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.

 

preventing cavities in children

Preventing Cavities in Children

Your child’s oral health is critical to his overall well-being, and cavities are a chronic disease that can have a huge impact on your child’s oral health. In fact, statistics show that childhood tooth decay has become an epidemic, with 60% of children having a cavity by the age of five. Parents often think that cavities in baby teeth are a minor problem since these teeth fall out. However, the baby teeth are essential guides to the positioning and health of permanent teeth. The good news is that it’s easy to prevent cavities in children by following a few tips.

Tip #1 – Start Dental Visits Early

It’s important to start your child’s routine dental visits early. The American Dental Association recommends that you have your child to the dentist by the time he is one. Tooth decay can start very young, and early prevention is very important. Having that first dental visit at or before the age of one helps get your child used to dental visits and gives your dentist the chance to build a relationship with your child. Early dental visits also allow you to learn better dental habits to prevent cavities in the future. Once you start dental visits, you should have your child into the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. Those routine checkups can catch early problems so they don’t turn into more painful problems that can be complicated to treat.

Tip #2 – Don’t Share Spoons or Clean Pacifiers with Your Tongue

It’s easy to spread oral bacteria by sharing spoons, cleaning pacifiers with your tongue, or sharing drinks. Even before your child has teeth, bacteria that causes cavities can start colonizing on the furrows of your child’s tongue. When you share a spoon, a drink, or clean off that pacifier with your mouth, you can spread cavity-causing bacteria to your child. It’s also important to make sure you’re taking good care of your oral health to reduce the chance that you’ll transmit harmful bacteria to your child.

Tip #3 – Take Care of Brushing and Flossing Yourself While Children are Young

Until your children are about six and able to properly brush teeth on their own, you should take care of the brushing and flossing yourself. Make sure that you are brushing your child’s teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, ensuring that you remove all plaque from their teeth. Once your child has teeth touching each other, you also need to floss the areas between teeth. When your child begins brushing and flossing on his own, take time to check teeth for any plaque to ensure they are doing a good job.

Tip #4 – Help Your Child Choose Healthy Snacks

The bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar and then produce acids that erode away tooth enamel to cause a cavity. Limiting sugar in your child’s diet is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. Allowing your child to have a lot of sugary sodas, sticky candy, Gatorade, and other sweets will increase the risk of developing cavities. It’s also important to consider the frequency of your child’s snacking habits. If your child is eating off and on all day, there’s a constant supply of sugar in their mouth, increasing the risk they’ll develop cavities. Along with limiting snacks and drinks packed with sugar, it’s also important to avoid constant snacking and make sure your child brushes after eating. Better snack choices for kids include carrots, celery, apples, and other fresh veggies and fruits, since they can actually help scrub plaque from teeth when they are eaten.

Tip #5 – Go Ahead and Use Fluoride Toothpaste

Dentists recommend that you use fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child has a tooth, and the fluoride can help remineralize parts of teeth that may have been weakened by acids. Usually it’s recommended that you use a small smear of toothpaste about the size of a rice grain for children under the age of three, and then kids between the ages of four and six can use a pea-sized amount of the toothpaste. It’s also a good idea to purchase toothpaste that comes in a fun color and flavor, since kids will enjoy sticking with their oral hygiene regimen more if toothpaste tastes and looks better.

Tooth decay in children is a huge problem, but you can prevent cavities in your child by following these tips. To learn more about what you can do to prevent cavities in children, book an appointment and talk with your dentist today.

 

gum disease

Talking to Your Kids About Gum Disease

There’s something about your child’s beautiful smile that can just make you melt. But you may not realize that as soon as your children get teeth, they become susceptible to gum disease. Although certain types of gum disease more prevalent in adults, children still can be affected by gum disease. Regular dental visits definitely help prevent gum disease, but it’s important for parents to start talking to kids about gum disease, encouraging good habits that can prevent gum disease and preserve that beautiful smile you love so much. Here’s some helpful information you can use to talk to kids about gum disease on a level they’ll understand.

Gum Disease – What is It?

Gum disease, which your dentist may call periodontal disease, is a type of inflammation that happens in the bone and tissues that are supporting your teeth. If you don’t have gum disease treated, it can make teeth become loose or even fall out. Usually the buildup of plaque, that sticky, invisible layer of germs that builds up on your gums and teeth, is the cause of gum disease. Since plaque has bacteria, or germs, in it, those germs can make toxins that hurt and irritate your gums. Hundreds of different types of germs live in the mouth, so it is always a battle to keep that plaque away.

Who is at Risk for Gum Disease?

