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
19

Tips to Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Filling

Dental treatment on your own teeth makes you nervous. How are you as a parent going to reassure your little one before their first dental procedure?

Avoid “Trigger” Words

Your child may be scared already. But saying things like “don’t be afraid” or “there’s no need to be scared” or even “it won’t hurt” can cause him or her to focus on those negative words and get even more nervous.

Instead, use positive expressions like “you’ll be fine” and “your tooth is going to be all happy!”

The same can be said of “needles,” “shots,” and “injections.” If your child has a negative impression of injections of any kind, then simply explain that their tooth will be getting some “sleepy juice” or “bubbles.”

Follow the Dentist’s Instructions EXACTLY

Depending on the nature of your child’s treatment, some dental sedation may be involved. Your dentist may give you some directions about what your child can eat before the appointment. Follow these exactly. If your child becomes ill, this can result in complications and a serious medical emergency.

Explain What Will Happen in Age-Appropriate Terms

Very young children usually have dental sedation to help them stay calm during treatment.

But older children are often alert and usually want to know exactly what they can expect. You can alleviate some of their concerns by being honest but keeping your tone positive. For example, explain that they will feel some pressure on their teeth but that it’s not uncomfortable. Let them know that they can calmly raise their hand any time they want a break.

With positivity, preparation, and help from your dentist, you can successfully prepare your children for their first dental filling!

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

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

Jun
18

6 Common Oral Health Problems in Children

Posted in Braces

As a parent, you want to stay alert to all possible risks to your child’s health. Dental health problems are no exception.

Here are the top six health issues that commonly ruin kids’ smiles.

Cavities

Tooth decay is a huge problem for kids of all ages. Cavities are an ever-present danger as soon as those first baby teeth show up. You can prevent childhood tooth decay by using fluoride toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common gum inflammation problem and it tends to strike hard around the preteen years. If your child isn’t good about brushing and flushing, plaque bacteria can trigger an infection that causes bad breath and gum tenderness.

Malocclusion

Poorly-aligned teeth are another common childhood issue. Your dentist will closely monitor your child’s smile for several years to determine the need for braces.

Nail-Biting

Nail-biting isn’t just an unhygienic habit; it can result in chipped or worn tooth enamel, as well. It’s best if you can discourage this habit as soon as possible.

Thumb-Sucking

It’s cute and natural for babies to suck their thumbs, but if this habit continues for too long, it can force teeth to move into unnatural positions. Aggressive thumb-sucking can also lead to jaw trouble.

Mouth Breathing

If your child has sinus problems or jaw issues that cause them to breathe through their mouth, then this can lead to some serious problems. Mouth breathing causes bad breath, dries out oral tissues, and increases the risk for decay.

Is your child suffering from any of these common dental issues? Schedule a checkup with a local pediatric dentist to learn more about your child’s oral health.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Nov
26

Your Baby’s Baby Teeth

The personal habits you develop as a child are ones you keep for the rest of your life; so it’s important to guide your child to healthy dental routines while they are young!

Regular pediatric dental care is an essential part of developing those good habits. Your family or pediatric dentist can help your little ones learn how to take care of their teeth so that their smile lasts for many decades to come.

First Appointments

Even before the first teeth come in, you can help your infant get used to cleaning their mouths by wiping their gums with a soft cloth.

Once those tiny white teeth come in, you should begin using a fingertip toothbrush or soft bristled brush to clean.

Plan for the first dental appointment somewhere between twelve and eighteen months. These first few visits are intended to get your child used to the dentist’s office and allow us to screen for potential issues that can be otherwise avoided.

At your first appointment, we’ll clean those teeth, and if your little one will let us, we’ll even take a few photos. But don’t worry; if Junior is not ready to be cooperative, we won’t force the images or even the cleaning. He can sit in your lap the whole time, if that’s where he is most comfortable!

Keep The Baby Teeth As Long As Possible

The primary teeth are an important part of your child’s dental health. Not only do they allow him to chew food, but they act as a guide for the permanent teeth that will eventually grow to replace them. So it is very important to keep these first teeth healthy. Make sure you bring him back for appointments every six months to maintain a healthy, happy smile.

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

Nov
19

When Is it Time for a Baby Tooth to Come Out?

Losing teeth is a big milestone in your son or daughter’s development! It can be both scary and fascinating for your child, and you might be a bit concerned about whether their teeth are coming out on time.

Signs the Tooth Is Ready to Lose

A baby tooth that’s ready to be tugged out won’t need much tugging, at all.

Baby teeth don’t usually need to be forced out. They lose their roots when the incoming adult tooth pushes on them and makes them shrink away. What’s left is the empty shell of a non-vital tooth, attached to the gums by a few ligaments.

These fibers may need some wiggling to break the attachments, but it doesn’t take much.

Encourage your child to gently wiggle their loose tooth every day as often as possible using their fingers and tongue. Constant movement will gradually loosen the gum fibers holding the tooth in place.

When the tooth is good and ready, it will pop right out with zero-pain and little to no blood.

Time to Call a Pediatric Dentist?

It may be time to contact a pediatric dentist if you notice:

  • The baby tooth seems stuck between two other teeth
  • An adult tooth emerging alongside a baby tooth that won’t budge (note: this is common with lower front teeth and not always an issue)
  • A baby tooth that has never loosened despite all its neighbors having been replaced

During the visit, your child will have x-rays and an exam to determine whether things are going according to schedule. Your family or pediatric dentist can remove the tooth if there are any problems.

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

Aug
19

Your Child Is Crying About Her Tooth – Should You Call the Dentist?

When your child starts complaining about a toothache, you’re not sure what to think at first.

It may be nothing at all. Maybe she’s just tired. But wait – there she goes again, rubbing the side of her face and looking a little grumpy.

