Funny happy child eating watermelon outdoors

Healthy Alternatives to Sugary Summer Snacks

With the warmer weather in full force, many people naturally think about stocking up on some of their child’s favorite summer snacks. Unfortunately, some of those favorites might just be full of sugar — and that’s bad for your child’s teeth, weight, and overall health. The good news is that many of the sugary summer snacks that you love can be painlessly replaced by something that’s much healthier. In fact, you can create healthy alternatives that your child might love just as much as their old sugary favorites. Read on to learn about the best summer sugary snack swaps for your child today.

Swap Ice Cream For “Nice” Cream

Ice cream is something that tastes especially delicious on a blazing hot summer day — but it’s high in sugar, fat, and calories. You can get the same taste sensation from an all natural source: fruit! You can make “nice” cream instead of ice cream by starting with frozen bananas. Once the bananas are rock hard, put them in a powerful blender to pulverize them into an ice cream like paste. The banana flavor is delicious on its own, or you can opt for other flavors by blending in frozen berries, coconut flakes, a spoonful of natural peanut butter, or other additions that your child will enjoy. If you’re craving chocolate ice cream, make the nice cream with a small amount of dark chocolate morsels. It gives you the flavor and texture you want without the drawbacks of ice cream. Ask your kids what flavor of nice cream they want to try next — they may enjoy helping you choose the blend-ins!

Swap Sugary Popsicles For a Natural Alternative

A sweet popsicle on a summer day is a favorite for kids and adults alike — but the sugar content in a typical popsicle is through the roof. You can easily make your own healthier version of this treat using natural fruit juices. Use a popsicle mold and wooden sticks to create popsicles with natural cranberry, raspberry, orange, apple, pineapple, or any other flavor you and your child love. Be sure to buy juices that say “unsweetened” or “no sugar added” — fruit juices are generally sweet enough to enjoy all on their own. If you crave a creamier texture — more like a yogurt pop — consider using coconut juice for a natural frozen popsicle treat. This is something that’s actually fun for kids to make as well as being fun to eat.

Swap Sugary Finger Foods For Fruity Finger Foods

Many people love to bring along finger foods for picnics and outdoor events during the summer, but many of them are sugary enough to send your child into sugar shock. Luckily, there’s a fun frozen finger food that nearly everybody loves: Frozen grapes. This snack just doesn’t get any easier: Simply freeze the grapes individually on a sheet for at least a few hours — they should be very hard and icy when ready. Whether you let them melt in your mouth or nibble them, this sweet frozen treat is something that you won’t have to feel guilty about eating this summer. Kids won’t even dwell on the fact that they’re eating healthy because finger foods are so much fun to eat. You can pack a zipper bag full of frozen grapes to keep them cold for quite a while — perfect to take poolside or to a picnic.

Ready For Your Summer Dental Check-Up?

Summertime can be the ideal time to schedule a dental check-up for your child. Most kids have more free time during the summer, and a dental check-up can fit right into that. The team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida offers full-scale pediatric dentistry, including check-ups, cleanings, sealants, orthodontics, fluoride treatments, tooth-colored fillings, and much more. We love our young patients and treat them just like our own kids. Contact us anytime to arrange your child’s next dental appointment. The summer will fly by faster than you think, so don’t hesitate to get the dental care your child needs before the next school year starts!

 

Little Boy Brushing Teeth

Your Child’s Summer Dental Routine

With summer in full swing, your kids are probably having the time of their life. Between managing all the fun activities, it can be difficult to make sure your kids eat healthy and practice good dental care habits. Below, you’ll learn some top tips for keeping up a healthy summer dental routine for your child.

Maintain a Brushing Routine

It’s very important to maintain a brushing routine, just the same as the one that your child uses during the school year. Bacteria doesn’t take a holiday from attacking the teeth, so neither should brushing! Make sure that your child brushes two times a day — preferably morning and night. Each brushing routine should last two minutes.

