Baby Tooth Decay…It’s Possible And Preventable

Baby teeth may be temporary, but the care you give them can have long lasting effects. Baby teeth are considered place holders for adult teeth. If they are lost early, it can lead to future spacing issues of permanent teeth. In addition, early tooth loss due to decay can lead to poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and can even damage future adult teeth. Taking preventative measures early on is key to a lifetime of good dental health.

BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY

Believe it or not, letting your baby go to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice can cause decay. This is known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. The frequent and prolonged exposure of drinks that contain sugar, including baby formula and milk, leads to decay. Why? Because during sleep less saliva is produced and these liquids are able to sit on your baby’s gums and teeth as they sleep. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar and produce acid that attacks the teeth.

  • Avoid giving your baby milk or juice at bedtime. Use water or a pacifier as good alternatives.  Also, avoid dipping the pacifier in sugar or honey.
  • Avoid sugary drinks in general and limit juice and other beverages to mealtimes instead of allowing your baby to have bottles or sippy cups throughout the day.
  • Transition to a drinking cup as soon as your child is able. Drinking from a cup is less likely to cause liquid to collect around teeth.

BACTERIA PASSED FROM MOM

Tooth decay can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. Because bacteria can be transferred through saliva, there are some things that mom’s and caregivers should be careful not to do.

  • Avoid sharing anything that would transfer saliva including cups, spoons, toothbrushes, etc.
  • Do not clean a pacifier with your mouth.

ORAL HYGIENE FOR BABIES

Even before the first tooth erupts, you can begin practicing good oral hygiene on your baby’s mouth to ward off any attacks on their future teeth.

  • Gently wipe down your baby’s gums at least twice a day with a soft, damp washcloth. This will keep bacteria from clinging to your baby’s gums, which can damage their baby teeth as they come in.
  • When the first baby teeth start to come in, you can begin to use a toothbrush and water to clean the teeth. Make sure to use a soft brush with a small head and large handle. Brush gently around the teeth, including the front and back.
  • Schedule an appointment with a children’s dentist when your baby’s first tooth comes in.
  • At about age 1, you can begin using a pea-sized amount of a non-fluoridated toothpaste. Wait to use fluoride toothpaste until your child is at least 2 years old.
  • Brush your baby’s teeth until he or she is old enough to hold the brush. Continue to supervise the process until your child can rinse and spit without assistance.

5 Steps To Help Your Child Overcome Fear Of Dentists

A visit to the dentist may seem routine to many, but for children who fear the dentist, it is anything but routine.  Fear of the unknown and/or fear of pain are very common fears among kids and are often the reason why they might cry or act out when it’s time to visit the dentist.  Fortunately, parents are not alone in their quest to ease their child’s fear of the dentist.  Most children’s dentists and their staff are trained to work with kids and know how to help them cope with their fear.  Parents can also help prepare their child at home using these five recommended steps:

Talk ­­Teeth: Make oral health a common topic in your home. Picture books and cartoon dental videos are great resources.  Also, during your daily and nightly routines of brushing and flossing, have fun role playing “going to the dentist”.

Start Early: Children’s dentists recommend that you start taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth comes in (around 1 year old). These early visits will often consist of quick check-ups and gentle cleanings, which are great way to introduce your child to kid’s dentistry.

Schedule A Pre-Visit: A pre-visit to the dentist is a great way to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office without any overwhelming exams or procedures that same day.  Meeting the staff, seeing the fun environment and getting answers to questions can help ease any fears, making the actual appointment much more pleasant.

Leave The Details To The Experts: When preparing your child for their first visit to the dentist, keep the explanation positive and simple.  Let the trained staff and children’s dentist explain procedures and treatment to your child. You might want to say something simple like: “The dentist is going to check your smile to make sure your teeth are strong, healthy and clean. Avoid negative words like shot or pain.

Discuss The Option Of Sedation With The Dentist: Some children need more help relaxing to allow the proper amount of time for their treatment.  When more extensive work is needed, sedation can especially be a great benefit.  There are several options and methods for sedation for children. Your child’s dentist can explain these options and recommend the appropriate one for your child.

