Cheer Instead of Challenge: Dental Visit Guidelines for Kids With ADHD

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized |

If you have a child with ADHD, you have a life full of challenges. A trip to the dentist’s office may seem just too much to tackle, especially if X-rays or fillings are required. However, with the right dentist and the right approach, routine cleanings and exams can be full of cheer instead of challenges. You’re not alone Having a child with ADHD can be an isolating experience. You may feel too frustrated, embarrassed, or fatigued to schedule something that seems as overwhelming as a dental procedure. What if your kid has a meltdown or strains the patience of the office staff? Actually, ADHD is one of the most common childhood disorders. It may help to know that 6.4 million children from 4-17 years old have ADHD. Symptoms typically appear between the ages of three and six, with typical onset about seven years old. Not only are many children affected by this condition, but its prevalence is increasing; over the past eight years, there has been a 42% increase in the number of diagnoses in this country. If anything, dentists probably understand more than you realize. They probably treat a lot of kids with ADHD or other challenges, so your child won’t be their first time treating a child that isn’t “normal.” Special dental considerations for children with ADHD Although kids with ADHD don’t necessarily have more cavities than those who do not have ADHD, their eating behavior puts them at greater risk for dental problems. In fact, they should have even more frequent cleanings and exams than those without the disorder. Here’s why: Children with the disorder are more likely to eat impulsively than kids who do not have ADHD. Further, they are prone to binge eating, and the foods they binge on are often sugary, with little caloric value. Kids with ADHD are less likely to observe proper oral hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing. Medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can cause dry mouth (which predisposes kids to cavities and gum disease), inflammation of mouth tissues and salivary glands, and bruxism (teeth grinding). As you can see, you may see a dental visit as a difficult afternoon, but it is critically important to your child’s oral health. Accommodations make visits easier Here’s the good news: dental visits don’t have to be defeating! By choosing the right dentist and planning your visit in advance, your child can have a successful check-up. Here are some guidelines to follow. Choose a pediatric dentist who has experience with treating kids with ADHD, as evidenced by his/her knowledge of the disorder and an established protocol for treating such children. Make the dentist and office staff aware of the best way...

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6 Facts You Should Know If You Have Gum Disease

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Gum disease is common, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Even if you are only showing the first signs of gum disease, you need to start treating it immediately. If you have gum disease, check out these six must-know facts to help you keep your mouth healthy. Gum Disease Isn’t a Normal Part of Aging Many older people develop some form of gum disease, but it’s important to know that it isn’t a normal part of aging. Just because a person gets older, doesn’t mean they will naturally develop gum disease. It is completely preventable. Gum disease is simply severe irritation of the gums, and this irritation occurs when people forget to follow good oral hygiene habits. By flossing, brushing and getting professional dental cleanings on a regular basis, you can prevent gum disease. Gingivitis Is Reversible Gum disease starts off as gingivitis, which is just a mild form of the disease. At this stage, it is completely reversible through good oral hygiene habits. In some cases, however, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress into a more severe form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Untreated gingivitis doesn’t always turn into periodontitis, but if it does, it is no longer reversible. Periodontitis is something you’ll have to manage the rest of your life. Gum Disease Leads to Tooth Loss If your gum disease progresses into periodontitis, it increases the chance of tooth loss. As your gums become irritated and inflamed, they pull away from the teeth, creating little hiding spots or pockets for plaque and bacteria. As infection develops, your body’s natural immune system kicks in to try and stop it. Unfortunately, this battle creates toxins that destroy healthy tissue. The toxins do two things. First, they attack the connective tissue that holds your teeth, loosening them. Second, they attack the jawbone, causing it to become soft and unable to hold your teeth in place. A Deep Professional Cleaning Can Help Whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis, a deep professional cleaning can help. It can help reverse gingivitis, or it can treat the symptoms of periodontitis. A deep cleaning doesn’t just involve cleaning the exposed surfaces of your teeth. A deep cleaning involves scaling and root planing. During the scaling process, the dentist cleans below your gum line to remove debris from those hiding spots created when your gums recede. The dentist then performs planing to smooth the rough areas on your teeth, which can help prevent future debris from getting stuck. There Are Antibacterial Medications If you have periodontitis, your dentist may also prescribe oral antibacterial medications if the inflammation becomes too painful. These antibacterial medications destroy the bacteria that creates the toxins that causes tissue to breakdown. In...

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