Teething Toddler? Safely Soothe Your Baby’s Pain

Baby Teeth Growth


While an adult will have around 32 teeth, babies are born with 20 teeth beneath their gums. The period when they start growing above the gum line is known as teething.

Baby teeth generally begin coming in around 4 to 7 months but sometimes not until the 12-month mark. All 20 baby teeth should be in place by the time a child is 3 years old.

There is a general order teeth come in. Normally, the two front bottom teeth come in first, followed by the two opposite top teeth, known as the central incisors. Next, the lateral incisors on the top come in, followed by the incisors on the bottom. The frontmost top and bottom molars come in next, followed by the canines. Finally, the molars furthest to the back of the mouth come in.


Surefire Signs of a Teething Baby


While not all babies display signs of teething other than teeth poking through their gum line, there are normally a couple of signs you should begin monitoring their tooth growth.

These include:

  • gums that are red, swollen and tender
  • chewing or gnawing on non-food items
  • irritability
  • excessive drooling
  • a rash from drooling

A rash from drooling will appear most commonly in the face. It is caused by the bacteria and food particles in your toddler's saliva, since this isn't a time when they're able to keep their mouth clean with toothpaste yet.

Irritability is caused by gum pain as the teeth surface above the gums.

Toddlers will normally try to gnaw on either your arm or their own if they're teething.


Rarer Teething Symptoms


Some toddlers display more or different symptoms of teething than others. Here are a few other symptoms:

  • a fever under 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • a decreased appetite
  • cheek rubbing
  • changes in sleeping patterns

Cheek rubbing is a child's way of massaging pain or irritation out of the gum area.

Like any other growing pain, teething pain will keep a child awake at night until it subsides or until the child is just too tired to stay awake. Similarly, a decreased appetite means that their gums are more sensitive than before teething.


Signs Unrelated to Teething


Some websites llist cold symptoms and diarrhea as symptoms of teething. However, trusted organizations like the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics identify these as false symptoms.

If your child displays any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a pediatrician:

  • diaper rash
  • a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • congestion
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • coughing


Remedies To Ease Teething Pain


Cold water is known to reduce swelling. Wet a cloth with cold water and gently rub your child's gums with it. You can also use your finger to massage the gum line if you clean it and apply cold water to it. 

Another idea is to rub your toddler's gums with a chilled spoon. Never leave a teething baby unsupervised with a hard metal or frozen spoon, as they could hurt their gums with it. An even safer idea is to give them hard rubber teething rings to gnaw on. Refrigerate them first.

If your child is in pain from teething, ask your pediatrician what over-the-counter medicines and dosages your child can consume. Certain children's oral health care products containing the anesthetic benzocaine should be avoided. If you think your baby might need ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain relief, consult your doctor.


Remedies To Avoid


While the teething phase will likely irritate your toddler, it would be better to avoid remedies and pain relief altogether than to resort to some commonly-marketed remedies.

One such remedy is teething necklaces. The beads on these can break off and your baby could choke. In addition, if they wear the necklace on their neck, they could suffocate. Any metal beads or other hard material like wood, amber, silicone and marble could also cut their mouth. The same applies to bracelets.

Don't give your child teething toys made of gel, liquid or plastic. Generally, these are designed to freeze like ice packs. For this reason, they could easily break if frozen and then chewed on. Another reason they're a bad investment is because if they do break, they could infect any open wounds in the gums. Anything too cold or hard may do more harm than good.

Always be wary of homeopathic or alternative medicine. It is not FDA approved. Avoid teething tablets. These contain traces of belladonna, a toxic plant substance. Additionally, avoid gels or creams that you rub on your toddler's gums. Your child's saliva will wash these away quickly. Many of these gels contain benzocaine, which is not safe for anyone under two years of age to consume. If too much of this gets in your toddler's bloodstream, it will deprive their red blood cells of oxygen.


Professional Help During The Teething Period


After your child's first tooth appears, consider taking them to their first dental visit. Their first tooth should appear by the time they hit their first birthday.

If they have a few teeth already, you want to ensure that they don't get cavities. You don't want your kid to lose their first few primary teeth so soon. Primary teeth are important because they allow your toddler to move beyond eating baby food to hard foods, and they help them develop their speaking skills.

It is typical to schedule dental checkups every six months. However, your circumstances may vary depending on your child's oral hygiene. Visit our Ontario pediatric dentist website to see if we're the best kids' dentist for your child in the area.


Dental Radiographs (X-Rays) for Children

What Are Dental Radiographs?

X-rays are like the window to the inside of the teeth, bones, and surrounding tissues of the oral cavity. Without radiographs, the dentist cannot see what issues may be causing pain or discomfort in the underlying tissues and structures. Dentists recommend having a set of x-rays taken once a year for yearly exams on every adult patient. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests taking at least one full set every three to five years for a complete diagnostic examination, unless there is a concern that needs to be addressed. This concern may be regarding a patient describing pain or related to trauma. Then an individual x-ray will be taken called a periapical.

