Dental Tips Blog


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


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


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


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


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


Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?

You’re probably wondering whether it’s necessary to take your kids to a separate dental practice than the one you go to. Going to a pediatric dentist might even mean that you have to make the effort to travel farther out of your way for treatment.

Can you justify visiting a pediatric dentist?

What you need to consider is your child’s unique needs and what a pediatric dentist can offer to meet those needs.

What Makes Pediatric Dentists Different?

Pediatric dentists receive an additional two or more years of schooling after receiving their dental degree. They get extra training in areas like child psychology. This prepares them for interacting with and treating young patients.

A pediatric dental practice is equipped tools and technology designed to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Toys, games, movies, and other appealing distractions can make even routine cleanings a whole lot more interesting. Fun office themes like ocean life or safari will fascinate kids, keeping their minds off the reason for their visit!

What Your Child Needs

Most kids do just fine when they see the same dentist that mom or dad does. It’s certainly more convenient to keep the whole family in one practice.

When might you need to consider a specialist in pediatrics?

Most general dental practices are not equipped to treat very small children. Pediatric offices know how to help kids relax and specialize in child-safe anesthetic and sedative techniques.

If your child has special needs, then he or she will be well cared-for in a pediatric practice where the staff has extensive training and experience in meeting those needs.

Ask your dentist for a professional opinion on which dental provider can best care for your child’s needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Azin Pediatric Dentistry
387 E Main St. #105
Bay Shore, NY 11706
(631) 894-4662


3 Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Brush Their Own Teeth

Keeping your kids’ teeth clean can seem like an unending task! Add to this the fact that kids usually have little patience for oral hygiene, and you have a recipe for frustration on your hands.

All that hard work pays off when your child enjoys a healthy smile. The next step is training your kids so that they can carry on such healthy habits throughout the rest of their lives.

How should you begin teaching your kids how to brush their teeth?

  1. Let them choose their own products.

Every child is unique with individual preferences. As kids grow, they love to explore ways to express themselves. You can even use tooth brushing time as an opportunity for this. Make tooth brushing fun with products like:

  • Kid-friendly, fun-flavored toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes with pictures of favorite characters on them
  • Powered toothbrushes with lights, music, or timers
  1. Take it outside the bathroom – discuss tooth brushing at other times.

Tooth brushing can be a real pain to some kids. Don’t let your kids think it’s something that should be avoided. Use other opportunities to help your child build an appreciation for how brushing contributes to a healthy and happy smile. Check out your local library for helpful picture books on the subject. There are many online resources (like cartoons), as well.

  1. Teach through imitation.

Start practicing by having your child mimic your movements as you brush your own teeth with your own brush. Brush their teeth with their brush so that they know how it’s supposed to feel, then have them repeat the motion. With just a little practice, they’ll pick it up quickly!

Talk with your child’s dentist for more suggestions on improving your child’s oral hygiene.

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505


Why Should My Child’s Baby Tooth Be Filled?

Posted in Fillings

Many parents reason: if it’s going to fall out anyway, then why bother filling it? It’s true that in some cases a tooth is so close to falling out that a small cavity poses no risk. But at what point is it necessary to fill a baby tooth?

Your Child’s Mouth

Baby teeth are essential for your child to eat, talk, and smile with ease. Each primary tooth serves as a placeholder and guide until adult teeth arrive. These changes happen gradually to keep pace with the growth of the jaw. Baby teeth are important!

When the primary teeth are lost too soon, this can affect the way the adult teeth grow in. Decay can result in a lot of discomfort to your child. This means that your son or daughter could experience pain while eating and a strange taste in his or her mouth.

What a Cavity Can Do

If a cavity reaches the tooth’s nerve chamber, a dangerous and painful abscess can develop. Decay can quickly infect multiple baby teeth at once and it can even infect newly-emerged adult teeth. A decaying baby tooth that is still anchored in place with no sign of loosening within the next few months should be treated with a conservative filling.

Build a Healthy Foundation

You can give your child a strong and healthy foundation for a confident smile. Modern dentistry aims to make procedures easy for kids with techniques like:

  • Drill-free dentistry
  • Gentle and compassionate care
  • Laughing gas
  • Cartoons and other distractions

Your child will learn that a filling is a necessary and easy procedure. No need to be afraid!

Call your dentist to schedule an appointment for a cavity risk-assessment for your child.

Posted on behalf of:
Hellosmile Park Slope Pediatric Dental & Orthondontics
206 7th Ave, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 388-0400


When Will My Child Lose Their First Tooth?

Are you wondering when the tooth fairy will need to make her first visit for your child?  Generally speaking, the age range for most children to lose their teeth is between the ages of 5 to 7 years old.  In some cases it is considered normal for children to start getting loose teeth as early as 4 years of age.

What should you expect when your child does get a loose tooth?

Baby teeth get loose when the adult tooth underneath the gums is pushing upward.  This will cause the baby teeth above the adult teeth to loosen and then fall out.  In most cases, the bottom two front teeth are the first baby teeth to fall out – typically around the age of 6.

Children will often get protective of their loose teeth, so you may get to help them pull their first tooth. Or it will usually become loose enough to fall out on its own. You will know it is ready to pull when it is extremely loose.

When should you be concerned if your child hasn’t lost their first tooth yet?

If your child hasn’t lost any teeth by the age of 7 years old, you should take your child to their dentist. Your child’s dentist use x-rays to see how their permanent teeth look under their gums.

Are you concerned about your child because they haven’t lost their first tooth yet? Just ask your dentist! Your child’s permanent teeth may come in at different times than others. What is normal for one child may be different for the next. Routine check-ups can help you be sure that their eruption patterns are progressing properly.

Posted on behalf of:
Hellosmile Park Slope Pediatric Dental & Orthondontics
206 7th Ave, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 388-0400


5 Ways to Help Your Child Brush Better

It is very important to start early when it comes to learning good dental hygiene habits.  One of the important techniques is learning how to brush your teeth.  Parents can help their children learn the proper brushing techniques by:

  1. Watch your child as he/she brushes their teeth.  Parents should be proactive with reminding their children to brush their teeth after breakfast and before bed.  When your child is brushing his/her teeth, watch closely to ensure they are brushing the front, back and top surfaces of all teeth.
  2. Use disclosing tablets.  Disclosing tablets can be purchased at most drug stores.  Your child can chew a disclosing tablet and then spit out their residual saliva.  All of the areas with biofilm (plaque) will be colored (usually red).  This will help guide your child to see the areas that need to be brushed.
  3. Set a timer for two minutes every time they brush.  If you set a timer for two minutes each time your child brushes their teeth, that will help ensure that they are brushing their teeth the appropriate amount of time.
  4. Guide them in areas that they miss.  Once your child is done brushing their teeth, check their teeth (especially if they used disclosing tablets) to see if there are any areas that they missed.  If there are missed areas, gently guide them with their toothbrush to re-visit those missed areas.
  5. Reinforce good brushing techniques.  When your child has mastered their brushing technique and has removed dental biofilm effectively, reinforce them with verbal praise, a hug, or a pat on the back.  

Until your child is able to tie their own shoes, remember to help them brush and floss. Don’t forget to schedule a check-up every 6 months to pinpoint any underlying problems before they have the chance to turn into something bigger!

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339

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