Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta Explains Child & Teen Dental Care

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Last month Dr. Wesley Powell, top pediatric dentist in Atlanta, shared his advice for infant and toddler dental care. Now we’re moving on to the complex oral health needs for school age children, pre-teens, and teenagers. Dr. Powell is an expert with years of experience helping babies, children, and teens with their dental needs. Read on to learn more about the common dental issues that occur as kids grow up.

 

Children experience rapid dental progress throughout their school years. The first and most obvious change is that the baby teeth fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. By the time your child reaches kindergarten or first grade, they should be able to brush and floss their own teeth. They usually still require assistance or supervision, but this is a good age to urge them towards a bit more independence in terms of oral health care. It’s very important to establish twice daily routines of brushing and flossing before the permanent teeth come in.

 

Children usually receive their first dental X-rays between the ages of five and eight, which allows Dr. Powell, Atlanta pediatric dentist, to evaluate their dental progression. X-rays will reveal cavities and tooth decay. If tooth decay is a concern, the dentist may opt to apply dental sealants over the baby or permanent teeth. Cavities are a big concern at this age, and some children may need to come in frequently to have cavities removed and fillings applied. Even the best brushing and flossing can’t always prevent every cavity, but Dr. Powell will be able to advise on the cause and treatments to stop more cavities from forming.

 

X-rays will also allow your childrens’ dentist in Atlanta to see if permanent teeth are emerging straight or crooked. Dr. Powell encourages parents to schedule their child’s first orthodontic evaluation at age seven, in accordance with the recommendations of the American Association of Orthodontists. Early evaluation can lead to early detection of any misaligned teeth, and early treatment can prevent or lessen the need for additional, more intensive treatments later on in life. Some pediatric dentists require that you see a separate orthodontist for braces, but Dr. Powell offers both services. Having one dentist monitor your child’s progression and handle all treatments ensures a comprehensive, informed plan for optimal oral and dental health.

 

The teenage years have their own unique set of dental needs. This is largely because appearance becomes more important in adolescence, making pre-teens and teens more aware of their teeth. Braces may be a necessary burden that they hate, or a requested procedure by a teen looking to improve their smile.

 

Athletic mouthguards may be needed at this stage, as well as repair or replacement of teeth damaged while playing sports. Some teens may wish to have teeth whitening treatments, but it is usually recommended that they stick to gentle at-home treatments. The last big dental care issue of the teenage years tends to be the emergence and removal of wisdom teeth. This tends to happen in the late teens or early twenties. Depending on how the teeth are coming in, how much room there is in the mouth, and the level of pain, Dr. Powell may recommend having some or all of the wisdom teeth removed. His office offers sedation dentistry to make the procedure as easy and painless as possible.

 

Dr. Powell, your pediatric dentist in Atlanta, is available to help with cavities, braces, or wisdom teeth removal. Contact the Northlake Mall location by calling 770-934-5900, or reach the Buckhead location at 404-252-5900.

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta Explains Baby & Toddler Dental Care

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Every child grows at their own pace, but dental care for kids tends to follow a predictable timeline. Your pediatric dentist in Atlanta, Dr. Wesley Powell, is an expert at appropriate oral health and dental care for babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers. Read on for an estimated schedule of dental milestones, and oral care tips for the infant, baby, and toddler years. Check back next month for tips about child and teen dental care!

 

Infant Dental Care

The first tooth won’t arrive until a baby is around three to four months old, but oral care begins right away. Parents should use water and gauze or a soft washcloth to gently wipe baby’s gums clean after meals. This should also be done at the end of each day, so bacteria doesn’t linger while the baby is sleeping. If you are bottle feeding your baby, don’t ever put them to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. It’s best to skip the bottle entirely at bedtime, but if he or she needs it to sleep, you can fill it with water. This remains true through the toddler and childhood years, after many kids have switched over to sippy cups.