Now you’re worried sick because you don’t like to see your little one in so much pain.

Here are the first steps to take to get your child some relief:

Find Out Where It Hurts

Ask your child exactly what the problem is. Did she accidentally bite her tongue? Does her tooth hurt? Are the gums sore? Discomfort may simply be due to new teeth coming in.

Look for Signs of Injury

Take a look at the area. This is especially important for children who can’t describe where it hurts. Examine teeth for signs of fracture or brown spots of decay. Look for loose teeth, irritated gums, swelling, or bleeding spots on the tongue, lips, and cheeks.

Provide Relief

Whether or not there are obvious signs of trauma or disease, the following steps can help lessen the pain for your child:

  • Gently floss around the sore tooth to dislodge food that could cause pain
  • Rinse out the mouth with warm salty water to alleviate swelling
  • Ice the pain by having your child rest with a cool pack against her cheek
  • Medicate with a pain reliever that’s safe for your child

Call the Dentist

Now that your child is as comfortable as possible, plan an emergency trip to your local dentist’s office. If your child develops a fever, sudden swelling, difficulty breathing, or the pain becomes severe, you may need to head to the nearest emergency room.

Posted on behalf of:
Elegant Smiles
1955 Cliff Valley Way NE #100
Brookhaven, GA 30329
404-634-4224

May
20

When’s a Good Age for Kids to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a common preventive procedure used in pediatric dentistry. But many parents are still confused about the use of sealants and when their kids are ready to get them.

Why Get Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin layer of tooth-colored resin painted on the chewing surface of a molar (back tooth used for grinding food.) It fills in deep grooves and valleys and creates a subtly more level plane. This seals out cavity-causing germs and makes it easier for a toothbrush to remove debris.

Getting sealants is a preventative dental procedure with the goal of reducing a child’s cavity risk.

Children tend to be at higher risk for decay because they usually don’t have as good of brushing capabilities as adults.

When to Seal?

As soon as those molars erupt, they’re candidates for sealants. Sealing them when they’re fresh and healthy is ideal, since you can’t seal teeth that are already weakened by cavities.

But there isn’t an age-limit, either. As long as the teeth are healthy, they can be sealed in adults as well.

You also need to take into consideration your child’s ability to sit through treatment.

Dental sealants don’t take long, require zero-drilling, and they don’t hurt at all. Still, the procedure may overwhelm a little one not used to sitting with his or her mouth open for more than a few seconds at a time.

Placing sealants requires a dry working area and too much saliva in the mouth of a wiggly six-year-old can make that a struggle!

Use your best judgement. Carefully weigh your child’s abilities with the need to prevent decay. Consult with your local dentist or dental hygienist to find out if your child is ready for sealants.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Jan
4

Mouthwash and Your Kids – 4 Things Every Parent Should Know

Mouth rinse is a common find in most American households. Adults love it for the instant minty freshness and patients of all ages can benefit from the disease-fighting properties.

But is mouthwash safe for your kids to use? Here are four things to consider before letting your children start rinsing.

  1. Age Matters

Swallowing too much fluoride can permanently damage developing tooth enamel. Your child shouldn’t get sick from swallowing a small amount of fluoride-containing rinse, but their teeth could have cosmetic issues later on if this becomes an ongoing habit.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends kids don’t start rinsing until they’re at least six years old. This is when most kids are coordinated enough to spit out a mouthwash instead of swallowing it.

  1. Mouthwash Is Not A Substitute

A rinse can be a helpful additive to the brushing routine by removing leftover bits of debris and delivering extra fluoride. But keep in mind that it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Make sure your kids are doing well with hygiene before you give them liberty to use a rinse.

  1. Buy A Rinse Designed For Kids

Colorful graphics on the bottle help get kids excited about their oral hygiene. Fun colors and tasty flavors also make it appealing. Child mouth rinses are alcohol-free, making them safer and more pleasant.

  1. No Unsupervised Rinsing

Keep track of what kind of rinse your child uses, how they use it, and how often. Put a bottle of mouthwash out of reach entirely if your child is still learning how to use it safely. Unsupervised, your child could swallow an unsafe amount of the product.

Consult your pediatric dentist before introducing a mouthwash to make sure your child is ready.

Posted on behalf of:
The Grove Family Dentistry
6200 Center St Suite I
Clayton, CA 94517
(925) 350-8592

Nov
12

Reasons to Take Your Two-Year-Old to the Dentist

Surviving the “Terrible Twos” is something every parent of a toddler understands. Just getting out the door in the morning without a meltdown is considered a success. While there are a lot of things your two-year-old might not like doing, going to the dentist shouldn’t be one of them. Here are a few reasons why dental visits shouldn’t be skipped at such a young age.

To Talk About Any Habits

Thumb sucking, pacifier use, or sippy cups should all be a think of the past. If they’re still an everyday occurrence, it could alter how your child’s adult teeth erupt (or even their speech.) Your dentist can help you stop the habits early, by sharing what techniques work best. 

Screening for Cavities to Prevent Unwanted Infections Later 

Baby teeth can get decay very quickly. At two years of age, your toddler will be getting their “two year molars.” It’s important to have all the teeth examined so that cavities can be treated when they’re very small. Otherwise it can spread very quickly and possibly even result in a trip to the hospital. 

Getting to Experience the Dental Office in a Positive Light 

Some parents wait to bring their child to the dentist until there’s a problem. When that happens, children associate dental care with pain and discomfort. Instead, it’s better to take a preventive approach and help your child keep their teeth healthy before an issue pops up.

Most pediatricians and kids dentists agree that children should see a dentist by their first birthday. Don’t let the Twos catch up with you! Call your family dentist to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Three Creek Dentistry
7236 Muncaster Mill Rd.
Derwood MD 20855
240-256-3258

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