How to Avoid a Cavity This Halloween

pediatric-dentistry

Each Halloween, the streets are full of costumed kids trick-or-treating. And not long after, it’s the dentist’s door that receives a knock. 

Halloween means bags full of sugary sweets, but it doesn’t have to mean a mouth full of cavities. Follow the tips below to learn how your child can avoid a cavity this Halloween while still enjoying everything the holiday has to offer. 

Eat Halloween candy with meals 

Saliva is a natural defender against the sugary food particles and bacteria that lead to cavities. Saliva production heightens during meal time. Have your children indulge in some Halloween candy only after eating a regular meal to ensure they’re eating it with a healthy amount of saliva to help cancel out some of the effects. 

Avoid long-lasting candy 

Hard candy that stays in your mouth for an extended period of time brings about an increased risk of cavities due to longer exposure. Instead, stick with candy that is simply chewed and swallowed in order to limit the amount of time that it’s actually in the mouth. 

Avoid sticky candy

The residue from sticky candy like taffy, gummies, and caramel clings to the teeth long after you’ve swallowed and takes longer to wash away by saliva or brushing. Have your children avoid the types of candy that are especially sticky. 

Ration it out 

Instead of letting your child binge-eat on Halloween candy, allow them just a couple pieces per day so as to not overwhelm their teeth with sugar. Better yet, allow them to pick out a specified number of pieces and then donate the rest. 

There are many organizations that collect Halloween candy and donate it to overseas troops or underprivileged kids. There are even candy buyback programs where kids can trade candy for cash. 

Replace sugary drinks with water 

Set a compromise with your kids this Halloween: They can eat candy if they give up the sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and artificial juice. Sugary drinks combined with candy will only increase the risk of a cavity, and drinking water (especially water that contains flouride) is a great way of washing out harmful bacteria from the mouth. 

Schedule a Post-Halloween Cleaning

One final way to help your children avoid cavities this Halloween is to schedule a post-Halloween cleaning. A professional cleaning can rinse away all the cavity-causing bacteria that everyday brushing and flossing often can’t. 

Follow the tips above, and schedule an appointment today to keep your child from having a scary looking smile this Halloween. 

 

What Treatments Are Available at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry?

Pediatric Dentistry

At Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, we know how important your child’s dental health is. That’s why our services are tailored to your child and are designed to help ensure the healthy development of your little ones’ teeth.

Here’s a look at the pediatric dental treatments we offer.

7 of Our Available Pediatric Dentistry Services

Exams and cleaning

We go beyond the traditional dental exam and teeth cleaning to ensure your child’s teeth are developing as they should be. We keep a close eye on this, in addition to using fluoride treatments designed to help strengthen teeth and prevent decay.

Sealant

This procedure involves the application of dental sealant on your child’s teeth. Sealant helps protect your kid’s teeth from bacteria and prevent cavities.

Cavity treatment

If your child does get a cavity, we can help. This procedure involves removing the affected part of the tooth and then replacing the area with cavity filling. In rare cases, when the decay is very severe, a dental crown may be needed.

Disking

Disking helps ensure your child’s teeth have room to grow. If a tooth does not appear to have space to grow in the mouth, we will shave off a thin layer from the surrounding teeth. This leaves room for that permanent tooth to grow without becoming crooked or misaligned.

Space maintainers

If your child loses a tooth early, they may need space maintainers. These are custom-fit, removable appliances that ensure the teeth surrounding the gap do not come in crooked or misaligned.

Dental x-rays

X-rays allow the dentist to see any issues with your child’s teeth that may not be easily apparent. Consult the dentist for more information on when these x-rays should be considered for your kid.

Early orthodontics

Interceptive orthodontics help prevent the need for orthodontia later in life. This should be considered when your kid’s permanent teeth start coming in, as early orthodontic care is designed to help ensure these teeth come in correctly.

Schedule a Dental Appointment Today

In addition to the treatments noted above, our dental practice offers emergency care services. For routine dental exams and other select procedures, our team offers the option of general anesthesia for children with severe dental anxiety. Our staff is happy to walk you through your options for this service.

Make sure your child has a positive dental experience from the very start by choosing a kids pediatric dentistry. If you live in the Greenville or Rocky Mount, North Carolina, area, Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is the premier pediatric dentist near you.

Learn more about possible dental treatments to consider for your child here.

