Dental Tips Blog

Dec
12

Can Milk Cause Tooth Decay in Babies?

Milk contains natural sugars. Sugars are simple carbohydrates that fuel cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Babies pick up these germs from their families soon after birth.

So yes, milk has the potential to cause decay in the newly-erupted teeth of infants and toddlers who drink it.

Avoiding Bottle Rot

Baby bottle tooth decay is linked to a habit of carrying around a bottle or sippy cup of liquid all day long. If your baby has convenient access to milk or juice any time of the day, then he or she is at risk for developing a serious case of cavities.

Promote a healthy baby smile by:

  • Limiting juice and milk to mealtimes, not nap times
  • Wiping out your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after each feeding
  • Brushing your child’s teeth with a soft toothbrush as soon as they appear
  • Offering your toddler water whenever he or she is thirsty 

What About Breastfeeding?

Breastmilk does contain some natural sugar. So, while it’s rich in good things for your baby, you should still make it a practice to clean baby’s mouth after each feeding, right from the very start.

Breastfeeding seems to play a role in promoting healthy tooth alignment and it’s the best way for a mom to transfer antibodies to her growing baby. This activity is one of the best ways to bond with a new child, so it’s natural to occasionally fall asleep with baby on the breast.

Even still, try not to let that become a habit. Wipe out your child’s mouth after each feeding.

Talk with your pediatric dentist for more information on keeping your baby’s teeth strong and healthy.

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

Sep
22

Parents, Don’t Become Guilty of Dental Neglect!

Like any other loving parent, you hate to see your child suffer. Even so, too many loving parents make the same mistake of concluding their kids’ baby teeth aren’t as important as the permanent ones. This view usually leads to dental neglect.

What Is Dental Neglect?

Willfully overlooking the treatment needs of your child’s teeth and mouth adds up to serious infection. Neglect is learning that your child needs a filling or improved oral hygiene but then doing nothing to help them.

Why Your Child’s Dental Health Matters

Baby teeth seem unimportant since they’re going to fall out. Most children aren’t huge fans of brushing and flossing, anyway. But those first teeth act as placeholders for the adult ones to follow.

Letting baby teeth just rot away can cause your child unnecessary pain and pave the way for more serious problems involving adult teeth.

When Choosing Treatment for Your Child

It’s normal to feel disappointed when you hear your little one needs a costly procedure. But your dentist is neither implying you’re a bad parent nor suggesting unnecessary treatment just to make a profit.

At a dental checkup, your child can be accurately diagnosed with x-rays and other tools. It’s also the best way for you to learn how to prevent oral health problems.

So the best way to avoid dental neglect is through prevention and following a dentist’s recommendations.

Still don’t like the diagnosis you’re hearing? Before ruling out dental treatment for your child, consider getting a second opinion. This way, you can be sure of acting in your child’s best interests!

Get a head start on your child’s oral well-being by contacting a local dentist to schedule a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

May
1

Caring for Your Child’s First Teeth

Did you know that even babies need dental care?

You might think that there isn’t too much there to worry about. True, baby teeth are small and they will eventually fall out. Even so, the teeth your little son or daughter has now need special attention from your pediatric dentist. Those small smiles have to be clean and healthy for your kids to be happy!

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Baby teeth don’t stay forever, but while they’re around, they have a few important jobs:

  • Help your child chew foods to nourish their growing bodies
  • Serve as placeholders for the adult teeth to come
  • Give your child a way to smile and speak properly

Not only are these first teeth essential, but if they do develop a problem, your little one could be in a lot of unnecessary pain.

Start While Young

Pediatric doctors and dentists alike widely recommend cleaning your baby’s mouth regularly after feedings, even before the first teeth arrive. This way, your child gets used to the sensation of having their mouth’s cleaned.

Once the first set of teeth arrives, your baby will be well into the habit of having their mouth cleaned.

Use a soft, clean, moist cloth to gently swab out your child’s mouth after each feeding, whether they have their first teeth or not.

Early Brushing Years

Once your toddler has just about all of their first teeth in, it’s time to get them into regular brushing. Choose a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles. Ask your dentist for recommendations for a child-friendly toothpaste.

With patience and consistency, you can start your child off on a path to a bright and healthy dental future!

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

Feb
14

Don’t Ignore Cavities in Baby Teeth!

It’s easy to think that your child doesn’t really need to have a baby tooth filled. After all, it will fall out soon, right? There’s actually a lot more to it.

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t ever ignore that cavity in your child’s baby tooth.

  1. Baby teeth are essential to adult tooth eruption.

A primary (baby) tooth is a placeholder and guide for the adult one to follow. If it falls out too soon from decay, the adult tooth may grow in crooked. Even worse, decay from a baby tooth can damage the permanent one before it even makes it to the surface.

