Sneaky Tooth Killers Your Kids Should Avoid

January 11th, 2018

Most parents know the importance of a proper oral health routine, and regular visits to the pediatric dentist. But, there are some silent tooth killers that parents need to recognize and avoid, to get their children a healthier smile. 

Chewing Ice

Ice can be an awesome accompaniment to any drink, but to the surprise of many parents, it can also do quite a bit of damage to teeth. Beware that your children do not chew on ice – which can crack or chip their teeth. Additionally, continual ice-chewing can destroy tooth enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. 

Dried Fruit

Fruit is fantastic for someone’s overall wellness and health, but it can be packaged in a way that damages teeth. Dried fruit is one way fruit can do a lot of damage to teeth. Fruit that has been dried and preservecontains very little water or fiber – two things that help make fruit healthy. Additionally, dried fruit is very sticky, and can stick onto teeth long after the snack has ended. This causes an acid attack on tooth enamel, and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. 

Fruit Preserved in Jam

Again – fruit can be an amazing snack if it served in its original form. Fruit packed in syrup is loaded with extra sugar, and without the bulk of healthy, toothcleaning fiber content. It may be packaged to easily enjoy, but avoid fruit that is packed in sugar or preserved in jam. Your child doesn’t need the excessive amount of sugar, and they’d be much better off with an apple, or banana or apricot in its original form. 

Sweet Drinks

Beverages are an oft-overlooked source of health issues, and many popular drinks like juice, soda and sports drinks are packed with added sugar. These beverages are easy for children to enjoy because of their sweet taste, but the added sugar can cause a full-on acid attack on tooth enamel, and leave teeth susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.  

Instead of serving your child sugary beverages, have your child stick to drinking water, which is far healthier for teeth. Water naturally rinses teeth free of harmful food debris, and stimulates saliva production – which is the body’s natural way of removing food debris and keeping teeth clean.

Bread and Starch

Starches like bread and chips are western diet mainstays, but they can do a lot of damage to teeth. When starch enters the mouth, saliva breaks it down to sugar. After being chewed, starches like bread can become sticky and adhere to tooth surfaces, and lodged in the cracks between teeth. Now, this sticky, sugary substance can cause acid damage to tooth enamel, and leave teeth vulnerable to cavities.

If your child does consume starches, be sure that they thoroughly rinse their mouth out with water after their meal to wash away the sticky, sugary substance that can destroy tooth enamel.

Visit Our Office 

Tooth decay is painful and can affect the overall health of developing mouths, which is why early treatment is the best way to handle cavities. Routine checkups every six months are the best way to stay on top of your child’s oral health. 

Schedule an appointment with our office today to check your children’s oral health, and to begin them down the path to a healthier smile.

4 Steps to Keep Kids Cavity-Free in 2018

December 28th, 2017

2017 is almost over and the holiday season is underway. As families visit relatives near or far, oral health is probably the last thing on the minds of many parents. But, you can use the holiday down time to make a few changes in your child’s routine to get them a healthier smile in 2018.

1 - Brush Twice Per day, Floss Everyday 


The best way to keep your children out of the dentist’s chair is by preventing oral issues before they arise. The strongest tactic in any oral health routine is maintaining a positive oral health routine. You can help your child establish a mouth-healthy routine right now by having them brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day, making sure to floss the tough-to-reach areas of their teeth.

This rule applies to people of all ages. By brushing twice per day for two minutes, and flossing once per day, you can go a long way in preventing cavities and keep tooth enamel strong.

2 - Drink More Water

Water is one the absolute healthiest things for teeth. Water helps keep the whole mouth clean by washing away food debris that can harm enamel, and by stimulating saliva production. In fact, saliva is 99% water, so drinking water is crucial for keeping teeth clean.

Another benefit of water is that it contains zero calories and no sugar – a common culprit in sodas and sports drinks that causes cavities. One way to superpower your child to oral health happiness is by eliminating sugary drinks all together in favor of water.

3 - Enjoy a Healthier Diet

The food that you (and your family) eat absolutely effects your overall oral health. It’s important, then, that you help your kids achieve oral health success by providing them with mouth-healthy meal options. Try adding foods that clean as they are consumed. Carrots, apples, and celery are all high-fiber foods that clean teeth as they are consumed. The fibrous content actually helps scrub away plaque buildup, and strengthens tooth enamel, which is the first line of defense against cavities.

4 - Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The holidays are a great time to get an oral health checkup in our office, and get a fresh start on oral health success in the New Year. An oral health checkup it the best way to get a clear understanding of the specific issues (or non-issues) present in your child’s oral health. We will evaluate the state of your child’s oral health, and provide actionable advice that will improve their oral health, and give them a healthy leg-up on cavities in 2018.  

