Dental Tips Blog

May
19

5 Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Their First Dental Appointment

Your child should have their first dental checkup by the time they are a year old or get their first tooth. This will help to make sure that your child’s smile develops normally and provide intervention early, when necessary.

But what if your child is beyond their toddler years and just now has their first dental visit coming up? It’s wise to prepare them in advance by following this advice:

Keep Your Tone Positive

When you tell your child about the upcoming appointment, try to sound cheerful about it. This can help your kid to also stay positive and avoid unnecessary anxiety.

Have Practice Sessions

Small children may enjoy a few “practice” sessions where they get to play “dentist” on your teeth. You can also take a turn “counting” their teeth. This will help them know what to do and expect at their first appointment.

Promote Good Oral Hygiene

Emphasize the importance of toothbrushing. If your child already knows how important dental hygiene is, he or she will better appreciate the need for seeing a dentist. Your child may even take a measure of pride in showing the dentist how clean their teeth are.

Let Them Watch First

Have your littlest one watch while a dentist examines your or an older sibling’s teeth. They’ll see that there’s nothing to be afraid of and even get to know the dentist and staff.

Plan a Reward

Set up a special reward to celebrate your child’s first dental visit. However it goes, your child can look forward to ending their day on a happy note and feel good about their accomplishment.

Ask your children’s dentist about more ways to prepare your child for their first appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

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
11

5 Things You Can Do When Your Child Has a Toothache

Kids can indicate that they have a toothache in different ways. For example, your child may refuse to eat solid foods, stubbornly oppose tooth brushing, have difficulty sleeping, or fuss and cry.

Toothaches in children can be caused by:

  • Cavities
  • Food stuck in the gums or between teeth
  • Sharp edges on a loose tooth
  • New tooth growing in
  • Cracked teeth

Determining the cause of your child’s distress can be difficult. But there are some steps you can take to help him or her get relief.

  1. Swish with Warm Salt Water

Have your child rinse out their mouth with a little salt water. This step is most effective if your child is old enough to tolerate the salty rinse and then spit it out.

Make sure the water is neither too hot nor too cold. The rinse can bring down swelling, cleanse the mouth of some of the bacteria, and dislodge food debris.

  1. Brush Gently

Take a look inside your child’s mouth to see what’s going on. If you notice a lot of plaque or food debris around the problem tooth, try gently cleaning it away with a toothbrush. Simply brushing away the buildup can provide some relief.

  1. Take a Pain Reliever

Next, offer your child a liquid or chewable pain reliever such as Tylenol or Motrin. This can help your child stay comfortable until you can get professional help.

  1. Ice Pack

Offer an ice pack for your child to put on the outside of his or her cheek to numb the pain.

  1. See a Dentist

Even if your child starts feeling better, that doesn’t mean you should ignore their toothache. Head to a pediatric dental office as soon as possible for a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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
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
9

Can a Dentist Fix Those Bumps on My Child’s Front Teeth?

You’re a little worried to notice that your child’s new teeth have strange bumps on the edges. The front teeth (incisors) in particular have these odd markings, which are visible immediately after the tooth erupts.

What are they? Are they normal? Can a dentist make the teeth look any better?

Do You Know What Mamelons Are?

Your child’s adult teeth form deep within the jawbone. Tooth bud development involves the fusion of separate lobes. By the time the tooth is matured and ready to start growing out of the gums, all the separate pieces will be morphed into one tooth.

These developmental lobes can leave behind a distinctive outline of their growth pattern. The marks left behind are most visible on the edges of front teeth and are called “mamelons.” They are perfectly normal in all children. They’re also thought to help the tooth erupt more easily into the mouth.

What Happens to Mamelons

These developmental bumps usually wear away over time with the gentle but gradual use from eating and chewing. That’s why you probably don’t have these grooves left on your own teeth – they wore away without you noticing.

Can You Do Anything About Mamelons?

As long as your child’s teeth are coming in straight and healthy, the only thing you need to worry about is keeping them that way.

Because mamelons are a natural artifact of tooth development, they are not harmful.

Wait until your child’s teeth have fully developed and let him or her decide how they feel about any residual marks on their teeth. Mamelons that don’t naturally wear away can be smoothed out by a dentist.

If your child doesn’t like the look of mamelons that won’t go away, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist for a quick fix.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

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

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

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