By Annelise Hardin, DDS
May 07, 2020
Category: Dental Health
Tags: Cavity  

Concerned that your child may have a cavity? Here at South Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, your dentists, Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody, can help diagnose this issue and provide relief—read on to learn more.

What causes cavities?

Bacteria does. It multiplies in the plaque and tartar that collects on and around teeth. When not completely removed by brushing and flossing, the bacteria begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Over time, a hole (i.e. cavity) forms.

If undetected, a cavity invades soft inner pulp and nerves and may lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic health problems in children, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). However, it is preventable and treatable with help from our Chapel Hill office.

Treating a cavity

Dr. Woody or Dr. Hardin detect decay during an oral exam. She can see it on the surface of the tooth or uncover it with digital X-ray imaging.

Cavities change the color of a child's tooth. Dark brown spots usually indicate decay, and your dentist will gently probe the area to detect changes in surface texture. Interestingly, decay may appear initially as a white spot, indicating the start of a cavity.

To restore the tooth to full health, your dentist may use the innovative Waterlase iPlus laser. This handheld instrument gently removes the decayed enamel without the need for anesthetic.

Small cavities on primary or adult teeth respond well to the Waterlase while larger areas of decay require specialized tools. Either way, composite resin is the material of choice to fill these cavities. It's natural-looking in color and sheen, requires less enamel removal than amalgam, and lasts for years.

Preventing cavities

Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily must begin early. Parents should help their very young children with these oral hygiene habits and supervise youngsters until the age of ten.

In-office preventive care adds a layer of extra protection. Women's Health reports that toothbrush and floss may miss up to 30 percent of harmful plaque, so bring your child to South Village Pediatric Dentistry every six months beginning at age one or when the first baby tooth arrives.

Learn more at South Village Pediatric Dentistry

We want your child to have a healthy, beautiful smile for life. Call Dr. Annelise Hardin or Dr. Shauna Woody in their Chapel Hill, NC, office for more ways to avoid cavities: (919) 967-2773.

By Annelise Hardin, DDS
February 21, 2020

Children with special needs are often prone to developing periodontal disease and cavities because brushing and flossing might be an acutely difficult task. Here at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody understand that each patient is different, and provides an environment that is safe, fun, and educational for all patients. If your child needs extra care during their dental appointment, we offer special needs pediatric dentistry services to protect and improve the quality of their oral health.

What is Special Needs Pediatric Dentistry?

Also referred to as special care dentistry, these preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services put a primary focus on the unique needs of children with intellectual, developmental, physical, or sensory impairments. These obstacles can make it difficult for them to maintain teeth and gums on their own throughout their lifetime, and some patients require additional consideration and accommodation to lay a substantial foundation for oral health. At Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, we always ensure that your child is comfortable every step of the way, keeping them as informed as possible so that there are no surprises.

Preparing Your Child for the Appointment

For children with special needs, unfamiliar faces, unsettling smells, and strange tastes all can present some challenges during a dental appointment. However, visiting the dentist doesn't have to be scary when you have the help of a little preparation and encouragement beforehand. Before introducing your child to our Chapel Hill, NC, office, try playing a game of "dentist" at home with some of the tools you use to keep your teeth healthy. Have them hold the equipment so that they become comfortable and recognize the device when they sit in our dental chair. We also encourage parents and patients to take a virtual office tour on our website, so they know what to expect.

Time for a Checkup? Give Us a Call

If you're seeking a pediatric dentist equipped and experienced to maintain the unique needs of your child, Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody provide compassion, undivided attention, and gentle care during each visit. Both have advanced training and are devoted to making special needs pediatric dentistry a top priority at our Chapel Hill, NC, practice.

To schedule an appointment at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, please call (919) 967-2773.

Instill these helpful habits in your child’s oral routine early on in life.

Just as you want to protect your child from scrapes, broken bones and illnesses you also want to protect their smiles from decay, gum disease and injury. The best way to do that is to educate parents on healthy dental habits so that they can teach these habits to their children. Our Chapel Hill, NC, pediatric dentists Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody believe in the importance of preventive pediatric care to keep dental problems from happening in the first place.

Here are some habits to adopt to help your child maintain a healthy, problem-free smile,

Brush and floss teeth

Many kids learn by seeing, so the best way to educate your child on brushing is to brush their teeth for them. Most kids can start brushing their own teeth by the age of 10. In the meantime, you can explain how you are cleaning their teeth and show them so that when it comes time for them to do it themselves they will have the knowledge to be able to clean their teeth thoroughly.

