June 15th 2021
My child is SUPER nervous about the dentist! What should I do?
It is very normal for children to be nervous and unsure about new and different experiences, including going to the dentist. Many of us adults have fears of the dentist too! Our faces and our mouths are very vulnerable areas of our body so it can feel overwhelming to have someone else enter that personal space. Luckily there are some things that we can do to help to alleviate that anxiety and make the transition into the dental office an easier one for patients and parents. Try some of these steps to help your little one be more at ease before their next visit to our office:
1. Talk to them about what to expect.
You can talk to them about what the experience is like at the dental office in positive terms. Explain that dentists help to make their teeth strong and help to keep them healthy. Explain that the dentist will talk with them about what to expect. If you have dental anxiety yourself, try to be objective and leave your personal experiences out of your child’s expectations. Don’t use any of our four-letter words, including shot, pain, numb, pull, hurt, and ouch. Make sure your chats with them are uplifting and encouraging.
2. Read books and watch kid-friendly videos about going to the dentist.
There are many great resources that can be found that discuss going to the dentist. Reading books and watching videos can be useful in helping a child understand what they can expect at the dentist. Many children are visual learners so having a resource that gives visual cues can help them to better process the experience beforehand. Some of our favorite books are My Tooth is Loose Dr. Moose!, Peppa Pig: Dentist Trip, and The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist. PBS has great videos that families can reference, including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
3. Visit a Pediatric Dentist.
Pediatric Dentists are specialists that receive additional training that focuses on childhood development and their understanding of specific milestones in a child’s life can help make kiddos feel more comfortable. At Carolina Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry, we have a team of experts skilled in talking to kids and our office is specifically designed to help make children feel more comfortable. We have more tools available to us to help us customize your child’s experience so that they receive the level of care they need and deserve. We have private rooms and weighted blankets, music and videos, and an engaged team that can help your child feel more at ease.
4. Schedule wisely!
Younger children tend to be less tired and more willing to try new experiences earlier in the day. Avoid scheduling during nap times or other times when children may be more overwhelmed by the events of the day. As parents we try to be efficient, frequently scheduling more than one doctor visit on the same day. For the first few visits for apprehensive children, consider avoiding more than one doctor visit on the day they have their dentist appointment.
5. Use role models!
Older siblings, friends, and parents can be excellent role models for patients that are nervous. Have younger siblings accompany older kids to their visits so they can see that everything will be just fine! Have a positive attitude about your own dental visits because kids are very receptive. Encourage positive discussions about the dentist around those that enjoy going!
At Carolina Orthodontics and Children’s Dentistry, we love to use positive reinforcement to help encourage children to feel good about their accomplishments at the dentist. We always give praise for taking even the smallest step in the right direction. If the visit doesn’t go as planned or if they struggle, avoid scolding them for this experience. Remind them that next time they have the chance to do a little better! Positive reinforcement has shown to be significantly more effective in changing behaviors than negative reinforcement.
7. Schedule a Meet and Greet!
Sometimes it is helpful for patients to visit the office and see what they will be experiencing before going through the motions themselves. Feel free to reach out to our team to schedule a time for your little one to meet the team, see the office, touch the chairs, and hear the noises before their first official visit.
8. Reach out with any questions!
Many times families have a specific question or concern about their child’s dental care. Our team is always willing to answer any questions that you may have and review our practices with you over the phone. We understand that choosing a provider for your child is an important decision and we do not take that lightly. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of specialized care, recognizing that each patient is different. Please let us help by providing customized care for your little one!
Can I Still Wear My Retainer?
June 3rd 2021
MY RETAINER FEELS TIGHT. CAN I STILL WEAR IT?
As long as your retainer doesn’t hurt and still fits over your teeth, you can wear it - even if it feels tight. Your teeth may have shifted slightly, and you may need to wear your retainer longer each day to prevent your teeth from moving.
Try wearing your retainer full-time for a few days to encourage your teeth to move back into their correct positions. If the retainer continues to feel uncomfortable, contact our office to determine the next steps.
WHAT IF THE RETAINER DOES NOT FIT AT ALL OR FEELS PAINFUL?
Healthy Snacks & Drinks for Healthy Smiles!
April 8th 2021
HEALTHY SNACKS & DRINKS FOR HEALTHY SMILES!