If your child is only putting in minimal effort and time, consider a special brushing app on your smartphone. Brushing apps like Toothy, Brush DJ, and Disney Magic Timer can keep your child entertained and distracted so well that they won’t even realize they’re doing something good for their health.

Another way to inspire your child to keep brushing this summer is to replace their brush with a brand new one of their choice. While your child is choosing a new brush, consider picking up some disposable brushes (the ones that have toothpaste pre-loaded) for your child to take along whenever they’re away from home. Having disposable brushes on hand can be quite helpful for vacations, sleepovers, or other situations when a regular toothbrush might be forgotten.

Schedule a Cleaning and Check-Up

The beginning of summer is the perfect time to schedule a dental cleaning and check-up. If your child heads into the summer with a good report from the dentist, you’ll both be able to relax and enjoy the summer to the fullest. The summer is also a great time for a check-up and cleaning because summertime means more free time — and you don’t have coordinate appointment times around your child’s school schedule.

Make Healthy Snacks

Summertime can turn into a snacking frenzy for kids — and the snacks they reach for are often sugary and unhealthy. You can combat the problem easily if you make some healthy snacks to have on hand. Some healthy (and delicious!) snack ideas include:

  • Frozen fruit: Frozen grapes and blueberries are great choices, and frozen bananas (cut in discs) are a popular summer finger food also.
  • Fruit pops: Popsicles are a summer staple for any kid, but you don’t have to use the high sugar version. Make your own frozen fruit pops with natural unsweetened fruit juice, popsicle molds, and wooden sticks. You can also make a mini version with ice cube trays and toothpicks.
  • Veggies and dip: Cut up a pile of fresh raw veggies like carrots and celery every few days, storing them in plastic baggies for easy access. If your child loves dip, buy some individual containers of a healthy option like hummus.
  • Fruit and cheese skewers: You can easily make some fruit and cheese skewers using toothpicks, strawberries, grapes, and cubed cheese. Alternate fruit and cheese for fun and healthy snack anytime.

Prepare For Activity

Summertime can mean a big increase in outdoor activities. From swimming to volleyball and beyond, you need to be ready for the kind of mishaps that can occur with an increase in physical activity. Take the following steps to stay safe.

  • Make the rules clear: No matter what kind of outdoor fun your child’s going to engage in, make sure that they clearly understand all of the safety rules and can recite them back to you before they’re allowed to play.
  • Use the right gear: Make sure that your child has the safety gear necessary to play any sport they’re interested in. For example, a custom mouthguard can prevent dental disasters like knocked out teeth during contact sports.
  • Have emergency dental supplies in your first aid kit: While you probably already know that a first aid kit is important during the summer, you might not have essential dental supplies. Add small gauze squares, sugar free gum (in case of a lost filling,) and a couple of doses of children’s ibuprofen.

Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to support you and your child during the summer and all year long. Contact us anytime to arrange an appointment.

 

Girl holding model of human jaw with dental braces

Make Your Back to School Cleaning Appointments

Summer vacation has barely begun, but we want you to think about scheduling your child’s back to school dental cleaning. We will look at why now is the best time to schedule your child’s appointment, even though it won’t happen for months.

Why Schedule Dental Cleaning Appointments Months in Advance?

Children and parents are extremely busy during the summer break. There are playdates to go to, summer camps to attend, and vacations to go on. With all this excitement it can be extremely easy to forget to schedule your child’s back to school dental cleaning.

Scheduling your child’s dental cleaning now gives you the opportunity to enjoy the entire summer. You will be able to enjoy taking part in all those fun summertime activities without having a small little voice in the back of your head reminding you that you need to call your child’s dentist to schedule an appointment.

Allowing you to enjoy the summer is just one reason why you should schedule your child’s dental cleaning appointment now. The other reason is you want to make sure you get a time slot that works for your family’s schedule.

Appointments tend to fill up quickly around the time when children are about to return to school. Scheduling the appointment now allows you to have options for days and times. If you wait, you may be able to get an appointment, but it might not be at a time that is convenient for you or your child.

Why Does Your Child Need a Back to School Dental Exam and Cleaning?

