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Side-Effects To Watch For In Children Recovering From COVID-19

Throughout the last few years, there have been close to 400 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide. While the most apparent signs of Covid-19 are loss of taste, among other symptoms, some studies have reported additional oral health concerns associated with Covid-19 infection before, during illness, and during recovery. As pediatric dentists, we’re here to explain some of the potential oral health side effects of Covid-19 and help provide you with the information you need to keep your children healthy.

The Symptoms To Look Out For During Recovery

There are many studies over the last few years that have tracked the progression and symptoms associated with Covid-19 and its ever-evolving variants, and while we are no longer in a pandemic, Covid-19 continues to remain a global threat according to the chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci. It’s essential during these times to be mindful of the disease and keep an eye out for symptoms. With that in mind, we’re here to go over some of the latest symptoms to be associated with Covid-19:

  • Lesions or Ulcers: One of the less commonly known symptoms associated with Covid-19 are lesions or ulcers. According to a study published by the Journal of Dental Research, over 80% of patients that became hospitalized with Covid-19 had lesions or ulcers in their mouths. Our respiratory symptoms begin at the mouth and nose, making it a common targeting point for diseases like Covid-19 to be affected. Normally, ulcers should go away on their own, and if they don’t, then it’s important to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist soon. Beyond lesions and ulcers, many patients also experienced a loss of papilla (bumps on the tongue), enlarged taste buds, and burning sensations in the mouth. During your weeks of recovery, it’s important to keep an eye on your children’s symptoms to make sure they don’t get worse and speak with your pediatric dentist as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis.
  • Dry Mouth: Dry mouth isn’t a unique side effect of Covid-19, as it affects up to 65% of the population. However, dry mouth can become worse during or after an infection. When a person gets infected, the virus can cause the salivary glands to underproduce saliva. Having healthy saliva flow is important because it helps our mouths maintain moisture and reduces the risk of decay. Without enough saliva to keep our mouths moist, the mouth becomes overly dry, bad breath can come about, and these symptoms can eventually lead to gum disease. In children, this is vitally important because their mouths are still developing. If your child is suffering from dry mouth, make sure to encourage them to drink water and speak with your pediatric dentist soon for treatment.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation is considered one of the main symptoms of Covid-19 and also the most harmful. Inflammation is the typical way that the body responds to infection, but this can also lead to extreme levels of inflammation throughout certain parts of the body that are, in fact, harmful. These areas also include the mouth, and the gums can become red, swollen, and bleed heavily after recovery. It’s highly essential to keep an eye on gum inflammation in children, as this can easily lead to gum disease later on.

Finding Resource For Recovery With Your Dentist!

While the pandemic is official over, many people are still continuing to experience the long-term side effects of Covid-19. If you or your child have any lingering oral health side effects after your recovery, then don’t hesitate to contact your local pediatrist dentist to schedule an appointment for treatment. 

If your child loves is active and loves participating in sports, you may know the risks that can be posed to their oral health. OC Kids Dental is here to help you be proactive in protecting your children’s smiles from injury on the field. We provide mouthguards in a variety of styles and shapes that will absorb the force of impacts, falls, and other accidents. If you’re ready to get your child fitted with a mouthguard, come see us in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Why We Provide Mouthguards As Protection From Injury

Mouth protectors are an important part of any sports safety gear. Formed out of soft plastic, these appliances can provide varying degrees of protection depending on the style you choose. In addition to protecting against dental injury, they also protect the soft tissues of the oral cavity. The tongue, cheeks, and lips can all be injured by the same impacts that put the teeth at risk.

These appliances can also be found under the name athletic mouth protectors or sports guards. They’re an essential element in your child’s sporting gear or for those engaging in other recreational activities that put their teeth at risk. They are designed to snugly fit over the upper teeth and provide protection to the entire oral region.  

The three classifications of mouthguard are as follows:

  • Stock Guards – These guards are available from most sporting goods stores. They come in different sizes but are otherwise in a ‘one design fits all’ category. As a result, they provide the least amount of protection and are often uncomfortable for the wearer.

  • Boil And Bite Guards – This style of guard is a common choice for those on a budget. These guards are made of a form of plastic that becomes malleable when heated in boiling water. Once softened, your child will bite down into the guard and hold it there until it cools. The result is a mouthguard closely fitted to your child’s bite that can be reshaped if necessary.