 

The first visit to your Atlanta pediatric dentist should occur when the first tooth emerges, or by your child’s first birthday – whichever comes first. You can continue to use the washcloth to gently clean the new teeth, and switch to toddler-formulated toothpaste and a brush when they get a little older. Parents should look into whether their city adds fluoride to tap water; if not, they may want to buy fluoridated water or request fluoride drops from their pediatric dentist. Atlanta residents can see Dr. Powell for further suggestions on proper care for baby teeth.

 

Toddler Dental Care

Parents will need to brush children’s teeth for them until they have the focus and manual dexterity required to do it on their own. There are many fun toothbrushes that appeal to children, including those featuring bright colors and favorite cartoon characters. There are even some with timers that play songs! The ideal brush will have a small head, soft bristles, and a large body that little hands can grip easily.

 

Use a pea-sized drop of toddler or children’s toothpaste, and gently clean the teeth and gums. Flossing is not necessary until enough teeth have emerged that some touch one another. Floss gently between teeth, and explain to children that this is an important part of the routine. Do this each morning and night, and supervise little ones once they are ready to do it themselves. This is the best time to start weaning children off of pacifiers, as well as the use of bottles or sippy cups at night.

 

Next month we will delve into appropriate dental care for kids and teens. Dr. Powell, your children’s dentist in Atlanta, is available to help with first dental appointments and everything that follows. Contact the Northlake Mall location by calling 770-934-5900, or reach the Buckhead location at 404-252-5900.

 

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta Explains Top 5 Reasons Children Can Have Bad Breath

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If children have bad breath, it’s usually safe to assume they haven’t been brushing like they should. In a perfect world, you can send kids to the bathroom to brush their teeth, maybe follow them to make sure they actually brush, and all would be well.

While a lack of brushing is a common cause, life might not be that easy. When brushing doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to see your local pediatric dentist in Atlanta. Bad breath isn’t always an oral problem, believe it or not. In this post I’ll go through 5 common reasons children can have bad breath, other than simply forgetting to brush.

 

  1. Clogged Nose

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but a child’s bad breath might be caused by something they stuck up their nose. A bean or coin stuck up in the nasal passage can create quite the smell. We recommend asking the child if they’ve tried to stick anything up there recently, and see a doctor if they have – you probably won’t be able to get it with tweezers or by hand. If anything, you might lodge the foreign object higher in the nasal cavity.

 

  1. Sinus Infection

Sinus infections are another nose-related issue that don’t warrant a trip to your children’s dentist in Atlanta. sinus infections cause fluid to build up which can cause a foul odor that can’t be solved with brushing or mouthwash.

A good clue is if the child recently complained about a sore throat, sensitive teeth, or a runny nose. If they aren’t feeling better in a few days, and have bad breath, it’s probably time to see a doctor. You may also notice that your child will have a harder time discerning tastes, or may want to eat richer or spicier foods than usual.

 

  1. Infected Tonsils

This is one that you can often diagnose at home – just grab a flashlight and look at the child’s mouth! It’s optional to hold your nose if the breath is extra smelly. How do the tonsils look? They should be pink and spot free, but if you see spotted red and white ones that looked inflamed, it’s time for a doctor’s visit. The infection, paired with bacteria using the tonsils for a free ride, create the bad breath smell.

 

  1. Dry Mouth

We all wish it were different, but children really aren’t all that great at taking care of themselves consistently. Kids participating in sports are at a higher risk of getting dry mouth – they don’t drink the required amount of fluids, and in turn the body can’t produce enough saliva. You won’t need to make an emergency visit to Dr. Powell, Atlanta pediatric dentist, or even the doctor’s office if it is caught early. Just focus on hydration breaks and making sure the child gets enough water during sports, outdoor play, or even indoor play when it’s particularly hot out.

