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How to Handle a Dental Emergency

At some time or another, most parents have had to deal with a dental emergency. Whether your child cracks their tooth on a hard candy or their front tooth is knocked out while on the playground, it can be daunting and downright scary to be caught up in a dental emergency. Add to that the sight of your child in pain and you might have no idea what to do in this case.

Let’s talk about some of the most common cases we see here at our OC Pediatric Dentistry clinic and how you should handle them.


Common in children of all ages, the toothache can be caused by everything from a fracture to decay to trauma. Before rushing to the dentist, have your child rinse and spit. Then, take a look with a flashlight and see if you notice anything out of the ordinary. If you don’t see anything, chances are the issue is deeper and you need a dentist to take a look.

Missing or Knocked Out Teeth

Accidents happen and if an accident just happens to knock your child’s tooth or teeth out, you need to act quickly. Place the tooth in a glass of milk. It’s important that the tooth is kept wet at all times. Try to avoid touching any roots while handing the tooth. You’ll want to get to the dentist within an hour so they can try to successfully re-implant the tooth.

Broken Tooth

This is one of the most common emergencies we see here at our Orange County office. Sometimes the fracture is minor and can be quickly fixed, whereas more serious fractures could require treatment to the tooth’s pulp (internal). Before heading to OC Kids Dental, have your child rinse their mouth and apply a cold compress to the area. Then give us a call so we can get your child taken care of.

If your child is experiencing a dental emergency, you’ll want to get them to the dentist as soon as possible. The quicker they receive treatment the more likely it is we can save their tooth/teeth and keep them happy and smiling.

Tooth Pushed in Jawbone

As scary as this sounds, dental intrusion happens when some sort of trauma cause the tooth to move into the jawbone, usually fracturing the socket. If you suspect this has happened to your child, it’s absolutely crucial to give Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki a call and get in as soon as possible. This allows us to manage your child’s pain and work to save the tooth.

Although these situations can be scary, it’s important to understand that there’s help out there. The most important thing to do is to remain calm and give OC Kids Dental a call. Dr. Cima will treat you and your child with compassion and respect and ensure they’re given the best care possible.

Xylitol packs a powerful punch in the fight against tooth decay. Fluoride and xylitol team up to initiate repair of weak or damaged enamel. Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist who is well-versed in the positive long-term impact xylitol has on pediatric oral health. She is a brilliant Aliso Viejo Pediatric Dentist who believes in empowering her patients through education and quality care.

What is Xylitol?

It is a natural sugar found in some fruits, berries, vegetables, and birch trees. Technically, it is a five-carbon sugar with a very low glycemic index. As such, it is often used as an alternative sweetener by diabetics. Historically speaking, Native Americans used birch as a tooth cleanser and even made rattles from birch to help protect their children’s teeth from damage. When there was a sugar shortage in Europe during WWII, xylitol was used in its place. After a formal study in Finland in 1970 confirmed the safety and efficacy of xylitol, it was approved by both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the FDA. Since then, multiple studies have shown xylitol to prevent and reverse tooth decay.

How Does it Work?

Xylitol presents a double whammy for naturally occurring bad bacteria that resides in the mouth. Sugars on teeth are consumed by this bacteria and the acids that cause decay are left behind. What if the bacteria is unable to digest the sweetener? No acid by-products are produced and bacteria numbers diminish. The surviving bacteria are rendered incapable of sticking to teeth.

Not only does xylitol basically starve the bacteria in the mouth, it also helps repair areas where the enamel has already been damaged. Saliva production increases when chewing gum or consuming candy containing xylitol and helps wash away the dying bacteria. This leaves room for minerals like calcium and phosphate salts to work their way into weakened or damaged areas to begin repair.

How Early Can I Start Using Xylitol On My Children’s Teeth?

To cut down on the potential for tooth decay, chewing xylitol gum during pregnancy and infancy produces incredible results. By the time the children of xylitol gum-chewers are five years old, they are 70% less likely to end up with rotten teeth. The mother is also less likely to unintentionally transfer bacteria to her child’s mouth, therefore protecting the natural balance of good and bad bacteria. As children learn to brush on their own, they should use a toothpaste that contains both xylitol and fluoride to cut down even further on cavities.

Visit OC Kids Dental in Aliso Viejo, CA to learn more about the positive effects of xylitol on dental health. Dr. Cima and her team look forward to helping patients keep their teeth healthy for many years to come.

Every child goes through various stages of development at different times. Eventually, babies and toddlers will start to develop teeth. As the teeth break through the gum tissue, this can cause a significant amount of pain. This pain will cause children to chew on various objects or foods because the pressure on the teeth will help to relieve the pain. Parents can actually help their toddlers ease the pain of teething. There are some valuable pieces of advice that every parent of a toddler going through the teething process should abide by to make the teeth development process as smooth as possible.

First, make sure to rub the baby’s gums regularly. To prevent the child from getting sick, make sure to wash the hands first. In addition to a finger, a moistened piece of gauze can be used as well. Rub gently along the gums where the teeth are coming in. This provides pressure on the gums which will help to relieve the pain. The act of rubbing the gums provides the same stimulation that babies receive when they chew on an object. This is just safer for the child and the object if the parents provide pressure from time to time.

