Dental Tips Blog

Sep
14

Selecting the Best Toothpaste for Your Child

As a parent, you want the very best for your child. The healthiest food, the best education, quality family time…and a healthy smile! One of the most common questions that parents have for their child’s dentist is “which toothpaste should my child be using?”

Many pediatric dentists recommend that the first toothpaste that all children should use is one that is non-fluoridated. That’s right! Your child receives very small dosages of fluoride through your municipal water supply, If they use a fluoridated toothpaste before they know how to rinse or spit well, then they will ingest more than the recommended amount. For very young children, simply brushing with tap water is adequate enough, or you can offer them children’s “training toothpaste” to help them practice spitting into the sink.

As children reach age 2 or 3 and are able to begin rinsing and spitting into the sink, you’ll want to use a fluoridated toothpaste to provide extra minerals directly to the teeth. This will encourage stronger enamel that is more resistant to tooth decay. Check the labels for a toothpaste that is ADA approved.

Remember to continue helping your child brush their teeth until they’re old enough to tie their own shoes. Even if they seem to be brushing well, they can be missing plaque deposits on their teeth that cause cavities and white spots. Once your child has better dexterity, you can help them less and less. Another important note is that no matter how great of a tooth brusher your child is, brushing won’t clean between their teeth…so don’t forget the floss!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Aug
1

Why Are My Child’s Teeth Yellow?

As your child begins losing their baby teeth, you’ll probably notice a significant difference between their primary (baby) teeth and their permanent teeth: permanent teeth often appear yellow. In fact, the difference can be so noticeable that many parents even ask their dentist whether or not their child’s teeth should be whitened. In short, the answer is no. There are some perfectly good reasons why your child’s new adult teeth are yellow!

Primary teeth are predominantly made up of enamel. Enamel is white, and causes baby teeth to look very white, due to the thickness of the enamel layer. Adult teeth also have enamel, but have a thick layer of material under the enamel called dentin. Dentin is yellow in appearance. You’ve probably seen dentin exposed on the roots of people with severe gum recession, because the roots of the teeth are yellower in color than the crown. Well, in adult teeth this yellow hue shows through the enamel layer of the tooth. As a result, the tooth is darker in appearance. This is very normal.

When adult and baby teeth are side-by-side, the color difference is more than subtle. It makes adult teeth look even darker than they really are. But don’t worry…eventually, all of the baby teeth will fall out and be replaced by a permanent one. Finally, your child’s smile will look “normal” again. A consistent shade across their smile will also make the teeth look the appropriate color.

Yellow stains can also be due to tartar and mineral buildup on the teeth. A preventive cleaning every 6 months will remove tartar buildup and reduce the risk of developing oral infections. Schedule your child’s first dental visit with a pediatric dentist today, and every 6 months to promote a smile that will last for years!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Jul
3

Candy Isn’t All that Causes Cavities in Your Child’s Teeth

When a parent is told that their child has a cavity, one of the most common points of confusion is when their child isn’t one that is prone to eating candy. In fact, many parents believe they children won’t have cavities at all since they don’t let their children eat much candy. Unfortunately, this misconception probably does more harm than good, because it’s many of the other types of foods as well as habits that can predispose a child to getting cavities.

Oral Habits

Your child should brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes. If they are not able to tie their own shoe, help them brush during at least one of these times (preferably before bed) to make sure their teeth are completely clean. 

Nutritional Habits

Liquids are one of the biggest factors when it comes to what your child eats or drinks. Even “healthy” drinks like milk, juice, or sports drinks contain natural or artificial sweeteners in them. These create acid inside of their mouth, causing erosion of enamel in areas that are difficult to keep clean. Most cavities caused by diet are on the chewing surfaces or between the teeth. 

Weak Enamel

Depending on what kind of water your child drinks, where he or she is growing up, and genetic factors, some children may develop weaker enamel than others. Applying a professional strength fluoride gel at dental appointments can help strengthen enamel and help it resist becoming demineralized to the point of causing cavities. In fact, fluoride can even help reverse decay in its earliest phases.  

Take your child to your pediatric dentist for their dental check-up at least twice each year! If your child is already 1 or has their first tooth, it’s time to schedule their first dental care appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Apr
21

Pediatric Dentistry

For the last few years, parents have had to take their children to specialized pediatric dentists in order to have their children’s teeth properly cleaned. Thanks in part to advanced technology, and thanks in part to updated and improved dental offices, family dentists are now able to provide quality pediatric dental care to children in the same offices that their parents visit.