Children should be visiting their dentist every four to six months for a routine dental examination and cleaning. While these appointments can happen at any time throughout the year, most dentists recommend that they happen around when your child will be returning to school after summer vacation.

Dentists recommend dental exams and cleanings happen around the start of the school year for a number of reasons. Those reasons include:

  • Early dental exams help spot dental problems before they become problematic and result in loss of classroom time. If a dental problem occurs during the school year, children will have to take time off of school to get it fixed. Having a dental exam before school starts gives you the opportunity to fix any dental problems without having your child miss school.
  • Children get a proper cleaning. Children tend to like to snack on sugary treats throughout the summer. A professional back to school dental cleaning will make sure your child’s teeth are properly cleaned so they decay.
  • Dentists review proper oral care. Children become very lax with their daily oral care routine during the summer. During your child’s back to school exam and cleaning, your dentist will be able to take time to review with your child what he or she should be doing to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Your dentist will review with your child how to properly brush and floss. Your dentist will also remind your child they should be brushing at least twice a day and flossing once.

Call to Schedule Your Child’s Back to School Dental Exam and Cleaning Today

Get a jumpstart on the school year by taking the time to schedule your child’s back to school dental exam and cleaning right now. Call The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida to schedule an appointment at one of our two Orlando area locations. We are an award-winning pediatric dental clinic that provides gentle dental care to children of all ages. Some of the dental services we provide in addition to regular check-ups and teeth cleanings include tooth-colored fillings, crowns, sealants, fluoride treatments, space maintenance, help breaking thumb or pacifier sucking habits, orthodontics, and lip tie and tongue tie laser revision.

Don’t worry about possibly forgetting the appointment because you scheduled it so far in advance. We provide appointment reminders closer to the date of your child’s exam and cleaning so you won’t forget. So, call us today to schedule an appointment and go out and enjoy the rest of the summer.

 

Water Spit

Surprising Facts About Spit

While you probably know that saliva plays an important role in your oral health and wellness, you may not know just how important it really is. If you’ve never really given much thought to saliva before, you’ll enjoy these surprising saliva facts.

Saliva is Mainly Water

Since saliva is so slippery, many people don’t realize that it’s mainly just water. The vast majority of saliva is water while the remainder of it is made up of natural hormones, proteins, minerals, and small remnants of whatever you’ve recently had to eat or drink.

Saliva Plays Several Vital Roles in the Mouth

Saliva plays several vital roles in the mouth. It acts as a protector for your teeth and your gums. It also helps keep the mouth properly lubricated — without saliva, you’d have a chronic problem with dry mouth. Saliva plays the most crucial role in maintaining the pH balance within your mouth. By keeping your pH balance healthy, saliva prevents problems like loss of tooth enamel, tooth disease, and gum disease. People who suffer from breathing disorders like COPD or sleep apnea often have too little saliva in their mouth while they sleep, mainly due to sleeping with an open mouth. This lack of saliva can mean that the teeth are unprotected, which is the reason that people who breathe with their mouth open while sleeping have a higher tendency towards tooth and gum disease.

Saliva Helps You Process Food

Saliva plays a very important role in the breakdown of the food that you eat. Having a healthy amount of saliva actually has a connection with processing the less-than-healthy foods so they can be eliminated from your body. The enzymes within your saliva are uniquely suited to target starches and fats, breaking them down so they can be processed by your digestive system.

You Produce More Saliva Than You Might Think

Although saliva production from one person to another does vary, the average person generates enough saliva to fill an entire bathtub in a year — two times over! Since you swallow and eliminate so much saliva every day without really being aware of it, it may seem shocking that your body actually produces that much. This amount of saliva production is quite normal — and in fact it’s very healthy for your body.

Saliva Can Play a Role in Disease Diagnosis

Saliva often plays an important role in the diagnosis of disease. A quick and simple swab inside your mouth can give the doctor a sample that yields valuable information. Certain proteins within the saliva are indicative of disease — and if those proteins are found, it can allow for prompt diagnosis and treatment. Physicians often use saliva samples to determine risk of heart disease and other controllable diseases today as well. Saliva testing has made it much easier for both patients and doctors to get the information that they need today.

