Dental Tips Blog

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

Jan
26

Is it Safe for Kids to Use Toothpaste Meant for Adults?

Using the same tube of toothpaste seems economical. But are you endangering your children if everyone in your family uses the same adult toothpaste?

Child vs. Adult Toothpaste

Kids’ toothpaste formulas tend to be milder than those geared towards adults. They’re brightly colored to appeal to children’s curious eyes and taste like bubblegum, fruit, or cotton candy.

Should Kids Have Fluoride?

Besides the taste, the other major difference between kids’ and adult toothpaste is that most adult toothpaste contains fluoride while a lot of toddler pastes do not.

This doesn’t mean that kids shouldn’t have fluoride, however. The ADA actually recommends that from the day a child’s first baby tooth arrives the parents should be brushing it with a fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride is the key to strengthening enamel and preventing decay in people of all ages. Kids need it just as much as adults do.

Safe Fluoride Toothpaste for Children

Some adults fear that fluoride is poisonous to children. That fear has given rise to the misconception that kids shouldn’t use adult toothpaste containing fluoride.

Fluoride is safe as long as the child does not routinely swallow more than a little foam leftover from brushing. Placing no more than a smear of toothpaste on your kid’s brush will limit them to a safe amount of the mineral. Carefully monitor your child’s use of and access to fluoridated products and gradually teach them to spit out excess toothpaste.

Pediatric dentists recommend that you use a fluoride toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth, whether it’s geared towards kids or not. For your family, choose a fluoride paste with a flavor everyone enjoys and use it according to your child’s dentist’s directions.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Oct
15

How to Stop Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Habit

Thumb sucking is a normal way for babies to self-soothe. They may pick up a habit of doing so any time they are sleepy, bored, anxious, or upset.

Most of the time, babies actually start this habit while they are still in the womb, and then perfect the art of thumb sucking as they reach the toddler years.

Parents worry about their child picking up an illness from putting their thumb in their mouth after touching who-knows-what. It’s also very possible for thumb sucking to cause orthodontic and speech issues.

But it’s important to understand that thumb sucking is a normal activity for small children. Lecturing or scolding them will only make them more anxious.

Try to wait it out. Most toddler naturally quit the habit around the ages of 2-3 when they start to learn other techniques of coping with and expressing their emotions.

What if it looks like your child isn’t interested in stopping?

Children who hold onto a thumb sucking habit later into childhood also risk damaging the alignment of their adult teeth and creating a deformed palate. This will result in speech problems, an open bite, dental issues, and poor self-esteem.

Discourage thumb sucking by:

  • Praising your child when she’s not doing it
  • Helping your child become more self-aware of the habit
  • Identifying triggers for the habit
  • Distracting your child when the urge to suck comes on
  • Rewarding your child when she makes an effort to stop sucking

It takes patience and diligence to break a deeply-entrenched thumb sucking habit. Your pediatric dentist is a great resource for finding a solution that works for your child. Call to schedule a consultation.

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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