Many different things can make you have a higher risk of gum disease. Sometimes people inherit the tendency to get gum disease from parents. The food choices you make also can increase your risk of getting gum disease. If you are grabbing unhealthy foods like sodas and snacks and you don’t brush soon after you eat, the sugar and starches in those food can actually eat away the enamel of your teeth. Wearing braces, some medical problems, and taking some medicines can increase your risk of developing gum disease.

What are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Gum disease can cause painful problems if you don’t treat it and prevent it. In fact, your teeth could fall out if gum disease is severe and not treated. It is important to know the most common signs of gum disease. Some of the signs you could have gum disease include:

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums (your gums should normally look firm and pink
  • Bad breath that you cannot get rid of
  • Bleeding gums that happens regularly when you floss or brush your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Signs of the gums pulling away from your teeth

If you notice any of these problems, you should tell your parents and you should visit your dentist. If gum disease is treated early, you can avoid bigger problems like tooth loss.

The Best Ways to Prevent Gum Disease

The great news is that in most cases, you can actually prevent gum disease. However, you have to start taking good care of your teeth now, while you are still a kid. Some important ways you can prevent gum disease include:

  • Make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes, which is around the length of a fun song. You also need to floss every day. You can ask your dentist to tell you how to floss and brush properly so you do the best possible job cleaning your teeth at home.
  • Make sure you are using toothpaste that has fluoride in it. You can also talk to your dentist about using a mouth rinse that has fluoride.
  • Eat healthy foods. Don’t eat too much sugar, which is found in junk foods and many snack foods. The germs in your mouth love sugar and feed on it, so you need to stick with healthier, low-sugar foods most of the time.
  • You should use a toothbrush that has soft bristles, since they are least likely to injure or irritate your gums. Your toothbrush should also be replaced every 3-4 months, since a toothbrush that is worn-out may actually cause injury to your gums.
  • Never smoke. Even if someone offers you cigarettes, don’t take them. Both cigarettes and chewing tobacco can be unhealthy for your teeth and gums, making you more likely to have gum disease.
  • Be sure you see your dentist twice a year for your regular cleanings and exams. This way hardened plaque and tartar that you’re not able to remove by brushing is removed from teeth, lowering your chance of getting gum disease.
floss properly

Teaching Your Children to Floss Properly

Health habits started early in life are hard to change – if you want your children to have good oral hygiene habits, start training your kids while they are young. One of the best dental health habits you can teach your child is how to floss properly.

Food particles and plaque can settle between the teeth, and this can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Flossing prevents tooth decay and reduces your child’s risk of developing gum disease. Flossing also removes plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly form on teeth.

Routine flossing also gives your child a moment to examine his or her mouth and learn about teeth and gums. Simply flossing teeth can make them appear brighter by removing tiny food particles and plaque that give teeth a dull, dirty appearance.

Teaching your children to floss properly is easier than you might think.

How to Teach Your Children to Floss Properly

Begin early. Start teaching your children to floss when their teeth are too close together for the bristle of a toothbrush to fit easily between them. This will be between the ages of 5 and 7 years old – some dental professionals recommend starting even sooner. Kids should be able to floss on their own by the time they are 9 years old. Developing the habit early in childhood increases the chances that your children will continue to floss throughout their entire adult lives.

Be prepared for an unenthusiastic response. Some children think flossing is fun. Other kids are not as captivated and they can lose interest after flossing between just one or two teeth.

Understand that kids often have sensitive gums, so flossing may be uncomfortable for them. This sensitivity goes away in time. While you do not want your children to associate flossing with discomfort, you do want to instill healthy flossing habits in your children while they are young. If you have a child with sensitive gums, encourage him or her to floss very gently but to still floss every day.

Remember that young children do not have the same coordination as older kids, so little ones may complain that flossing is too hard. Encourage your children to keep trying, and reassure your kids that flossing gets easier with time and practice.

Teach your child to examine his or her gums, teeth and tongue while flossing. Specifically, get your child into the habit of looking for redness, inflammation, or other signs of tooth and gum disease.

Show Your Child How to Floss Properly

Show your young child how to floss properly a few times as you teach him or her how to floss. Use good flossing practices.

Cut a short length of floss, about 18 inches will do. Pinch the floss between your thumb and index finger.

Wrap one end of the floss around the index finger of your right hand and the other around your left index finger.

Slide the floss between two teeth. Explain to your child that you should not push too hard or you might hurt your gums.

Pull both ends of the floss to curve it into the letter ‘C’ around a tooth. Slide the floss up and down gently along your tooth. Slide the floss down into your gum a little bit to remove food and plaque you cannot see.