Chewing Gum Encourages Saliva Production

Chewing gum encourages additional saliva production. While any type of gum can cause a saliva increase, it’s highly recommended that you stick with sugar-free gum only. Thanks to the increase in healthy saliva, people who regularly chew sugar-free gum may have less cavities on average than those who don’t chew gum at all.

Saliva Has Healing Properties

Many people are surprised to learn that saliva actually has healing properties. Dogs, cats, and other animals instinctively know this. Have you ever noticed a pet licking a wound constantly? By doing so, they’re trying to place saliva on the wound because it will help it heal more quickly. As humans, we get to benefit from the healing power of saliva as well, but only within the mouth. Saliva is full of antibodies that kill germs while encouraging cellular growth. Due to this, you might notice that when you have a wound within your mouth it heals more quickly than a wound anywhere else would.

The team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to help with all of your pediatric dentistry needs. Our goal is gentle care, delivered by experienced caregivers. We offer regular check-ups, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, orthodontics, tooth colored fillings, emergency dental care, and much more. Request an appointment today!

 

snoring

Snoring & Tooth Decay: The Link

Breathing through the mouth is quite well known as a possible cause of snoring — but did you know that mouth breathing can also result in tooth decay? There are a number of reasons for this, and it’s mainly connected to saliva and bacteria.

The Breathing and Tooth Decay Connection

The connection between breathing and tooth decay only became known in recent years. When many dental patients started reporting dry mouth when waking up, dentists started to realize that those same people often suffered from tooth decay. These patients were sometimes sleep apnea sufferers.

Sleep apnea sufferers struggle to breathe while they’re sleeping — in fact, they stop breathing completely for brief periods throughout the night. The body responds to this by gasping — breathing through the mouth with considerable force. After multiple apnea episodes during the night, some patients eventually started sleeping with their mouth open at all times, which encouraged mouth breathing rather than breathing through the nose.

Mouth dryness is a natural side effect of sleeping with an open mouth, and it’s also quite common even if sleep apnea sufferers sleep with their mouth closed. Many patients who report dry mouth, and who also have tooth decay, may not realize that they sleep with their mouth open or that they breathe through their mouth — and thus, the reason for the tooth decay wasn’t really known until dentists started investigating the mouth breathing and tooth decay connection.

Saliva and Mouth Breathing

Saliva helps keep the mouth healthy by maintaining the proper pH balance. It keeps the good bacteria in your mouth and helps banish the bad bacteria when saliva is at healthy levels. However, if your child breathes through their mouth all night, their saliva levels will become very low — which is why dry mouth occurs.

Low saliva levels can cause more acidity within the mouth. An acidic mouth — one with too little saliva — is not able to restore itself to a healthy balance. This means that the enamel will start to wear away, leaving your child’s teeth highly vulnerable to decay.

The difference between sleeping with an open mouth and a closed mouth can literally mean the difference between developing serious tooth decay and maintaining optimal oral health. Therefore, if your child is a mouth breather during the night, it’s well worth doing everything in your power to correct it before it causes serious issues.

The Treatments for Open Mouth Breathing

To get the proper treatment for open mouth breathing, it’s important to first get the correct diagnosis. Your pediatric dentist can discuss your child’s sleeping habits with you and can also perform a thorough exam that may yield important clues as to why your child is breathing this way overnight. In many cases, the cause is sleep apnea or another breathing disorder. The treatment for breathing disorders can vary according to the severity of the issue, but most young patients are able to get relief without surgery. Some specialized devices can encourage nose breathing while discouraging mouth breathing while your child sleeps. Your child may also benefit from a CPAP machine, especially if the sleep apnea is severe. Most of the time, your dentist can help with breathing disorders.

