How to Choose a Cavity-Fighting Toothpaste for Your Child

We’ve all faced a confusing array of options in the dental care aisle. In this month’s blog, let’s consider these two cavity-fighting toothpaste options for your kiddos and determine which might be the optimal choice for their oral health.

Fluoridated toothpaste: The trusted guardian

Cavity protection:

Fluoride toothpaste is the gold standard for toothpaste. It has a known efficacy in guarding against cavities. How does it achieve this though? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that acts as a protective barrier for teeth, strengthening enamel against acid erosion caused by bacteria.

Enamel restoration:

Beyond protection, fluoride plays a pivotal role in enamel repair by fostering remineralization. It replenishes minerals in weakened enamel, effectively addressing the early stages of tooth decay.

Established reputation:

Fluoridated toothpaste has been around for a while since it has been proven to be a reliable partner in keeping teeth healthy. Its widespread endorsement by dentists has solidified its reputation as the recommended treatment.

Hydroxyapatite toothpaste: The natural caretaker

Derived from nature:

Synthetic hydroxyapatite, which is a crucial part of dental enamel, is incorporated into toothpaste recipes. The qualities of the actual mineral are mimicked by this biomimetic material.

Enamel nurturing:

Think of toothpaste with hydroxyapatite as a caring partner for enamel. Enamel is strengthened and repaired in an effort to smooth out flaws and maybe reduce tooth sensitivity, helping to rejuvenate your teeth. 

Fluoride-free alternative: 

A desirable substitute that offers freedom from fluoride while preserving dental health is hydroxyapatite toothpaste, which appeals to people looking for fluoride-free options or who are worried about consuming fluoride.

Comparative review:

Cavity prevention: While toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite is good at repairing enamel, it is still relatively new in the field of cavity prevention. Fluoride toothpaste has a strong track record in this regard.

Enamel strengthening: 

Both versions seek to support the health of the enamel, but they do so in different ways. While toothpaste containing hydroxyapatite adds synthetic hydroxyapatite to strengthen enamel, fluoride toothpaste uses fluoride for remineralization.

Fluoride consideration:

An important differentiation can be made between fluoride and fluoride-free options. For individuals who are hesitant about consuming fluoride, hydroxyapatite toothpaste is a viable option, even though fluoride toothpaste is supported by substantial research.
Personal preference:

The best toothpaste to use ultimately depends on a person’s unique must haves, including sensitivity, requirements for maintaining good dental health, and personal preferences such as taste, or natural ingredients.
Balancing fluoride in your routine:

One last thing before we go… 

Fluoride is a mineral found in toothpaste that acts as a kind of cavity defender. It is wise to evaluate your intake of fluoride, particularly shedding light on non-fluoridated communities along the South Shore such as Braintree. It is also important to consider your child’s daily fluoride intake and the sources of fluoride. Are they getting an adequate daily supply of fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, and diet? 

The CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride tool provides information about the fluoride level in your water. It’s critical to keep your child’s fluoride consumption balanced. Dr. Anderson and her Sprout Kids Dentistry Team follow the guidelines outlined in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Policy on Use of Fluoride Dr. Anderson’s preferred toothpaste selections for every need

  • Trusted Household Choice: Opt for the reliability of Crest, Colgate, or Tom’s of Maine for consistent dental care.
  • Hydroxyapatite Enriched: Experience advanced enamel repair with Risewell, a leader in hydroxyapatite technology.
  • Focus on Pure Ingredients: Choose Twice for a toothpaste that emphasizes clean, health-conscious ingredients.
  • Flavorful Dental Experience: Try the unique and enjoyable flavors of Tom’s of Maine, making brushing a treat.
  • Comfort for Sensitive Teeth: Trust Sensodyne for gentle and effective care in managing tooth sensitivity.

Whether you prefer the all-natural benefits of hydroxyapatite or the tried-and-true effectiveness of fluoride, the end result is always the same: maintaining the integrity and brightness of your child’s teeth. 

