Dental Tips Blog

Apr
17

When Your Child Won’t Sit Still at the Dentist

That enchanting and innocent smile is worth every effort to protect. But despite your best efforts, your child may not appreciate the need for dentistry.  Managing expectations, choosing a pediatric dentist, and dental sedation are all options for achieving a positive outcome at your child’s next dental visit.

Some children have a hard time sitting still for treatment because of high energy levels. Others struggle with severe anxiety in the medical setting.  What can you do to help your little one get the fullest benefit from every dental visit?

Be Reasonable

It’s not unusual for parents to want their kids to get treatment as soon as possible. All children should have their first oral examination by the time they are around 1 year old. But they may not need a professional cleaning until they are at least 3.

Don’t panic if your dentist feels your child may be too young for dental sealants or a fluoride treatment. This doesn’t mean that your child will miss out on important benefits. Your dentist knows when a procedure will do your child the most good.

Be reasonable in your expectations of what your child can handle. Most necessary major procedures aren’t tolerated well by kids in general.

Discuss Dental Sedation

Even kids who are old enough to be expected to sit through treatment may have a hard time. Certain medications can help them to relax or even doze through a procedure. Your dentist will have suggestions for a safe and effective sedative treatment.

Look for a Pediatric Specialist

After discussing matters with your dentist, you may realize that your child would do better at a pediatric dentist. These offices cater to very young children and those with special needs. When all else fails, your dentist can make a recommendation for a trusted pediatric dentist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

Apr
15

Why Are My Kid’s Teeth Orange?

We all get dirty teeth from time to time, but is it really normal for your child to have bright orange staining across the front of their smile?

Dark Teeth Are Natural, But. . .

One factor that might contribute to your kid’s discolored smile could be the fact that their new adult teeth are just growing in. These teeth look dark in comparison with the bright white baby teeth nearby.

As adult chompers slowly emerge, they may accumulate lots of dental plaque. Plaque is mainly gobs of bacteria that produce odor, stain, and enamel-wearing acids. New teeth are rough in texture and awkwardly-positioned. This could make it hard for your child to brush them thoroughly, leaving behind the plaque and debris that grows into orange stain.

How is the Hygiene?

Orange stain is usually a sign that your child is not brushing well, if at all. Old dental plaque that just sits on teeth for weeks on end will pick up pigments from foods your child eats and it just grows and grows.

Kids may think they do well with brushing twice a day. But closer inspection of their technique might reveal that they aren’t getting the toothbrush close enough to the gum line. As a result, the plaque flourishes and grows thick in that region.

Schedule a Cleaning Visit ASAP

If your son or daughter is having a hard time keeping up with the plaque growth in their mouth, then they definitely could use a professional cleaning by your pediatric dentist. Your local dental hygienist will not only remove surface plaque and orange stain, but he or she will help your child pick up new techniques for brushing properly.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Feb
14

Don’t Ignore Cavities in Baby Teeth!

It’s easy to think that your child doesn’t really need to have a baby tooth filled. After all, it will fall out soon, right? There’s actually a lot more to it.

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t ever ignore that cavity in your child’s baby tooth.

  1. Baby teeth are essential to adult tooth eruption.

A primary (baby) tooth is a placeholder and guide for the adult one to follow. If it falls out too soon from decay, the adult tooth may grow in crooked. Even worse, decay from a baby tooth can damage the permanent one before it even makes it to the surface.

  1. Where there’s one cavity, more will follow.

Cavities are extremely contagious between teeth. The longer a decayed tooth is there, the more likely other teeth will suffer.

  1. A toothache hurts your baby just as badly as it bothers you.

It’s simply not fair to assume that your child will be fine because the decayed tooth isn’t a permanent one.

  1. Poor self-image affect kids of all ages.

Don’t underestimate how your child may feel about having one or more rotted teeth. Tooth decay smells bad and other kids may make negative comments about your child’s hygiene. Some children are embarrassed to smile with their “dirty” or “ugly” teeth.

  1. An abscess can damage the brain.

A severely decayed tooth can develop an abscess. This is an acute infection of the nerves in a tooth that escapes into the surrounding jawbone. Sometimes, this infection can travel to the brain and cause life-threatening problems.

If your child complains of a toothache, visit your pediatric or family dentist as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Jan
25

Why Does My Child Need a Dental Exam for School?

Schools in a handful of states require young ones to have a ‘clearance form’ of sorts confirming they have seen a dentist.

What’s going on here? Is this an invasion of your family’s health values?