In some cases, the reason for the mouth breathing is very simple — and easy to correct. Some people tend to breathe through their mouth more when they leave the ceiling fans running overnight or when they keep the temperature too warm in their bedroom. As a parent, you have control of any environmental factors that could contribute to your child’s mouth breathing, so it’s always best to correct those things as soon as possible. It may take your child a little time to get used to sleeping without a fan, but they’ll realize great benefits in terms of your oral health long term. It’s well worth making a few small concessions now rather than having to get cavities filled later.

No matter why your child is breathing through their mouth at night, there’s help available. Don’t let mouth breathing cause cavities and other dental issues — call Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida for an appointment today!

 

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What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a type of protection for teeth that are particularly vulnerable to decay. While adults sometimes get dental sealants, they’re far more common in pediatric patients. Most children who get dental sealants have them only on certain teeth — usually, this would include all of the teeth in the back of the mouth. However, if a child has serious tooth decay at a young age the pediatric dentist might recommend dental sealants for the entire mouth. It’s a case by case treatment that all depends on the needs of your child.

The Dental Sealant Application Process

While your dentist applies dental sealant, your child will simply lay back and relax in the chair. There’s no pain or even discomfort during this process, and our dentists are very skilled at helping set your child’s mind at ease during the treatment. The sealant application process is very simple and will typically last no longer than a typical dental appointment — usually around an hour or so.

Your child’s teeth are cleaned thoroughly, and then a gel is painted onto them. This gel helps the teeth accept and retain the sealant resin better. After the gel is completely dry, the dental sealant resin is painted directly atop it. The sealant is then allowed to dry, and in some cases, your dentist will use a curing light to help the sealant set into place. After that, your child can return home and go back to their normal day — there are usually no restrictions to worry about.

The Effectiveness of Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are so effective because they completely protect and cover the teeth. Sealants protect even the very small fissures in the teeth — the ones that are normally prime areas for bacteria and decay. Dental sealants are a very powerful tooth decay deterrent for children, as kids are often not terribly diligent brushers.

While your child has a dental sealant, the odds of them developing new cavities in the treated teeth is extremely low. However, it’s important to remember that your child still needs to brush and floss normally. Although the treated teeth may have extra protection against decay, the gums do not. Regular brushing and flossing is very important in the prevention of gum disease, so make sure that your child follows through with their oral health care routine every day after they get a sealant.

The Right Age for Dental Sealant

In most cases, children won’t get dental sealant until their permanent molars emerge. This usually happens sometime before the age of 12 but could happen later in some cases. Although it’s not as common, some younger children may need a dental sealant if they have considerable tooth decay early in life. Your dentist will determine the optimal time to apply dental sealant based on your child’s specific individual needs.

Dental Sealant Longevity

Dental sealant longevity can vary based on several different factors. The child’s oral health routine, their age when the sealant is applied, and their growth while wearing the sealant can all play a role in its longevity. In the majority of cases, dental sealants last for 5-10 years in children. Usually, by the time that the dental sealant wears off, it’s no longer needed.

There are a few ways to maximize the longevity of a dental sealant. Make sure that your child practices good oral hygiene every day, encourage them to eat a low sugar healthy diet, and take them for their dental cleanings twice a year as scheduled to make sure that your child’s dental sealant lasts for as long as possible.

At Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, we put kids first. The safety and comfort of our young patients is our number one concern at all times, no matter what type of procedure or treatment they’re receiving. Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida provides check-ups, treatment for tooth decay, dental sealants, orthodontic care, crowns, space maintenance, help with pacifier habits/thumb sucking habits, lip tie laser revision, tongue tie laser revision, emergency dental care, and much more. We’re proud to be a one-stop dental care provider for your child. Contact us anytime to arrange a visit!

 

Little Girl Having Her Meal With Pleasure

Foods That Help Fight Cavities

Everyone knows that regular brushing and flossing can help keep cavities away, but did you know that the food you eat can also help in the fight against cavities? It is true! Some of the food you eat on a daily basis contains vitamins and minerals that naturally fight tooth decay and actively work to prevent cavities.

Interested in improving your diet to include foods that will keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong? Keep reading! The following are some examples of cavity-fighting foods that you will want to start incorporating into your regular diet.

