Dental Tips Blog

Nov
27

There’s No Such Thing as Too Early When it Comes to Brushing Baby’s Teeth!

It’s never too soon to start brushing baby’s teeth.

In fact, you should have your child in the habit of brushing long before their first teeth even arrive.

How do you brush baby teeth, especially if no teeth have come in yet?

Cleaning Infant Mouths

From the very first day your baby starts feeding, it’s time to start cleaning her mouth.

Use a clean soft cloth dampened with a little warm water to gently swab out your child’s mouth. Pay attention to wiping their gums. This regular massage will feel good on your little one’s tissues when the teeth do start coming through, and will make it easier to introduce her to a toothbrush later on.

Brushing the First Teeth

Start using an infant toothbrush once the first tooth shows up. Baby brushes have small heads with very soft bristles and a handle that’s easy for mom and dad to hold onto.

All teeth, even those very first baby teeth, need fluoride. Use just a tiny smear of children’s fluoride toothpaste, no more than a rice grain-sized amount.

Gently scrub your baby’s teeth. It’s okay if you can’t get the most thorough brushing in while she’s still small. The important thing is your child is getting used to brushing and her teeth are getting the fluoride they need to resist decay.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

Take your child to a pediatric or family dentist by the time she is a year old or has her first tooth. At this first dental visit, the dentist will check for developmental problems and give you more tips on keeping your child’s smile healthy right from the very start.

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

Nov
26

Your Baby’s Baby Teeth

The personal habits you develop as a child are ones you keep for the rest of your life; so it’s important to guide your child to healthy dental routines while they are young!

Regular pediatric dental care is an essential part of developing those good habits. Your family or pediatric dentist can help your little ones learn how to take care of their teeth so that their smile lasts for many decades to come.

First Appointments

Even before the first teeth come in, you can help your infant get used to cleaning their mouths by wiping their gums with a soft cloth.

Once those tiny white teeth come in, you should begin using a fingertip toothbrush or soft bristled brush to clean.

Plan for the first dental appointment somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. These first few visits are intended to get your child used to the dentist’s office and allow us to screen for potential issues that can be otherwise avoided.

At your first appointment, we’ll clean those teeth, and if your little one will let us, we’ll even take a few photos. But don’t worry; if Junior is not ready to be cooperative, we won’t force the images or even the cleaning. He can sit in your lap the whole time, if that’s where he is most comfortable!

Keep The Baby Teeth As Long As Possible

The primary teeth are an important part of your child’s dental health. Not only do they allow him to chew food, but they act as a guide for the permanent teeth that will eventually grow to replace them. So it is very important to keep these first teeth healthy. Make sure you bring him back for appointments every six months to maintain a healthy, happy smile.

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

Nov
19

When Is it Time for a Baby Tooth to Come Out?

Losing teeth is a big milestone in your son or daughter’s development! It can be both scary and fascinating for your child, and you might be a bit concerned about whether their teeth are coming out on time.

Signs the Tooth Is Ready to Lose

A baby tooth that’s ready to be tugged out won’t need much tugging, at all.

Baby teeth don’t usually need to be forced out. They lose their roots when the incoming adult tooth pushes on them and makes them shrink away. What’s left is the empty shell of a non-vital tooth, attached to the gums by a few ligaments.

These fibers may need some wiggling to break the attachments, but it doesn’t take much.

Encourage your child to gently wiggle their loose tooth every day as often as possible using their fingers and tongue. Constant movement will gradually loosen the gum fibers holding the tooth in place.

When the tooth is good and ready, it will pop right out with zero-pain and little to no blood.

Time to Call a Pediatric Dentist?

It may be time to contact a pediatric dentist if you notice:

  • The baby tooth seems stuck between two other teeth
  • An adult tooth emerging alongside a baby tooth that won’t budge (note: this is common with lower front teeth and not always an issue)
  • A baby tooth that has never loosened despite all its neighbors having been replaced

During the visit, your child will have x-rays and an exam to determine whether things are going according to schedule. Your family or pediatric dentist can remove the tooth if there are any problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Oct
16

4 Questions You Have About Your Child’s New Adult Teeth

Your child’s new adult teeth are beginning to come in. Naturally, as a parent, you worry about their dental health. Here are 4 common questions and answers about your child’s new permanent teeth:

Why do my child’s new teeth have bumpy edges?

These bumps are called “mamelons,” and are completely normal. They wear off with time, which is why adults don’t have them. If they don’t start wearing off, it might be a sign that your child’s bite isn’t aligned properly.

Why haven’t my children’s adult teeth been coming in at the same rate?

