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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
      Call: 308-436-3491           

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Remember tooth decay is a bacterial disease....brushing, flossing and seeing your dentist  can help prevent the spread of this disease.

  The biggest change in oral health in the past 50 years for children is that overall fewer children have cavities. 

How can parents help their children develop good oral health habits for a lifetime?

First is by starting dental visits at an early age.  The American Dental Association recommends parents take their children to visit their dentist by their childís first birthday.  The reason for this is:


The fact that primary (baby) teeth are very important to your childís health for chewing, speaking and appearance.  


These teeth are also needed to help hold space in their jaws for their permanent teeth.  

During this first visit we can check for cavities and other possible problems.  We can also teach you how to properly clean your childís teeth.  Furthermore this is a good time to develop a good relationship between your child and Dr. Peterson BEFORE dental problems occur.  

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Contrary to A.D.A.ís teaching fifty years ago to brush your childís teeth after every meal, today the A.D.A. recommendation is to brush twice a day and floss daily.  

When your child's teeth start to appear, you can begin to massage the emerging teeth and gums with your finger or with a warm, wet washcloth.

Parents should start flossing their childrenís teeth as soon as any two teeth touch because this is an area where a toothbrush canít reach.  You would not let your child only wash two thirds of their body and leave the other one third dirty.  Yet this happens daily when children only brush their teeth and not floss.  One third of their teeth or the equivalency of six of their teeth are left dirty every day.  Parents can be an active part of this process to act as good dental role models.

As permanent teeth come in sealants need to be applied to molars, where decay most often occurs.  Dental sealants are a clear material applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to act as barriers to protect these teeth from bacterial and acid attack which destroy tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay.

Fluoride is one of the most effective agents for preventing tooth decay.  Children who do not drink fluorinated water need to see their dentist to have him identify their fluoride needs.  The reason for this is that children who drink water containing fluoride on an average have up to fifty percent fewer cavities. 

We can provide fluoride supplements for your children along with fluoride treatments at their appointment.  These dental check ups need to accord twice a year to not only have their fluoride needs evaluated but to also check their teeth for decay and alignment to make sure their new teeth come in properly.

If some cavities are detected soon enough a new technique called Air Abrasion can be used to remove this decay without the need for local anesthesia (shots).  However some dental procedures still require your dentist to administer anesthesia to control your childís pain or anxiety.  

Millions of children are treated safely each day in dental offices that safely provide sedation to children to make their visits as safe and comfortable as possible.  If you donít understand our recommendations for your childís oral health treatment, do not be afraid to ask for more information, you are your childís best advocate.  

If your child is involved in sports please talk to us about a protective mouth guard that can  help prevent tooth loss, trauma to jaw joints and injured gum tissue.

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Remember positive dental attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in helping your child maintain good oral health throughout life.  

Caries in primary teeth predict future decay

 Children with tooth decay in their primary dentition are nearly three times more likely to have decay in their permanent teeth, according to an eight-year study . In the study of 362  children aged 3 to 5 years old, 85 percent who had caries on their primary molars showed at least one decayed permanent tooth in a follow-up examination . In contrast, 83 percent of the children who exhibited no caries in their primary teeth remained decay-free until at least age 12. The authors of the study suggest that children with caries in their primary dentition should be considered as high risk cases for decay in permanent teeth, increasing the importance of dental sealants and fluoride treatments for decay prevention. This recommendation is consistent with a recent recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calling for broader community efforts to reduce tooth decay by extending water fluoridation and dental sealants to more children and adults (Today's News Aug. 29, CDC recommends expanding water fluoridation, dental sealant use). The results of the Chinese study are published the August issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

September 14, 2007

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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