Pediatric Dentist | Pacifiers and Teeth Development

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

One of the best ways to calm fussy babies is by giving them a pacifier. However, as babies grow this can be a difficult habit to break. The use of pacifiers can cause improper mouth development which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here’s what you need to know about the impact pacifiers have on your baby’s smile.

Negative Effects of Pacifiers

Physical development is crucial for children’s overall health in the first few years of their life. What you do now can affect them for their entire life. Pacifiers can influence the shape and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw. It can move the front teeth forward and you may notice your child developing crooked teeth or bite problems. The front teeth may also not meet when their mouth is closed and there can be changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth.

Positive Effects of Pacifiers

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits for parents and children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) babies up to one year of age who are offered a pacifier at night have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What You Should Do

Since pacifiers can be beneficial for other health reasons, you should speak with us about how to wean your baby off of pacifiers. We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth develops.

Breaking the habit of pacifier use can be difficult, but there are various ways you can wean your child off a pacifier. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.

Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team today.  

Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of Valparaiso
1111 Cumberland Crossing Drive, Valparaiso, IN 46383
(219) 286-6148

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | One Simple Treatment Can Save Your Child’s Smile

Pediatric Dentist in Valparaiso, IN

Valparaiso Pediatric DentistOur dentist might suggest dental sealants for your child during a visit to our office. Sealants are a way to protect your teeth against decay. With any dental treatment, it helps to understand the procedure and how it can impact your child’s oral health.

Why Get Sealants?

Sealants help to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are applied on the back teeth, where decay is most likely to develop. Our dentist will often recommend sealants for children and teens, but adults may benefit from sealants, as well.

The further your teeth are in the back of your mouth, the more difficult it can be to maintain the proper hygiene needed to keep them healthy. Sealants can prevent up to 80% of decay within the first two years alone. After 4 years, sealants continue to prevent as much as 50% of decay. Children without sealants are more than three times as likely to develop tooth decay than those with sealants.

When Should You Get Them?

Your child’s first molars usually become visible around age 6, with the second set around age 12. You will want to talk to us about the best course of action for keeping molars healthy. Sealants are most effective when they are done as soon as the molars break through. Regular examinations with our dentist will determine the best time to have sealants applied.

What Should I Expect?

Sealants are one of the simplest treatments we perform in our office. There is generally no discomfort associated with this process. We will first thoroughly clean your child’s teeth, and then use a special gel. The gel is then cleaned off before the sealant is applied. A small blue light is used to harden the sealant in a matter of moments.

What Concerns Should I Have?

There are no side-effects from sealants, and allergic reactions are extremely rare. However, talk to our doctor about any allergies your child has so we can discuss the best possible course of action.

Next Steps

Sealants last for years before needing to be reapplied. It is important to schedule regular visits to our office so that our dentist can check the condition of the sealants and teeth on an ongoing basis. If your child had sealants several years ago and you are unsure if they should be reapplied, schedule an appointment with us.

For more tips on keeping teeth healthy and for questions about dental sealants, contact our office.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | 10 Dental Facts from Our Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist

Did you know that once a tooth gets knocked out, it starts to die within 15 minutes?  If you put it in milk or hold it in your mouth, it will survive longer!

Take a look at some of these interesting dental facts. Contact our Valparaiso pediatric dentist for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Pediatric Dentist Northwest Indiana

Pediatric Dentist Valparaiso | Healthy Lunch Ideas for Both Children and Adults

Valparaiso Pediatric DentistSeptember is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. It is also a time when our schedules become busy with school, after-school activities, work and social gatherings. When short on time it can be tempting to buy convenient lunch foods, which at times lack nutritional value. We’ve put together a list of healthy lunch and snack foods to promote oral and overall health of our community.

Apples & Pears

Firm, crunchy fruits are high in water content. This dilutes the effects of the sugar they contain and help to stimulate saliva production, making them excellent for oral health.

Water & Milk

Water and milk are far better choices than sugary juices and sports drinks, which contribute to decay. If you choose to allow sugary drinks, save them for an after school snack and encourage brushing after consumption.

Cheeses & Nuts

The calcium and phosphorus found in these foods help to re-mineralize teeth by strengthening the tooth’s enamel.

Carrots & Broccoli

Replace a bag of chips with colorful vegetables and a low-fat dip. This will encourage your children to make a habit of snacking healthy and help them to get the vital vitamins and nutrients needed for oral and overall health.

Childhood obesity and childhood caries are of the most common ailments effecting American children today. Help your children by making healthy food available every day.

