Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

Fruit Juice—Is It Wrecking Your Child’s Smile?

Fruit juice contains vitamins like vitamin A or C depending on the variety. Additionally, it’s caffeine-free and doesn’t have all the chemicals found in soda.

As a parent, you want your child to enjoy drinks that are both healthy and appealing, so juice is a natural choice.

But once you know what fruit juice could do to your kid’s smile, then you may not be so quick to offer it.

The Dangers of Fruit Juice

You probably know that juices from concentrate are usually loaded with sweeteners. But you might be surprised to learn that even juice that’s squeezed fresh from organic fruit has too much sugar for your kid’s teeth.

Fruit is a natural source of sugar. A little bit in small amounts is perfectly fine. Your child needs the vitamins and minerals found in certain fruits. But when you kid enjoys their fruit in liquid form, they’re getting a high concentration of sugar minus most of the healthful fiber.

That sugar fuels cavity-causing bacteria, which make tooth structure start to develop cavities. The acids that are also found in fruit juice make matters worse by dissolving tooth enamel.

Is Your Child Drinking Too Much Juice?

If your child is sipping on fruit juice throughout the day, then he or she is bathing their teeth in sugar. Limit your child’s juice intake to mealtimes and try to offer whole fruits instead of juice to supplement their diet. Encourage your little one to drink water when they’re thirsty.

Talk with your pediatric dentist if you’re worried that your child may be drinking too much juice. You’ll get tips on how to reduce your child’s cavity risk and promote healthy drink choices.

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

Sep
11

Child’s Upper Lip Stuck Between the Front Teeth? No Need to Worry!

You were thrilled to see those two little baby teeth on the bottom make their appearance! Now, your little one is growing in their upper front teeth to match. Everything seems to be going smoothly except . . . skin on the inside of your child’s upper lip seems stuck between those two new teeth.

What’s going on? Well, it’s most likely a harmless and very common phase of baby smile development.

What’s a Frenulum?

By gently rolling your child’s lip away from the teeth and looking closer, you may see that there’s a taut piece of skin anchoring it in place. Place your own tongue just in front of your upper front teeth and while keeping your lips closed. Your tongue should feel a sharp blade of tissue at the tip.

This tissue that both you and your child have is a normal part of human anatomy. In some people, especially very small children who are just growing in their first teeth, this skin anchor may be positioned very low between upper front teeth.

Should You Do Anything?

A low frenulum is not a medical or dental emergency. Keep an eye on your baby to make sure he or she is still eating normally and there aren’t any speech concerns.

Schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist to have your child’s baby teeth examined. There’s usually not much to do but wait and see how the gap (and frenulum) change as your child’s mouth develops. If it turns out that the skin anchor is too low or too tight, then trimming it is a fast and harmless procedure. Call your dentist to learn more.

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

Sep
10

How Many Teeth Should Your Toddler Have?

Most parents are naturally concerned about their child’s health and development. But like many parents, you aren’t always sure what’s normal when it comes to your kids’ smiles. Do you know how many teeth your child should have by the age of two or three?

Typical Toddler Smiles

Baby teeth start developing beneath your baby’s gums and jawbone while your child still in the womb. They start to erupt out of the gums when your child is between six months and a year old. Rarely, some babies are born with one or two baby teeth already in place.

Baby teeth typically show up in pairs and slowly come in over the course of a couple years. By the time your child is three years old, he or she should have a total of 20 teeth: ten on top and ten on bottom.

Protect Your Toddler’s Smile

Your toddler’s teeth are meant to be temporary, since the adult teeth will replace them one day. But this is what makes those baby teeth so very important. If those tiny teeth fall out too soon due to decay, your child’s adult smile may never properly develop.

Brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. This will help keep their enamel cavity-resistant. Don’t let your child go to bed with a bottle of anything besides plain water.

Take your toddler to the dental office for regular dental checkups. In fact, dentists and pediatricians recommend bringing your toddler in for their first dental appointment as early as a year old. The dentist will count your toddler’s teeth, check for signs of decay, and let you know what changes you can expect next.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

Aug
6

Why Dental Care Is Critical to Children’s Health

Many adults consider their child’s dental health, like their own, to be a luxury instead of a necessity.

The reality is, however, that taking care of kids’ teeth is vital to their overall health and well being.

If you have children, you can’t afford to overlook their dental health.

Kids Need Teeth, Too

Your child needs functioning teeth to stay comfortable. If baby teeth are lost too early to infection, it can result in speech problems or difficulty chewing food. Ignoring dental problems in kids’ teeth can also lead to pain that interferes with sleep and school.

Having healthy teeth is important for kids, too!

