Top 5 Benefits of In-House Ortho

Braces1Few pediatric dentistry offices can boast having a comprehensive orthodontics team all under one roof. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry offers children the most customized dental care in and around the Bay Area—with early orthodontic treatment available in-house. Here are the top 5 ways this can benefit you and your family:

1. Early detection. As a parent, you likely won’t notice issues that require early orthodontic treatment—but your child’s dentist will! Your child’s dentist is the best person to let you know when issues like overcrowding, protruding teeth, or speech impediments exist, and whether or not braces are the answer. With the ability to do orthodontics in our office, you can be sure that communication between your child’s pediatric dentist and orthodontist will be seamless and efficient.

2. Convenience. Anyone who’s had braces, or knows someone who has, realizes that cleanings aren’t so simple. Before the dentist can clean the teeth, the orthodontist must remove the wires, and after the appointment, replace them. This requires multiple office visits on the same day for parents and kids, oftentimes with younger siblings in tow. With both the dentist and orthodontist in one place, cleanings are that much easier. [Read more…]

4 Most Common Questions about Retainers

Customized Alameda Pediatric Dentistry retainer

Customized Alameda Pediatric Dentistry retainer

Toward the last few months of wearing braces, kids start looking forward to the day they can once again slide their tongues across the front surfaces of their teeth and floss without those wires getting in the way. If your child has made it this far, congrats! Their braces have helped them achieve the perfect smile. Now, it’s time for a retainer to keep the pearly whites nice and straight. Here are the answers to four of the most common questions we get about retainers. [Read more…]

Learning from Lenticulars

Kids love visuals, whether they’re pictures in books or graphics to go with a lesson at school. In addition to being fun, pictures help kids to learn. While the spoken words disappear and can be forgotten, visuals give them time to process and remember.

Such is the idea behind the educational art displayed at Oakland Pediatric Dentistry. Our large, animated lenticulars, or holograms that change to other pictures as a viewer’s perspective changes, are no ordinary visuals.

Designed as part of a National Institutes for Health project with the assistance of our very own Dr. Jeremy Horst, our lenticulars give kids a better understanding of cavities and help parents feel more comfortable bringing their kids to the dentist. Our dentists and assistants refer regularly to these beautiful and interactive holograms to teach kids the basics on taking care of their own teeth.

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With multiple images that progress as one moves back and forth, the lenticular art demonstrates important subjects, such as: [Read more…]

Can You Whiten Children’s Teeth?

SmilingChildWhen it comes to children’s health, sometimes it’s best to do less and take the gentler approach. The same philosophy goes for whitening teeth. Do-it-yourself and professional whitening agents can cause tooth sensitivity, so we recommend waiting until the little ones aren’t so little before taking this cosmetic step.

The Academy of General Dentistry recommends holding off on whitening until children reach at least 14 years of age, when their tooth pulp is fully formed. This reduces the level of sensitivity. To be on the safe side, though, it’s preferable to wait until your child is 17 to 18 before giving them the green light on whitening strips.

Parents and teens sometimes worry when permanent teeth seem yellower than their baby teeth were. However, this is perfectly normal! In addition to being smaller, baby teeth are also whiter and brighter. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your teen’s permanent teeth are stained or unhealthy. Also, teens that get their braces removed may sometimes complain of whiter areas where the braces used to be. This is a common issue, as those areas, unlike the rest of the tooth, gained long-term protection from food stains.

To prevent or treat existing stains, we recommend the following: [Read more…]

5 Essential Halloween Tips for Kids with Braces

Pumpkin

Eating hard and sticky foods like candy can damage braces and wires, warns Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Cinthia Galvez, RDA. Does that mean kids who wear braces can’t enjoy treats this Halloween?

Dr. Kan recommends getting decked out in costumes, trick-or-treating along the festive neighborhood streets, then bringing all your candy back to Alameda Pediatric Dentistry for the annual buy back. If the little ones must have their fix, here are 5 Halloween tips from our trusted orthodontics team:

  1. Brush your teeth right after eating candy. If you do not have access to a toothbrush, simply rinse your mouth after eating any sweets until you are able to brush.
  2. Remember that braces are bonded to the surface of teeth and can be damaged if that bond is broken. That said, avoid hard candies, including chocolates with nuts. They can break brackets and bend wires.
  3. Avoid candy that’s sticky, such as Starburst, taffy, Tootsie Rolls, and Skittles. They stick to the teeth as you chew, creating tension on the braces and potentially loosening them.
  4. Replace candy with soft sweets like fresh fruits, fruit shakes, or frozen yogurt. If you must, the lesser of all evils would be chocolate (think Hershey’s Kisses), without any nuts, caramel or additional ingredients that would make it hard, sticky or chewy.
  5. Brush at least three times a day for 3 minutes each time!

Want an alternative to passing out candy this Halloween? Here are 20 Alternatives to Sticky Sweets.

October is Orthodontic Health Month! That’s why all our posts this month have been dedicated to the art of wearing braces.

Photo (featured): slgckcg/CC BY 2.0

How to Prevent Cavities and Staining While Wearing Braces

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Braces are a big investment that will ultimately reward your children with straighter, healthier teeth. But Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Cinthia Galvez, RDA, reminds families that straight teeth aren’t the only goal.

“We want you to have straight and non-stained teeth at the end of treatment,” Galvez says.

Because braces can be an obstacle during brushing and flossing, it’s especially important for mom and dad to make sure kids take the time to do it right, setting aside at least three minutes in the morning and after meals to brush and about 10 minutes in the evening to floss as well.

Galvez understands that the process is time consuming and that kids can sometimes be unfocused and in a rush to get it done. She recommends making it a routine. [Read more…]

Is Having a Perfect Smile the Key to Success?

PerfectSmileIn an Alameda Pediatric Dentistry blog post, “5 Hidden Benefits of Smiling,” we linked smiling to unexpected benefits like higher achievement, stress relief, immune system health, making friends, and longer lifespan.

When it comes to higher achievement, Marie Claire’s Beauty Director, Erin Flaherty, insists that a perfect smile matters. Flaherty’s recent article, “The Get-Ahead Grin,” documents her woes as an insecure schoolgirl whose overbite and crooked teeth led to unfortunate nicknames like “Bugs Bunny” and “Bucktoothed.” (One thing you can say about her name-callers, they certainly weren’t original.)

The worst part is, Flaherty’s anxieties about her teeth and appearance continued into her adult years, undermining her self-confidence on the job. Braces helped, though she found that the metal variety comes with its own set of distractions, especially for someone long past their adolescent years. [Read more…]

7 Fun Facts about Braces

bracesMoms and dads, braces have evolved since your teenage days when you rocked the metal smile! Many kids today look forward to wearing them. Here are some fun facts about braces that will help explain why:

  1. Some braces are invisible, and not because they’re clear, but because they’re inserted behind the teeth!
  2. Braces can change color. The rubber bands used with braces now come in an array of hues that can be changed with each appointment. Kids can coordinate the color of their bands with their changing moods, school colors, or even a particular holiday.
  3. The first day of wearing braces typically is the most uncomfortable, more so than at any subsequent tightening, and even those initial 24 hours are much less painful than they used to be, because… [Read more…]