For special needs children, especially children with autism, a trip to the dentist can be a great challenge. Children with certain developmental disabilities are at a higher risk for oral health conditions, so finding a dentist experienced in working with and treating these children may be the answer. Our staff has taken additional education on care for children with special needs. Preparing your special needs child for a dentist visit is paramount for having a positive experience (for everyone!). How much preparation you do beforehand depends on your child’s particular emotional and physical needs. Regardless of how much preparation you have done, the first appointment still may be a challenging one, but at least you, the dentist, and your child will know what to expect.
What can I tell the Dentist about my child’s needs?
• Discuss any problems regarding your child’s chewing, tooth pain, gum irritation, or any troubles in maintaining healthy oral hygiene;
• Describe your child’s diet;
• Briefly present your child’s medical history, reveal any allergies to medication and medications your child may be taking currently or routinely;
• Discuss your child’s obsessive routines, repetitive behaviors, unpredictable body movements, or self-injurious behavior that could complicate the dental examination or procedures.
When you visit the Dentist
• Ask the dentist to describe the procedures he/she will be performing on the first visit, so you may prepare your child with expectations of what is going to happen.
• Schedule appointment times when your child feels the most relaxed and rested and when the office will not be crowded—usually the first or last appointment of the day.
• Before your scheduled appointment, take your child to meet the dentist and staff, see the equipment the dentist uses, and even lie in the chair—a “practice run” so to speak. Let the child ask questions or voice his/her concerns to the dentist if at all possible.
• Before your “practice run” and scheduled appointment, go to the dentist’s office and fill out all necessary paperwork, medical history, insurance forms, etc. instead of waiting until you arrive with an anxious child.
• Tell your child positive stories about visiting the dentist when you were a child and about your current visits as an adult. If your child’s behavior is such that you would expect, or the dentist feels, the child may need sedation, discuss options for sedation at length prior to your scheduled visit. If your child is taking routine medication, the dentist must be aware of this, so he/she may determine the best sedative that will not interfere with your child’s current prescription(s).
A visit to the doctor or dentist seems to trigger more anxiety for a child with autism than others with special needs. Because the dentist is very invasive of your personal space, children with autism or Asperger Syndrome may become agitated—even combative. Children with oral defensiveness and sensitivity become distressed when the dentist touches their face or mouth which, in turn, makes the cleaning and brushing of the teeth and checkups more difficult. Parents and caregivers may have to brush the child’s teeth at home because the child refuses to do so. Sensitivity to sounds of machinery, cold metal tools touching sensitive areas of the mouth, other patients’ cries or sounds of distress, and light sources commonly found in the dentist’s office may also trigger behaviors of aggression or agitation. Even the taste of toothpastes, cleaners, and mouthwashes can be intolerable. For some children, the experience is so distressing that sedation may be necessary. Remember that the dentist has your child’s best interest at heart. Everyone involved with your child’s care will already be aware and prepared with the proper and necessary accommodations since you have already discussed this with the dentist beforehand. When your child goes to sit in the dentist chair for the first time, let him/her take along a book or favorite small toy. Our office is a very child-friendly office, it is decorated in themes that appeal to children with TVs and video monitors to look at while the dentist is working. Our dentists are “masters of distraction!” this help with getting the child comfortable with their surroundings and limit stress levels.
Come meet our staff and dentists today.
Let us get your child ready for a lifetime of smiles.
Our goal is to provide your child with the best possible dental experience. Often times a visit to the dentist can be a terrifying for young children. The whirling sound of the drill or the uncomfortable feeling of pressure on their teeth can make children anxious.
One of the most common ways to ease a child’s anxiety and relax them for their dental treatment is from Nitrous Oxide sedation. This is commonly referred to as laughing gas and is the most popular sedation method in dentistry. It is used quite frequently in our office because it is recommended for children who need small amounts of dental treatment. Sleep Sedation Dentistry For those children with phobias of visiting the dentist or children that require extensive work, general anesthesia – commonly called sleep sedation – can be a good option.
Younger children who need a lot of dental work benefit most from being put to sleep because the dentist can do all of the treatment at once without leaving the child traumatized from the visit. Some older children with inexplicable fear of the dentist who need wisdom teeth extractions or extensive work can also benefit from being put to sleep. Our doctors typically perform dental procedures for children under general anesthesia at our affiliated dental surgery center.
The Pueblo Dental Surgery Center - located a few blocks away – was built to provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for our patients opting moderate to deep sedation for their dental procedures. We can discuss with you the best option for your child based on his or her individual dental needs.