Schedule Your Appointment

Remember, your child’s smile is our success! Feel free to reach out to us with any queries or for further information. All of us at Sprout Kids Dentistry look forward to maintaining the oral health of our little ones in Quincy, MA. Fill out an online contact form to schedule an appointment today.

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DENTAL CROWNS FOR KIDS

One of the hardest things a pediatric dentist has to tell a parent is, “Your child has cavities.”
Sometimes you already know, and sometimes you are taken off guard; but regardless of the circumstances, these words can often leave a parent feeling guilty and uncertain about what comes next.

If the cavity is small, your pediatric dentist can fix the tooth with a traditional filling. However, if the decay is extensive, it may be necessary to place a crown or “cap” on the tooth. Crowns are placed on teeth that have large areas of decay that could possibly break if a traditional filling material is used to fix it.

Why Use Crowns on Baby Teeth?

One of the first questions that come to mind about pediatric stainless steel crowns is usually: “Why is it necessary? And, why not just pull the tooth?”
Crowns are often the best treatment plan for decayed or damaged baby teeth for one main reason.
The alternative to using a crown would be extraction, which can lead to complications if a baby tooth is removed too soon such as blockage, misalignment or tipping of baby teeth, or crowding of permanent teeth as they begin to arrive. This could necessitate further treatment including orthodontic care.
Using crowns allows the baby tooth to continue to act as a placeholder until permanent teeth have reached full maturity, while addressing the decayed tooth.
So your child needs crowns, and you are asking, “What choices does my child have?”
Some of the most common options a pediatric dentist may offer are listed below. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we offer stainless steel crowns otherwise known as “silver” crowns to restore baby molars, and composite strip crowns to restore baby front teeth.

STAINLESS STEEL CROWNS

Stainless steel crowns are the most common type of crown used in pediatric dentistry. These are what many people call “silver” crowns. These crowns are covered by most major insurances. They are very durable and are a great option if you aren’t concerned about the cosmetic appearance of baby teeth.  On rare occasions, they can cause localized tissue irritation and have been known to be a contributing factor in metal allergies.

STAINLESS STEEL CROWNS WITH WHITE FACINGS

Stainless steel crowns can be made to look more aesthetically pleasing, especially when front teeth need treatment. This type of stainless steel crown is available with a pre-veneered plastic facing. These crowns are more cosmetic in appearance because from the front they look “white” but the reverse side is the portion of silver crown that is non-coated metal. In order for the white facing to adhere to the metal, extra bulk must be added, so these crowns tend to look bulk, thick or rounded. The white facing also has a tendency to chip off easily over time, exposing the silver crown underneath. There are two main reasons the white facings of a stainless steel may chip off: (1) when children grind their teeth, (2) or as a result of regular wear and tear related to chewing forces on back teeth.

COMPOSITE STRIP CROWNS OR RESIN CROWNS

This type of crown is very cosmetic when prepared well by your child’s pediatric dentist. Placing these crowns requires tremendous skill. It also requires the most time to complete. Because of the time required, these crowns can be difficult to place on young, uncooperative children. General anesthesia sedation is often recommended for a cosmetic crown procedure. Strip crowns are entirely made of composite “white” “filling material. This filling material looks very natural– a shade guide may be used to match the crown’s color to the color of your child’s natural teeth. The biggest consequence of composite strip crowns or resin crowns is that they have a tendency to absorb food stains and discolor. It can also attract plaque if brushing and flossing is not done well and recurrent decay may result. Resin crowns are also much weaker than stainless steel crowns so there is an increased risk that a piece or corner of the crown may break off.  Most major insurances cover composite strip crowns on front teeth only for baby teeth that require treatment.

How are baby teeth prepared for stainless steel crowns?

1. Your pediatric dentist may recommend using “Laughing gas” and Novocaine for a stainless steel crown procedure. Laughing gas is a very mild form of conscious sedation that helps to manage nervousness or anxiety. Your child is awake during the entire procedure. Novocaine is injected into the gums surrounding the decayed tooth so there is no discomfort during the stainless steel crown procedure.

