Tag Archives: Irvine Children’s Dentistry
I am so proud of my partner Dr. Chand, and her husband, Steve, for what they accomplished on a recent mission to help children with albinism in Tanzania, Africa. Most of us were uninformed about the tragedies these children suffered till Dr. Chand brought it to our attention. I thank the Lord for her fervent heart as she continues to serve others despite the physical and emotional challenges she faces to do so.
In some regions of Africa, people with albinism (a defect of pigment production that results in little or no color in the skin, hair, and eyes) face extreme prejudice and are brutally killed, eaten, and have their body parts sold on the black market. Local witch doctors teach that people with albinism are spirits, rather than actual people, and that albino body parts will bring wealth and good fortune and cure you of many illnesses. “This mistaken belief that albino body parts have magical powers has driven thousands of Africa’s albinos into hiding, fearful of losing their lives and limbs to unscrupulous dealers who can make up to $75,000 selling a complete dismembered set,” (The Associated Press, 2009).
Below is part of a recent email sent to me from Dr. Chand:
“We have met some of the bravest, most amazing children. Today, we treated a 10 year old girl who was attacked and had her arm cut off. I don’t exactly know how she managed to escape but she did! Another little boy had his finger cut off but escaped by biting his attacker. Please continue to pray for our trip and also for these children. There are some schools where the teachers really take care of the children and then there are others where the kids are neglected. In those schools, I saw many kids with sunburn and skin cancer. It really broke my heart….”
To read more about Dr. Chand’s recent mission and to learn more about this cause, click on Dr. Chand’s Blog below:
Photo courtesy of Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and with the right dosing, fluoride is an excellent and safe way to strengthen your child’s teeth and decrease his/her chances of getting a cavity.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease.
2000 US Report of Health Services
28% of children between the ages of 2-5 have decay
78% of kids by age 17 have decay
Communities that are fluoridated show a 50% decrease in cavity rates.
There are 2 ways fluoride can be used. Fluoride can be ingested through fluoridated tap water or fluoride supplements. This type of “internal” fluoride supplementation will increase the strength of the enamel of the developing permanent teeth. You can also use fluoride topically by placing fluoride toothpaste or gels directly on to the existing teeth in your child’s mouth. In summary, topical fluoride helps decrease cavities in existing teeth, and ingesting fluoride internally will help make a child’s developing permanent teeth stronger. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Public Health Department, and the American Dental Association all recommend that children ages 1 to 16 years old receive fluoride either in the water that they drink or as a supplement.
Today, most municipal water supplies are fortified with fluoride. The water supply for Orange County is made up of water from the Metropolitan District of Southern California and contains an average fluoride level of 0.6 parts per million. If the local water supply has a fluoride content of more than 0.3 parts per million then your child does not need a supplement in the form of drops or tablets. You can get information about how much fluoride your tap water contains by contacting your local water department, or by purchasing a test kit.
Although fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral, it is important that children get the right amount of fluoride, as too much over time can lead to fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots to appear on your child’s adult teeth. While most cases of fluorosis are mild, severe cases can cause a brownish mottling on the teeth and weaken tooth enamel. But these cases are mostly caused by over consumption of fluoride through swallowing of toothpaste or fluoride supplements, not through drinking city water. To avoid this, do not use toothpaste or mouthwash that contain fluoride until your child learns how to properly spit out which generally is not till the age of 3 or 4 years old . We recommend when using a fluoride toothpaste, use only a rice-sized amount for children under the age of 3.
Speak with your child’s pediatric dentist to determine the right amount of fluoride for your child.
For more information, please visit us at childrensdentistry.com.
Source: “Fluoride Supplements” by Anonymous. May 20, 2011. http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-infants-toddlers/fluoride-supplements
Source: “Brush up on Healthy Teeth.” http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/pdfs/BrushUpTips.pdf
Source: “Toothcare for Children” by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board. September 2011. http://www.babycenter.com/0_tooth-care-for-children_11282.bc
Parents, especially new ones, are often surprised to learn that their child could benefit from visiting the dentist before the age of 1. Here are 7 reasons why it is recommended:
- Teeth can decay as soon as they appear in the mouth, so even a 6-month-old baby can get cavities!
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that cavity rates have increased for children ages 2-5 in the last decade.
- Most all dental problems are preventable! See the dentist early and get educated about preventive dental care. Your child will thank you for it!
- Dental problems only get worse with time. In some cases if decay is caught early, there are therapies that can reverse or minimize their growth.
- Children with less dental problems are more likely to grow up to be adults with positive attitudes about going to the dentist.
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends initial checkups for children no later than age 1.
- Check-ups for children under 3 are often free at pediatric dental offices!
Many parents often ask, “But how will you handle my child? He/she will not cooperate at this age.” At age 1, we generally only do an initial examination which lasts about a minute and with no discomfort to your child.
One of the most heartbreaking problems I see as a pediatric dentist is when a baby has tooth decay and infection that requires the removal of his/her baby teeth. Like many things in a young child’s life, this is something that we as parents can help prevent.
For more information please visit www.childrensdentistry.com!
Very often parents call us (some in a panic) concerned that their child’s permanent teeth are growing in but their baby teeth are not falling out. This occurrence is actually very common and I typically explain the following to parents:
- Baby teeth get loose and come out because the permanent teeth that usually grow in directly underneath them shrink the root of the baby tooth, thus making the baby tooth “rootless” so that it becomes loose enough to fall out.
- If the permanent tooth does not grow in directly underneath the baby tooth, the baby tooth will not get “pushed out”. This occurrence most commonly occurs on the lower front teeth (incisors) between the ages of 5-7 but can also occur in other teeth in the mouth as well. We often see permanent lower incisors growing in behind the lower baby incisors.
For most kids, having a second row of teeth will be temporary as the baby tooth will gradually fall out on their own. As soon as the permanent tooth erupts, parents should encourage their child to wiggle their baby tooth back and forth and also in a twisting motion. Some kids are willing and excited about doing this and others will refuse completely.
If the baby tooth is not showing signs of loosening, I recommend that it be removed by a dentist so that the permanent tooth can grow into its proper position. I will typically make this recommendation when the permanent incisor is at least half way erupted and the baby tooth is not getting more loose over time.
Thus, consider visiting your dentist if it appears that the baby tooth is not on its way out. If you do have to make that visit to the dentist, please know that in these circumstances, removal of a baby tooth is generally a painless and quick procedure that most kids tolerate just fine! Most of our patients go home with a smile excited about getting a visit from the tooth fairy!