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Keeping baby teeth healthy is very important

One of the core  philosophies of our office is:  to try to ensure
 that your children never, ever have to associate their teeth with pain.


        When I present a treatment plan to parents about their children's dental condition the parents often say to me "Why should we do this?  They are going to fall out anyway!".  These are reasons I give why their children's baby teeth are worth saving:

1.  These teeth are important because they help guide proper eruption of permanent teeth

2.  They help maintain good nutrition with proper chewing

3.  They permit normal speech development

4.  They need to be repaired to avoid the pain and suffering your child can experience from abscess that can lead to possible hospitalization

5.  To avoid damage to the developing permanent teeth

Severe dental decay, which meant allot of pain to this poor child!*

6.  To avoid inadvertent extraction of a permanent tooth bud with early extraction of the primary tooth

7.  Avoid high bacteria counts from occurring that can create possible lifetime problems.  Children (average age 3.5)were randomly assigned the recommended dose of amoxicillin.  Dental restorative and cleaning procedures, and before, during, and after dental extraction(s).  Bacteremia from these procedures occurs more often, from a wider variety of bacterial species, and for a longer duration after dental extractions than previously reported in any age group. Amoxicillin has a significant impact on the incidence, nature, and duration of bacteremia after nasal intubation, dental restorative and cleaning procedures, and dental extractions. +

8.  Avoid decay of the teeth next to the damaged tooth by direct spread and decay of the other teeth by bacteria shed into the saliva

9.  Provide formation of the shape of the mouth

10. Every cavity starts out small because the protective enamel (the hardest part of the tooth) is much thinner on baby teeth than on adult teeth. Once decay penetrates this thin enamel it can enlarge extremely quickly and can reach the nerve, this is why baby teeth must be treated right away.

11.  Your child's smile affects their sense of self-esteem & confidence


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* Health Teeth Organization

+Impact of Amoxicillin Prophylaxis on the Incidence, Nature, and Duration of Bacteremia in Children After Intubation and Dental Procedures Peter B. Lockhart, DDS; Michael T. Brennan, DDS, MHS; M. Louise Kent, RN; H. James Norton, PhD; David A. Weinrib, MD From the Departments of Oral Medicine (P.B.L., M.T.B., M.L.K.), Internal Medicine (D.A.W.), and Biostatistics (H.J.N.), Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC. Correspondence to Dr Peter B. Lockhart, Department of Oral Medicine, Carolinas Medical Center, 1000 Blythe Blvd, PO Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232-2861. E-mail [email protected] Received June 9, 2003; de novo received October 17, 2003; revision received February 10, 2004; accepted March 8, 2004.

Find our article on Kinderstart

A simple toothache can be fatal.

That is the sobering message a 12-year-old Maryland boy left when, after his dental problems went untreated, he succumbed to a severe brain infection.

Deamonte Driver's life could have been spared if his infected tooth was simply removed a procedure costing just $80.However, the Driver family faced obstacles with Medicaid, poverty, and access to resources, resulting in an easily preventable health problem turning deadly.In the end, Driver endured two surgeries and weeks of hospital care totaling about $250,000 in medical bills. Sadly, it was too late to save the boy, and he passed away on Feb. 25. "Unfortunately, this is more common than we'd like it to be," says Sally Cram, a practicing periodontist in the Washington, DC area. "A lot of children don't get dental care."

In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control cites tooth decay as one of the most common chronic infectious diseases among U.S. children. By the age of 11, approximately half of children have decay, and by the age of 19, tooth decay in the permanent teeth affects about 68 percent of adolescents.For children in low-income families, like the Drivers, there is nearly twice the risk for untreated tooth decay."I think it is probably the least covered of our health benefits across the nation," she adds.

While this lack of care is a known problem, there are a number of issues that stand in the way."The dentist doesn't break even," says Cram. In fact, experts say the low rates Medicaid offers to cover dental services are less than what it costs the doctor to do the actual treatment

People seem to think "teeth are not a big deal," says Cram. But it's not just about your mouth. "Infections in your teeth and mouth can lead to more problems," she points out. When a cavity goes untreated for months or years, the decay eats into the center of the tooth, and eventually enters the nerves and blood vessels. From there, bacteria get into the blood stream and can travel virtually anywhere. By taking advantage of basic preventative services like cleanings and filling cavities people can drastically reduce their chances for severe dental disease. And with the benefit of Medicaid funding, a tremendous amount of budget funds could be saved in the long run. Across the board, education on the benefits of prevention is the most important that can be done. "It's sad that a child has to die for people to wake up," says Cram. "We need to stop putting our heads in the stand and start working together it takes education  3/07


LSU to Study Oral Health of Babies

When mothers kiss their babies or taste food to make sure it's cool enough for toothless gums and tender mouths, they may pass on germs that will decay teeth when they sprout, researchers say.

A new study at the LSU Health Sciences Center dental school will look at whether babies whose mothers regularly use antibiotic mouthwash or chew sugarless gum wind up as toddlers with less tooth decay.

He said the mouthwash-gum study will look at 250 mothers and their babies. Some will get mouthwash with the antibiotic Chlorhexidine. Some will get sugar-free chewing gum with the sweetener xylitol. Some will get
both, and some will get neither.

By JANET McCONNAUGHEYAssociated Press WriterNovember 17, 2004 NEW ORLEANS --2004, The Associated Press

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