Dental Tips Blog

Mar
31

How to Help When Your Child’s First Molars Come In

The first baby molars show up around age one to one and a half. The next ones come in around age two. Later on in childhood the six-year molars arrive. These are the first adult teeth to show up behind the baby teeth.

Molars are very different from incisors, which easily break through the gums. They have more surface area to work out of the gums. By the time molars come in, your child will be needing them to chew on solid foods. The gum tissue covering a new molar can get irritated and inflamed if bitten on while chewing.

So what can you do to ease your child’s discomfort while molars erupt?

Relief for Sore Gums

Offer soft foods like applesauce and yogurt and soups that aren’t too hot.

Icy teething rings are also helpful. Instead of a toy, you can provide the snack of a raw whole carrot, washed, chilled, and peeled. This will allow your child to massage the gums while cooling them and enjoying a healthy snack.

Ask your child’s pediatric dentist about safe pain-relief medications.

Keep your child’s gums clean as those teeth emerge! The tissue covering molars can easily get infected from food and bacteria buildup.

Healthy Molars for Life

Baby’s primary molars are important because they act as placeholders for what will be the adult bicuspids. Those baby molars may not be lost until as late as age 13. In some rare cases where the adult tooth is not present, the baby tooth may stay in place for life.

Make sure all of your child’s teeth are healthy and accounted for. Schedule a checkup with your child’s dentist.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Mar
30

5 Myths About Your Child’s Oral Hygiene

A healthy smile is an essential part of your child’s wellbeing. To protect it, you need to know the truth about what is and what isn’t good for kids’ smiles.

Here are some common myths to be wary of:

  1. Baby teeth don’t matter since they’re going to fall out, anyway.

Your child will hold onto some of those baby teeth until he’s 11 or 12 years old. That’s a long time to live with a toothache! Cavities can spread to the new adult teeth. Treat baby teeth whenever your pediatric dentist recommends it.

  1. Juice is healthier than soda.

Nope, it’s about the same! Sugar and acid galore!

  1. Kids should brush after breakfast for fresh breath.

Brushing right after meals only spreads food acids around the enamel. Everyone should wait for at least a half hour after eating to brush. Get your kids’ brushing over with first thing in the morning if there’s no time to do it after breakfast.

  1. Children don’t need to see a dentist until they’re old enough to sit still.

The appearance of the first baby tooth is occasion enough for the first dental visit! Babies don’t need dental cleanings, but it’s good for your pediatric dentist to check on their tooth development.

  1. Kids need to rinse after brushing or they could swallow fluoride.

Rinsing defeats fluoride’s purpose of strengthening teeth! Kids should spit after brushing. That’s enough to get out the excess fluoride. They should have no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their brush to begin with. If your child consistently spits after brushing, their teeth will benefit and they’ll be at no risk for fluoride toxicity.

Visit your child’s dentist to debunk more dental myths.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Feb
12

Is Your Child Ready to Start Using Toothpaste?

“The sooner the better!” according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

But what if your child swallows toothpaste? How soon is soon?

Fluoride From The First Tooth

As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, it’s perfectly safe to start using a fluoride toothpaste. The important thing is that you’re in control of how much and how often your child is exposed to the fluoride. Use a child’s toothpaste that has a milder flavor to discourage them from swallowing it.

Fluoride is essential for developed teeth, both baby and adult ones. This mineral works by reinforcing the enamel and making it resistant to decay. The sooner your child’s teeth start getting exposure to fluoride, the better their teeth will fight off cavities.

Is It Safe For Babies To Have Fluoride?

Again, controlling the exposure is the key here. You as the parent should be brushing baby’s first teeth with a soft toothbrush and a smear of children’s fluoride toothpaste. This means just enough to get on the teeth, but not enough to do any damage if swallowed.

As your child reaches the toddler years, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to the size of a pea, but you still need to supervise their brushing. Make sure he or she is spitting out the toothpaste after they brush. If spitting toothpaste is an issue, have him or her practice for a while with a fluoride-free paste.

But once they master the concept of spitting, it should be right back to that I-mean-business fluoride!

Your pediatric dentist can provide more information on age-appropriate oral hygiene for your child.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

Jan
29

Why Fluoride is So Important for Kids’ Teeth

A child’s mouth is the perfect place for cavities to flourish. Most little kids aren’t very cooperative with efforts to keep their teeth clean. If they brush their teeth themselves, children are likely to miss a lot of important areas.

Add to this the fact that kids love sweet things, plus the weaker nature of primary (baby) teeth, and you’ve got a tooth decay recipe on your hands.

Here’s how fluoride treatment can help:

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many foods including fish, vegetables, and tea. Fluoride “upgrades” molecules in the hard layers of you or your child’s teeth, reinforcing them and making them less susceptible to decay.

Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately and it’s not like the entire tooth is turned to fluoride. But constant minimal fluoride-exposure makes it very easy to avoid decay.

Big Worries Caused by Cavities

Cavities can absolutely devastate a child’s smile. Tooth decay hurts baby teeth just as much as it does adult ones. A severe cavity could lead to your child getting a tooth filled, crowned, or pulled to alleviate their pain.

A steady and safe supply of fluoride could help spare your child discomfort and save you money on preventable problems. By incorporating this mineral via toothpaste or a rinse per your dentist’s instructions, you can actively lower your kid’s cavity risk even if they aren’t the best about brushing!

Fluoride is a safety net that has changed the future of dentistry for the next generation. But this mineral is widely misunderstood and underestimated. For more information on the necessity of safe fluoride use, plan a visit with your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Jan
10

Baby’s First Birthday? Time for a First Dental Visit, Too!

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, kids should come in for their first pediatric dental exam by the time they are only one year of age. If your baby gets his or her first tooth before then, plan the appointment even sooner.

What’s the hurry here?

Educating Mom And Dad

Most parents aren’t aware that their responsibility in caring for baby’s smile starts well before the first tooth arrives. Your dentist will give you suggestions for an age-appropriate oral cleaning routine for your child.

Setting Healthy Habits

If you wait until your child is five or six years old with a throbbing toothache to bring them into a dental office, you’re only setting them up for pain and anxiety. It’s so much better if your son or daughter is already comfortable in the dental chair! This will help them relax and cooperate if more serious treatment is needed.

By bringing your child in as an infant, they get used to having a dentist examine their mouth. Not to mention, they’ll also get the chance to be comfortable around dental equipment.

Stay A Step Ahead Of Dental Problems

Many oral issues can be traced back to problems with tooth development in infants. For example, thumb-sucking can lead to poor tooth alignment. That, in turn, can increase the risk of your child developing gum disease and decay when he or she gets older.

Getting into a routine of regular dental visits now is one of the best ways you can guarantee a healthy future for your son or daughter. Contact your local dental office today to schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Court Square Dentistry
24-24 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101
917-832-1022

Jan
4

Mouthwash and Your Kids – 4 Things Every Parent Should Know

Mouth rinse is a common find in most American households. Adults love it for the instant minty freshness and patients of all ages can benefit from the disease-fighting properties.

But is mouthwash safe for your kids to use? Here are four things to consider before letting your children start rinsing.

  1. Age Matters

Swallowing too much fluoride can permanently damage developing tooth enamel. Your child shouldn’t get sick from swallowing a small amount of fluoride-containing rinse, but their teeth could have cosmetic issues later on if this becomes an ongoing habit.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends kids don’t start rinsing until they’re at least six years old. This is when most kids are coordinated enough to spit out a mouthwash instead of swallowing it.

  1. Mouthwash Is Not A Substitute

A rinse can be a helpful additive to the brushing routine by removing leftover bits of debris and delivering extra fluoride. But keep in mind that it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Make sure your kids are doing well with hygiene before you give them liberty to use a rinse.

  1. Buy A Rinse Designed For Kids

Colorful graphics on the bottle help get kids excited about their oral hygiene. Fun colors and tasty flavors also make it appealing. Child mouth rinses are alcohol-free, making them safer and more pleasant.

  1. No Unsupervised Rinsing

Keep track of what kind of rinse your child uses, how they use it, and how often. Put a bottle of mouthwash out of reach entirely if your child is still learning how to use it safely. Unsupervised, your child could swallow an unsafe amount of the product.

Consult your pediatric dentist before introducing a mouthwash to make sure your child is ready.

Posted on behalf of:
The Grove Family Dentistry
6200 Center St Suite I
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 350-8592

Dec
31

Why A Dental Crown May Be Your Child’s Best Option

Tooth decay is just as serious for kids as it is for adults. If not more so. A cavity in a baby tooth isn’t something you can afford to ignore just because “that tooth will fall out, anyway.”

Cavities spread rapidly in children’s mouths. Kids aren’t great about keeping their teeth clean, but baby teeth have thin enamel. Decay can quickly reach the pulp where it can develop a life-threatening abscess.

Sometimes, a crown is the only treatment option.

Can’t You Pull the Tooth?

Occasionally. But that will depend on your child’s tooth development. Each baby tooth acts as a placeholder for an adult one that’s yet to come. If that tiny placeholder is lost too soon, other teeth can drift and fill the gap, causing crowding once the grown-up one comes in.

Pulling a tooth and putting in a spacer is usually a last-resort option.

What About a Filling?

