How to Find the Right Pediatric Dentist

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How to Find the Right Pediatric DentistWhether you have a little one who is reaching his or her first birthday or you have moved to a new city, you might be looking for a pediatric dentist. Finding the right dentist for your child is just as important as finding the right pediatrician, as beginning care sets the tone for the health and comfort of your child.

Finding a Dentist

First of all, you want to make sure the dentist you are choosing is a pediatric dentist. Not all dental offices see children, so you want to make sure you are choosing the right practice to suit your child’s needs. Pediatric dentists take extra care when it comes to the dental care of children and will work with you and your child to make sure you both have a comfortable and enjoyable visit. They also focus on educating you and your child on how to establish a healthy dental care routine so that you can continue taking care of your child’s teeth between visits. Be sure to ask for recommendations from your friends and family and do plenty of research on the practice and pediatric dentist before calling to schedule a consultation. You can also search the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s database for pediatric dentists in your area.

Schedule Consultations

Schedule consultations with a few of your options before making a decision. Usually, these are at no cost to you and will give you a better idea about what to expect from the practice. A consultation is a great opportunity to meet the dentist and see if he or she is a good fit to work with your child. The atmosphere of the office will also be a good indicator as to whether or not it is the right practice for your child. Good pediatric dentists will take the extra time to make sure you and your child have a comfortable, enjoyable visit while answering any questions you may have about your child’s care.

Making Your Decision

Once you have narrowed down your choices to a few solid options, it will be time to make a decision. Make sure your final options accept any insurance you may have and choose the option that you feel will be best for your family.

Here at NoPo Kids Dentistry, we are always welcoming new patients and would love to help get you established at our practice. We will take the extra time to help you and your child feel comfortable at each visit, and will do our best to help educate you through each step of care and treatment. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today at (971) 978-0009.

Thumb Sucking: How Can I Help My Child?

thumb sucking

Whether you first saw him do it first in an ultrasound or now when he’s sleepy, thumb sucking can be one of the sweetest postures of a child. But when does it become a cause for concern for your child’s orthodontic development?

Our team at NoPo Kids Dentistry understands the struggle of helping your child break the thumb sucking habit and we are here to help you every step of the way. Let’s take a closer look at the issue and how it can be addressed.

Is thumb sucking a bad habit? When should I intervene?

The thumb sucking reflex is natural, and can sometimes be brought on by erupting primary teeth or simply as a comforting reflex for infants and young children.

The habit becomes an issue when the child’s permanent teeth start to come in as thumb sucking can greatly increase the risk of orthodontic issues and misalignment of the secondary teeth.

Most children stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of 2 and 4, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends intervention if a child continues the habit after the age of 5.

How can I help my child quit sucking his thumb?

There are multiple approaches to helping your child quit the habit of thumb sucking. You, the parent, will be the best judge as to which approach will work best for your child depending on his personality and motive, but we are happy to help provide suggestions.

  • Identify any triggers. Knowing the motive for the reflex is key to helping your child quit sucking his thumb. Try to remove any stressors that may be impacting your child. If you notice he starts to suck his thumb, ask him what is bothering him or how you can make him more comfortable. Often children suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. By finding the root cause, you can offer alternative solutions to help your child feel more comfortable.
  • Positive Reinforcement. Set short term, attainable goals and reward him when he reaches them. Whether it is not sucking his thumb before bed or going the entire day without thumb sucking, recognize the achievement and respond in a positive way.
  • Give kind, gentle reminders. If you notice your child start to suck his thumb, remind him about his goal and ask what you can do to help him. Often children don’t even realize they are doing it as it is a natural reflex, so bringing it to his attention can help him recognize when and why he is doing it.

As always, we are always here to help answer any questions you may have about your child’s dental care. We would be happy to talk with you and your child about the importance of stopping thumb-sucking before the permanent teeth erupt should you need assistance. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us at NoPo Kids Dentistry today.

Understanding Cavities – Dr. Staci’s Tips on Prevention and Remineralization- Part 1

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Understanding Cavities - Dr. Staci’s Tips on Prevention and Remineralization- Part 1As a dentist with an integrative approach, one of my top priorities is getting down the root cause of the issue rather than just treating symptoms and masking the problem. Remember, acid is the cause of almost all oral issues, but we will discuss this in a future post!

Teeth can repair and heal, just like bones! Made up of 96% minerals, teeth are the strongest tissue in the human body. They are porous, which allows them to lose minerals (but also to absorb them!). Absorbing minerals from the outside of the teeth is great news! But don’t forget how important putting healthy things into our bodies is, too. Certain nutrients can help from the inside of the tooth since our teeth are all vital and have a blood and nerve supply which can bring essential nutrients into your teeth. You can potentially prevent and even reverse tooth structure with these steps below.

Fat Soluble Vitamins (A, D, E, K)

VITAMIN K2 plays a key role in the development and maintenance of healthy tooth enamel (outer layer of teeth with no living cells) and dentin (inner layer of teeth with living cells) immune response. Without the Vitamin K2, calcium can’t be adequately processed in kids’ bodies.

Carlson Kid’s Super Daily K2 is a dairy-free, vegetarian liquid form supplement. Just place a drop in food or a drink daily.

VITAMIN D3 is referred to as the sunshine vitamin and helps aid in the absorption of calcium.
Renzo’s Dyanite D3 is a tasty, green apple flavored tablet that is vegan, sugar free, with no artificial sweeteners. Totally kid-approved!

