A Parent’s Guide to Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has become a topic of much discussion among parents looking to protect their child’s dental health without having to completely remove and fill portions of the hard dental tissues.

At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we provide young patients with comprehensive care and educate parents on the best and latest methods of cavity control. We have created this guide to help patients understand the details of SDF and how it can best be used to treat your child.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a colorless and odorless liquid varnish that contains both silver and fluoride. As with traditional fluoride varnishes, the ingredients re-mineralize dental enamel, helping to prevent future decay and preserving patients’ dental health. The silver content of this liquid is entirely safe and acts as an antimicrobial material when applied to sites of decay.

 

How SDF is Used

SDF has been approved as a Class II medical device by the FDA, allowing dental professionals to apply the liquid in the same way as traditional fluoride. While SDF is sometimes presented as an alternative to drilling and filling cavities, this material is better served to augment normal preventive care for dental decay.

This liquid is best for patients who are experiencing significant decay in their baby teeth, but who do not require fillings for all caries. This not only helps to preserve a greater portion of the healthy tooth structure, but encourages the long-term health of your child’s smile.

 

Are There Downsides to SDF?

The unfortunate downside to this liquid is that it turns decayed portions of tooth black. SDF also leaves a slightly metallic taste, though this fades quickly. These downsides are often weighed against the health benefits of silver diamine fluoride, making them generally beneficial for teeth that are not visible in the smile.

To learn more about the effects of Silver Diamine Fluoride and other materials used in the regular care of your child’s dental health, please contact us.  At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to total preventative care.

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, DDS

75 Crystal Run Road

Middletown, NY 10941

(845) 458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com

Everything You Need To Know About Pediatric Fluoride Treatment

Understanding Pediatric Fluoride Treatment

It’s undeniable that fluoride has played a major role in the decline of dental cavities in the United States. However, what isn’t so clear to many parents is whether or not fluoride treatments are safe and/or beneficial for children.

After all, children receive fluoride on a regular basis from many different types of foods and even water. Through these sources alone, minerals lost due to plaque, bacteria, and sugars are remineralized on teeth.

So, is an additional fluoride treatment at the dentist necessary and if so, at what age are the treatments most beneficial? Read on to find out.

Why You Should Consider Fluoride Treatments for Your Child

While it’s true that fluoride found in foods and water can replace lost minerals, it sometimes isn’t enough to strengthen teeth and protect against cavities. In fact, if you don’t consume enough natural fluoride, demineralization will occur much more quickly than remineralization, leaving enamel at risk and causing tooth decay.

Fluoride treatments speed up the natural remineralization process, providing prolonged protection against demineralization and related tooth decay. They are particularly effective in children because they can reverse early decay while protecting permanent teeth as they develop.

Scheduling Your Child’s Fluoride Treatments

Children should start fluoride treatments at around 6 months of age and continue at least until they turn 16 (and ideally, beyond this age as well). Treatments vary based on age and also on whether they are done at home or at the dentist’s office:

    • Drops, Chewables, Tablets, or Lozenges – These treatments are typically used at home for children 6 months and older who don’t receive enough fluoride in their water.
    • Fluoride Toothpaste – After the age of two, children’s teeth should be brushed using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
    • Fluoride Varnish – Once baby teeth have appeared, children should have a fluoride varnish applied to protect against tooth decay. Typically, varnishes are applied by a dentist twice per year for children two and older.
    • Gels and Foams – As children get older, a dentist commonly applies gel or foam fluoride treatments using a mouth guard. This typically takes about five minutes.
  • Mouth Rinses – A fluoride mouth rinse may be prescribed for children over 6 years of age who are at risk for tooth decay due to genetics or other factors. A mouth rinse is typically used in combination with other fluoride treatments.

Protecting Your Child from Too Much Fluoride

The most common concern about fluoride treatments is that large amounts can be toxic to the brain, bones, kidney, and thyroid. However, products intended for home use have extremely low levels of fluoride, meaning that you generally don’t have to worry.