  • Custom Guards – This style of guard provides the highest degree of protection thanks to being custom fitted to the individual. The creation process allows them to rely on high-quality, resilient plastics that will retain their shape indefinitely. These guards are the most comfortable and deliver the best protection of all options.

There are also specialty guards that cover both the upper and lower teeth and a form made for addressing bruxism. This condition involves subconscious grinding of the teeth, especially while sleeping.

Contact Our Office To Get Advice On Selecting A Mouthguard

Mouthguards are an important consideration for any family that has children involved in sports or other physical activities. Those participating in sports such as football which consistently put the child’s head in contact with other players are in particular need. There are numerous types of appliances available, so call Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental offices in ALISO VIEJO for more information or to schedule an appointment and find out what type of mouthguard is best for your child.

Dental decay often sets in on the rearmost teeth in the oral cavity, the molars. These teeth are hard to see and often don’t receive as much attention as more forward teeth. When decay sets in, it tends to focus on the uneven surface of the chewing surface of the teeth. This problem often appears in younger patients. Thankfully, advances in dental technology have made it possible to provide protection from this decay. This protection comes in the form of dental sealants, which work to create a barrier between these teeth and bacteria. OC Kids Dental is proud to provide this treatment to families in Aliso Viejo, CA.

Introducing Your Shield Against Decay – Dental Sealants

While they do not eliminate the need for thorough flossing and brushing, they do protect the tooth between brushings. It’s common for plaque and food particles to become lodged in the crevices of the teeth. While these substances pose a risk to the enamel, a dental sealant can reduce the risk of decay to your child’s teeth. This makes them a fundamental part of protecting young teeth from premature extraction.

These sealants are appropriate for patients of any age. However, they are primarily provided to younger patients who are still learning to properly care for their teeth. This is partly due to the need for the patients to have neither decay nor fillings present on the treated teeth. While the majority of patients who receive these sealants are over the age of six, it can be appropriate for younger patients as well.

Receiving dental sealants is a fairly simple process, involving only a few steps:

  • The target teeth are cleaned thoroughly in preparation for treatment.
  • The tooth is then dried, and absorbent materials are placed around it to keep it dry.
  • The surface of the tooth is then treated with an acid solution to create a rough surface. This rough surface makes it easier for the sealant to bond to the tooth.
  • The solution is then removed by rinsing and the tooth dried.
  • The sealant is then painted in place, quickly bonding with the tooth and hardening.

In some circumstances, a curing light may be used to help speed the hardening of the sealant. Once secured in place they will remain a viable form of protection for years to come. Once in place, the sealant can potentially prevent decay for approximately ten years. Dr.Cima Mazar-Atabaki will check them for damage during each of the following dental check-ups. When needed, the dental sealants can be replaced.

Come See Us For Lasting Dental Protection From Sealants

Insurance typically covers sealants for patients under the age of 18. Give your provider a call to determine if this preventative treatment is covered by your provider. They’ll let you know the rate of coverage, how often they can be replaced, and when coverage for dental sealants ends. It’s time to start taking steps to provide lasting protection to your family’s teeth. Contact our dental clinic today to schedule your first consultation today.

A trip to the dental clinic can cause some children to become quite anxious. In some cases, the anxiety will become so severe they struggle to cooperate with their dental provider. This can interfere with the essential dental care your child needs. To help children who experience dental anxiety, we provide sedation options to ensure they can relax throughout the procedure. The sedation options used at OC Kids Dental do not render your child unconscious. Instead, Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki will help them relax and remain calm throughout the whole procedure.

Understanding Pediatric Dental Sedation

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has provided a set of sedation guidelines to ensure the safety and effectiveness of dental sedation. When they are performed by a trained professional, there are very few risks associated with undergoing dental sedation. This process is an important part of helping children prone to dental anxiety receive the dental care they need. The degree of sedation used depends on multiple factors:

  • Severity of the patient’s anxiety
  • Patient’s tolerance for sedation
  • Parent’s knowledge and consent
  • Severity of the patient’s condition

While you may sometimes hear sedation dentistry referred to as ‘sleep dentistry,’ this can be misleading. The majority of dental sedation options, especially those for pediatric care, do not include general anesthesia. While general anesthesia may be used for certain conditions in older patients, it’s rarely needed for childhood dental conditions.

