Antibiotics: Discussion By Our Children’s Dentistry Office

Posted on: September 2, 2015

Childrens DentistryAs a children’s dentistry office, we are intimately aware of the great benefits and some of the dangers associated with antibiotics. To begin with, there has never quite been an advance as impactful as the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming in 1928. This discovery allowed us to fight all kinds of dental bacteria and infections with a great deal of success. In addition to other advances by modern medicine, the discovery of antibiotics allowed dentists all over the world, including us, to change how we viewed and treated bacterial infections in the mouth. With careful moderation and understanding of the very specific use of antibiotics, they are an exceptional tool to have. Unfortunately, for a long period of time, antibiotics were overused in much of medical science. This resulted in the alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterial infections. Here, at our childrens dentistry office, the question we begin with is never what antibiotic to use, but if we should be using one at all. By carefully controlling the use of this great medicine, we can ensure that when your child needs to take it, it is extremely effective. At times, this can seem like a slower than needed approach, but it is systematic to maximize their body’s own ability to fight infections, both now and in the future. In taking this approach, we have run into several common urban legends and myths about antibiotics.

As a childrens dentistry office, one of our passions is helping people understand the difference between the work that medicines do and how your body handles infections. Antibiotics have gained the reputation for being a super medicine, and we understand how that can happen. When we prescribe an antibiotic, we do so in select situations. From the patient’s perspective when this happens, they are quick to see results, whether it is the removal of pain, the reduction in swelling, or even a fever that goes away. This leaves little doubt in the mind of the patient that the antibiotic is a great thing. The reality, however, is that the antibiotic is designed only to help rebalance the inequality between your body’s own antibodies and the infection. Once this happens, your body will be the one that takes care of the infection with its own antibodies, learning the genetic code of the infection in the process and becoming prepared in the event it should ever come back.

Another common myth has to do with this idea that antibiotics are an exact science, so you need to make sure you take them regularly at the same time every day, because if you do not complete the course, the infection will return. The thing you need to remember is that antibiotics are actually an inexact science given that your body is the one actually fighting the infection, so when we prescribe an antibiotic, it is using the experience we have with similar infections. In addition, our goal is to find and treat the cause of the infection, which means there is virtually no chance of any infection returning once you start receiving care at our dentist office. However, as a childrens dentistry office our first goal is to ensure that your child does not need antibiotics in the first place. This is done by cleaning their teeth and preventing infections along with treating them early if they do occur.

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