Still, there are precautions you can take to ensure you’re not only keeping potentially dangerous products away from children, but also using fluoride properly:

  • Store any fluoride supplements or products out of reach of young children.
  • Use limited amounts of fluoridated toothpaste on a child’s toothbrush.
  • Don’t allow children to use fluoridated toothpaste without supervision until the age of 6.

Fluoride Treatments Play a Vital Part in Your Child’s Smile

Although some parents view fluoride skeptically, professional treatments are integral to your child’s smile starting at 2 years of age.

By doing your part at home and scheduling regular appointments, you can help prevent cavities and give children the strong teeth they need both now and in the future.

If you have any questions about fluoride, please contact us:

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman, DDS

75 Crystal Run Road

Middletown, NY 10941

(845) 458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com

 

 


Sources:

Dental Health and Fluoride Treatment. (2014, October 9). Retrieved on June 3, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment

Guideline on Fluoride Therapy. (2014). Retrieved June 3, 2015 from http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_fluoridetherapy.pdf

Reinberg. S. (2014, May 6). Docs Should Give Toddlers Fluoride Treatments: Panel. Retrieved on June 3, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20140506/doctors-should-give-toddlers-fluoride-treatments-us-task-force

Kids and Sweets – A Solution to Parent’s Problems

Parent’s Cheat Sheet: 5 Steps to Solving the Sweets Problem

/Birthday celebrations, holidays, and countless school or extracurricular activities in between children’s social calendars can seem like endless fun, until you realize they can also translate into a non-stop, cavity-inducing sugar high. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that your child is destined for a long list of dental problems. Use this dental cheat sheet when a special occasion arises to keep his or her smile cavity-free.

Step 1: Set Rules

Create boundaries that can help protect your child’s oral health without cutting down on the fun, such as:

  • A sweets “allowance” that lets your child indulge, but in a limited fashion
  • Frequent drinks of water to wash sugary particles off the surface of his/her teeth
  • A full meal before dessert to fill up on nutritious foods and help curb cravings
  • “Off-limits” beverages, such as carbonated sodas or fruit juices

Keeping instructions simple, yet clear can make it easier for your child to adopt these rules without any hassle, and help him or her stick to the guidelines even if you are not present.

Step 2: Teach Your Child To Choose Wisely

Not all sweets are equally damaging to teeth, so helping your child to make smarter choices can have a big impact on the amount of sugar he or she eats. Prolonged sucking on hard candies, for instance, is one of the most harmful ways to satisfy a sweet tooth because of lengthy, direct exposure of the tooth’s surface to concentrated sugar. Likewise, sticky foods that contain ingredients such as caramel or toffee are more likely to get lodged in between teeth, and chewing on them may even result in a lost filling.

If or when possible, steer your child towards cakes and cookies instead. While these desserts are still refined carbohydrates that will break down into sugar, the amount of contact with harmful acid is significantly less than with candies and other stickier treats.

Step 3: Bring/Pack Something Nutritious

Make it easy for your child to opt for something nutritious by packing a healthy alternative. Cheese, for example, is calcium-rich and can help remineralize tooth enamel. Many manufacturers now offer single-serve packages for convenience when on the go. An apple is another tooth-healthy option when chewed, its high fiber content makes it an excellent “plaque scrubber”. Even sugar-free gum can do the trick if it contains xylitol, which can help prevent the growth of oral bacteria.

Step 4: Have Your Child Brush And Floss As Soon As Possible

Ultimately, maintaining good oral hygiene is the most effective thing parents can do at home to help keep their children’s smiles healthy. If you’re always on the go, it may be worth packing a travel-sized toothbrush, but if your child forgets to brush amidst all the excitement, make sure he or she does so upon returning home.

Flossing is just as critical, and nowadays, there are many options that parents might find to be more “kid-friendly” – such as water flossers or interdental brushes. At minimum, your child should be brushing and flossing twice a day, but don’t hesitate to add another round of cleaning if he or she has had a particularly rich meal.