  1. Where there’s one cavity, more will follow.

Cavities are extremely contagious between teeth. The longer a decayed tooth is there, the more likely other teeth will suffer.

  1. A toothache hurts your baby just as badly as it bothers you.

It’s simply not fair to assume that your child will be fine because the decayed tooth isn’t a permanent one.

  1. Poor self-image affect kids of all ages.

Don’t underestimate how your child may feel about having one or more rotted teeth. Tooth decay smells bad and other kids may make negative comments about your child’s hygiene. Some children are embarrassed to smile with their “dirty” or “ugly” teeth.

  1. An abscess can damage the brain.

A severely decayed tooth can develop an abscess. This is an acute infection of the nerves in a tooth that escapes into the surrounding jawbone. Sometimes, this infection can travel to the brain and cause life-threatening problems.

If your child complains of a toothache, visit your pediatric or family dentist as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Jan
7

Are Dental Crowns Safe for Kids?

If you’re here for the short answer, then yes, dental crowns ARE safe for kids! But the real question is: why do kids need dental crowns in the first place? Truth be told, they may be vital to your child’s dental health.

The Purpose of Dental Crowns

When a tooth fractures or has a very large cavity, a crown helps hold the tooth together and protect it from further damage. A crown will prevent sensitivity and let your kids continue to use the tooth to chew on.

Why Crown a Baby Tooth?

Treating the damaged tooth will spare your child unnecessary pain. It’s important to preserve the tooth because it saves the space for the adult tooth to follow. If the baby tooth is lost too soon, the adult tooth may come in crooked or be impacted, creating orthodontic complications later on.

Additionally, the infection in the baby tooth can travel to the developing adult one and damage it before it arrives.

The Crown Procedure for Kids

It’s a very routine and safe process for kids to get dental crowns. If your child is particularly anxious, your dentist may arrange for some light sedation with laughing gas or an oral medication.

Just like any other crown procedure, the affected tooth is carefully shaped, the crown is designed to fit the prepared tooth (usually stainless steel for baby teeth), and it’s cemented in place.

Help your child care for the crown with careful flossing, daily brushing, and age-appropriate doses of fluoride.

A dental crown is a safe solution for kids’ smiles! Contact your dentist to learn more about the procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358

Dec
23

When to Introduce Your Kids to Flossing

Some parents may feel that flossing is not as important as brushing, but the facts show otherwise. Introducing flossing isn’t as hard as you may think! 

Why We Floss

A toothbrush can’t reach in-between teeth. These areas are prime sites for cavity-causing bacteria to camp out in. Flossing is the only way you’re going to access these tight spots to disrupt any bacterial activity.

Here’s an important tip: if the sides of any two teeth are touching each other, they need to be flossed.

Kids and Flossing – Where Do You Start?

Even before adult teeth start coming in, some baby teeth may need to be flossed.

Give kids’ floss-picks a try. Start out doing it for your kids, and let them practice with supervision later on.

Usually at around age 8, kids can start practicing on their own with the flossing tool of their choice, such as:

  • Flossers
  • Regular dental floss
  • Water flossers

Flossing is usually easier to get done at nighttime before bed. It’s also probably best to begin the hygiene ritual with flossing to make sure it doesn’t get skipped. Brushing teeth first can leave kids with the sensation that their teeth are clean enough and it’s okay to skip the flossing.

Flossing – All in the Family!

It’s very common for even the most health-conscious adults to neglect regular flossing. Flossing has benefits for kids and adults alike, so there’s no time like the present to make flossing the next family project!

Talk with your kids dentist to get more tips on flossing and other age-appropriate oral hygiene care for your kids.

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dental Partners
729 Centre St
Jamaica Plain, A 02130
(617) 390-8484

Dec
6

When Will My Child’s Adult Teeth Come In?

Some kids get their teeth earlier than others. It’s a very individualized process that depends simply on the body’s own timing. Even twins can differ in their tooth development.

Generally, girls tend to switch out teeth sooner than boys.

Knowing what to expect can help you keep you in-tune with your child’s oral health and natural tooth development.

First molars are the first adult teeth you can usually expect to see. These adult molars will show up at the very back of your child’s current set of teeth around 6 or 7 years of age.

Around the same time, the front four teeth on top and bottom will loosen by turn and fall out to make room for the grown-up versions.

Next, the lower canines (“eye teeth”) will take a turn swapping out (usually between the ages of 9-10 years old).

All of the adult premolars (bicuspids) will come in anywhere from 10-12 years of age. The upper canines should also come in at about this time.

Lastly, the second molars will erupt when your child is around 12-13 years old.

Again, these ages can vary from child to child and between genders. However, having an age-range to base it on can alert you to any problems that your child is experiencing in terms of tooth development.