Get a cleaning and exam before you get braces
Your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure you have no cavities. All cavities need to be filled before you get braces. Brackets or bands may cover surface of cavity so they will need to filled before the orthodontist can place your braces. You will need a good cleaning to remove plaque and tarter. It is harder to clean teeth once braces have been applied. You will also find that flossing will become more difficult.
I know this sounds crazy, but eating certain foods will be off limits. Hard crunchy things like hard pizza crust, popcorn, nuts and even carrots. Eat a few things before you are limited.
Stock up on supplies
You will go through tooth brushes more often because bristles break down more with brackets. You may want to look at a sonic toothbrush to help keep things healthy. You may want to look at flossing options for braces. Everyone likes different products. Get a few and experiment which one works for you. There are some rinses designed for braces. Fluoride rinses can be helpful. Very good oral care will help keep your teeth healthy during orthodontics.
Take a few photos
Teeth move quickly and it is nice to see where your teeth started and the results when you are finished. Promise me you will forget the beginning.
Get some soft foods
Teeth tend to be a little sore after placement. A few soft foods in the house will make it easier to eat and keep your nutrition up. You will be better in a couple of days. Adjustments do not make the teeth as sore as the placement appointment.
Remember it will all be worth it in the end! A beautiful smile it a great result.
Sugary snacks taste so good — but they aren't so good for your teeth or your body. Sugary foods that kids love to eat, like candy, cookies, ice cream, if eaten between meals, can cause tooth decay. Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they're in your mouth. This is very important especially for kids with diabetes.
How do sugars attack your teeth?
There is bacteria that lives in your mouth all day long. These bacteria form plaque on your teeth throughout the day. When you eat sugar, the bacteria eats the plaque and forms acids which are strong enough to dissolve enamel. Remember that enamel is the strongest part of the human body. So these acids are quick powerful
How can watching my snack consumption help protect me from tooth decay?
Keep a log of what snacks you consume. If the snack has sugars in it, think again about consuming it. Also remember that some sugar snacks actually cause more damage than others. Sticky and chewy sweets stick to the surface of your teeth and because sticky snacks stay in your mouth longer than foods that you quickly chew and swallow, they bath in the sugar longer. This will cause tooth decay.
How often do you eat snacks?
Do you eat sugary snacks throughout the day, or do you usually just have dessert after dinner? Remember acids form in your mouth every time you eat a sugary snack. The acids continue to do damage on your teeth for at least 20 minutes until they are neutralized and can't do any more harm. The more times a day you snack, the more likely acids are building in your mouth and causing damage.
It is best to eat sugary foods at mealtime and not throughout the day. Remember to brush and floss to remove sugary substances from mouth after you consume them.
When you're choosing snacks to eat think about:
The number of times a day you eat sugary snacks
How long the sugary food stays in your mouth
Is the food sticky or chewy?
Choosing healthy snacks is good for your body and for your teeth.
Healthy choices like raw vegetables, fresh fruits, or whole-grain crackers or bread are smart choices.
Be particular when choosing snacks- you can make wise choices and help keep your teeth shiny and healthy.
Pick a variety of foods from these groups:
-Pretzels (unsalted or low-salt)
- Cereals (unsweetened)
- Plain bagels
Nuts & Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds (unsalted or low-salt)
- Sunflower seeds (unsalted or low-salt)
- Nuts (unsalted or low-salt)
Meats & Protein
- Baked chicken or turkey
- Peanut butter (unsalted or low-salt)
- Cottage cheese (low or non-fat)
- Yogurt (low or non-fat)
Don't Forget! If you eat sweets, eat them for dessert instead of munching on them throughout the day. And remember to brush and floss your teeth after every snack or meal!
Tooth brushing plays an important everyday role for personal oral hygiene and effective plaque removal. Appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are also important considerations for sound oral hygiene. The ADA recommends that consumers replace toothbrushes approximately every 3–4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed with use.
Storing Your Toothbrush Properly
Replace toothbrushes at least every 3–4 months. The bristles become frayed and worn with daily use and the effectiveness will be reduced. Toothbrushes will wear out more rapidly depending on habits associated to each patient. Check brushes often for this type of wear and replace them more frequently if needed. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adult brushes.
You can google “toothbrush storage” for some fun ways to store your toothbrush. Storage of your toothbrush can be fun and stylish.
There are good and bad associated with gummy vitamins.
1st comes the good news
You can switch to other types of vitamins (some forms still contain sugar, but they are not adding the sticky component). Please still brush after any food, candy or vitamin to minimize risk to teeth.
