Tips for Dental Care for a Child with Autism

Taking care of a child with autism can bring about a lot of interesting challenges, even when it comes to oral health. Here is a look at a few important dental care tips to keep in mind if you have a child with autism.

1. Break down oral care routines at home into small tasks.

To the average child, brushing teeth is simply brushing teeth. However, when you look at the process of brushing your teeth, there are a number of steps involved. Autism Speaks offers a helpful list that actually shows how just teeth brushing can be broken down into 25 unique steps. For a child with autism, breaking down the different steps can be a more effective and less overwhelming way to handle the full task. Therefore, you may focus on brushing your child’s teeth for them until they can master each individual step (or most of them) on their own.

2. Consider more frequent oral hygiene visits if necessary.

If you have a particularly difficult time getting your child with autism to brush their teeth, it can be a good idea to schedule more oral hygiene visits at the dentist. Normally, children should have a cleaning about two times per year. But this schedule is recommended for average children who are either brushing or allowing their parents to brush their teeth for them on a pretty regular basis. More frequent visits may be necessary to keep plaque accumulation at bay and thwart the risks of decay.

3. Explain your child’s specific issues to the dentist.

Not every autistic child is the same, so the dentist is not going to know specifically what to expect when treating your child if they have autism. Take the time to speak with the dentist about things like:

  • Specific sensory issues your child may have (e.g. fears of loud noises or bright lights)
  • Oral health concerns you have
  • Developmental or communication issues your child has

A Lincoln Pediatric Dentist Can Help

Oral health is so important to the overall well-being of every child. If you are looking for a good dentist for your child with autism, reach out to us at Korte Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

 

Does My Child Need Braces?

Many children who need braces begin treatment around the ages of 10 to 11 years old. In reality, however, no one is ever too old for smile improvement. In fact, more and more adults are using braces to straighten and align teeth for a more perfect smile. For children, braces may be recommended if chewing is difficult or if upper and lower teeth don’t meet as they should. If you worry your child may need braces, see your dental specialist to start a conversation.

Signs Your Child May Need Braces

There are several things to look for when considering whether your child may benefit from braces. These include:

  • Crowding
  • Gaps
  • Permanent teeth that are growing in crooked or overlapping other teeth
  • Jawline that protrudes or recesses
  • Teeth that seem out of proportion

For a majority of children, braces are simply cosmetic, meaning they help fix smile imperfections. It’s important to note, however, that sometimes misaligned teeth can cause physical issues as well. If your child complains of pain, a jaw that cracks or shifts, or accidentally bites the inside of his cheek or tongue frequently, see your pediatric dentist right away.

Why Opt for Braces?

As an adult, you want to look and feel your best. Its’ important to remember that children have that need, as well — especially adolescents who are notoriously impacted by the opinions of their peers. If your child struggles with teeth that are crooked or overlap, or if they have unsightly gaps that need to be addressed, their self-esteem may suffer accordingly. There are some features of your child’s appearance over which they may have little or no control, such as feeling too tall or too short, disliking their hair color, or wishing they looked more like someone else. But the appearance of their teeth is an easy fix with the simple addition of braces.

Contact Korte Family Dentistry Today

For those in the area of Lincoln, NE, Korte Family Dentistry is your go-to option for braces. If you’d like to start a conversation regarding whether braces may be a good fit for your adolescent child, call today to book an initial consultation. Our experienced dental care team is friendly and always professional, and we specialize in setting you and your child at ease. Call today for an appointment.

 

What Causes Teeth Staining?

Staining of the tooth occurs when liquids, smoke, or foreign substances you consume stain the teeth. The number one cause of teeth staining is smoking and the consumption of sugars and processed foods. Teeth staining can usually be reversed with either over the counter tooth whiteners or getting professional teeth whitening services from your dentist. Here are the main causes of teeth staining.

Smoking

Smoking is the number one practice that will cause teeth staining over a long period of time. Smoker’s teeth often are hard to re- whiten and reverse. The main types of smoking that will cause teeth staining are cigarettes and cigars. In addition, e-cigarettes that contain additives and preservatives can and probably will cause some staining over time, but not as much as cigarettes. Vaping with organic liquids and water is the least likely to cause staining.

Sugar Consumption

Consumption of sugars and processed foods is another common cause of teeth staining. The many processed ingredients and preservatives in these processed foods often leech deep into the tooth and cause hard to remove stains over the years. Products like soda, snacks with flavored powders coating them, and colored candy are the most harmful to the teeth. If possible, use simple natural sugars like honey instead of processed sugar.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol like wine and beer is another main cause for teeth staining, the fermented beverages often deeply stain our teeth just like they do the carpet and clothes we accidentally spill them on from time to time. Don’t fret if you only casually drink from time to time though, for the most part only excessive alcohol consumption, usually by alcoholics will cause teeth staining that becomes problematic.

For the most part, teeth staining is something that can be easily avoided. Smoking and drinking alcohol are the main causes of stained teeth ad can result in teeth that aren’t that pretty to look at, but eating a lot of processed foods can also cause teeth staining over a period of years. Eat a healthy diet free of refined sugars in soda and candy, and limit or eliminate smoking to control the amount of staining your teeth endure. For instantly whiter teeth, consult your dentist for professional teeth whitening services.

