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Prevention is better than cure especially for Children's teeth.

  
  
  
  
  

Establishing good habits can help your child avoid oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease and also wont lead to them having anything to fear about going to the Dentist. Redmond Molloy tries to answer some questions to give your kids the best start in life. As the proverb says “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”

 

redmondmolloy tips for kids teeth 

Can I let my child have sweets?
Most children want sweets, so denial does not work, try and make sure they don’t eat them often and encouraging them only to eat their sweets with or after a meal. This way, your child avoids having extra 'acid attacks' from eating sweets between meals. This helps prevent tooth decay by giving the teeth time to recover from the effects of the acids. We give the same advice to adults who are trying to reduce their cavities.

What are the best snacks to give my child?

The best snacks are the ones that don’t contain refined sugars like fruit and raw vegetables. Try tangerines, bananas, pieces of cucumber or carrot sticks. Other good snacks include breadsticks, crackers, rice cakes and plain popcorn.

Should I let my child have fizzy drinks?
No. Fizzy drinks contain sugars and acids that can affect the enamel on your child's teeth, making it thinner and weaker more susceptible to acid attack and decay, if you find it hard to stop fizzy drinks then always get them to use a straw as it will send the drinks away from the teeth and down to their tummies causing less damage.

What are the best drinks for my child?
The best drinks for children aged over one year old are water or milk. Cow’s milk is not suitable as a drink until your baby is 12 months old. Where formula is a better alternative.

Fruit juices contain sugars and acids so it's best to limit these to mealtimes and use a straw, as then the drink avoids the teeth as it is ingested straight down to the tummy.  If your child is thirsty, it's better to give them water than to encourage a taste for sweet drinks. It's best to avoid giving babies fruit-flavored 'baby juices' as then they will develop a sweet drink habit and it is harder to wean them off these drinks, and never give them in feeding bottles."

Fruit juice is not suitable for babies under six months.

Can I let my child have milk at bedtime?
Water is the best drink to give at bedtime, but if you do give milk, don't add anything to it. Chocolate-flavoured 'bedtime' drinks and milkshake powder usually contain sugars, which can increase the risk of decay if given at bedtime. It is best to try and develop the routine where the last thing before bed is brushing the teeth, which can be made into fun time like counting the teeth etc and then after that brushing the only thing allowed is water. so milk then brush not the other way around.

 

decay in kids teeth

Are sugar-free medicines better for my child?
Yes. Always ask for sugar-free medicines, the usual ones you would use like Calpol and Neurofen also have sugar free versions and remind your doctor about this if you're being given a prescription for your child. This is especially important if your child is taking long-term medication.

When should my child give up bottles?
Your child should begin moving off the bottle and on to a feeder cup at six months and try and get them using normal cups with a straw. Bottles should be given up completely by the age of one especially the night time one, because the teats and spouts encourage children to suck for long periods of time, which can mean the drinks that cause tooth decay stay in contact with your child's teeth for a long time.

Will a dummy or thumb sucking harm my child's teeth?
These won't harm teeth but will encourage an open bite. This is when teeth move to make space for the dummy or thumb. They may also affect speech development. Thumb sucking and dummies won't cause permanent problems as long as the habit stops by the time your child gets their second teeth, but it can be a hard habit to break.  Discourage your children from talking or making sounds with their thumb or a dummy in their mouth, and don't dip dummies in anything sweet such as sugar or jam."

What are fissure sealants and should my child have it done?
This is a special filling that is painted onto a child's adult teeth to help protect them. It is generally done within two years of the first molar teeth erupting to protect them from decay it is painless no injections or drilling and it is done at the dental surgery. Talk to your dentist to find out if your child would benefit from this extra protection." 

 

At Redmond Molloy we love to treat Children's teeth.

  
  
  
  
  

arrange-to-have-your-childrens-teeth-exa  

Ever wondered at what age children first get their baby teeth and at what age these are replaced by their Adult teeth.

childrens teeth at redmond molloy  

The first teeth can begin to break through the gums at about 4 months of age. Generally, but not always the first two teeth to erupt are the two bottom central incisors (bottom front teeth). Next, the top four front teeth emerge. After that, other teeth slowly begin to fill in, until all 20 teeth (10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw) have come in by the time the child is 2 ½ to 3 years old. The baby teeth are in the mouth from the age of 2 ½ to 3 years of age to 6 to 7 years of age.

