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Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, including tooth decay that has destroyed enough tooth structure to render the tooth non-restorable. Some extractions are done after recommendation from your orthodontist to make space for other teeth.
Types of Tooth Extraction
Keep in mind that a baby tooth is designed to fall out (as opposed to an adult tooth which is built to remain) so removing a child’s tooth is different than removing an adult’s tooth. The first step that we have to take is determining the type of extraction: simple extractions or surgical extractions
We perform a simple extraction when the tooth is visible and easy to reach. We numb the site with a local anesthetic and make sure that your child feels comfortable. Then we use a special instrument to grasp the tooth and wiggle it back and forth until it can be lightly removed from their mouth.
A surgical extraction necessary when we cannot see or easily grip the crown of your child’s tooth. Surgical extractions tend to be more complicated than simple extractions and may be referred to an oral surgeon if appropriate.
Further information on extractions is available here.
For more information on Pediatric Oral Surgery, click here.
Please do not hesitate to contact the office if there are any questions.
A properly fitted mouthguard is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child's smile. It will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breathe. It should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth.
Ask us about custom and store-bought mouth protectors.
Oral habits such as finger sucking, grinding, and use of a pacifier are common and normal for infants and young children. When these habits persist through childhood, they can create long term problems.
At Portland Children's Dentistry, we provide an individualized approach for each child in evaluating and treating oral habits. We offer behavioral strategies or oral appliances for children who need help out growing these behaviors.
Tips for Brushing
Most kids are not exactly excited by the idea of brushing and flossing. This can lead to a nightly battle. At Portland Children's Dentistry, we can help you to empower your child to care about their teeth so that they want to take good care of them. Learn more about tips for brushing here.
Space maintainers and retainers (Interceptive orthodontics)
One of the primary purposes of baby teeth is to hold the space for the developing adult teeth. If a baby tooth is extracted, the teeth on either side will drift into the space created by the missing tooth, which can lead to space loss and crowding. Space maintainers are used to hold space open for adult teeth after a baby tooth has been extracted. This helps to prevent space loss and avoid future problems related to crowding.
Retainers are another tool that pediatric dentists and orthodontists use. A few of the circumstances in which retainers are useful include crowding, habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, and protruding front teeth that are more susceptible to injury.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is widely distributed throughout nature. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, and corn cobs.
Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have showed a dramatic reduction in new cavities, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. This xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent.
To find gum or other products containing xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the Internet to find products containing 100% xylitol.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is a safe and effective way to address discoloration of permanent teeth. Teenagers and young adults frequently will request whitening after having braces removed.
Dental whitening may be accomplished by using either professional or at-home bleaching modalities. If you are curious about whether this is a good option for you or your child, ask us and we can talk about the options.
For more information: Policy on the Use of Dental Bleaching for Children
As facial piercings become more common, so do the consequences that are associated with them. We frequently see chipped teeth, receding gums, pain, swelling, and infection in patients with tongue, cheek, and lip piercings. Less common but far more significant consequences can include blood clots, blood poisoning, heart infections, brain abscess, and nerve damage (trigeminal neuralgia).
We recommend that teenagers find ways to express themselves in ways other than oral/facial jewelry. However, if someone insists on a piercing, make sure that the piercing shop has good hygiene habits. Do your research and be sure to ask what they use for sterilization procedures!
For more information: Policy on Oral Jewelry
Tobacco and E-cigarettes
Everyone knows that tobacco is associated with countless health problems. As dentists, we see the consequences of tobacco use first hand. Periodontal disease, poor wound healing, increased risk for cavities, increased risk of oral cancers, and BAD BREATH(!) are just a few of the concerns. Trust us… your dentist does not appreciate smelling smoke when he or she is doing an exam or cleaning.
Smokeless tobacco (dip, chew, snuff, etc.) can be just as harmful as cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco use is linked to oral cancers and gum disease.
Currently, many young people are experimenting with electronic cigarettes as alternative to traditional tobacco. While e-cigarettes do not have as many chemicals as cigarettes, they are still highly addictive. There effects on the oral cavity have not been researched yet.
For more information visit: Policy on Tabacco Use