Cosmetic Dentistry For Children, Or Not?

Every parent wants their child to feel good about themselves. No parent wants to see their child hide their smile. Children only smile when they feel confident. From fractures to discolored teeth, children can lose confidence. The older they get, they may be subjected to being teased.

Good oral habits can help eliminate the need for many cosmetic corrections. Sometimes, however, some children have dental deficiencies that need medical treatment. Cosmetic dentistry on children is now becoming increasingly common. But, many may argue that children are too young for cosmetic surgery.

Microabrasion: A solution to discolored teeth.

This treatment is a great option for spotted or discolored teeth according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Some children and teens may have had some injury trauma or used certain medication that causes their tooth to darken or lighten in spots that are very noticeable.

Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes, although great for normal use, will not give results with these deeper stains. Sometimes, bleaching agents may alleviate this problem, but then sometimes your child needs something a little deeper such as microabrasion.

Using an abrasive and mild acid, the pediatric dentist removes microscopic bits of enamel. This conservative treatment removes very little tooth structure and is much more affordable than bonding, veneers or crowns. This treatment works better on darker stains than lighter stains.

microbrasionbefore

Before microabrasion

microbrasionafter

After microabrasion

Fractured Teeth

There are several ways to restore a fractured or chipped tooth as the result of a trauma that will match the original. Bonding is the most common solution for children’s fractured teeth. It is a generic term that is used to describe the use of dental adhesive materials, including veneers, sealants and crowns that are normally light cured on teeth.

Bonding materials, also called composite resins, are tooth-colored plastics applied to the tooth, formed in shape and hardened with light or a chemical process. Treatments are fast, comfortable and affordable, and can last for several years, but can cause some loss of tooth enamel. Bonding and veneer treatments usually take more than just one visit to complete because they are custom made in a dental lab. Parents should note that bonded teeth are not as strong as the original and can be damaged easily.

teeth

Fractured Teeth

teeth

Fixed Teeth

There are several ways to restore a fractured or chipped tooth as the result of a trauma that will match the original. Bonding is the most common solution for children’s fractured teeth. It is a generic term that is used to describe the use of dental adhesive materials, including veneers, sealants and crowns that are normally light cured on teeth.

Bonding materials, also called composite resins, are tooth-colored plastics applied to the tooth, formed in shape and hardened with light or a chemical process. Treatments are fast, comfortable and affordable, and can last for several years, but can cause some loss of tooth enamel. Bonding and veneer treatments usually take more than just one visit to complete because they are custom made in a dental lab. Parents should note that bonded teeth are not as strong as the original and can be damaged easily.

Porcelain crowns are stronger than the other cosmetic choices and can last for many years with good dental health habits. Crowns are typically made of tooth colored porcelain or plastic resin overlaid on metal and custom made. They are more costly than other treatments and require a significant amount of removal of the tooth structure in order for them to fit into place.

Braces

With regular checkups, your pediatric dentist can identify crowded or crooked teeth and actively help guide new teeth, preventing more extensive orthodontic treatment later. Many benefits can come from having straight teeth that include, but are not limited to mere appearance. Not only are straight teeth easier to clean, making it less likely to experience decay and gum disease in the future, bite problems can be corrected, prevent the need for tooth extractions, and self-esteem can be boosted.

It is not recommended, however, that your child wear braces before their permanent teeth come in. Unlike other treatment choices that require shorter periods of time, braces must be worn over the years as the child’s mouth grows and changes. A commitment to regular dental visits and good home oral care is imperative. Orthodontic treatment is a significant financial investment; however, dental insurance may cover at least part of it because it offers important health benefits.

teeth

Before braces

teethAfter braces

Fillings

Once, silver-colored fillings reminded one that they had many cavities to fill; now that is part of the past. Today, many dentists opt for a more aesthetic option using a tooth-colored filling or crown that blends in with the teeth, making it almost impossible for anyone to see a mouth full of metal.

fillingsilver

Fillings of the past

fillingwhite

White fillings today

Should Children have Cosmetic Dentistry?