 

  1. Tooth Decay

Now this one is a little more serious, and we do recommend getting your pediatric dentist in Atlanta involved. Even if a child brushes and uses mouthwash several times a day, it won’t help if tooth decay has already started to set in. It could come as a cavity or even gum disease, it doesn’t matter – this is the time to make a trip to the dentist’s office.

Even though bad breath is associated with the mouth, it’s not always caused by bad brushing habits. We recommend taking a closer look at the possible culprits before booking your appointment. Or, give us a call, and we can walk you through the common options and let you know if a dental visit is advised. We’re available by phone at (770) 934-5900.

Safety Storing Your Family’s Toothbrush from a Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta

 

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Everyone knows they’re supposed to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Most people also know that they should replace their toothbrush every three months or so. But how often do people stop to think about where they should keep their toothbrush?

In this post, we’re going to discuss how you can safely store your family’s toothbrushes. Simply brushing daily isn’t enough. As an example – you expect your car to keep you safe, right? To ensure that, you keep it clean and functioning with regular maintenance. The same concept should be applied to your bathroom – a dirty toothbrush is a nest for germs, and it could mean an unexpected visit to your Atlanta pediatric dentist if you’re not careful.

  1. Fresh Air

Your toothbrush has something in common with your family – everyone needs fresh air to stay healthy. In your toothbrushes’ case, fresh air helps it to dry faster. Wet or damp toothbrushes lead to unhappy families – microbes and germs absolutely love damp conditions. Ask your pediatric dentist in Atlanta all about it if the kids don’t believe you.

A simple toothbrush holder is perfect, as it exposes the brushes to open air and lets them dry quickly. We recommend against closed containers, because they keep the toothbrushes damp. You should also be wary of medicine cabinets. They can be fine as long as there’s sufficient air flow, but it’s recommended that you clean the medicine cabinet every few months to prevent bacterial growth.

  1. Location, Location, Location

Where you place the toothbrush is a very important decision – even more than just if the toothbrush stays damp or dry. I recommend keeping your family’s toothbrushes far away from both the toilet and the sink.

After you flush the toilet (depending on the model) it can create the aerosol effect. Basically, this means that germs can waft up from the toilet after you’ve finished your business – keep your toothbrush far away! No one wants to have a toothbrush contaminated with anything that goes into – or comes out of – the toilet.

It’s also a wise move to keep all toothbrushes away from the sink. The soap and dirty water that splashes around, especially when kids are involved, isn’t healthy for your teeth. Some families keep their toothbrushes in the kitchen, but this isn’t generally much better. Trash, dirt, and food particles can all deposit themselves on the brush – especially if it’s placed near the garbage disposal.

  1. Sharing Isn’t Caring

Sharing a toothbrush is more than just disgusting – it can make you sick. The family already brushes their teeth regularly, so don’t sabotage the effort by sharing toothbrushes.

Instead, I recommend that each family member has a different distinct color or style so no one is confused. In addition, don’t let toothbrushes touch each other in the holder, because they can share bacteria! Another tip to consider is keeping toothbrushes away from small children and pets. Both have a tendency to chew, lick, or otherwise play with anything in their vicinity. This is a great way for infections to spread from one person to another, or to just get a mouthful of doggie drool.

The humble toothbrush is an important part of keeping your mouth clean and healthy. The next time you stop by and see your local board-certified childrens dentist in Atlanta, I recommend asking Dr. Powell about the proper way to store your family’s toothbrushes. After all, no one has the time to make an emergency visit to the dentist or hospital due to germs on their toothbrush. Anyone seeking a pediatric dentist in Atlanta can reach Dentistry for Children and Teens by phone at (770) 934-5900.

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta: Tips to Help Care for Baby’s Teeth

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Having a baby can really be the best of times and the worst of times. Between baby-proofing the house, learning to cook with veggies, and keeping track of immunizations, the last thing many parents think about is a newborn’s dental health. After all, they don’t even have any teeth yet!

