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As specialists in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Tracht, Dr. Briskie, their associates and staff often address parents’ concerns regarding the oral health of their children. Today, we are sharing information about how to protect children who play sports.

April is National Facial Protection Month and we’d like to remind our patients -- as well as parents, coaches and athletes -- to play it safe as they prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports this spring and summer.

A child’s mouth and face can be easily injured if the proper precautions are not used while playing sports. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half of the 7 million sports and recreation-related injuries that occur each year are sustained by children as young as 5.

In a survey commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), 67 percent of parents admitted that their children do not wear a mouth guard while playing sports and athletes who do not wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth.

The survey also found that 84 percent of children do not wear mouth guards while playing organized sports because they are not required to wear them. However, these same children may be required to wear other protective materials, such as helmets and shoulder pads. Mouth guards can be one of the least expensive pieces of protective equipment available and not only can they save teeth, they can also help protect jaws. Children wearing braces have slightly higher risk of oral injuries, including mouth lacerations, if their braces are hit by a ball or another player.

An effective mouth guard holds teeth in place and allows for normal speech and breathing. It should cover the teeth and,depending on the patient’s bite, also the gums. By wearing a properly fitted mouth guard, many accidents and traumatic injuries can be prevented. The American Dental Association estimates that mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 oral injuries each year.

Consider these tips before your child hits the playing field:

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Mouth guards can help prevent injury to a person’s jaw, mouth and teeth. They are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury. The staff at Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s office can make customized mouth guards to fit a patient’s mouth.
  • Wear a helmet. Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports.
  • Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin. Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age.

Do you have questions about mouth guards or how best to protect your athletic child? Give Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie, specialists in pediatric dentistry, a call or schedule an appointment.

Want to learn more? Join us as we share tips on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out why mouth guards offer more protection for athletes than bubble wrap in this video by the American Association of Orthodontists!

By Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie
March 29, 2012
Category: Tips

As specialists in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Tracht, Dr. Briskie and their associates and staff often address parents’ concerns regarding the oral health of their children. Today, we are sharing information about how we care for our pediatric patients with special needs.

To us, every child is exceptional, which is why we are happy to cater to all children from infancy through early adulthood. This includes youngsters of pre-cooperative age and those with special needs including physical, mental and emotional challenges.

All of our pediatric dental specialists are highly trained to work with children of all backgrounds. We recommend establishing care with our patients as early as possible so we can be proactive in preventing oral issues and create a mutually beneficial relationship with the patient and caregiver. In fact, we support the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommendation that a child’s first trip to the dentist should be some time after the first tooth appears and by one year. This is especially important for children with special challenges. We can offer tips to parents and caregivers so they can promote good oral health habits at home.

How our office can assist special needs patients:

  • Our "open-style" treatment area promotes a supportive and fun environment with fun items such as Gameboys and headphones for music and stories.
  • We will provide and recommend special oral hygiene aids to assist patients who need them.
  • We welcome caregivers to remain with their child during an appointment and to work in partnership with us.
  • We work closely with the medical community to successfully manage our patients with complex concerns.
  • We comfort our patients as much as possible and show and tell them what we're going to do before we do it to help ease worries and fears. It’s the tried and true “Show, Tell, Do” approach!
  • If a child is not able cooperate for treatment, we can administer mild medications that provide a conscious (awake) sedation. For more complex cases, we can use unconscious sedation in a local hospital with the support of an anesthesiologist.

 

Our work with special needs patients was recently featured on Oakland County Moms, a Michigan-based Web site linking parents to local events and resources. To view the article, click here.

Do you have questions about your child with special needs visiting our office? Give Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie, specialists in pediatric dentistry, a call or schedule an appointment.

Want to learn more? Join us as we share tips on Facebook and Twitter.

By Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie
March 02, 2012
Category: Tips

 

Welcome to Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie’s blog!

As specialists in pediatric dentistry, we often address concerns parents have regarding their children’s oral health. Today, we are sharing information about what kinds of toothpastes are best to keep your little one’s smile strong and bright.

Fact: Tooth brushing tools date back to 3500-3000 BC when the Babylonians and the Egyptians made a brush by fraying the end of a twig.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from those days and now actually have a substance to clean our teeth with!

Tooth brushing is crucial for children to maintain good oral health and it is imperative that parents teach their children to brush their teeth at least twice a day. This prevents plaque build-up, which can cause cavities, bad breath, gum problems (gingivitis) and stained teeth.

Since many pediatric dental patients are extremely picky about the tastes they will tolerate, and parents are selective about what they put into their child's mouth, choosing the right toothpaste can be tricky. With so many options for toothpaste, it can be a daunting task to find one that's right for your child. Some flavoring and cleaning additives, such as cinnamon or sodium lauryl sulfate, can be irritating to oral issues and may contribute to canker sores.

