Dental Tips Blog

Feb
6

How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants

How to Know if Your Child Needs Dental Sealants

You may already know that dental sealants are not the same thing as fillings. A restoration like a filling is something the dentist places after a tooth is damaged by a cavity. Sealants help to block out damage before it starts.

So what determines whether your child is a candidate for sealants?

Seal-Out Decay

Kids tend to have a hard time with proper brushing. They also love to eat sticky sweet snacks that pack into teeth and promote cavities. Sealing it off with a tiny bit of white resin-based material provides a barrier between the tooth and harmful bacteria or acid.

Sealants are instrumental in giving kids the upper hand over cavities. They’re now routinely offered in most dental offices as a preventative treatment. Sealing your child’s molars as early as possible can help them avoid getting cavities and spare them a lot of headache down the road.

How Groovy Are Your Kid’s Teeth?

Sealants are recommended for all kids. But, some kids need them even more than others. If your child has molars with really deep grooves on the chewing surfaces, then they could benefit from getting those sealed off shortly after the tooth erupts.

Age Matters

Generally-speaking, most dentist don’t recommend sealing baby teeth. Even though your child’s first teeth are important, the grooves are usually quite shallow. It’s the permanent teeth that have deep grooves, making them a priority to protect.

To find out whether your child is ready for sealants, schedule an appointment with your kids dentist. You’ll find out which teeth need to be repaired with fillings. . . and which teeth can avoid fillings with the help of dental sealants!

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

Dec
18

What Makes a Pediatric Dentist Different?

As a parent, you might wonder whether your dental office is equipped to address your kids’ dental needs. Or you might see a trip to a pediatric dentist as pointless.

Once you understand just what a pediatric dentist does, you’ll be prepared to make the best decision for your family.

How a Pediatric Dentist Can Make a Difference

Pediatric dentists go through the same basics of dental school like any other dental provider. Some dentists, however, choose to continue their studies in a specific area of focus.

Individuals who choose to learn more about treating children typically do so because they care very much about helping kids get the care they need. These dentists get tons of experience in operating on developing teeth, prescribing medicine for small bodies, and putting worried little minds at ease.

Some kids benefit more from this expertise such as those who:

  • Need complicated treatment
  • Require advanced dental sedation
  • Have special needs
  • Are very anxious about dental care

The Needs of Your Children

As long as your kids don’t need any specialized dental treatment and they tolerate dental visits just fine, then you could let them keep seeing the regular dentist.

It’s usually a lot easier to keep the family together at one practice. You can schedule multiple family members’ appointments for a single day and get everything done in one trip.

But could your child benefit from the specialized care of a pediatric dentist? Contact your regular dentist for an expert opinion. If your kids need more than what your dentist is equipped to provide, then he or she will give you the best recommendations.

Posted on behalf of:
Sweetpea Smiles
15850 Southwest Fwy #400
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 566-6100

Nov
26

How to Clean Your Baby’s Teeth

Tooth development in your baby starts before he or she is even born. From the moment your precious bundle reaches your arms, it’s your responsibility to give your child a foundation for a healthy smile. How do you get started?

Before the Teeth Show Up

Even as a wee thing, your baby should have his or her mouth cleaned on a regular basis. After each feeding, gently wipe down your child’s gums with a piece of moist, soft cloth. No toothpaste, please!

As you do this, your baby will get accustomed to the concept of having his or her mouth cleaned. It will also feel good on sore gums when the first teeth start arriving!

Cleaning Those First Pearly Whites

From the time the first baby tooth erupts, you can switch to an infant toothbrush. Be cautious about using toothpaste. You need to watch out how much fluoride small children have in their mouths. Ask your dentist for recommendations tailored to your child’s needs.

Bring your baby in for their first dental exam by about the age of 1. Your dentist will make sure all teeth are coming in as they should and that no other problems are present.

When to Introduce Brushing

Baby teeth are essential as placeholders for their adult successors. It’s important to keep them clean! By around age 3 you might start teaching your child how to hold and use a toothbrush. Even after this, you should continue to supervise their brushing habits and make sure they aren’t ingesting too much toothpaste.

For more tips on safe and effective oral hygiene for your baby, call your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Nov
24

How Sports Drinks Affect Kids’ Teeth

This summer, your children will hopefully be enjoying time outdoors. Running around in the heat for sports practice or just for fun works up a powerful thirst.

Because these drinks are meant to rehydrate the body, they might seem like a healthier option than soda. But is that true?

What’s in the Drink?

You might be surprised to learn that sports drinks commonly contain ingredients that are even more harmful than those found in soda. These include sugar and citric acid.

Citric acid will wear down the surface of your kids’ teeth. And the sugar provides fuel to acid-producing, cavity-causing bacteria. This combination is a recipe for cavities!

To Brush or Not to Brush…

Will it help if your kid brushes after having a sports drink?

NO! Brushing immediately afterwards will only spread the acid around to other teeth and wear down the enamel even more.

Rinsing with water is a good idea. But wait about a half hour or so before brushing. This gives your mouth a chance to balance out its acid levels and lets saliva naturally reinforce tooth enamel.

Reach for Water!

The safest bet for your family is plain water. Sports drinks are intended to be beneficial in occasional cases of extreme dehydration where vital electrolytes and minerals are lost. In most instances of physical exercise, pure water is all that’s needed to safely rehydrate.

Water is also perfectly safe for your kids’ teeth!