Use a new section of floss for each tooth so you don’t move the food and plaque from one tooth to another.

Tips for Getting Your Kids Excited about Flossing

Flossing can be a fun family activity! Kids love a good example, so brush and floss your teeth alongside your wee ones.

Make flossing look like it is a lot of fun. Smile, make funny faces, play a song, and dance!

Try different colors and flavors of dental floss, and let each of your children pick on that they like. Fun flavors and colors makes flossing a bit more fun, and this will increase the chances that your children will maintain healthy flossing habits throughout their lives.

Use a flosser instead of traditional dental floss. A flosser is easier for many kids to manage. For best results, let your children pick out their own flossers; manufacturers now offer a variety of fun kid-friendly flossers.

Flossing can have lifelong dental health benefits. Teaching your children to floss properly at a young age can greatly improve their chances of having bright, healthy smiles for life.

 

Little girl in the dentist office

Does My Child Need Braces?

Whether your child needs braces or not is a question that should be answered by an experienced, orthodontist. However, there are quite a few signs that you may notice as a parent that could indicate braces are needed.

If orthodontic problems aren’t addressed properly and promptly, they can end up impacting your child’s oral health in a negative way. It’s important for parents to learn how to identify any early signs of orthodontic problems so you can get them in for an orthodontic consultation to determine if your child really does need braces.

Here’s a closer look at some of the main signs your child could need braces.

Sign #1 – Overbite

An overbite is the horizontal and vertical overlap of your child’s front teeth. While the overbite can vary, usually it is noticeable when your child’s front teeth are sticking out a lot farther than their bottom teeth are. If your child has an overbite, it can result in several oral health problems and issues, including:

  • An increased risk of fracturing their front teeth if an injury occurs
  • Complications when dental restorative work is done, such as veneers, cosmetic fillings, and crowns
  • High risk of trauma to your child’s front teeth

Sign #2 – Crowded Teeth

One of the most common signs your child may need to get braces is overcrowding of their teeth. This means there isn’t enough room in their mouth for all their teeth. If there isn’t enough room for their teeth, the teeth become crowded and cause teeth to become crooked. Crowding only gets worse as your child begins to grow older, and regular oral hygiene tasks like flossing and brushing can become very complicated. This means that teeth may not be cleaned properly since it takes more effort and time to clean crowded teeth.

If teeth are severely crowded, it may be nearly impossible to get some areas of the teeth clean. When this happens, plaque can build up, resulting in bad breath, tooth decay, bone loss around your child’s teeth, and gum disease.

Seeking orthodontic treatment for crowded teeth while your child is still young can help straighten and align their teeth. This will help prevent future oral health and pain problems, lowering their risk of problems like gum disease and cavities.

Sign #3 – Openbite

An openbite is a type of abnormal bite in which your child’s front teeth don’t touch at all. This may result in speech difficulties and problems, such as lisps, and may make it difficult to bite into food.

Sign #4 – Underbite

Another type of abnormal bite that can be a sign your child needs braces is an underbite, which occurs when the upper front teeth are behind your child’s lower front teeth. This can happen when a child has a disproportionate jaw size. An underbite that isn’t treated can result in problems chewing and biting, an imbalanced facial appearance, and faster facial aging as your child grows up.

Sign #5 – Crossbite

Crossbites are a type of abnormal bite in which your child’s upper tooth ends up behind a lower opposing tooth. A crossbite can cause your child many different problems, such as asymmetrical aw growth or excessive wear to these teeth. In some cases, the teeth may even fracture. Other problems associated with a crossbite include the inability to restore teeth that have been overly worn or fractured, as well as increased gum recession around the teeth affected by the crossbite.

Some of the other general signs that your child could need braces include:

  • Accidental biting of the roof of the mouth or the tongue
  • Jaws that make sounds or shift
  • Teeth and jaws that are not proportionate to the rest of your child’s face
  • Irregular, late, or early loss of the baby teeth
  • Problems biting or chewing their food

If your child has been experiencing any of these signs, it’s very important to have your child evaluated. An examination by an orthodontist can determine if your child’s bite is going to grow worse and whether they need to have orthodontic intervention. Your child’s teeth are important to his overall health, so if you’re worried about any potential problems, have them evaluated immediately. Then you can work with your dentist or orthodontist to determine if and when braces are the correct treatment.

child obesity with dental health

Combating Child Obesity with Dental Health

When you bring your child to the dentist, you expect to discuss things such as how to properly brush and floss, lifestyle changes that can help improve your child’s oral health, and even what foods are dangerous for your child’s teeth. What you don’t expect to discuss is childhood obesity, but that is what is happening in pediatric and general dental clinics all across the country.