 It is good to note that eruption times can vary from child to child up to a year and a half, earlier or later.

Decidious (baby)Teeth Development Chart

Upper Teeth

When tooth emerges

When tooth falls out

Central incisor

4 to 12 months

6 to 7 years

Lateral incisor

6 to 13 months

7 to 8 years

Canine (eye tooth)

16 to 22 months

10 to 12 years

First molar

13 to 19 months

9 to 11 years

Second molar

25 to 33 months

10 to 12 years

 

 

 

Lower Teeth

 

 

Second molar

23 to 31 months

10 to 12 years

First molar

14 to 18 months

9 to 11 years

Canine (cuspid)

17 to 23 months

9 to 12 years

Lateral incisor

10 to 16 months

7 to 8 years

Central incisor

4 to 10 months

6 to 7 years

 

What to do when your child is teething

Some teeth come through with no trouble at all; in other cases, the gum may be sore and red where the tooth is pushing its way out. A child may dribble, gnaw and chew a lot, some get a nappy rash, it can even raise their temperature by a degree or just be fretful.

  • It can be helpful to give the child something hard to chew on.
  • Teething rings that can be cooled in the fridge can be particularly soothing.
  • Teething gels containing local anaesthetics can provide some pain relief from sore gums.
  • Sugar-free paracetamol suspension such as Calpol may also be given. Be sure to follow the instructions according to the child's age.

                                                                                                                          

Other primary tooth eruption facts:

  • Girls generally precede boys in tooth eruption
  • Lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth
  • Teeth in both jaws usually erupt in pairs - one on the right and one on the left
  • Baby teeth are smaller in size and whiter in color than the permanent teeth that will follow

Shortly after age 4, the jaw and facial bones of the child begin to grow, creating spaces between the baby teeth. This is a perfectly natural growth process that provides the necessary space for the larger permanent teeth to erupt. Between the ages of 6 and 12, a mixture of both baby teeth and permanent teeth reside in the mouth, this is known a the ugly duckling stage!

 

Why is it Important to Care for Baby Teeth?

While it's true that baby teeth are only in the mouth a short period of time, they play a vital role.

They reserve space for their permanent counterparts.

  • They give the face its normal appearance.
  • They aid in the development of clear speech.
  • They help attain good nutrition (missing or decayed teeth make it difficult to chew causing children to reject foods).
  • They help give a healthy start to the permanent teeth (decay and infection in baby teeth can cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath them

 

Caring for your child's teeth

  • Start brushing as soon as teeth appear.
  • Brush thoroughly twice a day (just before bed is important).
  • Help your child brush until they are able to do it well by themselves - usually around the age of seven.
  • Use a small amount of an  age appropriate fluoride toothpaste and encourage your child to spit after brushing; do not rinse afterwards as this reduces the benefits of the fluoride in the toothpaste.
  • Use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies and a pea-sized amount for children.
  • Young children will swallow the toothpaste; use a children's toothpaste with reduced fluoride until they are able to spit well.
  • At Redmond Molloy we like our patients to bring along their children to  allow them to get used to the surrounds on their own terms and then when the time is right we would like them to visit the dentist regularly, prevention is always better than cure.

 

 

Children with Asthma have more decayed teeth.

  
  
  
  
  

Redmond Molloy has read a report recently and wants to make the parents of children with asthma aware of the connection between asthma and decaying teeth, it was written by Swedish researcher and dental hygienist, Malin Stensson.

Redmond Molloy

The first study revealed that three year olds who suffer from asthma have more decayed teeth than those the same age without asthma.

The children with asthma had a greater tendency to breathe through the mouth; they became dry in the mouth and were therefore given sugary drinks more often. This may have contributed to them developing more decayed teeth.

These children were then followed in a study from the age of three to six. It became clear that the three year olds with asthma subsequently developed more decayed teeth than children without asthma.

Redmond Molloy

The scientists have also compared the oral health of adolescents aged 12 to 16, Only one out of 20 in the asthma group was decay-free, while 13 out of 20 were decay-free in the control group. One factor that may have influenced the development of caries is a somewhat lower level of saliva secretion, which was probably caused by the medication taken by those with asthma. Adolescents with asthma also suffered more often from bleeding gums than those without asthma

The work also examined the oral health of young adults aged 18 to 24, with and without asthma, results were nearly identical with those in the group of 12- to 16-year-olds, although differences were not as large.