Did you know that approximately one child in every 3 or 4 children ages 2-5 years has cavities? There are several ways cavities form, usually working in a combination. The main factor is snacking, which includes the types of foods and drinks we consume and how frequently we consume them.
Snacks that Can Contribute to Cavities
In general, we want to try to limit sticky, sugary, or high-carbohydrate foods and drinks. Sticky foods include fruit snacks, dried fruits (raisins, apricots, etc.), and candies (caramel, taffy, Starbursts, etc.). These foods contain sugars – whether natural or added – that stick to the surfaces of teeth. Even gummy vitamins are sweetened so that children will take them. Sticky foods can also trap other foods in the teeth, making them harder to clean off.
Snacks like chips, crackers, and cookies seem to target children. While the “snack pack” packaging may be convenient to throw in a lunch bag, these foods are high in carbohydrates (a fancy word for sugar). These foods break down rapidly in the mouth and stick easily on and between teeth.
Want to test it out? Next time you eat an Oreo, check your teeth right after! You are likely to see black bits stuck on the tops of your back teeth, by your gums, and in between teeth. You can imagine how every time you eat similar foods (pretzels, chips, crackers, cookies), these areas get filled with food debris.
Drinks that Can Contribute to Cavities
A large number of drinks contain high levels of sugar. Many juices are advertised as, “no sugar added,” but have plenty of natural sugars and very little nutritional value. The Committee on Nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that juice drinks (including 100% juice) have no essential role in a healthy diet for children, contribute to excessive calorie intake, and risk dental decay.
AAP’s recommendations for juice:
No juice prior to 1 year old
4oz/day maximum for 1-3 year olds
4-6oz/day maximum for 4-6 year olds
- 8oz/day maximum for 7-18 year olds
Now for the good news! Many healthy snack alternatives are not only great for teeth but contribute to overall health.
Here are some healthy suggestions:
- Crunchy vegetables – combine with hummus or other healthy dips
- Fresh fruits – have plain or with yogurt
- Hard cheeses (cheddar cheese) – great with apple slices or vegetables
- Plain or roasted nuts – these are high in protein and make great trail mixes
Snacking Best Practices
- Limit snacking to once or twice a day.
- Encourage drinking water throughout the day.
- Limit non-water drinks in overall amount and have only at mealtimes.
- Make healthy snacks more readily available for the whole household!
- If your child has anything to eat or drink at bedtime, make sure to brush their teeth after.
- Don’t put non-water drinks in sippy cups or other containers that allow kids to sip them throughout the day.
Policy on Snacks and Beverages Sold in Schools (https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/policies_guidelines/p_snacksbeverages.pdf)
Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2017/05/18/peds.2017-0967.full.pdf)
FLUORIDE, TOOTHPASTE, AND PREVENTING CAVITIES
March 25th 2021
FLUORIDE, TOOTHPASTE, AND PREVENTING CAVITIES
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a safe and effective way to reduce tooth decay.
What Does Fluoride Do?
- It slows/stops the weakening of tooth enamel (the hard outer layer of teeth).
- It restrengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to cavities.
- It reduces the metabolic activity of the bacteria that cause cavities.
How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?
Drinking fluoridated water and brushing with fluoride toothpaste is among the most effective methods in reducing tooth decay in children.
Fluoridated community water is one of the most beneficial and inexpensive methods of reducing the incidence of cavities. Studies from the last 50+ years have demonstrated a 55-60% reduction in cavities following the introduction of water fluoridation! And there are hundreds of studies from researchers worldwide that back the safety of drinking optimally fluoridated water.
Yay! For these reasons, we recommend drinking tap water over bottled water. Did you know most bottled waters do not contain fluoride?
What Toothpaste Should I Use?
How Much Toothpaste Should I Use?
- For children under age 3 years, use about the size of a grain of rice.
|First tooth - 3 year old: Rice sized|
- For children 3 years and older, use about the size of a green pea.
|Age 3 - 6 years old: Pea Sized|
While many parents worry about their child not being able to spit out the toothpaste, research has shown that it is safe to brush with these amounts of fluoride toothpaste 2x/day, even if your child is swallowing some or all of this toothpaste. To limit swallowing toothpaste, we recommend that an adult dispense the proper amount of toothpaste and assist children with brushing their teeth.
