Dental Tips Blog


How Should I Care For My Child’s Teeth?

Children’s teeth, like adult teeth, need specialized care. Once your child starts cutting teeth, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush designed specifically for infants and water to brush his or her teeth. You should aim to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. You are encouraged to brush your child’s teeth for him or her until s/he is old enough to thoroughly do it alone. You may also want to purchase colored mouthwash for your child to rinse with that will highlight the plaque build up and allow your child to see exactly what needs to be brushed. Adding a little fun to teeth-brushing is always a bonus with children!

As well as taking care of your child’s teeth at home, it is also important to have your child see a Duluth dentist early. “Baby teeth” are very important developmentally. Not only do these teeth help your child to eat and speak properly, but also they lead the way for permanent teeth to follow. By taking good care of those baby teeth, your child’s gums will be healthy and will allow the permanent teeth to erupt properly. Taking your child to the dentist at an early age is the best way to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and other problems that are hard to detect at home. Taking your child to the dentist early also promotes a lifetime of good oral health.

Taking care of your child’s teeth is as simple as caring for your own. With a good example to follow at home, your child’s smile can continue to light up a room.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mark Rowe, Rowe Family Dental Care



What Should I Look for in a Children’s Dentist?

We spent lots of time researching and locating the best pediatricians for our child. Even in early pregnancy, we make sure that our baby gets the best nutrition and health care available. Selecting the best dentist for your child will greatly affect the way they smile for the rest of their lives, and parents understand that selecting the best dentist for their child takes some investigation to determine what the best choice is.

Find a dental team that creates a positive atmosphere for your child.

From very early on, your child’s experience with the dentist should be positive, in a relaxed setting that helps them feel comfortable throughout their entire experience. That doesn’t mean avoiding necessary care, but it does mean finding a children’s dental care provider whose team is dedicated to meeting the needs of their individual patients. A team that is patient, gentle, and understanding with your child can help make every visit one they look forward to.

Expect great communication from your child’s dental provider.

Understanding why your child may need certain treatments or therapies helps parents co-plan their child’s care along with the dentist. Many offices hurry the patients out and do not explain to the parent why or why not a particular treatment is needed. Instead, find a dentist who will sit down with you and discuss your child’s oral health, any findings that they have made, and why one treatment is preferred over another.

Look for an office that offers flexible scheduling.

Families are usually very busy when it comes to day-to-day activities. By finding an office that accommodates your schedule, you can expect to typically be seen when you need to be. If it’s hard to get an appointment for routine care, then it may be hard to be seen if your child experiences a dental emergency.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



Early Decay in Your Child’s Teeth

One of the common reasons that parents first bring their children to the dentist is due to toothaches or suspected cavities. Unfortunately, by the time a parent or child notices a cavity on the tooth, it is often so large that it has infected the majority of the healthy dental crown, or even the nerve of the tooth.

By scheduling early, routine dental care for your child, your dentist can identify areas of weakened tooth enamel or small areas of decay long before they become problematic. Diagnostic x-rays can also detect small cavities between the teeth that are not visible even in a thorough clinical examination.

Treating decay at its earliest stages will preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure, keeping the filling as small as possible. This also prevents emergencies later on that are associated with large cavities, such as abscessed teeth and toothaches. Smaller cavities are more economical to treat, and prevent decay from jumping to adjacent teeth.

Unfortunately, baby teeth decay at a much faster rate than permanent teeth. The enamel is just less dense and more susceptible to decay. For the best outcome, small cavities should be treated as quickly as possible. Even though these teeth will eventually fall out, your child will have several baby teeth until as late as 12 years of age. The role these primary teeth play is an important one, as they act as guides and placeholders for the developing permanent teeth underneath. Losing a tooth due to decay will cause complications in your child’s eruption patterns and cause orthodontic complications later on.

The ADA and pediatricians recommend that your child is seen by the dentist no later than their first birthday. Schedule a check-up for your child today!

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



Preventative Dentistry for Kids

We’ve all heard the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, it is especially true when it comes to children’s teeth. If you, as a parent, work with your dentist to promote healthy habits with your children, those habits are likely to last a lifetime. And your children will be more likely to have fewer cavities and other dental problems as they mature into adults.