Foods Rich in Calcium

When your body doesn’t get enough calcium, either through the foods you eat or through a supplement, it gets it from your teeth. By breaking down your teeth, your body is able to get the calcium it needs, but it puts you at an increased risk of developing cavities as a result of extensive tooth decay.

A natural way to fight against cavities is to make sure you are eating foods that are rich in calcium. If you eat enough calcium-rich foods your body won’t have a need to break down your teeth to get more calcium.

Some examples of calcium-rich food include:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Broccoli
  • Bok Choy
  • Almonds
  • Dried beans
  • Brazil nuts
  • Leafy greens

Eat Foods that Increase Saliva

By simply increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth, you could be actively working to fight against cavities. The drier your mouth gets, the better the conditions are to have bacteria grow and cause tooth decay. Over time, untreated tooth decay can lead to cavities.

A number of foods ranging from beans to vegetables and nuts can increase saliva production by having a high amount of fiber in them. Some examples of foods you will want to incorporate into your diet to increase saliva flow include:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Bran
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Raisins
  • Dates
  • Figs

Foods Made with Whole Grains

Eating foods made with whole grains has two benefits: it improves the health of your gums and it strengthens your teeth. Foods rich in whole grains have high amounts of iron, vitamin B, and magnesium, which have all been linked to helping keep your gums healthy and increasing the strength of your teeth.

Some foods that are made with whole grains that you will want to consider incorporating into your diet include:

  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Brown rice
  • Bran
  • Whole-grain muffins
  • Whole-grain bread

Remember to Stay Away from the Sugary Snacks and Drinks

Even if you incorporate all these foods into your diet, you will still want to make an effort to avoid sugary drinks and snacks. When you eat sugary snacks, the sugar works to weaken the enamel on your teeth which increases your risk of developing tooth decay. Tooth decay, when left untreated, can turn into hardened plaque and lead to numerous cavities.

Don’t Forget to Schedule an Appointment for a Routine Exam and Cleaning

Eating these foods may help your child fight against cavities, but it won’t completely prevent cavities from forming. Scheduling an appointment with a pediatric dentist for a regular checkup and professional cleaning should be done every six months to help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

During a regular checkup, a pediatric dentist will monitor the health of your child’s teeth and gums. Depending upon your child’s age, x-rays may be taken to make sure your child’s teeth are growing properly and no problems are present. If any problems are noticed, such as damaged teeth or cavities, your pediatric dentist will make treatment recommendations that will help improve the health of your child’s teeth and gums.

Regular cleanings are performed every six months. Professional cleanings are necessary because plaque may have built up in areas of the mouth. If plaque is left to harden in the mouth, it will cause extensive tooth decay that could lead to tooth loss or cavities. A professional cleaning will remove any plaque that is present.

Take the first step to improving the health of your child’s teeth and gums by calling Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and professional cleaning for your child.  

 

ditching soda

Tips for Ditching Soda

From an early age, children are constantly being sent the message that drinking soda is a perfectly normal thing to do. So it comes as no surprise that when most children are thirsty they ask for their favorite carbonated soda drink instead of asking for water and milk, but before you hand over that glass or can of soda to your child you may want to take a moment to see what soda does to your child’s teeth.

The Dangers of Soda

Soda may seem like a harmless beverage, but it contains harmful ingredients that can cause a number of dental problems.

Damage is caused by soda because it introduces a lot of acid into your mouth. When your mouth has too much acid, it can erode the enamel that surrounds your tooth. If the enamel gets too damaged it can lead to severe pain, cavities, gum inflammation, tooth sensitivity, and eventual tooth loss.

Soda has artificial ingredients that make it very acidic. That combined with the natural acid your body creates when bacteria feeds off of sugar and each time you drink soda it can bring you one step closer to experiencing a number of dental problems.

Tips for How to Break the Soda Drinking Habit

After seeing what damage soda can do to your child’s teeth you may be wondering how you can break the habit. Breaking the soda-drinking habit won’t be easy, especially if your child drinks a lot of soda, but it can be done.

