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
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

May
6

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

With a little positivity and preparation, your child can enjoy a pleasant first trip to your family dentist and be on the road to a healthy smile for life.

Baby’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and many pediatricians urge parents to bring their babies to the dentist by their first birthday. If your baby’s teeth start coming in before then, bring him or her in even sooner.

A dental checkup for a baby is a matter of just a few minutes. The dentist will look at your baby’s mouth and make sure the teeth are coming in on schedule.

Taking Your Child to the Dentist for the First Time

At the first appointment for an older child, expect the dentist and dental hygienist to spend more time having fun with your son or daughter. The goal is to create a relaxed environment your child feels comfortable in.

Your child may be able to explore the dental air hose, vacuum, and water sprayer. There may be some fun “brushing” practice on a toy or model teeth. A dental examination and brief cleaning will likely finish up the session.

Listen Up!

Perhaps the most important part will be what the dentist has to say to you. You’ll get the latest in tips and recommendations for keeping your son or daughter’s smile healthy, no matter their age. Pay close attention and put the suggestions into practice.

Your child’s first dental appointment doesn’t have to be traumatic. Keep the experience relaxed and informative for your little one. With the help of your local dentist, your son or daughter will soon be an old pro when it comes time for dental checkups!

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-172

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

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

Dec
31

Why A Dental Crown May Be Your Child’s Best Option

Tooth decay is just as serious for kids as it is for adults. If not more so. A cavity in a baby tooth isn’t something you can afford to ignore just because “that tooth will fall out, anyway.”

Cavities spread rapidly in children’s mouths. Kids aren’t great about keeping their teeth clean, but baby teeth have thin enamel. Decay can quickly reach the pulp where it can develop a life-threatening abscess.

Sometimes, a crown is the only treatment option.

Can’t You Pull the Tooth?

Occasionally. But that will depend on your child’s tooth development. Each baby tooth acts as a placeholder for an adult one that’s yet to come. If that tiny placeholder is lost too soon, other teeth can drift and fill the gap, causing crowding once the grown-up one comes in.

Pulling a tooth and putting in a spacer is usually a last-resort option.

What About a Filling?

Getting a filling while the cavity is still small is always the preferred route from the outset. But as mentioned before, baby teeth have very thin enamel layers compared to adult ones. It doesn’t take long for a cavity to reach a critical stage. Trying to fill the tooth could result in more damage and pain to your child.

Why Crown A Baby Tooth

Most decayed baby teeth are capped with stainless steel crowns. The benefits to doing so include:

  • Economical
  • Long-lasting
  • Little to no sensitivity
  • More complete protection for the tooth than a filling

When options get limited, a dental crown really does become the best restorative solution for many kids. Of course, it’s best to avoid decay in the first place, so talk with your child’s dentist about preventative treatment and age-appropriate oral hygiene methods.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Dec
19

Pediatric or General Dentist – Which is Right for Your Child?

Most parents wait until their child is a few years old to bring them to their first dental appointment. Then they find themselves facing this question: where do they bring their kid for a checkup?

If you live in an area where there are plenty of dental offices to choose from, you may feel torn between visiting the family dentist and seeing a pediatric dentist.

Benefits Of Staying With The Family Dentist

Just because a dentist is a “general” dentist doesn’t mean he or she is unqualified to treat kids. In fact, they probably have lots of experience in treating patients of all ages.

Why stick with your family dentist for your child’s dental care?

  • Convenient scheduling
  • Staff you’re familiar with
  • Child will already know dentist
  • Often simpler insurance billing

When To See A Pediatric Dentist

If there is a pediatric dental office in your area, it’s definitely worth checking out. Pediatric dentists take a couple extra years to study child health and psychology. Their offices are equipped with uniquely small-sized tools and cheery décor to make the environment comfortable and fun for kids.

Why and when you should check out a pediatric office:

  • Your child has special needs
  • You suspect a serious developmental problem with your child’s teeth
  • Your child needs advanced treatment involving sedation
  • Your child gets very nervous in other medical settings

There aren’t any downsides to either decision that you need to worry about. The bottom line is that this is a personal decision for your family to make. Your own dentist can help you consider which benefits apply to your situation.

Posted on behalf of:
Sugar Creek Family Dental
1165 Gravois Rd. Suite 140
Fenton, MO 63026
(636) 255-8325

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

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