Dental Tips Blog

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

Mar
31

How to Help When Your Child’s First Molars Come In

The first baby molars show up around age one to one and a half. The next ones come in around age two. Later on in childhood the six-year molars arrive. These are the first adult teeth to show up behind the baby teeth.

Molars are very different from incisors, which easily break through the gums. They have more surface area to work out of the gums. By the time molars come in, your child will be needing them to chew on solid foods. The gum tissue covering a new molar can get irritated and inflamed if bitten on while chewing.

So what can you do to ease your child’s discomfort while molars erupt?

Relief for Sore Gums

Offer soft foods like applesauce and yogurt and soups that aren’t too hot.

Icy teething rings are also helpful. Instead of a toy, you can provide the snack of a raw whole carrot, washed, chilled, and peeled. This will allow your child to massage the gums while cooling them and enjoying a healthy snack.

Ask your child’s pediatric dentist about safe pain-relief medications.

Keep your child’s gums clean as those teeth emerge! The tissue covering molars can easily get infected from food and bacteria buildup.

Healthy Molars for Life

Baby’s primary molars are important because they act as placeholders for what will be the adult bicuspids. Those baby molars may not be lost until as late as age 13. In some rare cases where the adult tooth is not present, the baby tooth may stay in place for life.

Make sure all of your child’s teeth are healthy and accounted for. Schedule a checkup with your child’s dentist.

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

Mar
30

5 Myths About Your Child’s Oral Hygiene

A healthy smile is an essential part of your child’s wellbeing. To protect it, you need to know the truth about what is and what isn’t good for kids’ smiles.

Here are some common myths to be wary of:

  1. Baby teeth don’t matter since they’re going to fall out, anyway.

Your child will hold onto some of those baby teeth until he’s 11 or 12 years old. That’s a long time to live with a toothache! Cavities can spread to the new adult teeth. Treat baby teeth whenever your pediatric dentist recommends it.

  1. Juice is healthier than soda.

Nope, it’s about the same! Sugar and acid galore!

  1. Kids should brush after breakfast for fresh breath.

Brushing right after meals only spreads food acids around the enamel. Everyone should wait for at least a half hour after eating to brush. Get your kids’ brushing over with first thing in the morning if there’s no time to do it after breakfast.

  1. Children don’t need to see a dentist until they’re old enough to sit still.

The appearance of the first baby tooth is occasion enough for the first dental visit! Babies don’t need dental cleanings, but it’s good for your pediatric dentist to check on their tooth development.

  1. Kids need to rinse after brushing or they could swallow fluoride.

Rinsing defeats fluoride’s purpose of strengthening teeth! Kids should spit after brushing. That’s enough to get out the excess fluoride. They should have no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their brush to begin with. If your child consistently spits after brushing, their teeth will benefit and they’ll be at no risk for fluoride toxicity.

Visit your child’s dentist to debunk more dental myths.

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

Feb
12

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
404-634-4224

Jan
29

Why Fluoride is So Important for Kids’ Teeth

A child’s mouth is the perfect place for cavities to flourish. Most little kids aren’t very cooperative with efforts to keep their teeth clean. If they brush their teeth themselves, children are likely to miss a lot of important areas.

Add to this the fact that kids love sweet things, plus the weaker nature of primary (baby) teeth, and you’ve got a tooth decay recipe on your hands.

Here’s how fluoride treatment can help:

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many foods including fish, vegetables, and tea. Fluoride “upgrades” molecules in the hard layers of you or your child’s teeth, reinforcing them and making them less susceptible to decay.

Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately and it’s not like the entire tooth is turned to fluoride. But constant minimal fluoride-exposure makes it very easy to avoid decay.

Big Worries Caused by Cavities

Cavities can absolutely devastate a child’s smile. Tooth decay hurts baby teeth just as much as it does adult ones. A severe cavity could lead to your child getting a tooth filled, crowned, or pulled to alleviate their pain.

A steady and safe supply of fluoride could help spare your child discomfort and save you money on preventable problems. By incorporating this mineral via toothpaste or a rinse per your dentist’s instructions, you can actively lower your kid’s cavity risk even if they aren’t the best about brushing!

Fluoride is a safety net that has changed the future of dentistry for the next generation. But this mineral is widely misunderstood and underestimated. For more information on the necessity of safe fluoride use, plan a visit with your local dentist.

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

Jan
10

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
917-832-1022

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

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