Dental Tips Blog

Apr
17

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

Apr
15

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

Feb
14

Don’t Ignore Cavities in Baby Teeth!

It’s easy to think that your child doesn’t really need to have a baby tooth filled. After all, it will fall out soon, right? There’s actually a lot more to it.

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t ever ignore that cavity in your child’s baby tooth.

  1. Baby teeth are essential to adult tooth eruption.

A primary (baby) tooth is a placeholder and guide for the adult one to follow. If it falls out too soon from decay, the adult tooth may grow in crooked. Even worse, decay from a baby tooth can damage the permanent one before it even makes it to the surface.

  1. Where there’s one cavity, more will follow.

Cavities are extremely contagious between teeth. The longer a decayed tooth is there, the more likely other teeth will suffer.

  1. A toothache hurts your baby just as badly as it bothers you.

It’s simply not fair to assume that your child will be fine because the decayed tooth isn’t a permanent one.

  1. Poor self-image affect kids of all ages.

Don’t underestimate how your child may feel about having one or more rotted teeth. Tooth decay smells bad and other kids may make negative comments about your child’s hygiene. Some children are embarrassed to smile with their “dirty” or “ugly” teeth.

  1. An abscess can damage the brain.

A severely decayed tooth can develop an abscess. This is an acute infection of the nerves in a tooth that escapes into the surrounding jawbone. Sometimes, this infection can travel to the brain and cause life-threatening problems.

If your child complains of a toothache, visit your pediatric or family dentist as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Jan
25

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

Jan
21

When Your Child Won’t Let You Brush

Ideally, you want to get your kids used to having their teeth cleaned while they’re still very young. Good habit forming at a young age can have a huge impact on their future adult smile.

What if in spite of your best efforts, your toddler or preschooler just won’t cooperate with a tooth brushing routine?

Make it Fun

Small children don’t usually grasp the importance of clean teeth. It’s similar to explaining to them why they need to wear socks with their shoes.

Make the activity of tooth brushing as fun and engaging as possible. Let your child watch you brush your teeth, exaggerating the excitement as you do so. Your son or daughter is much more inclined to copy you than to let you do something they aren’t sure they’ll like.

Reverse Roles

Let your kids brush someone else’s teeth. They could be your own teeth or those of a stuffed animal. If your child feels helpful by brushing another’s teeth, then they may understand a little better why they should do it too.

Be Flexible and Patient

Is the toothbrush the issue? Many toddlers are scared of a plastic toothbrush in their mouth. Use a washcloth wrapped around your finger to clean your son or daughter’s teeth until they become accustomed to having something in their mouth. With time and patience, your child will feel more comfortable with a regular brush.

Clean teeth are absolutely vital to your child’s health. Don’t give up because they are resistant! Even if don’t appreciate it now, they will in later years. Ask your pediatric dentist for more tips tailored to your child’s needs.

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

Dec
23

When to Introduce Your Kids to Flossing

Some parents may feel that flossing is not as important as brushing, but the facts show otherwise. Introducing flossing isn’t as hard as you may think! 

Why We Floss

A toothbrush can’t reach in-between teeth. These areas are prime sites for cavity-causing bacteria to camp out in. Flossing is the only way you’re going to access these tight spots to disrupt any bacterial activity.

Here’s an important tip: if the sides of any two teeth are touching each other, they need to be flossed.

Kids and Flossing – Where Do You Start?

Even before adult teeth start coming in, some baby teeth may need to be flossed.

Give kids’ floss-picks a try. Start out doing it for your kids, and let them practice with supervision later on.

Usually at around age 8, kids can start practicing on their own with the flossing tool of their choice, such as:

  • Flossers
  • Regular dental floss
  • Water flossers

Flossing is usually easier to get done at nighttime before bed. It’s also probably best to begin the hygiene ritual with flossing to make sure it doesn’t get skipped. Brushing teeth first can leave kids with the sensation that their teeth are clean enough and it’s okay to skip the flossing.

Flossing – All in the Family!

It’s very common for even the most health-conscious adults to neglect regular flossing. Flossing has benefits for kids and adults alike, so there’s no time like the present to make flossing the next family project!

Talk with your kids dentist to get more tips on flossing and other age-appropriate oral hygiene care for your kids.

