How Do Dental Sealants Prevent Child Tooth Decay?

Last updated on November 9th, 2014 at 02:20 pm

Sealants-Prevent-Tooth-DecayAs mentioned in previous articles, tooth decay is extremely common in children. In fact, it is the number one chronic childhood disease. Decay can happen for a number of reasons, including poor hygiene, consumption of too many sugary foods and drinks, and a lack of routine visits to the dental office. The good news is that tooth decay can be easily prevented. One of the best ways to prevent cavities and decay is by having your dentist apply sealants to your child’s teeth.

A dental sealant is a plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth in the back of the mouth (premolars and molars). These are the teeth that are most prone to decay. The sealant acts as a barrier between the teeth and any food or beverage it comes in contact with. Sugars and carbohydrates fuel tooth decay, so the sealant helps in preventing sugary foods from getting stuck in the grooves of the teeth.

The process to apply sealants is quick and easy:

  • First, your dentist or hygienist will prepare the teeth for sealants by thoroughly cleaning them
  • The sealant material is then painted directly onto the tooth enamel of each premolar and molar
  • The sealant bonds and hardens to the tooth’s surface with the help of a special curating light

Sealants can typically last for up to 10 years, but can be easily replaced if they were to be chipped or worn down. Your dentist will check for this at every appointment and replace them as needed.

Children as young as 6 years of age are great candidates for dental sealants, as it is beneficial to have them applied to permanent molars as soon as they grow in. In many cases, your dentist might suggest sealants for baby teeth as well as permanent teeth. This helps in keeping your child’s mouth healthy as he or she develops and can prevent baby teeth from falling out too early.

It’s a good idea to begin preventing tooth decay as early as possible. Schedule routine check-ups for your child as soon as their baby teeth start growing in, and ask your dentist about how soon your child might be ready for dental sealants.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 10-20-2014 to 10-26-2014

Last updated on November 3rd, 2014 at 10:44 pm

twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 20 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
7 People Every Parent Must Background Check http://t.co/ijyV8kIoXm

How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?

Last updated on November 3rd, 2014 at 07:23 pm

There’s no magical number of hours of sleep that all children in a particular age group need, but here is a guide to the hours of slumber they should aim for.

Sleep is very important to a child’s wellbeing. A lack of sleep can cause a child to become hyperactive and disagreeable, and have extremes in behaviour.

Here are some approximate “child sleep” numbers based on age, as recommended by the Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic:

Essential Sleep Habits for Kids1 week

  • daytime: 8 hours
  • night time: 8.5 hours

4 weeks

  • daytime: 6.75 hours
  • night time: 8.75 hours

3 months 

  • daytime: 5 hours
  • night time: 10 hours

6 months

  • daytime: 4 hours
  • night time: 10 hours

9 months 

  • daytime: 2.75 hours
  • night time: 11.25 hours

12 months 

  • daytime: 2.5 hours
  • night time: 11.5 hours

2 years 

  • daytime: 1.25 hours
  • night time: 11.75 hours 

3 years 

  • daytime: 1 hour
  • night time: 11 hours

4 years 

  • night time: 11.5 hours

5 years 

  • night time: 11 hours

6 years 

  • night time: 10.75 hours

7 years

  • night time: 10.5 hours

8 years

  • night time: 10.25 hours

9 years 

  • night time: 10 hours

10 years 

  • night time: 9.75 hours

11 years

  • night time: 9.5 hours

12 years

  • night time: 9.25 hours

13 years

  • night time: 9.25 hours

14 years

  • night time: 9 hours

15 years

  • night time: 8.75 hours

16 years

  • night time: 8.5 hours

Ebola 101 for Worried Parents: Separating Fact From Fiction

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 01:49 pm

Medical-masks-are-not-the-answerMany viral illnesses are born in remote areas of the world and within animal species; they can even be shared by different animal species such as Influenza in pigs and birds. Each passage between species is often times accompanied by a major or minor change to the basic DNA structure so as to accommodate a different environment. All living creatures including microscopic ones such as viruses exist for one reason, to live and propagate the species. Sometimes the above noted changes are necessary to enhance the process of survival of the species. These remote viruses and related organisms usually remain hidden to the outside world until it involves human beings: one of the more recent such occurrences resulted in the propagation of the SARS virus from chickens to humans. The jump between species is a very difficult transfer to occur for these organisms. And from animal species to humans is even more difficult- the next step of transmissibility between humans is much more difficult to obtain…

