Dental Tips Blog

Dec
30

7 Snacks That Can Prevent Decay in Kids’ Teeth

Are you in need of some simple snack ideas that won’t damage your children’s teeth? A healthy and balanced diet doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are six easy snacks that may even help lower your kids’ chances of developing tooth decay.

  1. Sliced Apples with Sugar-Free Yogurt

Apples are a good source of water and fiber, which help wash away cavity-causing germs. Yogurt contains calcium for remineralizing tooth enamel (keep it sugar-free, however!)

  1. Whole Grain Crackers with Cheddar Cheese Slices

Cheddar is a good source of calcium but it’s tanginess also stimulates saliva production. By munching on cheese, your child’s mouth will produce a little extra saliva that can wash away cavity-causing bacteria.

  1. Fresh Broccoli Florets with Dairy-Free Ranch Dip

Is your child allergic or sensitive to dairy? Broccoli is a great source of the calcium that teeth need to ward off decay. Offer fresh florets with a dip of your child’s choice.

  1. Veggie Sticks with Peanut Butter

Sweet sticky peanut butter won’t stay on little teeth for too long when it’s paired with fresh veggies like celery and carrots. These foods have lots of water and fiber to naturally cleanse teeth of food sugars and plaque bacteria.

  1. Eggs, Any Way Your Kids Like!

Eggs aren’t just for breakfast! They’re a rich source of protein and a quick and sugar-free snack option.

  1. Rice Cakes with Cream Cheese

Rice cakes are usually made with high-fiber brown rice. It’s less likely to stick to teeth and fuel cavity-causing bacteria.

7 Whole Grain Tortilla Chips with Guacamole

Jazz up whole grain snacks with a zesty guacamole.

Ask your kid’s dentist for more smile-friendly food options.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Dec
24

5 Things That Increase Your Child’s Risk for Tooth Decay

If neglected, these five factors will increase the chances that your child develops painful cavities.

  1. Diet High in Sugar

If your child’s diet includes more than the occasional sweet treat or cup of juice or soda, then they may be at risk for cavities. Even crackers, chips, and pasta can increase the chances of decay if you child snacks on such carbs all day long.

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Children are notoriously resistant to routine brushing and flossing. It may be difficult to get your little one to brush properly. But if bacterial plaque isn’t removed daily, your child will be at high risk for cavities.

  1. Inadequate Fluoride Exposure

Fluoride makes tooth enamel virtually invincible to cavity bacteria. If you don’t consult with a dentist about how much fluoride your child should be getting, they may have a deficiency that opens them up to tooth decay.

  1. Bottle at Bedtime

Some children have a habit of going to bed with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice. While this routine may also help your child calm down and go to sleep, it can destroy their teeth. Falling asleep with a sweet liquid coating their teeth is a surefire way for children to develop cavities.

  1. Parents with Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a contagious bacterial infection. Your child is guaranteed to pick up the germs from you at some point in their early life, but they may be at greater risk if you have multiple untreated cavities and high levels of bacteria in your mouth.

Bring your kid’s dentists to learn more about lowering their risk for tooth decay.

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

Oct
20

How to Safely Clean Baby Teeth for a Healthy Smile

A healthy mouth is important to a healthy body at every stage of life. Your child’s oral hygiene routine should start from day one. Here’s how you can safely clean your child’s mouth to lower their risk of childhood tooth decay.

Start with a Soft Cloth

Wipe your baby’s mouth with a moistened soft cloth after each feeding. This will prevent infections, sores, and bad breath and get your child used to a routine of good oral hygiene. It also feels good on sore gums during the teething phase.

After the First Teeth Arrive

Once your child’s teeth break through the gum tissue, it’s time to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Baby toothbrushes have small heads for comfort and large handles to make it easy for you to maneuver.

Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste that’s the size of a grain of rice. Baby teeth need fluoride to help them resist decay.

When to Start Flossing

Flossing should begin as soon as there are enough teeth in the mouth that they touch each other on the sides. Sometimes, baby teeth have enough space between them that brushing is enough to clean all surfaces.

Whether your child has crowded baby teeth or a mix of baby and adult teeth, the teeth will need flossing once they’re closely packed together.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

Schedule your child’s very first dental checkup as soon as their first baby teeth arrive. Plan an appointment if their teeth haven’t arrived by their first birthday. This early appointment is important to ensuring that your child is healthy and developing well.

Ask a pediatric dentist near you for more tips on caring for your infant’s teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth, GA 30102
(678) 888-1554

Oct
17

Don’t Pull Baby Teeth, Dentists Warn

Finding creative ways to pull a loose baby tooth can be a riotous family affair, fun for kids and parents alike. Losing teeth is a milestone in childhood that parents want to be a part of. But dentist warn that you should be extremely careful about “helping” your child pull a tooth.

Why Pulling Teeth Is Dangerous

You might not think that tugging out a baby tooth with a piece of string tied to a doorknob is dangerous. After all, it’s just going to fall out soon anyway, right?