Step 5: See The Dentist

Last, but not least, make sure your child visits the dentist at least twice a year (or as advised by the dentist). In addition to receiving a professional cleaning, your child’s dentist can look for developing decay and gum disease, and treat it before it becomes more serious. He or she can also help ensure your child is practicing the correct brushing and flossing techniques, and provide teeth additional protection in the form of dental sealants, if need be.

Lead By Example

Perhaps the easiest way to teach your child how to protect his or her teeth is to lead by example – and doing so not only benefits him or her, but your oral health as well! Follow these tips together with your child, and consult with your child’s dentist for additional ways you can make dental care a simple and even fun experience for your child.

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman

75 Crystal Run Road

Middletown, NY 10941

845-458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com


Sources:

Delta Dental Names Best and Worst Halloween Treats for Kids. (2013, October 31). Retrieved July 22, 2015, from https://www.deltadental.com/Public/NewsMedia/NewsReleaseBestWorstHalloweenTreats201310.jsp

SanFilippo, Elizabeth. (n.d.). Kid’s Healthy Teeth During The Holidays. Retrieved July 27, 2015, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/article/sw-281474979252016

How To Care for Your Infant’s Oral Health

Caring for Your Infant’s Oral Health

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Teeth or no teeth, your infant’s oral health should always be a top priority. But, how are you supposed to care for your baby’s teeth? There are numerous steps to take and each serves an important purpose in preparing your baby for a future smile he or she will be glad to show off.

First: Caring for Your Baby’s Gums

Although your baby is born without visible teeth, it’s still important to care for his or her gums. If you don’t, you’ll leave harmful bacteria behind that can damage teeth as they begin to emerge.

You won’t need a toothbrush or toothpaste for gum care. Instead, you can use a soft, slightly moistened cloth or gauze to wipe down your baby’s gums, especially after feedings and prior to bedtime.

Second: Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth

Your baby’s teeth will begin to emerge from the gums at around 6 months of age, at which point you’ll need to begin using a toothbrush for cleaning. It’s best to purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles, a small head, and a large handle to make it easier for you to clean and more comfortable for your baby.

You should start with very limited amounts of toothpaste (fluoride-free) and, as more teeth emerge, you can increase the amount. This will gradually familiarize your child with the taste and texture of toothpaste.

Third: Visiting the Dentist

It’s vital that you schedule your baby’s first dental appointment before his or her first birthday or within 6 months of his or her teeth appearing.

This will allow the dentist to identify potential problems caused by injuries, illnesses, or development complications. If issues are identified, the dentist can treat them or refer you to a paediatrician should something go beyond the teeth’s surfaces.

General Preventative Dental Care for Your Infant

Visiting the dentist early is one type of preventative care for your infant. There are additional things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of cavities as teeth continue to emerge:

    • Only put formula, breast milk, and water in baby bottles to avoid “baby bottle tooth decay,” and be sure to clean gum/teeth after the consumption of formula or breast milk as both contain sugar.
    • Decrease your child’s sugar consumption, particularly between meals, because sugar feeds bacteria that can attack your baby’s teeth.
  • Never put anything sweet on your baby’s pacifier to encourage him or her to use it.

Early Oral Health Sets Your Baby Up for a Beautiful Smile

Baby teeth are functionally important during childhood and also serve a critical role as place holders for adult teeth. By caring for them properly from the very beginning, you can promote oral health and create a great foundation for a bright, beautiful future smile.

 

If you have any questions about your infant’s oral health, please contact us:

DR. GERI-LYNN WALDMAN DDS

75 CRYSTAL RUN ROAD, MIDDLETOWN, NY 10940

(845) 458-8500

OFFICE@HVKIDSMILES.COM

 


Sources:

Basic Dental Care – Infants and Children. (2014, November 14). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/basic-dental-care-infants-and-children

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth. (2014, November 6). Retrieved June 2, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-health-dentures

Sippy Cups: Friend or Foe?

Sippy Cups: Friend or Foe?