Many parents ask if it is appropriate for their child to have cosmetic dentistry and what guidelines they should follow.

Many pediatric dentists recommend that it is best to wait until all the permanent teeth are in before making any cosmetic changes unless the problem is causing significant emotional or physical distress in your child.

Although bleaching in less concentrated solutions is quite safe for kids, it still may cause teeth sensitivity or irritated gums in your child. Parents must tell your kids that although whitening is nice, it cannot take place of daily brushing and flossing. Whitening does not prevent tooth decay.

Veneers have large margins, which can discolor from foods, liquids, and bacterial activity so good oral hygiene is important. Foods that can stain may have to be eliminated or taken less frequently.

Sit down with your dentist and discuss the reasons for any procedure to weigh the pros and cons and see if it is absolutely necessary for your child or can be avoided altogether. All options should be discussed before performing any dental procedures. The best ways to prevent your child from reaching this point is maintaining good oral health by brushing, flossing and visiting your pediatric dentist regularly.

Trouble with Fruity Drinks, Treats and Soda

As one of El Paso’s favorite dentist for children, E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids knows that parents are always working hard to keep their kids active, healthy and happy. But sometimes, the healthy choices that you make in terms of food, can also hold some bad effects for your children’s dental care. According to dental experts, parents need to watch out for fruit juices, smoothies/puree snacks and sodas. New studies show that children who drink more than 3 sugary drinks each day increase their probably of  developing tooth decay by 46%!

sugar-drinksProviding your child with a seemingly healthy fruit juice or smoothie leads to many dental issues later in life from the acidity and sugar content these drinks actually contain. Bacteria in the mouth love sugar and produce dangerous plaque acids that attack the enamel. Parents who believe you are helping your child be healthier may be surprised to know that even though the fruit juice may not contain added sweeteners, the crushed fruits release sugar, making them just as damaging to your child’s teeth and possibly counteracting the positive health benefits the drinks and snacks may have.

Acids and sugar cannot be fully avoided, but limiting your child’s frequency of exposure will help. Exposing your child more frequently to sugary drinks is much worse than drinking a large quantity of acidic drinks at intermittent times. Eating the fruit is much healthier than the drinks because your child is exposed only for a few minutes, while a drink may be sipped throughout a much longer period. Washing it down with water afterward will help rinse your child’s mouth out and drinking large quantities of water while consuming these drinks and snacks in moderation will affect your child only a little, if at all.

Some snacks contain 11-20 grams of sugar, having no nutritional value considering the portion size. This may be even more than what some adults would want to consume in one day, according to Dentistry Today.

25% of children in the U.S. drink fruit juice regularly, 56% drink at least one sugary drink every day, while 91% drink soda regularly. Not only do these drinks pose a threat to your child’s teeth, but recent studies also show that other health factors have proven to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout. Water is much more beneficial because it has no sugar and lowers the risk of obesity—on the rise in U.S. children.

 

Now, for the good news!

good-foods

Some foods may actually boost your child’s oral health. Salmon, high in omega 3 oils, prevents inflammation. Basil is a natural antibiotic and may lower the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Quinoa keeps teeth and bones strong because it is rich in protein and calcium. Onions combat Streptococcus bacteria through their sulfur compound, while fruits high in vitamin C are considered natural teeth whiteners.

coconut-oilEven more good news: research in Ireland has resulted in indicating that enzyme-modified coconut oil is a major inhibitor to the growth of many Streptococcus bacteria strains, successfully fending off tooth decay! It can be considered an antibiotic and incorporated into dental care products to help oral health. More studies need to be done, but if this turns out to be true, coconut oil will have a huge positive impact on general dentistry.

When choosing a healthy drink for your child, think of the sugar content, fruit content and nutritional value. Remember that your choices can affect your child’s health. If you do decide to go for that sugary drink, make sure your child still has room for water after. Check out our previous post on tips to maintain healthy teeth for more information.

