Keeping Up With Dental Health For Children With Special Needs

Often dental care of a child with special needs is easily over-looked due to other medical issues. However, it is important to note that kids with special needs are twice more likely to have dental problems than other kids. So, it is very important to pay special attention to their dental health care. Following are some tips on how to keep up with the dental health of kids with special needs:

  • Oral Health: Children with special needs e.g. those with down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other genetic conditions tend to have oral problems such as malformed teeth, extra teeth, congenitally missing teeth, flat teeth due to habitual grinding etc. Such problems make them prone to tooth decay and gum disease. So paying attention to dental care early on will help keep things from getting worse.
  • Dental Concerns: Being regular with dental visits of children with special needs can be immensely helpful in managing certain dental concerns that they are prone to. Some of these are GERD (Gastro- Esophageal Reflux Disease), holding food in the mouth, bruxism, bad breath, dry mouth, delay of first teeth etc.
  • Nutrition: To maintain good oral health of a child with special needs, care should be taken to serve them with nutritious meals that have less sugar and starch. This will help their teeth develop properly and even reduce the chances of tooth decay. Make sure that you keep an assortment of healthy snacks in the house.
  • Home Care: A good home care routine goes a long way in ensuring healthy teeth and gums. Ideally it should start during infancy by wiping the gums with a wet soft cloth/ finger brush. After the teeth erupt, one should use a soft toothbrush for brushing and also encourage flossing daily.
  • Looking For A Dentist: It is recommended to make the first dental visit before your child turns one. Parents of children with special needs should strictly adhere to this. General and pediatric dentists are good enough for kids with special needs provided the dental team members have some experience in dealing with such kids. If you are not sure, you can call your local dental society for suggestions.
  • Accessibility: The dental clinic you intend to take your child to should offer some special services for children with special needs such as wheelchairs, dental chairs with movable armrests, provision for late arrivals or cancellation, an orientation session, etc.

Schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry. For more information, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

What To Do After A Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment is the perfect solution for nerve damage to a tooth due to infection or decay. It lets you keep your natural tooth and bypass the need for an artificial one. Root Canal treatment keeps the teeth functional and prevent further damage, provided some caution and care is exercised post the treatment. Following is a list of some things that should be done after a root canal treatment:

  • Take Your Prescriptions Seriously: Your dentist will prescribe some antibiotics after your root canal treatment. These are to be taken religiously to prevent further infection in the tooth that has been treated.
  • Observe Levels Of Pain: After a root canal treatment, you should keep assessing the levels of pain you experience to gauge whether you are heading in the right direction for recovery or not. Ideally, short bursts of pain will be experienced for a short duration after the root canal treatment. This is normal and can be treated with over-the-counter medications prescribed by your dentist. However, if the pain persists for a longer duration, contact your dentist immediately to investigate the reason behind it.
  • Good Oral Hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is probably one of the most important thing to do after a root canal treatment. It is extremely important to keep the area of the tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment very clean by brushing and flossing regularly.
  • Avoid Pressure On The Tooth: After a root canal treatment, a tooth tends to be very fragile and tender. Pressure on tooth in the form of chewing and grinding should be avoided at all costs for the first few days post-treatment. Use a night guard to keep the teeth apart.
  • Take Care Of Your Diet: Right after your root canal treatment, take extra caution to avoid hard or crunchy food. In fact, completely avoid chewing on the side of the root canal for a while or as prescribed by your dentist. At the same time, take care not to consume food and liquids that are either too hot or cold as they can irritate your otherwise sensitive tooth.
  • Get A Crown Fixed: It is highly recommended to get a crown fixed over the tooth after a root canal. The reason for this is that a crown acts as a support for the tooth and keeps it more intact. Crowns also keep further complications at bay and improve functionality of the tooth.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Do not skip on your visits to the dentist as and when scheduled as these visits are essential after a root canal. Regular cleanings and examinations by your dentist will prevent problems associated with your teeth in future.

For effective dental treatment, visit Enamel Dentistry at 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

Tips To Prevent Childhood Cavities

Establishing a proper dental care routine early-on in your child’s life is the best way of keeping childhood cavities and other dental problems at bay. Cavities in children could lead to tooth loss, speech problems, crooked teeth, pain, tooth decay etc.

Childhood cavities are 100 percent preventable provided the following tips are followed religiously.