Make water readily available to your kids this summer as they make the most of long sunny days. Don’t forget to schedule a visit to your local dentist to make sure the kids’ smiles are healthy for the season!

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Dec
28

Kids and Toothpaste: Choosing the Right Type

Turning down the oral care isle at the supermarket can make you feel overwhelmed. Unless you and your child have a favorite type of toothpaste, you may catch yourself choosing a different one every single time. However, selecting the right toothpaste should involve a little more thought than that – especially for your child.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Your Child’s Age

How old is your child? If he or she is still a toddler, they may not quite yet know how to rinse and spit after brushing their teeth. That could mean accidentally swallowing a little bit of toothpaste each time you help them brush their teeth. For this reason, you should stick with a “training” toothpaste that is free of ingredients that might cause an upset stomach.

Fluoride

Fluoridated toothpastes encourage healthy tooth enamel and help your child’s smile repel cavities. Unfortunately, not all toothpastes contain fluoride. After your child learns how to rinse efficiently, he or she should bridge to a fluoridated toothpaste to help reduce their risk of tooth decay. Only a small amount is needed, so don’t get too carried away! A pea-sized amount is adequate.

Special Formulas

If your child or teen has bridged over to using  “adult” toothpastes, be sure to read the label. Many brands of toothpaste now focus on whitening. In fact, it can be a bit difficult to find toothpaste that isn’t for whitening, even if it is formulated for sensitivity. The problem with whitening toothpaste is that it can make your child’s teeth very sensitive. Especially because children’s teeth have exceptionally large nerves. Be sure to read the label, first!

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Dec
26

Why Does My Child Have Gaps Between Her Teeth?

Children love to smile! Baby teeth are usually bright white because of the way they are designed. If your child has a beautiful smile – everyone notices! But why is it that some children have large spaces between their teeth? After all, most of us want teeth that are placed perfectly side by side, right?

Widely spaced baby teeth are actually a very good thing! Even though it may not look “pretty,” the wide gaps are actually preserving space for your child’s adult teeth. You don’t want them to be tight together.

As you know, adult teeth are much larger than baby teeth. They are usually about two to three times the size. That means they need more room in the mouth to erupt.

Baby teeth act as placeholders and guides for your child’s underlying adult teeth. Each permanent tooth follows the baby tooth above it. As the baby tooth falls out, the adult tooth erupts in its place. Tooth by tooth, your child’s smile is transformed into the one that they will live with for the rest of his or her life.

Are you starting to see why gaps are essential? The wide spaces between baby teeth ensure that the adult teeth have enough space to erupt properly. If you envy children with teeth that are perfectly side by side – it’s time to change your opinion! Tightly spaced baby teeth mean that the adult teeth will likely appear crowded as they begin to erupt. Crowding means orthodontic concerns later.

If your son or daughter has gaps between their baby teeth, don’t worry – it’s actually a great thing that they do.

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Sep
8

Helping Your Child Relax at the Dentist Office

Every parent wants his or her child to enjoy going to the dentist office. Especially if your child has had bad experiences in the past, or has special needs that make him or her unable to sit through a typical dental appointment. Here are a few easy steps that you can keep in mind when scheduling your child’s dental visit:

Ask About Sedation Options

There are a variety of sedation options that are safe for children. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) is one of the easiest ones to try. The effects work quickly and are reversible within just a few minutes. Most children find it makes them very relaxed, sleepy, or even a bit giggly. 

Let the Dental Team Do the Talking

Well meaning parents sometimes use trigger words without meaning to. For instance, you might say “don’t worry, it’s not going to hurt.” 9 times out of 10, kids will hear the word “hurt” and think there is something to be afraid of. Your dentist and his or team know the right way to convince your child that this is a fun place to be – and to get the appointment over with quickly!

Schedule First Thing in the Morning

Having your child’s appointment early in the day means he or she will be well rested. Waiting until nap time or late afternoon will be difficult for younger or more anxious children. Sometimes it’s best to just have it first thing in the morning instead of dwelling on it all day long, worrying about how it is going to go. Then reward your child with a small token or activity for their behavior (sometimes bribery is a must!)

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

Jul
3

Bringing Your Child to the Dentist

Early dental care can help spare your child from invasive dental diseases at a young age. Routine preventive care from about one year of age can promote proper oral health and catch cavities or other problems while they are very small. Even decay in baby teeth must be addressed so that damage to the permanent teeth does not occur, or even severe complications such as abscesses that could otherwise cause hospitalization. After your child’s first birthday, your family dentist will see them typically every 6 months for routine screenings and cleanings as more teeth develop.

When your child becomes acquainted with the dentist, they are comfortable during routine procedures such as cleanings, x-rays, sealants or fluoride applications. The dental team will use positive language that avoids discussing words that trigger thoughts about discomfort or pain. Sometimes parents unknowingly mention things like “hurting, shot, needles, or “drilling” in an attempt to ease their child.

Instead, allow the care provider to do the talking so as to control where the conversation with the child goes. They do this on a constant basis and are aware with what types of conversations provoke a child’s anxiety rather than ease it. When parents stand back and the children are allowed to interact directly with the dentist on their own, they typically respond much better!

Promoting healthy teeth in your child will set the tone for their dental health as an adult. Early decay often leads to rampant decay of all teeth, including permanent teeth that they will have for their entire lives. When dental visits are low-key and occur on a frequent basis, children will be more likely to have healthy teeth for a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of Carolina Comfort Dental

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