2. A soft latex sheet called a rubber dam is draped over the mouth to isolate the tooth being treated. This also helps to keep the working area free of any moisture, increasing the dentist’s field of view while preventing the child from swallowing any debris.

3. First, the chewing surface is reduced by about 1.5mm outlining the tooth. Second, the contact area between neighboring teeth is opened to create space for stainless steel crown placement. And third, all decay is removed from the tooth.

4. A crown is chosen, sized, trimmed, and fitted to adapt to the prepared primary tooth. The crown and the tooth are then washed and dried separately.

5. Cement, otherwise known as “tooth glue” is mixed and placed on the insides of the stainless steel crown prior to being fitted on the tooth.

6. The rubber dam is removed and the child is asked to bite hard on the crown so that all the excess cement is removed.

7. The excess cement is cleaned off and the tooth contacts are flossed to finish the procedure.

What do we need to do after a stainless steel crown is placed?

Because we use Novocaine during the crown fitting process, your child should not eat until the anesthetic wears off to avoid biting their lip, cheek, or tongue unknowingly. Once it has gone away, they are free to eat and drink as normal, although the crown may be sensitive. They may feel some discomfort for a day or two after the procedure, which can be handled with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Ibuprofen.

Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns in Quincy, MA
You and your child may be nervous if a stainless steel crown procedure is in order, but at Sprout Kids Dentistry, we know how to create a safe and welcoming environment for you and your little one. Don’t wait to get the treatment your child needs – call 617-934-6339 or visit us online to schedule your pediatric stainless steel crown appointment today.

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4 Ways to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

A healthy mouth will ensure your child can speak, eat, and smile with confidence later in life. Although
baby teeth are only temporary, a long-term outlook toward dental care is still essential to setting your
child up for success. Baby teeth are still just as susceptible to decay as adult teeth, and one of the most
common ways that babies experience tooth decay is from baby bottles, sippy cups and straw cups. 

Sometimes called bottle rot, it’s important to know its causes and how to avoid them with the help of our pediatric dentist.

What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Bottle rot occurs when your baby drinks sugary liquids like milk or formula throughout the day frequently. 

This process encourages the growth of harmful bacteria and acid on the teeth, which wear away at the enamel and lead to decay. Over time, this consistent exposure can cause cavities and even more serious dental pain and infections. Many babies don’t show symptoms at first but if not treated early, it can lead to discomfort and more serious damage to the teeth.

What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Consistent exposure to sugary drinks causes tooth decay, but there are a few culprits that are specific to
babies. They include:

  • Falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth
  • Consuming sugary drinks, milk, or breast milk before sleeping without cleaning the teeth and mouth afterwards
  • Frequent feeding otherwise known as “grazing” throughout the day
  • Sharing utensils
  • Constant and/or long-term pacifier use

These things promote bacterial growth and without proper oral care, it can lead to decay later on.

How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

There are four ways to prevent exposure to bacteria and prevent further damage.

1. Keep up on AAP guidelines for cleaning

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that for babies under 12 months old, you gently wipe
the gums clean with a soft washcloth. Once the first tooth emerges, use a soft baby toothbrush and a
tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste to gently brush. For children 1-3 years old, use a soft bristle
toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, gently brushing their teeth twice daily for at least two minutes. The
best times to brush are before bed and after breakfast.

2. Only put formula or milk in baby bottles

Giving your baby drinks that are high in sugar content can put them at further risk for tooth decay. Avoid
sugar water, juice, Pediasure or soft drinks. Stick to formula, milk, or water in their bottles.

3. Don’t let them fall asleep with a bottle

Although it may help them sleep, using a bottle as a pacifier can expose your baby’s teeth to sugar and bacteria while they sleep. If you must give them a bottle to sleep with, clean it thoroughly and put water in it instead.

