Tongue-tie disorder (formally known as 'ankyloglossia') is a birth condition in which the membrane on the underside of the tongue is too short or tight, connecting it to the mouth. The mobility of the tongue is then limited, which can result in a number of problematic symptoms, or no symptoms at all.
It’s important to treat each patient individually, as one patient’s struggles may be starkly different from another’s – this may vary especially with consideration given to age. Infants with the tongue-tie condition may have trouble sucking, resulting in poor weight gain. As they grow, some children may develop speech impediments as a byproduct of the tight membrane anchoring the tongue. On the other hand, the tongue and the learning abilities of children are remarkably adaptable, and may result in no speech issues whatsoever.
Due to the variations in symptoms, and being that some with condition suffer no abnormalities at all, we treat based on the individual and their specific needs only. If you think your child may have a tongue-tie disorder, give our office a call and we can schedule a time to discuss your options.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby bottle tooth decay is a form of tooth decay that can destroy the teeth of an infant. This decay may even enter the underlying bone structure, which can hamper development of the permanent teeth; the teeth most likely to be damaged are the upper teeth.
Baby bottle decay is the result of frequent and prolonged exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugar such as milk, formula, fruit juices, pop, or similar. These liquids fuel the bacteria in a child's mouth, which produces acids that attack enamel.
This refers to a tooth or teeth (primary or permanent) that have become effectually fused to the bone, preventing it or them from moving 'down' with the bone as the jaw grows. This process can affect any teeth in the mouth, but it is more common on primary first molars and teeth that have suffered trauma (typically the incisors).
Treatment can vary depending on the degree of severity of the ankylosis (how 'sunken into the gums' a tooth may appear). This may be determined by how early the process started, and as a general rule the earlier it starts will affect how severe the ankylosis becomes with age. Several considerations must be taken before any treatment is provided, and Dr. Myers will discuss all the risks and benefits of each treatment option.
Ectopic canines are generally found in the Buccal Vestibule. Impacted canines may be retrieved with braces, using a surgical approach via a gold chain or straight wire. Tissue covering the tooth is uncovered, and a chain or wire is attached to the tooth crown. Tissue is placed back over the tooth leaving the chain or wire protruding from gum. The chain is attached to the tooth crown and the link is attached to a flexible archwire so that the wire is active (bent). Once a month, the wire is reactivated by using the next link on the chain until the impacted canine erupts enough to attach a regular bracket on the canine. With the regular bracket in place, a more flexible wire is added directly to the bracketed canine. This process will bring the canine into position within the arch by forcing the canine to conform to the straight archwire form. This is a long process taking anywhere from 8-12 months.
In severe cases of enamel fluorosis, the appearance of the teeth is marred by discoloration or brown markings. The enamel may be pitted, rough, and hard to clean. In mild cases of fluorosis, the tiny white specks or streaks are often unnoticeable. This condition results from an over-exposure to fluoride, which may come from toothpaste, treated water, or even supplements. If you notice this occurring in your child’s smile, make an appointment so that we may diagnose and respond accordingly.
Open Bite and Cross Bite
These are two common problems in children that result from discrepancies between the size of the jaws (top and bottom), or between the size of the teeth and the amount of space available.
A posterior cross bite can appear at an early age, and depending on its cause (malpositioned teeth or misaligned jaws) treatment may be warranted early. It can involve one or both sides of the molar area and in some cases in can cause a "shift" of the bite. Many appliances are available for treating this condition and your dentist will discuss in detail the risks and benefits of treating a posterior cross bite.
Anterior open bites refers to a condition in which the top and bottom front teeth are not in contact (they do not touch each other when the patient bites). The origins of open bites can be traced to habits that patients have or had in the past, and occasionally to discrepancies between the sizes of the jaws. Since most open bites in children are associated withto an existing habit, treatment usually addresses the habit itself and is most effective when done at an early age. Many appliances are available for treating this condition and Dr. Myers will discuss in detail the risks and benefits of treating an open bite in children.
Dental Anesthesia for Children
Dental care is vital for everyone to ensure there are no present or potential health complications, but for children this process is especially important. During the developmental years there is a lot of growth and activity in the mouth that needs to be carefully monitored to be sure their oral health is as it should be. However, many of our little ones have understandable anxieties regarding the dentist, which may be caused for a variety of reasons.
Strip crowns, also known as "white crowns", are an alternative to placing crowns on primary incisors (top baby teeth) with large caries. This procedure is sensitive in its technique, and may not be an option for young children. With proper case selection, these "fillings" may last for at least two to three years. Stainless steel crowns with white facings (the front part is white) are also available in the event that strip crowns are not an option. Your dentist will be happy to discuss all options available for aesthetic restorations on primary teeth.
Baby teeth that have large cavities and some degree of pain occasionally require the removal of the top portion of the tooth's nerve before a filling or a crown is placed. The main goal of this procedure is to preserve the baby tooth since primary teeth help to maintain adequate room for the permanent teeth. Pulpotomies have published success rates that range from 60% to 90% and represent a good and reliable way to save a badly decayed baby tooth.