Dental Problems Can Cause Self-Esteem Problems for Kids

Never underestimate the impact that good dental health can have on your child’s confidence. Bad breath and stained or broken teeth can make kids very socially-reserved even at a young age. Your child deserves the confidence that comes from having a beautiful set of healthy teeth.

Your Child’s Overall Health Depends on Having a Healthy Smile

Untreated dental problems can lead to serious infections. If they aren’t treated, they can spread and cause life-threatening health problems, especially in children. That’s one very important reason to make sure your child has adequate oral care.

Additionally, having strong teeth enables your child to chew on healthful food. Chronic dental pain can lead to a diet of soft foods that lack the nutrition growing bodies need. Healthy teeth equal a healthy body.

So, don’t make the mistake of thinking your kids don’t need to see the dentist. Dental care is absolutely crucial to their well being.

Contact a pediatric dentist to schedule routine dental check ups for your kids.

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

Aug
5

The 4 Primary Causes of Discoloration and Stain in Kids’ Teeth

You may be rightly worried if your child’s smile has been getting darker lately.

What causes staining in kids’ teeth? Here are four factors to consider.

The Adult Teeth Are Coming In

Adult teeth are stronger and thicker than baby teeth. They have a large dentin layer that gives them a darker hue than delicate baby teeth. Your child’s new permanent teeth may look oddly yellow in comparison with any remaining primary ones.

Childhood Tooth Decay

Cavities make teeth look brown, yellow, gray, or even black. Always check with your child’s dentist to find out whether discoloration on your child’s teeth is due to cavities that need treatment.

Plaque Buildup

Dental plaque is made from colonies of bacteria that live in the mouth. If plaque isn’t cleaned off of teeth on a daily basis, it can weaken and dissolve tooth enamel. This makes the enamel prone to picking up stain.

Plaque itself can take on strange colors depending on your child’s diet and unique bio-flora.

Prevent plaque staining by ensuring your child brushes his or her teeth every day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Medication

There is a type of antibiotic called tetracycline. It’s an effective and common one, but it has a bad side-effect on anyone who still has teeth growing beneath their gums. Tetracycline exposure, whether in the womb or later on in childhood, can cause teeth to come in with dark brown, yellow, or gray stains.

Doctors today are careful to avoid prescribing tetracyclines to pregnant women. Make sure you understand all the side-effects of any antibiotic before starting treatment.

Ask your pediatric dentist about other ways you can prevent tooth discoloration in your kids’ smiles.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Aug
4

Have You Heard These 4 Myths About Your Child’s Teeth?

Myths about kids’ dental health tend to confuse well-intentioned parents who are trying their best to keep their children healthy. By understanding fact from fiction, you can ensure your child has a healthy and beautiful smile for life!

Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

They’re just going to fall out anyway, right? That’s true but it doesn’t undermine the importance of baby teeth while they’re in your child’s mouth. They are the placeholders for adult teeth. If they fall out prematurely due to disease or neglect, it can have a negative impact on your child’s oral health for decades.

Baby Teeth Don’t Need to Be Flossed

As soon as any two teeth in your child’s mouth are close enough to touch each other they need to be flossed. Flossing removes debris and disturbs bacteria that collect between neighboring teeth, where a brush can’t reach.

Loose Baby Teeth Should Be Pulled ASAP

Time to retire that tie-a-string-to-a-doorknob-and-slam-the-door trick. Baby teeth shouldn’t be forced out since it can result in pain, premature extraction, or broken roots. Baby teeth fall out naturally on their own. All they need is a little gentle wiggling from your child’s tongue. If a baby tooth truly is stuck, then a dentist can safely remove it.

Fluoride Is Dangerous for Kids

Fluoride is a carefully regulated mineral that’s no more dangerous for your child than safe doses of any other vitamin. The idea that fluoride is a poison is a dangerous myth since this vitamin is extremely effective at preventing tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. Avoiding it only increases your child’s risk for tooth decay. Like a multi-vitamin, fluoride is not toxic when used as directed.

Get more facts on your child’s dental health by consulting a pediatric dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Aug
1

My Child Has Two Rows of Teeth—Is That Normal?

You might be more than a little anxious to discover that your child is growing a row of new teeth behind their current ones. Some parents even refer to this characteristic as having “shark teeth.”

What Causes “Shark Teeth”?

The good news is that your kid probably isn’t suffering from a rare mutation that gives them extra teeth! The double rows of teeth are common in many children. It often happens in the front teeth but can affect other teeth, as well.

This phenomenon happens when the emerging adult teeth show up behind the baby teeth instead of directly under them. Typically, the permanent teeth come in underneath the baby ones and put pressure on the tooth roots. This causes the teeth to loosen and fall out, making room for the new set.