3 Quick Tips to Cavity-Free Kids

August 17th, 2017

Childhood cavities are the most prevalent childhood illness in the United States, and they are almost entirely preventable. While treating cavities is more effective and comfortable now than ever before, some kids still experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. By following a few simple steps, you can help your kids keep cavities away and keep their dental appointments stress-free.

1 - Maintain a Healthy Oral Care Routine

Avoiding cavities begins with proper, routine oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes each session. By brushing for the proper amount of time, your child can clean all of the bad bacteria off their teeth, and help prevent cavities. Be sure that they brush the entire surface of their teeth - including the backsidewhich is often neglected.  

It can be tough to convince your child to brush for the full two minutes, but there are some fun ways to help them achieve better brushing results. Go Online to find tooth-brushing videos for children. Most of these videos are at least two minutes long, and help keep kids engaged and focused while they brush.

2 - Add More Water



Water is a fantastic tool that helps fight against cavities. Water is generally pH neutral, and does not harm tooth enamel – in fact, it can actually help strengthen tooth enamel by keeping the teeth free of food debris. It also improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of debris and reduces the amount of harmful acid left behind by food.

To get even more benefits, have your child rinse their mouth out with water after each meal. This will wash away any food debris in their mouth, and help prevent cavities.

3 - Get a New Toothbrush

When was the last time you bought your child a new toothbrush? If it isn’t anytime in the last three months, then they are most likely using a worn down toothbrush. You should exchange your child’s toothbrush when the head begins to lose its shape and the bristles become frayed. 

Also, it’s important to exchange your child’s toothbrush after they recover from any sort of illness. Bacteria can buildup on the handle and bristles of their toothbrush and can extend their sickness or reignite it at a later date. If your child has a cold or the flu, immediately buy a new toothbrush once they are no longer sick. 

Visit Our Office Today

Pediatric dentists are specifically trained to care for children’s oral health. Schedule an appointment with our office, and ask us about the best ways to help your child prevent cavities, and earn a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.  Our office is designed to make your child’s visit relaxing and comfortable.

The Ugly Truth About Candy

August 3rd, 2017

Candy tastes great, but it isn’t a nutritionally sound snack that adequately fuels your child’s growing body. Additionally, candy can severely harm your child’s teeth and lead to cavities and oral health disease. But, not all candy effects teeth in the same way. In fact, candy has numerous ways in which it can damage teeth and lead to tooth decay.  

Hard Candy

Hard candy is very popular, and comes in nearly every flavor and size imaginable. But, be vigilant when letting your child eat hard candy, because it can crack their teeth. Hard candy also tends to stick around longer than other candy, which exposes teeth to sugar for longer. Extended contact with sugar can lead to more cavities because sugar provides bad bacteria with the energy it needs to destroy enamel. 

Sticky Candy

Like hard candy, sticky candy can get stuck in tooth crevices and stay around long after it’s been swallowed. Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel.  

Sour Candy

Sour candy can leave teeth susceptible to cavities more so than any other candy. This is because sour candy contains a high amount of acid. In fact, the elevated acid content is what makes it so sour. The acidity can eat away the enamel of teeth, and leave them vulnerable to cavities. 

Some Better Options 

Gum Sweetened with Xylitol

While it’s not exactly candy, gum sweetened with Xylitol can actually clean teeth as it is being chewed. Xylitol sweetened gum is sugarless, and stimulates saliva production which naturally cleans teeth of debris and leftover sugar.  

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is a better sweet option, since it washes away easier than other candy, and is less destructive to enamel. But, dark chocolate is the best type of chocolate for oral health because it contains less sugar than milk chocolate and can actually help keep cavities away! That’s because it contains a flavanoid called epicatechin. Epicatechin has shown to slow tooth decay and also reduces cholesterol, blood clots and clogged arteries.  

Dark chocolate also contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring chemicals that limit bad oral that attacks teeth. The polyphenols in dark chocolate also reduce bad breath! 

Remember to Brush Twice Daily

It’s important that your children brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time if you want to keep cavities away. This is especially important when consuming foods that contain high amounts of sugar 

Schedule an appointment with our office if your child begins experiencing tooth pain, since this could indicate a cavity. We will thoroughly evaluate the state of their oral health, and provide a treatment plan that works for them.  

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.

Are Your Children's Drinks Harming Their Teeth?

September 1st, 2016

cola final

The average American consumes 22 grams of sugar per day, which is double the recommended daily amount. All of that sugar does considerable damage to tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and other oral issues. Some of the beverages we consume are surprisingly high in sugar. Below are some of the best – and worst – drinks for your teeth.

Drinks that Help Your Teeth


Water – especially water with fluoride – helps strengthen and clean teeth. With every sip, water cleans your teeth by ridding them of any leftover foods or acids. It also washes away bacteria and sugars that can eventually lead to cavities. Water has zero calories, and helps restore the Ph balance in your mouth to fight unhealthy levels of acid.


