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It is estimated that 42% of children will get at least one cavity between ages 2 and 11. Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Why is it so common, and what can we as parents do to keep our children’s teeth healthy? Well, before we can fight childhood tooth decay, we have to understand what causes it.

Sippy Cups and Baby Bottle Rot

One of the major risks to a child’s oral health comes from sugary drinks and the way children consume them. Whether the drink is soda, fruit juice, or even milk, the sugars in the drink will feed your child’s oral bacteria and increase the risk of decay. Sugars in drinks become particularly hazardous if a child has access to a bottle or sippy cup that they can keep drinking from throughout the day, allowing their teeth to be constantly exposed to more sugar.

This is such a common problem that it has essentially earned its own name: baby bottle tooth decay, or bottle rot. Now, we aren’t suggesting a total ban on all sugary drinks, but the less time your child’s teeth are exposed to them, the better. Sugary drinks are much safer for teeth when consumed quickly at mealtimes. If a sippy cup or bottle is the only thing that helps your child fall asleep at nap time and bedtime, then the healthiest option for their teeth would be to fill it with water.

Sugary Snacks and Candy

Sugar doesn’t have to be in liquid form to problems for the teeth, which brings us to our next oral health danger for children: snacks. Everything from candy to healthier options like cheese and crackers contains sugar. Every time we eat, our saliva needs at least half an hour to wash away all the remnants of the food, but when children have access to snacks all the time, their mouths never have a chance to recuperate.

So just like with sugary drinks, it’s best to consume sugary foods during mealtimes instead of nibbling on them throughout the day. Cutting back on treats with the most sugar, like candy, is also a good choice for dental health.

What Parents Can Do?

Apart from cutting down on juice-filled sippy cups and sugary snacks, there is a lot that parents can do to ensure that their children remain cavity-free. The most important thing is teach them how to efficiently brush their teeth and help them get to a point where it becomes a routine rather than a chore. Giving them a toothbrush and toothpaste they like will make this easier. And don’t forget to teach them about flossing! Also avoid doing things that will spread bacteria, such as sharing spoons or cleaning a dropped pacifier with your own mouth.

The Role Of Your Child’s Dentist

Even if you’re already doing everything in this post with your children, sometimes a cavity will still appear. Don’t get discouraged! Everyone’s teeth are different, which is why the final vital thing you can do as a parent to help your child keep their teeth healthy is bringing them in to see us for cleanings and dental exams every six months!

The post Tooth Decay Leading Childhood Disease appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is an FDA-approved antibiotic liquid clinically applied to control active dental caries and prevent further progression of disease. While the ideal way to treat teeth with decay is by removing the decay and placing a restoration, this alternative treatment allows us to stop decay with noninvasive methods, particularly with young children that have baby teeth who would be unable to complete typical treatment.

Treatment with Silver Diamine Flouride will not eliminate the need for restorative dentistry to repair function or aesthetics, but has been effective at prevention of further decay. Dental restorations may include but are not limited to dental fillings, root canal therapy and or crowns.

How does Silver Diamine Fluoride work?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is composed of two primary components: silver and fluoride. Silver acts as an anti-microbial agent that simultaneously strengthens the underlying protective layer of your teeth called dentin. Fluoride is the active ingredient that puts a stop to tooth decay and helps prevent additional decay from appearing.

When is Silver Diamine Fluoride recommended?

There are several situations in which it may be recommend. Those include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Children who may have excessive decay (severe early childhood caries)
  • Young children who have difficulty cooperating for treatment
  • Special needs patients
  • Children with carious lesions that may not all be treated in one visit

Facts for consideration:

  • Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is an antibacterial liquid used to treat tooth sensitivity and to help stop tooth decay. SDF may require repeated application.
  • The procedure:
  1. Dry the affected area.
  2. Place a small amount of SDF on the affected area.
  3. Allow the SDF to dry.
  4. Rinse.
  • Child should not be treated with SDF if:
  1. Your child is allergic to silver.
  2. There are painful sores or raw areas on my gums (i.e., ulcerative gingivitis) or anywhere in my mouth (i.e., stomatitis).
  • Treatment with SDF does not eliminate the need for dental fillings or crowns to repair function or esthetics. Additional procedures will incur a separate fee.

Benefits of receiving SDF:

  • SDF can help stop tooth decay.
  • SDF can help relieve sensitivity.
  • SDF can help buy time for those patients who are very young, fearful, or have special needs that may otherwise require sedation for traditional dental treatment.