The following are some tips parents have found helpful when trying to get their child to stop drinking soda:

  • Don’t expect kids to stop drinking soda overnight. If your child drank a lot of soda, they may have severe cravings for it. Be patient and don’t expect your child to instantly stop drinking soda, try to slowly wean them off of it.
  • Dilute the soda with water. Adding water dramatically reduces both the acid and sugars in the soda. Diluting the soda is a great way to slowly wean your child off of soda. It gives them the slight sweetness they crave while encouraging the body to change so it no longer needs the super sugary drink.
  • Lead by example. If you want your child to drink less soda make sure you do it too. Children will follow the lead of their parents. So make sure you are leading a good example by drinking healthier beverages.
  • Offer alternative beverage options. When your child does want a drink consider giving them options for what to drink. Favored water and unsweetened tea are good options for alternative drinks.
  • Offer natural sodas to your child. Natural sodas contain fewer artificial ingredients. They aren’t a perfect solution, but they will allow your child to enjoy an occasional soda every once in a while.

Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

If your child has a history of drinking a lot of soda, and even if they don’t drink a lot of soda, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment for a routine exam from a pediatric dentist. During a routine exam the pediatric dentist will conduct a brief oral examination to see if there are any visible signs of tooth decay or damage to the teeth. If the pediatric dentist notices any problems, he or she will make treatment recommendations that will help improve your child’s oral health.

In addition to assessing your child’s oral health, a pediatric dentist can make sure you have all the information you need to keep your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth health. Pediatric dentists and their staff can teach you how to properly brush and floss your child’s teeth, provide additional tips on how to cut back on soda consumption, and even provide advice on how to cut back on eating sugary treats.

Parents who live in Central Florida can make an appointment at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. Our dental staff is dedicated to providing enthusiastic, compassionate dental care to children of all ages. Call us today to schedule an appointment at either of our two locations located throughout Central Florida.

healthy habits

Best Tips for Starting Healthy Habits

Parents, through the parenting choices they make and the things they do, play a huge role in the habits their child develops. Follow some of these parenting tips and advice to help your child develop habits that will improve their oral health.

Try to Always Stay Positive

It can be difficult to stay positive about the dentist, especially if you are undergoing a practically painful or prolonged procedure, but try to remain positive for your children. If your children see you constantly complaining about the dentist or being afraid to go to your regular dental check-up they will pick up on it and start to feel the same way.

Lead by Example

Your children will look to you to see how they should act and what they should do, so make sure you are leading by example. The best way to lead by example is to make sure you are doing exactly what you are asking your child to do. For example, if you want your child to brush their teeth twice a day, make sure you do it too. Don’t just expect your child to do it, but you don’t.

Make Things Fun

Children are more likely to want to do something if they think it is fun. Try to be creative and make the healthy habits you want your child to develop fun.

Some ways you can make brushing and flossing fun include:

  • Create a silly song that you sing when your child brushes their teeth. It doesn’t have to be super complicated, but it should be fun and upbeat. If you happen to be brushing your teeth when your child is around, make sure you sing the song!
  • Use fun downloadable apps for brushing your teeth. There are a number of downloadable apps that can turn brushing your teeth into a game. One app, Brush DJ, plays music that your child can brush their teeth too. The music goes for 2 minutes, which is the recommended minimum amount of time you should be brushing your teeth.
  • Let your children ‘brush’ their favorite doll or stuffed animals teeth at night. Of course, you wouldn’t have them actually use real toothpaste and water, but having them brush their favorite toy’s teeth will make it a fun experience.

Give Rewards for Following Through with Healthy Habits

Everyone likes to receive rewards for doing a good job. Use that to your advantage when trying to get your child to learn healthy habits.

Create a reward system that encourages your child to not only do something once, but to follow through with it multiple times. For example, create a reward system that gives your child a small reward for flossing once a day for a week, a medium sized reward for flossing every day for a month, and a huge reward for flossing every day for six months.