Dental radiographs have been a major component in the diagnosis of the oral cavity since their discovery. The technique has gone through many changes in the last century and radiation exposure has been minimalized to ensure patient safety as well as the dental assistant. Exposure to dental radiation hasn’t been an issue for quite some time, however, it is still monitored carefully, training and continued upgrading is essential to everyone.

Dental Radiographs (X-Rays) for Children

In Pediatric Dentistry, there should be four x-rays, called bitewings, taken every year unless there is a concern for recurrent decay. Then, X-rays should be taken every six months. This type of children x-rays shows in between the teeth. They will show if there is decay that cannot be seen from the top of the tooth and how the teeth bite together or occlude. It is a very important tool for the dentist to make a complete diagnosis for the pediatric patient. Oral exam and patient history are also important components in making a complete diagnosis.

It is especially important for the child patient to have a complete set of children x-rays taken. These can then be compared to future radiographs as the child ages. Certain radiographs are needed for different diagnoses. If a patient is new to the clinic then they will have the four bitewings (the x-rays that show the teeth biting together as well as in between the teeth) and a panoramic x-ray called a panorex. The panoramic view and the bitewings are considered a complete set of radiographs.

For children, they are needed to see the growing teeth under the baby teeth. This full set will include seeing the wisdom teeth in development as well. In today’s Ontario pediatric dentist offices we use state of the art digital radiography and current safety precautions. One question to ask when searching for a new best kids dentist is about their safety practices regarding children x-rays. If transferring to another dental office, you should ask for copies of the x-rays to limit exposure to radiation.

This is only if the x-rays are within the recommended time limits. If it’s passed the recommended time frame, then new x-rays will need to be taken. If the patient has had an emergency then a new x-ray called periapical will need to be taken. This type of x-ray focuses on an individual tooth and it’s surrounding areas.

Why Take X-rays On Children?

Taking x-rays is vital to your childrens oral health. Not just for decay removal and restorative procedures but also for growth patterns and oral diseases that may be present. Keeping an eye on your child’s growth pattern will help with diagnosing orthodontic concerns. Growth patterns of the teeth can show how the teeth will fit in the mouth and if there might be a need for braces. Early diagnosis can prevent severe crowding and or guide in the eruption of the permanent teeth. Thus, shortening the orthodontic experience.

The dentist can view all the tissues of the oral cavity and face with a panoramic x-ray. This is important for finding and detecting any lesions that might be evident on the x-ray. Early detection is extremely important to a cancer patient’s survival. The dentist will be able to refer the patient to an oncologist and work together for the child’s best oral health options. The patient will be able to start treatments and procedures early enough to hopefully stop the spread of cancer if it is present.



Dental radiographs are of utmost importance to making a complete diagnosis with regard to any dental patient or any dental health concern. Especially when it comes to children’s dental health. Baby teeth are important to a child’s speech, digestion, and guiding the permanent teeth into place. Viewing x-rays and an oral exam are the only ways to detect decay and other oral health issues as described above. Focusing on early detection and getting treatment plays a major role in the success of the patient. Good at-home oral hygiene habits can also be discussed and preventive measures such as fluoride treatments and sealants will continue to provide the patient with optimal oral health. For children, seeing a pain-free dentist every six months is recommended.

pediatric dentist FAQ about coronavirus

What To Ask Your Pediatric Dentist Regarding COVID-19 Precautions

These weeks during the coronavirus epidemic of 2020 can be stressful for families. Numerous individuals have had many parts of their daily lives upended. With many people working from home, school canceled for a vast majority of children and new recommendations for staying healthy, you may not know which way to turn. Even if you are staying at home to follow current governmental advice, you will want to keep your children’s teeth healthy during this time. You can find some guidelines and general oral health tips for your children right here.

Official Recommendations for Dentistry During COVID-19

A pediatric dentist is usually seen as an essential service provider. However, some changes have been made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association during this time. The ability of the coronavirus to pass easily from person to person in close proximities is one key reason for changes. Another important factor is the need to reduce surgical mask usage wherever possible.

The American Dental Association (ADA) currently recommends that dentists keep their offices closed through April 30. However, the ADA exempts emergency and urgent services from this guidance. The ADA also maintains that your dentist should first follow any state guidance that could supersede their recommendations.

However, it can certainly be challenging to know whether or not your child’s oral care need is urgent. The ADA states that regular, routine care for cleanings, x-rays and orthodontic adjustments should not be considered urgent. In addition, even cavities that are not currently causing pain can usually wait for a few weeks.

Urgent oral health needs typically include the following:

-Bleeding from the mouth
-Pain and swelling around gums
-Pain from an orthodontic wire poking the soft tissues
-A knocked-out tooth
-A cracked tooth

COVID-19 Precautions Kids Dental Specialty Is Taking

Of course, even when urgent or emergent pain-free dentistry is required during this time, your dentist will take special precautions to keep your child safe from the coronavirus. Kids Dental Specialty is reaching out to clients to reschedule previously made appointments for after April 30. You may also want to contact your cosmetic dentist for kids yourself if your child has an upcoming appointment.

