51A Galen Street, Watertown, MA 02472

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Can my child’s teeth be damaged playing sports?

What type of tooth damage can occur when a child plays sports?

teeth be damaged playing sports teeth be damaged playing sports Can my child's teeth be damaged playing sports? teeth be damaged playing sportsSports and various recreational activities can increase your child’s risk of tooth damage as a result of falls, collisions, and contact from sports equipment, or with other hard surfaces. It is possible for teeth to suffer various types of visible damage; they may be knocked out, chipped, fractured or displaced.

Following a hard bump that may leave no immediate visible damage, you may later notice your child’s tooth turn gray. In a baby tooth, this can occur as a result of blood from ruptured blood vessels showing through translucent tooth enamel. The discoloration may slowly clear up by itself as the blood dissolves. If the tooth does not clear up and your dentist confirms that it is only a cosmetic issue, the tooth will probably be left to fall out normally. If a permanent tooth becomes discolored following an injury, it is more likely to mean that the nerve is damaged and has started the degeneration process. When this occurs, the best option is usually a root canal.

It is always important that your child sees your dentist whenever you suspect dental injury, including when you notice any discoloration, to prevent further harm from the initial tooth damage.

What should I do if my child’s tooth is knocked out?

If your child suffers an injury in which a permanent tooth is knocked out, it is important to do all you can to maintain the integrity of the tooth for the best chance of replanting. Find the tooth and rinse it gently in water only. If possible, place the tooth back in its socket and hold it in place with gauze or a clean washcloth. If the tooth cannot be put back in, submerge it in salty water. If that is not available, use saliva or water. Get your child and the tooth to your dentist immediately. The sooner you get them to the dentist the more likely the tooth can be saved.

If your child has a baby tooth knocked out, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Unlike a permanent tooth, a baby tooth should not be replanted. Replanting a knocked out baby tooth could damage your child’s developing permanent tooth.

Can I limit the risk of tooth damage if my child plays sports?

Children who play team sports should wear a protective mouth guard on the field for practice and games. If your child plays football, hockey, or lacrosse, it is likely that mouth guards are required. Mouth guards are very important for children who play baseball or softball. Mouth guards should also be used by children who participate in soccer, volleyball, wrestling, and martial arts. You may also want to consider a mouth guard if your child participates in gymnastics. Leisure activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, and inline or roller skating also pose a significant risk for tooth damage. You may consider requiring your child to wear a mouth guard for these activities as well.

How do I choose the best mouth guard for my child?

There are three basic types of mouth guard to limit the risk of sports-related tooth damage:

Over-the-counter stock mouth guards are considered the least effective option to limit the risk of teeth damage because they are bulky, ill-fitting, and can make breathing and talking difficult. However, they may be suggested if your child is young and in a phase of rapid baby-tooth loss and permanent-tooth growth.

So-called boil and bite mouth guards are made from thermoplastic material that, after being softened in boiling water, can be shaped around your teeth using pressure from your teeth and tongue.

Your dentist can provide the most effective option for most children. Custom-fitted soft plastic mouth guards provide the best protection for teeth, lips, cheeks and gums. You may even be able to protect your child from teeth damage with your team color!

Is Watertown Dentistry my best choice for dental care?

If you are in the Watertown, Cambridge, Belmont, or Newton, Massachusetts areas, Watertown Dentistry will provide you with the best professional pediatric dental services. We can treat any type of tooth damage and look forward to the opportunity to keep your whole family’s smiles looking beautiful!

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Dental Sealants for Children

Will Dental Sealants Benefit My Child?

How do dental sealants protect my child’s teeth?

In a previous post, we discussed fluoride and its benefits to children’s dental health. Using fluoride in conjunction with dental sealants as your child grows, provides even better protection. Your dentist or hygienist can cover your child’s rear molars with a clear sealant coat to protect them from decay. This is usually done around age six for permanent teeth, or earlier for baby teeth. If your baby’s teeth appear vulnerable to decay, your baby’s dentist may apply sealants to keep the teeth from being lost too early.

The American Dental Association (ADA) supports the use of dental sealants because regular tooth brushing does not effectively remove plaque from the deepest grooves in molars. Sealants significantly limit the development of tooth decay.

But are dental sealants safe?

Dental sealants Newton Belmont Waltham MA dental sealants Dental Sealants for Children Dental sealants Newton Belmont Waltham MAThere has been some controversy surrounding sealants, over concerns related to the possibility of Bisphenol A (BPA). According to the ADA, BPA is not a formula ingredient in dental sealants. It can, however, be present in dental sealants as a trace ingredient, as a result of how they are produced and processed, or due to degradation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found that the possible exposure to BPA as a result of the use of dental sealants is negligible. The ADA, HHS and FDA all consider sealants safe and very effective.

