Dental Tips Blog

Oct
18

Can Kids Use Adult Toothpaste?

If only everyone in your family could just use the same tube of toothpaste! But is it safe for young kids and toddlers to use toothpaste that’s marketed for adults?

It is safe, but there are a few points you need to understand before you can make the right toothpaste selection for your family.

The Difference Between Adult and Child Toothpastes

Children’s products are often mild-flavored and brightly colored to encourage tooth brushing cooperation. Adult toothpastes appeal to the more grown-up desires of having fresh breath and white teeth, so they contain spicy or minty flavors and sparkles to evoke an extremely clean sensation.

Your children may simply enjoy kids’ toothpastes better because they’re more fun and flavorful.

Adult Toothpastes Are Safe for Kids!

In the end, many toothpastes for kids and adults alike do the same job and contain similar levels of fluoride, which both kids and adults need.

The current American Dental Association recommendation is that even toddler teeth should be brushed with a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoridated adult toothpaste can work just fine.

No matter what kind of toothpaste you choose, make sure to place no more than the recommended amount on your child’s brush. Supervise them at all times to ensure they don’t swallow too much fluoride toothpaste.

When You Should Not Use Adult Toothpaste

If someone in your family has a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste, then that should not be shared. These toothpastes can contain very high levels of fluoride that would be dangerous if a child got ahold of it and used it unsupervised or ingest it.

Check with your pediatric dentist before introducing a new dental product to your kids’ oral hygiene routine!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

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

Sep
11

Child’s Upper Lip Stuck Between the Front Teeth? No Need to Worry!

You were thrilled to see those two little baby teeth on the bottom make their appearance! Now, your little one is growing in their upper front teeth to match. Everything seems to be going smoothly except . . . skin on the inside of your child’s upper lip seems stuck between those two new teeth.

What’s going on? Well, it’s most likely a harmless and very common phase of baby smile development.

What’s a Frenulum?

By gently rolling your child’s lip away from the teeth and looking closer, you may see that there’s a taut piece of skin anchoring it in place. Place your own tongue just in front of your upper front teeth and while keeping your lips closed. Your tongue should feel a sharp blade of tissue at the tip.

This tissue that both you and your child have is a normal part of human anatomy. In some people, especially very small children who are just growing in their first teeth, this skin anchor may be positioned very low between upper front teeth.

Should You Do Anything?

A low frenulum is not a medical or dental emergency. Keep an eye on your baby to make sure he or she is still eating normally and there aren’t any speech concerns.

Schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist to have your child’s baby teeth examined. There’s usually not much to do but wait and see how the gap (and frenulum) change as your child’s mouth develops. If it turns out that the skin anchor is too low or too tight, then trimming it is a fast and harmless procedure. Call your dentist to learn more.

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

Aug
5

The 4 Primary Causes of Discoloration and Stain in Kids’ Teeth

You may be rightly worried if your child’s smile has been getting darker lately.

What causes staining in kids’ teeth? Here are four factors to consider.

The Adult Teeth Are Coming In

Adult teeth are stronger and thicker than baby teeth. They have a large dentin layer that gives them a darker hue than delicate baby teeth. Your child’s new permanent teeth may look oddly yellow in comparison with any remaining primary ones.

Childhood Tooth Decay

Cavities make teeth look brown, yellow, gray, or even black. Always check with your child’s dentist to find out whether discoloration on your child’s teeth is due to cavities that need treatment.

Plaque Buildup

Dental plaque is made from colonies of bacteria that live in the mouth. If plaque isn’t cleaned off of teeth on a daily basis, it can weaken and dissolve tooth enamel. This makes the enamel prone to picking up stain.

Plaque itself can take on strange colors depending on your child’s diet and unique bio-flora.

Prevent plaque staining by ensuring your child brushes his or her teeth every day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Medication

There is a type of antibiotic called tetracycline. It’s an effective and common one, but it has a bad side-effect on anyone who still has teeth growing beneath their gums. Tetracycline exposure, whether in the womb or later on in childhood, can cause teeth to come in with dark brown, yellow, or gray stains.

Doctors today are careful to avoid prescribing tetracyclines to pregnant women. Make sure you understand all the side-effects of any antibiotic before starting treatment.

Ask your pediatric dentist about other ways you can prevent tooth discoloration in your kids’ smiles.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Aug
4

Have You Heard These 4 Myths About Your Child’s Teeth?