On occasion, the adult teeth come in at a slight angle and miss the baby teeth. The result is that they quickly emerge from the gums without dislodging the baby teeth.

Should You Be Worried? 

Actually, having “shark teeth” is usually not too much of an issue. Your child’s teeth will eventually sort themselves out when the baby teeth fall out on their own.

Having two rows of teeth can be dangerous if they stay that way indefinitely. It’s extremely difficult to keep teeth clean and cavity-free if they’re sharing space with their twins. It’s also unhealthy for the gum tissue trapped between the two rows.

Take your child to see a pediatric dentist if you notice that the baby teeth are not loosening up even though the adult teeth have fully grown in. Regular dental checkups at a kids dentist will ensure your child has a healthy smile for life!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Jun
19

Is Your Child Ready to Brush Their Teeth on Their Own?

You’ve always been very careful about brushing and flossing your child’s teeth. Now that they’re getting older, however, they insist on independence.

Is your child ready, however, to start brushing solo? If they can’t do a thorough job, then they risk getting cavities.

A thorough oral hygiene routine will protect your children from the problematic impact of cavities. Here are some tips that can help you successfully introduce your child to the responsibility of caring for their own oral health.

Evaluate Your Child’s Age and Maturity

There’s no set age at which kids should start brushing their own teeth. But if your child can handle tying their own shoelaces, then this is a good sign they have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth.

Gradually Give Your Child More Independence

Your child should start attempting to brush their own teeth from the moment they can grasp a toothbrush. You can even let a toddler scrub his own teeth and then you takeover afterwards to finish the job properly.

As your child gets better about angling the brush to reach all tooth surfaces, you can slowly cut back on the length of time you participate in the activity.

Share Age-Appropriate Explanations About the Importance of Oral Hygiene

The better your child understands the importance of proper brushing, the better they’ll perform the task. Once your child shows that they value their oral wellbeing, they can probably be trusted to brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day.

Seek a Dentist’s Recommendation

Your child’s pediatric dentist can examine their teeth and gums and make dental hygiene recommendations tailored to their specific needs. Schedule a pediatric dental health consultation as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

May
19

5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dental Appointment

Your child should have their first dental checkup by the time they are a year old or get their first tooth. This will help to make sure that your child’s smile develops normally and provide intervention early, when necessary.

But what if your child is beyond their toddler years and just now has their first dental visit coming up? It’s wise to prepare them in advance by following this advice:

Keep Your Tone Positive

When you tell your child about the upcoming appointment, try to sound cheerful about it. This can help your kid to also stay positive and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Have Practice Sessions

Small children may enjoy a few “practice” sessions where they get to play “dentist” on your teeth. You can also take a turn “counting” their teeth. This will help them know what to do and expect at their first appointment.

Promote Good Oral Hygiene

Emphasize the importance of toothbrushing. If your child already knows how important dental hygiene is, he or she will better appreciate the need for seeing a dentist. Your child may even take a measure of pride in showing the dentist how clean their teeth are.

Let Them Watch First

Have your littlest one watch while a dentist examines your or an older sibling’s teeth. They’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of and even get to know the dentist and staff.

Plan a Reward

Set up a special reward to celebrate your child’s first dental visit. However it goes, your child can look forward to ending their day on a happy note and feel good about their accomplishment.

Ask your children’s dentist about more ways to prepare your child for their first appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

May
18

No Bottles in Bed for Baby!

Many well-intentioned moms and dads put their babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. But pediatric dentists and pediatricians have this strong warning for parents: don’t put your baby or toddler to bed with anything besides a bottle of water.

The Dangers of Bedtime Bottles

Toothless newborns may need to be fed at the oddest hours. But there is a significant danger associated with putting a toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Juice and milk may seem healthy since they don’t have any added sugar. But they do have plenty of natural ones.

The sugars found in beverages are responsible for wearing away tooth enamel. They also fuel the germs that cause tooth decay. If your child gets to slowly sip on these sugary drinks over the course of hours throughout the night, then her teeth are at extreme risk for cavities.

Toddlers’ teeth are highly prone to decay since they have weaker enamel than adult ones do. Once a cavity starts in a baby tooth, it can quickly spread to other teeth and even trigger a dangerous abscess.

Baby Teeth Are Important!

Your child’s first teeth are all they have to speak, eat, and smile with. They also act as placeholders to ensure the adult teeth come in straight. If those baby teeth rot and fall out too soon, that could permanently damage your child’s chances at having a healthy smile later in life.

If a bottle of water will soothe your baby at bedtime, then that’s perfectly fine. But for the sake of her irreplaceable little teeth, don’t fill that bottle with anything else between mealtimes!

Talk with your child’s dentist to learn more smile-friendly tips.

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

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