The Purpose of the Exam

State legislations may determine the need for kids to visit the dentist by the start of the school year. The rationale is simply to make a parent like you aware of your child’s health. Most of the time, a school can’t require you to follow through with dental treatment by a certain point in time. They just want an up-to-date record.

What Does This Mean for You?

Being aware of your child’s dental health will give you an idea of what to expect for the next year. Nearly 1 in 3 pre-schoolers in the U.S. has some experience with cavities. Baby teeth are important to your kid’s health so the risk of tooth decay is not one you can afford to ignore.

It’s always better to treat early rather than wait until the problem is too big to ignore. Other matters the dentist will address include:

  • Jaw and tooth development
  • Oral hygiene routine
  • Preventive treatments like fluoride and sealants
  • A thorough dental cleaning

This early appointment is critical for getting an idea of what kind of help your child needs. Being proactive about their dental care now can help them to not miss so much school later on due to dental appointments or pain.

Don’t put off that key dental evaluation! Get it out of the way as soon as possible by calling your pediatric dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

Jan
21

When Your Child Won’t Let You Brush

Ideally, you want to get your kids used to having their teeth cleaned while they’re still very young. Good habit forming at a young age can have a huge impact on their future adult smile.

What if in spite of your best efforts, your toddler or preschooler just won’t cooperate with a tooth brushing routine?

Make it Fun

Small children don’t usually grasp the importance of clean teeth. It’s similar to explaining to them why they need to wear socks with their shoes.

Make the activity of tooth brushing as fun and engaging as possible. Let your child watch you brush your teeth, exaggerating the excitement as you do so. Your son or daughter is much more inclined to copy you than to let you do something they aren’t sure they’ll like.

Reverse Roles

Let your kids brush someone else’s teeth. They could be your own teeth or those of a stuffed animal. If your child feels helpful by brushing another’s teeth, then they may understand a little better why they should do it too.

Be Flexible and Patient

Is the toothbrush the issue? Many toddlers are scared of a plastic toothbrush in their mouth. Use a washcloth wrapped around your finger to clean your son or daughter’s teeth until they become accustomed to having something in their mouth. With time and patience, your child will feel more comfortable with a regular brush.

Clean teeth are absolutely vital to your child’s health. Don’t give up because they are resistant! Even if don’t appreciate it now, they will in later years. Ask your pediatric dentist for more tips tailored to your child’s needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Jan
10

When to Introduce Your Kids to Mouthwash

All parents who care about their kids’ health want to know the best ways to prevent sickness.

Excellent oral hygiene is essential keeping small mouths free of dental disease.

For many adults, keeping their smiles healthy includes the use of a mouthwash. It makes sense to wonder whether a rinse is also a good idea for your child.

Age 12 and Up

Did you ever notice that warning label on a bottle of mouthwash? Most products are recommended for kids age 12 and older. If your child is younger, it’s best to ask your child’s dentist first.

In generally, kids age 6-12 can safely use a rinse with parental supervision, but there are some important things to keep in mind.

Is Your Child Ready?

Of course, there is always the risk of swallowing. Before you give your child the green light to swish-and-spit, you need to make sure that they know how to spit. Practice rinsing with some harmless water before introducing something stronger.

Rinse with Caution

There are different kinds of oral rinses and not just any kind will do. Some are specifically for fighting gum infections while others are high in cavity-fighting fluoride. Fluoride-rich mouthwashes are usually great for kids, but too much too soon can cause excessive mineralization (and stains) inside of their developing teeth.

While age 12 is a loose recommendation, there is no exact point in your kid’s biological development at which they’re ready for mouthwash. Only a dental expert who knows your child personally can safely make the call.

Before you cautiously introduce your child to the healthy benefits of mouthwash, plan a visit with your family dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317

Jan
7

Are Dental Crowns Safe for Kids?

If you’re here for the short answer, then yes, dental crowns ARE safe for kids! But the real question is: why do kids need dental crowns in the first place? Truth be told, they may be vital to your child’s dental health.

The Purpose of Dental Crowns

When a tooth fractures or has a very large cavity, a crown helps hold the tooth together and protect it from further damage. A crown will prevent sensitivity and let your kids continue to use the tooth to chew on.

Why Crown a Baby Tooth?

Treating the damaged tooth will spare your child unnecessary pain. It’s important to preserve the tooth because it saves the space for the adult tooth to follow. If the baby tooth is lost too soon, the adult tooth may come in crooked or be impacted, creating orthodontic complications later on.

Additionally, the infection in the baby tooth can travel to the developing adult one and damage it before it arrives.

The Crown Procedure for Kids

It’s a very routine and safe process for kids to get dental crowns. If your child is particularly anxious, your dentist may arrange for some light sedation with laughing gas or an oral medication.