Shaped like your child’s favorite action heroes and in every vibrant color imaginable, sippy cups seem like an innocent way to prevent spills. But with increased cavities and speech issues abound, pediatric dentists have recent research suggesting that what was once a friend is now a foe.

Of course, sippy cups can play an integral role in your child’s development. But in light of these recent developments, it’s important to know how to properly use them and to be aware of potential problems that can occur due to misuse.

How are Sippy Cups Supposed to be Used?

Sippy cups are a parent’s dream. After all, they allow children to take care of themselves and transition to adult cups easier than they would otherwise be able to. However, sippy cups weren’t developed or intended for prolonged use, no matter the level of convenience they offer.

In fact, sippy cups should be used as a transitional tool to wean children off of bottles until they’re able to use an adult cup. Most often, this means that sippy cup usage should stop between the ages of one and two, depending upon a child’s motor development.

Common Health Concerns Associated With Sippy Cups

Many parents understand that sippy cups can be problematic when used improperly, but not as many recognize the primary health concerns that can surface due to improper use:

    • Tooth Decay – Sugary substances in your child’s sippy cup will feed the oral bacteria in his/her mouth, thereby weakening the enamel and causing decay.

       

    • Speech Difficulties – Sippy cups can cause speech issues. This can happen when a child drinks from a cup as if it were a bottle, misplacing the tongue and pushing out the teeth, which can result in a lisp or other articulation complications.

Turning a Common Foe Back Into a Friend

A quick online search will turn up dozens of articles telling you that sippy cups are an absolute foe, but it isn’t that simple. While it’s true that sippy cups can cause problems, proper usage makes them a friend and asset as you transition your child into adult cups.

So, how can you turn this foe into a friend once again? Here are a few suggestions:

    • Choose the Right Sippy Cup – Not all sippy cups are created equal. Try to purchase ones that have a spout and two handles to promote motor development. As your child ages, you may even want to purchase a sippy cup with a straw rather than a spout. Also, if you’re using a sippy cup for juice, it’s beneficial to avoid “no-spill valves” as valves can concentrate sugary fluid on your child’s teeth over a longer period of time.
    • Limit Time With the Sippy Cup – Some kids will run around all day with their cups if you let them! Instead, take the cup away when your child is finished.
    • Offer Juice Only at Mealtimes – If you want to offer juice to your child, do so at mealtimes only. Increased saliva production will help break down the sugars and rinse them away to prevent tooth decay.
    •  

    • Minimize Sugary Liquids – Instead of juice, opt for water during the day and at bedtime.

 

Friend or Foe: You Decide

A sippy cup can be your best friend or worst enemy: it all depends on how you use it.

By keeping the tips above in mind, your little one can enjoy his/her favorite sippy cups and you can rest assured that his/her teeth and development won’t be derailed in the process.

 

If you have any questions about Sippy Cups and oral hygiene, please contact us:

Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman DDS

75 Crystal Run Road

Middletown, NY 10941  (845) 458-8500

office@hvkidsmiles.com

 


Sources:

Davis, J. (2002, May 22). Sippy Cups Causing Too Many Cavities. Retrieved June 2, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20020322/sippy-cups-causing-too-many-cavities

Mann, D. (2008, February 11). So Long Sippy Cups, Hello Straws. Retrieved June 2, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/children/news/20080212/so-long-sippy-cups-hello-straws

Dental Tips for Expectant Mothers

Dental Tips for Expectant Mothers

Free up some time in your calendars, moms-to-be! The OB-GYN visits may be coming fast and furious, but believe it or not, there’s someone else you need to be seeing to protect your health and that of your baby: your dentist.

All the changes that come with your rapidly growing bump — and perhaps some common, yet misplaced fears — may tempt you to put a nine-month hold on your next dental checkup, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take these proactive steps to protect your teeth, gums and child from pregnancy-related dental complications.