Children’s Dental Care: True or False

At E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids, we know there are many different facts and opinions about what can help or hurt your children’s oral care. As you partner in taking care of your family, we want to make sure you have the right information about how to deal with your child’s dental health and avoid any surprises at your next visit to E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids.

 

teaching-child-brushingSugar is the main cause of cavities.

False! Sugar is definitely a factor, but it is the bacteria producing acid in your mouth that is the cause of cavities. Bacteria produces acid when you eat carbohydrates. Once the acid has created a cavity, bacteria can easily live inside protected from brushing and flossing and continue to create acid, making a cavity larger.

Several carbohydrates include rice, potatoes, bread, fruits, vegetables, and of course, sugar. It’s really not the amount of carbs you eat, but the length of time your teeth are exposed. Most kids don’t brush their teeth during the day so exposure is prolonged between brushings, and with so many sugary drinks and snacks out there, the exposure to carbohydrates is much higher.

Acidic Foods such as lemons cause tooth decay.

True! Although acidic foods and drinks don’t cause cavities, they tear down the enamel and weaken teeth. Once you lose the enamel’s protection and expose the underlying dentin, teeth are prone to decay, according to Kimberly A. Harms, DDS, an American Dental Association consumer advisor.

Also, keep in mind that aspirin is acidic. You may have heard that placing an aspirin tablet directly next to your tooth can help with a toothache, but placing it there may burn your gum tissue, causing an abscess. Aspirin is meant to be swallowed and works much better in your bloodstream.

All fillings need eventual replacement.

False! Fillings are built to last. Amalgam or composite fillings only need to be replaced when a cavity forms around it, if it breaks down, or if a tooth fractures. It mainly depends on tooth wear and oral hygiene habits. Giving your child the good habits of daily brushing and flossing will ensure that the odds will be in favor of a lasting filling.

Cavities can easily be detected.

False! Pain only comes when tooth decay is advanced. Mild tooth decay doesn’t cause symptoms and does not repair itself. It is important to make scheduled visits to the dentist. Preventative measures are much better than the more expensive and painful “fixes”, such as root canals.

Decaying stops once a tooth has been treated.

True! Yes, it is true, but only for the part that was treated. Other areas of the tooth are still prone to decay, but the cavity filling, along with good hygiene habits will not typically decay in that spot again. Keep in mind that fillings may get old and chip on the edges where it meets the tooth, creating a difficult area to clean out so bacteria can still get in and begin to decay around the filling.

Cavities are more often between teeth.

True! Anywhere you can’t reach with a brush or with floss is a good place for bacteria to hide. Tight teeth can make flossing difficult or nearly impossible for a lot of people. Mouth rinse with fluoride can give you more protection in areas that can’t be reached.

Baby teeth don’t get cavities.

False! Baby teeth are placeholders for more permanent teeth. Many parents think that it is not a big deal because these will fall out and be replaced. It is very dangerous to disregard any cavities that form in a child’s baby teeth. If left untreated, serious pain and abscesses can form. Infections can develop and spread to other areas of the body, and can even result in death on rare occasions.

Brushing everyday is the best way to prevent cavities.

True! Prevention is key. Brushing at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes, and flossing at least once a day will help battle bacteria. Antimicrobial rinses reduce plaque, bad breath, lessen gingivitis, and mainly kill bacteria. Fluoride rinses make teeth stronger and more resistant to decay. There are now Fluoride rinses made especially for children that are mild enough for their sensitive mouth. Make sure your child brushes every morning and before he or she goes to bed to avoid food sitting on their teeth and gums all night long.

 

E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids knows that good techniques in your daily brushing makes quite a difference in your oral health. Here are some tips to show your child how to brush effectively.

  • Choose the correct size toothbrush for your child – remember they are not adults.
  • Angle the brush at a 45 degree angle onto the tooth and into the gum line.
  • Using a soft-bristled brush, brush in a gentle motion.
  • Don’t use too much pressure, and don’t over-scrub.
  • Don’t miss any teeth – with a child-sized brush, your child should be able to reach every molar in the back of their mouth.