No matter when the teeth arrive, your child’s smile needs maintenance through regular dental appointments. At checkups, the dentist will make sure all teeth are healthy, clean and developing normally. X-rays reveal if there are any problems with the adult teeth poised to replace baby teeth and are an essential part of the examination process.

Contact your child’s dentist to schedule an exam to learn exactly where your son or daughter is at in tooth development.

Posted on behalf of:
Preston Sherry Dental Associates
6134 Sherry Ln
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 691-7371

Nov
30

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Visit

It might be hard to say who’s more nervous about your child’s first dental appointment: your child or yourself!

You know that a healthy smile is important to your child’s happiness and wellbeing. Dental care is very important; but if the first experience in a dental office goes wrong, your child could end up avoiding dental treatment for years. This would later cause problems for your child such as financial trouble, pain, lowered confidence, and other health issues.

That being said, how do you get things started off on the right foot?

Use Positive Speech

Kids are likely to base their view of the dentist upon what they hear you say about it. Discuss dental care in a positive tone. Replace negative-sounding phrases like “it won’t hurt” (child will only hear the word “hurt”) with things like “the dentist will count your teeth.”

Make It Fun

Use books, games, cartoons, toys, and songs that deal with tooth topics to give your child an idea of what to expect and help them look forward to experiencing the dental office for themselves. Set up fun “practice” appointments at home. A toothbrush and a flashlight are all you need to play dentist!

Trust The Dental Team

If your child is still anxious, there’s no need for you to be embarrassed or overly concerned. An empathetic and experienced dental team will work with you to help relax your child, engage their curiosity, and make them feel secure.

Investing in your child’s dental health is like investing in their college fund. A better future starts today. Make the first dental visit a positive one to pave the way to a beautiful smile for life!

Posted on behalf of:
Family First Dental
419 N Yelm St
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 783-1000

Nov
28

Is Thumb-Sucking Really That Bad?

Thumb-sucking is the way little ones naturally try to calm themselves. The habit helps them cope with an anxious situation, fall asleep faster, and occupy themselves when bored.

Did you know though, that this cute hallmark sign of babyhood could cause a lot of damage to your child’s smile?

A Normal Habit

From the moment babies discover fingers, they begin putting them in their mouth! This tendency often stops on its own around age 2-2 ½. Sometimes thumb-sucking past the age of 3 is normal. But what if it continues?

The Effects on the Smile

A combined pressure of the finger and suction will eventually affect the shape of developing bone and the position of emerging teeth. Not only could this habit create buck teeth, but it could also increase spacing between them.

The resulting problems down the road include:

  • Child is too embarrassed to smile
  • Difficulty biting into foods like pizza or sandwiches
  • Speech problems

Even after thumb sucking consciously stops, a child may pick up the habit of thrusting their tongue into the gapped space. This still puts pressure on the front teeth. You could liken this to performing their own orthodontic treatment!

Don’t Ignore Thumb-Sucking!

Letting a thumb-sucking habit continue increases the chances that your child will need braces and possibly surgery to correct the shape of the mouth.

It’s much better to avoid these problems in the first place! Talk with your dentist for help. You’ll get age-appropriate recommendations for breaking the habit in addition to suggestions for correcting any damage done. A dental professional will also help you figure out what could be triggering the habit. Call your dental office today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Memorial Park Dental Spa
6010 Washington Ave Suite D
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 336-8478

Nov
16

Is Your Kids’ Diet Rich in “Smile Vitamins?”

Yes, fluoride is very important, but there are other vital nutrients your child needs to keep their smile strong.

Take a minute to consider how a balanced and nutritious diet contributes to healthy tooth and bone development. This is especially important for growing kids and their smiles!

Fiber – specifically that found in whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies. Fiber is not only important for digestive health, but snacks such as fresh apples and celery actually help keep teeth free from cavity-causing dental plaque.

Vitamin C – found in foods like strawberries, oranges, and sweet potatoes, vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system and limits gum inflammation, or gingivitis.

Iron and Vitamin B – a deficiency of iron or certain B vitamins can result in uncomfortable sores in a child’s mouth. Lots of foods are fortified with iron and B vitamins.

Calcium and Vitamin D – look for these primarily in dairy sources. Calcium and vitamin D are essential to bone strength and tooth development. And bonus! Cheese has been proven to help fight cavity-causing bacteria.

Supplement the Diet

Along with a healthful diet, your child’s oral health will benefit from:

  • Plenty of fluoride
  • Great oral hygiene
  • Drinking lots of water (promotes normal cellular function and encourages saliva flow)
  • Frequent exercise

Consult your child’s doctor for specific recommendations on a healthy diet.

Schedule regular checkups at your local dental office to make sure your son or daughter’s smile stays brilliant and healthy. Dental visits help you ensure a healthy smile for your kids using technology like digital x-rays and protective dental sealants.

Call your dentist today to plan your next visit!

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

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