Childhood Obesity has Reached Epidemic Levels

Even though childhood obesity has always existed at some level, it wasn’t until recent years that it became a huge nationwide problem. The Center for Disease Control suggests that the number of cases of childhood obesity has tripled since 1970.

Currently, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 children between the ages of 6 and 19 are dealing with childhood obesity. Many children that aren’t officially labeled as obese could be classified as “at-risk” and develop obesity in the future.

In an effort to combat childhood obesity, healthcare professionals are teaming up with dentists to help parents learn valuable information that will hopefully improve a child’s health. Examples of information that dentists can give parents that would prove valuable in the fight against childhood obesity include talking about what foods and drinks are healthy to eat and what foods and drinks should be avoided.

Dentists are in a Unique Position to Notice Children who are At-Risk for Childhood Obesity

Doctors are very limited in the information they have access to that can help determine what children may be at risk for childhood obesity. They can easily access information such as glucose levels, blood pressure, and weight, but other information, such as the types of foods that are consumed on a regular basis, aren’t so easily accessible. That is where dentists can come in and help.

Dentists are in a unique position to gain valuable information that can help determine if a child is at risk of developing childhood obesity. Children who consume large amounts of sugar often experience tooth loss, gingivitis, tooth decay, and cavities – all problems that are addressed by dentists.

Dentists who notice children have increased tooth decay and cavities may open up the discussion with the parent or caregiver about what types of foods are consumed. If the parent or caregiver indicates a preference for foods high in sugar or even unhealthy amounts of fats, the dentist may want to recommend health alternatives and even suggest they speak with the child’s doctor about the risk of developing childhood obesity.

What Exactly can Dentists Do to Fight Childhood Obesity?

The biggest thing dentists can do is to encourage children and parents to make healthy food choices and avoid sugary foods/drinks. Evidence suggests that when children start consuming large amounts of sugar at an early age, their body starts craving it. That craving results in the consumption of large amounts of sugar that could lead to increased risk of developing childhood obesity.

If the craving can be prevented from developing, children will engage in healthier lifestyle choices which will reduce their risk of childhood obesity. These lifestyle choices will continue into a child’s adult years and help them remain healthy for the rest of their life.

Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

Parents who want to set their child to make healthy lifestyle choices should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist can help give you the knowledge you need to properly care for your child’s teeth, make good food choices, and even learn what foods to avoid. The pediatric dentist can also help improve your child’s oral health with regular cleanings and preventative examinations.

If you live in the Orlando area and are looking for a pediatric dentist, consider Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. We have two locations that serve the Orlando area. Each of our two locations is dedicated to providing high quality dental care to children of all ages. We employ experienced staff who are trained to provide caring, compassionate, and gentle dental care to children. Our staff is also experienced in giving parents the information and knowledge they need to keep their children’s teeth and gums healthy.

Call us today to schedule an appointment for your child.

 

Little boy sitting in the dentists office

Does My Child Need Dental Caps?

Dental caps, also called dental crowns, are thin tooth-shaped porcelain covers for the teeth. The main goal for dental caps is restoring full use of the tooth, and sometimes enhancing tooth appearance in adults. In children, caps may sometimes be necessary when a child still has their baby teeth if their teeth are damaged.

When Does Your Child Need Caps?

There are several different situations in which your dentist may recommend dental caps for children. If your child has a large cavity in one of their baby teeth, if a tooth has been cracked, or if a tooth has been otherwise damaged, a dental cap might just be the best way to preserve the tooth until it’s lost naturally. If your child has a tooth problem that is preventing them from using their tooth normally — or a problem which puts the rest of the teeth and mouth at risk — a dental cap may simply be the best way to maintain your child’s dental health.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Caps For Your Child?

Dental caps have a number of advantages. They can give the tooth a stronger surface than that of baby teeth. The natural enamel on your child’s baby teeth isn’t nearly as thick as the enamel that their permanent teeth will have. This means that tooth decay can transfer easily from one baby tooth to the next. Caps protect the damaged baby tooth and keep the decay from moving into the other teeth.

Dental caps are the best possible way to bring a tooth back to its original state. This means that your child’s newly capped tooth will be able to be used just like it was before the damage occurred. The cap will also help the tooth continue to act as a placeholder until the permanent tooth erupts.

When a baby tooth is damaged, it can be challenging for your child to speak normally. With the new cap, your child can avoid speech problems that might otherwise arise.

One of the most important advantages of having caps on damaged baby teeth is that your child can chew and eat normally. In many cases, young children can be a bit hard on their teeth — and that might even be the reason for the original damage. With a new cap in place, a child’s natural tendency towards chewing with great vigor isn’t going to cause further harm.

