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.

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.

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.

Candy and Your Smile

Austin TX Family DentistOctober is the perfect time to discuss the effects of candy on your smile. Pretty soon, your neighborhood will be swarmed with costumes and countless bags of sticky, savory and sugary treats. However, before you or your kids indulge in that candy loot, you should consider the consequence that candy has on your teeth.

We all know that candy contains high amounts of sugar. Unfortunately, that sugar begins its work the second it touches your teeth. The sucralose immediately latches onto your saliva, your teeth as well as any of the bacteria lingering in your mouth. Sucralose helps form a complex protein compound called glycoprotein. When Streptococcus mutans (bacteria) combine with these sugar compounds, they start producing harmful acids that can dissolve your tooth enamel. Therefore, not only is the sugar immediately triggering plaque formation, but they are also helping the process of enamel attack, which ultimately leads to decay.

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