Now what is definitely true–and could never be false!– is that here at E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids, we care about your child’s oral health. As always if your have any questions or inquiries concerning your child’s dental healthcare please feel free to ask our professional and knowledgeable staff! They will always tell you the truth!

Children’s Oral Care Problems

pediatric dentist el pasoAs a parent who pays special attention to their child’s oral health, it can often be quite shocking to discover that your child has cavities, or even something worse, like gum disease!

But did you know that most every problem with your children’s teeth is fairly common?

And did you also know that such complications can not only be prevented, but also quickly cured?

It’s Not Your Fault!

You shouldn’t necessarily blame yourself as the parent if your pediatric dentist alerts you to some amendments that need to be made with your child’s oral care. More often than not this just means they are going through the typical motions in childhood oral health.

In fact, a better way to perceive this is that kids who don’t run into at least one of the most common oral care problems are doing far better than average at keeping a healthy smile.

What are the most common childhood oral health issues then? We’ve compiled a short list for you, so that if your child does run into oral health problems, you as the parent can know whether or not to be worried.

 

Child’s Oral Care – Common Problems:

 

Teething

– Teething occurs with every infant, but one thing to be aware of is that some will suffer more than others. If your child has extreme irritability, gum swelling, or any major pain during teething then there are sugar-free, infant teething gels that your dentist can recommend.

Remember to always consult your doctor before giving your children any kind of medication.

Gum Disease

– This may come as a surprise, but gum disease is actually fairly common in that the early stages can easily come about without proper oral health care. All it takes to swell the gums and cause minor bleeding is enough tartar and plaque buildup on the gum-line.

Fortunately minor gingivitis can often be alleviated simply by improved brushing habits and continuing regular dental visits.

Tooth Decay/Cavities

– One of the major differences between children’s teeth and adult teeth is that a child’s teeth have weaker layers of enamel. Therefore a child’s teeth are more susceptible to sugary drinks like soda and juices. If decay is left or overlooked by improper brushing, then it can start to form a cavity.

Cavities generally don’t start to hurt until the later stages, so if your child is complaining about pain then you shouldn’t wait for their next check-up to address the issue. If your child does happen to get tooth decay or a cavity, the problem can usually be caught early on, if not prevented by their regular dental appointments.

Enamel Erosion

– One thing that parents might overlook when giving their kids juice or sodas (even diet!) is that they are quite acidic, and acid can slowly erode a tooth’s enamel, especially when drinking out of a bottle.

Toothpastes and mouthwashes are designed to strengthen enamel and help fight off such things, but with over-consumption or without proper brushing it’s not hard for a child to end up with some erosion of the enamel. Weak enamel is prone to tooth decay, so be sure to take the right steps to prevent it!

Cutting back on drinking from bottles, restricting carbonated drinks to mealtime, drinking only water after brushing at night – all of these are helpful ways to avoid acid erosion.

Lost Tooth

– Sometimes, and especially when we are young, teeth can be knocked out. Whether it’s rough-housing, accidents, sports, anything really – kids have a knack of finding ways to lose a tooth. Rest assured though, you’re not the only parent left wondering what to do when your child brings back a cupped hand and a bloody mouth.

The best thing to do is to talk to your pediatric dentist. In the meantime you can try to prevent a lost tooth from drying out by placing it in a glass of milk, or having your child tuck it into their cheek.

Mouth Ulcers

– Sometimes your dentist may observe small sores inside your child’s mouth. These red or yellow annoyances are ulcers, and they’re fairly common. Some typical causes of ulcers are: bad brushing, biting the inside of the cheek, hot food or drink burns, brace abrasions, etc.

Usually ulcers dissipate in a few days, and they can be treated with antiseptic rinses, so they aren’t too much to worry about. If they persist though, you should schedule an appointment or ask your dentist for advice.

Of course there are more complications that can occur with your child’s oral health, but these are the problems that we most commonly come across.  As you can see, they are relatively minor issues, but each of them does need to be addressed to avoid any major problems.