Risks related to SDF include, but are not limited to:

  • The affected area will stain black permanently. Healthy tooth structure will not stain. Stained tooth structure can be replaced with a filling or crown in the future.
  • If accidentally applied to the skin or gums, a brown or white stain may appear that causes no harm and will disappear in one to three weeks.
  • Your child may notice a metallic taste that will go away rapidly.
  • There is a risk that the procedure will not stop the decay and no guarantee of success is granted or implied.
  • If tooth decay is not arrested, the decay will progress. In that case the tooth will require further treatment, such as repeat SDF, a filling or crown, root canal/pulp treatment or extraction.

Alternatives to SDF, not limited to the following:

  • No treatment, which may lead to continued deterioration of tooth structures and cosmetic appearance. Symptoms may increase in severity.
  • Depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay as well as the level of behavior and cooperation, other treatment may include placement of fluoride varnish, a filling or crown, extraction, with or without sedation.

Have additional questions? Please call the office, Dr. Jenn and the Blue Sky staff would be happy to help.

The post What is Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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Could Routine Dental Care Save Your Child’s Life?

Cavities are the most common ailment affecting children today, and they’re almost always preventable. But, did you know that cavities distress other diseases as well? Here’s how cavities and tooth decay are connected to other common conditions.

Tooth Decay Can Lead to Abscesses (infections) Or Worse

Severe cavities and tooth decay are major causes of tooth loss, which makes your child more predisposed to infection. In serious cases, gum disease can cause lung infections or even pneumonia. Additionally, cavities and infected teeth are riddled with harmful bacteria. If left untreated, a tooth infection can cause a deeper infection in the pulp tissue, which is painful and costly to treat. This may result in a hospital trip or a medical emergency.

Cavities Can Complicate Diabetes

Cavities and gum disease can cause blood sugar to increase, and make it difficult to regulate diabetes. Further research has shown that improving dental habits and treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control, and decrease the advancement of the disease. If your child has diabetes, be sure that they are in a regular oral health routine, and that your pediatric dentist is aware of their condition.

Cavities Can Increase Risk of Heart Disease

Numerous studies have pointed out that plaque buildup can increase the odds of contracting heart disease and stroke. Bacteria that cause oral disease and cavities can release toxins that travel through the bloodstream and help to form fatty plaques in the arteries. This can greatly increase someone’s chances of heart disease.

Cavities are Almost Always Preventable 

You can help your child prevent cavities through brushing 2 minutes, 2 times per day, and flossing on a regular basis. Additionally, avoid giving your children sugary drinks, or too many starchy foods, since both have lots of sugar that feeds the bacteria that can cause cavities. As well, be sure your child is drinking plenty of water, which naturally cleans teeth by rinsing away food debris.

Visit Our Office

Tooth decay is painful and can affect the total health of developing mouths, which is why early treatment is the best way to handle cavities – and that’s where we come in! Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry specializes in treating children and oral health ailments specific to young mouths. Schedule an appointment with our office today so that we can evaluate the state of your child’s oral health, and provide a treatment plan that works for them.

The post Why Routine Dental Care? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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A panoramic x-rays shows your child’s whole mouth in one x-ray, so all the teeth on the upper and lower jaws will be visible. Panoramic x-rays aren’t meant to detect decay: rather, they’re taken every 3-5 years during childhood development to detect abnormalities of the developing teeth, jaws, sinuses and jaw joints which can include tumors, cysts, impacted, misplaced and missing teeth. These x-rays provide the diagnostics necessary to help maintain a healthy mouth and body. At Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry safety is our top priority with everything we do, including x-rays. Advancements in technology have helped the x-rays perform faster, meaning less exposure to the already low amount of radiation. The digital x-ray beams are precise and target only the specific area, which also minimizes radiation production. During the x-ray process, kids are made to feel safe and comfortable! A lead apron and thyroid shield are given to wear to prevent any radiation exposure. These new digital x-rays are kept on computers so Dr. Jenn can monitor each child’s oral health quickly and efficiently. There is no more waiting for long periods of time or having to come back for a different appointment. Digital x-rays are captured immediately and in high quality. If you have questions or concerned about panoramic or other digital x-rays please do not hesitate to contact the office, we are always happy to help!

The post What is a Panoramic x-ray? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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PULPOTOMY

In baby teeth, when large deep cavities are in or close to the nerve, it’s sometimes necessary to perform a pulpotomy. A pulpotomy is the removal of the irritated part of the pulp (nerve), while leaving the healthy root canals intact.