Just like any other crown procedure, the affected tooth is carefully shaped, the crown is designed to fit the prepared tooth (usually stainless steel for baby teeth), and it’s cemented in place.

Help your child care for the crown with careful flossing, daily brushing, and age-appropriate doses of fluoride.

A dental crown is a safe solution for kids’ smiles! Contact your dentist to learn more about the procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358

Jan
6

How to Help Your Child Behave at the Dentist Office

Depending upon age, prior experience, and maturity level, each child’s ability to sit through a dental appointment varies. If you have more than one child, you know how different siblings can be!

Some children might get particularly fussy or anxious when they know it’s time for a dental checkup. How can you avoid making a simple dental cleaning such a chore? These few suggestions may help.

Leave the Room

Kids will often behave better when in a room with authority figures they don’t know. Because your child already knows what buttons to push, he or she is very comfortable with letting you know how they feel and they know what to say and what to do to get their way. Consider stepping outside (just out of eyesight will do) while your child is having treatment.

Communicate with the Dental Team

Let the dentist and other staff know about your concerns and your child’s needs. Especially previous experiences. This way, everyone can plan in advance to give your child the time he or she needs for the best care.

Remain Calm

Kids tend to feed off their parents’ mood. If you’re needlessly worried about dental treatment yourself, your child will probably pick up on that and become anxious over something they don’t understand. Avoid saying things like “this doesn’t hurt” as it can feed into a mental image of their own expectations.

Even if your kid is having a rough day, do your best to stay calm and positive. Don’t make any rash threats out of frustration and avoid drawing attention to behavior the child is using to get out of an undesirable situation.

If you find that your child needs even more specialized care, consider a family dentist or pediatric dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Jan
5

What to Do When Your Child Eats Toothpaste

Fluoride is extremely safe to use and can help your child stay cavity free, but swallowing large amounts of it (or anything for that matter) is another story.

There’s a lot of scary information on the internet about the harmful and potentially deadly effects of fluoride. It’s no wonder you feel your stomach sink when you one day find your child snacking away at a tube of toothpaste.

What should you do?

When You Catch Your Child Eating Toothpaste

As in any surprise situation, try not to panic. The first step is to determine how much your child actually ate.

Was it just the small amount on brush? That’s usually safe. Toothpaste doesn’t have enough fluoride for such a small amount to cause problems. Kids generally should have only a pea-sized amount on brush. Work with your child to practice spitting after brushing to make sure that he or she doesn’t pick up a habit of regularly swallowing toothpaste.

If it appears that a significant amount was swallowed, then it’s a good idea to give your child something dairy to eat. Calcium in milk binds to fluoride in the stomach and can help prevent gastrointestinal problems (like nausea.)

A small one-time snack of toothpaste shouldn’t cause any serious problems beyond a bit of tummy ache. But to be on the safe side, you can call the Poison Control Center for more direction.

How to Prevent Fluoride Emergencies

Keep those sweet, fruity, fluoride-rich kids’ toothpastes out of reach! Until your child is old enough to take care of their own oral hygiene, monitor how much product they are using.

Contact your child’s dentist for specific recommendations on the safe use of fluoride for healthy tooth development.

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

Dec
23

When to Introduce Your Kids to Flossing

Some parents may feel that flossing is not as important as brushing, but the facts show otherwise. Introducing flossing isn’t as hard as you may think! 

Why We Floss

A toothbrush can’t reach in-between teeth. These areas are prime sites for cavity-causing bacteria to camp out in. Flossing is the only way you’re going to access these tight spots to disrupt any bacterial activity.

Here’s an important tip: if the sides of any two teeth are touching each other, they need to be flossed.

Kids and Flossing – Where Do You Start?

Even before adult teeth start coming in, some baby teeth may need to be flossed.

Give kids’ floss-picks a try. Start out doing it for your kids, and let them practice with supervision later on.

Usually at around age 8, kids can start practicing on their own with the flossing tool of their choice, such as:

  • Flossers
  • Regular dental floss
  • Water flossers

Flossing is usually easier to get done at nighttime before bed. It’s also probably best to begin the hygiene ritual with flossing to make sure it doesn’t get skipped. Brushing teeth first can leave kids with the sensation that their teeth are clean enough and it’s okay to skip the flossing.

Flossing – All in the Family!

It’s very common for even the most health-conscious adults to neglect regular flossing. Flossing has benefits for kids and adults alike, so there’s no time like the present to make flossing the next family project!

Talk with your kids dentist to get more tips on flossing and other age-appropriate oral hygiene care for your kids.

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, A 02130
(617) 390-8484

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…