Baby Teeth

Easy Ways to Help Your Children Become Comfortable with Oral Care

February 28th, 2019

Getting your child excited about visiting the dentist can be incredibly difficult, and many children feel stressed out about visiting for the first time. Here’s how parents can help their children overcome their fear of visiting the dentist’s office, and help them become more comfortable with oral care.

Schedule a Stress-Free First Visit 

Kids are usually very nervous to visit the doctor or dentist for the first time, and that can make introducing children to a dentist can be a difficult task for any parent. Pediatric dentists know this, which is why most offer relaxed “meet and greets” for their first office visit. The first visit gives you a chance to gauge how your child responds to the new surroundings, and gives them a chance to enjoy the office without sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Before visiting the dentist, be sure to ease your child’s stress by reminding them how common and positive a dental visit is. Reiterate that they’re not sick, but their teeth need to be taken care of! 

Encourage Positive Oral Health Routines at Home 

One of the best ways to quell dental-visit stress is by establishing healthy oral care routines at home before their visit. This will help familiarize your child with brushing their teeth, and get them comfortable with the idea of oral healthcare. You can find some fun brushing videos online that encourage children to brush their teeth, or you can brush with them to help them stay on track and help normalize oral care at home.

Establish a Dental Home by Their First Birthday 

One of the best ways to eradicate dental-visit anxiety is by finding a dental home for your child before their first birthday. Introducing your child to their dentist early can get them more comfortable with oral health, and gives you an early leg up on helping them grow healthy baby teeth.

Visit Our Office

We would love to speak with you about your child and their dental needs. We see children of all ages, so call us and schedule an office tour! We want to make visiting the dentist fun, so stop by and see why pediatric dentistry is the way to go for your children! 

The New Mom's Guide to Your Baby's Mouth & Teeth

January 25th, 2018

Being a new mom is a great challenge, and an amazing responsibility. As a new parent, you’re probably searching for the best ways to raise a happy, healthy child. One great way to improve your child’s overall health is by paying attention to their oral health at an early age. Here’s some do’s and don’ts for new moms, and how they can care for their child’s mouth.

Don’t Ignore Cleaning Your Baby’s Mouth  

Unfortunately, many people think that oral care begins when the first tooth emerges, but that’s far from the case. Don’t ignore cleaning your child’s mouth, or they could develop oral health issues, and dental problems.

Do Clean Their Gums Regularly 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents begin cleaning their baby’s mouth from day one. New moms can use an infant toothbrush or a soft cloth soaked in cool, clean water to clean their baby’s gums after nursing. Parents should clean their infant’s gums daily, and after each meal they have. 

Don’t Send Your Baby to Bed with a Bottle

Many parents send their baby to bed with a bottle to calm them down, and help get them to sleep. Unfortunately, this exposes their teeth to sugar for a long period of time, and can lead to early childhood cavities. This is often called “baby bottle tooth decay,” and it is easily preventable: simply don’t send your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Do Let Them Have a Drink Before Bed

If your child is thirsty, then absolutely give them something to drink before bed, just make sure that it’s water, or watered down juice. If they must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it up with water so that they still have something to comfort them while they sleep.

Don't Put Off Seeing a Pediatric Dentist

We understand that the life of a new parent is busy and often chaotic, but don’t put off a visit to the pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra schooling, and are specifically trained to care for children’s teeth. After their first visit, the AAPD suggests parents take their children to the pediatric dentist every 6 months.

Do Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents take their infants to the pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges – which is around the six-month mark.

We love serving families, and helping guide them to oral health success – and we’d be happy to see you! Call our office to schedule a stress-free first visit, and get your child a leg-up on their oral health today. 

How to Prevent Childhood Cavities

September 15th, 2016

prevent childhood cavities

It’s never too early to begin a healthy oral care routine. In fact, you should begin caring for your child’s gums long before their first tooth emerges, which is usually around the six-month mark of their life. Healthy gums are an important predicator of healthy teeth, and maintaining clean gums will help ensure that your child has healthy, cavity-free baby teeth. But how can you keep your infant’s mouth clean? Below are some tips that will you keep your new child’s mouth clean, and set them up for a healthy smile later in life.

Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is one of the most common ailments that young children encounter. It usually occurs when infants drink milk or other sugary beverages in their bottle without cleaning their mouths afterwards. You can avoid baby bottle tooth decay by giving your child water after they’ve had milk, and by limiting or eliminating sugary beverages in their bottles. If your child requires a bedtime bottle, then make sure that it is filled with only water so that you’re not exposing their teeth to sugar for long periods.

Use a Washcloth

You can clean your infant’s gums – or their first teeth – by simply using a cold, clean wash cloth. Simply rinse a clean, soft wash cloth with cool water and wring it out. After your child has finished eating, or drinking a sugary drink, use the damp wash cloth to gently wipe out their mouth. This will remove any sugar or acid that’s left by their food, and help prevent early cavities.

Find the Right toothbrush

Once your child has a few more baby teeth – usually between 8 and 12 months – then you can graduate from a wash cloth to a toothbrush designed for toddlers. There are a lot of toothbrushes designed for babies and toddlers from which to choose. Generally speaking, toothbrushes designed for babies have much softer bristles and a smaller head than those meant for older children.

After finding the right toothbrush, begin brushing your child’s teeth and gums twice per day. Make sure to be extra gentle, since their teeth and gums are still developing and are quite sensitive. Use toothpaste with fluoride that is made for very young children, and not as spicy as adult’s toothpaste. Use only a smear of toothpaste – about the size of a grain of rice – to bruish their teeth. When they’ve gotten older and have more teeth, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Always be sure to rinse their mouth out with cool water after you’re done brushing, and try to keep them from swallowing any toothpaste.

Visit Our Office

If you’ve just had a baby, and are unsure about how to properly care for their mouth, then visit our office. The American Association of Pediatric Dentists advises new parents that their child should establish a dental home by their first birthday. By doing so, you can help your child avoid cavities, and become more comfortable visiting the dentist as they age. Our office is designed to cater to children, and create a relaxing and unintimidating atmosphere which they look forward to visiting.

The Trouble With Juice, Preventing Infant Cavities

March 31st, 2016

When we think of healthy alternatives to soda and other sugary drinks, its often common to look to fruit juice as a healthy alternative.  Generally high in essential vitamins, fruit juice can be a much better choice than other beverages.  Unfortunately, it can also be one of the worst offenders.  The sugars and citric acid found in most fruit juices cause double trouble for teeth, and can lead to tooth decay at an early age.

A lot more sugar than you think.

Apple juice can contain as much as 10 tsp. of sugar.  That’s exactly the same amount as found in the leading cola.  Grape juice contains even more, with nearly 15tsp.  Further, the citric acid in fruit juice can be tough on enamel, eating away at the first line of defense for healthy teeth.

Moderation...and water.

Consuming fruit juice isn’t in and of itself bad.  Instead, the real problem is that we often simply consume too much juice or that we don’t rinse or brush afterwards.  Children are especially at risk when juice is given too frequently.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have no more than 6 to 8 ounces of citrus fruit juice per day. Also, it’s important to limit your children’s consumption of juice to once a day, preferably with a meal, instead of spread out through the day, such as in a sippy cup. For the juice-lover in the family, two servings of watered down juice is a great way to satisfy a craving!

Saying Good-bye to Baby Teeth

July 30th, 2015

when to expect baby teeth to fall out

One of the many milestones that parents anticipate as their children grow up is the loss of baby (primary) teeth.  It’s an exciting part of the transition from baby and toddler to becoming a “big kid”.  We’re often asked questions about what to expect.  While every child is different and no child follows an exact schedule, we’ve provided a few general guidelines:

What timeline can be expected?

Most children will have all of their 20 primary teeth around the age of 3. Some of these primary teeth stick around until your child becomes a teenager.  Although they will eventually fall out, it is very important that you and your child takes care of their primary teeth to prevent cavities, decay and gum disease.  Caring for primary teeth now will set the stage for healthy adult teeth when they are ready to grow in.

On average, the first tooth falls out when children are 6 years old and will usually fall out in the order they came in.  Around this time children will also begin to receive their first permanent molars at the back of their mouth where there is already a space waiting for them. Around the age of 8, you can generally expect the bottom 4 primary teeth (lower central and lateral incisors) and the top 4 primary teeth (upper central and lateral incisors) to be gone and permanent teeth to have taken their place. 

