Dental Tips Blog

Mar
13

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay – What It Is and How to Prevent It

Baby bottle tooth decay involves severe cavities in baby teeth (especially the front ones) of a toddler’s mouth. It’s a serious condition that requires urgent care. At the same time, it’s also easily preventable.

What Causes Tooth Decay in Babies?

A specific kind of bacteria that lives on teeth feeds off of the sugar that a person eats. These germs give off an acidic waste product that wears holes (cavities) in teeth.

A diet low in sweets and a daily oral hygiene routine are usually enough to keep cavities at bay. But small children tend to be at high risk for a couple of reasons:

  • They can’t properly clean their teeth themselves
  • They love sweet drinks like juice and milk, often go to sleep while sipping on cup or bottle

If you as a parent aren’t careful about your child’s oral hygiene and natural sugar exposure, then they could be at high risk for developing baby bottle tooth decay.

Consequences of Cavities in Toddlers

Decay in baby teeth can cause painful abscesses that affect the adult teeth before they come through. Abscesses can lead to life-threatening infections. If your child is suffering from cavities, they can have difficulty eating healthy foods or learning to speak properly. Hospitalization may even be necessary.

Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Never put your child to bed with a bottle of anything besides plain water. Limit sweet snacks and drinks to mealtimes to avoid constant sugar exposure throughout the day. As soon as your child’s first tooth arrives, start a routine of daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste.

Lastly, take your child to a pediatric dentist for a checkup by his or her first birthday!

Posted on behalf of:
West Hill Family Dental
132 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 563-3303

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

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

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
5

No Juice for Kids Under Age 1, American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends

Over the past 15 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has given the okay for babies to start having juice by the age of six months.

That recommendation changed just this month.

According to the new guidelines, parents should not introduce fruit juice to their kids until they are past the age of 1.

What’s behind this latest change?

Protect Baby Smiles!

Worry over the high obesity rate in America has prompted a fresh look at how much juice our kids are drinking.

But there is another more sinister concern.

While fruit juice is a sweet treat and some fortified varieties offer vitamins, there is no actual need for babies between 6-12 months to drink juice. They get all essential nutrients from the breastmilk or formula they consume. If more fluid is necessary, plain water is perfect.

Many parents have gotten their babies into a tooth-harming habit of sucking down fruit juice in a sippy cup or bottle all day long. Sure, it keeps the kid quiet for a while, but the steady exposure to all that sugar can cause permanent damage to both baby and later, the adult teeth.

With this in mind, experts now recommend that you keep your child in the habit of reaching for water when they’re thirsty. Ideally, they’ll continue to make the wise choice as they get older!

Invest in Your Child’s Smile

You can ensure a lifelong healthy smile for your child by taking a few preventative measures. Cut back on sources of sugar in your child’s diet (like fruit juice). Encourage good oral hygiene and take your child to your pediatric dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Pleasant Plains Dental
5850 W Hwy 74 #135
Indian Trail, NC 28079
(704) 815-5513

Aug
29

Help! My Toddler Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth!

Is your nightly brushing routine coming down to a battle of wills?

You know that oral hygiene is important, so you’re tempted to hold your toddler down just to get the brushing chore done. But balance is essential if you’re going to help your child develop a positive view of oral health and hygiene.

When your toddler gets a little older, you can start appealing to her power of reason to encourage her to brush. For now, try these tips to keep tooth brushing a fun, engaging, and relaxed activity for your child.

Keep it brief. The younger the child, the shorter the attention span! While your child is very small, the most important thing is simply getting her comfortable with the idea of brushing. Don’t fret if you feel you can’t do a very thorough job. Praise her for cooperating for even half a minute.

Nix the paste. Even though many toddler toothpastes are fluoride-free, some babies just hate the sensation. It’s okay to brush without it if that helps your little one tolerate the activity.

Brush together. Kids like to do what they see their parents doing. Make tooth brushing a group activity everyone participates in before bedtime. Eventually, your toddler will catch on.

Take turns. Let your child try brushing your teeth, then try brushing hers. Let her try brushing her own teeth, and then once again try brushing hers. Switching it up gives your toddler the feeling that they have more control in the situation and shouldn’t be as nervous.

Talk with your child’s dentist or pediatrician to get more ideas on how to provide age-appropriate oral hygiene care.

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

Aug
7

The Time of Day You Schedule Your Kids’ Appointments is Important!

You’re unbelievably busy. Sometimes, just too busy to worry about details like what time your child’s dental appointment is at.

But that’s one small detail that you might not want to brush off so quickly. When it comes to kids, a little time makes a big difference.

The time of day your child comes in to see the dentist can affect a lot: their mood, how well they cooperate, how much the dentist can get done, and even how your child views dental care.

Is Your Child A Morning Person?

Most toddlers are fresh and energetic first thing in the morning. An early appointment may be best so that they get it over with quickly. Then, they can spend the rest of the day forgetting the event if it wasn’t their favorite thing!