However, if your child is in pain or if you believe he is experiencing a dental emergency, you should contact the office immediately. You can call Dr. Tran or can text a picture of the problem to her if appropriate. Should your child need emergency care, he should be free of fever, cough and shortness of breath before heading to the clinic. Your dentist will need to fill out a COVID-19 screening form.

Whenever you come to the dental office, you should maintain the social distancing rule of 6 feet between individuals. In addition, you and your child should frequently wash your hands or use hand sanitizer and should keep your hands off your faces.

Basic Precautions for Keeping Children Safe from COVID-19

Although coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, tends to target adults, children can catch the virus or be asymptomatic carriers. You should make sure that your child is cleaning his hands frequently and is avoiding playdates and other social meetings. Be sure to launder clothing, towels and linens frequently, and disinfect counters, doorknobs and light switches daily. You may also need to wash your child’s toys regularly and launder stuffed animals in hot water.

Knowing the symptoms to watch out for with COVID-19 can help you catch the disease in its earliest stages in your child. The most common symptoms include a fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough. Keep your child to one room if possible if he displays these symptoms.

Talking to Your Children About Changes

It can be difficult for children to undergo changes to their routines. This could be a particularly stressful time for many children who could feel anxiety at home. Watch for signs of excessive worry or stress, which could come out as screaming, tantrums or sullenness. Your child may even seem particularly sad or may cry for no reason. Give your child the support he needs by being available to talk about worries and difficult emotions. If your child is very young, try not to talk about difficult subjects in front of him. You may also want to limit the amount of time that you watch or listen to the news in front of him.

We found a great blog on talking to kids about the coronavirus here.

Addressing Your Children’s Oral Health at Home

Despite the many changes in the world, your child’s oral health does not have to suffer at this time. You can still take smart steps to keep his teeth clean and gums healthy with simple tools at home. If your child is old enough, he can be in charge of these tasks instead.

The most important way to keep your child’s teeth cavity-free is to brush at least twice daily. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride in the toothpaste is important for slowing down tooth decay and improving remineralization of enamel. Your child may also be more motivated to brush if he has a kid-friendly toothpaste with a fun flavor.

Your child should floss his teeth daily but will probably need help doing so for some time. Flossing improves gum health. If your child is interested, he could also use a child-friendly mouthwash.

Getting Further Help from the Best Children’s Dentist in the Area

These are certainly challenging times, but you can rest assured that your child’s oral health will not suffer if you follow these recommendations. A toothbrush and a simple tube of toothpaste along with regular flossing can keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy even if his appointment has been canceled.

By following good oral hygiene with a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, your family can make it through this difficult month without cavities. Be sure to contact your pediatric dentist if you have any questions about dental appointments or any oral health concerns.

Baby teeth

Why Baby Teeth Matter

Some might think that since baby teeth come out and are followed by adult teeth that it’s less important to tend and care for them than for the adult teeth. This is not true, and there are numerous reasons to be noted regarding the importance of good baby dental care.

Baby teeth are so cute – from the time a baby starts fussing and you see those little teeth breaking through, people love to watch their progress and count the teeth that have come in. Look at a child’s xrays and you’ll see something amazing – the adult teeth lined up right in the path of the baby teeth.

When a child grows baby teeth, the primary use of those teeth is for chewing - and the adult teeth also need a fighting chance to correctly serve that purpose.

Take it from the Tooth Fairy!

Kids start to shed their baby teeth at around 6 years of age. The first baby teeth to go are usually central incisors – otherwise known as the two front teeth. Children’s oral health is key in making sure the teeth and gums are healthy so that the adult mouth and teeth do well in the future.

As the child’s gums may be sensitive because of new teeth, and just generally little guys and girls don’t always cooperate with tooth care, baby tooth care is emphasized less in the early years. Unfortunately, there are many problems that can develop with baby’s teeth. For example, baby bottle tooth decay is caused when the sugars from liquids like, juice, milk and formula remain on the teeth, resulting in development of bacteria, and later, decay of the tooth.

Gums and teeth can also get infected and affect not only the tooth but the soft gum tissue around it, potentially reaching those waiting adult teeth. Also, a child’s tooth decay will cause pain, which can be a problem for the child, for example trying to concentrate in school.

The Health of Tooth Alignment

Children’s tooth alignment is also dependent on taking good care of the baby teeth. The baby tooth acts as a placeholder for the adult tooth, so if a baby tooth falls out early from decay, the adult tooth loses the “path” and can grow in incorrectly. This can cause painful crowding of teeth later on and can also affect a child’s confidence regarding physical appearance in school and with classmates.

Finding the Best Kids Dentist

The mouth is a sensitive area, and it’s tricky to convince a child that someone looking into his mouth is a good thing. It’s important to find a dentist’s office that is good with kids, patient and kind and understanding. Therapy dogs are seen in more and more places these days, and some dentists’ offices are no exception – therapy dogs can go a long way in making children feel more comfortable (and distracted) in an otherwise medical environment.