Keep Your Dentist in the Loop

The sooner you share the news of your pregnancy with your dentist, the better. Certain medications used in-office or prescribed for at-home use are not recommended for pregnant women, and your updated health status may alter your dentist’s treatment plan and overall approach. If possible, let your dentist know about your intention to grow your family in advance. This way any oral problems and/or elective dental procedures (along with X-rays typically required) can be taken care of before pregnancy is even a factor to consider. If a situation does arise that requires dental work while you’re pregnant, the second trimester is the most ideal time to have dental work done.

Be Diligent With Your Home Dental Routine

Additional calorie requirements, common pregnancy cravings and even morning sickness can put expectant mothers at an increased risk of tooth decay. You can help keep cavities at bay by making these simple changes to your routine:

  • Choose sugar-free gum or candy (in moderation) if you crave something sweet
  • Brush and floss more frequently, especially if you find yourself snacking more
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash after a bout of vomiting
  • Try a blander type of toothpaste if your typical choice becomes nauseating

Self-exams also become more important during pregnancy. Check your teeth and gums regularly, and schedule an appointment if you detect any cavities or gum abnormalities.

Get Your Dentist’s Help For Hormone-Related Dental Problems

While there are plenty of preventative actions you can take at home, some of the most common dental problems pregnant women face are hormonally driven and require the professional care of your dentist. “Pregnancy Gingivitis” is one such condition in which increased blood flow to the gums can result in tenderness, swelling, bleeding, or if left untreated, severe periodontal disease. Many moms-to-be may also discover mulberry-shaped growths along the gumline typically referred to as “pregnancy tumors” (though they are benign). While they usually go away after giving birth, removal by a dentist may sometimes be necessary.

Remain Vigilant About Your Oral Health After Giving Birth

Finally, keep a close eye on your teeth and gums even after pregnancy. With all the time and attention you need to give your newborn, this is often easier said than done, but maintaining your oral health at this stage can minimize the risk of transmitting harmful oral bacteria to your child.

For more information and guidance on proper dental care during pregnancy, schedule a consultation with your dentist. He or she can adjust your treatment plan to maintain your oral health while being sensitive to your needs and concerns.

 

If you’d like to discuss how your dental habits can affect your baby during pregnancy, please contact us:

DR. GERI-LYNN WALDMAN DDS

75 CRYSTAL RUN ROAD, MIDDLETOWN, NY 10940

(845) 458-8500

OFFICE@HVKIDSMILES.COM

 

 


Sources:

Dental Care and Pregnancy. (2014, June 4). Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy

Is Having Dental Work During Pregnancy Safe? (2014 January). Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/dental-work-and-pregnancy/

Welcome to the Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry Blog!

hudson-valley-pediatric-dentistry-dr-geri-lynn-waldman

By Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman DDS

Welcome to the Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry blog!  For those of you who don’t know me, I’ve been a pediatric dentist practicing in New York’s Hudson Valley area for over 15 years.

After many years of practicing pediatric dentistry in Middletown, I decided to open my own practice across town (at 75 Crystal Run Road) in April of 2016.  Since we exclusively provide pediatric dental services in my new office, I wanted to do something special, and create an atmosphere solely for children.  Based on the reactions of our patients and their parents, I believe that we’ve achieved our goal.

The office theme combines my love of children, dogs and the outdoors.  The waiting area features a toy house, video games, a photo-booth and Netflix television.  Hand-painted murals decorate the entire office, with each treatment room having its own theme and Netflix TV.

My office offers all phases of pediatric dentistry including: tooth-colored fillings and crowns, extractions, cleanings, nerve treatment and sealants.  We also offer sedation options for our anxious patients with special needs.  We’ve recently introduced a soft tissue laser into our practice, and will be offering lip and tongue tie revision for those in need.

As a mother and a pediatric dentist, I wanted to introduce a forum where I can provide valuable information about oral health to parents and children.  The Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry blog will feature articles, tips on oral healthcare and offer the opportunity for parents to have their questions answered in a feature called “Ask Dr. Geri.”

We look forward to hearing from you, and having you become a part of this virtual community!

Please feel free to email any questions or suggestions to office@hvkidsmiles.com.