Oral Hygiene Instructions:
We will discuss and demonstrate age-appropriate brushing and flossing techniques to patients and their parents. We will educate families about healthy eating habits and assess fluoride levels and usage. The following paragraphs provide great information on how to keep your children’s teeth healthy.
Begin daily oral care as soon as the child's first tooth erupts. Wipe off your baby's teeth and gums after feeding with a soft cloth diaper or washcloth. When the molars begin to erupt, generally around age one, use a soft bristled toothbrush specifically designed for young children. You may use a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste but make sure to wipe the toothpaste off until your child is able to spit well, usually around age 4. Fluoridated toothpaste has significant benefits in helping to reduce decay, but it is meant to have a topical effect. If swallowed, there is a risk of dental fluorosis, a condition in which teeth have a chalky white discoloration and which occurs during tooth development.
Parents should brush teeth for their children until they are about elementary school aged. Children simply don't have the fine-motor development to ensure that they do a good job on their own. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day: once after breakfast and before your child goes to bed. Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. When brushing for a child, and when teaching a child how to brush, place the soft bristled toothbrush at a 45 degree angle; start along the gum line and brush back and forth. Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower. Repeat the same method on the inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all teeth. Finish by brushing the tongue to help freshen breath and remove bacteria.
It is easiest if you position your child lying back with his or her head in your lap, until they can stand at the sink and actually spit. This way your child's head is well-supported and you have better visualization of your child's teeth and mouth. An additional benefit is better control, especially if your young child isn't well accepting of toothbrushing! Drs. Enright and Piedad and Richardson will demonstrate toothbrushing techniques to you and your child at your first visit and give you tips on making this an easy and effective daily activity.
Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing should ideally begin when any two teeth touch. Parents should floss their children's teeth until children develop the manual dexterity to do it on their own. Use about 18 inches of floss and tie the two ends together. Hold the floss lightly between the thumbs and forefingers and work your way around the circle, using a clean part of the floss with each tooth. Use a gentle, back-and-forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth. Curve the floss into a C-shape and slide it into the space between the gum and tooth until you feel resistance. Gently scrape the floss against the side of the tooth. Repeat this procedure on each tooth. Again, the easiest position to floss your child's teeth is to have him or her lie back in your lap so you can look directly down into your child's mouth. You can actually turn this into a fun experience for you and your child!
While some children and teenagers are very adept at brushing their teeth undergoing orthodontic care, the vast majority of children are less than proficient at doing so. Many children simply don't brush long enough and the result is puffy gums and heavy plaque accumulation. An electric toothbrush, such as the Sonicare, can significantly improve oral hygiene by the combined attributes of having ultrasonic action and a 2 minute timer on it. For your convenience, the Sonicare toothbrush is available for purchase at our office.
ORAL HYGIENE FOR ORTHODONTIC PATIENTS
A Proxabrush is an interdental (between the teeth) toothbrush that you may use to clean underneath and around your wires and braces. Use the Proxabrush gently to avoid damaging your wires. The Proxabrush will help you to clean your braces while maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Several types of floss threaders are commercially available and can significantly help you to navigate your floss under wires and around brackets. Although it takes longer to floss with braces, it is well worth the extra time taken to help keep your teeth and gums as clean as possible. Gingival health is significantly compromised while you are wearing braces, so we encourage you to floss daily!
We recommend that your child be placed on a fluoride rinse or topical fluoride gel while in braces. This helps prevent tooth decalcification and decay while you are wearing braces by killing bacteria and replacing minerals in tooth enamel that have been exposed to harmful acids. The use of a fluoride rinse or gel does not replace daily brushing and flossing but should be done following your daily schedule at bedtime. Place a small strip of the fluoride gel on a toothbrush and apply it to your teeth for one minute and spit it out. Alternatively, if you have been prescribed a dental rinse, use about 2 teaspoons of the rinse and swish vigorously inbetween your teeth for about one minute and then spit out. You may not eat or drink for 30 minutes after you use the fluoride rinse or gel. It is important for the active ingredient to stay on your teeth for 30 minutes, so do not wash it away by eating or drinking.
A sealant is a tooth-colored resin material applied by bonding to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. We recommend them to help prevent cavities from starting in the grooves where most decay begins. These are usually placed on the permanent molars, however they may be recommended on other teeth as well. The sealant material we use does not contain BPA.
Fluoride is an element that helps teeth become stronger and more resistant to decay. There are two ways to obtain fluoride: systemically and topically, and both are important for developing teeth. Ideally, systemic fluoride is acquired through the drinking water. Tap water in Atlanta is fluoridated to an optimal level. Refrigerator, faucet and pitcher type filters do not remove fluoride from the water. However, whole house, or reverse osmosis filters systems do remove fluoride from the water source. Similarly, most bottled waters do not contain fluoride, unless marked as fluoridated. Well water in the Atlanta area is also not adequately fluoridated. Please let Drs. Enright, Piedad and Richardson know what your primary source of drinking water is so that they can help determine how your child can receive the appropriate amount of fluoridated water to help prevent decay from occurring.
Topical fluoride is equally important to prevent tooth decay, however it is not meant to be ingested. Parents may begin brushing their child's teeth with a rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the teeth erupt, however, they must make sure to wipe the toothpaste off of the teeth until the child is able to spit well, usually around age 4. If swallowed, there is a risk of dental fluorosis, a condition in which teeth have a chalky white discoloration and which occurs during tooth development.
Children who are more cavity prone and those in orthodontic appliances may be prescribed a higher level fluoride-containing paste or rinse to help prevent decalcification and decay.
Welcome to the pediatric dental office of Drs. Catharine A. Enright,
Stacy T. Piedad and Laura Richardson located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Superior oral health is vital for a child’s development, and we’re here to help every step of the way.
We are committed to making your child’s first dental visit a pleasant and comfortable one. We understand the importance of establishing a good oral hygiene regimen early in a child’s life, and we provide children with the necessary knowledge and treatment to maintain a healthy smile.
Our mission is to provide a dental home for our patients. Along with the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics we recommend the age one dental visit so that we can educate and instruct families in proper oral health care for their children. We believe in the prevention, not just treatment, of dental disease and malocclusion in children from birth through high school age. Our goals are to make your child’s experience in our office a positive one which is free of anxiety and fear and to promote oral health which will last a lifetime.
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric Dentistry is one of the nine recognized dental specialties of the American Dental Association. Our doctors have completed two years of additional specialized training (after the required four years of dental school) to prepare them for treating a wide variety of children’s dental problems. Drs. Enright, Piedad and Richardson are also trained and qualified to care for patients with special health care needs. Both of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry meaning they have not only successfully completed accredited training, but have also undergone a voluntary examination designed to continually validate the knowledge, skills & experience requisite to the delivery of quality patient care.
Everyone at Buckhead Pediatric Dentistry uses positive reinforcement and child friendly descriptions to help your child feel at ease during the dental procedure. We make individualized recommendations depending on your child’s age, ability to cooperate, and type of treatment needed. The treatments provided take the dental needs and behavioral aspects into consideration.
To learn more, visit The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
We are available to serve you, answer questions or schedule an appointment during the following hours:
Monday – Thursday:
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday:
7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.