4. Visit a pediatric dentist regularly

Your baby’s pediatric dentist can help keep an eye on any tooth decay and help you learn the best ways
to keep your child’s oral health in good shape. Make sure to schedule your child for regular checkups
and follow your pediatric dentist’s recommendations.

Schedule an Appointment

The best way to ensure your child keeps their teeth healthy is by partnering with Sprout Kids Dentistry.
To get started, contact our Quincy, MA office by calling or filling out our online form.

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What to Do About Children Grinding Their Teeth

Is Your Child Grinding Their Teeth?

You may have noticed your child grinding their teeth. This can happen at any time, but it is most
common at night. Your child may not even realize they are doing it. Some common signs that
your child is grinding is if they have tooth sensitivity, have pain when chewing, have pain in
their jaw, or if you hear them grinding when they are sleeping. It’s important to have your child’s dentist exam their teeth when you notice your child has clenching or grinding habits.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

There are many reasons why children may grind their teeth. Depending on the age of your child,
it could be due to:

  1. Pain Caused by Teething or Earache: As your baby’s teeth come in, they may experience some discomfort. This can lead to grinding as they try to soothe the pain. Teething can also cause earaches, which can further contribute to the problem.
  2. Misalignment of Teeth or jaw bones: If your child’s teeth are not properly aligned, they may grind them to try and correct the problem. This is especially common if their top and bottom teeth do not meet correctly.
  3. Dehydration: If your child does not drink enough water, they may be more likely to grind their teeth. This is because dehydration can cause the mouth to feel dry and irritated.
  4. Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions can lead to teeth grinding. For instance, cerebral palsy has been linked to teeth grinding. This is due to the involuntary muscle movements associated with the condition.

What You Can Do When Your Child Grinds Their Teeth

There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. These include:

  1. Give your Child a Teething Toy: If biting down on something hard helps to relieve the pain of teething, a teething toy for very young children can do wonders. The pressure on the gums can help to reduce the urge to grind. For instance, a frozen wet washcloth can be soothing. Make sure the toy is big enough so your child won’t choke on it.
  2. Encourage your Child to Drink More Water: Make sure your child is getting enough water throughout the day. This will help keep their mouth hydrated and reduce the urge to grind. This is also a great way to keep your child healthy overall.
  3. Encourage Your Child to Relax Before Bedtime: A warm bath or a bedtime story can help your child to relax before sleep. This may reduce the amount of grinding that occurs during the night. A calming nighttime routine can also help your child to get a good night’s sleep overall.
  4. Most Importantly, Take Your Child to the Dentist: If you are concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, arrange a visit with the dentist. They can properly assess the situation. This is especially important if the grinding is causing damage to the teeth.

Teeth grinding is a common problem in children. There are many things you can do to help your child when they grind their teeth. Taking the necessary steps to protect your child’s teeth from further damage is essential.

Contact Us Today

If your child is experiencing teeth grinding or clenching, contact Sprout Kids Dentistry today for treatment. Dr. Anderson will be happy to inspect your child’s mouth an jaw and create a personalized treatment plan to help ease teeth grinding.

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How To Spot When Your Baby Is Teething

When it comes to teething, all babies are different. But your baby will probably get their first tooth sometime before their first birthday. Although rare, some babies are born with teeth. These are called Natal teeth. Other babies may start teething before they are 4 months old, and some after age 1. But in general, most babies start teething at around 6 months. If you have been noticing your baby’s gums are inflamed, or rounded…getting extra puffy, or spot bleeding, it may just be a matter of weeks to a month before you see a pearly white baby tooth starting to poke through. When your baby is teething, you’ll notice other signs, along with swollen gums and excessive drooling. 

  • Teething babies will often try to gnaw and chew on anything they can get in their mouths. 
  • If your baby’s teething pain crosses over to their ear canal, you may find them tugging at their ears too, or shaking their head from side to side as if they are gesturing no no no.
  •  You might even notice a change in their eating habits, depending on how the pressure of sucking down milk or chewing on foods makes them feel. Some babies may want to drink more milk than eat solids, while other babies may do the opposite.
  • Your baby may have a mild temperature of 38C
  • They may have 1 flushed cheek
  • They may have a rash on their face
  • Your baby may have a diarrhea
  • They may experience difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Your baby may be overly fussy or cranky

So you might ask, what can I do to ease my baby’s discomfort?

  • Gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger, knuckle, or finger wisp, or moistened gauze pad.
  • Hold a cold washcloth, spoon, or chilled teething ring on your baby’s gums.
  • Use plastic or BPA-free toys that are chilled — never frozen solid (ouch!)
  • Offer cold foods like chilled slices of cucumber, frozen pancakes, or waffles, chilled applesauce, yogurts, or pureed fruits if your baby is already eating solids. These are great ways to reduce pain, learn to chew, and enjoy new foods at the same time — but always keep a watchful eye on them, because some foods could be a choking hazard.
  • Use occasional over-the-counter baby Tylenol or ibuprofen, with your pediatrician’s OK.
  • Avoid Orajel since they are not meant to be ingested and with excessive drooling, it is unlikely that the Orajel will adhere to their gums.

When my baby’s teeth start to arrive, what can I expect to see? Great question! Here’s a loose guide:

  • bottom incisors (bottom front teeth) – these are usually the first to come through, usually at around 5 to 7 months
  • top incisors (top front teeth) – these tend to come through at about 6 to 8 months
  • top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – these come through at around 9 to 11 months
  • bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – these come through at around 10 to 12 months
  • first molars (back teeth) – these come through at around 12 to 16 months
  • canines (between the lateral incisors and the first molars) – these come through at around 16 to 20 months
  • second molars – these come through at around 20 to 30 months
  • Most children will have all of their baby teeth by the time they are 2 1/2 years old.

You should make your child’s first dental visit around their first birthday. For tips on how to care for your baby’s teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Anderson at Sprout Kids Dentistry today at 617-328-1700.

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What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

One serious form of decay common among young children is baby bottle tooth decay (Early Childhood Caries). This condition is caused by frequent and prolonged exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice, soda and other sweetened drinks.

Putting a baby down for a nap or to bed at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Early childhood caries can also occur when a child goes to sleep while breastfeeding or wakes in the middle of the night to breastfeed without having their teeth brushed. Although you may not see the immediate effects of adlib breastfeeding on your baby’s teeth, the unintentional result of weakened enamel and tooth decay may take years to become apparent when your baby is preschool age.

During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is reduced. A sweet beverage pools around your child’s teeth, bathing it, and giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that quickly attack tooth enamel. If you must give your baby a bottle to comfort them at bedtime, it should be only warm tap water.

After each bedtime bottle feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to clean away milk and plaque that coats their teeth. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place your child’s head in your lap or lay your child on a change table or the floor. Whatever position you choose, be sure you can see into your child’s mouth easily.

Developmental Timeline

Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Your goal is to have your baby weaned from the bottle by 12-14 months of age. Next, he/she should be weaned from using sippy cups or straw cups exclusively to drink by 2 years of age.

The American Pediatric Dental Association (AAPD) and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggest juice should be limited to mealtimes and not offered with snacks. Only water is encouraged in between meals. The AAPD and AAP juice guidelines are as follows:

Juice should not be introduced into the diet of infants before 12 months of age unless clinically indicated. The intake of juice should be limited to, at most, 4 ounces/day in toddlers 1 through 3 years of age, and 4 to 6 ounces/day for children 4 through 6 years of age. For children 7 to 18 years of age, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit servings per day. For more tips on how to care for your baby’s mouth or to schedule your baby’s first dental appointment at Sprout Kids Dentistry with Dr. Anderson, call 617-328-1700.

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The Difference Between Children’s Teeth Cleaning and Adult Teeth Cleaning

We all know how important it is to care for our children’s teeth. This includes proper brushing and flossing techniques to help them establish good oral hygiene habits as they grow. However, not all parents realize just how important regular dental cleanings are in childhood. Routine dental check-ups for children may be even more important than they are for grown-ups because they help establish the foundation of good dental hygiene practices that will see young people through their entire lives.

Children should be seen by a pediatric dentist twice a year for regular cleaning and to ensure their teeth are growing properly. Pediatric dentists undergo several years of specialized, rigorous training beyond traditional dental education. While dental check-ups are very similar for adults and children, there are some differences. Here are just a few to know before you bring your child in for their appointment.

Learning How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

A big part of a regular pediatric dental appointment is making sure kids and parents know how to take care of their teeth. Your child’s dentist will look out for signs that your child is brushing and flossing correctly. If their technique is still lacking, they’ll take the time to teach your child how to brush their teeth thoroughly and floss well. Sometimes, very young children have enough space between their baby teeth that they don’t yet need to floss. However, it’s still very important to be checked by a pediatric dentist throughout development.

Pediatric Teeth Cleaning

Like an adult dental appointment, the main part of a regular pediatric dental appointment is the cleaning stage. Your child’s dental technician will clean their teeth with special toothpaste, floss if necessary, and (depending on the level of build-up present) may use a sonic device to remove plaque and tartar.

Growing Assessment

One vital part of a children’s dental check-up is ensuring that their teeth are coming in correctly. This may require x-rays for teeth that have not erupted yet. When problems in the growth patterns are caught early, children can get early orthodontic care that may help prevent bigger issues down the road.

Schedule an Appointment

Here at Sprout Kids Dentistry, Dr. Michelle Anderson and her team offer quality dental care exclusively for children. Along the way, they strive to educate kids and their parents on good dental hygiene. Start your child out on the path to great dental health for a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth. If you’re looking for excellent pediatric dentistry in Boston, give us a call or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment with Sprout Kids Dentistry today!

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DENTAL CROWNS FOR KIDS

One of the hardest things a pediatric dentist has to tell a parent is, “Your child has cavities.”

Sometimes you already know, and sometimes you are taken off guard; but regardless of the circumstances, these words can often leave a parent feeling guilty and uncertain about what comes next.

If the cavity is small, your pediatric dentist can fix the tooth with a traditional filling. However, if the decay is extensive, it may be necessary to place a crown or “cap” on the tooth. Crowns are placed on teeth that have large areas of decay that could possibly break if a traditional filling material is used to fix it.

Why Use Crowns on Baby Teeth?

One of the first questions that come to mind about pediatric stainless steel crowns is usually:

“Why is it necessary? And, why not just pull the tooth?” 

Crowns are often the best treatment plan for decayed or damaged baby teeth for one main reason.

The alternative to using a crown would be extraction, which can lead to complications if a baby tooth is removed too soon such as blockage, misalignment or tipping of baby teeth, or crowding of permanent teeth as they begin to arrive. This could necessitate further treatment including orthodontic care.

Using crowns allows the baby tooth to continue to act as a placeholder until permanent teeth have reached full maturity, while addressing the decayed tooth.

So your child needs crowns, and you are asking, “What choices does my child have?”

Some of the most common options in pediatric dentistry are listed below.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are the most common type of crown used in pediatric dentistry. These are what many people call “silver” crowns. These crowns are covered by most major insurances. They are very durable and are a great option if you aren’t concerned about the cosmetic appearance of baby teeth.  On rare occasions, they can cause localized tissue irritation and have been known to be a contributing factor in metal allergies.

Stainless Steel Crowns with White Facings

Stainless steel crowns can be made to look more esthetically pleasing, especially when front teeth need treatment. This type of stainless steel crown is available with a pre-veneered plastic facing. These crowns are more cosmetic in appearance because from the front they look “white” but the reverse side is the portion of silver crown that is non-coated metal. In order for the white facing to adhere to the metal, extra bulk must be added, so these crowns tend to look bulk, thick or rounded. The white facing also has a tendency to chip off easily over time, exposing the silver crown underneath. There are two main reasons the white facings of a stainless steel may chip off: (1) when children grind their teeth, (2) or as a result of regular wear and tear related to chewing forces on back teeth.

Composite Strip Crowns or Resin Crowns

This type of crown is very cosmetic when prepared well by your child’s pediatric dentist. Placing these crowns requires tremendous skill. It also requires the most time to complete. Because of the time required, these crowns can be difficult to place on young, uncooperative children. General anesthesia sedation is often recommended for a cosmetic crown procedure. Strip crowns are entirely made of composite “white” “filling material. This filling material looks very natural– a shade guide may be used to match the crown’s color to the color of your child’s natural teeth. The biggest consequence of composite strip crowns or resin crowns is that they have a tendency to absorb food stains and discolor. It can also attract plaque if brushing and flossing is not done well and recurrent decay may result. Resin crowns are also much weaker than stainless steel crowns so there is an increased risk that a piece or corner of the crown may break off.  Most major insurances cover composite strip crowns on front teeth only for baby teeth that require treatment.

How are baby teeth prepared for stainless steel crowns?

1. Your pediatric dentist may recommend using “Laughing gas” and Novocaine for a stainless steel crown procedure. Laughing gas is a very mild form of conscious sedation that helps to manage nervousness or anxiety. Your child is awake during the entire procedure. Novocaine is injected into the gums surrounding the decayed tooth so there is no discomfort during the stainless steel crown procedure.


2. A soft latex sheet called a rubber dam is draped over the mouth to isolate the tooth being treated. This also helps to keep the working area free of any moisture, increasing the dentist’s field of view while preventing the child from swallowing any debris.


3. First, the chewing surface is reduced by about 1.5mm outlining the tooth. Second, the contact area between neighboring teeth is opened to create space for stainless steel crown placement. And third, all decay is removed from the tooth.


4. A crown is chosen, sized, trimmed, and fitted to adapt to the prepared primary tooth. The crown and the tooth are then washed and dried separately.

5. Cement, otherwise known as “tooth glue” is mixed and placed on the insides of the stainless steel crown prior to being fitted on the tooth.

6. The rubber dam is removed and the child is asked to bite hard on the crown so that all the excess cement is removed. 

7. The excess cement is cleaned off and the tooth contacts are flossed to finish the procedure.

What do we need to do after a stainless steel crown is placed?

Because we use Novocaine during the crown fitting process, your child should not eat until the anesthetic wears off to avoid biting their lip, cheek, or tongue unknowingly. Once it has gone away, they are free to eat and drink as normal, although the crown may be sensitive. They may feel some discomfort for a day or two after the procedure, which can be handled with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Children’s Tylenol or Children’s Ibuprofen.

Pediatric Stainless Steel Crowns in Quincy, MA

You and your child may be nervous if a stainless steel crown procedure is in order, but at Sprout Kids Dentistry, we know how to create a safe and welcoming environment for you and your little

one. Don’t wait to get the treatment your child needs – call 617-934-6339 or visit us online to schedule your pediatric stainless steel crown appointment today.

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Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Really Need to be Filled?

When children get cavities, many parents wonder whether filling them is really necessary. After all, because baby teeth will fall out soon enough, is it worth it to fill a cavity in them? The answer is usually “yes,” but there are some exceptions.

When Will a Cavity Not Require Filling?

There are some circumstances when a cavity in a baby tooth does not require filling. First, a very small cavity has some chance of naturally repairing itself. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend oral hygiene habits or dental-friendly nutrition to help prevent the cavity from growing worse.

Additionally, your dentist may forgo filling a cavity if the tooth is close to falling out. Instead, it is completely fine to wait for the tooth to fall out if the cavity doesn’t pose a risk for spreading germs throughout the teeth or tissues and is not causing pain.

Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Affect Adult Teeth?