New Equipment for Pediatric Dentistry

There is a lot of new equipment that will definitely make children, and therefore their parents, more comfortable, such as the Nomad, a digital x-ray machine that is portable so it can be comfortably used no matter the size of the child or how the child is situated in the dentist’s chair.

Another machine, called a Sopro Life, reduces the need of an x-ray machine, as it consists of is a camera that goes in the mouth and utilizes a light that can detect caries, or cavities. That means the potential for less or no little folded cardboard pieces being put in tender little mouths.

There’s also a dental instrument called the Wand, which can be used to anesthetize a single tooth rather than a larger area – the centralized numbing means that the child will not accidentally bite his lip because he can’t feel it. And another instrument called the Isolite has a special suction so that the examined area will not be contaminated by saliva. The Isolite also helps keep the child’s airway clear during a procedure.

Arguably the best advance in dentistry for kids as well as adults is the Bio-lase, a special laser for pain-free dentistry that can remove a cavity without the use of anesthesia needles or those nightmare-causing grating drill sound and feel, excruciating to adults, and especially to kids.

It is easy to see how baby dental care is so important in the life of your child’s teeth and mouth. These great advances in dental care make it so much easier for a parent to help a child through potentially difficult preventive and proactive care. Finding an Ontario pediatric dentist that can take care of your child’s teeth and oral health in a kind and patient way will help greatly with the imperative need of childrens oral health.

Kid with Cavity

How to Prevent Dental Cavities in Children 

You have a child, and you want him to take care of his teeth as much as possible because good dental hygiene can have an impact on your overall health. Preventing dental cavities is one way to help your child achieve optimal dental health.

Cavities occur when bacteria, saliva, food debris and acid form together to cling to the teeth and dissolve the enamel. As this happens, holes form in the teeth known as cavities. Tooth decay will have a negative impact on your child's health and require a dental appointment to repair. Listen to this advice for the best children's oral health practices.


How to Prevent Dental Cavities


Teach Your Child Proper Dental Hygiene

In general, you will want your child to brush his teeth a minimum of twice per day at two minutes each time. Brushing before bed becomes especially important because you want to disturb the formation of plaque. The bacteria feed on food particles like sugar, and they will release a byproduct that causes tooth decay. That byproduct is known as lactic acid, and the lactic acid will decrease the pH to the point where it dissolves the calcium phosphate of your tooth enamel. This process leads to cavities. Along with brushing your teeth twice per day, you should have your child floss at least once per day. Flossing stops your gums from bleeding, and it cleans the teeth of plaque where the toothbrush can't reach. 


Don't Eat Sugary Foods

Dental cavities in children especially come from eating sugary foods because of how these foods increase the bacteria in the mouth, and it causes the decay of tooth enamel. If you have a child who eats many starchy and sugary foods, you may want to switch it out for healthier choices. For example, fruits and vegetables will ultimately pay off in the long term. Whenever possible, you want your child to brush his teeth after each meal and after snacks as well. Good dental hygiene will pay off later in life. 


Don't Share Food and Drink

Many people don't realize how oral bacteria spreads through sharing food and drink. Teach your child not to share food and drinks because of how this can have a negative impact on his oral health as dangerous bacteria gets exchanged. It depends on where the bacteria comes from, and it will also depend on the health of the other person, but it isn't a good idea. 


Visit the Dentist Regularly

Dentists can catch and diagnose tooth decay before it manifests as cavities, which will pay off in the long term. On average, your child should visit the dentist twice per year. Some of the benefits that come from visiting an Ontario pediatric dentist include:

  • Prevents tooth decay
  • Stops plaque in its tracks
  • Saves money in the long run
  • Better looking smile

You want to continue this practice throughout your child's lifetime to ensure good dental hygiene. 


Ask the Dentist About Sealants

Dental sealants for your child will have many advantages. It will give your child years of protection from dental cavities, and it seals the space in between the teeth and stops the places from where the bacteria can start to grow. The best kids’ dentist will usually keep this on hand because of how it will protect children's teeth from getting bacteria buildup that can cause cavities. 

What exactly does a dental sealant do? This plastic coating gets put onto the premolars and molars to seal out the plaque in the most vulnerable areas to protect your child's teeth from plaque and food. 


Drink A lot of Water

Not everyone realizes what an effective role drinking water can have on teeth. You want your child to drink plenty of water each day, and you want him to drink this throughout his day to stay hydrated and protect his teeth. Water flushes away the bacteria, and it posts the stop sign up against acid buildup. Fluoride in water has also proven effective in adding an extra layer of protection for your teeth. With fluoride, you can help to reinforce your teeth. You can find this substance naturally in rocks, water and salt. 

How does fluoride prevent cavities? Tooth enamel covers the outer part of your teeth, and it's tougher than bone, made from phosphate and calcium. When your saliva has fluoride, your teeth will take this in. This adds to your tooth defense system, and it will prove much stronger against decay.


Beware of Sticky Foods for Your Child

You have a few key problems when your child eats sticky foods like caramel, honey and taffy. First, you can't remove it from the teeth as easily as what you might like. Over time, this can contribute to further acid buildup that will eat away at your tooth enamel. These foods can damage your child's teeth because they will stay on the teeth for longer. If you eat these foods, you may want to develop a routine where you rinse with water and brush and floss carefully. 