1. Visiting A Dentist Regularly
The best time to commence dental check-ups after their first birthday. Starting early makes a huge difference in preventing cavities. The dentist will help in providing guidance related to your child’s fluoride requirements and dental care. Sealants might be recommended on your child’s molars to protect the enamel and keep germs and food particles out of the little crevices where they tend to accumulate.

2. No Bedtime Bottles
Giving your child a bedtime bottle might be a comforting ritual, but it’s guaranteed to cause cavities. The sugar from the milk left around the teeth is the perfect recipe for cavity formation, infections and pain. If your child can’t do without a bottle, you can swap the milk with plain water to provide the same comforting feeling sans the risk of cavity formation.

3. Establishing Cleaning Routines
Even infants need a cleaning routine. Their gums should be cleaned with a clean damp cloth. Older kids should get into the habit of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. This will help in preventing the formation of oral bacteria. In addition to brushing and flossing, encourage your child to rinse out food particles left in the mouth after each meal.

4. Diet Check
Your child’s diet plays a major role in preventing childhood cavities. Limit the consumption of sugary snacks and drinks such as sodas and high sugar juices, sticky foods like honey and caramel etc. Incorporate nutrient dense foods in your child’s diet as this will make it easier for the tissues in the mouth to resist infection. Also, wisely choose foods like fruits, breads, cereals etc. by checking out their sugar content. Avoid the consumption of starchy foods like crackers and potato chips.

5. Set An Example
Children look up to adults in their lives when it comes to developing good habits. If your child sees you adopting good dental habits, there are higher chances he/she will do the same. Make brushing time something they look forward to by doing it together in a fun way.

6. Dairy Products And Nuts
Add more dairy products and nuts to your child’s diet. Cheese, yoghurt and nuts neutralize acids in the mouth thus protecting their teeth from damage. They are also rich in casein, a substance that keeps the enamel strong and re-mineralizes teeth.

For more information, contact Enamel Dentistry at (512) 717-5315.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Root Canals

A Root Canal, also known as RCT is something most of us have so many queries about. The following is a list of some frequently asked questions that will help anyone planning to get a root canal some helpful and correct information.

Question 1: What Is A Root Canal And What Purpose Does It Solve?

As the name suggests, a Root Canal procedure treats infection deep in the root of the teeth. RCT is normally required when there is extreme inflammation or infection in the tooth (that has reached nerve) caused by tooth decay, defective crowns etc. So during a root canal, the inside of the tooth is cleaned and disinfected carefully to get rid of any inflamed or infected pulp. After this procedure, inside of the tooth is filled and sealed with gutta-percha (a rubber like material). Thereafter the tooth is crowned and filled for protection.

Question 2: What Happens After The Root Canal?

After a root canal procedure, your tooth will be sensitive for a few days but there will be no acute pain. You will be given painkillers to help relieve your pain. The restored tooth will be as good as the natural one and will last just as long without any complications and special care.

Question 3: Is A Root Canal Painful?

Before the root canal procedure starts, your tooth and its surrounding area will be anaesthetized to numb it. After that a small hole will be made down into the canal and the diseased pulp tissues shall be removed with the help of tiny instruments. The whole procedure is not very painful. A root canal relieves you of pain instead of causing pain. Also, advanced treatment options are available nowadays which ensure a pain-free experience.

Question 4: Should I Be Concerned About X-Rays?

If your endodontist uses digital radiography, there is nothing to be concerned about. Digital radiography is an advanced method of taking x-rays by which radiation levels are up to 90 percent lower than x-rays taken by conventional machines generally used for dental purposes.

Question 5: Is It Expensive?

The cost of a root canal session varies from dentist to dentist. It is advisable to get it done as soon as the problem is detected to avoid extractions and bridges in future.

Question 6: Who Will Perform The Root Canal?

An endodontist with specialized training in endodontic treatment will be the best choice.

Thus, proper dental care ensures that repeated infections do not arise later in life. Keep your teeth free of decay by brushing and flossing daily. Eat a diet low in sugar and stay away from acidic beverages. For more information, contact Enamel Dentistry at (512) 717-5315.

Oral Hygiene For Kids

The best way to protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay and gum disease is to emphasize on oral hygiene. Good oral health helps kids enjoy their food better, have clear speech and beautiful smiles. The best time to start focusing on your child’s dental hygiene is from the moment the first tooth erupts i.e. 6 to 9 months of age.

The following are some important guidelines to help your child maintain oral hygiene.