To make the entire procedure comfortable for you child, the first thing Dr. Jenn will do is make sure he/she is thoroughly numb.

Dr Jenn places a rubber dam/”raincoat” around the tooth to isolate it from the rest of the mouth. This functions like a safety net, preventing debris from falling to the back of the throat.

To get at the irritated tissue, Dr. Jenn makes an opening through the top of the tooth down into the pulp chamber, and carefully cleans out the nerve tissue. Dr Jenn places a medicated packing material into the opening.

The last step in the procedure is a crown to seal and protect the tooth.

WHY NOT JUST PULL THE TOOTH?

Primary teeth (baby teeth) hold space for when the permanent teeth (adult teeth) are ready to come in. If a primary tooth is lost or extracted too early it can lead to additional treatment with appliances to maintain proper spacing in the mouth.

The post What is a Pulpotomy? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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How Can You Partner With Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry To Help Your Child Not Fear The Dentist?

One of Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry’s main goals is to help children have a positive visit with Dr. Jenn and team. We feel that preventing and lessening the fear associated with coming to the dentist is a significant factor in encouraging future overall oral health. Come adulthood those that have fears and apprehensions, are less likely to keep up with regular visit and be proactive in the care of their teeth. From years of practice and observation, the Blue Sky team believes that parents can play a vital role by working with us to achieve a common goal.

The First Visit

The team at Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry wants to make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive! If old enough, your child should be informed of the visit and told that Dr. Jenn and her team will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.

Avoid Using Negative Words When Talking About Dental Visits

It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “shot”, “pull”, “drill” or “hurt”. Our office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.

Understand Your Own Fear

Children are amazing at reading our feelings and fears. Recent studies have shown that parent’s own fears of the dentist are transferred to your child. Evaluate how much of your fears are substantiated. Take a step back and consider which conversations about your own dental care, or that of your other children or spouse, are appropriate for your child to hear.

Prepare For The Dentist

We strive to make each and every visit to our office a fun one! Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension. Make going to the dentist a truly fun event. You can build excitement for the experience and plan a fun day that centers around the visit. Above all else, it’s important to stay positive. Your child will sense your mood and will respond to it.

The post How Can You Partner With Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry To Help Your Child Not Fear The Dentist? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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2017 SUMMER SELFIE CONTEST

 1. Take a selfie this summer while on vacation or just having fun at home.

2. LIKE US! Like Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BlueSkyPediatricDentistry/) and follow us on Instagram (www.instagram.com/blueskypediatricdentistry/).

3. POST YOUR SELFIE! Post your selfie to our Facebook page . Get your friends to “like” and “share” it. Post your selfie on Instagram, tag us and get your friends to “like” it. Use hashtag #blueskypedssummercontest

4. WIN! The patient with the most likes and shares combined on our pages will win.

PRIZES

1st Place – $200 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Place – $100 Amazon Gift Card

3rd Place – $50 Amazon Gift Card

**All Participants will receive a Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry Shirt**

The Summer Selfie Contest will run until Labor Day.

(Not on social media? You can still participate!  Email your summer selfie to info@blueskypeds.com)

The post 2017 Summer Selfie Contest appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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One of the most important tools in your child’s mouth-health arsenal is their toothbrush. Often overlooked and under considered, it is vital that you take the time to buy the right toothbrush for your child. Below are some smart shopping guidelines to consider when buying your child’s next toothbrush.

Bristles

Bristles come in all shapes and sizes, but did you know that most dentists think that soft, rounded bristles make the best toothbrushes? This is because soft bristles effectively clean teeth without damaging sensitive gums. Hard rubber bristle liners (called burs) can cut your gums and do not provide any extra cleaning power. Additionally, the rounded shape is easy on sensitive teeth and gums while sharper shaped tooth brushes can easily fray as well as harm sensitive gums. So when you’re looking for a new toothbrush, look for soft, rounded bristles.

Size

The toothbrush head should be sized to comfortably fit in your child’s mouth and small enough to clean all of the spots that are tough to reach. The toothbrush head should fit comfortably between their back molars and their cheek. When purchasing their toothbrush, take your child with you so that you can accurately size their new toothbrush. Try to choose a toothbrush that is specifically designed for kids, or your child’s age bracket.

Handle

There are straight handles, curved handles, angled handles and even handles that vibrate, but the most effective handle isn’t based upon shape, but comfort. When choosing your child’s new toothbrush, you need to make sure that the handle is large enough and comfortable enough for them to hold and brush for two minutes. If the handle is the wrong size, it may not be easy enough for them to grasp and effectively brush their teeth. Look for toothbrushes with a rubber grip so that it is easier for your child to grasp.