If you aren’t sure whether or not to wait for your kid’s next dental appointment, then just ask! The best way to ensure your child keeps a healthy smile is to coordinate with your dentist in overseeing proper oral care.

Breakfast Cereal and Children’s Dental Care

Children's dental el pasoIn a few of our posts now, we’ve mentioned the importance of healthy eating in children’s dental care. As busy parents, we understand that getting your children ready for school can sometimes be a challenge all on its own! Cereal for breakfast is always a great option for a busy morning but EP Dentistry 4 Kids wants to give you some information on how you can choose a good breakfast cereal for your child. We’d hate for you to unknowingly undo all of the hard work you put into teaching your children good dental habits with a breakfast cereal full of sugar!

More Sugar Than a Twinkie

According to a recent report, Sugar in Children’s Cereals by Environmental Working Group, one cup of any of 44 different children’s cereal–including Honey Nut Cheerios, Apple Jacks, and Cap’n Crunch–have more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies. The top contender for most sugar, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks, has more sugar in a one cup serving than a Twinkie! We can’t imagine that you would feed your children dessert for breakfast in the morning but if you are feeding them some of the cereals listed below, that would be exactly what you are doing!

10 Worst Children’s Cereals: Based on percent of sugar by weight

  1. Kellogg’s Honey Smacks: 55.6%
  2. Post Golden Crisp: 51.9%
  3. Kellogg’s Froot Loops Marshmallow: 48.3%
  4. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch’s OOPS! All Berries: 46.9%
  5. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Original: 44.4%
  6. Quaker Oats Oh!s: 44.4%
  7. Kellogg’s Smorz: 43.3%
  8. Kellogg’s Apple Jacks: 42.9%
  9. Quaker Oats Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries : 42.3%
  10. Kellogg’s Fruit Loops Original: 41.4%

Healthy Alternatives

Here is list of some good choices for children’s cereal that won’t leave your kid’s dental visit filled with cavity repair!

6 Good Big-Brand Children’s Cereals

  1. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Unfrosted Bite- Size
  2. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Big Bite
  3. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Bite-Size
  4. Kellogg’s Mini-Wheats Frosted Little Bite
  5. General Mills Cheerios Original
  6. General Mills Kix Original

Some other good options that aren’t children’s cereal, but may still have a good appeal to kids are Quaker Oats Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon and Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Vanilla Bunches.

Looking for More than Games on the Box

As a parent, you can help protect your children’s teeth by reading the labels on the boxes of cereal and looking out for these three items:

  1. Cereals with a short ingredient list (added vitamins and minerals are okay)
  2. Cereals high in fiber
  3. Cereals with few or no added sugars–including honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn sweetener, sucrose, lactose, glucose, high- fructose corn syrup and malt syrup

Cereals that meet these criteria can usually be found on the top shelves of the cereal aisle. They are harder to reach and not at eye level but are often less expensive.

 

We hope we’ve given you some great insight into the sugary world of children’s cereal! Don’t forget to brush, floss and rise regularly!

Mouthwashing, Flossing and Kids

To most adults regular use of floss and mouthwash can seem like something particular to being grown up, but did you know that even young children’s primary teeth need flossing and rinsing?

It may not seem so obvious at first, but when you consider that flossing and rinsing is mainly to prevent tooth decay and disease it makes sense that a child’s baby teeth should be cared for just the same as adult teeth.

Not only is it important to prevent early decay and promote your kid’s active interest in their dental hygiene, but helping your child keep a healthy mouth at an early stage will allow for their adult teeth to come in without any complications.

childs dental care el paso

 

Learning to floss and rinse can be quite easy, but at what ages should kids start to do these things on their own?

Typically parents will help their child to floss until around age 8 or 9, and can begin to supervise their use of mouthwashes starting at age 6 or 7.

In these stages it’s important to demonstrate clear and concise cleaning techniques. Flossing can seem confusing or overexertive for young kids and rinsing can sometimes become swallowing.

For younger kids there are mouthwashes available that are less harmful when swallowed by accident to prevent any major mistakes in early learning.

