46383 Pediatric Dentist | Say Cheese!

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso

It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our pediatric dental office.

1111 Cumberland Crossing Dr.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

(219) 286-6148

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso | Can Teething Affect More Than My Child’s Mouth?

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It is a common belief that teething causes secondary symptoms such as a runny nose, irritability, high fever, or problems with sleeping. However, studies have shown that these types of concerns are caused by health issues unrelated to teething. Here are some of the things to expect during teething, and some that are often attributed to teething, but are better discussed with your child’s doctor.

A Teething Breakdown

Teething generally begins around 6-12 months of age, and can 24 months or more to complete. Each tooth eruption lasts about a week – 4 days before the tooth breaks through, followed by 3 days of healing. During these episodes, it is common to see some minor symptoms. Your child may experience a low-grade fever (around 99.0°F), excessive drooling, chewing obsession, gum irritation and discomfort, and/or a slight facial rash during tooth eruption. These symptoms are all normal and should pass within a few days.

What Teething Doesn’t Cause

While teething may cause the mild reactions listed above, more serious symptoms like those below, are not related to teething:

  •         Runny Nose
  •         High Fever
  •         Vomiting
  •         Digestive issues (Diarrhea, cramping)
  •         Coughing

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms for an extended time, consult your child’s doctor.

Your child should have a dental visit within the first 6 months of tooth eruption. It is important to have examinations done early, so you can start them on a path of life-long oral health. If your child is teething, our team is more than happy to help. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

1111 Cumberland Crossing Dr.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

(219) 286-6148

 

46383 Pediatric Dentist | How Probiotics Improve Oral Health

Pediatric Dentist Valparaiso

pediaric dentist valparaisoProbiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.

Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.

Fighting Cavities

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.

Minimizing Bad Breath

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.

Contact our team for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today.

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

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Gear Up – Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso

Pediatric Dentist in ValparaisoLosing a tooth can make simple tasks difficult. A missing tooth can impact the way you smile, eat, and talk. If your child plays sports, they are at a higher risk for losing a tooth. It is important for them to visit us to discuss potential protective solutions. Mouth guards are a useful tool for keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Here’s what you need to know.

What do Mouthguards Do?

Mouthguards help protect the teeth. They are a line of defense in situations where an injury may occur. In addition to protecting teeth, they help cushion the tongue, jaw, and lips from injury. Usually, a mouthguard protects the top row of teeth because they protrude out further than the bottom set.

Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?

If your child plays sports, particularly high-contact sports, they should wear a mouthguard. Hockey, football, wrestling, and boxing can all present situations where teeth may become injured. Think of a mouthguard as a necessary component to your child’s set of equipment. It may also be helpful for non-contact sports players to wear a mouthguard. Even baseball players and gymnasts can benefit from using one to protect against an oral injury.

Custom vs. Store-Bought

Ideally, your child should wear a custom-fitted mouthguard. There are options available at stores, but these often do not fit well. Having a mouthguard that fits comfortably and does not impeded talking or breathing is important. At your child’s next visit, ask us about fitting your child for a mouthguard. If your child wears braces, we can help you find a solution that keeps their teeth safe during orthodontic treatment.

Your child’s teeth deserve to be protected. Imagine how difficult it would be to talk, eat, drink, or smile with a missing tooth. Young athletes put their mouths at risk each time they practice or compete. Make sure they have the right gear to stay safe.

For questions about your child’s dental care or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Don’t Let Fear Ruin Your Healthy Smile

Dentist in Valparaiso

Valparaiso Dentist INHave you ever skipped or rescheduled a dental appointment due to fear or anxiety? Does the idea of having dental treatment fill you with dread? Do you worry about pain, embarrassment, or loss of control every time you sit down in a dental examination chair? You are not alone. And even better, we can help.

Most people experience some level of nervousness when going to the dentist. For about 10-20% of people, though, going to the dentist causes such anxiety that they will avoid going much longer than they should, sometimes leaving problems untreated for years. This can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health and self-esteem as well.