Malin points out that the numbers of participants in the studies were relatively small, and it may be difficult to generalise the results. What is interesting, however, is that young people with asthma have more decay than those without asthma, even in those participants who came from an area with relatively good oral health.

Malin continues: ‘The study is particularly reliable because the groups are homogenous with respect to age and area of residence. Further, the participants with asthma had all been accurately diagnosed by a specialist. One of the studies is longitudinal, and this gives extra strength to the results.'

She emphasises the importance of young people with asthma receiving extra dental care early on, and that a preventive oral health programme should be established.

 

Book your children in for an examination now

Six Dental Myths Debunked by Redmond Molloy

  
  
  
  
  

Brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental check-ups are standard for oral health care, but there are more health benefits to taking care of your pearly whites than most of us know. 

dental decay

Myth 1: The consequences of poor oral health are restricted to the mouth

Expectant mothers may not know that what they eat affects the tooth development of the fetus. Poor nutrition during pregnancy may make the unborn child more likely to have tooth decay later in life. "Between the ages of 14 weeks to four months, deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, protein and calories could result in oral defects," says Carole Palmer, EdD, RD, professor at TUSDM. Some data also suggest that lack of adequate vitamin B6 or B12 could be a risk factor for cleft lip and cleft palate formation.

Redmond Molloy

In children, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease, about five times more common than childhood asthma. If a child's mouth hurts due to tooth decay, he/she is less likely to be able to concentrate at school and is more likely to be eating foods that are easier to chew but that are less nutritious. Foods such as donuts and pastries are often lower in nutritional quality and higher in sugar content than more nutritious foods that require chewing, like fruits and vegetables.

dental decay

Myth 2: More sugar means more tooth decay

It isn't the amount of sugar you eat; it is the amount of times that the sugar has contact with the teeth. Foods such as slowly-dissolving jellies and fizzy drinks are in the mouth for longer periods of time. This increases the amount of time teeth are exposed to the acids formed by oral bacteria from the sugars.

Some research shows that teens obtain about 40 percent of their carbohydrate intake from soft drinks. This constant beverage use increases the risk of tooth decay. Sugar-free carbonated drinks and acidic beverages, such as lemonade, are often considered safer for teeth than sugared beverages but can also contribute to demineralization of tooth enamel if consumed regularly.

Redmond Molloy

Myth 3: Losing baby teeth to tooth decay is okay

It is a common myth that losing baby teeth due to tooth decay is insignificant because baby teeth fall out anyway. Tooth decay in baby teeth can result in damage to the developing crowns of the permanent teeth developing below them. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, the permanent teeth may erupt malpositioned and require orthodontics later on.

Myth 4: Osteoporosis only affects the spine and hips

Osteoporosis may also lead to tooth loss. Teeth are held in the jaw by the face bone, which can also be affected by osteoporosis. "So, the jaw can also suffer the consequences of a diet lacking essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamins D and K," says Palmer.

"The jawbone, gums, lips, and soft and hard palates are constantly replenishing themselves throughout life. A good diet is required to keep the mouth and supporting structures in optimal shape."

dentures at redmond molloy

Myth 5: Dentures improve a person's diet

If dentures don't fit well, older adults are apt to eat foods that are easy to chew and low in nutritional quality, such as cakes or pastries. "First, denture wearers should make sure that dentures are fitted properly. In the meantime, if they are having difficulty chewing or have mouth discomfort, they can still eat nutritious foods by having cooked vegetables instead of raw, canned fruits instead of raw, and ground beef instead of steak. Also, they should drink plenty of fluids or chew sugar-free gum to prevent dry mouth," says Palmer. Implants can be used to help with the retention of ill fitting dentures.

redmond molloy dental decay

Myth 6: Dental decay is only a young person's problem

In adults and elders, receding gums can result in root decay. Commonly used drugs such as antidepressants, diuretics, antihistamines and sedatives increase the risk of tooth decay by reducing saliva production. "Lack of saliva means that the mouth is cleansed more slowly. This increases the risk of oral problems," says Palmer. "In this case, drinking water frequently can help cleanse the mouth."