The Benefits of Cheese and Nuts

To help your child's dental health, you may want to add cheese and nuts to his diet. These foods have been shown to fight back against acid buildup, and at the same time, it gives your teeth essential minerals that keep them strong. In addition, it will stimulate the saliva in your mouth to clean the teeth.

These are some of the ways to prevent dental cavities in children. You want to encourage your child to have good dental hygiene practice from an early age because this will help him throughout his lifetime. You don't have to do anything too complicated to keep your child from cavities. Instead, you simply have to set him up with a routine so that his teeth remain healthy. Getting started at an early age can make a huge difference for your child's health. Along with that, don't forget regular checkups at the dentist.


Teen with braces smiles in dentistry.

Five Reasons Why Your Teenager Should Still See a Pediatric Dentist

There are several reasons why your teenager should see a pediatric dentist. Parents are often going to rely on their dentist to make sure that their child has the best oral health. A pediatric dentist will be able to do all of the examinations, cleanings, and restorations for your teenager when they are needed, much like a family dentist. However, a pediatric dentist will provide specialized treatment for your teenager at every visit. Every teenager deserves to have the specialized attention that they are going to get from a pediatric dentist. 


Teenagers are Still Growing

The first reason for the teenager dental care is that the pediatric dentist is trained to treat teeth that are still developing, along with their gums. This means that they are going to have all of the skills and knowledge that is necessary to handle the issues that can threaten the dental health of a teenager. By visiting a pediatric dentist, they can treat tooth decay, cavities, over-retained baby teeth, and any other oral health issues that could be affecting your teenager. They are also going to have the experience of how to treat the teenager and his or her wisdom teeth. The pediatric dentist will be qualified to sedate your teenager if during an intense dental treatment or procedure.


Specialized Care for Your Teen

The second reason for taking your teenager to the pediatric dentist is that the dentist is going to have the ability to tailor the care based on the needs of the teenager. The dental care will be tailored to how your teenager's teeth are developing. The pediatric dentist will know how to make sure that the teenager has good oral health habits, especially as they get older. When you take your child to a pediatric dentist, then they will be able to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.


Keeping Your Teen Calm

The third reason for a pediatric dentist for teens is that they will be adept at keeping the teenager calm during any type of dental procedure or treatment. Most of the time, the teenager is not going to want to go to the dentist at all, but because these dentists are different than a regular dentist, then they are going to know what the teenager might be fearful or nervous about. A pediatric dentist knows how to approach the teenager so that the teenager is going to be as calm as possible during their treatment plan. This means that the teenager will have a drama-free and happy trip to see the dentist. If the dentist approaches this the right way, then the teenager is going to look forward to going to the dentist instead of regretting it every time. This is not the type of reaction that a teenager is going to give if they have a visit with a regular dentist.


Dental Care Counselor

The fourth reason for making an appointment with a pediatric dentist is that they are going to be a dental care counselor for your teenager. This is especially true if the teenager has any bad habits, such as grinding his or her teeth. It is going to be a lot harder than you might think to try to break your child of this type of habit. A pediatric dentist is going to be up to the challenge. The dentist is going to sit down with the child so that they can teach them how these types of bad habits are going to harm their teeth in the future. They will also offer assistance on how they can stop the habit.


Pediatric Dental Equipment

The fifth reason for a pediatric dentist for teens is that a pediatric dentist is going to have the special dental equipment that the teenager is going to need for their teeth. When you try to take your child to a regular dentist, they are going to have regular size dental instruments that are could be too big for your teenager's mouth. When you take your child to a pediatric dentist, then all of the dental equipment is going to be smaller, which is more likely to fit in the teenager's mouth. In addition, the pediatric dentist is going to know the best ways to ease the fears of the teenager and how to introduce him or her to the dental instruments.


There are many benefits of making an appointment at a pediatric dentist for your teenager. Your teenager is still growing, and a pediatric dentist is going to provide specialized care for this stage in your child’s life. 


How to Encourage Your Toddler to Brush His Teeth

Getting your toddler to brush his or her teeth can feel like a war you’re never going to win. But while your children’s teeth aren’t yet permanent, children tooth care is still incredibly important.


Brushing his or her teeth is just something your toddler will need to get used to. Getting the habit started early can set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth. The sooner you can get your toddler accustomed to brushing his or her teeth, the better.


But if your child is clamping his or her lips as soon as they see you with the toothbrush, it can feel like the routine will never set in. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to encourage better brushing habits from your child.


Why is your toddler resisting having their teeth brushed?


As just about every parent already knows, children are stubborn. They’re developing their own personalities and looking for a bit of independence. So, when you tell them what to do – even if it’s in their best interest – they resist.


The same applies to brushing their teeth. They want to be in control, and when you’re coming their way with a toothbrush in hand, they feel like they don’t have any other option.


Understanding where your toddler is coming from can help you work with your toddler to get better results. Here’s how.


