Dental Tips Blog

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

Nov
29

Why Your Child May Have Stained Teeth

Primary (baby) teeth are known for having a naturally white color. Even as adult teeth start to come in, baby teeth often make the permanent teeth look “yellow” because of how bright the youthful enamel is. But if you’ve started to spot some discoloration or staining on your child’s teeth, it might be due to some of the following reasons:

Swimmer’s Stain

Are you visiting the pool frequently? Chlorinated pools can cause some people to get granular stain deposits across the front of their teeth. This is usually more common in kids who participate in swim team, or triathletes who are swimming laps multiple times a week.  

Vitamins, Milk, or Supplements

Taking vitamins and supplements may be something your pediatrician has recommended. Some children, for reasons unknown, tend to get what is called “black line stain” from their vitamins or even daily milk intake. Fortunately, this stain is superficial and can be cleaned away during your child’s dental visit. 

Atypical Development

Internal tooth staining and discoloration can come from a variety of sources. Some include the mother having a severe fever or illness during pregnancy, the child being very sick or feverish at a young age, antibiotic use during toddler years, or well water that has elevated mineral levels that have not been filtered out. It could also be due to an accident/trauma that is causing the tooth to die.

Take your child to your family or kids dentist at least twice a year. Because baby teeth decay quickly, these routine visits can ensure that everything stays as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Nov
12

Reasons to Take Your Two-Year-Old to the Dentist

Surviving the “Terrible Twos” is something every parent of a toddler understands. Just getting out the door in the morning without a meltdown is considered a success. While there are a lot of things your two-year-old might not like doing, going to the dentist shouldn’t be one of them. Here are a few reasons why dental visits shouldn’t be skipped at such a young age.

To Talk About Any Habits

Thumb sucking, pacifier use, or sippy cups should all be a think of the past. If they’re still an everyday occurrence, it could alter how your child’s adult teeth erupt (or even their speech.) Your dentist can help you stop the habits early, by sharing what techniques work best. 

Screening for Cavities to Prevent Unwanted Infections Later 

Baby teeth can get decay very quickly. At two years of age, your toddler will be getting their “two year molars.” It’s important to have all the teeth examined so that cavities can be treated when they’re very small. Otherwise it can spread very quickly and possibly even result in a trip to the hospital. 

Getting to Experience the Dental Office in a Positive Light 

Some parents wait to bring their child to the dentist until there’s a problem. When that happens, children associate dental care with pain and discomfort. Instead, it’s better to take a preventive approach and help your child keep their teeth healthy before an issue pops up.

Most pediatricians and kids dentists agree that children should see a dentist by their first birthday. Don’t let the Twos catch up with you! Call your family dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Three Creek Dentistry
7236 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood MD 20855
240-256-3258

Oct
30

5 Possible Reasons Your Child Has Bad Breath

Bad breath doesn’t just plague adults – even people of miniature proportions suffer from the occasional case of halitosis. Here are five causes of foul-smelling breath in kids.

  1. Tooth Decay

When teeth rot out from decay, it leaves a lingering odor in the mouth, particularly if an abscess develops. Bad breath could mean your child needs to see a dentist.

  1. Poor Hygiene

This is a very common cause of bad breath and one of the easiest to remedy. If your child isn’t brushing their teeth twice daily, then food and bacteria can accumulate to some super-smelly levels.

Poor teeth cleaning skills will lead to other problems like cavities and gum disease. Stinky breath may even affect your child’s social skills. Teaching your child proper oral hygiene is essential to their health and confidence.

  1. Gingivitis

Gums get inflamed in response to lots of plaque bacteria on the teeth. If the infection gets bad enough, the mouth will start to reek from debris and pus.

  1. Respiratory Problems

If your child has issues breathing through their nose, then they may be forced to inhale and exhale mainly through their mouth. This dries out the oral tissues and contributes to a unique smell. Allergies can play a significant role in malodor!

  1. Digestive Issues

Some kids with digestive problems may experience indigestion and heartburn that send stomach acid into the mouth and cause smelly breath.

These causes of bad breath are also very common in adults. By addressing your child’s problem now, you’ll give him or her the chance at having excellent dental health as an adult. Visit your child’s pediatric dentist to find out what you can do to promote good oral hygiene at home.

