Frequently Asked Questions
How do I select a mouthguard for my child?
Custom mouthguards can be made in our office or you can pick up a variety of mouthguards at retail stores.
When should my child wear a mouthguard?
During any sports based activity where there is a risk of head, face or neck injury. Such sports include Hockey, Soccer, Karate, Basketball, Baseball, Skating, Skateboarding, as well as many other sports. Most oral injuries occur when children play basketball, baseball, and soccer.
Why are mouthguards important?
Mouthguards protect the teeth from possible sports injuries. They not only protect the teeth, but the lips, cheeks, tongue and jaw bone as well. They can contribute to the protection of a child from head and neck injuries such as concussions. Most injuries occur to the mouth and head area when a child is not wearing a mouthguard.
What are mouthguards?
Athletic mouth protectors are comprised of soft plastic. They come in standard or custom fit to adapt comfortably to the upper teeth.
How much do sealants cost?
This treatment is quite affordable, especially when you consider the value of protection against tooth decay. Most dental insurance companies cover sealants. Check with your insurance company about your child’s coverage.
How important is brushing and flossing after sealants?
It is just as important for your child to brush and floss their teeth. Sealants are only one part of the defensive plan against tooth decay.
What is the procedure for placing sealants?
Generally, the procedure takes just one visit. Placing dental sealants can be a very easy process. The tooth is cleaned, conditioned and dried. Then the sealant is flowed onto the grooves of the tooth. The sealant is then buffed down. All normal activities can occur directly after the appointment.
Which teeth should be sealed?
The most common teeth to be sealed are a child’s “back” teeth, and of these teeth the molars are the most common teeth on which dental sealants are placed. The recommendation for sealants should be considered on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, shallow fillings are more appropriate than sealants.
What is the life expectancy of tooth sealants?
The longevity of sealants can vary. Sealants which have remained in place for three to five years would be considered successful; however, sealants can last much longer. It is not uncommon to see sealants placed during childhood still intact on the teeth of adults. Our office will check your child’s sealants during routine dental visits and will recommend repair or reapplication when necessary.
How do sealants work?
In many cases, it is nearly impossible for children to clean the tiny grooves between their teeth. When a sealant is applied, the surface of the tooth is somewhat flatter and smoother. There are no longer any places on the chewing part of the tooth that the bristles of a toothbrush can’t reach and clean. Since plaque can be removed more easily and effectively, there is much less chance that decay will start.
What are sealants?
Tooth sealants refer to a coating which is bonded into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth as a means of helping to prevent the formation of tooth decay.
How can we prevent dental injuries?
Simple. Sport-related dental injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouthguards. Child-proofing your home can help reduce injuries at home. In addition, regular dental check-ups will contribute to preventative care.
What do I do if my child has a toothache?
Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. To help comfort your child, rinse out the mouth with cold water and apply a compress. Ibuprofen is a very effective pain reliever to use for toothaches. Be sure to elevate your child’s head while he/she is sleeping.
What should I do if my child’s tooth is fractured or chipped?
Contact our office as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! Our goal is to save the tooth and prevent infection. Rinse the mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment and place it in milk, we may be able to bond it back to the tooth. Be sure to elevate your child’s head while they sleep.
What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?
Rinse the knocked out tooth in cool water. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth in a container of milk (water if milk is not available.) Come to our office immediately. Feel free to call our emergency number if it is after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately. If you cannot go to a dentist, go to the ER.
What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is knocked out?
Contact our office as soon as possible, although these teeth are not usually able to be saved.
How do I know my child has enough fluoride in their diet?
If you do not reside in a community that has fluoridated water or have the appropriate amount of natural fluoride in your well water, your child will need some sort of supplement in their diet. We can help you determine how much of a supplement your child needs based upon their weight, age, current water fluoride levels and brand of toothpaste.
What should I know about tooth decay in infants?
Most importantly, don’t nurse your children to sleep. Nor should you put them to bed with a bottle of milk, juice or formula. When a child is sleeping, any liquid that remains in the mouth can support the bacteria that produce acid and harm the teeth. A simple pacifier or bottle of water is fine.
Should I eliminate all sugar and starch from my child’s diet?
Of course not. Many of these foods are incredibly important to your child’s health. Starch based foods are much safer to eat for teeth when eaten with an entire meal. Foods that stick to teeth are also more difficult to wash away by water, saliva or other drinks. It’s important you talk to our staff about your child’s diet and maintaining proper dental care.
How do I create a safe diet for my child’s teeth?
A sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, constantly forms on teeth. When sugar and starch from food and drinks combine with plaque, an acid is produced. The acid attacks tooth enamel. Repeated acid attacks break down enamel and eventually result in tooth decay. Sugar and starch are present in many foods, even fruits and vegetables. Although these foods can provide the nutrients children need, frequent between-meal snacks expose teeth to acid attacks. This is the reason the Smile Shoppe Team highly recommends that you wait at least two hours in between snacks/mealtimes for your child.
Can my child’s diet affect their dental health?
Absolutely. It is important that you initiate a balanced diet for your child so that their teeth develop appropriately. In addition, this will positively affect healthy gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Please note that a diet high in sugar and other forms of carbohydrates may increase the probability of tooth decay, especially if such foods are eaten frequently.
What is an appropriate diet for my child?
It is important that your child receives a balanced, natural diet that includes the important nutrients your child needs in order to grow. An ideal daily diet includes the major food groups of Meat, Fish and Eggs, Vegetables and Fruits, Breads and Cereals as well as Milk and Other Dairy Products.