Our Blog

Feelin’ Lucky This Season!

March 19th, 2018

And that’s a wrap! Another great St. Patrick’s Day in the books.  One of our favorite parts of this holiday are the values of tradition and celebration that are associated with it. For us at Dentistry for Children, tradition and celebration are an everyday occurrence, and we love that we get the opportunity to share it with our patients. So how exactly do we combine the worlds of our traditions with those of St. Patrick’s Day? Let us indulge you!

We’re all about inclusiveness, so on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is an "honorary Irish." From green all over to shamrocks, and Irish soda bread to cheerful smiles - we love to include all of our doctors and patients in the celebration. Meals, music, and fun activities bring people together, so we like to incorporate that into our office to foster a sense family. Additionally, we have a tradition we like to call “Tell – Show – Do.” It’s a child-friendly model that explains what the appointment will include and shows the patients and parents what the plan of action of is and the instruments that we’ll be using. We then provide excellent dental care to ensure big healthy smiles!

Just as the leprechauns are aiming to get that elusive pot of gold, our office is looking to obtain our goal, too: Educate to Eliminate! Dr. Maher’s aims to mirror her campaign as President of the Delaware State Dental Society where our team will educate parents, children, medical providers, and facilities on the importance of dental care and cavity prevention. We’re confident in achieving our goal because back in January, our team was able to participate in the Health and Wellness Expo at the Chase Center in Wilmington, DE where we were able to get dental health and cavity prevention information out to the community in a fun and engaging forum. If we could do that, this month’s goal is in the bag!

Speaking of dental health, be sure to avoid an overabundance of gummy candies and sugary drinks. These treats  can cause cavities to appear, and that is the last thing we want for you, so be sure to floss and brush regularly to ensure you keep that beautiful smile!

So from our office to you, we hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and may you have a wonderful spring season!

Amalgam Fillings vs. White Fillings

March 14th, 2018

Many varieties of fillings are available at our Wilmington, DE office. Most people are familiar with traditional amalgam fillings: those big silver spots on top of teeth.

Made from a mixture of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and mercury, amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities for more than 100 years. They offer several advantages, including:

  • High durability for large cavities or cavities on molars
  • Quick hardening time for areas that are difficult to keep dry during placement
  • Reduced placement time for children and special-needs patients who may have a difficult time keeping still during treatment

Although dental amalgam is a safe and commonly used dental material, you might wonder about its mercury content. You should know that when it’s combined with the other metals, mercury forms a safe, stable material.

The American Dental Association, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U. S. Food and Drug Administration, and World Health Organization all agree that based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is a safe and effective cavity-filling material.

White Fillings

Newer, mercury-free, resin-based composite fillings (white fillings) are also available at our Wilmington, DE office. Composite resin fillings are made from plastic mixed with powdered glass to make them stronger.

Resin-based fillings offer several benefits for patients, including:

  • They match the color of teeth
  • Less tooth structure needs to be removed than with amalgam fillings
  • BPA-free materials can be used

Resin-based composite fillings also have some disadvantages, including:

  • Higher cost than amalgam fillings
  • Inlays may take more than one visit
  • Requires more time to place than amalgam fillings

There’s a lot to think about when you have to get a cavity filled. We recommend you do your homework and speak with Dr. Rachel Maher before deciding what’s best for you or your family.

Energy and Sports Drinks Eat Away at Teeth, Study Says

March 7th, 2018

Sports and energy drinks cause irreversible damage to the teeth of teens and young adults. A recent study published in General Dentistry states that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they begin destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, an estimated 30 percent to 50 percent of U.S. teenagers consume energy drinks and as many as 62 percent consume at least one sports drink per day. The high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel and the result is irreversible damage.

Dr. Rachel Maher and our team at Dentistry for Children encourage our patients to limit their intake of sports drinks. The enamel erosion ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria and that can lead to hypersensitivity, staining, and tooth decay. If you do consume an energy or sports drink, make sure to wait at least 45 minutes until you brush, as consumption of acidic drinks causes tooth enamel to soften, making teeth more vulnerable to wear from the abrasives found in toothpaste.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. It’s also preventable with proper care. Dr. Rachel Maher and our team can help identify early signs of erosion and offer solutions on how to prevent further damage and more serious problems from occurring.

Baby Teeth and Cavities

February 28th, 2018

We know how frustrating it can be to discover your child has one or more cavities when you come to visit Dentistry for Children. There are several ways to prevent baby teeth from forming cavities due to decay. Not to worry: If your child does develop a cavity on a baby tooth, Dr. Rachel Maher can help take care of the problem.

Let’s look at how cavities on your little one’s teeth can be prevented from developing in the first place. Most often, children suffer decay from eating sugary foods. You may think, “My child doesn’t eat lots of candy!” In truth, fruits and juices have plenty of natural sugars that can break down teeth if they aren’t brushed thoroughly.

A well-balanced diet that includes calcium and phosphorous is necessary to keep your child’s oral health in a good state. If your son or daughter drinks juice, avoid giving it before bedtime and dilute the juice with water. Good options for snacks include vegetables, low-sugar yogurt or dairy products, and plenty of milk for healthy teeth.

Another excellent preventive strategy consists of scheduling regular appointments with Dr. Rachel Maher for your child. Between your youngster’s annual cleanings, make sure he or she brushes and flosses every day. It’s worthwhile for your little one to brush thoroughly for at least two minutes to remove any decay or plaque that has accumulated in the mouth, especially before bedtime.

Brushing Techniques

  • Move the brush both back and forth, and in circular gentle strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, inside surfaces, and chewing surfaces of all teeth.
  • Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Brush the tongue to remove excess bacteria and keep breath fresh.

It’s not always possible to prevent cavities from appearing in your son or daughter’s mouth. If your child does develop a cavity, our staff will notify you during the regular scheduled cleaning.

The cavity will need to be eliminated, even when it appears on a baby tooth. Our staff will remove the decayed part of the tooth and fill in the hole so your child doesn’t have to experience any pain.

You may wonder why a baby tooth has to be fixed if it is eventually going to fall out. Baby teeth hold spaces where your child’s permanent teeth have to grow in. If the former aren’t taken care of, multiple teeth may shift and the permanent ones won’t be able to grow in properly.

If you still have questions or concerns about your child’s baby teeth, or notice signs of a cavity, please don’t hesitate to contact our Wilmington, DE office and schedule an appointment. Remember, preventive steps can be taken to avoid bothersome cavities from forming in your child’s mouth.