We welcome both children and adults of all ages to our dental practice. Don’t forget to make brushing and flossing an important part of your child’s routine, as well as regular visits to our Valparaiso pediatric dental office.

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Dental Myths & Facts

Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush after illness? Read more about dental myths, facts and oddities.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Valparaiso pediatric dentist.

Valparaiso pediatric dentist

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Unexpected Ways to Use Toothpaste

Pediatric Dentist ValparaisoToothpaste does a great job of cleaning teeth, but there are many other uses for toothpaste that you might not expect. The same ingredients that help polish our teeth can also soothe some common ailments, make items sparkle, and get rid of stains and pungent smells. Read these tricks on how toothpaste can do much more than leave your smile looking bright.

Relieve irritation from bee stings and insect bites. Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the sting/bite to stop the itching and decrease any swelling. The toothpaste dries up the wound and helps it heal faster.

Remove crayon and other marks from painted walls. Rub a damp cloth with toothpaste gently on the marked-up wall and watch the marks disappear. The best part is that it won’t remove the paint off the walls.

Prevent mirrors from fogging. Rub toothpaste on the mirrors and wipe it off before your next shower. This will help you save time during your morning routine by not waiting for the mirror to clear up.

Remove scuffs from dirty shoes. Apply toothpaste directly to the dirty or scuffed area, then scrub with a brush and wipe clean. Stubborn stains may require additional toothpaste or multiple applications to remove completely.

Make silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle. Rub toothpaste onto jewelry and leave overnight. Wipe clean with a soft cloth in the morning. You can also shine diamonds by gently scrubbing them using a toothbrush, toothpaste and water.

Remove scratches on DVDs and CDs. This technique works well on only shallow scratches and smudges. Apply a thin coating of toothpaste to the disc, rub gently and rinse clean. Repeat the process if there are many scratches.

Decrease the size of a pimple. Apply toothpaste to the affected area at night before bed and wash it off in the morning. Toothpaste will dry out the area and speed up the healing process.

Deodorize hands. Pungent foods, cleaning products and fragrances can linger on your hands no matter how many times you wash them. Try washing your hands using a small dab of toothpaste in addition to soap and water.

Fill in small nail holes in walls. Squeeze toothpaste into the hole and use a putty knife to remove excess toothpaste. Let the toothpaste dry and your wall will look good as new. If needed, you can also touch up the paint.

At your next dental appointment, be sure to tell our Valparaiso dentist how you decided to use toothpaste other than for your teeth!

 

Northwest Indiana Pediatric Dentist | Why Your Smile Matters So Much…

Studies show that more than 99% of adults say an attractive smile is an important personal asset. Our team emphasizes the importance of treating dental problems early. Read more about the surprising benefits for achieving a healthy and beautiful smile below.

We welcome new patients. It is our promise to provide dental care that will give your child a healthy smile for your lifetime. To schedule an appointment, please contact our northwest Indiana pediatric dentist.

Pediatric Dentist in Northwest Indiana

Valparaiso Pediatric Dentist | Common Dental Problems and How to Fix Them

Pediatric Dentist in Northwest IndianaDental problems are never fun. Not being able to eat or speak properly can drastically decrease your overall confidence. If you are experiencing a dental problem, it is never too late to get it fixed. Brushing and flossing twice a day along with regular dental cleanings are essential in preventing dental issues.

Here are some common dental problems and how to fix them.

Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. Over time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. Patients suffering from a toothache are likely to have tooth decay. Depending on the severity of the decay, the best treatment is either a filling or a dental crown.

Missing Teeth
Having missing teeth makes eating and speaking more difficult. There are multiple options for those who have missing teeth, including dentures, partials or bridges. However, dental implants are the ideal treatment because they are a permanent solution that looks and feels natural.

Discolored Teeth
Teeth whitening may be a great option if you have dull, discolored or stained teeth. It can also be used to help reverse effects of aging or stains from food and tobacco. Teeth whitening may be an excellent way to restore your smile, while contributing to a healthier and more youthful appearance.

Gum Disease
Over half of American adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease is an infection in the gums surrounding the teeth and is one of the main causes of tooth loss. Studies have shown that gum disease is also linked to heart attacks and strokes. Proper brushing and flossing twice a day can help prevent this disease.

Wisdom Teeth
About 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year from 5 million people. Just because your wisdom teeth are not a source of pain doesn’t mean that there is nothing wrong. Most of the time, wisdom teeth need to be removed because they don’t have room to grow properly and may cause problems. Having the wisdom teeth extracted is often the best option for many patients.

For more information on common dental problems, contact our Northwest Indiana pediatric dentist. We offer a variety of dental services to meet your general, cosmetic and restorative needs.