Here is some information on the following services.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a “tooth socket,” and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a baby tooth has been removed, the shift may be severe enough to that it can prevent the permanent tooth from erupting into its predetermined space. It is therefore very important to place a space maintainer until the permanent tooth has erupted.
If your child has a very loose tooth, it should be removed to avoid being swallowed or inhaled.
Even children’s sports involve contact, and we recommend mouthguards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect his teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
Along with favorite blankets, teddy bears, and nap time, thumb sucking can be one of the most comforting aspects of childhood. According to a recent report, between 75% and 95% of infants suck their thumbs, so chances are there’s a thumb sucker (or a former thumb sucker) in your family. Is this cause for worry?
In most cases, the answer is no. However, it’s important to pay attention to your child’s habits in case his or her behavior has the potential to affect overall oral health.
Most children begin sucking their thumbs or fingers from a very young age; many even start inside the womb. Sucking is a natural reflex for an infant and it serves an important purpose. Sucking often provides a sense of security and contentment for a young one. It can also be relaxing, which is why many children suck their thumbs as they fall asleep.
According to the American Dental Association, most children stop thumb sucking on their own between the ages of two and four. They simply grow out of a habit that is no longer useful to them. However, some children continue sucking beyond the preschool years (although studies show that the older a child gets, the lower the chances are of continuing the habit). If your child is still sucking when his or her permanent teeth start to erupt, it may be time to take action to break the habit.
First, take note of how your child sucks his or her thumb. If the sucking is passive, with the thumb gently resting inside the mouth, it is less likely to cause damage. If, on the other hand, the thumb sucking is aggressive, placing pressure on the mouth or teeth, the habit may cause problems with tooth alignment and proper mouth growth. Extended sucking affects both the teeth and the shape of the face and may lead to a need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
If at any time you suspect your child’s thumb sucking may be affecting his or her oral health, please give us a call and schedule a visit. We can help you assess the situation.
Should you need to help your child end the habit, follow these guidelines:
- Always be supportive and positive. Instead of punishing your child for thumb sucking, give praise when he or she doesn’t.
- Put a band-aid on your child’s thumb or a sock over the hand at night. Let your little one know that this is not a punishment, but rather a way to help remember to avoid sucking.
- Start a progress chart and let your child put a sticker up every day that he or she doesn’t suck. If your child makes it through a week without sucking, he or she gets to choose a prize. When the whole month is full, reward your child with something great (a toy or new video game); by then the habit should be over. Making your child an active participant in his or her treatment will increase the willingness to break the habit.
- If you notice your child sucking when he or she is anxious, work on alleviating the anxiety rather than focusing on the thumb sucking.
- Take note of the times your child tends to suck (long car rides, while watching movies) and create diversions during these occasions.
- Explain clearly what might happen to the teeth if he or she keeps thumb sucking.
Whatever your method, always remember that your child needs your support and understanding during the process of breaking the habit of thumb sucking.