The rewards don’t have to be huge or super expensive. They can be as small as being able to pick out their bedtime snack or getting a sticker to getting a new toy or having dinner at a favorite restaurant.

Let Children Customize Their Experiences

Children like to feel like they are in control and making decisions for themselves. Don’t just tell your child what healthy habits to do and how to do them, let them work with you to customize their experiences and make it interesting for them.

A great example of how you can customize their experience with healthy habits is letting them pick out their own toothbrush. Children’s toothbrushes are available in a wide variety of colors and designs. There are even toothbrushes with TV and movie characters on them. Let your child pick out their toothbrush. Not only will they feel like a ‘big kid’ for picking out their own toothbrush, but it will be something they are sure to want to use on a regular basis.

It isn’t always easy encouraging children to develop healthy habits. Luckily, we are here to help. The staff at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is here to answer any questions you may have or provide you with tips on how to encourage your child to develop healthy habits. Call us with any questions you may have or ask us during your child’s next dental appointment.

 

child dentist appointment

When Should My Child Have a Dentist Appointment?

As your baby grows and develops, there are so many new milestones to enjoy along the way. You’ll be photographing or video that first smile, the first crawl, first words, and first steps. Before you know it, your child is going to get his very first tooth, and when you grab a photo of that first little tooth popping through, you also need to start thinking about your child’s oral health.

When to Schedule Baby’s First Dentist Appointment

Many new parents aren’t sure when they should take their baby in for that very first dental appointment. While most children don’t have a dental visit until after the age of two, dental professionals actually recommend that you take your baby in for that first visit by the age of one. Baby teeth generally begin coming in at about six months, so seeing a dentist for the first time at the age of one is perfect. Since tooth decay continues to be a problem of epidemic proportions in young children, starting early with good dental care and routine checkups is important. Having the first visit while your child is still very young can also help prevent fear of the dentist in the future. After that first visit, then it’s important to keep up with regular dental visits every six months for cleanings and checkups.

Choosing the Right Dentist

It’s important to choose the right dentist for that first dental appointment and beyond. When making your decision, look for a dentist that has experience working with children. It’s important that the dentist can interact with your child and make sure he is comfortable during the appointment, and this is something that takes practice and patience. A dentist who deals with children regularly will know the right techniques to connect with children and keep them comfortable and relaxed while taking good care of their oral health. Before choosing a pediatric dentist, you may want to take the time to read online reviews from other parents to find out if they were happy with the way the dentist worked with their children.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

If this is your first child, you may be wondering what you should expect at that first dental appointment. A pediatric dentist will probably ask you about your child’s medical history and drug allergies. Your dentist will ask you if you have any special concerns as well. During that first appointment, a good dentist will work on getting your child comfortable within the office setting, including the dental furniture and equipment used in the office. Your pediatric dentist will also provide you with guidance and information on the best oral hygiene practices so you can take the best care of your child’s teeth at home.

You may be surprised to find that your pediatric dentist may discuss your child’s diet with you during that first dentist appointment. Since tooth decay is such a huge problem in children, the right diet is very important. Sipping juices constantly from a sippy cup or bottle can result in decay. Regularly snacking on crackers, cookies, and fruity snacks can also be a problem. The pediatric dentist can give you suggestions on how to modify your child’s diet for the best oral health, and the use of additional fluoride may also be recommended for your child.

As you prepare yourself for that first dentist appointment, make sure you begin with oral hygiene practices when your child gets his first tooth. Start by brushing the tooth with a soft toothbrush early. Once your child has two teeth that are touching, begin using floss. Keep up this oral hygiene routine daily so your child is accustomed to his teeth being touched. Reading stories about going to the dentist or even playing dentist with your child can also help make that first appointment easier. Schedule plenty of time for the first appointment and make sure your child is well fed and rested before you head in for the visit. This way you make sure that your child is as comfortable as possible. And it’s also important for parents to relax. Make sure you’re relaxed so your child doesn’t feel your tension as you head in for that first, important visit to the dentist.

 

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