 

Little ones having their first checkup can visit Dr. Powell, Atlanta pediatric dentist – Dr. Powell, of Dentistry for Children and Teens. He’s the most trusted board certified pediatric dentist in Atlanta, and his practice is the best in the area. He and Dr. Sheh, the other pediatric dentist at Dentistry for Children and Teens, are experts in the oral health of children from infancy through adolescence. They know that the best time to start planning for baby’s oral health is before their first tooth even shows up, and they know the unique ways that infant oral care must be handled. Read on for further tips on how to best care for baby teeth.

 

Avoid Tooth Decay Early

 

You probably already knew that you don’t need to brush or floss a baby’s teeth like you would my own, but did you know that infants can get baby bottle tooth decay? It’s caused by frequent exposure to sugar, but don’t be fooled into thinking soda is the only culprit. Fruit juice, formulas and even milk contain sugar that can pool around the infant’s teeth and gums, and eventually cause cavities.

 

There’s no need to drop all of those drinks like a hot potato. Just make sure that the infant doesn’t fall asleep with a bottle of fruit juice or other sugary drinks in their mouth. If they need something to suck on to fall asleep, no problem. A bottle filled with water or a pacifier will thwart any nasty surprises when you visit your local pediatric dentist in Atlanta. Pacifiers aren’t usually an oral health concern, although they can sometimes increase the odds of a baby developing oral thrush. Be sure to tell your dentist that your baby sleeps with a pacifier, and stop the practice before permanent teeth begin to arrive (around ages 5-7).

 

Fluoride – The Unsung Hero

 

Everyone knows fluoride helps prevent tooth decay;  that’s why the government started mixing it in with tap water. What many don’t know is that fluoride can help infants even before they get their first tooth. Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel even as teeth are forming. An infant getting fluoride from day one may not help the pain of teething, but it will definitely help keep cavities at bay.

 

The only catch is that not all municipalities put in enough, or even any, fluoride in tap water. What if there isn’t enough in the water? When you visit the local childrens dentist in Atlanta, you can inquire about fluoride drops. You can give them to infants daily to help them grow strong healthy teeth. Follow Dr. Powell’s advice and visit Dentistry for Children and Teens regularly throughout your child’s life. This is the best way to ensure that they develop a bright, white, healthy smile that will last them a lifetime!

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta, GA Gives Dental Emergency Tips

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Young children often fall, scrape their knees, and get bruised. We may recognize to put on a bandage or use ice in these scenarios, but feel stumped when it comes to dental injuries. It is not uncommon for a child to experience a dental injury or emergency. Dr. Powell is a certified plastic surgeon and pediatric dentist in Atlanta GA who will expertly guide you through your child’s dental injury.

There are various potential injuries or painful dental experiences that may arise for your child. Common occurrences are toothaches, tooth displacements, root fractures, and dental concussions. Depending on the level of emergency and type of injury, your Atlanta pediatric dentist will be happy to cater a treatment plan that is comfortable for both you and your child.

Here are some at home, quick remedies you can apply before contacting your Atlanta children’s dentist:

Toothaches are fairly common in children and can be relieved with diligent care. Carefully cleanse the affected area with warm water and remove any food particles from the surrounding areas. Apply a cold compress to bring down swelling symptoms and contact a dental professional for a thorough evaluation.

Tooth displacement ranks slightly higher on the emergency-level scale. If your child has experienced a trauma that has caused one or more teeth to be displaced partially or completely from the socket, there are steps you can take to ease the pain and aid recovery. Apply a cold compress on the affected area and offer your child a pediatrician-approved pain relief medication such as Children’s Tylenol. Contact your dental professional or seek emergency room assistance within an immediate timeframe from the incident.

Root fractures are caused by a trauma in the mouth but are not noticeable by simply looking at the tooth. Root fracture identification requires an x-ray evaluation, but if your child is experiencing post-trauma pain it is a likely possibility. To treat, place a cold compress on the injured area, offer pediatrician-approved pain medication, and contact your dental care provider or an emergency room.