Please Brush after taking gummy vitamin to remove any sticky particles left behind. It may be a good idea to floss as well, gummy vitamins can become lodged between teeth which can increase plaque and bacteria causing tooth decay.
If you have any questions on gummy vitamins or any other dental related topic, please ask your dental team.
Many people suffer from a speech problem. There are different causes of speech disorders. The alignment of teeth and the jaw can affect someone’s speech. Overjet, overbite, gaps in teeth and jaw alignment can inhibit the tongue from being able to form correct speech.
An orthodontist can evaluate the teeth and jaw to see if aligning the teeth can help with lisps, whistling and overall speech development.
Orthodontia along with speech therapy can help provide an improved self-esteem. Everyone can appreciate a beautiful smile. Don’t let orthodontia related speech problems limit you. Stop by and get an evaluation to see if we can help you.
As a rule, fillings should last for several years, but many things can affect that prognosis. Brushing and flossing and maintaining good oral hygiene can extend the life of all fillings. The better the home care the longer every filling will last. Of course, we want to prevent getting decay in the first place.
What also determines the lifespan of a filling is the degree of tooth structure that is missing. The larger the filling, the greater the likelihood that a crown will be necessary at some point in the future. Large fillings can also increase the risk of fracturing the tooth, due to existing tooth structure has been compromised.
A small silver filling could last for decades, but most tooth colored fillings will fail within 10 years under good conditions.
Many silver fillings can last from 10-30 years if oral hygiene is maintained. On average, a silver filling will last 12.8 years.
Unfortunately, while tooth-colored (also called composite resin) fillings are more aesthetically pleasing than the silver amalgam fillings, there is a trade-off — they simply don’t last as long. Most tooth colored fillings will last on average of 5 years.
Technology is greatly improving and hopefully within the next few years we will see fillings lasting longer.
If you have any questions about your dental care, please ask your dentist.
It’s that time of year when coughs, colds and flu can make you or someone in your family miserable. And like most people, you’ll probably take some over-the-counter medication to help with your symptoms. But did you know that taking the medication could potentially add a side effect of tooth decay? Many over-the-counter medicines contain large amounts of sugar to make them taste good. The sugar usually comes in the form of high fructose corn sugar. Many people do not realize the added sugars in the medicine can contribute to tooth decay.
Also, may people start to take lozenges to help deal with nagging coughs or sniffles. However, just because cough drops help with your cold symptoms, does not mean they are healthy for you. Most brands also contain high levels of sugar.
So, if you find yourself using cough drops, lozenges or taking cold medicines, make sure to brush well. If you cannot brush after taking medication or cough drop, please rinse your mouth out with water or consume sugarless gum. This may help limit sugar levels in mouth, which helps limit acid levels. These 2 tips can help prevent cavities while you are sick. Never miss brushing and flossing while ill. Cold medicines tend to dry out your mouth, which will also increase bacteria levels in your mouth. You may want to opt for purchasing sugar-free cough drops and buying cold medication in the pill form. Make sure to drink plenty of water when you’re sick. Water is your body and mouth’s best asset during the cold and flu season. If you have any questions about medication and your teeth, please ask our staff and they can give you helpful tips.
Please take care yourself and family members this cold and flu season.
Each and every child must have a first at the dental clinic, how you prepare the child and yourself can make a difference on how that FIRST dental visit goes. Here are some helpful hints:
Be there for your child and be a role model in the dental visit.
If you are going to be there during the visit, then it’s important you are able to keep a positive attitude. If you’re afraid of the dentist then you could easily transfer these negative emotions to your child. Sometimes if you show fear during the first visit, it can last a lifetime.
It’s sometimes hard for parents to realize, but most kids are comfortable during the first visit. Most are very curious about things around the office. If all the NEW things are explained to a child, they are enthusiastic about trying them out. Do not bring up past dental experiences or show emotion around your child. What they learn from you they will model. Your feelings can be very different from the feelings of your child. Remember that dental anxieties can be learned, you must be very careful not to pass those fears down to your child.
Your goal is to provide moral support. We ask that you support us as the authority figure while we’re working with your child. Try to speak in a low, calm voice and try not to repeat what we ask of your child. We would like to create a bond with your child (one of trust). If your child requires additional visits shortly after their initial exam, it’s a good idea for the same parent to come with them. It creates a continuity for child.
We want a lifetime of good experiences at the dentist. A person isn’t born with a fear of the dentist. Today’s dental procedures are virtually painless and there are so many options for care such as: