pediatric dentistry

Adult Orthodontics

April 12th, 2021

https://youtu.be/77q1tL2mMnw

Did you know that our orthodontists provide services for adults?  While we are a pediatric dental practice and most orthodontic practice is with teens and pre-teens, we do work with several parents of children within our practice.  We love to meet you where you’re at and make things as easy as possible for you!  If you are already coming by for your child’s appointment, why not streamline things and set your appointment up for the same trip?

On this week’s Facebook Live, Amy Morgan talked with Bryan Fittin, a parent taking advantage of these offerings!  Bryan and his family have been coming to our practice for years, and he even found himself jealous of the dentist’s office experience that his kids were getting.

Bryan had braces in his youth, but he didn’t keep up with his retainer afterward.  Over time, his smile started to revert back to his pre-braces days.  During one of his kids’ appointments, Bryan mentioned this to Dr. Jason, and they started a conversation about what a solution would look like.

Wanting to avoid brackets and traditional braces, Bryan was hesitant, but Dr. Jason set the record straight.  We can take scans of your teeth and work with Invisalign retainers to get your smile back to tip-top shape.  

Gone are the days of taking molds with goop that doesn’t taste quite right!  We take scans of your mouth here at the office and ensure a 24-hour turnaround time to get you going on your Invisalign journey.

Bryan found that the rest of the process with Invisalign was rather simple as well.  He wears them roughly 22 hours a day, taking them out solely to clean his retainers, drink coffee, and eat.  Plus, the retainers are tough to spot.  He’s been using Invisalign for over a year, and some of his friends are just now finding out!

As far as the experience of being an adult patient at PDAO, Bryan only had good things to say.  We’ve fashioned our Fayetteville location so that the orthodontic department is mostly separate from the dentistry section.  It has fewer pediatric themes and is much more approachable for both teens and adults.  

We like to make sure that our adult patients get the VIP treatment!  From the orthodontic department, you’ll have no idea that the other half of the business is built for children.

Ask us about adult orthodontics next time you’re in the office!

weAR Blue Day 2021

March 29th, 2021

 

As you may know, we here at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics love to partner with several organizations throughout the community to give back in various ways. One of our favorite community partners is the Children’s Safety Center. Emily Rappe Fisher, the development director for the Children’s Safety Center, joined Amy Morgan on a Facebook Live video to talk about the many ways you can get involved in April, which happens to be National Child Abuse Awareness Month.

The Children’s Safety Center is the only organization of its kind in Washington Country. They are first responders when there is an open investigation for child abuse in the community, and they provide a safe space for children to tell their stories. Along with this, they offer several other services free of charge to children in abusive situations.

April is a busy month for the Children’s Safety Center, and there are several ways you can get involved. The month kicks off with Pinwheels for Prevention, a nationwide event where advocacy centers from across the country join together to raise awareness about what is happening in their communities.

Due to COVID, they cannot hold an in-person event this year, but you can purchase pinwheels and signs here. The pinwheels and signs are to be placed in your yard, and they have the child abuse hotline telephone number on them. A portion of the proceeds returns to the Children’s Safety Center.

Another event to be aware of is Wear Blue Day! On April 2nd, make sure you wear blue to work, school, the gym, the grocery store, or anywhere else you go to show your support and raise awareness that child abuse is preventable.

April 8th is NWA Gives Day! On this specific day, the Children’s Safety Center has set a goal to raise $5,000 between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Plus, they already have a donor that has promised to match up to $10,000 in donations! When you give $50, it’s like you’re donating $100!

On Tuesday, April 13th, they are hosting a child abuse prevention training via Zoom at noon. You can find more information and sign up for the training here.

On Saturday, April 17th, the Children’s Safety Center is partnering with the Scout Guide to host Shop Small, Help Kids. Through this event, they will partner with local businesses that will donate a portion of that day’s sales to the Children’s Safety Center. For updates on where to shop on Saturday, April 17th, follow their Instagram page.

For more information on the Children’s Safety Center, check out their website.

Floss like a Boss!

November 20th, 2020

You might not know it, but National Flossing Day is coming up, and it is no coincidence that it falls the day after Thanksgiving. Here at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics, we get countless questions from parents about their children’s flossing habits.  At what age should my child start flossing? Are picks okay? What brand of floss should they use? Is there a proper technique? What are water picks, and are they alright to use? We want to take a moment and answer some commonly asked flossing questions:

When should my child start flossing?

Your child should begin flossing when their teeth start touching. Usually, when a child’s teeth are coming in, they have gaps between them until their molars come in and push everything together. This usually happens around age 4 or 5, but every child is different, and you should not worry if your child’s teeth begin touching earlier or later.

How often should my child floss?

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone flosses once a day. The best time to do this is in the evening before bed. It is crucial to floss in the evening because you want to remove all of the sugars, starches, and other sticky foods from your teeth before falling asleep. These things break down the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities, especially when given a full night of sleep to work through. 

What brand of floss should I buy?

The short answer is this: It does not matter what brand of floss you buy, as long as you are flossing! Both picks and string floss are effective, and it is more about what you feel comfortable using. We do want to warn against water picks, as they are significantly less effective than other methods. If you have tight contacts or teeth that are very close together and difficult to get the floss in between, try Glide floss from Oral-B. It is designed to fit into the smallest gaps.

What is the proper flossing technique?

While it is beneficial to be flossing at all, using the proper technique will ensure the most productive results. If you are using string floss, wrap the string around your middle fingers, and use your index fingers to push the floss in between your teeth. Rather than merely getting between your teeth, you will want to push the string up against the sides of each tooth, scraping any food or gunk that may be stuck to your teeth.

Flossing is often the portion of oral hygiene that is forgotten or ignored, but it is crucial to keeping your smile healthy. Remember to floss this evening!

Top 10 Questions Answered

September 7th, 2020

This week we are back to answer the top 10 questions we have been asked over the last year and a half.  

What age should I bring my child to the dentist?

We recommend that you bring your child in for their first dentist visit anytime before their first birthday. This might seem soon, but it is crucial to get them acclimated to the dentist's office. It will not be an intense visit. Instead, it is an excellent time to ask questions and show your child that the dentist office is not something to be scared of. If your child is more than a year old but is yet to visit the dentist, that is alright! It is never too late to start, and we would rather begin to see them now than continuing to delay their first appointment.

How often should I replace our family's toothbrushes?

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months. Also, if a family member is sick with something contagious like a cold, the flu, or COVID-19, all toothbrushes should be replaced. This includes electric toothbrush heads as well.

Why should I fix their teeth at this age? They are only baby teeth.

Baby teeth and primary teeth are crucial to adult teeth' health, as cavities in primary teeth can cause pain and infection. The health of your child's baby teeth will also affect the health of their future permanent teeth. 

When should I bring my child in for an orthodontic consultation?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child sees an orthodontist by age 7. This allows the orthodontist to address things like overbites, crossbites, crowded teeth, missing teeth, etc. It is advantageous to address these things while their jaw is still forming.

How can I prepare my anxious child for dental visits?

Every child is different, and we know that you will know what is best for them as their parent. It is helpful for some children if they do not know they are going to the dentist until they arrive. For others, it is helpful if they know weeks in advance. Most importantly, if you had a negative experience with the dentist, do not share this with your child. It is important to talk positively about the dentist to help them avoid anxiety regarding the subject.

Do you take my insurance?

Yes! We will always take insurance and process it, but it is possible that your insurance will not cover the procedure that is being done. This can depend on the insurance provider and the plan that your employer chooses from the provider. That said, we accept all insurance and will process it to save you as much money as we can.

Are you accepting new patients, and what ages do you accept?

Yes, we are always accepting new patients. We typically take patients between the ages of 0 and 15 years old. Occasionally we will refer our patients out to other practices, but this is not because of age. If your child would be better served by general practice, we will refer them in that direction.

What can I do if my child has an emergency after hours?

We have an after-hours line that is always open. Call the main office number, and you will be put through a series of prompts before you can leave a message. That message is sent to our on-call assistant, who will contact you. They will ask you some follow-up questions to determine the best course of action for your child.

Why do my child's permanent teeth appear to be darker than their baby teeth? Is this normal? 

Yes, it is normal. The reason for this is the enamel on permanent teeth forms differently, so it can contrast with the baby teeth that your child has. You will notice that the adult teeth are the same shade when they have all grown in.

How do I make an appointment?

We have several ways you can make an appointment. One option is calling us at (479) 582-0600. You can also request an appointment through our website or email us at info@smilesarewild.com.  

 

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 5th, 2020

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

It started out as one day created in Ohio in February in 1941, and since then, National Children’s Dental Health Month has grown from a two-city event to a nationwide program. 

The first observance took place on February 8, 1949. The single-day celebration later became a week in 1955, and in 1981, the program was extended to a month-long observance. 

Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical to maintain good oral health throughout one’s lifetime. It’s important at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics to provide tools needed to teach children so they can learn how important dental health is at an early age.

In honor of this month, here are five facts about children’s dental health some people may not be aware of. 

  1. Cavities are surprisingly common in children. They’re actually five-times more common than asthma, seven-times more common than hay fever, and more common than type-two diabetes and obesity. Cavities are the leading disease in children. 
  2. Many of those cavities end up going untreated. A CDC study reports about 42 percent of children ages 2-11 have untreated cavities. 
  3. Not only can cavities affect oral health, they can affect academic performance. The Center for Health and Healthcare in Schools reports 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related issues. This is mostly due to children being in pain. 
  4. Over 80 percent of the cavities children get are on the chewing surface of their teeth. Dental sealants can help with this issue. Only 18.5 percent of children have at least one sealed permanent tooth. 
  5. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says fluoride is proven to be the most effective way to prevent cavities. More than 100 million Americans don’t get enough fluoride from their tap water. 

For more information on how to prevent cavities in children, contact them on social media, or call PDAO at 479-582-0600.

What to Expect on the Day You Get Your Appliances Placed

October 18th, 2019

The month of October is the Orthodontic Health Month and we have one of our assistants, Lorena to talk about orthodontic appliances and the sets of appliances we use – which can be braces, rapid palatal expanders, a Herbst supply or any other permanent appliance that is placed in your mouth for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. We also follow a couple of steps for aligners, Invisaligner and clear aligners but most of these have to do with the prepping for your appliance so that it stays there permanently.

How do we make sure you’re comfortable?

A lot of people might come across an orthodontic treatment with fear but we try out best to answer any questions you might have and make the treatment more comfortable.

When you come back and see us, you may have already taken your records, which includes impression and x-ray scans. Before you get started on your treatment, assistants like Lorena will sit down and ask you about any questions you might have. Common questions include whether the process is going to hurt and how long the treatment may take. The length of the treatment depends on the type of appliance that you are getting, and thus can range from an hour to an hour and a half. You will also not be sitting for the entire duration of the period – we won’t hold you for that long.

What are the first steps of the treatment?

We usually get started by prepping the teeth first which takes about 20 minutes to get done. This includes cleaning and preparing your teeth for Dr. Jason to come and see it. From then on, Dr. Jason takes measurements of the appliance and the brackets as well as see where he wants them put in. Afterwards, we use a cool glue and blue UV light that will get your appliance on.

How we comfort you during your treatment

The process of cleaning up and prepping your teeth might be uncomfortable as we use dental retractors. These are those retractors you use when playing the game where the retractor is placed inside your mouth and you have to guess a word that another person is mouthing. Since the prepping process takes about 15-20 minutes with the retractor on and you wouldn’t see what’s going on. You are also not used to holding your mouth open for that long and therefore, it will become uncomfortable as well. For this, Lorena likes to show you what they are going to do and talk with you throughout the procedure so that you are not scared and completely aware of what’s going to happen. This works according to our personal philosophy of ‘show and tell’.

The time of the procedure does go quickly as well and after the prepping is done, you get a short break from your treatment.

What happens afterwards?

We then take you to our office to ask you if you’re okay. Here, you’ll also get the fun part of the treatment as you can choose your colors and wires that you want to set in. This usually takes about 5 minutes at maximum.

After this, we go over the instructions that you need to take care of your teeth after your treatment. This part requires your absolute attention as you need to know the actual technique to take care of your teeth at home because that’s what makes them look amazing. We show you different tutorial videos on how to brush your teeth because brushing varies when you have your appliances fitted in. We also show you different types of brushes other products to use to take care of your teeth.

The things you might need to use

We will give you a small bag with different toothbrushes and other products that you might need to take care of your teeth. You will get a regular sized toothbrush and a baby toothbrush, where the baby toothbrush might seem surprising to you at first. However, the head of the baby toothbrush is softer and its small size lets it cover any areas that are difficult to get to due to crowning. It also helps resolve issues of sore teeth, which is a normal complaint after getting your appliances fixed.

The travel sized toothbrush that we give you lets you take it to school. You should make sure to use it after having lunch so as to not have food stuck on your brace. You also get a proxy toothbrush, which is short for interproximal brush. Because of its tiny size and dispersed head that makes it look like a Christmas tree, the proxy toothbrush almost acts like a flosser and gets in between the teeth to remove any stuck food.

We also show you videos on flossing because the normal two-minute flossing will no longer apply to your dental hygiene. You need to take a lot of time to floss and constantly check your teeth on the mirror to ensure that you have removed everything that can be stuck on your brackets. We do give you different types of floss threads which you can slide underneath and over your brackets when flossing.

We also provide you with a wax that can be used when you feel your appliance bothering you. Everything might feel funny after you get your appliance in because your lips and teeth aren’t used to having the brackets in, and these brackets might constantly rub against your mouth as well. But, you do need to give time for your lips and teeth to adjust to the brackets which will take a couple days and therefore it is better to use the wax for limited periods. While we give you the wax you need after your treatment and during check-ups, you might also get these at Walmart.

The Clinic Pro 5000 is a specific toothpaste that we prescribe to you because it gives your teeth the extra protection it needs after getting braces. It is super important that you use it daily as you wouldn’t want any cavities and stains to appear on your teeth, something which this particular toothpaste is quite an expert in preventing.

How we help you after your treatment

If you do forget anything, feel free to call us and ask us for information. Other than that, we also send you home with a note that includes all the information you need to take care of your teeth after your orthodontic treatment. Parents need to make sure to put the sheet out somewhere that your kids can see, such as on the fridge, which will help remind them of their dental care routine. Remember that the more care you take of your teeth, the better your orthodontic outcome will be.

We also do schedule the next visit and tell you what you can expect from it. We want you to leave being comfortable and see you coming back as being comfortable too. The process of getting your appliances set in isn’t scary, despite being a tad lengthy and slightly uncomfortable. However, it does not hurt and in the case of any queries, we give you all the information you need as well as continuously check your dental hygiene to ensure that you are taking the best care of your teeth.

Non-Nutritive Oral Habits

September 4th, 2019

Non-Nutritive Oral Habits

Learn with Dr. Garrett about non-nutritive oral habits and what those tendencies can mean for your child’s future dental health!

So, what is considered a non-nutritive sucking habit?

A non-nutritive sucking habit means that a child is placing something whether it be a pacifier, blanket, fingers, toys, etc. in their mouth without a food nutrition benefit.

Why do kids suck their thumb and use a pacifier and is it normal for them to do this?

A  majority of the time there is a negative connotation associated with children sucking their thumb because of the orthodontic issues that can come about later. However, it actually is a very normal habit for kids and it can even happen as early as the womb. For some kids, it is a self soothing thing and it’s desirable as a way to cope.

This habit actually gives them a positive endorphin feedback, which is why it can become addictive and they can start to use it in a non- coping way and rely on it for too long. Therefore, as long as it is monitored, it is not harmful to your children’s dental health. 

What are the negative effects of a non-nutritive sucking habit?

The oral ramifications of these habits is that whenever you place a thumb or another non food item in the mouth it applies either a biting or sucking force that is irregular to their teeth. It throws off the dental balance and can compress or flare the skeletal alignment and depending on how frequent the kids do it and the duration they do it, it can be a profound amount of force.

If kids are employing non-nutritive habits for an extended period of time, it applies the same sort of consistent shifting force that normal orthodontics like braces would. The difference is that it is not controlled so you have no handle on where the teeth are going to go or what they are going to do.

When should you stop allowing your kids to have non-nutritive sucking habits and does the amount of the habit have anything to do with when they should stop?

Depending on the individual child, if they are still partaking in non-nutritive habits past the age of three, but it is a very infrequent thing and it’s a short duration, that is not particularly harmful. However, if you have a child who is doing it for a long period of time and you are starting to see issues with their teeth then you should do your best to deter them from their non-nutritive habit no matter their age.

What are some techniques parents can use to stop their kids non-nutritive sucking habits?

Parents can often feel pressure to get their children to stop and they tend to get frustrated, but it is hard sometimes to force the child to stop with punitive approaches because they usually just don’t work that good.

What tends to work the best is the buy in approach which assumes that by the age of three most kids have enough language that you are able to have a dialogue with them and explain why this is an important negative consequence. Positively reinforcing them, reward systems, and prizes, are ways that you can encourage your child to break the habit and even if the child doesn’t stop right away, you are laying a foundation of why it is important for the child to stop. Then later once the child starts to buy in and they understand why they need to stop, then you can start introducing punitive approaches before it gets so far that you have to introduce nail polish on the fingertips or other tactics to get them to stop.

Are there any special things you can do for kids that have sensory issues or any type of neurological dysfunction?

Sometimes kids with certain oral sensory or neurological issues will have oral habits that are much more deeply rooted and they’re hard even when the child is aware to get them to stop because the child may feel like they need to do it or they can’t help themselves. In this case, occupational therapy is sometimes beneficial to help the child work through the issue more specifically and intentionally than what a parent typically has the training or time to do, but this is a case by case solution. 

Any other advice?

