Dental Tips Blog

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

Sep
27

Does Teething Make Babies Sick?

Your baby’s first teeth will usually show up between 4-7 months of age. The teething process continues at a variable rate until your child has all of his or her baby teeth by age 3.

Teething can be a traumatic event. Babies certainly don’t enjoy the sensation and parents are often worried sick over their child’s distress.

Typical signs of teething include:

  • Drooling
  • Chewing on objects, fingers, etc.
  • Crying and irritability
  • Appetite loss
  • Red and swollen gums

But what about fever, diarrhea, and vomiting?

Remember that teething occurs over a large part of your baby’s early years. Age 4 months to three years is pretty much the majority of a toddler’s life. That’s a long time to deal with bouts of tooth pain!

It’s thus easy to attribute any discomfort to teething during this period.

There’s actually no research linking oral pain from teething to other bodily issues such as fever or diarrhea. However, some experts still believe the two are linked.

Your child’s early years are also marked by a rapidly developing immune system. For some time, your baby can easily get sick from a variety of bugs that you’ve already built up immunity to.

So if your child has symptoms like a fever or vomiting, don’t be quick to dismiss them as signs of teething. They could actually be indicating a much more serious problem.

As far as teething issues go, you can alleviate the discomfort by offering icy baby teething rings, cool water, gum massages, or raw vegetables if your toddler can eat them safely.

Talk with your pediatric dentist to find out how you can keep your child comfortable during the teething years. Visit the pediatrician right away if your baby has other unexplained symptoms.

Posted on behalf of:
Center For Restorative, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry
711 Greenbriar Pkwy, Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
(757) 547-2770

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

Jul
25

Meeting Dental Needs of Kids with Special Needs

Taking care of kids’ smiles is a challenge in and of itself. But things get a whole lot trickier when you have much more serious health matters to address. It’s so tempting to let basic oral hygiene slip to the bottom of the list of priorities.

What should you know about dental care for your child with special needs?

Be Familiar With Your Child’s Unique Situation

Some chronic conditions come with a very specific set of symptoms affecting the smile such as dry mouth, cleft palate, extra or missing teeth, high cavity risk, teeth grinding, and more.

So while there are a lot of potential dental issues out there, it helps to narrow down your focus to things your child in particular is most apt to struggle with.

Start With The Basics

  • A healthy smile, like many other things, is rooted in a healthy diet. Make sure your child has a balanced diet low in sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Ask your dentist about when to introduce your child to fluoride products. Fluoride is beneficial for strengthening enamel against decay, but it must be used carefully with kids who may be prone to swallowing it.
  • Good oral hygiene should start with gentle brushing as soon as the first tooth shows up. This will get your kids used to a routine of cleaning his or her teeth.
  • Help your child build a friendly relationship with their dentist. If the need for specialize treatment comes up, your dentist can recommend a qualified pediatric dentist in your area.

Be patient, celebrate small successes, and remember that it’s worth any effort to help your child get the best dental care they can handle in their situation!

Posted on behalf of:
Lakewood Dental Trails
10252 W Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 434-4035

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

Nov
16

Is Your Kids’ Diet Rich in “Smile Vitamins?”

Yes, fluoride is very important, but there are other vital nutrients your child needs to keep their smile strong.

Take a minute to consider how a balanced and nutritious diet contributes to healthy tooth and bone development. This is especially important for growing kids and their smiles!

Fiber – specifically that found in whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies. Fiber is not only important for digestive health, but snacks such as fresh apples and celery actually help keep teeth free from cavity-causing dental plaque.

Vitamin C – found in foods like strawberries, oranges, and sweet potatoes, vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system and limits gum inflammation, or gingivitis.

Iron and Vitamin B – a deficiency of iron or certain B vitamins can result in uncomfortable sores in a child’s mouth. Lots of foods are fortified with iron and B vitamins.

Calcium and Vitamin D – look for these primarily in dairy sources. Calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone strength and tooth development. And bonus! Cheese has been proven to help fight cavity-causing bacteria.

Supplement the Diet

Along with a healthful diet, your child’s oral health will benefit from:

  • Plenty of fluoride
  • Great oral hygiene
  • Drinking lots of water (promotes normal cellular function and encourages saliva flow)
  • Frequent exercise

Consult your child’s doctor for specific recommendations on a healthy diet.