Getting a filling while the cavity is still small is always the preferred route from the outset. But as mentioned before, baby teeth have very thin enamel layers compared to adult ones. It doesn’t take long for a cavity to reach a critical stage. Trying to fill the tooth could result in more damage and pain to your child.

Why Crown A Baby Tooth

Most decayed baby teeth are capped with stainless steel crowns. The benefits to doing so include:

  • Economical
  • Long-lasting
  • Little to no sensitivity
  • More complete protection for the tooth than a filling

When options get limited, a dental crown really does become the best restorative solution for many kids. Of course, it’s best to avoid decay in the first place, so talk with your child’s dentist about preventative treatment and age-appropriate oral hygiene methods.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Dec
19

Pediatric or General Dentist – Which is Right for Your Child?

Most parents wait until their child is a few years old to bring them to their first dental appointment. Then they find themselves facing this question: where do they bring their kid for a checkup?

If you live in an area where there are plenty of dental offices to choose from, you may feel torn between visiting the family dentist and seeing a pediatric dentist.

Benefits Of Staying With The Family Dentist

Just because a dentist is a “general” dentist doesn’t mean he or she is unqualified to treat kids. In fact, they probably have lots of experience in treating patients of all ages.

Why stick with your family dentist for your child’s dental care?

  • Convenient scheduling
  • Staff you’re familiar with
  • Child will already know dentist
  • Often simpler insurance billing

When To See A Pediatric Dentist

If there is a pediatric dental office in your area, it’s definitely worth checking out. Pediatric dentists take a couple extra years to study child health and psychology. Their offices are equipped with uniquely small-sized tools and cheery décor to make the environment comfortable and fun for kids.

Why and when you should check out a pediatric office:

  • Your child has special needs
  • You suspect a serious developmental problem with your child’s teeth
  • Your child needs advanced treatment involving sedation
  • Your child gets very nervous in other medical settings

There aren’t any downsides to either decision that you need to worry about. The bottom line is that this is a personal decision for your family to make. Your own dentist can help you consider which benefits apply to your situation.

Posted on behalf of:
Sugar Creek Family Dental
1165 Gravois Rd. Suite 140
Fenton, MO 63026
(636) 255-8325

Dec
12

Can Milk Cause Tooth Decay in Babies?

Milk contains natural sugars. Sugars are simple carbohydrates that fuel cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Babies pick up these germs from their families soon after birth.

So yes, milk has the potential to cause decay in the newly-erupted teeth of infants and toddlers who drink it.

Avoiding Bottle Rot

Baby bottle tooth decay is linked to a habit of carrying around a bottle or sippy cup of liquid all day long. If your baby has convenient access to milk or juice any time of the day, then he or she is at risk for developing a serious case of cavities.

Promote a healthy baby smile by:

  • Limiting juice and milk to mealtimes, not nap times
  • Wiping out your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after each feeding
  • Brushing your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush as soon as they appear
  • Offering your toddler water whenever he or she is thirsty 

What About Breastfeeding?

Breastmilk does contain some natural sugar. So, while it’s rich in good things for your baby, you should still make it a practice to clean baby’s mouth after each feeding, right from the very start.

Breastfeeding seems to play a role in promoting healthy tooth alignment and it’s the best way for a mom to transfer antibodies to her growing baby. This activity is one of the best ways to bond with a new child, so it’s natural to occasionally fall asleep with baby on the breast.

Even still, try not to let that become a habit. Wipe out your child’s mouth after each feeding.

Talk with your pediatric dentist for more information on keeping your baby’s teeth strong and healthy.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Dec
5

No Juice for Kids Under Age 1, American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends

Over the past 15 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has given the okay for babies to start having juice by the age of six months.

That recommendation changed just this month.

According to the new guidelines, parents should not introduce fruit juice to their kids until they are past the age of 1.

What’s behind this latest change?

Protect Baby Smiles!

Worry over the high obesity rate in America has prompted a fresh look at how much juice our kids are drinking.

But there is another more sinister concern.

While fruit juice is a sweet treat and some fortified varieties offer vitamins, there is no actual need for babies between 6-12 months to drink juice. They get all essential nutrients from the breastmilk or formula they consume. If more fluid is necessary, plain water is perfect.

Many parents have gotten their babies into a tooth-harming habit of sucking down fruit juice in a sippy cup or bottle all day long. Sure, it keeps the kid quiet for a while, but the steady exposure to all that sugar can cause permanent damage to both baby and later, the adult teeth.

With this in mind, experts now recommend that you keep your child in the habit of reaching for water when they’re thirsty. Ideally, they’ll continue to make the wise choice as they get older!

Invest in Your Child’s Smile

You can ensure a lifelong healthy smile for your child by taking a few preventative measures. Cut back on sources of sugar in your child’s diet (like fruit juice). Encourage good oral hygiene and take your child to your pediatric dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

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