After these major changes, many parents experience about a one-two year break when their wallet can take a breather from dishing out tooth fairy cash.  By approximately 13 years old, the rest of your child’s primary teeth (canine/cuspid, first premolar, and second premolar) should have fallen out and the second (12 year old) molars will start to erupt.  The third molars (wisdom teeth) will come in around 17-21 and these are the last set of teeth to grow in.

Is special care needed?

When your child is starting to lose his or her teeth, they will want to wiggle and play with it. This is normal and encouraged.  The tooth will eventually fall out on its own.  However, you should instruct your child to not yank or put unnatural force on the tooth if it’s not quite ready to come out.  This can damage roots, harm sensitive gum tissue and even cause infection.  Losing a tooth is usually never painful.

What if my child is late in losing her teeth?

Certainly, the exact age of losing teeth differs for every child. It is to be expected that if your child received their baby teeth early and quickly, the same will happen for when they start to fall out and vice versa.  Again, all children are different and there is no need to be alarmed as long as their teeth are falling in the right order.  If you do have some concern, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Four False "Facts" About Baby Teeth

July 16th, 2015


Baby Teeth Myths

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about a child’s first teeth.  Primary teeth, also called milk teeth or baby teeth, are the temporary teeth that end up under pillows and provide plenty of business for the tooth fairy!  Here are four myths about baby teeth that every parent should know:

#1 Baby teeth aren’t important.

Many parents mistakenly believe that baby teeth are less important than permanent teeth because they are just going to “fall out anyway”.  But baby teeth serve a very important purpose as place-holders in growing mouths during early years of development.  They help maintain the proper structure of the mouth in providing a guide for permanent teeth to move in behind them when the time comes.  A baby tooth lost too early can lead to crowding of adult teeth, for example.

#2 Cavities in baby teeth do not matter.

This one is similar to dismissing the importance of a baby tooth because it’s based on the idea that since these teeth will eventually come out, what happens to them beforehand doesn’t matter.  Unfortunately, cavities cause more than just a cosmetic blemish.  Cavities can cause pain or discomfort for children and even abscess if left untreated.  Further, cavities harbor bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream and effect your child’s overall health.

#3 There’s no need to brush baby teeth.

Parents should begin brushing teeth as soon as they appear.  Not only will this help prevent tooth decay, but it also begins a lifetime of good dental habits.  It’s even a good idea to begin oral care before teeth appear. A soft, damp rag rubbed over your baby’s gums reduces bacteria and helps emerging teeth get off to a great start.

#4 Kids don’t need to see a dentist until they are older.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t take their child to the dentist until there is a problem. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that parents bring their children for a first dental visit as soon as the first tooth emerges or by age one at the latest.  Establishing a “Dental Home” early will ensure that your child has a good experience on their first visit and develops a trusting relationship with the dentist.

Do you have questions about your baby’s teeth?  Don’t hesitate to ask!  We would love to talk to you about any questions or concerns you might have!

Since Baby Teeth Are Temporary, Are They Important?

January 29th, 2015

Are baby teeth important

We often hear people downplay the importance of primary teeth (also called “baby” or “milk” teeth).  The front 4 primary teeth generally last until 6-7 years of age, while the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.  People mistakenly believe that since these teeth are temporary, that they do not matter in the long run.  This will often lead to the neglect of primary teeth and can cause permanent damage.

In truth, it is very important to care for the health of the primary teeth. Untreated cavities frequently lead to problems which have long term effects on developing permanent teeth. Here are four reasons why caring for primary teeth is so important:

(1) Proper chewing and eating.  A cavity free mouth often means that it’s easier to enjoy healthy foods without pain or discomfort.  It also means that children are more likely to chew their food completely and are less likely to develop bad eating habits.

(2) Providing space for the permanent teeth.  Primary teeth reserve space for the permanent teeth.  They help in guiding primary teeth into the correct position.

(3) Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.  Like any muscle, your baby’s face and jaw muscles need exercise to help them develop; healthy primary teeth allow for proper chewing to build these muscles.  Without well-developed jaw muscles, your baby’s jawbones may not develop properly.

(4) Proper development of speech.  Missing teeth can affect the ability for a child to form words and learn to speak properly.  These speech problems can translate into difficulty later in life.

Aside from the reasons listed, there is a very practical reason for taking care of primary teeth: healthy smiles add to an overall attractive appearance which encourages a positive self esteem and good self image.