Freqently Asked Questions
A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for infants. Brushing teeth twice a day will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.
“First visit by first birthday” is the general rule. To prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears, usually between 6 and 12 months of age, certainly no later than his/her first birthday.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing/bottle feeding. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits that go on for a long period of time can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. If they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended. Most children stop these habits on their own.
Sealants are clear or shaded plastic applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.
At about 6 months of age, the two lower front teeth (central incisors) will erupt, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years old, all of the 20 primary teeth should be present.
Sore gums when teeth erupt are part of the normal eruption process. The discomfort is eased for some children by use of a teething ring or a cold washcloth. Your pharmacy may also have medications that can be rubbed on the gums to reduce the discomfort.
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can happen when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because tooth decay is really an infection and will spread, decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the health of your child.
Dr. Ganson is a general dentist, but has geared her practice toward the younger population. She typically sees patients up to the age of 26. She does not have the equipment or tools necessary for older adults and geriatric patients.
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as teeth begin to erupt (appear in the mouth), a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste should be brushed on twice daily using a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size. It is important to perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
To comfort your child, rinse his/her mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth on your child’s face if it is swollen. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area, but you may give the child ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. Please call our office as soon as possible!
Fluoride has been shown to dramatically decrease a person’s chances of getting cavities by making teeth stronger. Fluoride in the drinking water is the best and easiest way to get it, but to make sure your child is getting enough fluoride, have your dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially in communities where the water district does not fluoridate the water or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), your dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
With contemporary safeguards, such as lead aprons and high-speed film, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. Even though there is very little risk, dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure to radiation. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.
A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child’s list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports- related injuries. Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard, but a custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by our doctor is your child’s best protection against sports-related injuries.
First of all, remain calm. If possible, find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the dentist. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.
Usually, the space will close in the next few years as the other front teeth erupt. We can determine whether there is cause for concern.
Four things are necessary for cavities to form — a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.
Reason To Smile
“I cannot recommend this place enough! Everyone from the office staff, to the hygienist, to Dr. Ganson were so nice. This was my son’s first visit and they explained everything to him and were very patient.”Rachel Binder
“We absolutely love Dr. Ganson at #HappyTeethDentistry! My daughter has had to have some of her baby teeth removed and has never had any problems or pain associated with it. Dr G and her staff are fantabulous!!!”Thereasa Holland Perry
“Although I wasn’t surprised at how great the doctor and staff were, my expectations were blown out of the water. When both of your children are leaving the office with smiles on their face, that speaks volumes!”Amie HeftaHappy Client