Adults and elders are more likely to have chronic health conditions, like diabetes, which are risk factors for periodontal disease (which begins with an inflammation of the gums and can lead to tooth loss). Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes patients have twice the risk of developing periodontal disease of people without diabetes. Furthermore, periodontal disease exacerbates diabetes mellitus, so meticulous oral hygiene can help improve diabetes control," says Palmer.

Like parent Like child - Redmond Molloy explains

  
  
  
  
  

Parents are a child's first teacher in life and play a significant role in maintaining overall health. Getting the knowledge of What? How? When? is essential in teaching children healthy habits and preventing early childhood tooth decay.

Redmond Molloy cares for childrens teeth

With all of the challenges that new parents face, they may not think much about the link between their child's oral health and overall health. In fact, an understanding of oral hygiene can help parents to prevent tooth decay -- the single most common chronic childhood disease in America -- and to create a lifetime of healthy habits for their child.

Ideally, the oral health education for any family will begin with Mom and Dad or the guardians and the establishment of a dental routine by the time your child has started to get their teeth at approx six months of age. Many people don't realize that the oral health of the mother affects both the infant's future oral health and the child's overall health. In fact, some studies show that periodontal disease has been linked to preterm labor. That's why pregnant women should be evaluated for cavities, poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, loose teeth and diet.

After the child is born, families should become familiar with their child's dental and oral health milestones, which will be determined by discussion with the family dentist. Children should have their first dental visit as soon as they are capable of sitting back in a chair and co-operating in showing their teeth, and all that goes with a very simple dental exam this will obviously be different ages for different children. We find just bringing them when you are having a routine dental exam is a great idea as if they see Mommy or Daddy having treatment then it can desensitize them to the whole experience. Our dentists will be able to discuss when parents can expect to see a child's first tooth and the best technique for brushing his or her new teeth.

Redmond Molloy cares for childrens teeth

Diet is another factor that affects a child's oral health. Frequent and long-term exposure to liquids that contain sugars commonly results in tooth decay. In addition to eliminating sugary drinks altogether from a child's diet, parents can adopt other habits to prevent tooth decay due to beverage consumption.

Parents should avoid giving their children milk, formula, juice or fizzy drinks at naptime or night-time. The sugars will linger on their teeth and gums for a prolonged period of time, promoting decay.

Parents are responsible for their child's oral hygiene practices and are advised to meet with our dentists to determine the best way to establish and maintain their child's oral health. This education has multiple benefits; Healthy teeth in early childhood can provide a positive self-image and improve the child's quality of life.

At Redmond Molloy we have dental plans for childrens and adults that help spread the cost of all your prevenative treatment throughout the year with a simple monthly Direct Debit for a low as €7.50 for a child.

Book an appointment for you and your family

 

Kids and the dentist- What Where How ??

  
  
  
  
  
When should I start brushing my kids teeth?

The answer to this is when they first appear . Kids teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they are exposed in the mouth so it is important to remove the bacterial plaque that builds up from a very early age. Very small soft, baby toothbrushes are available from most pharmacies and it is a good idea to try and introduce teeth brushing as part of a kids routine as early as possible. Make a game out of it ...brush teddy's teeth first. If they get upset leave it and come back to it later.  Despite a kids best efforts they will not have the manual dexterity to do a thorough job so it is always important for the parent to just 'finish things off'. The best way is to sit on the side of the bath and back your child between your legs and let them recline their head back towards you like having you hair washed at the hairdressers. You will have your arms around them , good vision and good control over them.

brushing kids teeth at RedmondMolloy

 

Kids and Toothpaste?

It is important NOT to use any tooth paste in under 2's, or any age where you feel they are not capable of spitting the majority of the toothpaste out. Generally between 2 and 5 years  you should use a small amount, ( just enough to coat the bristles) of a children's toothpaste. This is important as they  taste better and more importantly they have a much reduced level of Fluoride in them.

The reason this toothpaste issue is important is because the water supply in Ireland is Fluoridated which has had a remarkably positive affect on Irish peoples teeth, but if a child swallows alot of toothpaste, together with the fluoride in the water supply , they can ingest too much fluoride which can cause white or even brown spots on their developing second teeth, a term called Flurosis. Check out our blog on Fuoridation.

 

 When should my Child first visit the dentist?

Below the age of 3 years it can be a bit of a lottery as to how productive a visit will be. However it is a good idea for a young child to accompany their older siblings or parent on a 'check-up' visit for them. This will enable them to experience the atmosphere, the sounds, smells etc. It will also give the dentist an opportunity for some engagement with the child outside of the dental chair  thus laying the foundation for a future relationship and trust.  After this first interaction the dentist may suggest that the child comes back in 6 months or a years time for a special visit to count their own teeth. 