It’s normal for girls’ adult teeth to come in earlier than boys. Children should start to see their permanent teeth coming in at around 6-7 years of age. If your child is 7 or 8 and hasn’t started this process, consult a dentist or pediatrician.

Why are my child’s new adult teeth are yellow?

Baby teeth are milky white, but new adult teeth appear yellow. Don’t worry, they’re actually clean and healthy. New permanent teeth have more dentin than baby teeth. This dentin is yellow in color and shows through the enamel so the adult tooth looks yellow compared with remaining baby teeth. Tooth color will look lighter with time, once all of the primary teeth fall out.

When is my child ready to start seeing a dentist?

You should have your baby see a pediatric dentist as soon as 1 year of age, or within 6 months of getting his or her first tooth. That way the dentist can make sure that everything is developing properly right from the start.

Schedule an appointment with your local dentist today to get a head start on keeping your children’s teeth healthy.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Oct
15

How to Stop Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Habit

Thumb sucking is a normal way for babies to self-soothe. They may pick up a habit of doing so any time they are sleepy, bored, anxious, or upset.

Most of the time, babies actually start this habit while they are still in the womb, and then perfect the art of thumb sucking as they reach the toddler years.

Parents worry about their child picking up an illness from putting their thumb in their mouth after touching who-knows-what. It’s also very possible for thumb sucking to cause orthodontic and speech issues.

But it’s important to understand that thumb sucking is a normal activity for small children. Lecturing or scolding them will only make them more anxious.

Try to wait it out. Most toddler naturally quit the habit around the ages of 2-3 when they start to learn other techniques of coping with and expressing their emotions.

What if it looks like your child isn’t interested in stopping?

Children who hold onto a thumb sucking habit later into childhood also risk damaging the alignment of their adult teeth and creating a deformed palate. This will result in speech problems, an open bite, dental issues, and poor self-esteem.

Discourage thumb sucking by:

  • Praising your child when she’s not doing it
  • Helping your child become more self-aware of the habit
  • Identifying triggers for the habit
  • Distracting your child when the urge to suck comes on
  • Rewarding your child when she makes an effort to stop sucking

It takes patience and diligence to break a deeply-entrenched thumb sucking habit. Your pediatric dentist is a great resource for finding a solution that works for your child. Call to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Sep
9

Treatment Options for Baby Teeth

Baby teeth might not seem worth the worry since ‘they’re going to fall out, anyway.’

But besides causing pain, a cavity in a baby tooth can permanently damage the incoming adult tooth. If you notice a suspicious looking spot on your child’s tooth, you’ll need to have it examined by a dentist.

Here are the most common options for treating decay in baby teeth:

Fillings

Kids can get fillings the same as adults do. Baby teeth may need a filling to stop and repair cavities if the teeth won’t fall out for several months or more.

Stainless Steel Dental Crowns

These are common for treating large cavities in baby teeth. The decay is cleaned out and the tooth reinforced with a prefabricated metal crown. This procedure is fast and the results long-lasting.

Do Nothing

Sometimes, a little spot of early decay sets in on a tooth that will fall out within the next month or two. There’s no point treating a tooth if it will come out before the cavity can cause problems.

However, it’s up to your dentist to make the call as to whether or not a cavity should be left untreated. A trained dental professional will have a good idea as to how much longer the tooth will be in the mouth.

If the tooth is very close to falling out on schedule, the dentist may even recommend pulling it right there and then. But this, too, should be an option decided at the dentist’s discretion. Pulling baby teeth too soon can cause alignment issues in the adult teeth.

Talk with your pediatric dentist about treatment options for restoring your child’s smile.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Sep
5

Should You Floss Baby Teeth?

Baby teeth don’t usually need to be flossed. The main point of flossing is to clean the surfaces of teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach, because they’re blocked off by the sides of other teeth.

But baby teeth tend to be very widely spaced out.

Healthy Oral Hygiene for Babies

You should be cleaning your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after each feeding, even before the first baby teeth arrive.

When those teeth do show up, switch to a soft toothbrush and fluoridated children’s toothpaste.

Flossing doesn’t need to be introduced until a bit later in childhood.

Meeting the Challenge of Flossing

Flossing is, admittedly, a rather tedious chore. It becomes an almost impossible one when you try flossing the teeth of an uncooperative preschooler. So it’s a good thing that brushing is usually sufficient for younger children!

However, flossing is still a vital part of a healthy oral hygiene routine for adults and even kids whose teeth touch side-by-side. The sooner you introduce your kids to the idea of flossing, the easier it will be for them to pick up the habit.