Dental concussions are teeth that have been bumped or knocked but have not been removed from their socket. It is an injury common amongst toddlers and may cause the tooth to appear discolored temporarily or permanently, depending on severity. If the tooth turns black, it is likely a sign of root decay and would require emergency medical attention. Aside from the tooth turning black, dental concussions do not require any immediate medical treatment, but should be monitored and your pediatric dentist should be contacted.

Generally, when a dental injury is present, all steps lead to evaluation by a dental care professional to assess whether further treatment options need to be taken. These at-home treatments will help ease your child’s pain and bridge the gap between the time of injury and the visit with your pediatric dentist in Atlanta, GA.

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta, GA, Discusses Teen Dental Health

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Though dental health is always important, it is during our teen years that the stage is set for the teeth we will have for the rest of our lives. Dr. Wesley Powell, pediatric dentist in Atlanta, GA, reviews some of the most common dental problems that teens can encounter.

There are dental health issues that can become a serious problem if dental hygiene is not maintained properly, or if risky behavior is engaged in during this stage of life. Proper dental health can be facilitated by visiting a qualified dental specialist, such as Dr. Powell at Dentistry for Children and Teens, and by taking preventative measures to protect adult teeth.

Dr. Powell is an Atlanta pediatric dentist who is qualified to work on these issues, which include braces application, wisdom teeth removal, and addressing the dental repercussions of smoking or drug use. Visit your Atlanta children’s dentist to have your child or teen checked for dental and gum health, as well as teeth and jaw alignment. Braces may be suggested if your teen has a bite that is not straight. The bite and alignment problems can make it uncomfortable or difficult to chew and speak properly, as well as put a strain on the jaw. Braces will align the bite, and can be completed before all adult teeth have come in.

Often overlooked, but just as important, is gum health. Visit a pediatric dentist in Atlanta, GA – such as Dr. Powell – to learn more about the importance of gum health and proper flossing and brushing methods. Ideally, you can begin promoting good dental hygiene in childhood. Many teens are distracted, busy, or forgetful, though, so they may need reminders. Regular visits to the dentist will help you and your teen stay on top of any potential health issues resulting from poor oral hygiene. Make sure your teen also understands the importance of eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep.

Wisdom teeth can generally be expected to come in between the ages of 17-21. Some people will have sufficient room for the teeth to grow in entirely, not requiring oral surgery, while others will cause severe issues if not extracted. If your teen is on track to have limited room in their mouth, it is likely that their dental professional will suggest extraction of some or all wisdom teeth as soon as they come in. This will help to prevent problems with shifting of the other teeth.

Instances of smoking and drug use can peak in the teen years, but the effects of these habits can last long into adulthood. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco present serious risks to oral health, including damage to teeth, gums, and the tissue inside the mouth. It also discolors teeth and causes halitosis (bad breath). The use of other, more serious drugs, like crystal meth, can cause severe tooth decay, fracturing, acid erosion, and loss of teeth. Be sure to inform your teen about both the health risks and cosmetic repercussions of smoking and drug use.

If you have any concerns about your child or teen’s dental health, contact Dr. Powell at Dentistry for Children and Teens today.

Top Five Concerns Treated by Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta GA

Top 5 Pediatric Dental Concerns

A healthy smile is invaluable for any patient, but most especially for children. It is important to identify and address any potential issues right away, because minor problems that present during childhood can turn into major problems later if left untreated. Dr. Wesley Powell, pediatric dentist in Atlanta GA, explains what to look out for and how each condition is treated.

Fear of the Dentist

Fear of the dentist is not specific to children; many adults put off routine cleanings due to their own fear of the dentist. If your child is afraid of the dentist, let your dental care team know so they can help your child overcome this fear. If this problem is not corrected early on, it can become debilitating in later years, and potentially lead to irreparable emotional and physical damage for your child.