Kids Play Sports? Here’s What You Need to Know About Protecting Their Teeth

If you’re like most parents, you understand the importance that exercise plays in your child’s life, especially these days when it seems that even kids spend a great deal of their day in sedentary pursuits. Naturally, you encourage your child to participate in the sport or sports of their choosing, but you may also worry about damage to their teeth in the event they become injured while playing sports. Although there are strategies available designed to help protect your child’s teeth while playing sports, these types of injuries are very difficult to prevent — that’s why it’s important to know exactly what to do if your child unexpectedly loses a tooth during the middle of a game.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mouth Guards Can Help

Mouthguards are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing dental injuries while playing sports, but they may do more harm than good if they don’t fit properly. Instead of purchasing a mouth guard that’s been mass-produced by a company that manufactures athletic products, talk to your child’s dentist about having a mouth guard custom-made.

What to Do if a Tooth Gets Knocked Out

The first thing to do if a tooth gets knocked out is to resist the urge to panic. If you can find the tooth, pick it up by the roots, and re-implant it in the socket if possible. However, if it’s dirty or muddy, place it in a glass of milk and take it with you to the dentist. However, you don’t need to worry about finding the tooth or re-implanting it if it’s a primary tooth — re-implanting these just interfere with the development of the permanent teeth coming in behind them. Use a cotton ball or a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.

It’s important that you get to the dentist as quickly as possible after the injury. It’s a good idea for you to have your dentist’s contact information stored on your smartphone as well as the contact info for your local emergency dentist.

Regular dental screenings can also help identify potential issues that might make your child more vulnerable to dental injuries. Please don’t hesitate to call us at your convenience to learn more about protecting your child’s teeth or to schedule an appointment for an examination and screening.

The Benefits of Fluoride

When you visit our dental office at Korte Family Dentistry in Lincoln, Nebraska, we may offer you a fluoride treatment. What is fluoride and how does this benefit your teeth and oral health? Let us explain what fluoride provides for your smile when used as a part of your overall dental care.

What Fluoride Does for Teeth

Fluoride is a chemical that occurs naturally in the environment. When you are provided with a fluoride treatment, this gives you a coating of chemical ions. A reaction with sodium helps boost cavity protection from fluoride, according to the American Dental Association. The use of fluoride treatment on teeth also helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth. This is beneficial to protect against decay. In fact, the ADA states you can reverse tooth decay in its early stages.

woman-brushing-teeth

How to Get Fluoride Treatments

People of all ages need fluoride as a part of a natural diet. This is vital to the protection of your teeth, which is why community water facilities add fluoride to public water systems. We recommend that you drink water from the faucet to gain the fluoride, and as a healthier beverage compared to juice or soda. Does bottled water contain fluoride? No, so you will need to make sure that you are getting fluoride into your diet in another way to protect your teeth.

For starters, you can also brush your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Another way of getting fluoride on your teeth is with fluoride treatments that you can get right here at our Nebraska dental office. At Korte Family Dentistry, we offer fluoride treatments as part of our dental exams and teeth cleanings.

Choose Fluoride Treatments in Lincoln, NE Today

To request a fluoride treatment for you or your family members, start with our routine dental exam. We will provide you with this treatment as part of this exam once your teeth are thoroughly cleaned and polished. Call Korte Family Dentistry at 402-489-3115 to schedule an appointment today with our Lincoln, NE dentist. We are currently accepting new dental patients. In addition, we offer an array of other dental services including bonding, bridges, crowns, and extractions.

5 Tips to Avoid Tooth Enamel Loss

Enamel loss can not only make you feel less confident about your smile, it can lead to tooth decay, infection, and possibly even tooth loss. As the hard, protective top layer of your tooth called “enamel” softens and weakens, a pit or cavity forms on the tooth surface.

Follow these five tips to prevent enamel loss and keep your teeth healthy.

1) See your dentist every six months for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Brush with fluoride toothpaste, floss, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.

2) Eliminate highly acidic foods and drinks from your diet. The worst offenders include citrus fruits and their juices and carbonated soft drinks. Rinse your mouth immediately with plain water after eating or drinking acidic products. It’s also smart to sip acidic drinks through a straw. This will push the liquid to the back of your mouth, bypassing your teeth.

3) Eliminate sugars and starchy foods from your diet. Sugary, sticky foods and beverages are major causes of tooth decay. The sugar you consume combines with plaque, which creates acid that weakens tooth enamel. “Each time you eat a sugary snack, your teeth are vulnerable to damage from the acids for the next 20 minutes,” explains Oral-B. Major plaque promoters include candy, honey, raisins, milk, dry cereal, and bread.

4) Limit snacking. Frequent snacking throughout the day gives the acid in the food more time to damage your teeth. Avoid snacking unless you’re able to brush your teeth immediately after. Brushing your teeth after snacking will both remove plaque and leave your mouth feeling cleaner, making you less likely to continue snacking.

5) Chew sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol between meals. Xylitol is shown to reduce acids in beverages and foods. Research has also shown that the use of xylitol helps repair damage to the enamel. Chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps strengthen teeth with important minerals.

If you’re concerned about tooth enamel loss, please don’t hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to helping you learn more about how you can enjoy the best oral health possible.

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