Fluoride is a safe and effective way to reduce cavities.
Encourage drinking tap water throughout the day – it helps strengthen teeth!
Use toothpaste that contains fluoride once there are teeth present to help prevent tooth decay!
An adult should dispense toothpaste for young children
Grain-of-rice sized amount for children under 3 years old
Green-pea sized amount for children 3 years and older
An adult should help children with brushing teeth (morning and nighttime).
Policy on Use of Fluoride (https://www.aapd.org/assets/1/7/P_FluorideUse1.PDF)
Policy on Early Childhood Caries: Classifications, Consequences, and Preventative Strategies (https://www.aapd.org/media/policies_guidelines/p_eccclassifications.pdf)
Periodicity of Examination, Preventive Dental Services, Anticipatory Guidance/Counseling, and Oral Treatment for Infants, Children, and Adolescents (https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/policies_guidelines/bp_periodicity.pdf)
Fluoride Therapy (https://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/BP_FluorideTherapy.pdf)
March 11th 2021
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE A PEDIATRIC DENTIST FOR MY CHILD?
As parents, we make decisions on behalf of our kids that affect not only their day-to-day routine but their long-term life experiences. We choose what they will eat, where they will live, and we even choose their names! Why would we not choose the best option to set them up for success in the dental chair?
Pediatric dentists are not just dentists that love seeing your kids (although we obviously DO love seeing kids, talking to kids, and sometimes acting like kids)! As pediatric dentists, we have additional years of training that allows us to gain specialized knowledge of the unique set of circumstances that those little smiles encounter.
Pediatric Dentists spend two or three years beyond dental school learning what makes tiny mouths unique. In school, we learn about the special growth considerations that children and adolescents may encounter. We also learn about special behavioral techniques that help us give patients the best dental experience possible. We even have extra education in caring for special needs individuals of all ages.
The days when dental visits were scary or overwhelming for kids are now gone! These days your child can leave the dentist feeling excited about when they get to come back!
Pediatric dentists can help give you some techniques or tips to help make your children's home dental routine easier. And pediatric dentists realize that kids are not just small people. They also have concerns, fears, and unique considerations regarding their teeth that may require more immediate attention, intervening at just the right time for the patient.
Typically pediatric dental practices are more inviting and open. The welcoming environment allows others' positive experiences to influence nervous kids and help them realize that the dentist is fun and engaging! Pediatric dentists have many techniques to help anxious kids overcome their fears for safe and effective treatment to be completed.
While it may seem like an overwhelming decision, choosing the right pediatric dentist for your child can help to establish a lifetime of positive dental experiences. Choosing your child's name can be very tricky, but choosing the right dental professional for your little one is an easy choice!
WHY ARE BABY TEETH SO IMPORTANT?
February 25th 2021
WHY ARE BABY TEETH SO IMPORTANT?
There is nothing cuter than the smile of a baby with one solitary tooth on display for the world to see! They've worked so hard for that tooth to be seen! Those teeth started developing very early when the baby was still in the womb. And after all of the sleepless nights and days full of drool, that little pearly white finally makes its dramatic appearance. So, no wonder that happy little one is so willing to show off that grin to the whole world!
It is our job as parents and dental professionals to keep that cute grin healthy. But sometimes you might be wondering why they are so important if they only stick around for a few years? Baby teeth serve many important purposes. And there are some things that you can do at home to make sure they stay healthy and bright.
Proper Chewing and Eating
Baby teeth are very important in their function to help with proper chewing and eating. While kids can adapt to many circumstances, for them to be able to have a healthy and diverse diet that provides them with the nutrients they need they need healthy teeth to chew all of those new foods. Missing teeth or having pain from decayed teeth has been shown to limit the ability of kids to have a well-balanced diet which is necessary for their overall growth and development.
Stimulation of Jaw Muscles for Ideal Development
Have you ever heard the phrase “don’t use it then you lose it?” The development of jaw muscles is very much dependent on the chewing mechanics of baby teeth. If we don’t use those teeth to chew then much of the muscle development is lost, also known as atrophy. The chewing motion helps to stimulate proper jaw bone and muscle development.