It has been quite a hassle for parents to schedule and keep appointments at different dental practices for all of their family members. For those with large families, it often seems as if they are at a dentist every month. Luckily today, family dental care practices offer pediatric dentistry. Often the most important factor when choosing a family dentist that young children will also visit is the comfort level that parents feel. If a parent feels uneasy or simply impartial to a particular dentist it is often necessary to look for a new dentist. Children are often much more sensitive to how adults make them feel. It is important to find a gentle dentist who goes out of his or her way to make you feel comfortable. If you feel well taken care of and comfortable, then it is likely that your child will also feel that way.

Teeth are designed to last a lifetime. By starting with pediatric dentistry, family dental practices are able to treat all of your dental care needs of your family members at all ages. Children who develop a good relationship with a dentist at a young age typically have better oral health than those who are scared of the dentist. Regular dental check ups and cleanings are important for children, and specialized care for the developing mouths of children are necessary to ensure optimal oral health.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Mar
10

New Advice on Baby Teeth

The American Dental Association, the leading advisory group on dental care, has reversed its longtime guidelines regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste on baby teeth.

The ADA now says that parents should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice daily to brush baby teeth and that such care should begin as soon as the teeth erupt at around six months of age. The ADA’s prior guidelines suggested that parents wait until a child is two years old before using fluoride toothpaste.

Officials with the dental organization said recent studies show that the benefits to the child in terms of long term decay prevention far outweigh any consequences, particularly if the amount of toothpaste is monitored carefully.

The ADA was careful to point out that the amount of toothpaste used on an infant should only be a smear, or just enough to cover the top of a soft bristle toothbrush. Children over two years should use a pea sized amount when brushing their teeth. This, the officials said, would reduce the risk of fluorosis, a condition where the teeth are browned or mottled by too much fluoride.

The ADA said fluoride use is particularly important if the child is at risk for tooth decay. Risk is determined in part by family history, diet or whether the child goes to bed at night with a bottle of juice or formula. When the liquid is routinely allowed to settle in the infant’s mouth, it can eventually lead to tooth decay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is among the medical and dental organizations that still maintain that parents should wait until a child is aged two before allowing fluoride use.  Your pediatric dentist can help you decide whether the use of fluoride toothpaste is right for your child.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Dec
31

Choosing a Pediatric Dentist

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s official recommendation is that children visit the dentist when their first tooth comes in, or by the time they’re a year old. This will not only ensure the health of your child’s teeth and mouth as she ages, but also help her to get used to the idea of visiting the dentist regularly from infancy. Establishing a relationship with the dentist and the habit of visiting well before there’s a need for painful procedures is one of the most effective ways of preventing the very common fear many children have of the dentist.

Choosing the Right Dentist for Your Child

Pediatric dentists have an additional two years of residency training to help them learn to manage the care of children, infants and teenagers. To choose one for your child, pay attention to the office and staff, as well as the demeanor and training of the dentist who will be caring for your child’s teeth. Look for a kid-friendly atmosphere, where the needs and desires of children are clearly reflected. The staff and hygienists should also be friendly, maintaining a positive outlook and an upbeat demeanor.

A great pediatric dentist will explain procedures to your child, letting her know what to expect from the experience. Because fear and crying are common reactions for kids to have to their first dental visit, especially at such a young age, you should also pay attention to the way the dentist responds to these reactions. Look for a dentist who listens to your concerns and answers your questions, rather than one who seems too rushed or busy.

Your general dentist can be a great source of referrals for pediatric specialists, especially if there’s no specialist within the practice.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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Oct
9

Tooth Accidents in Small Children

Losing that first tooth is a monumental occurrence for children. It means they are growing up and permanent teeth are replacing those sweet baby teeth. But what happens when a child’s tooth is lost before it was ready?

All children fall down and get boo boos, but one boo boo that often shakes up parents is when teeth are knocked out. The first thing to do if your child knocks out a tooth is to apply pressure to the bleeding gum for a few minutes. A frozen popsicle can help limit the swelling, and can often distract your child from the pain and trauma of knocking out a tooth. Once your child is calm and the bleeding has stopped (per no other medical emergency), call your pediatric dentist for the next available appointment. If possible, bring the tooth that has been knocked out with you.

Your dentist will evaluate your child’s mouth to determine whether or not a “spacer tooth” needs to be bonded to your child’s gums. Baby teeth are important because they hold a spot in your child’s mouth for the permanent teeth to come in properly. In some cases when a baby tooth is knocked out prematurely, the space can begin to close and cause misalignment for the permanent tooth. This is not always the case and your dentist will make the best judgment. If your dentist determines that your child can go without a spacer, then you will want to get your camera ready for those undeniably cute pictures of your new snaggletooth!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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