Bedtime in the Dentist’s Chair: Oral Sedation and Children

Most children do not like going to the dentist. All of that equipment can look daunting and scary for a child. This is why sedation dentistry exists: under sedation, your child will be less fearful of the dentist’s chair, especially for long and complex dental procedures.

As a parent, your child’s safety is of utmost importance – it’s no different when you opt to put them under dental sedation. It is vital that you know and understands what dental sedation is and how it will affect your child.

Types of Sedation and Anesthesia Used on Children

There are many different types of sedation that can be used on children.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative and is the least invasive form of dental sedation. Children breathe the gas in, with a little oxygen, to feel more relaxed and a little lightheaded.

Mild Sedation

This medication is usually given to older children. With this type of sedation, your child will be awake, but a little calmer. They would still be able to do what the dentist tells them to do. Trusted sedation dentists in Highlands Ranch, CO will be able to safely administer this kind of sedation to children while they do the dental work.

Moderate Sedation

With moderate sedation, children are sleepier. However, they can still do what their dentist asks them to do. Under moderate sedation, children can still breathe on their own and are easy to wake. Most children won’t be able to remember anything about the procedure.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation involves intravenous medications that will help your child sleep through the entire procedure. Your child may move a little, but they may not be able to breathe well on their own. That is why there should always be one other qualified professional – like an anesthesiologist or a dental sedation assistant – who can monitor your child’s vitals, such as their heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing during the procedure.

General Anesthesia

Under general anesthesia, your child will be completely asleep. The medication will be administered by specially trained anesthesia professionals. These professionals will also monitor your child’s vitals while the dentist performs the procedure.

Before Sedation

Dentist checking the patient's teeth

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should properly prepare their child for dental sedation by doing the following:

  • Notify the clinic of any change in your child’s medical condition. For example, if your child had a cold before a sedation appointment, it would probably be best to postpone the sedation.
  • Tell the clinic about any medications your child is taking.
  • Restrict the amount of food and drink that your child will take in the hours before the procedure. This will decrease the risk of vomiting and aspirating stomach contents into the lungs.
  • Dress your child in comfortable clothing.
  • Try not to bring other children with you to the appointment.

During Sedation

Parents can help their children relax by being calm and encouraging, as well as doing the following:

  • Watch your child closely after the sedatives are administered before they get to the treatment room since they may become sleepy, dizzy, uncoordinated, or irritable.
  • Remain close to your child to prevent injuries from stumbling.
  • Be prepared to remain in the clinic until the dentist has said that it is safe for your child to be discharged. Children recover from sedatives at different rates so you may have to wait in the dentist’s clinic for a period of time.

After Sedation

After sedation, your child may still be drowsy. They must be supervised by an adult until they are fully recovered. The following are some aftercare procedures that you can do to help your child deal with the effects of the sedatives:

  • Your child may become nauseated after the sedation appointment. This is normal; nausea and vomiting are possible side effects of sedation.
  • Restrict activities for the rest of the day as your child may still be drowsy for some time after the sedation appointment.
  • Your child’s first meal after a sedation appointment should be light and easily digestible, like soup.

Pediatric sedation dentistry is a safe procedure that your child can undergo to help them with any dentist anxiety they may have. With the right preparation and proper care before and after the procedure, you can provide the best experience for your child.

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healthy lifestyle

Entering Your Forties? It’s Never Too Late to Get Fit!

People have probably told you that life begins at forty. It’s when you enjoy the fruits of your two-decade labor, after all. At forty, you’re ready to do almost everything: travel to various places, reap the rewards of having a stable professional network, raise a family, or enjoy the rest of your bachelor or bachelorette years.

Keyword: almost. There are lots of things you might not see yourself doing. And the one that your doctor probably always bugs you about is exercising.

Before you say you’re “too old to start, ” let me clarify that exercising is for all ages. It strengthens the body and boosts your energy. It’s even more important if you’re a middle-aged adult because you might be facing several medical conditions. Your body would thank you for every extra ounce of strength it would get.

Steer Clear of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Being sedentary might have worked out fine during your youth, but continuing down that road leads to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic ailments. It also speeds up the aging process. The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that women who are sedentary for more than 10 hours had biologically older cells than their actual age.