What to Look For When Choosing A Toothpaste

When choosing a brand of toothpaste, Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie suggest you make sure to select one that is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). This will be stated right on the outside of the box with their familiar seal of approval. The ADA recommends toothpastes that have undergone extensive testing to make sure that they are safe to use and will not cause any harm to teeth. You may also wish to look for toothpaste that is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who conduct scientific testing, as well.

It is important to tell your children to spit out toothpaste after brushing to prevent ingestion of too much fluoride; however, childrenwho are at high risk for cavities may benefit from a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste even before they can spit. This option should be considered very carefully though. Drs. Tracht and Briskie can help evaluate your child on an individual basis after a thorough examination and consultation. Remember, it’s always a good guideline to use no more than a "pea size" amount of toothpaste.

No matter what your child’s oral health needs are, there’s likely a toothpaste for you. Happy brushing from Dr. Tracht & Dr. Briskie!

Do you have questions about which toothpaste is best for your children? Give Drs. Tracht and Briskie, specialists in pediatric dentistry, a call or schedule an appointment. See here for more information about what we do and how we can help your child.

Want to learn more? Join us as we share tips on Facebook and Twitter.

By Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie
February 16, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Tongue-Tied  

 

If your child is tongue-tied they have a condition known as ankyloglossia. This happens when the band of skin that attaches to the floor of the mouth, known as a frenum or frenulum,  is too close to the tip of the tongue. This band of skin sometimes attaches too close to the gums behind the lower front teeth as well. When the frenum attaches too close to the tip of the tongue, the tongue is not able to move as freely. 

Children may not be able to stick their tongue out further than their lips or can’t touch the roof of their mouth. When sticking out the tongue the tip may look heart-shaped rather than coming to a point due to the restricted movement.

So why does it matter of my child is tongue-tied?

Some children have trouble sucking and, therefore, the first problem is noticed when breastfeeding or nursing. Some children may have trouble with certain speech sounds, especially “l, r, t, d, n, sh, th, and z” sounds. Others may develop a lisp. Additionally, these children can have difficulty removing food stuck to their palate or sides of their mouth; they also may have more plaque and tartar build-up. A frenum that is attached too closely behind the bottom front teeth can cause gum recession.

What can be done if my child is tongue-tied?

Some children who have mild tongue-tie may be best treated by careful observation and consideration of speech therapy by a Certified Speech Pathologist. Others may benefit from a minor surgical procedure, called a frenectomy, which can be performed in the office. A frenectomy is done with a special laser that relocates the attachment of the frenum to a more favorable position that frees up the movement of the tongue.

Do you have questions about your child’s tongue-tie? Give Drs. Tracht and Briskie, specialists in pediatric dentistry, a call or schedule an appointment. See here for more information about what we do and how we can help your child.

Want to learn more? Join us as we share tips on Facebook and Twitter.

By Dr. Tracht and Dr. Briskie
December 13, 2011
Category: Tips

 

Welcome to Drs. Tracht and Briskie’s blog!

As specialists in pediatric dentistry, we are often asked about concerns parents have regarding their children’s oral health. Today, we are sharing insight on a commonquestion we often hear from parents of our patients:

My child grinds his/her teeth! What should I do?

Bruxism (the formal word for grinding or gnashing of teeth) is seen very commonly in children. Two to three out of every 10 kids will grind their teeth. Bruxism usually occurs at night during sleep, but can be demonstrated throughout the day, too. The good news is most will outgrow it!

Causes

Children's bites are very flexible and therefore subject to change as they grow. Occasionally, children will exhibit an abnormal bite causing them to grind because of the placement of their teeth.

Stress can sometimes be another cause. So any changes in routine such as a test in school or tension with a friend, sibling, or parent may prompt grinding. It’s good to talk to kids about stress.

Drs. Tracht and Briskie mostly see grinding in children younger than 7 years old. A lot of children will stop grinding once their permanent molars erupt. Their permanent teeth “bite” (occlusion) begins to establish itself once those molars erupt. 

Side Effects

Signs to watch for are grinding during sleep, complaints of a sore jaw, especially in the morning, and pain in the jaw when chewing. Usually, it’s more bothersome to other family members because of the nighttime grinding sound! Some parents say they can hear the grinding in a different area of the house from where their child is sleeping.

This habit, continued consciously or unconsciously over a long period of time, can result in excessive wearing of tooth structure. In permanent teeth, and far more commonly in adults, bruxism can lead to periodontal disease (bone loss) and/or a TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, resulting in headaches, facial pain, jaw “clicking” etc.

Treatment

Children usually outgrow the habit with no lasting side effects; treatment is usually not necessary. However, if intervention is needed, bruxism can be diagnosed at a routine dental visit.  Drs. Tracht and Briskie’s treatment may include bite adjustments, or a bite guard appliance.

Do you have questions about your child’s teeth grinding? Give Drs. Tracht and Briskie, specialists in pediatric dentistry, a call or schedule an appointment. See here for more information about what we do and how we can help your child.

Want to learn more? Join us as we share tips on Facebook and Twitter.





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