If left untreated, cavities in baby teeth can cause more significant problems such as dental infections, requiring treatments like root canals. This can affect the adult teeth and cause long-term issues for your child’s oral health. In addition, children who have untreated cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to require orthodontic treatment in the future.

What Problems Can Cavities Cause?

There are several health problems that a cavity in a baby tooth may cause for children. For example, pain from a cavity can cause children to avoid eating certain foods, resulting in nutritional issues. Speech impediments may also develop as the child has difficulty speaking properly due to painful cavities or missing teeth. Infections are also more likely to spread through the mouth, affecting more of the child’s teeth.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has a Cavity?

If your child has a cavity, they are likely to complain of a toothache or sensitivity when eating or drinking hot, cold, or sweet food and beverages. You may also notice visible holes, pits, or brown, black, or white stains on the tooth. Some children may not show these signs, however. For this reason, it is important to see a dentist regularly for check-ups. You should also make sure your child is following healthy habits at home by brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding sugary treats as much as possible.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule a dental appointment for your child, call Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy, MA at (617) 934-6339 or request an appointment online.

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What to Do When Your Toddler Resists Brushing Their Teeth

Many of us can probably remember a time when we lied to our parents about brushing our teeth. It’s never a fun thing for kids to do, especially when it comes to toddlers. They will often resist and throw tantrums to avoid the annoying task of cleaning their teeth. And as a parent, you also don’t want to deal with the daily fight that comes with getting out the toothbrush and toothpaste.

Regardless of whether your toddler wants to brush their teeth or not, it’s a necessary task to keep them healthy. Here are some ways you can make brushing your toddler’s teeth an easier task for everyone.

Why It’s Important

Even though your toddler’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, it’s still crucial that they avoid unhealthy oral hygiene practices. Neither you nor your child will want to deal with the pain of needing a cavity filled. Plus, starting them off with good brushing habits as early as possible will make it easier for them to continue these practices as they grow up.

Why Do They Resist?

At this stage in life, a child is becoming aware of their wants and learning how to say no. Being told to do something that they don’t enjoy, want to do, or understand the importance of leads to resistance. They don’t yet know why brushing is important and the effects that not cleaning your teeth can have. Therefore, they only see it as a chore and an inconvenience rather than a necessity.

How to Encourage Healthy Habits

Here are some tips to help your toddler start brushing their teeth with less fuss.

Explain Why It’s Important

Making sure your toddler knows that brushing their teeth is important, even if they don’t understand why yet, will help them take it more seriously.

Lead by Example

Make brushing your teeth together a part of your routine, even if you are just pretending to do it. Turning it into a bonding activity can help your toddler find comfort in the act and make them more likely to brush their teeth without throwing a tantrum.

Let Them Take Charge

Forcing your toddler to brush, or even trying to brush their teeth yourself, will likely only lead to more resistance from them. Instead, let them take the lead. Give them the toothbrush and make sure they have a safe amount of toothpaste on, and guide them through proper brushing. Being able to do this themselves will make them feel more in control of the situation, giving them confidence and a sense of independence. In addition to that, let them choose their own toothbrush to feel like they have more of a say in the situation.

Make It Fun!

Add something into the brushing routine that will engage your toddler. You can have a song that you play to make sure they brush for long enough, or even try to sing together while brushing your teeth for a good laugh! You can also incorporate a simple little dance to do, or have a special piece of clothing they put on each time. Whatever your child is interested in or keeps their attention will be beneficial to incorporate.

Get Help From Professionals

The next time you take your toddler to the dentist, ask them to back you up on healthy brushing habits. Usually they will do this anyway, but having it reinforced by a professional will help your child better understand the importance of brushing their teeth.

Schedule a consultation

If you want more tips and tricks for helping your toddler feel more comfortable brushing their teeth, our team at Sprout Kids Dentistry in Boston can help! We are experienced pediatric dentists who work with children of all ages. You can get in touch with us by calling  617-934-6339 or filling out an online form.

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