At OK Kids Dental, we provide a few sedation options for patients with dental anxiety. These options include:

  • Inhaled Minimal Sedation – This form of dental sedation involves the use of nitrous oxide. You may be familiar with this as laughing gas. This sedative is administered using a mask placed over the face that delivers the sedation gas at a set rate. Dr. Mazar-Atabaki can adjust the flow rate throughout the procedure to meet the patient’s needs. Your child will be lucid and clear from all sedative effects within a few minutes of the mask being removed.
  • Oral Sedation – Small oral doses of a pill known as Halcion helps to ease the patient’s nerves. It is part of the Valium family of medications and takes about an hour to set in. Your child will become drowsy but will be awake throughout the procedure.

In addition to these forms of sedation, it’s common for Dr. Mazar-Atabaki to administer a local anesthetic to the treatment site. While the sedation methods listed above address nerves and anxiety, they aren’t effective for managing discomfort. As a result, your child will also get a local anesthetic to numb the treatment site.

In Closing

If you are in or near Aliso Viejo and would like to better understand the use of sedation during your child’s visits, please contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental office to address any concerns or schedule an appointment to find out if sedation is a suitable option for your child. We look forward to providing your child with excellent dental care for years to come at OK Kids Dental.

You should schedule your child’s first dental visit around their first birthday. One of the most important reasons for this visit is to familiarize your child with the dental office environment and to ease any anxiety associated with future visits. On this first visit, a gentle but thorough examination will be performed to monitor growth and development and address any problem areas while providing preventive care when needed. OC Kids Dental is dedicated to providing a positive first experience for children in Aliso Viejo, CA.

What To Expect At Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Getting an early examination provides your child with preventive dental care while establishing healthy dental habits at an early age. Ensure that your child’s future smile is a healthy, confident one. While you definitely should have your child into their first appointment by one year of age, the eruption of their first tooth signals time for a first visit. The earlier you get started, the sooner you’ll have all the necessary information to ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy.

Your first visit is an opportunity for Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki to provide tips and guidelines for pediatric dental hygiene. Some common points of discussion will include:

  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Infant feeding practices
  • Mouth cleaning
  • Teething
  • Pacifier habits
  • Finger-sucking habits

These early visits also help ensure that your child has an opportunity to develop a positive relationship with dental care. As your child ages, you can begin to explain to them what to expect during the visit. Staying positive and showing excitement will help them be excited as well. It’s also important to acknowledge your child’s concerns and help set them at ease regarding their visit.

During Their First Visit

Your child’s first visit to our office will likely be brief, lasting only 30 minutes or so. Depending on your child’s age, Dr. Mazar-Atabaki will do a full examination. This will include a visual inspection of their gums, bite, teeth, jaws, and other oral tissues to ensure they’re developing properly. It may be necessary for them to undergo a gentle tooth cleaning as well, as well as fluoride treatment. We often won’t perform imaging for younger children, as the baby teeth will eventually fall out. However, it may be necessary to do an X-Ray if decay or other developmental concerns are identified.

Between visits, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene. You can achieve this by helping your child do the following:

  • Brush their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush sized appropriately for them. Only use a portion of toothpaste equivalent to a grain of rice for those under three. This can be increased to a pea-sized dab once the child can consistently spit out the remaining foam.
  • Only give your baby a bottle of water at bedtime or nothing at all. Sweetened liquids, even milk, can lead to tooth decay.
  • Don’t allow your child to cling to their bottle. They should be finished with their meal within 5-6 minutes.

If you live in or around Aliso Viejo, contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s pediatric dental office with any questions or to schedule a dental visit today.

It’s not uncommon for new parents to believe that the health of their children’s primary, or baby, teeth is of limited importance. They’re only there temporarily; after all, how important can they be? The truth regarding primary teeth is that they play an essential role in the proper formation of our adult teeth and jaw. During our developmental ages, they help to ensure our adult teeth are in proper alignment and that there’s sufficient room for them to erupt. That’s why OK Kids Dental provides comprehensive dental care for our young patients in Aliso Viejo. From preventative care and treatments to restoration of teeth with dental crowns, we’re there every step of the way.

