Kids Dentist Valparaiso | Common Questions from Parents

Children’s Dentist Near Me

These are some of the most common questions we hear from parents, and the answers we provide:

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

Our team recommends that you schedule an appointment for your child as soon as your baby’s first tooth develops. If your child does not have teeth by their first birthday, you should schedule an appointment so we can ensure their teeth are developing properly. You can help protect your child’s teeth by establishing a pattern of regular dental visits.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

A pediatric dentist must complete additional education necessary to provide care to children. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training to treat the specific oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special needs.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

At your child’s first visit, you should expect to:

  •      Review your child’s history
  •      Respond to questions and concerns
  •      Bring any questions you would like answered
  •      Have your child’s mouth examined and cleaned
  •      Have our team help set your child at ease and make their visit fun

For other questions, please call our office. We’re here for you and your child.

Kids Dentist Valparaiso | Make Your Child Smile at the Dentist

It’s always important to have fun with our children. New experiences, new people and new surroundings can seem overwhelming to little ones. Read on for ways to make a trip to the dentist fun for your child and for you!

  1. Explain the Profession

Treat each experience at our office as a chance to educate your child. Look for way to discuss how different adults have different professions. Explain to your child that a dentist is a doctor, who treats and cares for teeth. Watch your child’s initial fear of the unknown transform into curiosity.

  1. Explain Why

Children as young as 3 can value an explanation. Whether imparting the importance of sunscreen or a winter jacket, children often understand far more than most realize. Explain the importance of visits to the dentist as well as daily brushing and flossing. This will help them to enjoy their visits as they understand the role we play in their healthy body and smile.

  1. Make the Visit Fun

Our dental team will always greet you and your child with a smile. We understand the importance of making each appointment enjoyable. With your assistance, we can create a fun and educational experience at each and every visit. This will establish the foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child.

  1. Reward and Applaud

When your child leaves with a smile, make sure he or she is given attention for excellent behavior at our office. Spending special one-on-one time with your child after his or her appointment can create a routine that both you and your child will enjoy.

Please know your child’s oral and overall health is important to us. Call us any time with questions or concerns. We’re here for you.

Kids Dentist Valparaiso | 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Tooth Decay

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

A happy smile is a healthy smile! There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Here are a few suggestions from our team.

Eat a Tooth Friendly Diet

Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances.

We suggest you reduce grains, beans, seeds, and nuts in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and bones due to their acidic content. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diet such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth.

Dental Sealants

Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. However, dental sealants can benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and minimizes exposure of the tooth to harmful acids and sugars that wear down enamel.

When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution.

Don’t forget to schedule your next visit to our office. Our team can provide a professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay.

Kids Dentist Valparaiso | 3 Steps to a Healthy Smile

Kids Dentist Valparaiso, IN

Did you know that tooth decay is the single largest cause of school absences? The longer decay goes untreated, the worse it gets. Not only can this mean costlier expenses for you, but it also jeopardizes your child’s oral health and education. You can help your child have a healthy, happy smile by taking a few steps to defend against tooth decay. Here are three steps you can take at home.

  1. Reduce Excessive Sugar

Sugary foods feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Limit your child’s sugary intake by keeping candy, soft drinks, juices, and other sweets to a minimum. If your child does indulge in a sugary snack or treat, make sure they brush their teeth afterwards.

  1. Follow a Consistent Brushing Routine

One of the best steps you can take for your child is to help them establish a daily brushing routine. They should brush for at least two minutes both morning and night. Try brushing at the same times each day so that it becomes a habit. We also strongly recommend that parents monitor their children to make sure they are brushing correctly and safely. It’s important that children avoid swallowing toothpaste or mouthwash.

  1. Strengthen Teeth with Dairy Products

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, particularly cheese, yogurt, and milk. Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth. Increasing the amount of calcium in your child’s diet can help strengthen tooth enamel, one of the natural defenses against decay. If your child is lactose intolerant or cannot consume other dairy products, we suggest you talk to our team for additional solutions.

