Dental Tips Blog

May
20

When’s a Good Age for Kids to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a common preventive procedure used in pediatric dentistry. But many parents are still confused about the use of sealants and when their kids are ready to get them.

Why Get Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin layer of tooth-colored resin painted on the chewing surface of a molar (back tooth used for grinding food.) It fills in deep grooves and valleys and creates a subtly more level plane. This seals out cavity-causing germs and makes it easier for a toothbrush to remove debris.

Getting sealants is a preventative dental procedure with the goal of reducing a child’s cavity risk.

Children tend to be at higher risk for decay because they usually don’t have as good of brushing capabilities as adults.

When to Seal?

As soon as those molars erupt, they’re candidates for sealants. Sealing them when they’re fresh and healthy is ideal, since you can’t seal teeth that are already weakened by cavities.

But there isn’t an age-limit, either. As long as the teeth are healthy, they can be sealed in adults as well.

You also need to take into consideration your child’s ability to sit through treatment.

Dental sealants don’t take long, require zero-drilling, and they don’t hurt at all. Still, the procedure may overwhelm a little one not used to sitting with his or her mouth open for more than a few seconds at a time.

Placing sealants requires a dry working area and too much saliva in the mouth of a wiggly six-year-old can make that a struggle!

Use your best judgement. Carefully weigh your child’s abilities with the need to prevent decay. Consult with your local dentist or dental hygienist to find out if your child is ready for sealants.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Jan
4

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

Nov
12

Reasons to Take Your Two-Year-Old to the Dentist

Surviving the “Terrible Twos” is something every parent of a toddler understands. Just getting out the door in the morning without a meltdown is considered a success. While there are a lot of things your two-year-old might not like doing, going to the dentist shouldn’t be one of them. Here are a few reasons why dental visits shouldn’t be skipped at such a young age.

To Talk About Any Habits

Thumb sucking, pacifier use, or sippy cups should all be a think of the past. If they’re still an everyday occurrence, it could alter how your child’s adult teeth erupt (or even their speech.) Your dentist can help you stop the habits early, by sharing what techniques work best. 

Screening for Cavities to Prevent Unwanted Infections Later 

Baby teeth can get decay very quickly. At two years of age, your toddler will be getting their “two year molars.” It’s important to have all the teeth examined so that cavities can be treated when they’re very small. Otherwise it can spread very quickly and possibly even result in a trip to the hospital. 

Getting to Experience the Dental Office in a Positive Light 

Some parents wait to bring their child to the dentist until there’s a problem. When that happens, children associate dental care with pain and discomfort. Instead, it’s better to take a preventive approach and help your child keep their teeth healthy before an issue pops up.

Most pediatricians and kids dentists agree that children should see a dentist by their first birthday. Don’t let the Twos catch up with you! Call your family dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Three Creek Dentistry
7236 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood MD 20855
240-256-3258

Sep
22

Parents, Don’t Become Guilty of Dental Neglect!

Like any other loving parent, you hate to see your child suffer. Even so, too many loving parents make the same mistake of concluding their kids’ baby teeth aren’t as important as the permanent ones. This view usually leads to dental neglect.

What Is Dental Neglect?

Willfully overlooking the treatment needs of your child’s teeth and mouth adds up to serious infection. Neglect is learning that your child needs a filling or improved oral hygiene but then doing nothing to help them.

Why Your Child’s Dental Health Matters

Baby teeth seem unimportant since they’re going to fall out. Most children aren’t huge fans of brushing and flossing, anyway. But those first teeth act as placeholders for the adult ones to follow.

Letting baby teeth just rot away can cause your child unnecessary pain and pave the way for more serious problems involving adult teeth.

When Choosing Treatment for Your Child

It’s normal to feel disappointed when you hear your little one needs a costly procedure. But your dentist is neither implying you’re a bad parent nor suggesting unnecessary treatment just to make a profit.

At a dental checkup, your child can be accurately diagnosed with x-rays and other tools. It’s also the best way for you to learn how to prevent oral health problems.

So the best way to avoid dental neglect is through prevention and following a dentist’s recommendations.

Still don’t like the diagnosis you’re hearing? Before ruling out dental treatment for your child, consider getting a second opinion. This way, you can be sure of acting in your child’s best interests!

Get a head start on your child’s oral well-being by contacting a local dentist to schedule a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

Jan
10

When to Introduce Your Kids to Mouthwash

All parents who care about their kids’ health want to know the best ways to prevent sickness.

Excellent oral hygiene is essential keeping small mouths free of dental disease.

For many adults, keeping their smiles healthy includes the use of a mouthwash. It makes sense to wonder whether a rinse is also a good idea for your child.

Age 12 and Up

Did you ever notice that warning label on a bottle of mouthwash? Most products are recommended for kids age 12 and older. If your child is younger, it’s best to ask your child’s dentist first.

In generally, kids age 6-12 can safely use a rinse with parental supervision, but there are some important things to keep in mind.

Is Your Child Ready?

Of course, there is always the risk of swallowing. Before you give your child the green light to swish-and-spit, you need to make sure that they know how to spit. Practice rinsing with some harmless water before introducing something stronger.

Rinse with Caution

There are different kinds of oral rinses and not just any kind will do. Some are specifically for fighting gum infections while others are high in cavity-fighting fluoride. Fluoride-rich mouthwashes are usually great for kids, but too much too soon can cause excessive mineralization (and stains) inside of their developing teeth.

While age 12 is a loose recommendation, there is no exact point in your kid’s biological development at which they’re ready for mouthwash. Only a dental expert who knows your child personally can safely make the call.