The Childs first visit

The parent has a critical role in a child's first visit to the dentist. Naturally a parent only wants the best for their child but often they say the completely wrong thing to the child before the visit. The child will have very little if any experience of the dental setting, they will therefore have an open inquisitive mind, If a parent says " Now don't worry, it will be alright!",......." The dentist won't hurt you!".....straight away alarm bells start ringing for the child...."Hang on,........ I thought we were going to have some fun counting teeth,......What's all this 'Hurt' business about"!    This scenario often happens with a parent who is anxious about visiting the dentist and who subconsciously passes this fear to their child. It unfortunately really puts the dentist at an immediate disadvantage in trying to develope a trusting relationship with the child.

The parent needs to be very casual about the first visit, do not make a 'big-deal' out of it, (e.g.)..." We are going to the shops and we might pop in to have our teeth counted on the way back".  There are some great kids books on their first visit that may be helpful but the golden rule is to be relaxed about it.

Worst case scenario for your child to avoid:

It is vital for your child to have built up a 'fun', 'trusting' relationship with the dentist before any major intervention such as a filling takes place. Therefore it is essential that a child has had a number of introductory 'fun' visits before they find themselves needing treatment. The worst case scenario is for a parent to wait till a child is 6 or 7 years old, who have been up all night with a tooth ache, who have never set foot in a dental practice before, and there first introduction is an unpleasant one for all concerned in an effort to relieve pain. It can be so hard to get a child back 'on-side' after a scenario like this.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT FOR YOUR KIDS FIRST VISIT

 

Redmond Molloy explains what to do after extraction of a tooth

  
  
  
  
  
 

 

  • 1. Eating & Drinking
    A soft and light diet is advisable after having a tooth removed. Take care to ensure that food does not become trapped in the socket where the tooth was. Try to avoid alcohol and hot drinks in the period immediately following the extraction, especially if the local anesthetic effect is still present.

  • 2. Rinsing
    Do NOT repeatedly rinse your mouth out after your extraction. A healthy blood clot forms in the socket where the tooth was; frequent rinsing will tend to dislodge this clot thus causing bleeding to start again.
    24 hours following the extraction, you should rinse your mouth with warm salty water (a half teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water). Repeat this 3-4 times a day after meals.

  • 3. Cleaning
    Please continue to brush your remaining teeth in the normal fashion. Take care not to disturb the healing socket area.

  • 4. Bleeding

     If bleeding occurs after leaving the surgery, please do the following: roll a handkerchief or tissue into a small pad (about the thickness of your finger). Then place it over the bleeding socket and bite down on it for 20 - 25 minutes. If after this period, bleeding is still occurring, please contact your surgery. (Bear in mind that minor oozing from the extraction site can occur for up to 24 hours after having the tooth removed.)

  • 5. Swelling
    You should expect to have some degree of swelling after the extraction. This can take up to 10 days to resolve in some cases.

  • 6. Smoking
    We strongly recommend that you avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products for the 24 hours following the extraction. Cigarette smoke can delay or prolong the healing of the extraction site, and in some cases, it can cause severe pain 1 - 4 days after the extraction, e.g. a ‘dry socket infection'. You may need a course of Antibiotics to clear this infection.

  • 7. Pain Control
    You should expect to have some discomfort following an extraction. If you think you may require pain killers, please discuss this with your dentist before you leave the surgery, or simply call your surgery to get a recommendation from the dentist. The pain relief to avoid are those containing Asprin as they may lead to bleeding in the extraction socket area.

  • 8. Stitches
    If you have had stitches (sutures) placed after an extraction, please do not touch them or pull at them. You will have been advised by your surgeon as to whether these are dissolvable or whether you should return to have these stitches removed.

  • 9. Local Anesthetic
    The type of anesthetic used by your dentist can leave your lip and other soft tissues numb for up to 4 hours. Please be extremely careful not to bite your lip or cheek during this time period. (This is especially important for parents to take note of if their child has had local anesthetic.)
    In addition, take care not to burn yourself with very hot drinks, or cut your gums with hard foods - you will not realise what has happened until after the anesthetic effect has worn off.
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