Healthy teeth start at home. Implement the three simple steps above with your child at home to ensure they have a happy, healthy smile. The single most important step you can take for your child is to bring them in to see our team. Regular oral health examinations for your child are essential to ensure that their teeth are healthy and growing properly.

Contact our team to schedule your child’s next examination today.

Kids Dentist Valparaiso |

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

Valparaiso Pediatric DentistAlong with cooler weather and the end of year school break, winter brings the return of cold and flu season. When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.

Brush and floss

Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.

Hydrate

When your child is sick, they need plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat dry mouth and congestion.

Watch out for sugars

Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.

Disinfect dental appliances

If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.

Follow-up

When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our office.

Kids Dentist Valparaiso | 6 Ways to Get Your Calcium

Children’s Dentist Near Me

Calcium is an important mineral for building strong, healthy teeth. Not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in dairy, which is often a prime source for calcium. There are a wide variety of options available to get the calcium you need. Here are six options rich in calcium:

Canned Seafood

Canned seafood, such as sardines and salmon, can be an excellent source of calcium. These inexpensive options contain more calcium than their fresh counterparts. Canned seafood has small, soft, edible bones that are generally unnoticeable but can be a great way to add calcium to a salad or another dish.

Alternative Milk Products

Soy, rice, and almond milks offer added calcium and can be used as a milk substitute in many dishes. Experiment with different varieties to determine which flavor you like the most for each use. Try one of these milk alternatives on cereal or use in a cooked dish. Soy, rice, and almond milks are available in a variety of flavors, including plain, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and other options.

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are a prime source of calcium. Collard greens, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, kale, okra, and broccoli are all great choices for adding calcium to your diet.

Milk

Milk is one of the best sources of calcium. One cup of cow’s milk can potentially contain a quarter of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Cow’s milk is also a cheap option, as it is generally priced below alternative options like almond milk. Additional benefits provided are good source of protein, vitamin A and vitamin D.

Yogurt

Most yogurts are high in calcium. The highest source of calcium from yogurt comes from the low-fat variety, while Greek yogurt has a lower amount of calcium than regular yogurt.

Cheese

A lot of cheeses are excellent sources of calcium. Parmesan cheese has the highest amount of calcium among cheeses. Softer varieties of cheese generally have less calcium than others. Aged and hard cheeses typically contain less lactose, making them easier to eat for people with dairy restrictions.

Calcium is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you have trouble digesting dairy, don’t let that stop you from consuming your recommended amount of daily calcium.

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso, IN | The Hidden Risks in Your Child’s Hobby

46383 Dentist

Does your child play a musical instrument? While participating in the school band, or learning an instrument at home can be a rewarding and enriching hobby, there can be underlying health risks. This is particularly true if your child plays instruments such as the flute, saxophone, or clarinet. Instruments that require contact with the mouth can be a home for germs and bacteria. Here’s what you can do to keep your child healthy.

The Health Problem Associated with Musical Instruments

The potential issue is not with the instrument’s mouthpiece alone. Children who join their school’s band program often get instruments loaned to them. If the instrument is not properly sanitized between students, bacteria and fungi can grow for months after use. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, woodwind and brass instruments are most commonly affected. Proper sanitation can reduce the bacteria found covering these instruments.

The Dangerous Effects of Bacteria

A 2011 study published in the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry uncovered the extent of bacteria in school instruments. Thirteen instruments were tested from a high school after one week of being played, and over 442 different types of bacteria were found. Aside from bacteria, molds and yeasts were also discovered on the instruments. Many types of bacteria can be dangerous and cause staph infections, asthma, and skin infections. Doctors are starting to find certain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, which makes cleaning your child’s instruments even more important.

Steps to Take to Reduce the Risk of Infections

Not only is it extremely important to sterilize your child’s instrument after someone else uses it, but you should be cleaning the instrument after every use. Focus on keeping the mouthpiece clean and free of bacteria. Taking the instrument apart and cleaning it with a new cloth daily can help keep your child healthy.

Learning a musical instrument can be educational and a rewarding experience for your child. Knowing about the risks of improper sanitation and the correct steps to take to sanitize your child’s instrument will help them stay happy and healthy. Our office encourages families to visit the dentist at least twice a year to avoid oral health complications.