1. Brushing And Flossing

A good dental hygiene regimen comprises of brushing and flossing daily. Brushing should be done with proper technique. Teach your child how to brush gently. Encourage your child to brush all the surfaces of teeth i.e. inner as well as outer. Even the tongue should be cleaned using a tongue cleaner to get rid of bacteria. Brushing twice a day with an accepted fluoride toothpaste is highly recommended. Also, flossing between the teeth and beneath the gum line prevents formation of tartar.

2. Dental Visit

The American Dental Association recommends the first dental visit to be no later than a child’s first birthday. Frequent visits to the dentist will keep your child’s teeth plaque free. This will ensure that cavities are treated immediately before they grow into a bigger problem. In addition to this, the dentist will keep a tab on your child’s tooth development and spot orthodontic problems early. They might also recommend sealants to prevent the formation of cavities.

3. Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps to strengthen the tooth’s enamel and prevent tooth decay. Check out with your local water district to see how much fluoride is contained in the water you drink. Your dentist can recommend fluoride toothpaste depending on age of the child.

4. A Balanced Diet

A balanced diet aids the process of maintaining oral hygiene. Good oral health sans a good diet defeats the purpose. Your child’s diet should include calcium, phosphorous and other natural minerals. Discourage frequent snacking specially on foods like cookies, candies, soft drinks, potato chips etc. The combination of these foods with plaque on teeth creates acids, which attack the tooth enamel causing cavities.

5. Add An Element Of Fun

To make oral hygiene less of a chore and more of a fun activity, try adopting the following tips:

• Use a fun toothbrush with your child’s favourite cartoon character.
• Use brightly coloured sand timers to encourage your child to brush for the right amount of time.
• Use flavoured anti-cavity fluoride toothpastes.
• Show your child a fun video on dental hygiene.
• Create a reward system e.g. awarding cute stickers for brushing twice a day.

6. Be A Good Role Model

As parents and caretakers, we are our children’s role models. If we adopt good oral hygiene, our children are bond to follow the suite. So practice what you preach and it will be easier for your kids to keep up with their oral health.

To schedule an appointment with the dentists at Enamel Dentistry, visit 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call at (512) 717-5315.

Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Thinning out of the enamel and gum recession are two major factors that lead to tooth sensitivity. These factors leave the dentin exposed and tooth as well as root devoid of any protection by enamel and gums. Tooth sensitivity is characterized by pain and sensitivity in the teeth on consumption of hot, cold, very sweet or acidic foods. This condition is also known as hypersensitivity.

So What Are The Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity?

The Food You Eat
What you ingest could be a major cause of tooth sensitivity. Eating too much of acidic foods such as tomato sauce, kiwi, pickles, lemon etc. can cause pain if your nerves are exposed. The same goes for foods that are too sweet, hot or cold.

Brushing And The Brush
The way you brush and the tooth brush you use can affect your teeth. Hard bristled toothbrushes erode the protective layers of your teeth, exposing your dental nerves. The same goes for brushing vigorously. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles and be gentle while brushing your teeth.

If you are one amongst those people who use tooth-whitening toothpastes, you might be sensitive to the chemicals used in their formulas. It is advisable to immediately switch it for one without the whitening agents.

Alcohol and chemicals in mouthwashes are a major cause of tooth sensitivity if your dentin is exposed. You may use a mouthwash or rinse opt for the neutral fluoride ones. You can also skip rinsing altogether and simply floss and brush instead.

Excessive plaque erodes the enamel, making your teeth more sensitive. Daily dental care and regular visits to your dentists can help with the sensitivity caused by plaque. So, it is recommended to visit your dentist once in every six months.

Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
Cracked teeth or teeth with a chip could be triggers to tooth sensitivity. The best way to get rid of them would be to get the tooth capped or extracted by your dentist.

Decay Around Fillings
With time, fillings tend to weaken. As a result, bacteria starts accumulating around the edges and this leads to build-up of acid and erosion of enamel. It is best to get the filling replaced in such cases.

A Previous Dental Procedure
If you have had a root canal, extraction or crown placement and experience tooth sensitivity thereafter, it could be a sign of infection. You should visit your dentist immediately.

Gum Disease
Those who have not taken their dental health seriously experience receding gums as they age. This leads to tooth sensitivity. If you suspect gum disease or gingivitis, your dentist might recommend sealing your teeth for relief from sensitivity.

Tooth Grinding
If you are into the habit of grinding your teeth, you might be wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Ask your dentist for a mouth guard to help you void this habit.

For effective dental treatment, visit Enamel Dentistry at 2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086 Austin, TX 78704 or call (512) 717-5315.

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