Preventing Dental Anxiety With Sedation and Anesthesia

Anesthesia Procedures at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is apprehensive about the dentist even before they’re asked to open wide, then it’s worth knowing what kind of anesthesia procedures your dentist offers. The most common anesthetic used in dentistry is nitrous oxide, sometimes called laughing gas. It works quickly and leaves the body before your child is out of the chair.

At Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, we want all of our patients to feel at ease. You’ll find an explanation of when and how we use anesthesia below.

When General Anesthesia Is the Best Option

The professionals at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry can use nitrous oxide for a dental exam, a cavity fill, and other procedures.

Bigger procedures such as filling multiple cavities, placing a crown, or emergency dental work require more time and may require general anesthesia for your child’s relaxation and safety. It’s very difficult for a child to sit in a dental chair for hours, even if they don’t have anxiety. Your dentist can do more work quickly without the risk of your child jerking or becoming inconsolable.

If we agree that anesthesia is the best option for your child, we will do a physical evaluation, discuss any medications your child takes and make sure they don’t have breathing issues. We’ll also give you a clear understanding of how to prepare your child, what happens during the procedure and what to expect after.

Important Facts About Anesthesia at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

Before using anesthesia for your child, we’ll answer all your questions. These are a few things to know upfront:

  • General anesthesia is administered via IV in our office.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for the entire procedure.
  • You’ll receive detailed instructions about food and liquids prior to the procedure.
  • We’ll watch your child in the office until the effects are minimal.
  • Your child will need close observation at home until all effects have passed.

If you’d like to discuss sedation or general anesthesia before coming in, please call us. You can also schedule an appointment at our office in Wilson, NC, serving Greenville & Rocky Mount, and we’ll determine what best meets your child’s needs.

Learn 4 Tips to Care for Your Child’s Teeth in the New Year

As the year winds down and the holidays are upon us, it’s a great time to think about your child’s teeth. With the focus on get-togethers, presents, and family time, it can be easy to overlook dental health. That’s why we’re happy to offer four helpful tips for starting — or revisiting — good dental habits as we head into the new year.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth

Chit chat about the chompers

If your child has been to the dentist before or will be going for the first time, having an open talk about what to expect is a great way to prepare them for the visit. Presenting everything in a positive light will help alleviate any concerns your child might have. You can even read a story of someone having a good dental visit.

When you arrive at the office, allow the dentist to lead the conversation with your child to build a relationship. You can also ask your child questions like, “What color toothbrush do you like?” to give them some control over the appointment.

After the visit, you can discuss any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking, crowded teeth, losing teeth, and more.

Make healthy choices

When healthy food and drink choices are made, your child’s teeth will benefit. Adding foods that clean while being consumed, such as carrots, apples, and celery, helps scrub away plaque buildup and strengthens the tooth enamel.

Explain to your child that when sugary foods and drinks are consumed, the sugar can cause decay if left on the teeth and that having strong teeth allows us to enjoy the foods we love.

Be a role model

It’s important to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Help your child build healthy brushing and flossing habits by performing the tasks right along with them. This way you’ll be able to show them the correct way to brush and floss and treat it as a daily routine, rather than a chore.

Make and keep appointments

By making and keeping appointments to see your pediatric dentist twice a year, you’ll establish good dental habits with your child. Your child will also receive frequent cleanings and exams, which will allow the dentist to keep you aware of any issues that could arise in the future.

Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

When your child is due for teeth cleaning, contact us at (252) 291-4300 or schedule an appointment online.

How To Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets

With the constant influx of candy, cookies, and other sugary treats, the holiday season can take a toll on teeth. This is especially true for children, who would probably subsist on the sweet stuff if they were allowed. As a parent, you need to take extra steps to protect your kids from holiday sweets before their next dental visit.

You can also make sure that any extra holiday plaque is taken care of by scheduling your kids’ next dental cleaning at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

Ways to Protect Your Kids’ Teeth From Holiday Sweets Ahead of Their Next Dental Cleaning

Ration the Sweets

It is impossible to keep holiday sweets from your children completely, but you can lessen the negative health impact by dolling candy out over a long period of time. If you give your just a few sweets every couple of days, they’ll see it as a special treat and not a regular part of their diets. It can also be a fun way to count down the remaining days until they get their real gifts.

