Dental Tips Blog


Does Your Child Have to Be Sedated for Dental Treatment?

The younger a child is, the harder it is for them to relax and cooperate with dental treatment. If a child is moving around or crying, it’s nearly impossible to perform delicate procedures on their teeth.

Besides this, kids may not be able to calm their fears and anxieties on their own. Sedation can help a child relax and avoid forming a negative impression of dental care.

But should dental sedation be expected for all kids?

The answer is no.

Dental sedation for children usually involves either a liquid oral medication or laughing gas which they inhale. These very mild forms of sedation are meant to help a child relax, not go unconscious.

However, there is a very small but deadly risk of over-sedating a child with a medication.

Sometimes, certain individuals don’t respond to medication the way they’re supposed to. Medical emergencies are rare, but they can still happen.

The younger kids are, the more delicate their breathing systems will be. Accidentally slipping from mild sedation to unconsciousness could be fatal in a matter of minutes.

Such tragic accidents are usually due to an ill-prepared dental team. This means that dental sedation is safer in an environment such as a hospital or clinic with a large staff trained in anesthesia.

Before opting for dental sedation for your child, you need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Properly-administered sedation can help your child get necessary dental care. But it should never be done routinely on kids who can easily tolerate treatment.

Contact your family’s dentist for more details and referrals if you feel your child could benefit from sedation dentistry.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224


When Will My Child Lose Their First Tooth?

Are you wondering when the tooth fairy will need to make her first visit for your child?  Generally speaking, the age range for most children to lose their teeth is between the ages of 5 to 7 years old.  In some cases it is considered normal for children to start getting loose teeth as early as 4 years of age.

What should you expect when your child does get a loose tooth?

Baby teeth get loose when the adult tooth underneath the gums is pushing upward.  This will cause the baby teeth above the adult teeth to loosen and then fall out.  In most cases, the bottom two front teeth are the first baby teeth to fall out – typically around the age of 6.

Children will often get protective of their loose teeth, so you may get to help them pull their first tooth. Or it will usually become loose enough to fall out on its own. You will know it is ready to pull when it is extremely loose.

When should you be concerned if your child hasn’t lost their first tooth yet?

If your child hasn’t lost any teeth by the age of 7 years old, you should take your child to their dentist. Your child’s dentist use x-rays to see how their permanent teeth look under their gums.

Are you concerned about your child because they haven’t lost their first tooth yet? Just ask your dentist! Your child’s permanent teeth may come in at different times than others. What is normal for one child may be different for the next. Routine check-ups can help you be sure that their eruption patterns are progressing properly.

Posted on behalf of:
Hellosmile Park Slope Pediatric Dental & Orthondontics
206 7th Ave, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 388-0400


Is Nitrous Oxide Safe for My Child?

Nitrous oxide is perfectly safe for kids! Nitrous oxide is commonly known as “laughing gas,” and it is an effective form of mild sedation which is extremely helpful in pediatric dentistry. There are a few considerations, however, which you as your son or daughter’s parent can help out with.

How Nitrous Oxide Works

Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and administered in a steady flow through a small mask that fits over your child’s nose. The gas is safe, and when the procedure is over, it is flushed from your child’s body with clean oxygen. It leaves no lingering effects.

Laughing gas works by relaxing your child’s body and easing any anxiety they may have. He or she will remain conscious and responsive throughout the entire procedure, but they will not feel discomfort during the treatment because the gas raises the pain-threshold. In fact, the gas may even make your child feel silly and giggly. This can help them to have a pleasant memory of their dental visit.

Will Your Child Feel Comfortable With the Process of Inhaling the Gas?

Because administration of nitrous oxide requires the use of a nose mask, your son or daughter has to be ok with wearing it and breathing through their nose, alone, when directed. If your child is too young to comprehend the directions, then you may need to discuss other options.

Also, if your child has a stuffy nose on the day of the appointment or has a medical condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult, then your dentist will talk about other ways of alleviating dental anxiety.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955


Oral Hygiene Challenges with Young or Special Needs Children

Some of our most special needs dental patients may have difficulty being able to practice routine oral hygiene on their own, or have a hard time cooperating when a caregiver attempts to help them. No matter if the child’s needs are physical, psychological or developmental, all parents want to make sure that they are doing everything possible to promote a healthy oral environment that is free from decay and disease.

Make it part of your routine.

Consistency and knowing what to expect each day can help children with transitions. Knowing that oral care is going to happen at a certain time every day can help your child prepare for it. Oral care is not an option, even though some caregivers would rather avoid it due to a poor reaction by the child. Over time most children become comfortable with oral care, but it may take weeks or even months.

Get the child involved.

As long as you are cleansing the child’s teeth once per day, you may want to let your child be in charge of the 2nd time. For instance, you can brush their teeth before bed, and they can do it in the morning after breakfast. Sometimes allowing a child to feel like they have control over an aspect of something can encourage more involvement. If your child refuses to do it alone, then help them do it.

Make it physically possible.

If keeping the mouth open is not easily achievable, consider using medical tape over several stacked tongue depressors to create a comfortable prop for the child to bite down on while giving you access to the other side of their mouth. If dexterity is a problem, consider putting a tennis ball or bicycle handle over the end of a toothbrush to make it easier for your child to hold. Encourage them to brush back and forth as best as possible, following up where needed.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Kurtzman



Pediatric Sleep and Sedation Dentistry

Sleep and sedation dentistry is an excellent alternative for patients who are difficult to treat in a traditional dental office setting or who cannot tolerate traditional dental care.  Candidates for sleep and sedation dentistry include patients with moderate to severe anxiety, patients with a severe gag reflex, developmentally or physically disabled patients, and patients who are allergic to or do not respond to novocaine.

In addition, sleep and sedation dentistry is a wonderful alternative for small children who are unable to hold still throughout a dental procedure or who might become uncooperative.  Instead of causing the child unnecessary stress and anxiety, sleep and sedation dentistry allows them to have a pleasant dental care experience with no pain or discomfort.

A small but growing group of experienced dentists have received the necessary training to provide sleep and sedation services.  If your dentist does not offer this service, they may be able refer you to a dentist who does.  In sleep and sedation dentistry, the patient is partially or fully sedated deeper than achieved with nitrous oxide (laughing gas).  The dentist determines the level of sedation necessary which can range from a moderate drowsy sleep like state to full unconscious sedation under general anesthesia.

Full sedation is usually performed in a hospital surgical suite with the assistance of an anesthesiologist and surgical nurses.  Milder forms of sedation can be handled either in the hospital or in the dentist’s office, depending on the needs of the patient.

Sedation dentistry is the safe, comfortable way for small children to receive high quality dental care.  The work can be finished in a shorter period of time and the child will be comfortable and relaxed throughout the procedure.

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