Toothaches

Toothaches in children can be signs of major dental problems. Infected gums, decayed or fractured teeth, damaged fillings, and other dental traumas can all be sources of tooth pain. If your child complains of tooth pain, treat the issue with home remedies and keep an eye on the situation. If your child’s face is swollen or the pain cannot be controlled, you should contact your pediatric dentist right away.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries likes bites to the tongue and cheeks can be painful and irritating, but typically are not major problems. Apply ice to sore areas, and use gauze to soak up and stop bleeding. If your child is still hurting badly, use a children’s pain reliever to treat. And again, if the problem persists and the bite mark is not healing, call your Atlanta children’s dentist to schedule an appointment.

Missing Teeth

Most children lose their baby teeth starting at age of six or seven. If your child has a permanent tooth knocked out, or a permanent tooth falls out on its own for any reason, you should call your Atlanta pediatric dentist right away. There are several treatment methods for missing permanent teeth, but time can be of the essence in treating this issue.

Improperly Aligned Teeth

Improper alignment of teeth is one of the biggest concerns for many parents. If treated early in childhood, some patients may be able to avoid braces and other painful or extensive treatments. Your child should be seen by the dentist starting at two to three years of age. Regular cleanings and maintenance appointments are imperative. Problems with teeth and jaw alignment should be corrected as soon as possible to stave off major orthodontia expenses in later years.
If you have kids, and you’re in the area, Dr. Wesley Powell is your best choice for a pediatric dentist in Atlanta GA. Learn more by visiting childteen.com or calling (770) 934-5900 today.

Pediatric Dentist in Atlanta GA: How to Help Your Child Love Their Braces

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Braces can be both exciting and traumatizing for anyone, but this is especially true for kids and teens. It is not unusual for adolescents to become self-conscious about their appearance after getting braces. Their peers might make fun of them, and laugh at how they look or how they talk. Dr. Wesley Powell is an experienced pediatric dentist in Atlanta GA who has the history and know-how to help  children and teenagers overcome their negative feelings about their braces. Here are his top 3 tips:

1: Make the Occasion Special

Parents should take advantage of the situation and celebrate braces as a rite of passage for their child. Treat it as an important sign of growing up, and make a bit of a fuss over them. A party or trip somewhere special afterwards will help kids look forward to the big day. Mom and dad should make a big deal about it, take before and after pictures, buy their child a cool new outfit, or perhaps even give teens a later curfew or higher allowance – further supporting the idea that it’s a part of getting older. Older and younger children alike will enjoy receiving presents for the occasion, and kids of all ages appreciate learning about favorite celebrities and athletes that currently have or have had braces.

2: Let Them Personalize Their Braces

A great way for parents to make their children excited about getting braces is to allow them to personalize their look. Basic silver braces will almost always repel children away. Today, there are several options of braces to choose from— you will find that any good Atlanta pediatric dentist will offer numerous colors and designs to choose from. Children can choose shapes like hearts, stars and even footballs. Favorite colors can be used for different components of the braces. You can even find braces that feature their favorite characters! Let children select the braces that best fit their look and personality. When it becomes their decision they are much more likely to feel comfortable and confident about their braces.

3: Be Patient and Accommodating

Last but not least, an experienced Atlanta children’s dentist will advise parents to be patient with their children. Braces come with their own set of do’s and don’ts. Children might have to give up on favorite foods and activities, which can be a great disappointment. Explain the reasoning behind the changes, and work with your child to make gradual adjustments. If a child loves eating something that should be avoided, seek an alternative that doesn’t create problems with their braces. Kids with braces shouldn’t eat chewy caramel, for example, but smooth caramel and chocolate treats aren’t a problem. In the beginning, parents should focus on easy alternatives, and then gradually work to limit sweets and unhealthy foods.

These are just a few tips to help kids become more comfortable with their braces. Look online for additional ideas, or contact Dr. Wesley Powell, an accomplished and professional pediatric dentist in Atlanta GA, for more suggestions.