Also available are formulas that will change colors when they encounter common plaque. This can help to show your kid just how effective the rinsing is when they spit it out.

 

Both flossing and mouthwashing take up very little time but are key to easily maintaining a healthy smile, so remember to floss and rinse and help your kids to do the same!

As always if you have any questions or inquiries concerning your child’s dental healthcare please feel free to ask our professional and knowledgable staff!

Take Care! Smile Big! -E.P. Dentistry

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

tucson dentist for babies

It’s no secret that your child’s teeth are most vulnerable at an early stage and need special attention, but what are some things you can do to be proactive about protecting them?

Some parents aren’t aware that their child’s baby teeth can carry infection to the permanent teeth when they start to come in. To prevent this it’s important we teach our children to practice good brushing habits that not only stop any potential disease or infection, but that also carry on to having healthy teeth later in life too.

In our past few blogs we’ve given some tips on how to maintain healthy teeth. Dr. Joel Berg, who is president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, would surely agree with many of these tips especially the most obvious: brushing regularly and eating healthy!

In an interview where both Dr. Berg and his esteemed colleague Fern Ingber (president of the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation) voice their top tips for children’s oral health, they maintain that early dental visits as well as making fun out of dentistry are key to a child’s overall oral health.

At E.P. Dentistry 4 Kids we aim to do exactly that! We believe that happy smiles are the best smiles!

What better way to take part in promoting your child’s good habits by making their dental visits a fun experience and bringing them to E.P. Dentistry!

Tips for a Healthier Mouth (Pt. 2)

Greetings and Happy Monday to all our fellow oral enthusiasts! Today we continue with a few more tips for maintaining a healthy smile.

If you missed the last blog you can catch the first 5 tips here!

 

More Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile

family dentist el pasoDrink Less Soda

The obvious reason behind this is because soda contains so much sugar that enough of it is truly counter-productive when it comes to fighting off oral germs; however, this isn’t the only reason soda is an enemy to your teeth!

Even diet sodas (yes the ones without sugar!) can be harmful to your teeth because soda (again – not just the non-diet ones) contains loads of acid that damages your tooth enamel over time.

Cutting back by just 1-2 sodas a day can gradually make all the difference in maintaining a healthy smile, so skip the pop and substitute it for something healthier in general  – like juice!

 

More Fluoride!

Fluoride is a dental wonder and has been proven to help fight tooth decay and strengthen enamel, so why not take advantage?

Too much fluoride isn’t the best for you either, but investing in toothpaste and mouth rinse that includes fluoride is plenty to keep the right balance between too little and too much, so long as you aren’t doing regular fluoride rinses as well.

Use it in moderation, but definitely don’t overlook it!

 

Sugar-Free Gum

A long time ago chewing gum was actually something you would want to avoid to keep your mouth at its healthiest, but with the advances of sugar-free gum its quickly become just the opposite.

Gum can help keep your teeth strong as well as help to dislodge any food particles that may be collecting icky bacteria in your mouth.

As an added bonus, gum helps to promote saliva production which is what naturally rinses your mouth out throughout the day.

Extra Tip: always keep your mouth moist! A dry mouth collects and harbors germs much easier than a moist one.

 

Brush Your Tongue

For some of us more than others bad breath can be a major problem sometimes. Did you know that your tongue (not just your teeth!) actually forms a layer of it’s own plaque and bacteria over time if not maintained properly?

Be sure to give the back of your tongue a scrub here and there as you finish brushing your teeth. It does a great deal in helping to reduce overall oral bacteria as well as combating halitosis.

 

Protect Your Smile – Literally!

This tip is more suited for children (but applies to adults as well of course), especially those who actively participate in sports: wear a mouth guard.

Injuries happen to all of us, and when we least expect it, so investing in a mouth guard for contact sports or recreational sports (skating, etc.) where one can fall down and/or potentially hit their mouth is the best safety precaution.

Mouth guards can also be useful in preventing enamel damage for those who grind their teeth while sleeping.

 

That’s all for today, but stay tuned for more tips in the future! Until then, keep these ideas in mind and always remember to brush daily!