August 18th, 2017
Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of Oklahoma hears this question a lot. According to our friends at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), pediatric dentistry is “an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral healthcare for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special healthcare needs.”
Pediatric dentists, such as Dr. William Bozalis, are dedicated to the oral health of our young patients from infancy through their teen years. Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of Oklahoma has the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout his or her various stages of childhood.
Pediatric dentists complete at least four years of dental school, including an additional two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and children with special needs.
At Pediatric Dentistry of Oklahoma, we know children are not born with a fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. And that is why Dr. William Bozalis and our team know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them relaxed and comfortable.
To learn more about pediatric dentistry, or to schedule your child's next visit at our Oklahoma City and Midwest City, OK office, please give us a call today!
August 11th, 2017
If your child participates in sports or other physical activities, it’s wise to consider getting a mouthguard. Also known as mouth protectors, mouthguards are a device worn over the teeth to lessen the impact of a blow to the face.
This reduces the chance that your child might lose teeth or sustain other serious oral injuries. We recommend that all patients involved in a contact sport such as wrestling, football, or hockey wear a mouthguard because of the high risk of such injuries.
However, anyone involved in a physically demanding sport or activity should wear a mouthguard as well.
Can you imagine what it would be like to lose a few of your front teeth? The way you talk, eat, and smile would all change.
Injuries that can be sustained when not wearing a mouthguard include:
- Chipped and broken teeth
- Fractured jaws
- Root damage
- Injury to the lips, cheeks, or gums
Types of Mouthguards
There are three different types of mouthguards — typically made of a soft plastic material or laminate. You can decide which works best for your child in terms of budget, fit, and comfort.
- Stock mouthguards are prefabricated to a standard size. They offer adequate protection, but you need to find one that fits your child properly and comfortably. Stock mouthguards are readily available at department stores, sporting goods stores, and online.
- Boil-and-bite mouthguards are placed in boiling water to soften them, then into the mouth so they can conform to the shape of the teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards are more expensive, but offer a more customized fit than stock ones. You can find these in department stores, pharmacies, sporting goods stores, and online.
- Custom-made mouthguards are created just for your child by Dr. William Bozalis. These offer the best fit and comfort of all the options, but they are also the most expensive. Ask a member of our Oklahoma City and Midwest City, OK team for more information.
The American Dental Association says a good mouthguard should be easy to clean, fit properly, be comfortable, and resist tearing or damage. It shouldn’t restrict speech or breathing.
Still not sure if your child needs a mouthguard or which kind is right for his or her smile? Ask Dr. William Bozalis or one of our staff members for more information.
August 4th, 2017
As a parent, it is your job to instill good dental habits in your kids, and this starts even earlier than you might realize. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry responds to the “when to start” question with a succinct “The sooner the better!”
From the time your baby is born, you should make sure that your child’s gums are regularly cleaned using water and a toothbrush made for infants. Once the first tooth erupts, you should visit the pediatric dentist for the first time. Dr. William Bozalis and our staff often recommend that if your child is a year old, but has yet to get the first tooth, you should bring your son or daughter to our Oklahoma City and Midwest City, OK office for his or her initial dental care appointment.
Once your child’s teeth start to appear, you can begin brushing two times per day, using fluoride toothpaste. Choose a toothbrush made specifically for your child’s age group, and one with has soft bristles.
Only a small smear of toothpaste is needed if your child is under two years old. Once the child celebrates his or her second birthday, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Continue this practice until your child is five.
Of course, it is important that you monitor your child’s tooth brushing closely to help educate about proper techniques. Some young children might try to eat or swallow toothpaste, and this needs to be strongly discouraged. Be sure to teach proper rinsing and spitting behavior to round out your child’s early childhood tooth-care regimen.
For young kids, tooth brushing can be made into a fun event, and you can find a multitude of special toothbrushes that appeal to kids. There are even uniquely flavored and colored toothpastes that might encourage your child to get into the brushing game!
July 28th, 2017
Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of Oklahoma knows that every parent loves to hear his or her child say, "no cavities!" when leaving our office. Let's talk about why primary (baby) teeth get cavities, what you can do to help prevent them, and what Dr. William Bozalis can do if your child gets a cavity. It's a team effort!
Prevention is Key
A well-balanced diet high in protein, vitamins, and minerals (especially calcium and phosphorous) is an important part of cavity prevention. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states that children should eat healthy snacks like cheese, vegetables, and yogurt, and drink milk. Limit hard candy and carbonated beverages, which have acid and can cause tooth decay. Also, do not put children to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice because sugary fluids pool around the teeth and gums, which promotes decay.
In addition to limiting sweets and scheduling regular visits at our Oklahoma City and Midwest City, OK office, make sure your child flosses once a day and brushes his or her teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. A good rule of thumb is if children can tie their shoelace, then they should be able to brush their teeth without help. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following basic brushing techniques:
- Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes
- Brush the outer surfaces, inside surfaces and chewing surfaces of all teeth.
- To clean the inside surface of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
These tips will greatly increase cavity prevention; however, if your child gets a cavity, it will not heal on its own and must be fixed. Dr. William Bozalis will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill the hole where the decay was. You may wonder why it's important to fill baby teeth if they're going to fall out eventually. Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth to grow in. If one is lost, teeth may shift and prevent a permanent tooth from growing in. In addition, a decayed tooth can become abscessed and cause pain. No fun!
Let’s work together to help your child develop good oral health habits that last a lifetime. Please contact our office if you have any questions about your child's diet or cavity prevention.