Which Type of Dental Cap is Needed?

The exact type of cap needed will vary based on your child’s own unique needs. Some options that our Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida might recommend include:

  • Tooth Colored Caps: Tooth-colored caps are made from porcelain or porcelain composite. They’re ultra strong, and they’re the most natural looking of the cap options because they match your child’s natural tooth color. This type of cap may be best if your child needs a cap for a very visible front tooth.
  • Porcelain Fused Caps: Porcelain fused caps have two parts, the metal base and the porcelain that is fused to the top of it. This type of cap is extremely durable because of the metal base, but it still offers the aesthetic appeal of a tooth-colored porcelain on top. As with porcelain caps, porcelain fused caps are most often used for the more visible front teeth.
  • Steel Caps: Steel caps are the most common kind of cap for baby teeth. The steel can be made for any size or shape of a tooth, just as the other options can. Steel caps are extremely strong and protect the tooth very well. However, they’re most often used only in the back of the mouth. The reason for this is that steel caps aren’t the same color as the natural tooth and thus aren’t as aesthetically desirable as porcelain and porcelain fused caps. The main advantage that steel caps offer is their cost — they’re the cheapest option.

Does your child need dental caps? Your pediatric dentist should always be the ultimate authority on this matter, and we at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida pride ourselves on offering the very best in children’s dentistry today. Contact us anytime to learn more about caps for your child!

 

what are teeth made out of

What are Teeth Made Out Of?

Many people think that teeth are a type of bone, but the truth is that your teeth are far stronger than your bones. In fact, this is probably why it’s very common for archaeologists to find more teeth than they do bones when they’re doing excavations. Your teeth withstand a lot of pressure when you’re chewing up food, and they have to be tough to hold up under years of tearing and chewing your food. Of course, teeth also play an important role in your speech as well. How do your teeth hold up so well? What are they made of? Here’s a closer look at the parts of your teeth and what they’re made out of.

Every tooth is actually made up of several different parts, and those parts are made out of different things. The parts of your teeth are:

  • Enamel – Enamel is the outer, white layer of your tooth that you can see. It’s the hardest part of your tooth and it’s mainly made out of calcium phosphate, which is a rock-hard mineral. The enamel is designed to hold up under the pressure of chewing throughout your life. However, even though it’s made of this hard mineral, it’s not impervious. Acids created from bacteria can break down enamel and a blunt trauma can also crack your enamel. Unfortunately, your tooth enamel doesn’t regenerate itself like your bones do, so you need a dentist to take care of the problem if your tooth enamel is damaged.
  • Dentin – Below your enamel is the dentin, which is a hard tissue that has microscopic little tubes. If your enamel sustains damage, cold or heat may enter the tooth through these little tubes, resulting in pain or sensitivity.
  • Pulp – The pulp is a living, soft inner structure of your tooth and nerves and blood vessels run through the pulp. These blood vessels and nerves are connected to your jaw bone. This is a very delicate part of the tooth, and if anything gets to the pulp layer, you’ll likely feel a lot of pain.
  • Cementum – The cementum is a layer of connective tissue binding a tooth’s root to the jawbone and gums.
  • Periodontal Ligament – This is a type of tissue that works to make sure teeth are held tightly against your jaw bone.

Within your mouth, adults usually have 32 teeth. These teeth include:

  • Incisors – These are the four teeth located right in the middle of your lower and upper jaws
  • Canines – You have four canines, and these are the pointed teeth that are on the outside of your incisors
  • Premolars – You have eight premolars that are between your molars and your canines
  • Molars – Molars are the flat teeth that are located near the rear of your mouth. You have eight of them and they are the best teeth for grinding up your food when you chew.
  • Wisdom Teeth – Sometimes referred to as the third molars, these four teeth are in the very back of your mouth. Usually they don’t grow into until you’re an adult, but in many cases, they have to be removed to avoid tooth displacement or due to other problems they cause in the mouth.

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Even though your teeth have that tough outer layer of enamel that’s so tough and hard, it doesn’t hold up to everything. You have to take measures to keep your teeth healthy if you want them to last a lifetime. Your teeth are hard, but they are still made up of natural elements. Tooth decay and other oral health problems can make your enamel start wearing away, which leaves the softer layers of the teeth are left open to infection and other problems. Routine brushing and flossing can go a long way to keeping that outer layer of enamel healthy. It’s also important to make sure you have regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist to keep teeth strong. Don’t let that tough layer of enamel wear away and cause you oral health problems. Book your checkup with the dentist today to make sure you keep your teeth healthy and strong.

 

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