Phone: 910-778-8485 fax: 910-778-8477

2980 Ray Road Spring Lake NC 28390 Near Overhills Schools

Vincent Vissichelli, DMD

Board Certified Pediatric Dentist

Specializing in the treatment of infants, children, teens and special needs patients.

Patient Forms


Sealants are used to protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay.

Your dentist can help prevent or reduce the incidence of decay by applying sealants to your child’s teeth.
– A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is painlessly applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most often.
– Sealants protect normal depressions and grooves in the teeth called pits and fissures, which are particularly susceptible to tooth decay.

Finger sucking/ thumb sucking

Does your child suck his or her thumb?

In babies and young children, thumbsucking is a normal, soothing reflex. As the permanent teeth come in, however, continued thumbsucking can cause improper growth of the mouth and tooth misalignment.

– Children should stop thumbsucking by the time the permanent teeth come in, usually around six or seven years of age.
– You can try changing your child’s habit by offering praise and rewards for not sucking the thumb. If this does not help, consult with your dentist.

Early tooth Decay

Early Childhood Caries can destroy your child’s teeth:
It occurs when a child is frequently exposed to sugary liquids such as milk, including breast milk, fruit juice and other sweet liquids. The ADA recommends the following steps to prevent your child from getting baby bottle tooth decay.
– Begin clearing your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth. After every feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque.
– Never give your baby a bottle with milk, formula, sugar water or fruit juice during naps or at night in bed.
– Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
– Discourage frequent use of a training cup.
– Help your child develop good eating habits early and choose sensible, nutritious snacks.

What mouth guard is best for you?

There are three types of mouthguards:

  • Custom-fitted. These are made by your dentist for you personally. Since they are customized they usually offer the best fit.
  • Stock. These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.
  • Boil and bite. These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth.

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, in your child’s dental growing years (until age 12 years) I recommend that they have a new mouthguard every 6 months for proper fit.  It may not be practical for you to have a custom made mouth guard every 6 months so you may want use a stock mouthguard or a boil-and-bite mouthguard until you child has lost all their baby teeth.

If you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw, your dentist may suggest a mouth protector for these teeth as well.



Mouthguard History

First mouthguards used in Boxing

Mouthguards were made out of cotton, tape, sponge, or small pieces of wood.  The boxers had to clench to keep these in.

1892 – A British Denits, Dr. Woolf Krause, used a natural rubber resin, gutta-percha, to protect boxers’ teeth.

1921 – Phillip Krause, Woolf’s son, created a mouthguard, called a gum shield, that could be reused.

Early 20th century – American denitst , Dr. Thomas Carlos and Dr. E. Allen Franke developed mouthguards that could be reused.

Today we have Custom-fitted, Stock, Boil and Bite

6 great uses of mouthguards

1.  Prevent injury in sports – Mouthguards do not only protect teeth they also prevent or reduce harm of concussion and protect the upper and lower jaw bones.

The American Dental Association recommended the use of mouthguards in all contact sports in 1960 and in 1973 the NCAA required the use of mouthguards for football.  Today the ADA recommends using mouth guards for 29 sports including boxing, football, rugby, ice hockey, basketball, handball, bandy, baseball, bicycling, gymnastics, water polo, wrestling, surfing, skiing, weightlifting, skydiving, squash, softball, shot putting, equestrian, and skateboarding.

2. Mouthguards may be used as splints to decrease the strain on the  muscles used in chewing and reduce the strain in temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

3.  To prevent wear from tooth grinding or bruxism

4.  To deliver topical medications – to treat some gingival diseases, dental decay and for  teeth whitening

5.  To help control habits such as cheek biting.

6.  For orthodontics – Invisalign is a series of mouthguards that will position teeth over time.

Tongue piercing?

Tongue piercing is on the rise, but body ornamentation is really nothing new. For centuries, body piercing has been an important part of many cultures. Some Native Americans tribes used body piercing during ceremonies. The Mayans pierced their tongues for spiritual reasons.

The first report of oral piercing appeared in the medical literature in 1992. The first report of a life-threatening complication appeared just a few years later in the British Dental Journal.

Potential Non Life-threatening Complications:
· Fractures of the teeth.
· Problems with eating.
· Loss of taste.
· Problems with speaking.
· Increased salivation.
· Injury to the gum tissue.
· Scar tissue formation in the tongue.
· Barbells may make it hard to see dental problems during dental x-rays.

Potential Life-threatening Complications:
· Infection. Hepatitis B is the most serious threat.
· Disease transmission. Organisms include HBV, HCV, HDV, HGV, EBV, HSV, HIV, tetanus, and candida.
· Airway obstruction can be due to swelling of the tongue, or swelling as a result of a severe cellulitis – such as Ludwig’s Angina.
· Prolonged bleeding, especially if a large artery has been punctured.
· Aspiration of the barbell into the larynx or lungs, causing an airway obstruction.
· An allergic reaction to the metal.

To pierce or not to pierce…that is the question?
After considering the dangers of tongue piercing the choice is yours.


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