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

Nov
28

Is Thumb-Sucking Really That Bad?

Thumb-sucking is the way little ones naturally try to calm themselves. The habit helps them cope with an anxious situation, fall asleep faster, and occupy themselves when bored.

Did you know though, that this cute hallmark sign of babyhood could cause a lot of damage to your child’s smile?

A Normal Habit

From the moment babies discover fingers, they begin putting them in their mouth! This tendency often stops on its own around age 2-2 ½. Sometimes thumb-sucking past the age of 3 is normal. But what if it continues?

The Effects on the Smile

A combined pressure of the finger and suction will eventually affect the shape of developing bone and the position of emerging teeth. Not only could this habit create buck teeth, but it could also increase spacing between them.

The resulting problems down the road include:

  • Child is too embarrassed to smile
  • Difficulty biting into foods like pizza or sandwiches
  • Speech problems

Even after thumb sucking consciously stops, a child may pick up the habit of thrusting their tongue into the gapped space. This still puts pressure on the front teeth. You could liken this to performing their own orthodontic treatment!

Don’t Ignore Thumb-Sucking!

Letting a thumb-sucking habit continue increases the chances that your child will need braces and possibly surgery to correct the shape of the mouth.

It’s much better to avoid these problems in the first place! Talk with your dentist for help. You’ll get age-appropriate recommendations for breaking the habit in addition to suggestions for correcting any damage done. A dental professional will also help you figure out what could be triggering the habit. Call your dental office today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Memorial Park Dental Spa
6010 Washington Ave Suite D
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 336-8478

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

Dec
27

Tips to Help Your Child Feel Comfortable at the Dentist

If your child dislikes going to the dentist or hasn’t been in years, you may feel a little nervous about making sure their trip isn’t scary.

Find a Child-Friendly Dentist

Your child needs a dental office that is fun to visit. That means age appropriate waiting areas, entertainment, and a staff that is comfortable working with little mouths. You would be amazed at some of the amenities that pediatric and family dentists now offer to their young patients! 

Let the Dental Team do the Talking

If you aren’t sure how to explain something to your child, let your dentist. Your child’s dental team knows what it means to have nervous patients. They will use age-specific descriptions and terms that aren’t scary and make it easier for your child to feel comfortable. Don’t ever use words like hurt, shot, drill, or needle. Doing that will just put those ideas into your little one’s mind!

Schedule Visits First Thing in the Morning

Early dental appointments mean your little one is well-rested, won’t be cranky for a nap, and will have just had a small breakfast. This is usually the happiest time of the day! It’s also one of the best times for young or more sensitive patients to have their dental appointments. You also won’t have to spend all day worrying how it will go.

Ask for Nitrous!

Laughing gas makes it very easy and safe for even young children to relax at the dentist. Plus your child will remain fully conscious. The gas takes just a few minutes to work and your little one will even be able to return to school or normal activities afterward.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095

 

Nov
23

Drill Free Dentistry for Kids

It is absolutely essential for your son or daughter’s first dental appointment to be a great one. If kids form a negative impression of the dentist’s early on, this can prevent them from seeking needed dental care later in life. This lowers their quality of life and sets them up for some big problems down the road. If your child needs a filling or two, then you can both take comfort in the fact that the procedure can be brief and pleasant, thanks to drill free dentistry.

Helping Your Child Relax

Nitrous oxide, best explained to kids as  “laughing gas,” is a safe and effective sedative with no side effects after it wears off. The gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a nose piece prior to and during the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide (besides making your child feel giggly and happy) will ease your child’s anxiety and increase his or her ability to tolerate dental procedures. Your child may not even remember the procedure once it’s done! This gas is so effective that there may not be any need for anesthesia with an injection.

Minimally Invasive Laser Treatment

Lasers are used in dentistry in a variety of ways. One of these is the removal of decayed tooth tissue. This means that your child won’t feel the strange pressure or hear the strange noises of a drill working out decay. Lasers make for more conservative restorations, which preserve healthy tooth structure better than traditional drills do at some times. However, hard tissue lasers are usually only appropriate on small areas of tooth decay. That’s why routine visits are so important for your child!

Before your child’s next dental procedure, ask your dentist about what tools are available to keep the experience comfortable and positive.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…