Dental Tips Blog


Is Your Child Ready to Start Using Toothpaste?

“The sooner the better!” according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

But what if your child swallows toothpaste? How soon is soon?

Fluoride From The First Tooth

As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, it’s perfectly safe to start using a fluoride toothpaste. The important thing is that you’re in control of how much and how often your child is exposed to the fluoride. Use a child’s toothpaste that has a milder flavor to discourage them from swallowing it.

Fluoride is essential for developed teeth, both baby and adult ones. This mineral works by reinforcing the enamel and making it resistant to decay. The sooner your child’s teeth start getting exposure to fluoride, the better their teeth will fight off cavities.

Is It Safe For Babies To Have Fluoride?

Again, controlling the exposure is the key here. You as the parent should be brushing baby’s first teeth with a soft toothbrush and a smear of children’s fluoride toothpaste. This means just enough to get on the teeth, but not enough to do any damage if swallowed.

As your child reaches the toddler years, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to the size of a pea, but you still need to supervise their brushing. Make sure he or she is spitting out the toothpaste after they brush. If spitting toothpaste is an issue, have him or her practice for a while with a fluoride-free paste.

But once they master the concept of spitting, it should be right back to that I-mean-business fluoride!

Your pediatric dentist can provide more information on age-appropriate oral hygiene for your child.

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


Baby’s First Birthday? Time for a First Dental Visit, Too!

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, kids should come in for their first pediatric dental exam by the time they are only one year of age. If your baby gets his or her first tooth before then, plan the appointment even sooner.

What’s the hurry here?

Educating Mom And Dad

Most parents aren’t aware that their responsibility in caring for baby’s smile starts well before the first tooth arrives. Your dentist will give you suggestions for an age-appropriate oral cleaning routine for your child.

Setting Healthy Habits

If you wait until your child is five or six years old with a throbbing toothache to bring them into a dental office, you’re only setting them up for pain and anxiety. It’s so much better if your son or daughter is already comfortable in the dental chair! This will help them relax and cooperate if more serious treatment is needed.

By bringing your child in as an infant, they get used to having a dentist examine their mouth. Not to mention, they’ll also get the chance to be comfortable around dental equipment.

Stay A Step Ahead Of Dental Problems

Many oral issues can be traced back to problems with tooth development in infants. For example, thumb-sucking can lead to poor tooth alignment. That, in turn, can increase the risk of your child developing gum disease and decay when he or she gets older.

Getting into a routine of regular dental visits now is one of the best ways you can guarantee a healthy future for your son or daughter. Contact your local dental office today to schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Court Square Dentistry
24-24 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101


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


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


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


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


No Juice for Kids Under Age 1, American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends

Over the past 15 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has given the okay for babies to start having juice by the age of six months.

That recommendation changed just this month.

According to the new guidelines, parents should not introduce fruit juice to their kids until they are past the age of 1.

What’s behind this latest change?

Protect Baby Smiles!

Worry over the high obesity rate in America has prompted a fresh look at how much juice our kids are drinking.

But there is another more sinister concern.

While fruit juice is a sweet treat and some fortified varieties offer vitamins, there is no actual need for babies between 6-12 months to drink juice. They get all essential nutrients from the breastmilk or formula they consume. If more fluid is necessary, plain water is perfect.

Many parents have gotten their babies into a tooth-harming habit of sucking down fruit juice in a sippy cup or bottle all day long. Sure, it keeps the kid quiet for a while, but the steady exposure to all that sugar can cause permanent damage to both baby and later, the adult teeth.

With this in mind, experts now recommend that you keep your child in the habit of reaching for water when they’re thirsty. Ideally, they’ll continue to make the wise choice as they get older!

Invest in Your Child’s Smile

You can ensure a lifelong healthy smile for your child by taking a few preventative measures. Cut back on sources of sugar in your child’s diet (like fruit juice). Encourage good oral hygiene and take your child to your pediatric dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513


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


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


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

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