Just be sure that the schedule doesn’t interfere with any daily naps. A grouchy toddler is not easy to provide dental treatment for!

Small People, Big Pressures

As adults, we often miss the good old days of school when our worries were few and small.

But we also tend to forget just how big those worries seemed at the time.

Your child, although old enough to cooperate at the dentist’s, still gets tired just like you do. He or she may be stressed after a bad day, a tough exam, or after school activities.

As easy as it sounds to book your kid’s appointment for right after school, try to think of how they may feel. Don’t push them to do more in a day than they can handle!

Your family dentist can provide more tips on how to help your children have a positive experience at the dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Jul
12

Is This Normal? 4 Questions Parents Ask About Kids’ Teeth

As a first-time parent, it’s easy to be anxious about your child’s growth and development. Or, as a second-time parent, you may be worried about why your youngest kid’s teeth are a little different from those of their sibling!

Fortunately, dental experts in your area have been looking after the dental needs of kids for a long time and know what issues to expect.

Here are some of the most common questions that parents ask their children’s dentist:

  1. Why Are My Child’s Teeth So Yellow?

When adult teeth first grow in, they tend to look dark yellow compared with pearly white baby teeth. This is normal, but some discoloration could be staining as a result of poor oral hygiene.

  1. What Are Those Bumps On My Kid’s Teeth?

As adult front teeth grow in, you’ll notice little bumps on the biting edge. These are just artifacts from tooth development. They’ll smooth out on their own with time and use.

  1. Do Girls Usually Lose Teeth Before Boys Do?

Yes, this is perfectly normal. From childhood through puberty it’s not unusual for girls to mature faster than boys.

  1. Should I Be Worried About Teeth Crowding?

As baby teeth are coming out and adult teeth are coming in, it’s typical to see a confusing mix in your kid’s smile.

Adult teeth usually straighten out on their own with time, but pediatric dentists recommend that your child sees an orthodontist for an exam by age 7.

You probably have many other questions besides these!

To get expert advice tailored to your child’s needs, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist.

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

Jun
20

Parents, It’s 10 O’Clock – Have Your Kids Brushed Their Teeth?

Brushing your teeth before sleeping is a classic bedtime routine. It’s also easy to slack off on this activity or skip it altogether.

Are your kids in a habit of brushing their teeth before bed?

Helping your children to regularly brush at night is critical to the future of their smiles.

Once A Day Is Not Enough!

Tooth brushing does more than just make a smile look neat and clean.

It also helps prevent oral infections such as cavities and gingivitis. Your child doesn’t just need fresh breath in the mornings right before going to school. Brushing at night in addition to morning is an effective way to control harmful bacterial growth.

Reduce Acid Wear

During sleep, acids from food can soak into the enamel and start the process of breaking it down. Cavity-causing bacteria also produce a lot of acid. If all those germs and debris are usually left undisturbed for eight or nine hours, there’s a high chance of decay setting in.

Brushing right before going to sleep will let your child’s smile rest in a healthy oral environment. It will also give you some peace of mind that there aren’t germs eating away at their enamel overnight. 

Fluoride Time

Fluoride found in dental products is essential to making teeth resistant to cavities. It’s most effective when teeth can soak it up for at least a half hour. If your child only uses fluoride toothpaste right before eating breakfast, then it can only offer limited benefit.

Make sure your children are brushing right before they sleep. Their teeth will thank them for the extra time to get reinforced against decay!

Developing good teeth brushing habits and regular routine checkups with your childrens dentist will help avoid tooth decay and and gum disease and promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Posted on behalf of:
Allen Dentistry
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
(972)359-9950

Apr
17

When Your Child Won’t Sit Still at the Dentist

That enchanting and innocent smile is worth every effort to protect. But despite your best efforts, your child may not appreciate the need for dentistry.  Managing expectations, choosing a pediatric dentist, and dental sedation are all options for achieving a positive outcome at your child’s next dental visit.

Some children have a hard time sitting still for treatment because of high energy levels. Others struggle with severe anxiety in the medical setting.  What can you do to help your little one get the fullest benefit from every dental visit?

Be Reasonable

It’s not unusual for parents to want their kids to get treatment as soon as possible. All children should have their first oral examination by the time they are around 1 year old. But they may not need a professional cleaning until they are at least 3.

Don’t panic if your dentist feels your child may be too young for dental sealants or a fluoride treatment. This doesn’t mean that your child will miss out on important benefits. Your dentist knows when a procedure will do your child the most good.

Be reasonable in your expectations of what your child can handle. Most necessary major procedures aren’t tolerated well by kids in general.

Discuss Dental Sedation

Even kids who are old enough to be expected to sit through treatment may have a hard time. Certain medications can help them to relax or even doze through a procedure. Your dentist will have suggestions for a safe and effective sedative treatment.

Look for a Pediatric Specialist

After discussing matters with your dentist, you may realize that your child would do better at a pediatric dentist. These offices cater to very young children and those with special needs. When all else fails, your dentist can make a recommendation for a trusted pediatric dentist in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

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