Inactivity messes up your mood, too. A 2013 article published in the journal Mental Health and Physical Activity found that people who sat for more than six hours a day experienced higher psychological distress compared to active individuals.

Why Should You Start Now?

Let me start by saying that exercise can extend your life. The Harvard Health Publishing blog says it boosts by more than seven years. A separate study from the Queen’s University in Canada says regular physical activity adds 2.4 years to a man’s life and 3 years to a woman’s.

Exercise doesn’t just add years to your life; it adds life to your years, too. You feel better, sharper, and more energetic after only a few weeks of regular physical activity.

I won’t delve into the long list of advantages. But, I’d say that one of the greatest perks of exercising is that you can look good, even well into your sixties!

Start Moving

When you start exercising, remember not to go overboard. Choose low-impact activities that your body could handle. After all, your body is not accustomed to intense activity. If you overexert yourself, you might sustain muscle and bone injuries. So, start small and build your endurance slowly. A safe starting point is to brisk walk for 10 minutes every second day. 

jogging

Don’t move with slow and lazy steps, though; maintain a moderate intensity of movement. For instance, walk at a pace where your breathing and heart rate is elevated, but you can still talk.

When this activity starts to feel easy, increase the activity to 10 minutes per day or two-10 minute sessions every other day.

It’s small, but it’s a start. Once you got this on lock, set your sights on a more serious exercise routine.

Check with Your Doctor

It would take a lot more than brisk walking to build your stamina. Too much exercise, however, might be detrimental for people with certain conditions. If you’re any of the following, check with your physician before creating an exercise routine:

  • You are unsteady on your feet
  • You experience dizzy spells often
  • You have chronic conditions like heart disease, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis

Your doctor would likely recommend a safe amount of physical activity. And don’t worry; typical exercise programs consider one’s age and medical conditions. If you’re signing up for a gym-based training program, be transparent about your condition and the doctor’s recommendations.

A Healthy Variation of Exercise

Varying the types of activities in your routine is important. As a rule of thumb, include tasks that target different muscle groups. Use the four Building Blocks of Fitness as a guide:

Cardio Endurance –Cardio training’s main goal is to build your endurance. This involves rhythmic motions that target large groups of muscles—those that get your breath racing and your heart pumping. After some time, you won’t get tired as easily, and you’d be active for longer periods. Exercises include walking, running, jogging, hiking, cycling, dancing, and swimming.

Strength and Power – Strength training builds your muscles and helps you handle greater resistance, while power training lets you do the same things faster. The former builds muscle mass and prevents bone loss. The latter, meanwhile, improves your reaction time. Both ease the way you perform your day-to-day activities. Strength and power exercises include free weights and elastic bands.

Flexibility – These exercises allow your joints to move freely and give your body a full range of motion. Do these regularly, and you’ll stay supple and agile. Activities are simple: you just have to perform stationary and mobile stretches.

BalanceBalancing activities help you stay upright and maintain stability. They let you distribute weight evenly throughout the body, improve bone health, and reduce the risk of falling and slipping.

fitness
cycling

Staying Motivated

I admit it’s hard to stay faithful to your fitness routine, especially if you come from an inactive lifestyle. So, if you feel like you’re unmotivated, try the following:
  • Write down your goals and mark them if you achieve them. There’s nothing more encouraging than seeing yourself get better every time.
  • Get a friend to exercise with you. It’s more fun to do routines if you have company. Your fitness buddy would motivate you, too (and vice versa) if you’re discouraged to continue.
  • Vary your training. A training program might have this covered. But if you’re exercising on your own, don’t stick to brisk walking. Follow the four building blocks of fitness. Try weights, yoga, tai chi, and aerobics. You can even give CrossFit a try (even when you enter your sixties!)
  • Incorporate other leisurely activities into your routine. Listen to your favorite songs while you’re jogging or running, for instance or watch popular TV series while you’re on the treadmill.
  • Reward yourself! Get that new shirt that shows off your arms, a relaxing day at the spa, or a cheat day (that’s within reasonable limits, please).
Getting into exercise isn’t easy if you’ve been a lifelong couch potato (trust me, I’ve been there). It takes a lot of effort and motivation to keep going. If you keep at it, though, you’ll see that the results are worth the hardwork. Check out our site for more tips on your fitness journey.
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