Creating Healthy Smiles, One Smile At A Time

Monthly Archives: May 2013

Go Bruins!

Yep – at the risk of tempting fate (since the Flyers in 2010 did come back against the Bruins after losing the first 3 games), we’re going to say with some degree of confidence that the New York Rangers don’t have a chance of beating the Bruins. Our patient William is a believer too, and has a haircut to prove it!

Can we say Stanley Cup?


ImageThe American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is holding it’s annual conference this week, down in sunny Orlando, Florida.  Dr’s Karen and Griffith are attending this meeting, which at over 4000 attendees, is the single largest gathering in the United States, of pediatric dentists and affiliated professionals in one place. The conference is a mix of scientific symposiums, research lectures, updates on the latest technology, governance sessions, exhibits and social gatherings. 

For those of you who don’t know, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is the membership organization representing the specialty of Pediatric Dentistry.  It’s a little like how the American Academy of Pediatrics represents all pediatricians.

We are often asked about our profession, and what it means to be a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist. Pediatric dentistry is one of the nine recognized dental specialties of the American Dental Association. After four years of dental school, Pediatric dentists complete an additional two to three years of specialized training (usually in a Hospital based program) to prepare them for treating a wide variety of children’s dental problems. We are also trained and qualified to care for patients with significant medical, physical or mental disabilities and special needs.

After residency, we are then qualified  to become Board Certified Pediatric Dentists. To become Board Certified, one has to pass both a written examination and an oral examination.  We also have to be in good standing with our State Dental Licensing Boards, and be members of the American Dental Association.  Furthermore, there are annual continuing education, self evaluations and licensing requirements that need to be met in order to maintain our certification.  This vigorous oversight is done to ensure that all Board Certified Pediatric Dentists meet a high standard of care.  The American Board of Pediatric Dentistry is charged with ensuring that we meet these requirements.

So next time you’re asked about your pediatric dentist, you’ll know a little bit more about how it is that they came to be one.


Even Monsters wear their retainers!

We are big fans of the movies here at Dentistry For Children, so imagine our delight when we found out that not only is there a new “Monsters” movie soon to be released, but that Mike Wazowski continues to wear his retainer while in college.

Mind you, Mike Wazowski’s dentition leaves much to be desired, but we suppose, for a monster, he has a perfect occlusion.

A mantra that we repeat to all of our orthodontic patients is that we can straighten your teeth, but to maintain their alignment, retainers need to be worn on a consistent basis. If not worn, teeth have a tendency to shift back to their original positions, which in many cases, can lead to crowding and rotated teeth. The short of it? Wear your retainers as directed by your orthodontist and enjoy a lifetime of compliments on your smile.

Now that’s something even Mike Wazowski won’t argue with.

Smile! by Rene Telgemeier

Looking for a good read? Here’s a fabulous, fun and simply enjoyable graphic novel suitable for all ages (especially middle-school children). It follows the trials and tribulations of Raina, a sixth grader, who injures her front teeth and undergoes orthodontic treatment. This coming of age story has a little bit of everything – earthquakes, boy confusion, friendship dilemmas, braces, and a kind dentist who in the end, gives Raina something to smile about.

Dentistry For Children gives this book 2 thumbs up for a realistic, and fun portrayal of orthodontics and dental treatment. A certain 10 year old daughter of a pediatric dentist finished the book in one night and raved about it to her friends.


Is cleaning your child’s pacifier by sucking on it a wise idea?

A new study being released this week in the journal Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics), looks at the role of pacifier cleaning and the risk of developing allergies.

(Click here for a news report :


This Swedish study, which looked at 184 infants between the ages of 18 and 36 months, reports that infants whose parents sucked on their pacifiers to clean them developed fewer allergies than children whose parents typically rinsed or boiled them. They also had lower rates of eczema, fewer signs of asthma and smaller amounts of a type of white blood cell that rises in response to allergies and other disorders.  The author’s hypothesize that the presence of bacteria, be it from the parent’s mouth, or from the environment, helps  promote the development of a healthy immune system, which does not over react to trivial allergens.  Our bodies over reaction to ‘trivial’ allergens such as pollen and peanuts is what leads to allergies.

As pediatric dentists, we have always recommended that parents NOT clean their infants pacifiers by sucking on them.  Our concern, which has been demonstrated in many scientific studies, is that the bacteria known to cause cavities, streptococcus mutans, can be passed from a caregivers mouth to the child’s mouth.  This can be done through the sharing of utensils, toothbrushes and the cleaning of pacifiers through sucking.  The rule of thumb is that ‘cavities’ can be passed on from a parent to a child through the exchange of saliva.

So what should one make of this new Swedish study?  Well, it’s only one study, and though it presents an intriguing premise, further additional studies need to be done to confirm it’s findings.  The study does lead into the more interesting general question that society’s overall phobia against germs may be doing us some harm, and that the proliferation of anti-bacterial soaps, purell etc… is leading to changes in our immune system.  What comes of this study remains to be seen.

For now, I think we’ll continue to recommend that the only person sucking on a pacifier should be your infant.