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.

 

Conclusion

 

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.

Chocolate

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.

Prevention

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.

 


How to Choose the Best Toothpaste for Your Kid

Pediatric dental care is important, and children's teeth require special attention. Establishing healthy dental habits is especially important as children grow. Purchasing the right toothpaste can substantially impact your child's overall oral health. With so many brands out on the market, finding the right one can be overwhelming!

So how do you choose? This guide identifies a few things to look out for when choosing toothpaste for your child. By following these steps, you will help prevent cavities and tooth decay, ensuring your child’s smile stays strong and bright.

The Gold Standard

The American Dental Association (ADA) utilizes strict testing methods to evaluate dental and oral care products. Buying a product with the ADA’s seal of approval ensures that you are receiving a product that works.

Full of Fluoride

Fluoride is critical for dental health. The ADA recommends using a toothpaste with fluoride to prevent cavities and tooth decay. However, it is important to monitor children using fluoride toothpaste. Consuming too much fluoride can cause a health condition called fluorosis.

Full of Flavor

Many children dislike mint flavors and find them to be too “spicy.” Buying a product in tasty flavors, such as bubblegum and strawberry, helps make brushing more enjoyable for children. The ultimate goal is to get children to brush their teeth twice a day. Tasty flavors entice children to brush their teeth more often and for more time.

Don't Be Abrasive

Abrasive brushing techniques are popular because they help whiten teeth.

Although abrasives eliminate stains and debris from the teeth, they also eliminate enamel. The primary function of enamel is to protect teeth from decay. It covers each tooth and shields the inner layers of teeth from extreme temperatures, plaque, and acids. However, once enamel is destroyed, it can’t be replaced.

Dentists recommend avoiding dental products that contain ingredients such as:

  • Silicates
  • Hydrated aluminum oxides
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Dehydrated silica gels

Don't Use Too Much Toothpaste

As adults, we tend to cover the entire toothbrush with paste. However, children don’t need a lot of paste because they have small teeth. Dentists state that a pea-sized amount is enough to properly clean your children’s teeth.

 

...And Use the Right Toothbrush

Toothbrushes for children should be small, with soft, round, nylon bristles. Medium and hard bristles are abrasive and can damage tooth enamel. Soft bristles provide a deep clean to the teeth and gums without damaging the gums or enamel. Additionally, avoid using too much pressure, as this may cause receding gumlines.

Use Proper Brushing Techniques

Brush your child's teeth in sections using a circular motion. The outside of the teeth, inside of the teeth, cheeks and gums should be cleaned. Pay particular attention to brushing the tongue. This removes bacteria and freshens your child’s breath. Don't forget to replace toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months!

You can start to floss once two teeth touch. This typically occurs between the ages of two and six. Flossing early helps children get into the habit of doing it daily. If bleeding occurs, don’t be alarmed! Bleeding is common when starting a flossing routine. This should decrease as the gums become healthier. However, if bleeding is persistent, you should consult a pediatric dentist.

Watch the Clock

To avoid tooth decay, children should brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes. Brushing less frequently increases the chance that your child will develop cavities or tooth decay. Tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases. Over 16 million children suffer from tooth decay every year.

Start Early

You do not have to wait for your child's teeth to come in to practice good dental habits. You can use a damp cloth to clean a toddler’s gums by gently wiping away residual food. This helps instill good dental habits early on in your children's lives.

You can start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they emerge. At 12 months, a soft children’s toothbrush and water can be used to clean the teeth. Dentists recommend introducing toothpaste at 18 months.

Oral hygiene is important for maintaining healthy gums and teeth throughout your kid’s life. Starting proper brushing techniques at a young age helps solidify the importance of dental care in children. Good dental habits are critical in preventing cavities and infant tooth decay. By following this guide, you will be ready to choose the best dental products for your kid.