Here are a few pointers to help keep your child on the right track:

  • Start dental care early. The American Dental Association recommends a child see the dentist at six months of age, or when his first tooth shows.
  • Parents should establish good brushing habits right away. Wipe your infant’s mouth after feedings to promote health gums and teeth. Have your toddler brush with water and a soft brush, and at 3 or 4 years of age, your child can start to use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • By school age, your child should begin a regiment of brush 2-3 times a day, flossing daily and seeing a dentist for a regular check up every six months. Regular check-ups will ensure that any problem that arises, from tooth decay to irregular growth, will be caught and corrected.
  • The American Academy of Orthodontics recommends children see an orthodontist by the time they are 7 years old, but treatment usually takes place between the ages of 9 and 14, and after the child has lost most of his baby teeth.
  • Many dentists now make fluoride treatments part of their routine pediatric check-ups, especially if children are prone to dental caries, or cavities.
  • For children susceptible to cavities, dental sealants are another option. In this procedure, a plastic coating is applied to the teeth, particularly molars, as a long term preventative measure. Sealants generally last about five years.

If you have doubts or questions about your child’s oral health, it is important you talk to your pediatric dentist. Most would be happy to sit down with you and come up with a long term dental plan for keeping your child’s teeth healthy, and establishing good habits that will last a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.



Bringing Your Child to the Dentist

Early dental care can help spare your child from invasive dental diseases at a young age. Routine preventive care from about one year of age can promote proper oral health and catch cavities or other problems while they are very small. Even decay in baby teeth must be addressed so that damage to the permanent teeth does not occur, or even severe complications such as abscesses that could otherwise cause hospitalization. After your child’s first birthday, your family dentist will see them typically every 6 months for routine screenings and cleanings as more teeth develop.

When your child becomes acquainted with the dentist, they are comfortable during routine procedures such as cleanings, x-rays, sealants or fluoride applications. The dental team will use positive language that avoids discussing words that trigger thoughts about discomfort or pain. Sometimes parents unknowingly mention things like “hurting, shot, needles, or “drilling” in an attempt to ease their child.

Instead, allow the care provider to do the talking so as to control where the conversation with the child goes. They do this on a constant basis and are aware with what types of conversations provoke a child’s anxiety rather than ease it. When parents stand back and the children are allowed to interact directly with the dentist on their own, they typically respond much better!

Promoting healthy teeth in your child will set the tone for their dental health as an adult. Early decay often leads to rampant decay of all teeth, including permanent teeth that they will have for their entire lives. When dental visits are low-key and occur on a frequent basis, children will be more likely to have healthy teeth for a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of Carolina Comfort Dental



What is the Healthiest Drink For My Child’s Teeth?

Parents often give fruit juice and milk to their children, as part of a healthy snack. Where the mistake is made is giving these to children too frequently, or where the child is allowed to carry a cup along all day or put to bed at night with a bottle or sippy cup in the evening containing these fluids. The reason behind this is that frequent exposure to even natural sugars found in milk or fruit juice will produce acidic byproducts that feed bacterial plaque and lead to the erosion of tooth enamel. A common result of children being placed to bed at night with milk is “baby bottle tooth decay” – a severe form of pediatric dental disease. Limiting consumption of these liquids is best left for meal times only.

Between meals or at bedtime, water is the healthiest drink for your child’s teeth. Water provides a natural cleansing mechanism to wash away acid, bacteria and debris from the teeth. Keep water handy for your child, allowing them to drink it frequently. Not only does it hydrate better than other drinks, the cleansing mechanisms help access areas in the mouth that sometimes go untouched.

Fluoride levels in tap water are also beneficial to tooth formation and the reduction of tooth decay. Community water supplies have monitored levels of fluoride appropriate to the location, time of year, and population. Bottled water does not, and may contain very high or very low levels of fluoride because it is not regulated for bottled water consumption. Refrain from adding mixes or flavored drops to your water, as this adjusts the pH levels and exposes your teeth to acidic levels that promote decay.

Posted on behalf of Lawrenceville Family Dental Care, P.C.



Difference in Tooth Coloration Between Adult and Baby Teeth

One of the biggest concerns that parents have when they bring their children to the dentist is the appearance of the erupting permanent teeth compared to the nearby baby teeth that are still present. Not only are the permanent teeth larger or shaped differently, but also they are also typically darker in appearance than the baby teeth. This significant difference in tooth shade is more noticeable when there are still baby teeth in the mouth, because side by side the teeth are very contrasting.

Many parents ask their pediatric dentist about correcting the darker color of their child’s adult teeth. The actual darker shade of permanent teeth is very normal, due to anatomy of the adult tooth. Primary (baby) teeth are whiter because they are made of mostly tooth enamel, which is white in color. Permanent teeth have an inner layer of dentin below the tooth enamel. Dentin is yellow in shade, and shows through the translucent tooth enamel. All adult teeth have varying shades, but when immediately next to a primary tooth, the permanent tooth appears yellow and dark.