Be Wary of Hard Candies

All sweets can promote plaque buildup, but hard candies, like candy canes, pack extra risks. Children often lack the patience to wait for these candies to dissolve naturally, so they bite down. Doing so may lead to them breaking or chipping a tooth. Limit hard candies when possible and encourage kids not to bite.

Don’t Let Them Crack Nuts With Their Teeth

Your kids may be tempted to try to crack nuts open with their teeth after they see holiday nutcrackers do the same. Like hard candy, this also puts them at risk for fracturing teeth. Unlike hard candy, nuts are packed with healthy proteins and nutrients you want your kids to consume. Just make sure to give them pre-shelled nuts.

Their Teeth Aren’t Box Cutters

Children are often so enthusiastic to break in their new gifts, they throw all manners to the side and dig into the packaging with their teeth. This can lead them to damaging their teeth, cutting their gums, or getting something lodged between their teeth. When it comes time to open presents, keep a pair of scissors handy and brace yourself for flying wrapping paper.

Maintain a Routine

With all the traveling that comes with the season, it can be hard to maintain a regular schedule of brushing twice and flossing once daily. Unfortunately, it can be hard getting back into a habit once it’s broken. Make sure your kids brush and floss at around the same time every day, even when you’re on the road.

Schedule Strategically

Experts recommend you take your child in to see a pediatric dentist once every six months. You can get more out of these visits with smart planning. Schedule one of their regular dental cleanings for one of the weeks after the holidays. This will help them eliminate all the extra candy plaque and start the new year with fresh smiles.

Contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry to schedule your child’s dental cleaning to help them recover from the deluge of holiday sweets.

How to Make Cavities Easy to Understand for Your Child

mother explaining cavities to her son

 

As your child ages, they will eventually start to take care of their own dental hygiene. An important part of encouraging good habits is making sure they’re informed about the benefits of taking care of their teeth. They also need to be made aware of the potential risks of poor care, and this includes cavities.

Cavities can be a frightening concept for young children, so you need to be careful when teaching your kids about them. Here are a few tips to make sure your kids know about cavities and what they can do to prevent them. For more ideas on how to explain dental care to kids, contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry.

How to To Educate Your Kids on Cavities

Simplify

Kids may have a hard time understanding some of the dental jargon relating to cavities, and this confusion can turn into fear. Try explaining them using simpler terms that they can understand.

Tell your kids that in order to enjoy all the foods they love, they need to practice good dental care, too. Explain how brushing their teeth keeps their mouth healthy and can help prevent the formation of tiny holes in their teeth, called cavities. You might also remind them to take extra care of their teeth when they eat sugary and starchy foods.

Let your children know that the cavities hurt, but they can be fixed.

Teach, Don’t Scare

Making your children aware of cavities can help motivate them to take better care of their teeth, but using cavities as a looming threat to frighten your kids can backfire. Using scare tactics to promote good behavior can erode your child’s trust in you and traumatize them.

Be Honest

As a parent, you already know that children are inquisitive. They’re going to have lots of questions about cavities and what happens if you get one. Make sure to answer their questions honestly. If they’re curious, they’re going to find out the truth sometime. It’s better if they find out from you.

Teach Proactivity

Teach your child that taking care of their teeth and avoiding cavities is easy as long as they are consistent. Help them form strong dental care habits with positive reinforcement. Reminding them that they have the power to protect themselves from cavities, and they will be more likely to keep up with their dental hygiene routine.

Here are a few habits you should encourage:

  • Flossing once a day
  • Brushing twice a day, in the morning and again before bed
  • Limit sugary or starchy foods
  • Eating tooth-healthy foods

If Your Child Gets a Cavity

Finding out they have cavities can be terrifying for a child, and it is your job as a parent to make the ordeal easier. Let your kids know that some cavities can’t be avoided, no matter how much work you put in. You should also make sure your child knows that you aren’t mad or disappointed with them.

Make sure they are fully prepared for the filling process. Walk them through it step-by-step, working to make it sound less scary. Remind your child that even though the process may seem scary, it won’t be painful, and it will make them feel better.

Choosing a dentist experienced in making difficult procedures easy for kids can also help make the process better for your child. Dr. Elmore of Wilson Pediatric Dentistry gives each of her young patients gentle, compassionate care, making dental visits less scary. Schedule an appointment at our Wilson, North Carolina, office for more friendly pediatric dental care.