Dr. Prasatthong can be reached 24 hours a day in an emergency, for REGULAR patients of our office.
Call our main office phone at (727) 345-3151 for an emergency outside normal business hours.
If there is a true medical emergency, please call 911.
Examples: Abscess or localized bacterial infection, tooth fracture resulting in soft issue trauma, extensive caries or defective restoration causing pain, accident resulting in avulsion where the tooth has come out of the socket.
In the event a permanent tooth is displaced from its socket, immediately place the tooth in milk and call your dentist right away. Only a permanent tooth can be reimplanted due to the risk of damaging the developing permanent tooth. If milk is not available, keep the tooth moist by wrapping it gently with a napkin or towel with water. If a tooth can be reimplanted, it must be done as soon as possible. After 1 hour, the success is unlikely. Call your dentist immediately.
Baby Bottle Decay
Even though they are temporary, your child’s baby teeth are important, and are still susceptible to cavities. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak, and have a good-looking smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their teeth for decades to come.
What Causes Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected.
There are many factors which can cause tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar (this includes milk). Tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. Dr. Dan recommends that babies stop using a bottle at 12 months of age. After brushing at night, water is fine if thirsty. Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.
If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay. The good news is that decay is preventable.
Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
- Try not to share saliva with the baby through common use of feeding spoons or licking pacifiers. After each feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth. Dental decay is a disease; children catch the bacteria from someone else.
- When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and a smear (or grain of rice-sized amount) of fluoride toothpaste until the age of 3.
- Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste from the ages of 3 to 6.
- Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste – usually not before he or she is 6 or 7.
- Place only formula, milk, or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice, or soft drinks.
- Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottles, and brush their teeth, before going to bed.
- If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean – don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
- Encourage your child to drink from a cup by his/her first birthday.
- Encourage healthy eating habits; parents tend to go way over serving sizes of drinks that contain sugar, which have other health risks for the child’s future.
When your child’s first tooth appears, talk to your dentist about scheduling the first dental visit. Treat the first dental visit as you would a well-baby checkup with the child’s physician. Remember: starting early is the key to a lifetime of good dental health. For more information about nutrition and your baby, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Thumbsucking and Pacifier Use
Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep.
How Can Thumbsucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?
After permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break.
The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth.
When Do Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?
Children usually stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking, consult your dentist.
At each 6-month checkup appointment, Dr. Dan will determine if your child needs any type of referrals or specialized treatments, such as an orthodontic consult for braces, to be evaluated by an oral surgeon for their wisdom teeth, etc.
Patients are scheduled to have all their dental treatment done in a hospital setting only in certain instances, such as: extensive decay, age, behavior, or their medical conditions.
Patients with special needs are those who, due to physical, medical, developmental, or cognitive conditions, require special consideration when receiving dental treatment. This can include people with autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome, spinal cord injuries, and countless other conditions or injuries that can make standard dental procedures more difficult.