As your child begins to lose all of their baby teeth, mature permanent teeth will begin to take their place and create a naturally even smile. The eye teeth (canines) in the corner of the mouth have an even larger amount of dentin and may have a slightly darker hue than others. Around age 12, most children have the majority of their permanent teeth.

Our society places such an emphasis on appearance, but the natural shade of your child’s adult teeth shouldn’t be something that alarms you. Most tooth whitening options should only be used for older teenagers whose teeth have fully erupted throughout their entire mouth.

Posted on behalf of Greencastle Dental



What is a Space Maintainer?

A space maintainer is a small device that holds the space open between two teeth, where a baby tooth has been lost prematurely. Our teeth are designed to have specific growth patterns that guide the developing permanent teeth into a precise place. If a baby tooth, acting as a placeholder, is lost prematurely, then the growth pattern has the potential to be disrupted. Adjacent teeth may shift into the place due to nothing being there, and block (cause impaction) the permanent tooth below.

By placing a small temporary device in the area of the lost tooth, the space can be maintained for the developing permanent tooth to erupt properly. Sometimes these devices are called a “band and loop”, which is essentially a small metal band that goes around one of the teeth, with a thin wire loop extension out the side, butted against the tooth on the opposite side of the space. The open area of this maintainer allows the permanent tooth to begin to erupt without any interference. Once the permanent tooth begins to erupt, the temporary appliance is removed.

If your child has lost a tooth prematurely, having a space maintainer placed in their mouth is very easy to care for and should be done early as possible by your childrens dental care provider to prevent complex orthodontic needs later on. Some dentists, most pediatric dentists, and also orthodontic specialists place these devices. As with every tooth, proper brushing and flossing around the appliance is important to prevent tooth decay or gingivitis. It is perhaps one of the smallest orthodontic appliances that is used in modern dentistry, but has an extremely large impact on the health of your child’s developing smile.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental



Common Concerns of Your Child’s Permanent Tooth Development

As your child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt into the mouth, they can appear quite different from the baby teeth that they’ve smiled with up until that point. Many very natural characteristics of permanent teeth can seem so different that it alarms the parent to where they call their pediatric dentist to find out if something is wrong.

Tooth Color

Most parents worry about their children’s new teeth being darker than normal, and they even ask about whitening procedures. Adult teeth are naturally darker in appearance than the adjacent baby teeth. This is due to the anatomy of baby and permanent teeth. Baby teeth are mostly tooth enamel, which is white. Adult teeth have an inner layer of dentin, which is yellow in color. The dentin creates a different shade being reflected through the tooth, making it appear darker than baby teeth.


Ideal spacing for your child’s baby teeth will leave open areas between the teeth. These large spaces allow for optimal permanent tooth eruption. Baby teeth that are close to one another may not leave enough space, and be a precursor to crowded adult teeth.


The lower front permanent teeth can often erupt behind the baby teeth before the baby teeth fall out. This is a fairly normal eruption pattern and the baby teeth should still fall out without much prompting. If the tooth erupts so far back that the baby tooth does not loosen, you may need the dentist to help.

Size and Shape

Permanent teeth are larger than baby teeth and take up more space. The front teeth often have small bumps called “mamelons” on the biting edge, which aid in tooth eruption. These small ridges naturally wear down over time as the tooth is used.

Posted on behalf of Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.



When Should My Child First See a Dentist?

Early dental care for your child can help them establish a proper oral care routine that prevents many dental diseases and infections later on in their childhood. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that all children see a dentist by their first birthday, or when their first teeth erupt, whichever comes first. By the time a child is 3 or 4 years of age, they may already have developed large areas of tooth decay or abscesses that could have been prevented. Early dental disease sets the tone for the rest of their dental health, and can damage their developing permanent teeth.

Your child’s first visit will most likely be relaxed and a chance for them to explore the office, meet the staff, and understand what goes on during a dental exam. Most of the appointment will probably just include talking between the dental provider, the parent and the child. The actual exam (or even cleaning and x-rays if the child is willing) will only take a few minutes.

Most children enjoy trying on a pair of gloves, holding the dental mirror, and pretending to be the dentist! At recurrent visits, the child will learn to go back for treatment like a big kid, and have preventive procedures performed while their parent relaxes in the reception area. Even children that are very apprehensive typically tend to be very cooperative when they are given the chance to independently “go to the dentist” on their own. However, the parent is welcome at any time to check on their child or stay with their child if they like.

If you’ve waited a little longer than what is recommended, don’t worry! It’s never too late to catch up on your child’s dental care.

Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental


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