1. Let your child make some decisions.


If your toddler is resisting brushing their teeth because they feel like the decision is out of their control, the best way to encourage better children tooth care is to get them involved in the decision making process.


Let your toddler pick out his or her toothbrush and the toothpaste they want to use. Show them the fruity children’s flavors or see if your children’s dentist has any child-friendly recommendations.


Look for branded items with your children’s favorite characters or toothbrushes that play music while the child is brushing. While these items may seem a little gimmicky, it brings a personalized touch to brushing their teeth and can become a time the child looks forward to.


When picking things out, just make sure your toothpaste has the ADA Seal of Acceptance on it.


2. Recruit your children’s dentist.


A pediatric dentist can help you explain the importance of brushing teeth to your toddler. If they understand why the practice is so important to their health and their teeth, they might be less resistant.


You can also work with your local children’s dentist to reward positive outcomes. If your toddler goes to see their pediatric dentist and is praised for their hard work brushing their teeth between appointments, they will want to continue to impress their dentist by brushing their teeth.


Just let your children’s dentist know you’re struggling with teeth brushing habits. When you’re on the same page, you can develop a successful plan together.


3. Go without the toothpaste.


Sometimes children resist because they don’t like the feeling or flavor of the toothpaste they’re using. While you can try other, kid-friendly flavors, they still might not be a fan.


While toothpaste is important, it’s much more important to get the brushing habit down. If your child doesn’t like toothpaste, try letting them brush using just water. You can slowly begin to add appropriate amounts of toothpaste over time as become more comfortable with the routine.


4. Make it a team event.


Your children look up to you and model your habits, so why not make brushing your teeth a family event? Rather than brushing your child’s teeth for them, allow them to take control while you brush your own.


When they see you brushing your own teeth, they might feel like they’re partaking in an “adult” activity. This can be exciting for them, and allowing them to do the work themselves gives them a bit of independence they crave.


However, you need to make sure your toddler is doing the job. At this point, you want to make sure they’re getting the habit of brushing down, but you should still check to make sure they’re using the right pressure and brushing long enough. If you reinforce the right behaviors, your child will improve faster.


5. Make it fun.


If your child is looking at tooth brushing like a chore, they’ll never enjoy doing it. In order to get them excited about brushing their teeth, you need to make the process fun.


Designate tooth brushing as part of your morning and bedtime routine. Lump the process in with bathtime or story time and add some fun. Play music, sing songs with your toothbrushes in your mouth, and don’t be afraid to act a little silly.


When your child starts to associate the fun times had while brushing your teeth with the actual act of brushing their teeth, they’ll be less likely to resist.




If your child is resisting brushing their teeth, it can feel like you’re never going to get them to develop healthy habits. While their teeth are still growing in, it’s very important that they start practicing good oral hygiene early. If they can develop great tooth brushing practices while they’re still young, it can follow them throughout life and they can always have healthy gums.


Developing great teeth starts at home. You need to find ways to encourage your child to brush their teeth. By letting them make decisions about their toothbrush or toothpaste and creating a fun environment the child will look forward to, you can start to create those healthy habits.


However, it's also important that your child see their pediatric dentist often. A cosmetic dentist for kids can ensure your child is brushing properly and give you tips and ideas to implement better brushing practices at home. With regular check ups, your kid's teeth will be healthy for a long time.

when does thumb sucking become a problem

Thumb Sucking: Should I be Concerned?

Thumb sucking is a normal and acceptable behavior in babies and toddlers. In fact, about 75 percent of babies under a year old suck their fingers or thumb. Sucking a thumb helps them feel secure and happy and helps soothe a child who is separated from their parents or is otherwise under stress. Sucking the thumb is also relaxing and can help a child go to sleep.

When Does Thumb-sucking Become a Problem?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), most children stop sucking their thumb when they are between two and four years old. Children this age are spending more time exploring the outside world. They are also spending more time with other children, and their peers will tease them or refuse to play with them if they continue sucking their thumb when they reach school age.

Sucking the thumb becomes a problem if the child continues to do it past the age of five. Prolonged sucking of the thumb can affect the growth and development of the mouth, particularly the palate. A small child’s bones are extremely soft and pliable, and the palate can become abnormally narrow as it shapes itself around the thumb. An abnormally narrow palate can lead to problems with the developing teeth like crowding or malocclusions (“bad bites”) as there is too little room in the child’s jaws to properly accommodate them.

Prolonged sucking can also affect the alignment of the teeth. It can cause such malocclusions as open bite in which the front teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed. Generally speaking, an older child who continues to suck their thumb may develop protruding or slanting teeth.

The problems are particularly likely to be severe in children who vigorously suck their thumb as opposed to those who let their thumb sit passively in their mouth. Parents will hear popping sounds as the child sucks their thumb if they do so aggressively. In addition to the aforementioned problems, aggressive sucking can cause the child to develop sore or ulcers in their mouth. The child may also develop chapped skin, fingernail infections, or calluses.

How Can You Stop a Child From Sucking Their Thumb?