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

Oct
8

Benefits of Early Dental Care for Kids

Many parents make the mistake of putting off dental treatment until their child has a serious problem in their mouth.

Why does your pediatric dentist want to see your child as soon as possible? Consider a few ways early dental care is good for kids…

Treat Problems While Small

Trying to repair a mouth full of cavities is hard on everyone – the dentist, your child, and you. It’s much easier to just get a simple filling when it’s recommended in the first place. You’ll get a good idea of what your child needs by bringing them in for a dental visit as soon as possible.

Avoid Problems Altogether

Kids’ smiles are clean slates. Keep their teeth strong and healthy, and your children may never have to get a dental crown or tooth extraction. Preventative dental care is easier on young smiles as well as on your wallet.

Track Smile Development

No two kids’ smiles will develop in the same way. There’s no need to panic if you feel your child’s teeth aren’t growing in on schedule. Just plan a trip to the dentist to find out where everything is at.

Set Healthy Habits

Getting your child started on a routine of regular dental visits will help them develop a positive view of the dentist. Your son or daughter can avoid an irrational fear of dentistry and they’ll pick up effective techniques for keeping their own teeth in great shape.

Why put it off any longer? Your family has nothing to lose and so much to gain from getting those first dental visits out of the way!

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

Sep
29

When Will My Child’s Teeth Fall Out?

Like many other processes in a growing body, teeth fall out on their very own schedule. Kids are often unique in terms of smile development. By understanding a few keystone principles, you’ll know when your son or daughter’s teeth are ready “exfoliate.”

Follow The Leader

Baby teeth tend to fall out in the same order as they one they came in at. For most kids, this usually means that their central bottom front teeth will be the first to get loose. Soon to follow are the upper front teeth, and so on.

When the adult teeth start developing within the bone, they’ll push on the baby tooth roots, triggering them to dissolve. Once the roots are gone, the tooth will loose to make way for the emerging replacement.

Other Factors

Do you have a little girl or boy? That can make a difference. Biologically, females tend to develop a bit faster than males.

If your child naturally loses their first tooth by age 4, that’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Neither is it worrisome if your kid is 8 and hasn’t yet lost any teeth.

What You Should Know

Never force a tooth to come out before it’s ready. Pulling it too soon can result in pain and even an infection. Encourage your child to gently wiggle a loose tooth with their finger or tongue until the tooth is ready to come out. Nature will take its course!

If a baby tooth is lost too soon because of decay or injury or you’re worried about late development, bring your child to your family dentist for an exam.

Posted on behalf of:
Moores Chapel Dentistry
9115 Samlen Lane #105
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 389-9299

Sep
19

Milk and Your Toddler’s Smile

Milk sustains virtually everyone through their first few months of life. As your baby weans away from breastmilk or formula, their diet should still include milk to give their smile and body a boost.

The Early Years

Although individual views vary, many doctors and nutritionists agree that toddlers under the age of 2 should be drinking whole milk. The nutrients and fat found in whole cow’s milk are perfect fuel for a rapidly growing small body. But after age 2, most experts advise parents to start the switch to lower fat dairy products. This will encourage the start of a healthy lifestyle low in saturated fat.

What Does Dairy Do For The Smile?

Dairy products contain calcium which is essential for bone development and strong teeth. Deep within your baby’s jaw, the makings for the adult teeth are taking place. Lots of calcium will ensure healthy smile development.

Milk-based products such as cheese slices and sugar-free yogurt can actually promote a healthy oral environment in kids of all ages. Some dairy components fight tooth decay and others encourage healthy bacteria populations.

In many cases, soy-based dairy alternatives can provide just as much calcium as other items. Check with your child’s doctor for suggestions if personal values or your toddler’s inability to tolerate dairy limit your options.

Remember:

  • Never put your toddler to bed with a bottle of anything besides water
  • Help your child learn to drink from a cup as early as 6 months. This will prevent them from constantly sucking on a bottle which can cut their appetite for other nutritious food

Get more tips on a smile-friendly diet for your toddler by consulting your pediatric dentist!

Posted on behalf of:
Seven Hills Dentistry
1305 Cedarcrest Rd. #115
Dallas, GA 30132
(678) 257-7177

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