Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for: October, 2017


As a parent, you have plenty of questions about your child’s health. One we hear quite often is when dental care should begin for a child.

The short answer is when their first tooth comes in, usually at six months to a year of age: that’s when you should begin brushing at home. But there’s also the matter of when to begin your child’s regular dental visits: we recommend the first visit around the child’s first birthday. Here are 4 reasons why this is the right time to start.

Prevention. First and foremost, starting visits at age one gives your child the best start for preventing tooth decay through cleanings, topical fluoride or, in some cases, sealants. Preventive care for primary teeth may not seem that important since they’ll eventually give way to the permanent teeth. But primary teeth also serve as guides for the next teeth’s ultimate position in the mouth — if a primary tooth is lost prematurely, it could affect your child’s bite in later years.

Development. Early dental visits give us a chance to keep an eye on bite and jaw development. If we notice a developing malocclusion (bad bite) or conditions favorable for it, we can refer you to an orthodontist for consultation or interventional therapy to reduce the possibility or extent of future treatment.

Support. Your child’s regular dental visits can also help you as a parent. We can advise you on all aspects of dental care, including brushing and flossing techniques, nutrition dos and don’ts, and how to handle situations like late thumb sucking.

Familiarization. Dental visits starting at age one will help your child become familiar and comfortable with visiting the dentist that might be more difficult to achieve if they’re older. Dental visit anxiety is a major reason why many people don’t maintain regular visits later in life. Children who come to realize that dental visits are a normal, even pleasant experience are more likely to continue the practice into adulthood.

Caring for your child’s teeth is just as important as other aspects of their health. Getting an early start can head off brewing problems now and set the course for healthy teeth and gums tomorrow.

If you would like more information on pediatric dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Age One Dental Visit.”


Although distressing to many parents, infants and toddlers sucking their thumb is a common if not universal habit. Most children phase out of it by around age 4, usually with no ill effects. But thumb-sucking continuing into late childhood could prove problematic for a child’s bite.

Thumb sucking is related to how young children swallow. All babies are born with what is called an infantile swallowing pattern, in which they thrust their tongues forward while swallowing to ensure their lips seal around a breast or bottle nipple when they nurse. Thumb-sucking mimics this action, which most experts believe serves as a source of comfort when they’re not nursing.

Around 3 or 4, their swallowing transitions to a permanent adult swallowing pattern: the tip of the tongue now positions itself against the back of the top front teeth (you can notice it yourself when you swallow). This is also when thumb sucking normally fades.

If a child, however, has problems transitioning to an adult pattern, they may continue to thrust their tongue forward and/or prolong their thumb-sucking habit. Either can put undue pressure on the front teeth causing them to move and develop too far forward. This can create what’s known as an open bite: a slight gap still remains between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are shut rather than the normal overlapping of the upper teeth over the lower.

While we can orthodontically treat an open bite, we can minimize the extent of any treatments if we detect the problem early and intervene with therapies to correct an abnormal swallowing pattern or prolonged thumb sucking. For the former we can assist a child in performing certain exercises that help retrain oral and facial muscles to encourage a proper swallowing pattern. This may also help diminish thumb sucking, but we may in addition need to use positive reinforcement techniques to further discourage the habit.

To stay ahead of possible problems with thumb sucking or the swallowing pattern you should begin regularly taking them to the dentist around their first birthday. It’s also a good idea to have an orthodontic evaluation around age 6 for any emerging bite problems. Taking these positive steps could help you avoid undue concern over this common habit.

If you would like more information on managing your child’s thumb-sucking habit, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
October 03, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: family dentistry  

Who wants more stress in their life? Well, no one does, but it happens. Regarding your oral health, you can de-stress your experience at family dentistrythe dentist's office by going to one wonderful practice which serves your entire family's needs. That dental office is Krause Dental in Westfield, IN. Quite simply, Krause Dental offers family dentistry at its very best. Dr. Kenneth Krause and Dr. Katie Krause care for patients of all ages--from children to seniors, and they offer a full menu of preventive, restorative and cosmetic services. One-stop family dentistry in Westfield provides it all so you and yours experience superior oral health.

Prevention is key to longevity

The American Dental Association asks patients of all ages to see their family dentist twice a year. The professional staff at Krause Dental agrees because they see the long-term benefits of six-month exams and cleanings first hand.

For instance, hygienic cleanings remove toxic biofilm--that soft plaque and hard tartar which accumulate from the foods we eat. Toothbrush and floss can't reach it all, and left to its own devices, biofilm and its bacteria lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Additionally, your family dentist in Westfield checks every patient for oral cancer, bite problems, deteriorating restorations, bite issues and more. Because of their unique credentials, Dr. Kenneth Krause and Dr. Katie Krause team up to devise care plans that cover the age spectrum.

Restoration is crucial to good oral function

Whether your child, teen or even you require orthodontic correction, fillings, tooth replacement, root canal therapy or compassionate emergency care, the team at Krause Dental can bring your smiles back to best form and optimal function. The list of services includes state-of-the-art dental implants and implant-supported dentures. And, with the help of inhaled sedation (nitrous oxide) or oral conscious sedation, patients relax during more complex restorations and extractions.

Cosmetic services make you smile

Krause Dental offers orthodontic treatment--both conventional braces and clear Invisalign aligners. They benefit children, teens and adults, improving smile aesthetics and oral health and function. Evaluation, treatment and follow-up care all happen at this modern facility in Westfield.

So do cosmetic smile makeovers. From composite resin bonding to porcelain veneers to professional teeth whitening, teens, Mom and Dad and even Grandma and Grandpa receive aesthetic smile improvements that make sense for their stage of life and personal preference.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that most people would like to improve how their smiles look so they feel more confident. At Krause Dental, the team works tirelessly to help people achieve their smile goals.

Don't run all over town

Instead, bring the family to Krause Dental in Westfield, IN. Why not schedule your routine visits now? Call (317) 399-9329, and experience all that great family dentistry offers.