Dental Tips Blog

Oct
20

How to Safely Clean Baby Teeth for a Healthy Smile

A healthy mouth is important to a healthy body at every stage of life. Your child’s oral hygiene routine should start from day one. Here’s how you can safely clean your child’s mouth to lower their risk of childhood tooth decay.

Start with a Soft Cloth

Wipe your baby’s mouth with a moistened soft cloth after each feeding. This will prevent infections, sores, and bad breath and get your child used to a routine of good oral hygiene. It also feels good on sore gums during the teething phase.

After the First Teeth Arrive

Once your child’s teeth break through the gum tissue, it’s time to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Baby toothbrushes have small heads for comfort and large handles to make it easy for you to maneuver.

Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste that’s the size of a grain of rice. Baby teeth need fluoride to help them resist decay.

When to Start Flossing

Flossing should begin as soon as there are enough teeth in the mouth that they touch each other on the sides. Sometimes, baby teeth have enough space between them that brushing is enough to clean all surfaces.

Whether your child has crowded baby teeth or a mix of baby and adult teeth, the teeth will need flossing once they’re closely packed together.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

Schedule your child’s very first dental checkup as soon as their first baby teeth arrive. Plan an appointment if their teeth haven’t arrived by their first birthday. This early appointment is important to ensuring that your child is healthy and developing well.

Ask a pediatric dentist near you for more tips on caring for your infant’s teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth, GA 30102
(678) 888-1554

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
13

Fruit Juice—Is It Wrecking Your Child’s Smile?

Fruit juice contains vitamins like vitamin A or C depending on the variety. Additionally, it’s caffeine-free and doesn’t have all the chemicals found in soda.

As a parent, you want your child to enjoy drinks that are both healthy and appealing, so juice is a natural choice.

But once you know what fruit juice could do to your kid’s smile, then you may not be so quick to offer it.

The Dangers of Fruit Juice

You probably know that juices from concentrate are usually loaded with sweeteners. But you might be surprised to learn that even juice that’s squeezed fresh from organic fruit has too much sugar for your kid’s teeth.

Fruit is a natural source of sugar. A little bit in small amounts is perfectly fine. Your child needs the vitamins and minerals found in certain fruits. But when you kid enjoys their fruit in liquid form, they’re getting a high concentration of sugar minus most of the healthful fiber.

That sugar fuels cavity-causing bacteria, which make tooth structure start to develop cavities. The acids that are also found in fruit juice make matters worse by dissolving tooth enamel.

Is Your Child Drinking Too Much Juice?

If your child is sipping on fruit juice throughout the day, then he or she is bathing their teeth in sugar. Limit your child’s juice intake to mealtimes and try to offer whole fruits instead of juice to supplement their diet. Encourage your little one to drink water when they’re thirsty.

Talk with your pediatric dentist if you’re worried that your child may be drinking too much juice. You’ll get tips on how to reduce your child’s cavity risk and promote healthy drink choices.

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

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

Sep
10

How Many Teeth Should Your Toddler Have?

Most parents are naturally concerned about their child’s health and development. But like many parents, you aren’t always sure what’s normal when it comes to your kids’ smiles. Do you know how many teeth your child should have by the age of two or three?

Typical Toddler Smiles

Baby teeth start developing beneath your baby’s gums and jawbone while your child still in the womb. They start to erupt out of the gums when your child is between six months and a year old. Rarely, some babies are born with one or two baby teeth already in place.

Baby teeth typically show up in pairs and slowly come in over the course of a couple years. By the time your child is three years old, he or she should have a total of 20 teeth: ten on top and ten on bottom.

Protect Your Toddler’s Smile

Your toddler’s teeth are meant to be temporary, since the adult teeth will replace them one day. But this is what makes those baby teeth so very important. If those tiny teeth fall out too soon due to decay, your child’s adult smile may never properly develop.

Brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. This will help keep their enamel cavity-resistant. Don’t let your child go to bed with a bottle of anything besides plain water.

Take your toddler to the dental office for regular dental checkups. In fact, dentists and pediatricians recommend bringing your toddler in for their first dental appointment as early as a year old. The dentist will count your toddler’s teeth, check for signs of decay, and let you know what changes you can expect next.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

Sep
9

Cavities: More Dangerous to Your Children’s Health Than You Know

It’s easy to brush off childhood tooth decay as no big deal. After all, it’s a very prevalent disease. Almost all kids will have a brush with cavities at some point in their life. Baby teeth fall out anyways, so what’s the point in worrying about one or two decaying teeth?

The fact is, however, that tooth decay is very dangerous to children. A seemingly minor cosmetic issue can have severe health consequences.

Cavities Impact Quality of Life

Tooth decay is just as miserable for kids as it is for adults. It can stain teeth and cause bad breath, which leads to self-consciousness and social anxiety. Dental pain can keep a child from getting a good night’s rest and eating a healthy diet.

Cavities can cause so much discomfort that they even negatively affect a child’s performance in school.

Cavities Can Lead to Deadly Infections

Cavities are the result of a bacterial infection that attacks tooth enamel. If the infection advances and reaches the pulp of the tooth, it can grow outside the tooth. This creates a painful abscess in the bone. An abscess can become life-threatening if it travels to the brain.

Cavities Can Alter Your Child’s Smile

At the very least, dental decay can destroy your child’s smile.

Baby teeth are key placeholders in your child’s bite alignment. When baby teeth are lost prematurely to decay, they leave behind gaps in the tooth positioning that affect the way adult teeth grow in.

Childhood tooth decay is a serious matter. Bring your child in for a comprehensive dental examination to address any decay they may have and prevent unwanted complications.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Aug
6

Why Dental Care Is Critical to Children’s Health

Many adults consider their child’s dental health, like their own, to be a luxury instead of a necessity.

The reality is, however, that taking care of kids’ teeth is vital to their overall health and well being.

If you have children, you can’t afford to overlook their dental health.

Kids Need Teeth, Too

Your child needs functioning teeth to stay comfortable. If baby teeth are lost too early to infection, it can result in speech problems or difficulty chewing food. Ignoring dental problems in kids’ teeth can also lead to pain that interferes with sleep and school.

Having healthy teeth is important for kids, too!

Dental Problems Can Cause Self-Esteem Problems for Kids

Never underestimate the impact that good dental health can have on your child’s confidence. Bad breath and stained or broken teeth can make kids very socially-reserved even at a young age. Your child deserves the confidence that comes from having a beautiful set of healthy teeth.

Your Child’s Overall Health Depends on Having a Healthy Smile

Untreated dental problems can lead to serious infections. If they aren’t treated, they can spread and cause life-threatening health problems, especially in children. That’s one very important reason to make sure your child has adequate oral care.

Additionally, having strong teeth enables your child to chew on healthful food. Chronic dental pain can lead to a diet of soft foods that lack the nutrition growing bodies need. Healthy teeth equal a healthy body.

So, don’t make the mistake of thinking your kids don’t need to see the dentist. Dental care is absolutely crucial to their well being.

Contact a pediatric dentist to schedule routine dental check ups for your kids.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

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

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