On Thursday, we celebrate one of the favorite holidays for children: Halloween. Between trick-or-treating, classroom parties, and city-wide fall festivals, children are given access to an exorbitant amount of sugary sweets to eat over the course of the next few months. Parents know that eating assorted candies can be detrimental to oral health, as sugar damages teeth by causing cavities. Halloween is the perfect opportunity for parents to help their children learn healthy dental habits. Dr. Pate offers these practical tips for keeping your children’s mouths healthy on Halloween and year-round.
1. Teach Moderation
Deprivation makes candy seem more irresistible to children, which can encourage them to sneak candy later. On Halloween, allow your child to choose 5-10 small pieces of his favorite candy, and store the rest. Then, you can easily monitor the amount of candy your child eats in the weeks following. (more…)
In order for your teeth and jaw to work properly, your bite must fit properly when at rest. When opposing teeth do not line up as they should, the condition is called malocclusion. The misalignment puts undue stress on jaw muscles and the joints that connect your upper and lower jaw (the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ). Malocclusion can occur for a number of reasons. Dr. Peter Pate explains the most common form, called overbite.
When Your Teeth Go Overboard
In a healthy mouth, upper teeth will ideally sit about 3-5 mm in front of lower teeth when your jaw is at rest. An overbite is a condition in which this extension is greater than 5mm. Although an overbite can be inherited from parents, a child can develop or worsen an overbite with excessive pacifier use or thumb sucking. Some overbites are so minor as to be unnoticeable, while some are so severe that they visibly alter the structure and appearance of your face. Effects of an extreme overbite, however, go beyond appearance. The strain that an overbite places on the jaw can lead to TMJ disorder, headaches, and speech impediments. Overbites constitute about 70% of dental disorders in children, making it the most common form of malocclusion.
What is an Underbite?
Another form of malocclusion is the underbite. As you’ve probably guessed, an underbite is the condition where the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is at rest. Because upper teeth are supposed to be in front of lower teeth, an underbite is usually more visible than an overbite. Like an overbite, an underbite can be genetically inherited, but can also be worsened by tongue thrusting or excessive open-mouthed breathing. (more…)
Children miss about 51 million hours of school each year due to dental problems and treatments. It’s important to emphasize proper oral care for kids. This can reduce irritability, behavior problems, and decreased performance during the day resulting from dental pain. The American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month in February to promote awareness of dental care for kids. This year’s NCDHM features the slogan, “Rock Your Smile,” to help children get an awesome smile, one that rocks!
Children’s Dental Health
To help improve the status of children’s oral care, take a look at some of the unfortunate statistics about current dental dangers.
- Tooth decay is the second most common childhood illness, following the common cold.
- Researchers found that about 80 percent of children are already infected with the cavity-causing bacteria, S. mutans, by the time they are two years old.
- Advertisers spend about $900 million each year on television ads aimed at children under age 12. More than two-thirds of this advertising promotes junk food, which can promote tooth decay. (more…)
Halloween is every child’s
favorite holiday. They get to dress up as their favorite characters and run around collecting candy with their friends and family. Even though Halloween is fun for everyone it isn’t always fun for children’s teeth.
There are some things you as a parent can do to prevent your children from developing cavities as a result of this spooky holiday.
What is a cavity?
A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. Decay occurs when bacteria (also known as plaque) forms on teeth and combines with the sugars and starches we eat. The combination produces an acid that attacks the tooth enamel, causing a hole to form.
Tips for preventing cavities this Halloween
1. Have your children consume candy during meals rather than as a stand-alone snack. This allows the sugar on your teeth to be neutralized by bacteria from the other, less sugary foods.
2. Drink lots of water because it will help flush out the sugar and other food particles.
3. Limit the amount of sticky and hard candies. These are the worst for the teeth because they stick in between your teeth where it’s hard for a toothbrush to reach.
4. Have you children brush their teeth after eating candy and use mouthwash with fluoride in it. Fluoride helps fight cavities, and the mouthwash will also help flush out sugars and clean
5. Have them eat all their candy for the day in one sitting. This will limit the teeth’s exposure to sugar.
For more information on how to have a cavity-free Halloween, or to schedule a professional cleaning for your family, contact Dr. Peter Pate
of Dentistry in Buckhead at 404-266-9424
or visit our website at patedds.com
School and extracurricular activities are in full swing. While it’s important to help prepare your child for class projects, piano lessons, and football, you’ll also want to make sure your children’s teeth and gums are ready for the new school year.
Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. More than half of children ages 5 to 17 have had at least one cavity or filling in their lifetime. Being proactive about protecting your child’s teeth from plaque, tartar, and decay can prevent gum disease and begin a lifetime of consistent oral healthcare.
A daily schedule that includes brushing and flossing is essential to preventing pediatric dental decay. Returning to the structure of the school year should help make such a schedule easier to follow.
Maintaining healthy family eating habits will help your son or daughter choose to eat foods that promote good oral health. Plan well-balanced meals and avoid sugar-loaded foods. It is also important to limit drinks and foods with a high acid content.
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a good time to continue educating your child about tooth decay and why candy and sugary snacks should be enjoyed sparingly. You might also try some candy alternatives, such as xylitol-infused candies or sugar-free licorice root lollipops, which research has shown fight dental bacteria and plaque.
Call Dentistry in Buckhead today if you live in the Atlanta area and would like a family dentist who understands parenting firsthand. As a family man and father, Dr. Peter Pate knows that you want the best for your kids, and he’ll help you by providing excellent dental care in an inviting, comforting atmosphere. Call 404-266-9424 and schedule your family’s checkups today.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued its annual update of vaccination guidelines. The new recommendations emphasize the importance of vaccinating children and teens to protect against serious illnesses, such as influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis, as well as other deadly diseases.
The recommendations for 2011 are very similar to those from 2010, but the release of the revised schedule reminds parents to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up to date. Dr. Michael Brady, the chairman of the AAP infectious disease committee, points out that “immunizations have been the most effective medical preventive measure ever developed, but some people who live in the United States right now don’t appreciate how tremendously protected they’ve been because of vaccines. There are still children around the world dying of measles and polio. The vaccination schedules are designed to get vaccines to the child before they are at the greatest risk.”
The updated schedule recommends that all children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years get an annual flu shot. Additionally, children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are being vaccinated for the first time, as well as those who have had only one dose of a previous flu vaccine, need two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine.
The AAP recommends the following:
- Children and teens should receive the recommended whooping cough vaccines.
- Children ages 7 to 10 years who have not been previously vaccinated against the disease need a single does of the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and Tdap vaccines.
- Teens from 13 to 18 years who never received the Tdap should get the vaccine as well as a Td booster every 10 years.
- All girls should receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which can be given between the ages of 9 and 18 years in a three-dose series.
- Children under the age of 5 should get the haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccine to prevent the bacterial disease.
- Routine childhood vaccines, including those for the rotavirus, polio virus, MMR, and varicella, should be received at the suggested ages.
Dr. Peter Pate, a family dentist in Atlanta, Georgia, strives to help his patients lead healthy lives. For information about how to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy to prevent the onset of serious oral and overall health conditions, call Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424.
Today is National Tooth Fairy Day! If you have ever known a young child who has lost a tooth, you know how important it is to be visited by this dental nymph. What is the origin of this fantasy figure?
The history of the tooth fairy, as told by some, is actually a rather dark tale. In the Middle Ages, witches were on the lookout for items that could be used to work their black magic. They thought items held especially close to someone – like hair, clothing, and even teeth – were prime ingredients for potions and spells. Therefore, baby teeth were quickly discarded either by fire or buried out of sight.
In less ominous traditions, parents took their children’s teeth and buried them in the garden in order to “grow” strong, healthy adult teeth in their place. This tradition was adapted over time and some people buried the teeth in flower pots inside the home. Today, of course, the location has moved to the pillow where it is “buried” for the night until a fairy comes to retrieve it, leaving a coin, toy, or treat for the child to discover upon waking
Children in Cambodia toss their lower teeth on the roof and bury their upper teeth in the ground. They hope that the new teeth will grow towards the old teeth and be straight. In Turkey, parents bury their children’s teeth in a location that might benefit the child’s future, such as a college campus garden or at a hospital. In Kyrgyzstan, a child will hide his tooth in a piece of bread and give it to an animal with desirable teeth. In other countries, the baby teeth are regarded as mementos or small treasures. Such is the case in Chile, where the lost tooth is made into a charm and set in precious metal to be used as a necklace or an earring.
Although children eventually lose these “baby” teeth, it is still important to keep them healthy and clean. One of the best ways to instill healthy oral habits for your child is to practice brushing and flossing with them at an early age. Call Dentistry in Buckhead today if you live in the Atlanta area and would like a family dentist who understands parenting firsthand. As a family man and father, Dr. Peter Pate knows that you want the best for your kids, and he’ll help you by providing excellent dental care in an inviting, comforting atmosphere. Call 404-266-9424 and schedule your family’s checkups today.