Phone: 910-778-8485 fax: 910-778-8477

2980 Ray Road Spring Lake NC 28390 Near Overhills Schools

Vincent Vissichelli, DMD

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Specializing in the treatment of infants, children, teens and special needs patients

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How to identify tooth decay?

· 1. The first sign of tooth decay is a white spot “lesion” on the enamel surface of the front teeth. These are white, chalky areas, close to the gum line. These decalcifications are caused by bacterial acid, and directly precede irreversible loss of tooth structure (a cavity).
· 2. By “lifting-the-lip” parents will be able to see this early indicator of caries disease.
· 3. Parents should get these areas examined by a dentist as soon as possible, so that treatment can be initiated, if necessary. The white spot lesions can be “reversed” (remineralized) by the application of fluoride – if the problem is recognized early enough.
· 4. Active cavities usually have a golden-brown color.

 

Is Juice really that bad?

YES

Children are the single largest group of juice consumers. By the age of one, almost 90% of infants in the U.S. are drinking fruit juice. One percent of infants consume more than 21 ounces of juice per day!
Fruit juice is not a substitute for natural fruit, and it has fewer nutrients. Water and carbohydrates are the main ingredients in juice. The major carbohydrate components of juice are: sucrose, glucose, fructose, and sorbitol. Fruit juice also lacks the fiber in whole fruit.
Excessive consumption of juice by infants can cause diarrhea due to poor absorption of the carbohydrates in juice. Abdominal pain is also common in heavy juice drinkers.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that juice be offered to infants in a cup – not in a bottle or sippy cup. Infants should not be put to bed with a juice bottle or sippy cup.
It is recommended that fuit juice be consumed during meal time. Juice should not be used to pacify a child, and should not be sipped all day.

Feeding your baby for good dental health

· From birth to four months of age:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breast milk be the only nutrient fed to infants until 4 to 6 months of age.
For mothers who do not breastfeed, infant formula can be used. Formula-fed babies may need to eat 6 to 8 times per day for a total of 16 – 35 ounces per day.
· Four to six months of age:
At this age, the baby should be consuming 28 to 45 ounces of formula per day.
· Six to eight months of age:
Solid foods can be introduced into the infant’s diet. Mother should wait until the baby has good control of the head an neck. At that point, start with a thin consistency mixture of baby rice cereal. Later, try offering strained fruits and vegetables. Infants should not be allowed to use a sippy cup for prolonged periods of time. Drinking fruit juice for a prolonged period of time will likely lead to the development of dental caries.
· Eight to twelve months of age:
By the age of one, most children should be “off the bottle.” Offer the baby strained meats at this age.
Remember, infants should not be put to sleep with a bottle containing any liquid other than water.
· One year of age:
Whole milk or 4% milk may now replace breast milk or formula. Children under the age of 2 should not be given low-fat (2% or skim) milk.
Parents should encourage their infants to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday.
· Toddlers and older children:
Do not give food that may cause your toddler to choke – such as nuts, popcorn, raisins, hot dogs, grapes, or berries.
Infants should not be put to bed with a bottle containing juice or milk. Only water should be in the bottle at bedtime!
· One to two years of age:
Toddlers should be discouraged from carrying a sippy cup. Toddlers who drink more than 12 fluid ounces of juice per day may develop tooth decay and “toddlers’ diarrhea.”  Toddlers should not be drinking anymore then 4 ounces of juice a day.
Toddlers should be introduced to healthy food and snacks.
Yogurt and cheese are good calcium alternatives for children who cannot tolerated milk.

· Two years of age and up:
Aged cheese contains calcium lactate and fatty acids which help fight cavities. The calcium and phosphates in aged cheese are slow-release components which are needed for tooth remineralization. In addition, the physical form of cheese promotes salivary flow – which increases food clearance and decreases the acidic environment surrounding the teeth.

 

Top 10 reasons children get tooth decay!

An infant’s mouth contains millions of bacteria, including the bacteria that cause dental decay.  These bacteria start the tooth decay process.  When a parent puts the baby’s feeding spoon into his or her mouth, bacteria from the parent’s mouth will be transferred back to the baby’s mouth and infect the baby’s teeth.  The danger of infecting the infant’s teeth is increased when the parents already have tooth decay themselves.

The factors affecting the occurrence and severity of ECC include:
1.  Diet and nutrition.
2.  Oral hygiene.
3.  Fluoridation.
4.  Preventive dental measures.
5.  Transmission of cariogenic microbes from mother to child.
6.  A child’s genetic susceptibility to dental disease.
7.  Salivary flow and its pH buffering capacity.
8.  Mucosal immunity.
9.  Lifestyle.
10.  A history of previous dental caries.

 

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