Saving Space for the Permanent Teeth
Early loss of baby teeth can affect the space remaining for permanent teeth. If a baby tooth is lost before its time then drifting of the teeth around it can occur and the space for the permanent tooth can be lost, sometimes completely. This can be prevented to some extent if space maintainers are placed but, as all dentists would tell you, the best space maintainer for a permanent tooth is the baby tooth!
Some sounds are much easier to form if all of the baby teeth are present. While children are very adaptable and can recreate many sounds over time, missing baby teeth can make learning and developing those sounds much more challenging. Imagine trying to say “thank you” when your front teeth are gone. Even as an adult that has mastered those sounds, it would be very challenging!
Sweet Smiling Faces
Can you imagine anything better than your child looking up at you with a big, beautiful smile? Healthy teeth contribute to that bright smile. Your child is one of a kind and deserves to have the best self-esteem possible. A white smile is associated with health and beauty in our society and being able to display that for everyone will help them to have a positive self-image.
WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP THOSE TEETH HEALTHY AND WHITE?
There are some things that you can do at home to help keep those teeth healthy and bright. It starts with using fluoridated toothpaste and brushing the teeth every morning and night. We recommend brushing in the morning after breakfast and at night right before bed, avoiding anything to eat or drink after that nightly brushing.
For children under the age of three, we recommend using toothpaste that amounts to a size of a grain of rice. For children above three, they can use the amount that is similar in size to a green pea. Most children need an adult to help when brushing. We recommend that the grown-up brushes first, allowing the children to “check behind” the adult to ensure that they did a good job of brushing all of the sugar bugs away! And flossing every night can clear away any food stuck between those chompers!
The sorts of things kids drink are just as important in keeping those teeth healthy. Our favorite drink is water! Water is sugar-free, doesn’t cause any changes to the mouth chemistry, and in some cases can have a beneficial amount of fluoride added to it to help protect against any cavities. White milk is our second favorite drink, but it also should be used with caution because it has natural sugars present in the milk. Any other drinks, like juice, soda, or sweet tea, should be saved for special occasions. Those drinks typically have ingredients added that can negatively affect teeth and lead to cavities.
Having a healthy diet is not only good for your body but it is also critical in having a great smile! Fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, and yogurt are good snacks not only for a growing body but also for a growing smile! Avoid sticky foods like gummy snacks, raisins, and sticky granola bars so they don’t get left behind in teeth. And foods like chips and crackers can make a paste when they are chewed and stick around for some time after the snack is all done!
October 1st 2020
October brings Fall leaves, cooler temps, and pumpkin everything’s. It also brings awareness. As both National Orthodontic Health Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the next 31 days are filled with devotion to learning and opportunity.
Orthodontic Health Awareness Month is a month centered around promoting good dental and orthodontic health. Benefits of orthodontic treatment and good overall oral hygiene can extend well beyond just aesthetics. While one of the major benefits of a healthier smile is overall mental and physical health and in lieu of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we chose to honor those past, current, and future fighters with the choice of all pink o-ties in our orthodontic offices. Choose pink, choose to inspire, and no matter where you are on your smile journey, choose Carolina Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry!
We look forward to what October brings! 2020 has certainly shown us many things, but moreover, it has been a powerful reminder that we are in this together. Be sure to call our office & follow along on our social media to see what promotional offers are in store this month! See you soon friends!
2019 Backpack Drive
June 12th 2019
- Notebook Paper
- Glue Sticks
- 3-ring Binders
- Colored Pencils
SOCK GAME STRONG
June 19th 2018
Dr. Jenna's Top 10!
June 5th 2018
Dr. Arbon's Top 10!
May 31st 2018
1. Crazy socks
2. Listening to Imagine Dragons, The Lumineers, & Ed Sheeran
3. The Cubs Baseball, Tarheels basketball, & Bears football
4. The beach
5. Wake surfing!
6. Coaching youth sports
8. Backyard wiffle ball
May 7th 2018
Welcome To Our Blog
May 2nd 2018
We are excited to have an outlet to keep our patients, their families, and their friends up to date on all of the new and amazing things happening at Carolina Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry!
Within this blog, we will do our best to keep you posted on office news, contests and events, education information…and more. Be sure to check back often. We hope you enjoy getting to know Carolina Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry.
Please feel free to leave comments here or on our Facebook Page…we would love to hear from you!