Calcium, Magnesium, Phosporous

All of these dietary minerals are essential for healthy teeth (and bones, of course!). Many dietary nutrients need one another for maximum efficacy, so be sure your child has enough of each. These have benefits to teeth both systemically and topically, so look for foods high in essential nutrients as well as dental care products that can remineralize teeth! Theodent and Revitin are both wonderful toothpastes that have lots of good stuff within their ingredients including calcium to help our teeth heal from the outside-in! As always, consult with your child’s physician prior to any supplementation changes.

Bone Broth

Some people refer to bone broth as liquid gold. The collagen aids in remineralization, stabilizing teeth and benefits enamel and bone density. It will also help strengthen your hair, nails, skin, and joints! I always recommend making your own, but as a working mom myself I don’t always have the time. Kettle & Fire’s Bone Broth is organic with a variety of yummy flavors.

XYLITOL

A natural sweetener found in the fibers of fruit and vegetables, Xylitol stimulates saliva flow which reduces the risk of tooth decay, strengthens teeth and inhibits growth of dental plaque.
Ice Chips Candy satisfies your sweet tooth without the guilt of sugar and is created from very natural Xylitol resources, as opposed to being created in a laboratory.

BEVERAGES

Water, of course, is a no-brainer and is always the best option. Milk is packed with calcium, however, avoid drinking before bedtime, especially after you have already brushed. Lactose is a form of sugar which can cling to the teeth leading to increased acidity and potential cavities. I recommend plain A2 or grass-fed, grass-finished milks which are easier to digest and more abundant in K2 as well as other nutrients.

MOUTHRINSES

Did you know that your mouth has its own pH? In order to keep your teeth healthy, your pH should be around 6.7. I recommend using Elementa NanoSilver Mouthrinse – not only does it balance your pH, but it also delivers Calcium and Xylitol directly to your teeth by breaking down plaque. Also, Baking Soda is a great neutralizer! Use it as a rinse or brush with it for a more stable and brighter smile.

Four Reasons Why You Should Floss Every Day

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Our mouths are something we use every day, so taking care of it should always be a top priority. Taking care of your mouth means you should routinely brush, floss, use mouthwash, and even visually check the appearance of your mouth for anything out of the ordinary. Believe it or not, one can tell a lot about the overall health of an individual just by looking into their mouth. When your dentist peers into your mouth they aren’t just looking at your teeth – instead they are looking outside the box as well for anything out of the ordinary that may signal a more serious underlying health condition – including things such as redness, swelling, bumps, bad breath, sores, and more. Just by looking inside the mouth, dentists can tell how well an individual is hydrated, and if they are showing signs of oral cancer, diabetes, anemia, autoimmune diseases, acid reflux disease, or kidney disease.

Amazing, right? Issues within the mouth can indicate a variety of underlying health conditions, and with your routine dental exam, you may be able to catch them early and intervene before the illness spirals out of control. Now that you know this, please don’t keep rescheduling your next routine office visit for cleaning because your oral health is essential. Keep in mind that oral issues can develop quickly and progress just the same, and the scary thing is you may not even notice them until maybe they cause you pain – which then may be too late.

Good oral health not only involves brushing your teeth daily, but optimal oral hygiene also includes using mouthwash, flossing, and even doing a visual check of your mouth and gums on a routine basis to make sure everything looks “normal” for you. The benefits of brushing the teeth are obvious, but why is flossing so important? I mean it is two more minutes of your time that could be spent elsewhere since you’re probably always in a hurry – plus what does flossing do anyways? Listen up, because there are some reasons why you should never skip out on flossing.

One. Flossing does about 40 percent of the work that is required to remove all that sticky, harsh bacteria from your mouth and teeth that can turn into plaque. plaque is that nasty substance that settles quickly onto your teeth causes cavities, irritates the gums and can lead to gum disease. Plaque starts to harden within hours of that last time you ate, and once 48 hours have passed, that nasty substance will be stuck to your teeth quite firmly, leaving a professional cleaning the best way to remove it. Each one of your teeth has a total of 5 surfaces, and if you skip out on flossing at least two whole surfaces do not get cleaned, and over time all that bacteria builds, and builds, and builds and – well you know – causes bad things to happen.

Two. Your gums really will stop bleeding. Are you hesitant to floss because you see blood each time you do? The truth is if you routinely floss the bleeding will stop because if the bacteria around your gum line is kept to a minimum, the fewer blood cells your body will have to send to the area to fight off the bacteria. Therefore, the more you floss, the less blood you’ll see. Try it for yourself!

Three. The rest of your body will thank you. The more clean and healthy your mouth is, the better off you are at reducing your chances at predisposing yourself to more severe health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Also, if you’ve already been unfortunate enough to have one of these illnesses, improvement of your oral health may help to improve and maintain your overall health, and possibly even slow the progression of the disease.

Four. “Cavity” is that word you hate to hear when you are the one laying in the dentist chair. Well, not only can cavities form on one tooth, but they can also develop in the crevices between your teeth. That is why flossing in between your teeth to clean out all that unwanted bacteria is so important, because a cavity between two teeth can lead to even more damage to your teeth and lead to more pain, dentist visits, and money spent for you.

So now you can decide, is there anything satisfying or rewarding that comes from flossing your teeth? The final decision to floss your teeth is ultimately up to you, but the benefits of taking that extra couple minutes in front of the mirror could do wonders for your oral health and your overall health. Make flossing a part of your routine and schedule a routine checkup with NoPo Kids Dentistry today. Your body, your health, and even those around you will greatly appreciate it!