January 13, 2018
I don’t understand why my dentist is willing to give me a white filling but not my son. He said children can’t have them, but I know my niece gets them. They live in a different state so I can’t go to their dentist. What’s up? I don’t mind going to a different dentist for my son. He’s only seen him once because he doesn’t see children until they’re 10.
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September 13, 2017
I keep getting conflicting information about dental care with children. Though, I shouldn’t ‘be too surprised. I’ve only been a mom for 11 months, but so far every piece of advice or book I’ve read on child rearing has contradicted another piece of advice or book. I can read two different articles and the same action I take will either help my son grow up to be an independent genius or scar him for life. So, now I have to decide about his first dental appointment. He’s been exclusively breast fed and we’re about to start introducing table food to him. I’ve heard two things. 1. Breastfeeding is safer for teeth than formula feeding, therefore they don’t need the one-year-old check-up. 2. Every child, no matter how they’re fed, needs to have the one-year-old check-up to screen for abnormal tooth development. So, what’s your opinion?
You’re right about all the conflicting in formation out there. The one thing you’ll learn throughout your lifetime as a mother is that every child is different. No child fits the norms. Because so much of the information contradicts itself, most of the time you’ll be left with following your mother’s intuition.
One thing that is true is the breastfeeding and bottle feeding have very different effects on teeth. First is the physical differences. While formula tends to pool by children’s teeth, breast milk is sent to the back of the mouth away from their teeth. Secondly, their “ingredients” for lack of a better word are different. We know that breastmilk has properties we haven’t been able to copy in formula. There is mounting evidence that the contents in breastfeeding protect children from cavities.
It would imply that breastfed children do not need to see a pediatric dentist as often. However, as you’ve learned, every child is different.
Reasons for Breastfed Children to See a Pediatric Dentist
- Bacteria Parents with gum disease have higher levels of bacteria. That bacteria is shared through kissing and the sharing of food. As you’re about to introduce table food, that is something to consider.
- Cavities There is always a potential for cavities. Some breastfed babies fall asleep while nursing. Generally, the fact that the milk is sent to the back of their mouth engages their swallowing reflex so no milk pools. However, sometimes the milk flows a bit after the baby stops sucking and can pool at their teeth. There isn’t evidence it does or does not cause cavities yet, but the potential is there, especially if they’re pre-disposed to decay. Which leads me to my next point.
- Genetic Make-up Every family is different. Two people can have the same oral hygiene routine and skill. One will be cavity free, the other will end up with a mouth full of fillings and crowns simply because of their DNA.
- Abnormal Development Your son’s teeth starting developing in the womb. Going right along with genetic issues is the possibility of abnormal development. Whenever you have an abnormality in the development of children’s teeth, it is always easier to treat the earlier it is discovered.
Your Child’s First Pediatric Dental Visit
The first visit isn’t as focused on cavities, though of course that is checked. The dentist will also check their development to make sure no intervention needs to take place. Mostly, though, it’s designed to give your son a positive experience at the dentist and show him how fun it can be.
All too often, parents wait until their son or daughter has a dental emergency pop up before bringing them in. From that moment on, they’ll associate the dentist with pain. Not to mention the more distressing procedures could likely have been avoided altogether if they’d brought them in regularly.
Insurance almost always covers the child’s first visit in full, so it won’t cost you anything but a bit of time.
I hope this helps.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.
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March 31, 2017
I suffered from a bit of dental anxiety. And by a bit I mean a lot. I need a filling. I’m hoping to get a white filling, but I’m having trouble scheduling an appointment. Would it be okay for me to drink some wine before I go to the dentist? It should relax me.
Breeanne P. – San Diego
I’m glad you’re taking steps to go forward with a needed treatment, even though you’re fearful. Wine is one way of dealing with anxiety. However, it may keep the dentist from any necessary work. Don’t let that discourage you, though. There is a great solution.
There are dentists who specialize in helping patients with dental anxiety. You can usually find them with a simple internet search. Look for a “sedation dentist” or a “cater to cowards” dentist. They can give you something which will relax you much better than wine.
Just be sure you keep moving forward. Your cavity will likely be a simple fix, but if you let it go too long, it could blow up into something more extensive, like needing a root canal treatment and dental crown.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Don Swearingen.
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August 31, 2013
I have fillings on my front teeth, but they are discolored compared to my natural teeth. I’m not sure what to do. Do you think Lumineers can fix this problem?
This is a simpler problem than you think. I suggest you get the fillings fixed. It sounds to me like your dentist didn’t know how to match the filling material to your front teeth. There is every color imaginable available for white fillings.
It is true that Lumineers can cover this problem, but they are a lot more expensive than just having your filling replaced by someone who knows what they are doing.
This blog is brought to you by Oklahoma City Dentist Dr. Don Swearingen.
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