Helping your child switch from bottles to cups can be challenging. Babies may become emotionally attached to their bottles as a source of comfort as well as nutrition.
However, bottles can also become dangerous to your child’s teeth over time. Continuing to use a bottle too long can cause your child’s palate to narrow. This can lead to an increased need for orthodontic treatment as they grow.
Bottles also expose a baby’s teeth to liquids over an extended period of time. Liquids such as milk, formula, and juice contain sugars that can increase the risk of tooth decay. To help protect your child’s teeth, you should encourage your child to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday.
It is important to consider your choice of training cup. There are many and varied options of child training cups available. Here are some things to consider when selecting cups for your child.
Keep the goal in mind when choosing a style of training cup for your child.
Cups advertised as “no spill” often contain a special valve beneath the spout. This valve does protect against easy spilling, but also prevents sipping. Instead, these cups require your child to suck on the spout, essentially replacing one type of bottle with another. This can slow your child’s training on cup usage. In some cases, these valves may even require a high level of suction, making them frustrating to use.
Look for a cup with a simple spout rather than a “no spill” spout.
These cups are easy for your child to use and help them learn to sip. Cups with handles can be easier for small hands to learn to hold. If spills are a concern, look for a cup with a weighted base that can help it self-right.
Remember that transitions occur in stages.
Phase out the bottle in favor of the cup, don’t try to change all at once. Once your child can use the cup, limit the bottle to water. This can help make the bottle less desired. Provide the bottle less often over time to allow your child time to adjust. Once your child has mastered training cups, start offering a small plastic cup without a lid. When they can use this new cup, phase out the training cup.
For more information about bottle to cup transitions or to schedule an appointment, contact our Children's Dentist Ontario office.
by Juli Brown
When you are focused on a child with a fever, cough, or vomiting, it can be easy to question getting them out of the sickbed to brush their teeth. However, keeping mouths clean and teeth healthy can be even more important during illness. Here are some useful tips shared by our children's dentist in 91762 for protecting your child’s oral health when they’re sick.
Brush and floss
Brushing and flossing helps prevent build-up of harmful germs and bacteria in your child’s mouth. This helps keep their immune system focused on fighting the cold or flu virus. If your child’s illness includes vomiting, their teeth are exposed to acids that can weaken teeth. Help them rinse thoroughly and brush their teeth to avoid damage.
When your child is sick, they need plenty of water to stay hydrated, soothe a sore throat, and keep sinuses moist. In addition, dry mouth can occur during illness and increase risk of tooth decay. Drinking water helps combat dry mouth and congestion.
Watch out for sugars
Cough drops and cough syrups can contain high amounts of sugar to improve the medicine flavor. However, this can leave sugary residue on the teeth. Look for sugar-free options when possible and rinse well after any medicine with sugar.
Disinfect dental appliances
If your child has a dental appliance, such as a retainer, athletic mouth guard, or night guard, be sure it is cleaned thoroughly between uses. Contact our office for information on the type of cleanser that is appropriate for your child’s device.
When your child is well again, replace their toothbrush. Even a clean toothbrush may retain some bacteria or germs following use. To help protect your child from reinfection, discard the used toothbrush in favor of a new one.
For more tips on keeping teeth healthy through an illness, contact our kids dental office in Ontario, CA.
A child’s first tooth growing in can be a bittersweet moment for parents. It can be frustrating when babies become irritable. It can also be exciting because this marks another stage in a child’s life. Our children's dentist in 91762 says that understanding the stages of oral development can help you promote optimal oral health for your child.
Birth to 3 Years Old
The primary (baby) teeth that will appear in the first 3 years of your child’s life aid in development. Primary teeth are key for chewing, speaking, and appearance. They also hold space in the jaws for upcoming adult teeth. Even though they fall out, baby teeth are extremely important.
3 to 6 Years Old
By the time your child is 3 years old, they will most likely have all 20 primary teeth. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing daily.
6 to 12 Years Old
Between the ages of 6 to 12 years old, your child will gradually lose all of their primary teeth and their first permanent (adult) teeth will move into place. Permanent teeth affect the position and health of the other adult teeth that will grow in later.
12 to 17 Years Old
After 12 years old, your child will likely have most of their adult teeth. Oral health becomes critical because these are their teeth for life. Avoid excessive sugar which can lead to tooth decay, wear mouth guards while playing sports, and visit us if your child appears to have crooked teeth.
17 to 21 Years Old
The last teeth to appear are wisdom teeth. Often times, we recommend that these teeth be removed to prevent overcrowding which can lead to many oral health problems. This tends to occur between the ages of 17 to 30.
Teeth are constantly changing throughout childhood. How you take care of your child’s teeth now, can impact their oral health and oral hygiene in the future.
Call us to schedule your child’s first appointment at our children's dental office in Ontario, CA today.
One of the best ways to calm fussy babies is by giving them a pacifier. However, as babies grow this can be a difficult habit to break. The use of pacifiers can cause improper mouth development which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here’s what our children's dentist in 91762 needs you to know about the impact pacifiers have on your baby’s smile.
Negative Effects of Pacifiers
Physical development is crucial for children’s overall health in the first few years of their life. What you do now can affect them for their entire life. Pacifiers can influence the shape and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw. It can move the front teeth forward and you may notice your child developing crooked teeth or bite problems. The front teeth may also not meet when their mouth is closed and there can be changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth.
Positive Effects of Pacifiers
While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits for parents and children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) babies up to one year of age who are offered a pacifier at night have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
What You Should Do
Since pacifiers can be beneficial for other health reasons, you should speak with us about how to wean your baby off of pacifiers. We also recommend that you visit our office for a dental examination as soon as your child’s first tooth develops.
Breaking the habit of pacifier use can be difficult, but there are various ways you can wean your child off a pacifier. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.
Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team at our children's dental office in Ontario, CA today.