If you do not protect your child’s baby teeth, they will be left open to the effects of harmful bacteria. If not properly dealt with, the growth of bacteria is likely to lead to decay and fillings, which could eventually lead to a crown or a root canal. Dental sealants prevent the whole potentially painful and costly process from the start. Your dentist can address any concerns you may have regarding the safety of sealants.

Is there anything else I should know about the use of dental sealants to protect my child from tooth decay?

It is important to remember that sealants do not replace the need for a proper dental care routine. Your child must continue regular visits to his dentist for preventive dental care, and brush and floss daily. You can read more about proper flossing in a previous post. Dental sealants should be checked regularly and, if necessary, can be replaced at any time. They typically last five to ten years.

How are sealants applied to the teeth?

The application of sealants is easy and painless for your child. Visit our Pediatric Dentist page to learn more about how we apply dental sealants to a child’s teeth.

Are dental sealants covered by dental insurance?

Because they are so effective in preventing tooth decay that would otherwise result in more extensive and expensive treatment, many insurance companies cover the application of dental sealants. Check your plan or contact your dental insurance carrier to be sure your plan covers dental sealants. Your dentist’s staff may be able to help you with this.

Why is Watertown Dentistry my best choice for a baby’s dentist and for the care of my child’s teeth throughout childhood?

Watertown Dentistry is experienced in pediatric dental care. We provide a full range of services to keep your entire family’s teeth healthy and beautiful. We take pride in protecting your child’s dental health and look forward to caring for all of their dental needs!

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Baby Tooth Decay

Brushing and Flossing to Prevent Baby Tooth Decay

Baby Tooth Decay Newton Waltham MA baby tooth decay Baby Tooth Decay baby dentist newton watertown cambridge belmont maIn a previous baby dentist blog post, we have talked about the importance of beginning your child’s preventive dental care before you can see the teeth. Wiping your newborns mouth with a soft cloth and brushing and flossing as soon as there are teeth are all important to limit the growth of harmful bacteria, limit any baby tooth decay and to get your child used to proper oral care. Your child’s baby tooth enamel is 50% thinner than yours, so proper dental care is important to avoid baby teeth decay. Today we will take a closer look at how to properly care for your child’s teeth and help them learn to take care of their own teeth.

How should I begin brushing my baby’s teeth?

When your baby graduates to a toothbrush, be sure to use a finger brush or a toothbrush designed specifically for babies. Baby toothbrushes are safe for use for thin enamel, have a small head to fit in the baby’s mouth and large handles to allow for a good grip. Dr. Ray Hanna and our st can give you advice on the best choice for your baby. If your baby resists opening their mouth, gently pull down on their chin. Special attention should be given to the area where the teeth meet the gums. Be sure to keep watch for signs of baby tooth decay – spots that are white or brown.

What about flossing to avoid baby teeth decay?

Take about 18 inches of dental floss and wrap each end around your middle fingers. Gently slide the floss between teeth using a saw-like motion. At the gum line, gently pull each end of the floss to form a “C” around one tooth. Carefully pull the floss up and down against the tooth to remove the plaque and repeat the process on adjacent teeth.  Do not forget the far side of each last tooth in the back! If you are uncertain, your baby’s dentist can show you how to effectively floss your baby’s teeth.

Is baby tooth decay really a big deal since baby teeth will fall out anyway?

Yes! Untreated cavities will become painful. Decayed teeth can interfere with proper nutrition. Baby teeth that fall out too early can cause crooked adult teeth because the missing baby teeth could not properly hold the places for their replacements. If children are not taught proper preventive dental care, it will be very difficult for them to establish a healthy routine for their adult teeth.

How can I get my toddler to brush his own teeth?

Make brushing fun! Your baby’s dentist can offer many great ideas, but here are some to start:

  • Play dentist. Allow your child to care for the teeth of a favorite toy before caring for their own.
  • Make it a team effort!  Brush your teeth alongside your child or let your child brush your teeth.
  • Use a timer. Let them know how long is appropriate to brush and make it a fun challenge.
  • Reward them! Stickers that can be prominently displayed are one inexpensive motivator.

Here at Watertown Dentistry, our staff members know the importance of protecting your child against baby tooth decay. Our goal is to keep our patient’s smile healthy and beautiful for a lifetime.

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Is fluoride important for my child’s teeth?

How does fluoride protect teeth?

Is fluoride important for my child’s teeth even before they erupt, or break through the gums? Absolutely! Fluoride ingested in food, drinks or supplements strengthens the enamel so the tooth can better resist decay. Fluoride applied to the surface of teeth, with toothpaste or other dental products, can remineralize, or rebuild, weakened tooth enamel. Even after all teeth have grown in, ingested fluoride can benefit your teeth by being present in small amounts in saliva.

What is tooth enamel?

Tooth enamel is what we call the hard outer surface of teeth. It protects your teeth from decay but can be damaged by bacteria and acids that commonly form in your mouth from foods and drinks.