Try flossers or floss picks. These plastic handles have a length of floss stretched between the U-shaped frame on one end. They make it easy for small hands to safely try flossing on their own, and they also make it easy for you to floss your child’s teeth for them.

As your child’s permanent molars start to arrive, their teeth will get more crowded. These tight spaces will need regular flossing in order to ward off decay.

Talk with your child’s dentist for tips on flossing and when to start this practice with your kids.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Aug
21

6 Oral Habits That Can Wreck Your Child’s Smile

All the tooth brushing in the world won’t save your child’s teeth if he or she has one or more of the following bad habits…

Thumb Sucking

It’s a normal way for infants to self-calm, but thumb sucking long into early childhood could lead to tooth alignment issues. The constant pressure of a thumb or finger on your child’s palate can push on adult teeth and cause an open bite.

Going to Bed with a Bottle of Milk or Juice

Some toddlers can’t sleep without their bottle nearby. That’s fine as long as it only contains water. Milk and juice have natural sugars that promote plaque and cavity formation. If a child can sip slowly on those fluids throughout the night, their tooth enamel will wear down.

Teeth Grinding

Episodes of tooth grinding are very common in young children. Pay close attention to see how often your child grinds his or her teeth. If it’s not a phase they’re growing out of, the wear from grinding can cause tooth fractures and TMJ problems.

Chewing Hard Items

Things that go “crunch” are often popular with kids. Ice cubes and hard candies top the list. But try to discourage your children from munching on hard objects since it can weaken teeth and even cause them to chip.

Nail Biting

Not only is nail biting a dangerously germy habit, but it can cause front tooth fractures.

Running with Something in the Mouth

The injuries that could happen in this scenario are painful and slow to heal. Never let your children rough house with a pen, toothpick, straw etc. in their mouths.

Get more tips for healthy kids’ smiles from your dentist.

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

Aug
20

Does Your Child Have to Be Sedated for Dental Treatment?

The younger a child is, the harder it is for them to relax and cooperate with dental treatment. If a child is moving around or crying, it’s nearly impossible to perform delicate procedures on their teeth.

Besides this, kids may not be able to calm their fears and anxieties on their own. Sedation can help a child relax and avoid forming a negative impression of dental care.

But should dental sedation be expected for all kids?

The answer is no.

Dental sedation for children usually involves either a liquid oral medication or laughing gas which they inhale. These very mild forms of sedation are meant to help a child relax, not go unconscious.

However, there is a very small but deadly risk of over-sedating a child with a medication.

Sometimes, certain individuals don’t respond to medication the way they’re supposed to. Medical emergencies are rare, but they can still happen.

The younger kids are, the more delicate their breathing systems will be. Accidentally slipping from mild sedation to unconsciousness could be fatal in a matter of minutes.

Such tragic accidents are usually due to an ill-prepared dental team. This means that dental sedation is safer in an environment such as a hospital or clinic with a large staff trained in anesthesia.

Before opting for dental sedation for your child, you need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Properly-administered sedation can help your child get necessary dental care. But it should never be done routinely on kids who can easily tolerate treatment.

Contact your family’s dentist for more details and referrals if you feel your child could benefit from sedation dentistry.

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

Aug
19

Your Child Is Crying About Her Tooth – Should You Call the Dentist?

When your child starts complaining about a toothache, you’re not sure what to think at first.

It may be nothing at all. Maybe she’s just tired. But wait – there she goes again, rubbing the side of her face and looking a little grumpy.

Now you’re worried sick because you don’t like to see your little one in so much pain.

Here are the first steps to take to get your child some relief:

Find Out Where It Hurts

Ask your child exactly what the problem is. Did she accidentally bite her tongue? Does her tooth hurt? Are the gums sore? Discomfort may simply be due to new teeth coming in.

Look for Signs of Injury

Take a look at the area. This is especially important for children who can’t describe where it hurts. Examine teeth for signs of fracture or brown spots of decay. Look for loose teeth, irritated gums, swelling, or bleeding spots on the tongue, lips, and cheeks.

Provide Relief

Whether or not there are obvious signs of trauma or disease, the following steps can help lessen the pain for your child:

  • Gently floss around the sore tooth to dislodge food that could cause pain
  • Rinse out the mouth with warm salty water to alleviate swelling
  • Ice the pain by having your child rest with a cool pack against her cheek
  • Medicate with a pain reliever that’s safe for your child

Call the Dentist

Now that your child is as comfortable as possible, plan an emergency trip to your local dentist’s office. If your child develops a fever, sudden swelling, difficulty breathing, or the pain becomes severe, you may need to head to the nearest emergency room.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

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