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Never Fear, the Dentist Is Here

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Barry Jacobsen, DMD, is the Redman family dentist. "We always start with behavior management [but] if child is not manageable, we use sedation," he says. In fact, he sedates Kyle and Kellman at times to make the procedures go more quickly and smoothly.

 

According to the study, many dentists are still wary of using anesthesia with young children, but certain pain management techniques can be safe -- and useful.

 

"A child's biggest anxiety is usually fear of the unknown," says Jay Levy, DDS, a dentist in New York, who sees a fair share of young patients.

 

"The way that we deal with that anxiety is to bring the child into the office when another child is being treated to show them what it is like and what goes on," he says. Called the modelling technique, this method often pairs a timid child with a cooperative child of similar age.

 

Levy also uses the "tell-show-do" method. This technique involves naming a dental instrument, demonstrating the instrument by using it to count on a child's fingers, then using the device.

 

"These tend to work quite well," he tells WebMD.

 

Moreover, these days, children are less likely to have cavities than older children. This cuts down on painful procedures. In fact, half of school-aged children never have a cavity because of fluoridated water supplies, which helps fight tooth decay.

 

"Children should see a dentist every six months for a lot of reasons, such as to see how their bite is developing and to check for cavities and gum disease," he says.

 

"An undiagnosed cavity in a child's tooth may have a permanent effect on adult teeth," Levy says.

 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry agrees. They say most children should have a dental check-up at least twice a year. Some children may need more frequent visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns, or poor oral hygiene.

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Reviewed on December 20, 2000

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

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American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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