Should I add fluoride to my baby’s diet?

Is fluoride important for my child's teeth fluoride important for my child's teeth Is fluoride important for my child's teeth? Is fluoride important for my childs teethUntil they reach six months old, babies get all the nutrients and hydration they need from breast milk or formula. The Center for Disease Control promotes breastfeeding as ideal, but also recognizes there are many healthy choices for formula you can discuss with your doctor. Many baby formulas are now fortified with fluoride. Many municipalities also add fluoride to their water supplies, so the water you add to powdered baby formula could also contribute to the health of your baby’s teeth. Call your local water authority to find out the level of fluoride in your water. If you have well water, you can have your water tested, then speak with your baby’s dentist about getting a prescription for a fluoride supplement. The recommended dosage for children under three years of age is 0.25 milligrams per day. The CDC states the right amount of fluoride from infancy on helps prevent and control tooth decay throughout life.

Can too much fluoride be harmful?

Too much fluoride while the teeth are developing can cause a condition called dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis causes brown or white spots to form on the teeth. They are usually faint or obvious depending on the amount of fluoride. If you always use fluoridated water to prepare a baby formula with fluoride, your baby could be at risk for developing dental fluorosis. If you are concerned, you can use low-fluoride bottled water, which will be labeled purified, distilled, de-ionized or demineralized. You may want to see your baby dentist to formulate a plan to reduce the risk of dental fluorosis.

How do I start a dental care regimen for my child?

It can be difficult to brush a baby’s or toddler’s teeth. Young children do not like to stay still, and prefer to swallow toothpaste rather than spit it out. As we mentioned in our baby dentist post, it is important before teeth erupt to run a soft, damp washcloth over your baby’s gums to cut down on the growth of bacteria. Another benefit is that being used to it will limit the possibility of them fighting the tooth-brushing process later on. As your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, use no more than a pea-sized smear of toothpaste on an infant toothbrush. As your child grows to understand the difference, by toddler age, you can work with them to teach them that toothpaste should be spit, not swallowed. You can make this fun! Another important part of starting your child’s oral care off right is by flossing their teeth as soon as they have two teeth to floss between.

If you are looking for a family or pediatric dentist please feel free to visit or contact us for an initial consultation. After experiencing our wonderful staff and dental care we feel very strongly that you will be coming back for years.

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What Does a Baby Dentist Do?

Newtown & Watertown Baby Dentist

Is it true I should take care of my baby’s teeth before they grow in?

Yes! Use a damp soft washcloth to gently wipe your baby’s gums each day to limit the growth of bacteria. As your baby’s teeth begin to erupt, which is to break through the gum, you can begin using a soft-bristled toothbrush specially designed for infants.

Since your baby’s teeth start to develop during the second trimester of pregnancy, it is also important for expectant mothers to make sure they eat a well-balanced diet with sufficient vitamins and minerals. For healthy bone and teeth, sufficient intake of Vitamin D and calcium are essential for moms and babies.

baby dentist newton watertown cambridge belmont ma baby dentist What Does a Baby Dentist Do? baby dentist newton watertown cambridge belmont maHow should I take care of my baby’s teeth?

Your child’s teeth need regular cleaning as soon as they erupt. Continue the use of a damp washcloth with your baby’s first teeth and then follow your baby dentist’s instructions for the proper use of an infant toothbrush. Be sure to clean your baby’s teeth after each bottle or meal. Use no more than a pea-sized smear of infant toothpaste. You should also begin careful flossing of your baby’s teeth. At any age, proper nutrition is important for dental health. Most baby formulas are well-balanced with your baby’s overall health in mind. If you use formula, be well-informed about your baby’s nutritional needs and baby formula ingredients. If you are nursing, continue a well-balanced diet with vitamin and mineral supplements as necessary. According to the American Dental Association, your child should see a baby dentist before age of two .

What is dental caries?

Dental caries is an infection caused by bacteria that stick to teeth. These bacteria can grow in your baby’s mouth from birth, which is why pre-teeth oral care is an important part of baby dental care. This bacteria basically gets active by sugary foods and produces acid as a waste. The acid attacks the minerals in the teeth. You have probably heard dental caries referred to as tooth decay or cavities.

Is my preventive dental care important to my baby’s dental health?

Yes it is! It is very important to continue a regular and complete preventive dental care regimen, or to begin one if you haven’t yet.

How do I choose the best baby dentist for my baby’s preventive dental care?

If your dentist does not see babies, you should find a baby dentist to provide your baby’s dental services. If you are looking for a baby and pediatric dentist serving the town of Watertown or Newton, Watertown Dentistry has all your family dental care needs covered. From pediatric dentistry from infancy and on, through adult preventive and endodontic care, to a full line of cosmetic dentistry services, everyone in your family will get the best dental care.

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