or all of these problems. The goal of orthodontic treatment is not only to create an attractive smile, but to develop a bite which can promote oral health. Straight, uncrowded teeth are a lot easier to keep clean. Crooked, crowded teeth are much more difficult to maintain and can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Orthodontics utilizes physics to slowly move teeth into the proper position. This is performed by using corrective appliances, including braces and retainers. Brackets are placed on the teeth using bonding technology. Arch wires are then threaded through these brackets . The tension and tightness of these wires determines the individual movement of each tooth. Orthodontics applies constant pressure on each tooth in a desired direction. By making adjustment to the pressure at follow up visits, our orthodontists control the slow movement of the teeth until the malocclusion is corrected. Generally speaking, orthodontic treatment can last from one to three years or longer depending on the patient's age and severity of the malocclusion. Retainers are often worn to help ensure teeth remain in their new position after braces have been removed.