The problem is that the tooth may not be as ready to come out as you think. Yanking it prematurely can cause pain to your child, excessive bleeding, damage to the gums, and can even cause the baby tooth to fracture and leave behind part of the root.

The Best Way to Lose Baby Teeth

What’s the best way to pull kids’ baby teeth? Let them do it themselves.

Encourage your child to wiggle their loose teeth with their tongue and fingers. They should do so gently over time, not forcefully. As they do so, the ligaments and old tooth enamel break down painlessly and naturally until the baby tooth is good and ready to come out.

Help for Stubborn Baby Teeth

What if your child has a loose tooth that seems stuck? It very well could be. Occasionally, tooth alignment issues lead to a baby tooth becoming trapped between two others. In this case, simply pulling the tooth straight out won’t work. It needs a simple, but professional extraction.

Do you think your child needs help with pulling out their loose teeth? Bring them to see a pediatric dentist for an evaluation.

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

May
18

No Bottles in Bed for Baby!

Many well-intentioned moms and dads put their babies to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. But pediatric dentists and pediatricians have this strong warning for parents: don’t put your baby or toddler to bed with anything besides a bottle of water.

The Dangers of Bedtime Bottles

Toothless newborns may need to be fed at the oddest hours. But there is a significant danger associated with putting a toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Juice and milk may seem healthy since they don’t have any added sugar. But they do have plenty of natural ones.

The sugars found in beverages are responsible for wearing away tooth enamel. They also fuel the germs that cause tooth decay. If your child gets to slowly sip on these sugary drinks over the course of hours throughout the night, then her teeth are at extreme risk for cavities.

Toddlers’ teeth are highly prone to decay since they have weaker enamel than adult ones do. Once a cavity starts in a baby tooth, it can quickly spread to other teeth and even trigger a dangerous abscess.

Baby Teeth Are Important!

Your child’s first teeth are all they have to speak, eat, and smile with. They also act as placeholders to ensure the adult teeth come in straight. If those baby teeth rot and fall out too soon, that could permanently damage your child’s chances at having a healthy smile later in life.

If a bottle of water will soothe your baby at bedtime, then that’s perfectly fine. But for the sake of her irreplaceable little teeth, don’t fill that bottle with anything else between mealtimes!

Talk with your child’s dentist to learn more smile-friendly tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Apr
9

Is It Safe to Pull Out Your Child’s Loose Tooth?

Generations of parents have tried the old string-and-a-door trick when it comes to pulling out their kids’ loose teeth. It may seem like a logical and effective method for removing stubborn teeth, but dentists urge caution the next time you’re tempted to pull one out.

Avoid Premature Pulling

If your child has a loose tooth, confirm that it’s truly ready to come out. For example, the bottom front teeth are usually the first to go around 6 or 7 years of age. Next come the upper front teeth.

Even though all baby teeth should eventually fall out, it’s important that they do so on the right schedule. If a baby tooth falls out prematurely, it can cause the adult tooth to grow in crooked.

Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle

Forcing out a loose baby tooth that isn’t quite ready can cause unnecessary pain, bleeding, and tissue damage.

It’s better to encourage your child to frequently and gently wiggle the tooth until it’s free. Your child can use their tongue, brush around the area, or try biting into an apple.

Remember: easy does it when it comes to pulling loose teeth!

When a Baby Tooth Is Stuck

If you’re sure that a baby tooth just needs a little more encouragement, then proceed with caution.

With clean hands, grasp the baby tooth with a piece of tissue or gauze. Use a gentle back and-forth wiggling motion to try loosening its attachment to the gums. If it hurts your child, then don’t force it.

Consult your child’s dentist for help in removing baby teeth that don’t seem to fall out on their own.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Mar
3

When Should Your Child Start Flossing?

As soon as your child has teeth that touch side by side, they should be flossed as often as possible. Neighboring teeth that come in contact with each other are prime for trapping bacteria between them.

Flossing is the best way to remove bacteria, food debris, and harmful food acids from between neighboring teeth.

Still, you may wonder if your young child is ready for flossing.

Is Your Child Ready to Floss?

If your child has well-spaced teeth, then brushing may be sufficient. Teeth are usually spaced out when they first come in, so babies don’t need to have their teeth flossed.

By the time your child reaches three or four years of age, their baby teeth should all be in place. They may be too snug for brushing alone to thoroughly clean them, and if so, flossing becomes essential.

Flossing is all the more important as your child develops a smile with a mix of adult and baby teeth. Decay quickly spreads among mixed teeth if they aren’t regularly cleaned.

Easy Flossing for Kids

Floss picks or long-handled flossers are usually the best way to floss kids’ teeth. You can easily do the job yourself, or supervise an independent child who wants to do it on their own.

Not every toddler is ready to have their teeth flossed, so use good judgement in weighing your child’s need for flossing with their ability to tolerate it. Don’t force your child to floss if it bothers them a lot and the teeth aren’t touching.

Keep in mind, however, that the sooner and more often you expose your young one to flossing, the quicker they’ll adapt to this smile-healthy habit.

Ask your pediatric dentist for personalized advice on flossing your child’s teeth.

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

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

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

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

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