Use fluoridated toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral found in drinking water and in certain toothpastes and can prevent cavities from forming by re-mineralizing tooth enamel; therefore, using fluoridated toothpaste to brush you and your child’s teeth is crucial. Your child’s age will also dictate how much toothpaste to use. During your child’s first dental checkup (at around the age of 1 year old) don’t hesitate to ask our Chapel Hill, NC, children’s dentist about which toothpaste to use and how much is enough to clean your child’s teeth.

Eat a healthy diet

What your child eats can also impact their oral health. If they eat junk foods, processed foods or foods and drinks with a lot of sugar this can greatly increase their chances of cavities. Make sure that your child is getting three balanced meals a day and no more than two healthy snacks (think cheese, fruits and nuts rather than chips or cookies).

Care for teeth together as a family

You can make brushing and flossing a family activity that everyone in the household gets involved in. Not only does this ensure that everyone brushes their teeth twice a day and flosses daily but it also provides some quality time with the family.

Is it time to schedule your child’s first dental checkup? Have questions about keeping your childs teeth clean? Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, can certainly help answer your questions and provide your child with comprehensive dental care throughout their childhood. Call our office today at (919) 967-2773.

By Annelise Hardin, DDS
October 28, 2019
Category: Dental Health

According to statistics published by the ADA Health Policy Institute, the rates of untreated tooth decay are decreasing among young ChildVisitchildren, which is a good sign. It’s up to parents to keep these trends moving in a positive direction with the help of a pediatric dentist. Consider these tips for how to maintain the health of your child’s smile, and establish a strong relationship with pediatric dentists Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.

Brush and Floss with Your Child at Home
You serve as the best example for your child of what to do to keep their teeth white and clean. Spend the extra couple of minutes each night to brush and floss with your child. Also, reward them when they brush their teeth in the morning without being asked. These actions, done regularly, will help create new, healthy hygiene habits that they’ll carry with them for many ears. At-home care is especially important if you want to help preserve your child’s smile.

Update Your Child’s Daily Nutrition
Besides visits to your Chapel Hill, NC pediatric dentist, the food that your child eats has a major impact on their dental health. First off, reducing the child’s consumption of sugar-filled snacks and replacing them with natural sweets (like sliced apples, pears, and grapes) will help reduce the production of cavities. These are some additional foods to give your child for preventative pediatric dentistry:

- Probiotic-rich foods like low-sugar yogurt drinks.
- Foods high in calcium, like cheese.
- Nuts, seeds, and protein-rich foods.
- Vegetables like spinach and broccoli, which are antioxidant-rich.

Make Time for a Visit
It can be a challenge to find time in your schedule to go to the dentist, but it's crucial if you want to maintain the health of your child’s smile. Call 919-967-2773 today to schedule an appointment at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, providing preventative pediatric dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.

By Annelise Hardin, DDS
October 22, 2019
Category: Dental Health

Most young people need basic cavity treatments and fillings at their dentist’s office to keep their teeth in good condition. However, some pediatric-dentistrypatients require special needs pediatric dentistry in order to help them maintain a strong, beautiful, and healthy set of teeth. Does your child need this extra attention? If so, read on to learn how Dr. Annelise Hardin, your dentist at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, can provide dental care for your special needs child.

The Goals of Pediatric Dentistry
Children are mostly unaware of the importance of good dental care until they are taught by their parents and seen regularly by a dentist. Pediatric dentistry is focused on giving children the proper preventive care, restorative therapies, orthodontic treatments, and general dental attention that they need to maintain a healthy smile. Pediatric dentists typically serve children from the time they are born until they reach age 18.

Looking After Special Needs Dental Patients
The dental team here at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC is experienced in working with young patients who have special needs. They understand that these children are particularly sensitive to dental anxieties, being around strangers, and having their teeth treated in an unfamiliar place. Here at our special needs pediatric dentistry, you can look forward to compassionate care from a gentle dentist that has advanced training working with children who need extra attention.

Treatments to Consider for Your Child
The more you visit the dentist with your special needs child from a young age, the easier the experiences will be as time goes on. These are some of the treatments to consider as your child gets older:

- Appliances that will help discourage thumb sucking.
- Fluoride treatments to harden enamel (sometimes recommended when baby teeth erupt—consult your dentist).
- Dental sealants to prevent cavities (as early as age five).
- Orthodontic appliances to straighten the teeth (pre-teens).
- Safe sedation treatments and techniques to relax your child during appointments.

Put Your Child in Caring Hands
Here at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, the goal is to provide your special needs child with caring, focused dental treatment to ensure that they maintain a healthy smile now and in the future. Dial (919) 967-2773 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Annelise Hardin at her special needs pediatric dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.

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