Friday, September 27, 2019

Keeping the Color Off Your Child’s Teeth

Keeping the Color Off Your Child’s Teeth

Are your child’s pearly whites looking a tad less pearly lately? Just like adults, children can suffer from tooth discoloration in both primary (baby) and permanent teeth. Depending on what has caused your child’s teeth to become stained, we can recommend ways to improve the teeth’s appearance and make sure that the stains do not signify a more serious health issue.

A common cause of stained teeth is poor dental hygiene. When your child doesn’t brush and floss adequately, hard-to-remove plaque can develop and make the teeth appear yellow or orange. While we may be able to remove some of this debris during a cleaning, you can help your child’s teeth look whiter by helping your child become better at caring for his or her teeth.

Other Causes of Discoloration
  • Vitamin supplements that include iron can cause dark stains on a child’s teeth; so can antihistamines and certain antibiotics (including a mother’s use of tetracycline during pregnancy).
  • Trauma from an injury to the teeth or gums can make the teeth turn pink or gray.
  • Some genetic conditions interfere with the development of tooth enamel, causing baby teeth to come in with a discolored appearance; newborn jaundice and certain infections may also be to blame.
  • Even fluoride, usually considered a tool in your child’s dental health arsenal, can affect the appearance of teeth—excessive fluoride exposure from not spitting out toothpaste or drinking formula made with fluoridated water may lead to white streaks on tooth enamel.
Unless the discoloration is due to reasons of hygiene, the stains on your child’s teeth can be difficult to remove. Cosmetic whitening can be an option if you’re concerned about your child’s appearance. Most importantly, we can make sure that the staining is only a cosmetic problem, not the result of an underlying illness. That way, you can at least rest assured that those not-so-perfectly-pearly whites are still perfectly healthy.

If you have further questions regarding cosmetic whitening, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Keep Your Teen’s Teeth in Tip-Top Shape

Keep Your Teen’s Teeth in Tip-Top Shape

While the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your adolescent child’s mouth is eating—or kissing his or her sweetheart—the challenges of adolescence extend beyond these two activities. In fact, teenagers face specific dental problems, most of which can be managed as long as someone stays on top of them. If you have a teen in the house, be aware of the following dental concerns.

Healthy, straight smile

Most teenagers are preoccupied with their physical appearance, and their smiles are no exception. Your child may become conscious of bad breath, or of stained or crooked teeth. Brushing twice a day with an American Dental Association-approved toothpaste, flossing regularly, eating healthy foods and visiting us every six months can help keep your teen’s smile healthy and bright. We may recommend orthodontics for your teen, and not only for aesthetic reasons. Crowded or misaligned teeth can lead to gum disease, cavities and jaw problems.

Wisdom teeth woes

You thought your teething woes were over when your child got his or her permanent teeth, but there’s one more round of it heading your way. The third molars, commonly called “wisdom teeth,” emerge in the teenage years. If there isn’t enough room for them to come in properly or they become impacted, they can cause pain, infection and damage to the surrounding teeth. In that case, they may need to be removed.

Smoking, drug use and eating disorders

Despite our best efforts, many teenagers engage in dangerous behaviors during adolescence. Smoking can cause bad breath, gum disease and stained teeth; certain street drugs can wreak havoc on your child’s mouth. Bulimia, an eating disorder that strikes a large number of teenagers and involves purposeful, repeated vomiting, severely damages enamel from acid exposure. While these problems require the intervention of other health care professionals, we can help minimize their impact on dental health. Be sure to alert us if your child is struggling with an eating disorder or substance abuse.

As the parent of an adolescent, you probably have a lot of issues that require your attention. While you may put your child’s dental health lower on your list, it’s in your child’s best interest to make it a top priority. Be sure to schedule an appointment with KiDDS Dental at least twice a year.

Give us a call at 509-891-7070 to schedule today!