Myths about kids’ dental health tend to confuse well-intentioned parents who are trying their best to keep their children healthy. By understanding fact from fiction, you can ensure your child has a healthy and beautiful smile for life!

Baby Teeth Aren’t Important

They’re just going to fall out anyway, right? That’s true but it doesn’t undermine the importance of baby teeth while they’re in your child’s mouth. They are the placeholders for adult teeth. If they fall out prematurely due to disease or neglect, it can have a negative impact on your child’s oral health for decades.

Baby Teeth Don’t Need to Be Flossed

As soon as any two teeth in your child’s mouth are close enough to touch each other they need to be flossed. Flossing removes debris and disturbs bacteria that collect between neighboring teeth, where a brush can’t reach.

Loose Baby Teeth Should Be Pulled ASAP

Time to retire that tie-a-string-to-a-doorknob-and-slam-the-door trick. Baby teeth shouldn’t be forced out since it can result in pain, premature extraction, or broken roots. Baby teeth fall out naturally on their own. All they need is a little gentle wiggling from your child’s tongue. If a baby tooth truly is stuck, then a dentist can safely remove it.

Fluoride Is Dangerous for Kids

Fluoride is a carefully regulated mineral that’s no more dangerous for your child than safe doses of any other vitamin. The idea that fluoride is a poison is a dangerous myth since this vitamin is extremely effective at preventing tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. Avoiding it only increases your child’s risk for tooth decay. Like a multi-vitamin, fluoride is not toxic when used as directed.

Get more facts on your child’s dental health by consulting a pediatric dentist.

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

Aug
1

My Child Has Two Rows of Teeth—Is That Normal?

You might be more than a little anxious to discover that your child is growing a row of new teeth behind their current ones. Some parents even refer to this characteristic as having “shark teeth.”

What Causes “Shark Teeth”?

The good news is that your kid probably isn’t suffering from a rare mutation that gives them extra teeth! The double rows of teeth are common in many children. It often happens in the front teeth but can affect other teeth, as well.

This phenomenon happens when the emerging adult teeth show up behind the baby teeth instead of directly under them. Typically, the permanent teeth come in underneath the baby ones and put pressure on the tooth roots. This causes the teeth to loosen and fall out, making room for the new set.

On occasion, the adult teeth come in at a slight angle and miss the baby teeth. The result is that they quickly emerge from the gums without dislodging the baby teeth.

Should You Be Worried? 

Actually, having “shark teeth” is usually not too much of an issue. Your child’s teeth will eventually sort themselves out when the baby teeth fall out on their own.

Having two rows of teeth can be dangerous if they stay that way indefinitely. It’s extremely difficult to keep teeth clean and cavity-free if they’re sharing space with their twins. It’s also unhealthy for the gum tissue trapped between the two rows.

Take your child to see a pediatric dentist if you notice that the baby teeth are not loosening up even though the adult teeth have fully grown in. Regular dental checkups at a kids dentist will ensure your child has a healthy smile for life!

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

Jun
19

Is Your Child Ready to Brush Their Teeth on Their Own?

You’ve always been very careful about brushing and flossing your child’s teeth. Now that they’re getting older, however, they insist on independence.

Is your child ready, however, to start brushing solo? If they can’t do a thorough job, then they risk getting cavities.

A thorough oral hygiene routine will protect your children from the problematic impact of cavities. Here are some tips that can help you successfully introduce your child to the responsibility of caring for their own oral health.

Evaluate Your Child’s Age and Maturity

There’s no set age at which kids should start brushing their own teeth. But if your child can handle tying their own shoelaces, then this is a good sign they have the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth.

Gradually Give Your Child More Independence

Your child should start attempting to brush their own teeth from the moment they can grasp a toothbrush. You can even let a toddler scrub his own teeth and then you takeover afterwards to finish the job properly.

As your child gets better about angling the brush to reach all tooth surfaces, you can slowly cut back on the length of time you participate in the activity.

Share Age-Appropriate Explanations About the Importance of Oral Hygiene

The better your child understands the importance of proper brushing, the better they’ll perform the task. Once your child shows that they value their oral wellbeing, they can probably be trusted to brush their teeth thoroughly twice a day.

Seek a Dentist’s Recommendation

Your child’s pediatric dentist can examine their teeth and gums and make dental hygiene recommendations tailored to their specific needs. Schedule a pediatric dental health consultation as soon as possible.

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

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

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

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