Children’s Dentistry at OK Kids Dental

Receiving ongoing comprehensive dental care during childhood is an essential part of lifelong oral health. From education about proper oral hygiene practices to providing the necessary care to keep teeth healthy, we prepare them for a lifetime of good oral health.

Your Child’s First Visit To OK Kids Dental

Your child’s first trip to our clinic should occur just after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. In most children, multiple teeth will have erupted by their first birthday, starting from about six months of age. The earlier you start making dental visits a regular practice, the better their relationship with dental care will be.

Prior to each visit, visit parents can ensure a positive experience by explaining the trip to the dentist and what to expect. This will help them understand the importance of caring for their teeth and ease any anxiety or fears regarding the dentist. Our team of pediatric dental specialists is trained to help ensure your child’s experience is a good one. They also have additional training in oral health concerns that occur during the developmental ages.

Parents can help protect their children’s oral health by observing the following practices:

  • Limiting pacifier usage following the first erupted tooth
  • Avoiding bottles of sugary beverages, even milk, at bedtime
  • Consistently using fluoridated toothpaste for their child’s oral care
  • Practicing consistent oral hygiene practices between visits

While these practices can help avoid the formation of cavities, tooth decay can still happen. When it does, it’s possible to save your child’s tooth using fillings or pediatric dental crowns. Dental crowns are used to restore dental function and aesthetics when a tooth has been damaged due to physical trauma or decay. Crowns can be used at any age, including during childhood. Pediatric dental crowns in Aliso Viejo are made to reproduce the natural tooth’s size, shape, and durability. They may be fabricated out of metal for durability or tooth-colored composite for an inconspicuously natural appearance.

Learn More By Reaching Out To Our Clinic

Find out more about the full range of childhood dental care we provide at OC Kids Dental in Aliso Viejo. You can call and arrange an assessment with Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki’s office today!.

There are a lot of elements that determine our oral health. Like many aspects of our health, genetic factors and family history have a clear role to play. Ongoing research shows that our genetic heritage can reveal clues to our oral health future. While this was anticipated, one surprising outcome is the degree to which it can impact our oral health. The alignment, shape, and size of our teeth can all be determined by genetic factors. However, the resilience of our enamel and how it responds to acid and bacteria are also affected. We’re going to further explore the impact of family genetics on oral health.

The Genetic Influence On Our Dental Health

Deoxyribonucleic acid, most commonly known as DNA, is the storehouse for the blueprints of our body. This string of amino acids holds the patterns of genes that describe every aspect of our body. The shape of our face, the color of our eyes, and the alignment of our teeth are all defined by our DNA. We obtain half of our DNA from each of our parents, and with them, much of their appearance and health concerns. This is the underpinning reason that our oral health trends within family lines. DNA impacts our oral health concerns in the following ways:

  • Teeth having gaps from misalignment
  • Overcrowding of teeth
  • Shape and size of our jaw
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

No matter what issues we face due to our genetic heritage, there’s one part of our oral health that we can manage. One benefit we get from knowing our family heritage is which parts of our oral health we need to focus on. Regardless, maintaining a steady routine of brushing and flossing ensures that we can keep our concerns with oral health at a minimum. Knowing what troubles our ancestors faced with oral health can let us know what products and treatments can benefit us to prevent issues. Some concerns that are impacted by oral health include:

  • Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) – Even those who don’t have a predisposition to gum disease will frequently develop it. Nearly 33% of all Americans will develop gingivitis at some point in their lives. Inflammation, bleeding gums, and sensitivity can all indicate its presence.
  • Tooth Decay – Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of tooth decay, but it isn’t the only cause. Our genetic heritage can make our enamel softer than average, making it more susceptible to wear and tear. It’s even possible that only certain teeth will be more vulnerable than others due to genetic background.
  • Misaligned Teeth – It can be easy to spot teeth that aren’t situated as they should be. This ease of identification makes it one of the most commonly spotted genetic oral health concerns. If you know this runs in your family, it can be identified even before your children’s teeth erupt. This will allow planning future orthodontic care to prevent problems.

Speak With Your Dentist To Get Further Advice

Your dentist will provide you with all you need to know about how genetics can impact your oral health. Let them know what problems run in your family, and they’ll provide options for addressing them.