When to Exchange It

Toothbrushes face a couple of different problems that can cut their lifespan short. First, general use wears down bristles and impedes their effectiveness over time. Worn down bristles begin to lose their shape and become obviously frayed. You should exchange your child’s toothbrush when the head begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed, usually around three months of use.

When your child gets sick, it’s time to get a new toothbrush. Bacteria can buildup on the handle and bristles of their toothbrush and can extend their sickness or reignite it at a later date. If your child has a cold or the flu, immediately buy a new toothbrush once they are no longer sick.

A good rule of thumb is to buy a new toothbrush every three months.

Ask Us!

All of the above criteria applies to adult toothbrushes in addition to those used by children. If you are unsure of the exact toothbrush your child should use, then consult our office! We will be able to help you choose the best toothbrush for your child, and we can suggest a specific model most of the time. Visit our office today to discuss the tools your children use to attain better oral health.

The post How to Find the Perfect Toothbrush for Your Child appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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Gummy vitamins have become very popular in the last several years and even adults now have the option of getting essential vitamins and nutrients through a tasty gummy treat.  But while this can be a great way to get children to take their vitamins, gummy vitamins can harm your teeth.  Yes, they are enhanced with vitamins, but also often contain ingredients that can be found in traditional candy, such as glucose syrup (sugar).  Even sugar free gummies can also contain sticky gelatin and enamel eating citric acid.

Deciding whether or not to use gummy vitamins may come down to what you or your children are most likely to actually use as well as what your own dietary requirements.  If it’s difficult to encourage children to take a regular vitamin, or if you don’t like the taste yourself, then considering a gummy vitamin might not be all bad.  Simply make sure that teeth are brushed shortly after taking them so that these “almost candies” don’t sit on your teeth for long periods of time.

The post Can Gummy Vitamins Harm Teeth? appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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It is estimated that 42% of children will get at least one cavity between ages 2 and 11. Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Why is it so common, and what can we as parents do to keep our children’s teeth healthy? Well, before we can fight childhood tooth decay, we have to understand what causes it.

Sippy Cups and Baby Bottle Rot

One of the major risks to a child’s oral health comes from sugary drinks and the way children consume them. Whether the drink is soda, fruit juice, or even milk, the sugars in the drink will feed your child’s oral bacteria and increase the risk of decay. Sugars in drinks become particularly hazardous if a child has access to a bottle or sippy cup that they can keep drinking from throughout the day, allowing their teeth to be constantly exposed to more sugar.

This is such a common problem that it has essentially earned its own name: baby bottle tooth decay, or bottle rot. Now, we aren’t suggesting a total ban on all sugary drinks, but the less time your child’s teeth are exposed to them, the better. Sugary drinks are much safer for teeth when consumed quickly at mealtimes. If a sippy cup or bottle is the only thing that helps your child fall asleep at nap time and bedtime, then the healthiest option for their teeth would be to fill it with water.

Sugary Snacks and Candy

Sugar doesn’t have to be in liquid form to problems for the teeth, which brings us to our next oral health danger for children: snacks. Everything from candy to healthier options like cheese and crackers contains sugar. Every time we eat, our saliva needs at least half an hour to wash away all the remnants of the food, but when children have access to snacks all the time, their mouths never have a chance to recuperate.

So just like with sugary drinks, it’s best to consume sugary foods during mealtimes instead of nibbling on them throughout the day. Cutting back on treats with the most sugar, like candy, is also a good choice for dental health.

What Parents Can Do?

Apart from cutting down on juice-filled sippy cups and sugary snacks, there is a lot that parents can do to ensure that their children remain cavity-free. The most important thing is teach them how to efficiently brush their teeth and help them get to a point where it becomes a routine rather than a chore. Giving them a toothbrush and toothpaste they like will make this easier. And don’t forget to teach them about flossing! Also avoid doing things that will spread bacteria, such as sharing spoons or cleaning a dropped pacifier with your own mouth.

The Role Of Your Child’s Dentist

Even if you’re already doing everything in this post with your children, sometimes a cavity will still appear. Don’t get discouraged! Everyone’s teeth are different, which is why the final vital thing you can do as a parent to help your child keep their teeth healthy is bringing them in to see us for cleanings and dental exams every six months!

The post Tooth Decay Leading Childhood Disease appeared first on Pediatric Dentist in Highlands Ranch, CO - Blue Sky Pediatric Dentistry - Blog.

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