Maitland Pediatric Dentistry

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.

 

Girl holding model of human jaw with dental braces

When to Start Considering Braces for Your Child

Orthodontic experts recommend that children be screened for braces between their 7th and 8th birthday. This is the recommended age because the child’s permanent first molars and the child’s upper and lower incisors have recently erupted or will soon erupt. At Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, we know the importance of a healthy, vibrant smile. For this reason, our pediatric dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida provide an orthodontic screening at each routine visit.

Issues That May Affect the Teeth and Jaw

Some of the issues that may lead to the need for braces include variances in jaw development and tooth eruption patterns as well as habits like thumb/finger sucking, pacifier use and/or prolonged bottle use.

Oral Health Issues Braces Can Address

Braces can address a variety of oral health issues, including gaps, crooked/overcrowded teeth, an overbite (upper teeth are somewhat forward, which causes them to bite over the lower teeth), an underbite (lower teeth are somewhat forward, causing them to stick out further than the upper teeth do), an open bite (some of the teeth are unable to properly touch one another) and a crossbite (misaligned upper and lower teeth).

Correcting Oral Health Issues is Essential

Fixing the oral health issues listed above provide your child with an array of benefits. For example, studies show that people who have healthier smiles are more confident and enjoy added success in relation to work and in their communities. However, correcting these issues addresses more than just the appearance of your child’s teeth.

Having straight teeth also makes it easier to speak properly (clearly), prevents chipped teeth and/or sore jaw muscles due to unnecessary pressure being placed on specific teeth. It is easier to clean straight teeth as well, which means the onset of cavities or decay is less likely.

The Ideal Time for Braces Depends on the Issue Being Addressed

Each patient is unique, which is why an orthodontic evaluation is the best way to determine if or when your child needs braces. Sometimes, just monitoring the growth and development of the jaw, and teeth is recommended. Other times, to achieve the best results possible, treatment may be necessary right away. As pediatric dentists, we are familiar with the expected development of the jaw and teeth.

Issues that May Warrant Early Intervention

Early treatment may be necessary if your child has any of these problems before all of his or her permanent teeth have erupted: severe overcrowding; bite problems; an issue related to the eruption of his or her permanent teeth; unnecessary additional teeth; or missing teeth.

Potential benefits of early treatment include the ability to guide jaw growth, correct oral habits that are harming the teeth, lower the risk of a trauma occurring to protruding front teeth, enhance your child’s smile and improve the function of your child’s bite.

In some cases, early orthodontic treatment may actually prevent a future problem from developing, decrease the amount of time that treatment is necessary when the child is older, make future any treatment less complicated or avoid the need for future treatment altogether. Moreover, there are situations when an orthodontist must address issues as the face and jaws are still forming. With the benefit of early, routine orthodontic evaluations at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, you provide your child with his or her best chance for a healthy, vibrant smile.

Early Treatment is Not Always Necessary

Conversely, there might be problems that early treatment cannot address or a problem that does not warrant immediate treatment. In these cases, orthodontic treatment may be delayed until the child’s permanent teeth have erupted.

Generally speaking, there is not one answer as to the time it is best for a child to get braces. However, at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, there is no need for you to worry because we are evaluating your child’s jaw and teeth for orthodontic issues at every appointment. If your child is in need of dental care, contact one of our offices today. At each of our locations, we offer a warm, friendly environment that is designed with children in mind. If you would like to schedule an appointment at our St. Cloud, Fla. office, please call 407-593-8900 or, for our Maitland, Fla. office, please call 407-628-2286.

 

Close up of boy having his teeth examined by a dentist

Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

A warm welcome creates an indelible first impression, and we offer it with sincere appreciation every time you come to us for your child’s dental care. We specialize in gentle dentistry for children, and we make our office a comfortable home of professional expertise.

As you may know, training for pediatric dentists takes longer than for family dentists. We use the extra preparation time to learn the best way to provide the gentle and enthusiastic dental care that children need.

Preparing for the First Visit

Anticipating any occasion may bring an enthusiasm that is fun to share, and we know that children can enjoy it as thoroughly as adults. Showing your enthusiasm for a trip to the dentist with your child can be a joy to share as well. Casually talking about it at home can build interest in seeing something new or going to a new place. The first visit is usually just an opportunity for us to meet your child on a personal and eye-to-eye level.

We respect a child’s right to be the focus of our attention, and we enjoy interacting with each one. During the visit, we show your child that the dental chair goes up and down, and you may choose to enjoy the ride too. We like to show a tool that we may use in a regular visit and explain what it does. We take a look inside the mouth to “count” the teeth and assess the soft and hard tissues, and we listen to any of your concerns.

 Stopping by to See the Office

We welcome you to stop by at any time that you are near either of our convenient locations. You do not need an appointment to take a look at our office and the comfortable environment that we create for children. You can enjoy seeing the relaxed setting that we provide with our multicolored van, codfish tank, or colorful office decorations.