For more information or to schedule your next appointment, please contact us today.

1111 Cumberland Crossing Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 286-6148

 

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Why You Should Avoid the Emergency Room for Dental Work

Pediatric Dentist Valparaiso

Valparaiso IN Pediatric DentistYou want to save time and money, so you take your child to the emergency room for a dental problem. It’s a growing trend especially among parents, but you should generally avoid using the emergency room when dental problems occur. We understand you want your child to receive the best available care in the quickest manner possible. However, it is important to know the best place to seek out for dental issues is often our office.

How Common is it?

Over the past several years there has been a noticeable increase in the number of patients admitted to the emergency room because of a dental issue. The American Dental Association estimates that emergency room visits for dental issues occur roughly every 15 seconds, for a total of 2.2 million patients per year.

When You Should Visit the Emergency Room

If your child has a broken jaw or severe bleeding from the mouth, then an emergency room visit is in order. However, when it comes to severe discomfort from a toothache, broken teeth, or extensive decay, our dental office is a much better option to help treat you. Our office is equipped with a knowledgeable team that specializes in dental care. Our dentist also uses special tools that an emergency room would not be equipped with.

Why People Choose the Emergency Room Instead

When it comes to children, many parents take their kids to the emergency room because of insurance. You might think it will be easier and cheaper but the reality is often the opposite. Those lacking dental insurance seek out the hospital as a cheaper alternative, only instead to be billed excessively for what is likely considered a “non-emergency.” Also, emergency room wait times can often be extensive so it is usually not a quick alternative.

Our office works hard to ensure visitors receive excellent, affordable care in the quickest manner possible. Talk to us about your own situation so that we can reach a solution.

Regular Visits Are Your Best Defense

A visit to the emergency room is costly. Instead, your best defense in keeping a healthy mouth is by setting up regular visits to our office. Many who seek dental care in the emergency room do so because they neglected to act sooner, but our professional dental team can assist you. Tackling dental care early is your best defense.

When it comes to receiving dental care, our office has the knowledge and experience to best serve you. Our dentist has the necessary tools to treat patients. We strive to see our patients in a timely manner, so call our office to schedule your next visit.

If you have any questions about keeping your smile healthy, please contact our office.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Thank You

 

Thank you for trusting me with your dental health care. You are a valuable part of my work and my life. I want you to know that my team and I appreciate your time, your trust, and your teamwork in your oral health care.

A smile is contagious. I love coming into work everyday and helping our fellow community members achieve the smile of their dreams because it means that they’ll share that smile with those around them. I believe that all of this smiling makes our community a better, happier place.

Serving the community we share gives me purpose. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for sharing your smile with our staff and your fellow community members. Thank you for being a patient that brightens our team’s day. Thank you for being a big part of why I smile.

If we’ve made you smile, please tell your friends and family about us. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.

Thank you so much.

 

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | The Importance of Oral Health Care While Pregnant

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso, IN

Dentist Near MeAre you or a loved one currently pregnant or considering becoming pregnant? Congratulations! Since May is the month of Mother’s Day, we wanted to share some vital information.

Pregnant women experience major hormonal changes. For some, the mouth may be affected, causing what is known as “pregnancy periodontal disease.” Even those with great oral hygiene habits can be affected by this inflammation of the gums that causes swelling, tenderness, and sometimes minor bleeding of the gums during brushing or flossing. Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and pre-term low birth weight babies. Before and during pregnancy, it is important to practice optimal oral health.

Pregnant woman may also have increased risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness, in particular, can cause increased acid exposure in your mouth, which can eat away at the strong, white protective layer called enamel. The American Dental Association recommends that if you are having frequent vomiting from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the stomach acid on your teeth.

While you are pregnant, be sure to continue following great oral hygiene habits and keep your regularly scheduled dental appointments. We may recommend increasing frequency of professional cleanings and exams during your pregnancy to help counter these effects.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns involving your oral health. We look forward to seeing you soon.