Next, it is even better if the finger or gauze pad are cool. One of the easiest ways to deliver a cool stimulation is by using a washcloth that has been soaked in cool water. It is important that parents do not use a frozen washcloth or a pad soaked in ice cold water. Extreme cold can actually cause increased pain and possibly damage the gums or a young tooth; however, a cool washcloth will help to relax the nerves that are delivering the painful sensation to the child. The cool temperatures can provide a soothing effect on painful baby gums.

Finally, it can also be helpful to give the babies objects that are acceptable to chew on. The easiest choices include hard foods. If the child has progressed to the point of eating solid foods, giving hard foods can be helpful for encouraging the eating process and relieving some of the pain of teething. Examples of foods that could fill this role include carrots and cucumbers. Just be certain to peel the food first to get rid of any dirty skin that could make the child sick. Cut the pieces small enough for babies to handle and be sure to observe the child for any potential choking hazards.

Once teeth start coming in, it is important that parents take their children to visit the dentist regularly. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends that babies visit the dentist by age one. For parents looking for an Aliso Viejo pediatric dentist, contact Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki of OC Kids Dental in Aliso Viejo, CA. Dr. Cima is a board certified pediatric dentist with years of experience taking care of children dealing with teething. Contact OC Kids Dental today to schedule an appointment!

While holidays are certainly a time of celebration and sugary food may be a big part of it, they are also a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and plaque that can cause cavities. Today, ingredients in the water supply and toothpaste help to prevent cavities. One of these essential ingredients is called fluoride.

How does Fluoride Prevent Cavities?

First, it is important to explain how cavities form. When children eat sugar, much of that sugar is left behind. Bacteria use sugar for growth and energy production. Once bacteria metabolizes sugar, they release acid that can damage the teeth. This process is called demineralization. The more bacteria there are, or the more sugar that is in the mouth, the more acid is produced and the more damage that is done to teeth. Maintaining a healthy diet that is high in calcium will help keep the enamel strong to resist the acid demineralization process that bacteria can cause.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, drinking water and using toothpaste that contains fluoride is another effective way to prevent cavities. Many years ago, the FDA decided to add fluoride to the water as a way to prevent cavities from forming in people’s mouths. The body can use fluoride as a component in the enamel. Once fluoride is incorporated as a part of the teeth, they form a strong structure on the surface that helps to resist the acid demineralization process that bacteria generate. Fluoride does a better job of resisting the acid that bacteria produces than the native components that make up the enamel. Therefore, water and toothpaste with fluoride is an essential part of preventing cavities.

Fluoride Accelerates the Healing Process

Finally, Fluoride can actually help accelerate the healing process when cavities are formed. Because fluoride can bond as a part of the enamel structure, fluoride can actually help regrow parts of the teeth that are damaged by cavities. Studies have shown that fluoride actually accelerates the rate of enamel production. If enamel grows quicker, the body can fill the cavities faster and restore the mouth to its normal, healthy state in a shorter time span. Therefore, fluoride is also essential to healing teeth that have been damaged by cavities.

When it comes to preventing cavities, there are certain parts of the mouth that brushing and flossing simply can’t reach. Therefore, seeing a dentist regularly every six months is an important part of routine dental care and maintaining a healthy mouth. For parents looking for an Aliso Viejo pediatric dentist for their children, consider contacting OC Kids Dental and Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki in Aliso Viejo, CA. Dr. Cima is a board certified pediatric dentist with an impressive track record of maintaining healthy mouths for many children. Contact Dr. Cima today to schedule an appointment.

While most people know that brushing and flossing on a regular basis keeps teeth healthy, what people put in their mouth also influences oral healthy. A healthy diet is essential for healthy teeth and a healthy body.

Minimize Sugar Intake

First of all, food can be packed with sugar. First, bacteria use sugar to grow and survive. By feeding bacteria sugar, the bacterial population in the mouth will multiply. These bacteria can form on the services of teeth and cause cavities. If cavities aren’t caught early, this infection can spread to the root and gums, potentially leading to gingivitis and other periodontal infections. To avoid cavities and other chronic dental conditions, limit the amount of sugar and candy that is taken in.

Incorporate a Healthy Diet

On the other hand, a healthy diet promises to result in healthy teeth. Diets that are high in calcium are essential for building an enamel. Enamel makes up the surface of teeth and is one of the strongest substances on earth. While this enamel is strong, it requires a large amount of calcium to stay this way. To keep the enamel strong, try to take in dairy products such as milk and yogurt. Dairy products are high in calcium and will ensure the enamel stay strong for years. Strong enamel is more resistant to bacteria that can cause cavities.

Keep the Immune System Strong

Finally, a healthy diet encourages a strong immune system. Diets that are filled with fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C and iron. If these elements are essential for the growth of the immune system, such as the white blood cells that fight infection. With a strong immune system, the body is better equipped to fight off bacterial infections that can degrade teeth and gums. When the immune system is functioning at a high-level, bacteria do not have a chance to cause cavities because the immune system kills the bacteria as quickly as they can grow. For healthy teeth, keep the immune system strong by eating foods such as fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C and iron.

For parents looking for an Aliso Viejo pediatric dentist, consider contact OC Kids Dental and Dr. Cima Mazar-Atabaki in Aliso Viejo, CA. Dr. Cima is a board certified pediatric dentist with a substantial amount of experience caring for children. Dr. Cima knows that visits to the dentist can be an anxious experience for children. Therefore, Dr. Cima takes every measure to make sure kids are as comfortable as possible during their visit. Contact OC Kids Dental today to schedule an appointment!

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