Ebola virus is just such an organism that has probably been undergoing hundreds of genetic changes over an unknown period of time to become transmissible to humans. Again, appearing in some of the more remote areas of the world, and due to human expansion in these areas has finally figured out how to exist in the human body. It fits all the characteristics as mentioned above.

To bring this into the present, we are hearing about the human cases that have recently shown up.

The United States has a population of over 300 million people and yet we have a small handful of people (<10) who have acquired this disease; a disease surely to be taken seriously as there is no known prevention or treatment and the mortality rate is high.

It is transmissible between humans through a limited number of body fluids, routinely not touched by the average person, and under a variety of specific circumstances- not transmissible until a person is recognizably very ill. 

With the advanced medical environment in this country, the experts feel confident that if more cases of Ebola in humans arise, this could be easily contained, blocking any major type of spread or epidemic.

This is not the case in undeveloped countries and the results are clearly apparent. Even though there is no specific treatment, careful attention to support and comfort of the patient in expert medical facilities can result in a cure (at least twice in this country), while overseas thousands have died and more are sickened.

It is always important to remain vigilant but the likelihood of anyone becoming ill with Ebola virus in this country is remote and panic will only make the situation worse.

There is much more to learn about this disease- new treatment modes and the development of a reliable vaccine should be in the near future.

Child Health & Safety News Roundup: 10-13-2014 to 10-19-2014

Last updated on October 28th, 2014 at 10:11 am

twitter thumbWelcome to Pediatric Safety’s weekly “Child Health & Safety News Roundup”- a recap of the past week’s child health and safety news headlines from around the world.

Each day we use Twitter and Facebook to communicate relevant and timely health and safety information to the parents, medical professionals and other caregivers who follow us. Occasionally we may miss something, but we think overall we’re doing a pretty good job of keeping you informed. But for our friends and colleagues not on Twitter or FB (or who are but may have missed something), we offer you a recap of the past week’s top 10 events & stories.

PedSafe Child Health & Safety Headline of the Week:
Why Kids Sext – a story about how kids think about sexting
…and what parents and police should do about it.  http://t.co/GtIZxNxLQB

How Long Do Babies Carry Their Mother’s Immunity?

Last updated on August 7th, 2017 at 11:51 am

Pregnant-mom-passes-immunity-to-baby.During the last three months of pregnancy, antibodies from the mother are passed to her unborn baby through the placenta.

This type of immunity is called passive immunity because the baby has been given antibodies rather than making them itself. Antibodies are special proteins that the immune system produces to help protect the body against bacteria and viruses.

The amount and type of antibodies passed to the baby depends on the mother’s immunity. For example, if the mother has had chickenpox, she will have developed immunity against the condition and some of the chickenpox antibodies will be passed to the baby. However, if the mother hasn’t had chickenpox, the baby will not be protected.

Immunity in newborn babies is only temporary and starts to decrease after the first few weeks or months. Breast milk also contains antibodies, which means that babies who are breastfed have passive immunity for longer. The thick, yellowish milk (colostrum) produced for the first few days following birth is particularly rich in antibodies.

Premature babies are at higher risk of developing an illness because their immune systems are not as strong and they haven’t had as many antibodies passed to them.

As newborn immunity is only temporary, it is important to begin childhood immunisations when your baby is two months old. This applies to babies who are either premature or full-term.

The first immunisation, given when your baby is two months old, includes whooping cough and Hib (haemophilus influenza type b) because immunity to these conditions decreases the fastest. Passive immunity to measles, mumps and rubella can last for up to a year, which is why the MMR vaccine is given just after your baby’s first birthday.

Further information:

* Provided by Pediatric Safety