So, how does this happen? In most cases, dental fear is caused by either previous bad dental experiences or by indirect experiences, such as witnessing a parent with dental fear avoiding treatment. Once dental fear begins, it can be self-reinforcing and difficult to overcome.

We can help. The first step in overcoming dental fear and regaining your oral health is to let us know that this fear is an issue for you. There are a variety of techniques we can use to help make your visit comfortable and reassuring and to help you feel safe. Dr. Corns and our whole team are happy to speak with you about your specific concerns and anxieties and help you have more control over your own treatment plan. We will start with short, easy consultation and treatments and progress at the pace that feels right to you. When you feel safe and comfortable, your body is more able to relax during treatments, allowing greater anesthetic effectiveness.

So if dental anxiety has forced you to put off the treatments you need to regain or maintain your healthy smile, give Dr. Corns a call and let us show you why we’re known for compassionate, patient-centric dental care.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso, IN

Valparaiso pediatric dentsitBrushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

  • All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.
  • Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).
  • The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.

Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month With Us!

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso, IN

Dentist ValparaisoFebruary is National Children’s Dental Health Month!  Developing good oral hygiene habits and regular dental check-ups can be the start of a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums for children.

According to the National Institutes of Health, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease.  It is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.  Each year, dental-related illnesses result in children missing more than 51 million hours of school.  When dental diseases in children are left untreated, the pain and suffering can result in problems with eating, speaking and distract attention away from learning.

The key to good oral health in children begins at home.  The American Dental Association recommends the following:

  • Brush for 2 minutes twice each day
  • Floss daily to clean the spaces between teeth
  • Eat healthy meals and snacks
  • Visit the dentist regularly

We have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood.  With regular check-ups and cleanings, we can ensure healthy and happy smiles. It is recommended for all patients to schedule a routine six-month check-up exam.

Our dentist will screen your child’s mouth for tooth decay and gum disease.  During your child’s dental cleaning, we will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tartar.  To help your child maintain his or her healthy mouth, we may also recommend sealants and fluoride treatments.

Please contact our office to schedule your child’s next dental appointment.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Scare Away Tooth Decay

Dentist in Valparaiso INHalloween is just around the corner, and everyone, both kids and adults, are excited to indulge in sweet treats. Although Trick-or-Treating may be a fun activity, don’t forget to consider the impact it has on your oral health.

As you check the candy loot, remove some of the following tooth decaying culprits from the stash:

  1. Candy Corn: This bite size candy seems harmless. However, some of us grab it by the handful. Candy corn contains a high amount of sugar and can often lead to tooth decay.   If you’re not careful, you could end up eating an entire bag.
  1. Chewy Sweets: Gummy candies and taffy can be difficult for children and adults to resist, but they are a serious source of tooth decay. It often gets stuck in the crevices between teeth, making it difficult to remove.
  1. Sour Treats: Sour candies, such as Warheads, Sour Patch Kids and Sour Skittles, have high acid levels that can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news is that saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of acid in the mouth. It is recommended to wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth after consuming sour candies. Otherwise, you will be brushing acid onto more tooth surfaces, increasing erosive action.
  1. Hard Candy: Any candy that stays in your mouth for an extended period of time is more harmful for your teeth than candy that is quickly consumed. Examples of these candies include lollipops, Gobstobbers and Jolly Ranchers. Hard candy lowers the pH in your mouth, creating a more acidic environment that is more conducive to enamel erosion and decay.
  1. Caramel Chocolate: Candies, such as Milky Ways and Twix, contain caramel, a gooey substance that sticks to your teeth and is hard to rinse out when you get a drink or from the saliva in your mouth. That means that more harmful bacteria and acids grow, which put your teeth at an increased risk of decay.

By encouraging good oral hygiene, Halloween can be a fun, cavity-free holiday! If you forgot to schedule your last six-month check-up, now’s a good time to get back on track and contact us at Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We also encourage you to schedule an extra post-Halloween dental cleaning to ensure healthy teeth after eating all that candy!