Dental Tips Blog

Feb
3

Letting Your Kids Drink Bottled Water Is Bad for Their Teeth

Parents want the best quality for their kids when it comes to their health: quality food, fresh air, and clean drinking water.

Some parents restrict their families to drinking only bottled water because they fear contaminants in tap water. Doing this, however, could be harmful to young smiles.

If your family drinks bottled water, then you need to know how that how it could potentially affect your children’s teeth.

What’s Wrong with Bottled Water?

The problem with bottled water is what it’s missing.

Most bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride, a mineral that’s essential for tooth and bone health. A habit of using only bottled water for drinking, brushing, and cooking deprives your family of this vital mineral.

Why Fluoride Is Important

Fluoride occurs naturally in food sources all over the world and is added to municipal water supplies. Controlled levels of fluoride strengthen teeth, especially during development.

Fluoride transforms key elements in enamel to make it resistant to dental decay.

Today, you can find fluoride in small amounts in most community drinking water systems. That’s why tap water is one of the best sources of daily fluoride.

What Kind of Water Should Your Kids Drink?

Bottled water in itself is not bad for oral health. It’s the lack of fluoride that may be weakening your children’s teeth.

If your family chooses to drink bottled water over fluoridated tap water, that’s fine. You may not even have a choice if you live in a place where the water is contaminated.

Just make sure that your kids get the fluoride they need. A dentist can recommend a supplement or rinse to make up for what your children lack in their drinking water.

Talk with your kids’ dentist to learn more about the benefits of fluoride.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Jan
28

How to Explain Dental Health to Your Kids

Young children need constant reminders to stay safe and eat right. They also need prompts to keep their teeth healthy, but what should you say?

Use these ideas to encourage your children to make their smile’s health a priority.

Brush for Sweeter Breath

Children may not grasp the abstract concept of developing cavities, but they do understand that a clean mouth equals a sweet smile. Let them know that you, their teddy, and Grandma all appreciate kisses with fresh-smelling breath.

Flossing Gets Rid of Tooth Bugs!

Is your child too small to understand what germs are? Just call them plaque or tooth bugs that eat teeth! Flossing is key for wiggling out those tiny bugs that hide between teeth.

Fluoride Is a Vitamin for Teeth

Why is it so important to brush with toothpaste? Not all kids like the feel or taste of toothpaste, but your child needs to understand that this contains tooth vitamins to prevent sick teeth.

Trips to the Dentist Are Fun

Make dental appointments exciting by talking about them in a positive way. Praise your child for his or her good behavior at the dental office and remind them that the tooth doctor checks how strong teeth are.

Fillings Will Help Their Teeth Feel Better

A sick tooth hurts, but it feels better after the dentist cleans it up and puts in a filling. Emphasize how dental treatment is meant to relieve or prevent toothaches.

It takes time for kids to make healthy habits their own. With patience, consistency, and a little creativity, you can help your children plan for a long future of healthy smiles. Talk with a pediatric dentist in your area for more ideas.

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

Jan
26

Is it Safe for Kids to Use Toothpaste Meant for Adults?

Using the same tube of toothpaste seems economical. But are you endangering your children if everyone in your family uses the same adult toothpaste?

Child vs. Adult Toothpaste

Kids’ toothpaste formulas tend to be milder than those geared towards adults. They’re brightly colored to appeal to children’s curious eyes and taste like bubblegum, fruit, or cotton candy.

Should Kids Have Fluoride?

Besides the taste, the other major difference between kids’ and adult toothpaste is that most adult toothpaste contains fluoride while a lot of toddler pastes do not.

This doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t have fluoride, however. The ADA actually recommends that from the day a child’s first baby tooth arrives the parents should be brushing it with a fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride is the key to strengthening enamel and preventing decay in people of all ages. Kids need it just as much as adults do.

Safe Fluoride Toothpaste for Children

Some adults fear that fluoride is poisonous to children. That fear has given rise to the misconception that kids shouldn’t use adult toothpaste containing fluoride.

Fluoride is safe as long as the child does not routinely swallow more than a little foam leftover from brushing. Placing no more than a smear of toothpaste on your kid’s brush will limit them to a safe amount of the mineral. Carefully monitor your child’s use of and access to fluoridated products and gradually teach them to spit out excess toothpaste.

Pediatric dentists recommend that you use a fluoride toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth, whether it’s geared towards kids or not. For your family, choose a fluoride paste with a flavor everyone enjoys and use it according to your child’s dentist’s directions.

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

Jan
7

6 Steps to Ensure Your Child Develops a Healthy Smile

Dental treatment is probably the last thing on your mind when you look lovingly at your newborn baby.

Even so, right now is the perfect time to start making sure your child has optimal dental health throughout her lifetime.

  1. Clean Her Mouth After Each Feeding

Even newborns should have their mouths gently wiped out after each feeding. This discourages the growth of bad microbes and freshens breath. It also gets your child comfortable with oral care from an early age.

  1. Massage the Gums

A gum massage feels good for a fussy baby when teeth start to come in. Use a clean finger wrapped in a cool damp cloth.

  1. See the Dentist by First Birthday or First Tooth

You don’t need to wait for all of your child’s teeth to come in to see the dentist. The ADA recommends the first dental visit before your child can even walk. This visit will ensure that all baby teeth are coming in according to schedule.

  1. Brush Daily with Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is essential for strengthening children’s teeth against decay. Use only a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste for toddlers and a pea-sized amount once your child is mature enough to spit it out on her own.

  1. Discourage Thumb-Sucking

By age four, a habit of aggressive thumb-sucking can start to affect tooth alignment. Ask your dentist for advice on breaking this habit if your child doesn’t stop on her own.

  1. Get Dental Sealants

Sealants prevent decay from starting on new adult molars. They’re non-invasive, inexpensive, and can help your child hold onto those teeth for life.

Bring your child to the dentist for regular checkups throughout childhood to detect and prevent any possible issues.

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

Jan
6

Is It Normal for My Child to Lose a Tooth This Early?

It’s an exciting event for your child to lose their first tooth. Most kids are thrilled to reach this milestone. Yet, others are terrified to lose their teeth!

You may also be rather anxious if you feel that your child has lost their first tooth a little early. What’s the normal age for teeth to start falling out?

When Kids Lose Their First Tooth

A tooth loosens up when the adult tooth underneath it is ready to take its place.

Children typically lose their first tooth by the time they are five or six years old. Some don’t start losing teeth until they’re seven or eight.

As a rule of thumb, girls tend to start losing teeth sooner than boys do.

What If Your Child Is Younger?

A few kids start losing teeth as early as four years old, which may concern some parents.

More important than your child’s age when he or she starts losing teeth is which tooth falls out.

It’s normal for the lower front teeth to become loose first. If your child’s missing tooth is one of these teeth, then that’s likely normal for your child – he or she is just starting the process early.

However, if a canine or back tooth falls out, that’s not normal. The adult replacements for those teeth aren’t due to come in for several more years. If the baby tooth comes out too soon, that signifies a problem and can cause trouble with tooth alignment later on.

Children can prematurely lose baby teeth due to trauma or decay. Take your child to see the dentist if they lose a tooth ahead of schedule. Your dentist will reassure you if it’s a part of healthy development.

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

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

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…