Milk and other dairy products are rich in calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth. Milk also contains a protein called casein – a substance that helps fight tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel. The calcium and phosphorous in milk also strengthen and repair tooth enamel that has dissolved due to acid.

Low Sugar Vegetable Juice

Vegetables are some of the healthiest foods you could possibly eat, so it makes sense then that vegetable juice would improve your oral health. When buying – or making – vegetable juice, make sure that you limit the percentage of fruit in the juice, since fruits are high in sugar. Typically, dark green vegetable juices are better for your teeth. Juice that has kale, or spinach contain healthy B vitamins that can help fight against gum disease. Leafy greens are also high in calcium, which boosts your enamel health.

If you want your vegetable juice to be a bit sweeter, look for juices containing small amounts of apple or carrots, as they are sweet and healthy in moderation.

Drinks that Hurt Your Teeth

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices are often chosen as an alternative to sugary sodas, but did you know that some juices have as much sugar as the leading colas? Apple juice has as much as 10 tsp. of sugar per serving, which is the exact amount as the leading brand cola. The sugar and citric acids in fruit juice can lead to tooth decay. If you must drink juice, you can lower the sugar by cutting it with water. Alternatively, you can look for low sugar juice options as well.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks can also contain more sugar than leading cola beverages, with as much as 19 grams of sugar per serving. Additionally, sports drinks contain an unhealthy amount of sodium (salt) which can be as much as a bag of potato chips per bottle. Sports drinks can eat away at tooth enamel, and can contain very unhealthy amounts of calories.


The gold standard of “terrible for teeth” are soft drinks. Sodas are awful for teeth because they are high in two of the worst things for teeth: sugar and acid. There are some sodas that contain more than the total recommended amount of daily sugar in one 20 oz. bottle! The high sugar and acid content can eat away the enamel that protects your teeth, and can lead to cavities. Consuming too much soda can cause irreparable harm to your body in the form of diabetes and other diseases. Your best bet is to stay away from sodas all together to avoid exposing your teeth to unhealthy levels of sugar and acid.

How to Help Reduce Negative Effects

If your child does drink sugary beverages, then they can help curb some of the negative effects by swishing water around in their mouth once they’re finished. Additionally, they should brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time and floss once per day to remove debris between their teeth.

Visit Our Office

If you are worried that your child is drinking too much soda, or if they are beginning to complain of sensitive teeth that may be related to consuming too many sugary drinks, then visit our office. We will evaluate your child’s smile and determine a treatment plan that’s best.

Easy Ideas to Motivate Your Kids to Brush

May 7th, 2015




It can be difficult for all of us to do something that we’re simply not in the mood for.  This is especially true for children, whether it’s bed-time or bath-time.  Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a challenge as well, so here are a few tips for motivating your children to keep their teeth healthy:

Let kids pick their own toothbrush.

One of the easiest ways to make brushing fun is to indulge your kids with a themed toothbrush. You can find tooth brushing gear with everything from Sponge Bob to Finding Nemo and even comic book characters and superheroes. Always pick one with soft bristles and with a brush size that is appropriate for their mouth and age.   Giving your child an opportunity to choose her own toothbrush empowers her to be an active part of maintaining positive dental habits.

Use a kid-friendly toothpaste.

There are a lot of flavored toothpastes  on the market that can help to make tooth brushing less “icky” for kids who don’t like the strong mint or cinnamon flavor of adult toothpastes.  This is another opportunity to involve your children by letting them choose their toothpaste flavor.  Of course, always make sure that toothpaste is approved by the ADA and carries the ADA seal.

Brush together.

Make oral hygiene a family activity. Toddlers love to imitate their parent’s behavior.  The same instinct that leads your children to play dress-up in your closet will make them want to take care of their mouth just like you do. Practicing good oral hygiene together will also give you the chance to notice any issues that your children might have with their brushing technique. It’s important that they don’t brush too hard, and that they don’t miss tricky parts of the mouth like back molars, and under the gums.  Remember to help your child brush at least once a day until they develop the fine motor skills to do a good job on their own.

Make it musical!

Music is also a great tool for any repetitive activity. Humming a favorite song together is a good way to ensure that your children are brushing their teeth long enough to thoroughly clean them. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children brush their teeth twice a day, for two minutes per session, which can seem like an eternity for a restless child. Using music makes this time pass quicker and can even serve as a way to measure how long teeth are being brushed.  Oral care is a repetitive activity that benefits greatly from a little bit of music.

Ultimately, the goal is to make oral care fun.  Just because it is a habit, doesn’t mean it also has to be a chore.  We would love to hear your ideas about how you’re making brushing fun in your home!