Other Questions
What is a cavity (Sugar Bug)???

A sugar bug or cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by bacteria. The bacteria uses sugar to create an acid that will cause the cavity. Untreated cavities or decay can cause infections, swelling, pain and problems that can affect the developing permanent teeth. Decay is five times more common than asthma and is 100% preventable.

How is decay prevented???

Children and adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing removes the food or sticky plaque from your teeth. Floss daily to remove food from between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. For infants use an infant toothbrush or small clean washcloth to wipe plaque from the teeth and gums. Never put your child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.

Children with Special Needs

Children with special healthcare needs are many times more susceptible to dental decay and periodontal disease. This may be due to decreased saliva flow from medications, to behavior that inhibits a parent's ability to brush their teeth properly. No one child's needs are the same as any others and because Dr. Tari has had specialized training she will be able to provide your child care that is specific to your child. It is important to start your child's first visit by age 1. This helps them become familiar with our office and will make their dental care much easier for them to tolerate.

Mouth Sores
Canker Sores

Canker sores are round sores in the mouth on the tongue, cheeks, or inside the lip. They can be white or yellow in color and have a bright red border. These types of sores are caused by stress or tissue injury and they can last as long as two weeks. They can be very uncomfortable so it is best to avoid citrus, acidic or salty foods. Stick to bland food and keep the teeth around the sore as clean as possible.

Cold Sores

These sores are usually on the outside of the mouth on the lips, they can appear along the gum line of the teeth also. They often start out as a blister then turn into patches which will scab over. They are super contagious so do not share cups, utensils or kisses. Again they can last for at least two weeks and can be treated with over the counter medications.

Mouth Blisters or Herpetic Stomatitis

Primary herpes are caused by a virus. If your child is in daycare or just starting school it is likely they will have an outbreak, because it is transmitted easily from child to child. Your child may appear sick and may run a low grade fever. Typical symptoms include inflammation and clustered ulcers on the palate, tongue, inside the cheeks and gums and on the edge of the lip. They can be extremely uncomfortable when eating and can cause your child to have bad breath. They will heal in 7-14 days but during an outbreak you should increase your child's fluid intake,(water or protein drink) and try to brush the teeth as well as possible. Ibuprofen or Tylenol will help elevate discomfort. If your child has these outbreaks often Dr. Tari can treat them with her dental laser (See Wally).

Lip, Tongue and Cheek Biting

Some children, after dental treatment that requires local anesthetic, may bite or chew on their cheek, lip and tongue. It will look white or yellow and appear bumpy. It is not an infection or an allergic reaction. It will take 10-14 days for it to completely heal so your child will want to avoid acidic, sugary or salty food and drinks. It may be necessary to give your child Tylenol or Ibuprofen for discomfort. If your child requires local anesthetic you should watch them or inform the teacher that they are numb, and wait until numbness is gone before allowing them to eat. If they cannot wait to eat it should be food that is soft and not super chewy like macaroni and cheese, soup or mashed potatoes.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by an intestinal virus. It is easily spread by coughing, sneezing and touching infected surfaces. It is far more common in the summer/fall months and may cause fever, malaise, sore throat, diarrhea and painful blister-like sores in and around the mouth, and on hands and feet. The best way to treat symptoms is to have your child drink plenty of fluids and practice good dental hygiene and hand washing. It is much more prevalent in toddlers and pre-school aged children.

This and That
Teeth Grinding

Many parents are concerned about night time grinding of the teeth also known as Bruxism. This is very common occurrence when children are sleeping. Certain types of stress, teeth eruption and normal growth can cause a child to grind their teeth. The majority of children outgrow the grinding and it usually starts to decrease once the first permanent molars erupt. Children tend to stop completely around age 12-14, after all of their permanent teeth erupt. We do not recommend mouth guards or night guards for children because they can choke on the appliance. They also tend to chew the pieces out of them.

Hypoplastic Teeth

You may have heard of hypoplastic teeth being referred to as "soft" teeth. Hypoplastic teeth have defects in the enamel that cause the enamel to be porous therefore making it susceptible to decay or fracturing. The tooth color may be affected as well, the tooth can look brown, yellow or frosty white. This can also make hot and cold food intolerable, and it is wise to avoid chewing on ice or hard candies. Treatment can be as simple as sealants or the tooth may require a restoration depending on the severity of the defect. If you have concerns about your child's hypoplastic teeth call our office and Dr. Tari or her staff will be more than happy to speak with you and set up an appointment.

Supernumerary Teeth (Extra Teeth)

Sometimes children will have extra teeth, they are usually primary teeth and if they are erupted they may not need any treatment. If they are impacted or are preventing the eruption of the permanent tooth they may need to be extracted. Extra teeth called mesiodens that are impacted in the palate will require a referral to an oral surgeon for removal.