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
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

Jan
6

My Child Won’t Let Me Brush Her Teeth!

You don’t always have the time or energy to fight back when your child pitches a fit over an everyday task like tooth brushing. But oral hygiene is vital to overall health for kids as well as adults.

Tooth brushing prevents bacterial buildup that causes gingivitis and cavities. You know your child needs to have her teeth brushed every day, but it’s a real challenge when she resists.

What can you do? The following tips may help.

Make brushing a fun family affair.

Your child may take up an interest in brushing when she sees that you and others in the family are having fun.

Stir up a little friendly competition and challenge each other to see who can make the most toothpaste bubbles. Let your child brush your teeth in return for letting you brush hers. Play some music, do a dance – just make it so lively that she won’t be able to resist!

Set up role models.

Praise older siblings for obediently brushing in the presence of the more resistant child. At sleepovers, make sure she sees that even Grandma and the cousins have to brush. Look up kids’ books and cartoons featuring a well-loved character who obediently brush their teeth.

Let her choose her own brush and toothpaste.

Give your child some autonomy when it comes to selecting oral hygiene products. A toothbrush with her favorite cartoon characters, the bubblegum- or fruity-flavored kids’ toothpaste she likes, or a bright-colored rinse your dentist recommends. The more involved your kid is, the more likely she’ll take her responsibility to brush seriously. 

Get more fun and creative tips for brushing kids’ teeth from your family or pediatric dentist.

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

 

Jan
6

When Your Child Has A Dental Emergency

Children have a tendency to get into accidents. They slip and bruise their knees, their arms, bump their heads, and even get hit in the mouth! The sight of blood coming from your son or daughter’s teeth is enough to make you panic.

But before you take him or her to the hospital, you should know that the emergency room is NOT always the best place for a dental emergency.

Quick Assessment

First things first, don’t freak out! Your little one takes emotional cues from you. If you don’t panic, he will regain calm quicker.

After he settles, open his mouth so you can see where it’s bleeding. Look for knocked out or broken teeth and cuts in the lips, cheeks, or gums. If there is an avulsed (knocked out) tooth, and you were able to find it, handle it carefully; avoid touching the root, and gently place it back in the socket it came from.

Have him bite down on a tea bag or piece of gauze to hold it back in, and to apply pressure to the wounded site. If he isn’t old enough to keep the tooth in this way, place the broken or knocked out teeth is a small cup of milk, and bring him to the dentist right away.

Same Day Care is Important

Even if there isn’t a broken or knocked out tooth, and blow to the mouth could cause the roots of intact teeth to die. Your dentist will complete a gentle, thorough exam, including x-rays to ensure the teeth are still ok, and that there are no other affected areas. Don’t hesitate to call if your child has a dental emergency.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Oct
22

What to Do When Your Child’s Tooth Is Knocked Out

It’s a traumatic event for everyone involved – your kid is freaking out over the blood and you’re horrified to realize a tooth is missing.

What do you do?

  1. Locate the tooth.

First of all, establish whether the tooth was an adult or baby tooth and try to find it. If it was a baby tooth that fell out prematurely, you still need to see a dentist but the situation isn’t so urgent.

When it comes to an adult tooth, on the other hand, timing is everything.

  1. Calm and clean up your child.

Bring your child to a sink where he or she can spit out blood and rinse out their mouth. Try to calm him or her down and place some clean gauze or tissue over the trauma site. Get them to bite down, as the pressure will help stop the bleeding.

  1. Clean the tooth.

When you’ve found the tooth, handle it by the crown and avoid touching the root, if the tooth is still intact. Rinse it off very gently in clean water; do not use any soap and do not scrub the tooth.

  1. Store the tooth safely.

At this point, if you have a whole, intact adult tooth in your hand, it’s a good idea to try placing it back in the socket. This is the best place since it increases the odds that the tooth will reattach to the gum fibers in the socket.

If replacing the tooth isn’t an option, store it in a small container of milk or the child’s saliva.

  1. Call a pediatric dentist ASAP.

A kid’s dentist needs to evaluate your child’s tooth to see whether successful reattachment is possible. If not, he or she will discuss options for repairing or replacing the tooth.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Oct
16

4 Questions You Have About Your Child’s New Adult Teeth

Your child’s new adult teeth are beginning to come in. Naturally, as a parent, you worry about their dental health. Here are 4 common questions and answers about your child’s new permanent teeth:

Why do my child’s new teeth have bumpy edges?

These bumps are called “mamelons,” and are completely normal. They wear off with time, which is why adults don’t have them. If they don’t start wearing off, it might be a sign that your child’s bite isn’t aligned properly.

Why haven’t my children’s adult teeth been coming in at the same rate?

It’s normal for girls’ adult teeth to come in earlier than boys. Children should start to see their permanent teeth coming in at around 6-7 years of age. If your child is 7 or 8 and hasn’t started this process, consult a dentist or pediatrician.

Why are my child’s new adult teeth are yellow?

Baby teeth are milky white, but new adult teeth appear yellow. Don’t worry, they’re actually clean and healthy. New permanent teeth have more dentin than baby teeth. This dentin is yellow in color and shows through the enamel so the adult tooth looks yellow compared with remaining baby teeth. Tooth color will look lighter with time, once all of the primary teeth fall out.

When is my child ready to start seeing a dentist?

You should have your baby see a pediatric dentist as soon as 1 year of age, or within 6 months of getting his or her first tooth. That way the dentist can make sure that everything is developing properly right from the start.

Schedule an appointment with your local dentist today to get a head start on keeping your children’s teeth healthy.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

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