Dental Tips Blog

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

Aug
1

4 Ways Taking Care of Your Kids’ Oral Health Pays Off

Is it a waste of money to repair baby teeth? What benefits are there to keeping your child’s primary teeth clean and healthy?

Here are four ways that your young family will benefit by focusing on the best oral health possible.

Dental Appointments Will be Easy on You and Your Kids

Some parents dread trips to the doctor, dentist, or hair salon since they know their kids will be kicking and screaming all the way. You can spare yourself the headache and embarrassment by knowing how to prepare your children for their dental visits.

A dedicated routine of brushing and flossing will keep those dental trips brief and comfortable. The more regular your kids are with their check-ups, the easier it gets to sit through them!

Great Smile Health = Better Overall Wellness

You may not see the effects right away, but your kids will thank you later on. A healthy smile is connected to a healthy body. By avoiding tooth decay and gingivitis in the early years, your child will have a decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and immune health problems in adulthood.

You’ll Save on Dental Bills Now … and Later

Preventative dental treatment including cleanings, sealants, and fluoride is inexpensive compared with crowns, implants, and dentures. You can avoid fillings now and down the road by keeping your child’s teeth healthy at a young age.

Your Child Will Have a Confidence Money Can’t Buy

Kids with healthy smiles can show them off without worrying about silver teeth or bad breath. Give your child the gift of a healthy smile and you’ll be giving him or her the foundation for true beauty and confidence.

Contact your local pediatric dentist to learn more about children’s dental wellness.

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

Jul
12

Is Your Child Ready to Floss?

Now that your little one has teeth, you’re wondering if it’s time to introduce flossing to him or her.

Here are a couple ways to know whether your child is ready to start cleaning between in addition to brushing:

When the Teeth Are Touching

Flossing removes food particles trapped between teeth. It also disrupts bacterial growth on the surfaces between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. As soon as teeth grow together so that they block out the space between them, they need to be flossed daily.

Early baby teeth don’t usually need flossing. This is because they come in with lots of space to spare. A gentle once-over with a soft toothbrush or clean cloth is enough to wick away plaque from all surfaces.

But by the time your toddler has a full dentition of twenty teeth, they may be cramped for space.

Take a good look at your child’s mouth and see whether any teeth are touching each other. Those are ones that need flossing. You should floss the teeth yourself until your child is old enough to do it herself or himself.

As Much as Your Child Tolerates

The earlier you introduce activities like brushing and flossing, the more likely your child is to tolerate them. Flossing can be tougher than brushing since it’s a more meticulous and time-consuming job.

Take things slow starting out. Don’t force a toddler to sit still while you floss all twenty teeth. Do as much as your child will happily tolerate and praise him or her for their patience and effort. Keep flossing a positive activity and emphasize the health benefits.

Talk with your child’s dentist for more tips on safe and effective flossing for kids.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

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

May
13

What to Do When Your Child Refuses to Brush

You know that brushing those pearly-whites every day is important to your child’s health. But your little one doesn’t understand that fact, just yet.

What can you do if your child flat-out refuses to cooperate with a tooth-brushing routine?

Here are some ideas to try.

Consult Your Child While Shopping

Most parents don’t like too much input from their junior members while grocery shopping. But your kids may be more inclined to brush their teeth if they get to pick out a toothbrush and toothpaste they like.

Set Up a Reward System

A reward system can help your child to make positive associations with their tooth-brushing routine. Offer a treat, party, or special outing for reaching a goal of brushing so many times per week or month.

Explain Things in Terms Your Child Understands

While saying “it’s good for you” may not be a sufficient explanation for your kids, you can still motivate them to brush if you explain the reason in details they can appreciate.

Try to keep the motivation positive. But don’t hesitate to tap into your kid’s concerns to help them see how brushing is beneficial.

For example, if your child is a neat-freak, let him or her know that they need to brush to keep their teeth white and clean. If your child hates going to the dentist, tell them that if they brush, their checkups will be easier.

Is your child freaked out by bugs? Tiny plaque bugs will eat holes in their teeth if they don’t brush them away every day.

Talk with a pediatric or family dentist in your area to get more tips on motivating your kids to brush.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-995

Apr
22

Should Your Kids Use Fluoride Toothpaste?

For many years, it was believed that toddlers should not have fluoride. But in light of how many babies are suffering from cavities, pediatric dentists and other health authorities have changed the recommendation.

Even Babies Need Fluoride

The first moment baby’s first teeth peek out of the gums, they are susceptible to cavities. From that point on, the enamel can benefit from regular fluoride exposure.

It’s not only okay, it’s now advised for parents to use a fluoride toothpaste with their babies and toddlers.

It’s mom and dad’s job to clean their child’s teeth and then continue to help them brush until they’re responsible enough to tie their own shoelaces. At that point, your child should also be well-practiced in spitting out excess toothpaste after brushing.

Isn’t Fluoride Dangerous for Kids?

Swallowing large amounts of fluoride at once can cause trouble. But the same goes for many other “safe” household and hygiene products, or even multivitamins.

You will be responsible for keeping fluoride toothpaste and rinses out of reach of children who cannot yet use them correctly. Ingesting a large amount of fluoride at once can be dangerous and you should seek medical help.

Frequently swallowing very small amounts of fluoride over many years during tooth development can cause a slight esthetic change in your child’s teeth.

But you have control over this aspect, as well, by ensuring your baby or toddler has only a rice grain-sized smear of toothpaste on the brush. Children age 3 and up may be able to handle a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

If you’re still uncertain, then by all means consult your family’s dentist. He or she will know best which kind of toothpaste is right for your kids.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

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