As a first step, parents can ask the pediatric dentist to talk to the child, who might take the advice seriously since it’s coming from a health care professional. Other possible ways of stopping thumb sucking include the following:

• Wrapping the thumbs in mittens or soft cloth at bedtime
• Establishing a reward system in which the child earns points or tokens toward a reward for not sucking their thumb
• Getting a special appliance recommended by the ADA to make sucking the thumb more difficult or less pleasurable
• Paint a bitter-tasting but harmless liquid on the thumbnails

On the other hand, scolding or nagging the child doesn’t work. Neither does pulling the thumb out of their mouth. Such acts simply cause a power struggle in which the child will stubbornly continue to suck their thumb. Most children actually want to stop sucking their thumb; they just need help and encouragement to do so.

Both the parents and the dentist should consider the severity of the problem. In addition to noting how vigorously a child sucks their thumb, they should consider how often they suck it and when. Sucking the thumb is less of a problem if the child only does it at bedtime than if they do it at school.

How Could The Reward System Work?

The parents would use a poster board and stickers or magic markers to make a progress chart to keep track of the child’s sucking. They would offer a small prize for each week of no sucking and a bigger reward for a month of no sucking.

The child should be an active participant in the plan. For example, they should be allowed to pick the stickers and put them on the chart. The child and the parents should also discuss how many slip-ups the child is allowed per week.

What are The Stages of Orthodontic Treatment?

Pediatric dentists recognize three stages of orthodontic treatment:

• Early (ages 2 to 6)
• Middle (ages 6 to 12)
• Adolescent (13 and above)

During the early stage of orthodontic treatment, the children’s dentist will work with the child and their parents to stop bad habits like sucking a thumb or pacifier. The main goal of early orthodontic treatment is to monitor and guide the development of both jaws so they will be able to accommodate all of the permanent teeth and to ensure the teeth emerge in the right places. In addition to correcting bad habits, the dentist may recommend dental appliances to keep teeth from drifting out of place or hold space for adult teeth.

During the middle dentition period, the dentist will recommend treatments to correct misaligned jaws or narrow palates. The child’s hard and soft tissues are extremely flexible during this age, so the dentist may recommend an orthodontic treatment to start to correct a severe malocclusion.

The adolescent period is the one familiar to most people. During this stage, the child will get braces.

Too Much Trick or Treat Candy and How it Affects Your Child´s Teeth

Halloween is right around the corner, and your kids are probably getting excited. They probably picked out their costumes and know exactly what type of candy they are going to consume.

You may also be looking forward to this spooky holiday but may be concerned about what all that candy is going to do to your child’s teeth.

Halloween Candy and Your Child´s Teeth

It’s not a secret that sugar isn’t good for our teeth—or our bodies. Humans naturally have bacteria that live in and on their bodies and in their mouth. Like your kids. These bacteria like candy and sugar—a lot. The bacteria will eat any leftover food particles that are in your child’s mouth, and this produces a weakening acid. It is this acid that can eat through the tooth’s enamel and cause cavities.

As you can imagine, there are certain candies that are worse than others. When it comes to Halloween and your child´s teeth, it’s all right to let them indulge, but be cautious about what they are eating.

Below are some of the worst candies and how they can affect your child´s teeth.

Hard Candies

Anything that you have to suck on can be dangerous for your mouth. The longer your child keeps this candy in their mouth, the more sugar coats their teeth. As they suck, the sugars will mingle with their saliva, and it won’t take long for every surface of their mouth to be covered.

In addition, hard candies have the added danger of breaking your child´s teeth. Not only can this be painful, but it may also require a trip to the pediatric dentist. If possible, try to limit the amount of hard candy your child consumes over the holiday.

Sticky Candies

These types of candy are probably the worst types around. They have a tendency to stick to the surface of your teeth, making it hard for your saliva and the toothbrush to remove them. The longer they stay on the surface of your tooth, the more damage they can do.

Remember, the bacteria in your kid’s mouth loves to feast on food particles. When sticky candy gets trapped in there, they have a feast that can last for a long time. This increases the amount of acid that is produced, as well as the chance for cavities.

Sour Candy

Not only are these types of candy usually coated with sugar and can be sticky, but they can also be acidic. If your child adds more acid to their mouth, this increases the risk that they will damage the enamel on their teeth and allow cavities to form. If they get a cavity, you’ll need to take them to a children’s dentist to have it taken care of.


Out of all the candy types, this one is probably the best option. It is easy for saliva to wash chocolate off the surface of your teeth, so it won’t sit and potentially cause cavities. In addition, if your kid enjoys dark chocolate, this has less sugar in it than regular chocolate.

Tips to Reduce Cavity Risks

While eating candy can lead to an increased risk of cavities, there are some things you can do to lessen this chance. Several of these are listed below.

Stick to a Brushing Schedule

Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day. Keeping up with this routine will get any leftover candy particles off their teeth and keep the bacteria from forming damaging acid. They should also be flossing, as this will remove any particles that may get caught in between their teeth.

During this time, you may also want to monitor their brushing habits to ensure they are doing it correctly. Ideally, they should be brushing for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. You’ll also need to make sure they are getting the teeth in the back and the inside edges (those that are closest to their tongues).

