Posts for category: Pediatric Dentistry
Is your toddler hooked to his or her pacifier? While babies instinctively suck, toddlers and young children can, and should, give up their pacifiers to avoid dental problems. At Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz teach Amherst parents the benefits and the downsides of pacifiers so they foster good dental health and overall well-being in their kids.
Why do babies need to suck?
Ultrasound imaging of pre-born infants show them sucking their thumbs. Then, after birth, sucking provides for their nutritional and comfort needs. Little ones suck their thumbs or pacifiers when they are tired, feel stressed around strangers or just need soothing to calm themselves.
Can pacifiers in Amherst harm kids?
In relation to dental health, pacifiers seem preferable to thumb sucking, says the American Dental Association (ADA) because pacifiers are easier for children to give up. Both, however, can cause substantial problems when used beyond the age of two.
Potential problems include:
- Malformation of the oral cavity--specifically, the roof of the mouth
- Misalignment of baby teeth
- Bite issues such as open bite where the top and bottom front teeth do not close together
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) reports that any oral health issues easily correct themselves if a child is weaned off a pacifier by the age of two. The ADA adds that both pacifiers and thumb sucking should be eliminated when the baby teeth begin to erupt.
What's a parent to do?
Plan on weaning the child off pacifiers as early as possible. Limit the time used to bed time or times of extreme fussiness. Do not scold or punish when a toddler uses his or her pacifier, but rather, use praise as a motivation.
Also, ask your professional dental team for tips on how to help little ones kick the pacifier habit. Dr. McAveeney and Dr. Cheifetz can help you and your child through this transition.
If it's time for your youngster's routine check-up and cleaning, please call Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire for an appointment. We'll be happy to discuss pacifier use with you or any other concern you have regarding your child's oral health and development. Call us at (603) 673-1000.
Find out how this treatment could prevent teeth from shifting out of alignment.
A child should begin losing their baby teeth around the age of 6 years old; however, if your child is losing their baby teeth to cavities or other issues, then there may be a concern that teeth might shift out of alignment. To combat this, our Amherst, NH, pediatric dentists Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz may recommend placing a space maintainer.
What is a space maintainer?
If your baby’s molars aren’t present (often due to a congenital abnormality) or if your child has lost teeth a little too young then a space maintainer may be the best approach for preventing teeth from shifting out of place. If these teeth shift out of place they can also affect how adult teeth come in, causing further misalignments or other issues.
A space maintainer will not be necessary if the first six front teeth have fallen out prematurely, as the sole purpose of a space maintainer is to hold the six-year molars in their proper position and to provide a space for the canines and other teeth to come through.
The most common type of space maintainer is a fixed one, which means that the wearer can’t remove the appliance. The appliance will be cemented into place by our Amherst, NH, pediatric dentist to make sure that it is effective at keeping your child’s developing smile in alignment as permanent teeth continue to come in.
What are the benefits of getting a space maintainer for my child?
The most obvious benefit, which we already touched upon, is the fact that a space maintainer will create a holding spot for teeth to erupt, preventing them from shifting out of alignment or causing problems for adult teeth that are trying to come in. For example, a space maintainer is perfect for preventing the movement of premolars (also known as bicuspids) and permanent molars while also creating the ample space for permanent teeth to erupt.
Is your child losing teeth a little earlier than they should? Do you want to know if a space maintainer may preserve their smile as it continues to develop? If so, it’s the perfect time to call our office to learn more about the pediatric dental services we offer here in Amherst, NH. Turn to Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire today.
A frenectomy is an oral procedure for removing one or both frenums inside the mouth. A frenum is a piece of tissue connecting interior areas of the mouth together. One frenum is situated on the underside of the tongue and connects it to the bottom of the mouth. A second frenum connects the gums to the interior of the upper lip. Problems can occur when these frenums are too large. At the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz are your pediatric dentists for performing frenectomies in Amherst.
Types of Frenectomy
There are two types of frenectomy, labial and lingual. A labial frenectomy removes the labial frenum, while a lingual frenectomy removes the lingual frenum. The labial frenum is the one connecting tissue connecting the upper lip and gums. The lingual frenum is the one on the underside of the tongue. A lingual frenectomy is needed when the frenum is too large, resulting in your child becoming tongue-tied at times. A labial frenectomy is needed when the frenum is so prominent that it causes a large gap to form between the two upper front teeth.
To perform either type of frenectomy in Amherst, the area where the frenum is to be removed is first numbed with an anesthetic. A small cut is then made in the frenum. If made to the lingual frenum, the cut frees up the tongue so that it no longer becomes tongue-tied. If made to the labial frenum, the cut allows the gums to be free of the frenum. Once the cut is made in the proper place, it is sewn closed with small sutures to allow the area to heal.
Benefits of a Frenectomy
Having a frenectomy performed when needed can improve your child’s quality of life in several ways. A lingual frenectomy, which eliminates the problem of being tongue-tied, can improve oral communication and make it easier for children to express themselves. In some cases, it also improves appetite because eating normally is no longer a challenge. A labial frenectomy eliminates the gap between the upper front teeth, which often has the effect of improving self-confidence. It also improves biting and chewing functions, while reducing oral discomfort.
Whether one or both types of frenectomy are needed, your child can experience improved quality of life after undergoing a frenectomy. Certain oral and speech functions are improved, and self-confidence is often boosted. For a frenectomy in Amherst, schedule an appointment for your child with either Dr. McAveeney or Dr. Cheifetz by calling the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire at (603) 673-1000.
There are several ways you can help your children avoid tooth decay. An important first step in preventing tooth decay is teaching your children good oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing can prevent decay and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Regular dental visits are another important way you can help your children avoid tooth decay and maintain a healthy mouth. At the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz are your pediatric dentists for prevention of tooth decay in Amherst, NH.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Teaching your children good oral hygiene habits will help them avoid tooth decay. Children should be taught to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Young children might require assistance to thoroughly clean all surface areas of the teeth and gums. For children up to age three, a fluoride-free training toothpaste is best. Children three and older can brush with a toothpaste containing fluoride for cavity prevention. Children should also be taught to floss daily. Fostering good oral hygiene habits at a young age will help kids maintain a healthy mouth.
Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental visits are important for maintaining a healthy mouth. At each dental visit, your child’s teeth will be thoroughly cleaned, which helps prevent tooth decay. Additionally, if any oral health problems develop, your child’s dentist will be able to detect them early if your child has been coming in regularly. Early detection of potential problems is the best way to prevent them from becoming more severe. Children should visit the dentist every six months for prevention of tooth decay in Amherst.
Another way to help your children avoid tooth decay is to limit sugary foods and beverages in their diet. Eating and drinking such treats as candy or soda increases the likelihood of developing tooth decay. Sugary foods and beverages weaken tooth enamel over time. When sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth, acid develops. Acid eats away at tooth enamel, leaving the teeth more vulnerable to developing decay.
There are many ways you can help your children avoid tooth decay. Developing good daily oral hygiene habits and avoiding sugary foods and drinks will help, as will regular dental visits. To schedule an appointment with Dr. McAveeney or Dr. Cheifetz, your Amherst pediatric dentists for tooth decay treatment and prevention, call the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire at (603) 673-1000.
Has your child’s first tooth started to erupt? Then it might be time to call your Amherst children’s dentist.
There are so many milestones to look forward to in your child’s life: their first steps, their first words, their first birthday and even their first trip to visit their Amherst, NH dentist, Dr. James McAveeney and Dr. Andrew Cheifetz. We know that the dental office may not be everyone’s favorite place to be, but start making these visits a bit easier by finding out when you should start taking your child to our office for care.
While many Americans wait until their children is around 2 years old to start bringing them in for regular dental visits, we highly recommend that you start doing this even sooner. Your child should either start coming in to see us every six months beginning at the age of one, or by the time their first tooth erupts (whichever milestone happens first).
How to Keep Your Child Calm
If your child has been seeing the dentist by the time they were one year old then they were probably too young to feel anxious. However, if you’ve waited until your child is a bit older then they may be a bit nervous. Here are some ways to make sure that your child’s first dental visit goes smoothly:
Prepare them for what might happen: Let them know that we will need to peek inside their mouths and check the health of their teeth and gums. Let them know that there may be new people, dental tools used and even different noises that are foreign to them but that they are completely safe in our hands.
Do a little research: There are some great sites that make learning about your teeth fun for the whole family. Make time to sit down with your little one and peruse the Internet for fun videos, at-home activities and other ways to get your child amped up about their oral health and about visiting the dentist.
Role-play the dental experience: One of the scariest parts of going to the dentist is a fear of the unknown and what will happen. So one of the best ways you can prepare your little one is to play dentist with them. Take turns playing dentist and patient with your child and make sure to examine their teeth so they will get an idea of what their first dental exam might be like.
Bring activities to keep busy: While we never like for our patients to have to wait too long in the waiting room, this is often the time children start to get a bit nervous. Bring coloring books or books you can read together, as well as toys or games that keep them engaged and having fun rather than stressing out over their impending visit.
Is it time to schedule your little one’s next dental visit in Amherst, NH? Then turn to the pediatric dental experts that you can trust at Children's Dental Center of New Hampshire.