Schedule regular checkups at your local dental office to make sure your son or daughter’s smile stays brilliant and healthy. Dental visits help you ensure a healthy smile for your kids using technology like digital x-rays and protective dental sealants.

Call your dentist today to plan your next visit!

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

Sep
18

My Child is Scared of the Dentist – What Can I Do?

It’s not unusual for kids to feel anxious in a setting filled with strange people, strange chairs, strange noises and smells, and strange tools. A great dental practice will do their very best to warmly welcome all in your family and make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Even still, your child may struggle with dental anxiety. Fortunately, you can do a lot to minimize their fear!

Encourage a Positive View

Don’t use a trip to the dentist as a threat for misbehavior! Talk about the dental office as the routine thing it is. Avoid asking your child if they are nervous. This could lead them to believe that they should be nervous! Let them know you’ll be there if they need you, but also that you’re confident they’ll do fine on their own.

Set an Example

If your child is very young, they may feel better when they get to see you getting your teeth cleaned! They’ll realize that there is nothing to be afraid of – if mommy or daddy made it out all right, then they can too!

Bring Along Distractions

Some kids feel a lot better when they have their favorite blanket or stuffed animal close at hand. A book or movie on an electronic device could be all your child needs to relax and tolerate treatment comfortably.

Communicate with the Dental Team

Your local dental office is experienced with working with kids. They’ve probably had a very successful protocol in place for years. Let the team know of your child’s unique needs. They’ll happily work with you to make your child’s treatment a success!

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Aug
19

Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth: 5 Steps to a Healthy Smile!

Here are a few important goals to keep in mind when helping your child clean his or her smile:

  1. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

More than that means more can be accidentally swallowed. If your child has a hard time spitting out toothpaste, then stick to a fluoride-free one. Once they can safely spit out most of it, introduce one that contains fluoride to keep their teeth strong.

  1. Brush thoroughly.

This is a good place for small ones to start practicing their brushing skills! Encourage your child to brush in large circles over the teeth and gums.

  1. Reach the insides and chewing surfaces

Cavities often start on the chewing surfaces of the molars, so make sure to brush those areas really well. The inside surfaces along the gum line are popular areas for collecting dental plaque and are easily missed. Small children usually need help accessing these areas.

  1. Aim for 2 minutes.

It can be hard for kids to stand still long enough for brushing! Try to use fun timers or a song to encourage them to stay put long enough for an effective brushing session.

  1. Introduce flossing as early as possible

Age 3 or 4 is a good time to start flossing. Do it for your child for a few years. Most kids can floss on their own by age 8. Flossing is important for removing bacteria that collect between teeth. By beginning flossing as soon as you can, your child will get used to the feeling and start up a healthy habit that combats cavity causing germs.

Consult your dentist for more age-appropriate brushing tips for your kids.

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

Aug
1

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

Jul
24

When Should My Child Start Brushing on His or Her Own?

You want your child to have healthy teeth, but you also want to encourage them to be independent and make smart choices. Where do you draw the line when it comes to their teeth? Parents start out helping their children brush and floss, but the time to let a child do it on their own can seem a little confusing. Here are some great tips to keep in mind:

Until Your Child Can Spit and Rinse

Young children that do not know how to rinse (or avoid swallowing toothpaste) should have a parent help them brush. Always use a fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent upset stomachs. Once children become physically able to rinse and spit on their own, switch to a fluoridated toothpaste for healthy enamel development. 

Increased Independence with “Follow Up”

When your child gets a bit older and wants to brush their teeth by themselves – let them! But continue brushing their teeth for them at least once a day (preferably at night, so that they don’t go to bed with bacteria on their teeth.) Use this time to see how well they are brushing and bring their attention to areas that are being missed. Pay careful attention to the inside and outside of the back teeth.  The better they get, the more you can let them handle it on their own. 

Until Your Child Can Tie His or Her Shoes

Improved dexterity has a tremendous amount to do with how well your child can care for his or her own teeth. Once your child is able to tie their own shoes, you can finally let them start flossing on their own as well.

Bring your child to the dentist every 6 months to check on their hygiene, tooth development, and get important advice on their developing smiles!

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

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