Before you cautiously introduce your child to the healthy benefits of mouthwash, plan a visit with your family dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317

Jan
5

What to Do When Your Child Eats Toothpaste

Fluoride is extremely safe to use and can help your child stay cavity free, but swallowing large amounts of it (or anything for that matter) is another story.

There’s a lot of scary information on the internet about the harmful and potentially deadly effects of fluoride. It’s no wonder you feel your stomach sink when you one day find your child snacking away at a tube of toothpaste.

What should you do?

When You Catch Your Child Eating Toothpaste

As in any surprise situation, try not to panic. The first step is to determine how much your child actually ate.

Was it just the small amount on brush? That’s usually safe. Toothpaste doesn’t have enough fluoride for such a small amount to cause problems. Kids generally should have only a pea-sized amount on brush. Work with your child to practice spitting after brushing to make sure that he or she doesn’t pick up a habit of regularly swallowing toothpaste.

If it appears that a significant amount was swallowed, then it’s a good idea to give your child something dairy to eat. Calcium in milk binds to fluoride in the stomach and can help prevent gastrointestinal problems (like nausea.)

A small one-time snack of toothpaste shouldn’t cause any serious problems beyond a bit of tummy ache. But to be on the safe side, you can call the Poison Control Center for more direction.

How to Prevent Fluoride Emergencies

Keep those sweet, fruity, fluoride-rich kids’ toothpastes out of reach! Until your child is old enough to take care of their own oral hygiene, monitor how much product they are using.

Contact your child’s dentist for specific recommendations on the safe use of fluoride for healthy tooth development.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

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
30

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

It might be hard to say who’s more nervous about your child’s first dental appointment: your child or yourself!

You know that a healthy smile is important to your child’s happiness and wellbeing. Dental care is very important; but if the first experience in a dental office goes wrong, your child could end up avoiding dental treatment for years. This would later cause problems for your child such as financial trouble, pain, lowered confidence, and other health issues.

That being said, how do you get things started off on the right foot?

Use Positive Speech

Kids are likely to base their view of the dentist upon what they hear you say about it. Discuss dental care in a positive tone. Replace negative-sounding phrases like “it won’t hurt” (child will only hear the word “hurt”) with things like “the dentist will count your teeth.”

Make It Fun

Use books, games, cartoons, toys, and songs that deal with tooth topics to give your child an idea of what to expect and help them look forward to experiencing the dental office for themselves. Set up fun “practice” appointments at home. A toothbrush and a flashlight are all you need to play dentist!

Trust The Dental Team

If your child is still anxious, there’s no need for you to be embarrassed or overly concerned. An empathetic and experienced dental team will work with you to help relax your child, engage their curiosity, and make them feel secure.

Investing in your child’s dental health is like investing in their college fund. A better future starts today. Make the first dental visit a positive one to pave the way to a beautiful smile for life!

Posted on behalf of:
Family First Dental
419 N Yelm St
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 783-1000

Nov
27

3 Reasons Why Baby Teeth Are So Important

A lot of well-intentioned parents are unsure of why they should bother treating their child’s baby teeth. They’re going to fall out soon anyway, right?

Yes, baby teeth are temporary. But they can’t just fall out anytime. Parents have the responsibility to make sure that baby teeth are kept clean and healthy as long as they’re in the mouth.

  1. Baby Teeth Promote Healthy Function

If his or her teeth are missing, how can your son or daughter enjoy eating their favorite foods? Teeth are also essential to language development. Painful teeth can distract your child from important learning activities and fun times with friends.

Temporary though they may be, baby teeth are essential for kids to have a happy childhood.

  1. Baby Teeth Are Placeholders

Baby teeth aren’t replaced all at one time. It’s a gradual process. As one tooth is lost, another eventually moves in to fill in the empty space. When the first set of teeth is lost too early, the adult teeth will probably grow in crooked, tipping in whichever direction they please. It’s ideal to lose a baby tooth because an adult tooth is nudging it out rather than to lose it to tooth decay.

  1. Baby Teeth Help in Jaw Development

When kids lose their baby teeth too soon, the empty gaps can affect the way the rest of the jaw bones and muscles develop. This is a pretty big deal. Not only could the adult teeth need braces one day, but the child could have trouble speaking.

Worried about your child’s baby teeth? Your dentist will let you know everything you can possibly do to help.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

Sep
20

3 Ways to Help Your Children Feel Good About Their Smiles!

You were probably thrilled beyond words the first time your baby smiled!

As children grow, their needs and interests change rapidly. One thing that doesn’t change is how much you still want to see them smile.

As you read the following four tips, think about what you can do to give your kid a smile he or she can be proud of!

  1. A Healthy Smile Fueled By a Healthy Diet

With the proper energy and nutrients, your kid will be powered to stay active and keep learning. Good health is a reason to smile! Give your kids healthy snack and meal options to choose from. Offer fresh fruits and veggies over junk food, whole grains over processed ones, and water over soda.

  1. Brighten Teeth and Freshen Breath

Brushing and flossing don’t just keep cavities at bay – these activities will also keep your child’s smile white and fresh. Your child could feel shy and self-conscious about smiling if other kids say they have bad breath or stained teeth. Excellent oral hygiene prevents this!

  1. Keep the Smile Healthy

Regular dental visits are essential to keeping anyone’s smile healthy. At each visit, your child will learn about how they can do their part to prevent dental problems. Regular dental examinations allow your dentist to take care of any problems that come up before they get any bigger.

A strong, beautiful, and frequent smile is one of the best gifts you could give your kids. Bring the entire family to your local dental office for regular checkups. This way, you can make sure everyone has a reason to stay smiley!

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

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