5 Teeth Friendly Ways to Enjoy Halloween

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Fill those candy bags, October is here! The month every kid across the land dreams could take place every day, and the only day when dressing up and eating gobs of candy is not only allowed, but encouraged. Now, that’s a good deal for a kid. But what if you’re a parent? Everyone knows healthy snacks are the way to go every other day of the year that is not Halloween, so how do you give in a bit and let your children enjoy the festivities while keeping these healthy habits top of mind? Here are five teeth-friendly habits that’ll ensure you’re still communicating the right message. Read more

When Will Baby’s Teeth Arrive? A Guide

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Before your baby can talk, it’s a guessing game to figure out what may be causing them discomfort. If they’re drooling, nibbling on hands or toys, or seem extra irritable, chances are they’re teething. Peek in that adorable little mouth and you might see some teeth sticking through those gums! Fortunately for your baby, teeth don’t all erupt at once; they typically follow a predictable eruption pattern. Read more

Should Your Child Do More Than Just Brush and Floss?

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As an adult, your oral care routine tends to remain fairly static for a large part of your life. Brush and floss. Rinse, perhaps, if you’re fond of it. And, unless you need prosthetics, that’s about all you’ll ever do. But, what about your kids? Toddlers? Adolescents? What sort of routine should they follow? Is it the same as yours? And, should it change from time to time? Since it’s February, and Children’s Dental Health month is upon us, let’s take a quick dive into “what’s-what” from toddlers to teens when it comes to oral care. Read more

Fluoride and Floss: What You Need to Know!

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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This year’s slogan is: “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.” So let’s get our little ones’ positive habits started early! Here’s what you need to know about flossing, fluoride, and keeping our kids’ dental health in tip-top shape this and every month. Read more

Saving Space for Permanent Teeth with a Space Maintainer

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If your little one’s teeth have begun to fall out, and their permanent replacements appear to be lagging far behind, you may wish to consider a space maintainer to minimize future orthodontic work. Believe it or not, the absence of your child’s teeth might seem cute now, but those tiny little gaps can cause deep gouges in your pocketbook as you watch them fill up with teeth that don’t belong there. Space maintainers are simple to use, kids get along fine with them, and they have become the de-facto standard for protecting the cosmetic and functional aspects of your growing child’s mouth.

Why Your Child Might Need a Space Maintainer

When a child’s tooth is lost early due to trauma, tooth decay, or nature’s insistence that it drop out before its permanent replacement is due, a space maintainer can be used to hold back the natural inclination of teeth to move forward. Without preventing this movement, teeth that should be in the rear of our mouths end up along the sides, and take up precious real estate destined for another tenant. The result is overcrowding, and in some cases impacted teeth. In the end, it’s always easier to save the space now, then create it later.

How They Work

Space maintainers are very similar in purpose and design to an adult “bridge,” but instead of placing artificial teeth over the gap, the space is kept open to accommodate its future resident.  Most maintainers are made of metal, (sometimes both metal and plastic), and are custom-molded to the shape of your child’s mouth. In most cases, the maintainer is made up of a metal band attached to a rectangular-shaped wire that butts up against the tooth across the gap. This acts to temporarily preserve the space where the baby tooth once was, so its replacement can erupt without obstruction. To some, the final product looks like an old Radio Flyer® snow sled, or a shoe horn you might use to maintain the shape of unworn shoes.

Does My Child Need One?

It’s important to note that dental space maintainers are not required for all childhood tooth loss, and that your dentist isn’t going to suggest you create a decade worth of space maintainers as each tooth falls out of your child’s mouth. Our bodies are quite effective at saving space for the loss of our front teeth as well as our incisors – it’s the teeth along the sides of our mouths that tend to cause the majority of complications.  Of course, each mouth is different, and your dentist can suggest the best course of action for you and your child.

Using a space maintainer is an affordable and effective way to ensure your child’s teeth come in where they are supposed to, and when they’re ready. It can have a positive effect on your wallet, reduce the amount of time your child needs to wear braces, and control the cosmetic appearance of your child’s teeth and mouth.