Saturday, October 20, 2018

How to Handle a Thumb-Sucking Child

In her practice at Metro Dentalcare in Burnsville, Minnesota, pediatric dentist Dr. Deanna Alevizos treats oral health issues and dental injuries. Dr. Deanna Alevizos also routinely advises parents about thumb-sucking.

Seventy-five percent of infants under age 1 suck their thumbs. It comforts and entertains children, and should not be taken as an indication of emotional issues.

Experts say parents of children under 5 should not push them to stop thumb-sucking. However, it can become problematic at 5, when they enter kindergarten. Children often avoid thumb-suckers and tease them. 

Continued thumb-sucking can deform the bite of permanent teeth. Children may have difficulty making the “s” and other sounds formed on the tip of the tongue. It may also lead to chapped skin, infected fingernails, and calluses.

Parents should monitor the habit. Thumb-sucking only at bedtime and among family is less serious than when done at school or with friends. 

Most children eventually want to stop, so parents should avoid chastising them or pulling their thumbs out of the mouths. Doing so, experts say, only brings on a power struggle.

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Importance of Identifying Orthodontic Issues as Teeth Come In

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Basic Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

Dr. Deanna Alevizos has spent more than 16 years as a pediatric dentist with Metro Dentalcare in Burnsville, Minnesota. Beyond her work with pediatric patients, Dr. Deanna Alevizos enjoys spending time in nature and has two dogs.

The presence of one or more dogs can truly enhance an individual’s experience on the hiking trail. That said, the decision to bring an animal companion onto the trail carries with it a number of responsibilities. First and foremost, it is often required that dogs be kept on a leash at all times. A rule to this effect is typically posted on the trail. Hikers must remember that the leash is a safety precaution that will protect their dog if they encounter less friendly dogs on the path, wild animals, and other dangers.

Hikers must also remember to adequately pack for their canine companions. Dogs need plenty of water and food over the course of a day hike. Furthermore, hikers should appreciate the fact that animals have physical thresholds that should never be exceeded. In some cases, individuals may need to discuss their breeds’ limitations with a knowledgeable breeder or veterinarian.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Helping Your Infant Through the Teething Process

A pediatric practitioner with Metro Dentalcare, Deanna Alevizos, DDS, serves dental needs in the Burnsville, Minnesota, area. Emphasizing friendly, personalized care, Dr. Deanna Alevizos strives to ensure proper oral health care from infancy. 

One of the essentials of oral health care during the first year involves ensuring healthy teething. With tooth eruption typically occurring during the sixth month, the two middle teeth are usually the first to appear. While the process of tooth eruptions can last up to two years, most of this does not involve teething, which is the process of teeth cutting through the gums for the first time.

Symptoms of teething include fussiness and irritability, with appetite decreasing and the gums becoming swollen. The infant trying to bite down on the crib can be the first sign. Easing young children through the process can involve a gentle gum massage that relieves discomfort. The baby often will appreciate a malleable plush teething toy, or even a frozen or cold washcloth. 

The baby may want something harder, in which case child-safe hard teething toys are available. Always seek out quality toys made from rubber, silicon, or plastic that is free from toxins.