 Enjoying Role-playing at Home

Your creative imagination can set the stage for your child’s first visit by pretending and role-playing. A picture book can give a child an idea of what to expect, but active participation may be especially effective. Letting your child play “dentist” by inspecting the mouth of a stuffed animal can help turn a visit into a happy occasion.

 Encouraging Praise and Distraction

We love to learn about your child’s favorite things and talk about them during each visit. Our goal is to present an atmosphere of safety and security that makes children feel comfortable in a new environment while we do our work. We praise them for everything that they do during the exam. As we distract their attention, we perform our job quickly and efficiently.

We invite you to participate in every phase of your child’s first visit. Your presence in the room has the most comforting and reassuring effect on your child, and we welcome it. When your child sees that you have a warm and friendly relationship with us, it creates a comfortable and pleasant situation.

 Choosing Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida

We are an award-winning pediatric dental health practice in the Orlando area. Our dedication to enthusiastically providing gentle and expert dental care is a commitment that motivates us every day. We have two locations that make access to one of our offices convenient for you.

We love what we do, and we have a genuine love and concern for children. Showing compassion with gentleness is a standard that we observe with pride, and we welcome your child with kindness and excitement. The playful atmosphere, cartoons, and fun decals on our office walls help ensure relaxation and confidence.

Our pediatric dentists and orthodontist have received recognition for notable achievement in training and practice, and we bring our dedicated commitment to excellence to meeting the needs of your children. In addition to routine care, we provide immediate response to emergencies when your child has a toothache, gets a tooth knocked out, or experiences a crown fracture. Our interest and attention extend from infancy through the teenage years, and it starts with your child’s first dental visit. We welcome the opportunity to meet you and your child when you choose us as your pediatric dentist.

Baseball Kids, Happy

Healthy Snacks for Kids On the Go

Having kids means constantly being on the go. Whether you’re carting them to and from school, sports, clubs, or friends’ houses, it’s incredible that you even find time to eat! Since it’s not always so easy to plan for what life with kids can throw your way, we wanted to share some healthy go-to snack options to keep on hand for those hectic days!

• Granola bars. Don’t be fooled by the non-nutritional granola bars stuffed with sugar. Look for low-sugar, high-fiber granola bars. Even the healthy granola bars can stick to your teeth, so be sure to have water on hand at all times to wash it down.
• Cheerios or other low-sugar, high-fiber cereal. Throw a bag or box of this cereal in your car for a healthy snack that will satisfy a hungry belly.
• String cheese. String cheese is not only nutritious and delicious but is fun for kids to eat! Grab one or two out of the fridge on your way out the door.
• Applesauce. Those small cups of applesauce can really come in handy when your child has a sweet craving while you’re out and about.

As your pediatric dentist here in Maitland we hope that your child enjoys some of the healthy snacks we’ve listed above. Should you have any inquiries regarding your child’s dental health, please don’t hesitate to contact Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida today.

Family rolling in grass together outside home

Spring into Action with Your Kids

Spring is officially in full swing and as your pediatric dentist we hope that you and your kids are making the most of it! While little teeth are our specialty, we know that healthy teeth belong to healthy little bodies. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in Central Florida, so we shared a few outdoor activities below that the whole family can enjoy.

If you’re looking to put down the game controllers and stretch out those legs under the Florida sun, consider the following outdoor activities:

• Four square. Don’t remember the last time you played? Get out the chalk and the kickball and kick start this classic playground game. You’ll be at the king square in no time!
• Beanbag toss. Beanbag toss or corn hole is becoming a popular backyard activity because anyone can play! You can build the boards yourself or buy them right from a local store.
• Broom hockey. Grab a couple of brooms and a tennis ball, and you’ve got yourself a new sport! Whether you stay on foot or strap on your rollerblades, broom hockey is sure to get your kids excited!

No matter which activities you participate in this spring, at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida we hope that you and your kids enjoy some quality time in the beautiful weather. When you’re not busy rough-housing in the dirt, contact our office to schedule your child’s next dental checkup.

Happy girl with braces and thumbs up

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics Under One Roof!

At Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida we are proud to not only offer exceptional pediatric dental care, but also outstanding orthodontic care! Right here in our Maitland office, you will find our very own wonderful in-house orthodontist, Dr. John Smith.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by the age of seven in order to evaluate their development. Both science and history suggest that making small corrections now can result in less need for orthodontic care down the road. As pediatric dentists, Dr. Bertot and Dr. Mansour are qualified to identify any foreseeable developmental problems, and therefore perform an orthodontic evaluation during each routine visit. Should Dr. Mansour or Dr. Bertot identify any developing issues, they will refer your child to the care of Dr. Smith. However, because of our comprehensive level of care, children don’t typically require the help of an orthodontist until the beginning of permanent dentition which typically occurs around eleven or twelve years of age.

When you choose Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida to care for your child’s dental health, you’re choosing an entire team of professional and knowledgeable dental health professionals. If you’re interested in learning more about orthodontics in Maitland, FL, don’t hesitate to contact our office today. We look forward to providing your child with the best possible dental care!