Ideally, yes we want to stop the non-nutritive oral habits and yes, there are some consequences, but at the end of the day, none of that stuff is that big of a deal. Even kids with pretty profound dental change at three will get some self correction and limited orthodontic treatment can fix it, so don’t stress yourself out about it. With a little intentionality you can monitor the habit and try to stay on top of it!

Trying out the Latest Electric Toothbrushes with JJ & Lex

June 25th, 2019

Tryout the latest electric toothbrushes with JJ & Lex

 

Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics had two special visitors for a special task: Trying out the latest kids electric toothbrushes.

Here are their reviews of the following electric toothbrushes based on functionality and fun.

Please note: Some of these brushes have replaceable heads or must be replaced every three months. You can buy these brushes at your local store.

  • Super Mario / Marvel Adventures Arm and Hammer Spinbrush: This electric toothbrush is soft and not loud. It will help clean your teeth very well. 
  • Batman / Despicable Me Colgate Spinbrush: Press the top button to turn on this electric toothbrush. It is loud and the top part spins very fast. The bottom part doesn’t spin at all. It vibrates your teeth a bit more. 
  • Bumblebee / Black Panther Firefly: This electric toothbrush is not very loud. It comes with a neat cap. It doesn’t spin, it only vibrates. Con: It feels very hard on the teeth. 
  • Pro-health Oral-B: This electric toothbrush looks very cool.  It has a rubber handle with a good grip and the head is very soft and feels very nice. The brush has a plus and minus button and spins really fast. A plus, the brush is not very loud. 
  • Auto-brush kit (ages 8+): This electric toothbrush comes with a charger and also has music. Definitely recommended. 

So what toothbrush was JJ & Lex's favorite?

JJ AND LEX CHOSE…THE AUTO-BRUSH KIT AS THEIR FAVORITE!

The auto-brush is designed to cut brushing time, so we do not professionally recommend it because it doesn't remove plaque as well as a traditional brush. However, kids love them. Whatever is working for you is fine. Help your child to maintain healthy oral habits by allowing your child to find a brush they want to use. 

Have questions on toothbrushes? Check out our recent blog post on different tooth brushes and how to choose the best on for your child.

TIPs

  • The right toothbrush for your child is the one they will actually use.
  • If you have an HSA or FSA they will cover electric toothbrushes within our practice.

PDAO'S Tips for Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

March 6th, 2018

SOMETIMES, BEDTIME CAN BE a real struggle, and a bottle might seem like an easy solution. Unfortunately, putting a baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice does more harm than good, because the easier bedtime comes at the expense of the baby’s oral health. Keeping those baby teeth healthy is crucial so that the adult teeth will have a better chance of coming in straight.

What Is Bottle Rot?

Prolonged exposure to the sugars in milk or juice erodes the enamel on a baby or toddler’s teeth, particularly the central incisors. If you’ve ever heard of the phrase “baby bottle tooth decay” or the more sinister-sounding “bottle rot,” this is what it refers to, and it’s definitely something to avoid. It can also happen with sippy cups and even breastfeeding! If a baby’s gums and teeth aren’t properly cleaned after feeding, the sugary milk residue left in their mouth increases the risk of tooth decay.

Stopping Bottle Rot Before It Starts

Preventing bottle rot is simple: only use a bottle for the baby’s mealtimes, not to soothe them or help them fall asleep when they aren’t hungry. A pacifier will be much healthier for their teeth. After the baby reaches six months old, it’s safe to use a bottle of water, or a sippy cup of water for toddlers. Not only will it not cause bottle rot, but it won’t leave stains if it spills!

After every meal, make sure to clean out milk residue. Once baby teeth start appearing, it’s time to start brushing them. Use a soft toothbrush and a dab of toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. Because babies can’t rinse and spit, make sure to use a non-fluoride toothpaste that is safe to swallow.

Treating Existing Bottle Rot

If your baby is already showing signs of tooth decay, come see us! We’ll be able to assess the extent of the decay, deal with any cavities, and come up with a plan to prevent future damage. One of the easiest steps you’ll be able to take at home is to limit their consumption of sugary drinks like juice and soda. You can also bring them to us for fluoride varnish treatments to give their teeth extra protection.

Watch this Video For More Information:

https://youtu.be/SlwiXRmlLyA

We Are Here To Help

We know that parenting is full of unexpected twists and turns, but we’re happy to help you navigate the ones involved in infant and child dental care. Like you, we want your child to have a healthy smile for life! If you haven’t already brought them in for a checkup, schedule one today! You can schedule online www.smilesarewild.com or call our office 479-582-0600.

Thank you for being our valued patients!

Top image by Flickr user Sander van der Wel used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.