In addition to sticking to a brushing schedule, it’s also a good idea to limit the amount of candy your child eats. This will benefit their teeth as well as their health. You’ll also want to ensure that they are eating the sugar right after a meal. The mouth will have an abundance of saliva at this time, so that will help get the sugar and particles off the surface of their teeth.

Have Them Drink More Water

Another way to rinse the particles off their teeth is to have them drink more water. Avoiding soda and other sugary drinks is beneficial this time of year. They will be getting a good amount of sugar from the candy, they don’t need to add more with soda. In addition, soda also has a lot of acid in it that can be damaging to your kid's teeth.

See the Dentist Regularly

One of the best ways to keep your child’s mouth healthy is to schedule regular dentist appointments. Ideally, they should go in every 6 months. However, if they experience discomfort or suffer an injury, then getting them into the best kid´s dentist is the best course of action to take.



Losing a Baby Tooth too Soon

As parents, we naturally want the very best or our children. And healthy teeth, even if it is just their baby teeth, is no exception.

Generally speaking, children shouldn’t lose their milk teeth before age 4. In most cases, children will naturally lose these teeth between the ages of 6 and 12. In this blog post, we will detail what happens when a child loses their baby teeth early and how it can impact their oral health.

Which Baby Teeth Normally Fall Out First?

Before going over what causes baby teeth to fall out early, let’s get a better understanding of how they fall out under normal circumstances. Before getting their permanent teeth, children will start off with 20 baby teeth, which they will start to develop when they are between 6 and 12 months.

Once a child has reached the age of 5, the roots of their baby teeth will begin to shrink, causing them to naturally loosen and ultimately begin to fall out one by one. This shrinkage is a result of their permanent teeth starting to develop.

Typically, baby teeth will fall out in the same order in which they came in, meaning their lower center incisors will fall out first. From there, they will lose their upper center incisors. This process will continue until they have lost all of their baby teeth. The first permanent teeth that a child develops will be their molars.

What Happens When a Child Loses Their Baby Teeth Prematurely?

To better understand what happens when deciduous teeth fall out prematurely, it helps to know a little more about teeth in general first.

According to the American Dental Association, our first set of teeth are our deciduous teeth, which erupt from the gums at the age of 6 months, enabling us to consume solid foods. They also serve as place holders for our permanent teeth. In short, they are our “starter” teeth.

That said, most children will start to develop their permanent teeth around the age of 6, with their molars being the first to come in. By the time they reach the age of 13, all 28 of their permanent teeth should have emerged, and they should no longer have any baby teeth remaining.

Of course, this is a best-case scenario. As many parents can attest, things do not always go according to plan when it comes to the health and wellbeing of our children.

If a child loses a baby tooth too soon, it can significantly impact their oral health by causing the following problems:

  • Crowding
  • Poor jaw muscle development
  • Poor bone development
  • An incorrect bite
  • Alignment problems

In some cases, these problems may have to be corrected with braces and other orthodontic treatments.

What Can Cause a Child to Lose a Baby Tooth Early?

Much like adults, children can lose teeth due to trauma or severe decay. And also, like adults, children can also develop periodontal disease, which, coincidentally, is the leading cause of tooth loss in America, according to the National Institute of Health.

As far as dental trauma is concerned, it is not uncommon for children to lose their baby teeth while engaging in sports or playing with their friends. Cavities can also cause tooth loss if the tooth becomes severely decayed. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents to start scheduling regular dental exams for their children by the age of 1. These exams make it possible to detect cavities before they give way to decay.

What Treatments Are Available for a Baby Tooth That Falls Out Too Soon?

If you have noticed that your child has lost one or more of their baby teeth before the age of 4, you should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist sooner rather than later.

During your child's dental appointment, the dentist will likely take x-rays and examine their oral cavity for signs of periodontal disease and other factors that may have contributed to the tooth falling out prematurely. Provided that there are no signs of infection or other problems, the dentist will likely insert dental space maintainers in the space left behind by the missing tooth.

These devices are designed to ensure that their permanent teeth come in straight and adequately fill the space once occupied by their baby teeth. You should also take your child to a pediatric dentist if they lost a baby tooth prematurely due to trauma as their injuries may also include damaged gum tissue or fractures to the jawbone. An x-ray will reveal the true extent of their injuries and will allow the dentist to recommend the best course of treatment.


While it is not always possible to prevent baby teeth from falling out early, there are things that you, as a parent, can do to lower the chances of it happening to your child, some of which include

  • Making sure they wear mouthguards while engaging in sports
  • Making sure they practice good oral hygiene
  • Making sure they brush twice per day
  • Making sure they properly floss in-between teeth
  • Scheduling regular dental exams

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage as children get older; however, they shouldn't fall out prematurely. The best way to go about preventing this from happening is by implementing some of the tips outlined in this blog and scheduling regular dental appointments for your little one.

While baby teeth will eventually fall out, they shouldn’t fall out prematurely. If this happens, it may be a good idea to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist.