Orlando pediatric dentistry

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.

 

Little cute baby sleeping

How to Put an End to Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking may seem harmless, but it can cause significant issues for your child’s teeth. As your little one sucks his or her thumb, it places pressure on the upper palate and front teeth. This pressure can be especially detrimental as your little one’s palate is developing. In addition, although thumb sucking has the most negative impact on permanent teeth, its effects on primary teeth can also be alarming, since the primary teeth serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth that will eventually erupt.

Over time, if thumb sucking is allowed to continue, it can cause a child’s upper palate to narrow. When this occurs, the side teeth of the top and bottom palates fail to meet when the child’s mouth is closed. In addition, sucking a thumb can encourage the top front teeth to buck forward and develop an interdental gap.

The alignment and bite issues associated with thumb sucking may be corrected through orthodontic applications, such as conventional braces. However, the issues could be avoided if thumb sucking is stopped early enough. Here are a few measures you can take to put an end to your child’s thumb sucking.

Provide small toys to occupy little hands.

As long as your little one’s hands are busy exploring and playing, his or her thumbs are unavailable for sucking. Small toys and interesting objects with various shapes and textures can be fun to touch. Keep items handy and offer them to your child any time you notice the youngster sucking a thumb.

Offer the little one sugarless gum or a healthy snack.

When a child sucks a thumb, the thumb is generally the sole object in the child’s mouth. By giving your child a healthy substance to occupy the oral cavity, you can eliminate a thumb-sucking opportunity.

Sugarless gum and healthy raw fruits and veggies can promote good oral health. As your child chews gum, the sticky substance can help cleanse food particles and plaque from the teeth. Likewise, the fibrous consistency of raw fruits and vegetables also scrapes debris from the teeth.

Minimize your child’s stress.

Children often suck their thumbs during periods of stress. The sucking soothes a child, helping him or her cope with the uncertainty of a stressful situation. Minimizing your child’s stress can help diminish the desire for thumb-sucking.

To help alleviate your little one’s stress, try to keep your child’s schedule as consistent as possible. In addition, prepare your child for new experiences by discussing upcoming plans beforehand. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or toy, allow the youngster to take the item along on outings to help the child feel less insecure during periods of uncertainty. Also, be sure that your little one gets adequate amounts of rest.

Praise your child.

If your child is like most little ones, he or she responds well to praise. Instead of scolding your child for thumb sucking, offer praise whenever the youngster refrains from the practice. Your child’s desire to please you can motivate the youngster to overcome the thumb-sucking habit.

Coat your child’s thumb with an unsavory substance.

To discourage your child from placing a thumb in his or her mouth, consider coating the little one’s thumb with a distasteful substance, such as vinegar. The child will be unable to engage in thumb sucking without tasting the unsavory coating. If you are unsure about what type of substance to apply to your child’s thumb, you can purchase an over-the-counter coating designed to discourage the habit. Commercial products are generally non-toxic and bitter-tasting.  

Place a glove over your little one’s hand as he or she sleeps.

Many children suck their thumbs while they sleep. To help diminish your child’s dependence on thumb sucking, place a glove over the child’s hand during periods of rest. The child is unlikely to suck on a fabric-covered thumb.

It is important to encourage your child to stop sucking their thumbs before their permanent teeth start to present. However, the earlier that thumb sucking is stopped, the better your child’s chances of avoiding negative repercussions from the practice.

To learn more ways to put an end to thumb sucking, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Happy toddler girl sticking her tongue out in front of a chalkboard

Why Your Child Should Brush Their Tongue

It’s important to work on establishing good oral hygiene habits while your child is young, including regular brushing and flossing. Since it’s often a struggle to get kids to take care of these tasks, you may not have thought beyond your child’s teeth to their tongue. Brushing is definitely important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease, but it’s not enough to get rid of most of the harmful bacteria found in your child’s mouth. You need to think beyond the teeth and gums to your child’s tongue.

The Importance of Cleaning the Tongue

Why is it so important for your child to clean his tongue regularly? The tongue is actually the part of the mouth that harbors most of the bacteria. Bacteria from your mouth and from the foods and drinks you take in can live and breed on the tongue’s rough surface. When your child brushes his teeth, it does eliminate the bacteria that adheres to dental enamel. However, all the bacteria left on the tongue can just transfer to the teeth once again in just a few hours.

Since the tongue has such a rough surface, bacteria can easily hide within the nooks and crannies of your tongue. When you remove this bacteria by brushing or otherwise cleaning the tongue, you prevent bacteria from spreading back to your teeth. Cleaning the tongue also helps to prevent problems with bad breath.

Brushing Techniques for Brushing the Tongue

After brushing the teeth, a toothbrush can then be used to gently brush the tongue. Since a thin layer of mucus often keeps food particles and bacteria trapped on the tongue. When you brush the tongue, use a little bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush and carefully brush the top of your tongue. Begin by brushing at the back of your tongue and then work the toothbrush forward. The entire top of the tongue should be brushed gently, and once you’re done, you need to rinse with water.

Using a Tongue Scraper

If you want to make sure that your child cleans the tongue even more thoroughly, then going with a tongue scraper is a great idea. Tongue scrapers are generally made out of flexible, soft plastic that works to gently scrape away the mucus-based layer of bacteria and debris from your tongue. It should be scraped across the tongue gently, slowly, and with light pressure. After every swipe of your tongue, it’s important to make sure it’s rinsed under warm water. If your child ends up with a sore tongue or a bleeding tongue, then too much force is being applied when the scraper is used. Since most of the odor-causing bacteria is actually found on the center of the tongue, scraping some especially concentrate on cleaning the center of the tongue.

How Often Should You Clean the Tongue?

How often should your child be cleaning his tongue, whether he brushes it or uses a tongue scraper? It’s a good idea to clean the tongue after every brushing. It’s a great way to wrap up a dental hygiene routine. However, at a minimum, the tongue should be cleaned twice a day – in the morning and before going to bed at night. Kids who have problems with a dry mouth may want to clean the tongue more often to help prevent problems. After cleaning the tongue, it’s a great idea to have kids use a good mouthwash rinse to kill additional bacteria while moisturizing the mouth.

Remember, ensuring your child has fresh breath and good oral health goes beyond simply brushing the teeth. It’s important to get your child in the habit of cleaning the tongue as well. This removes bacteria, improves oral health, and keeps breath fresh as well.

For more information on the best oral hygiene practices for your children or to set up an appointment for your child, give our office a call today at the practice closest to you. We’re happy to work with you and your child to ensure your child has a healthy, beautiful smile for life.

Kid with double row of teeth

What Are Your Teeth Made Out Of?

Kids have a great sense of curiosity, and they can ask really tough questions. They constantly wonder about the world around them and how things work. When it comes to teeth, your child may wonder what they are made of. Here is a bit of information to help with the answer.

What are human teeth made out of?

Teeth are actually quite complicated. However, their basic construction is designed in layers. Instead of a tooth being one solid structure, it is actually several different layers of material.

The outermost layer is the one that your child sees as he or she peers into a mirror. It is called enamel and is a hard material that includes minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus. Enamel surrounds the crown of a tooth, which is the portion that lies above the gum line. Below the gums, the outermost portion of the tooth is called cementum. It coats the roots of the teeth.

The second layer of tooth material is called dentin. Dentin is quite hard, but it is not as hard as enamel. Slightly yellow in appearance, dentin helps the teeth stay protected from hot and cold temperatures. In addition, it supports the enamel of the tooth and helps protect the innermost tooth layer, which is called the pulp.

The pulp of a tooth includes the blood vessels and dental nerves. Instead of the material being hard like dentin or enamel, the pulp is very soft. Like the dentin, the pulp resides both above and below the gums.

Are teeth just oddly shaped bones?

Teeth are similar to bones, so your child may compare the two. Both have a white appearance and are quite strong. Also, they have a soft center and contain some of the same minerals. Nevertheless, teeth and bones not the same.

In teeth, only the secondary layer, or dentin, includes collagen. Collagen is a specialized tissue that helps bones withstand the shock of impact and grow properly. Bones include collagen throughout their entire structure. Also, tooth material is stronger than bone. In fact, tooth enamel is harder than any other tissue of the body.

How do the things that your child eats affect the health of his or her teeth?

Your child may wonder how the things that he or she eats and drinks affect the teeth. Some of the foods or drink that your child consumes contain minerals, including phosphorous and calcium, to keep the tooth enamel strong and hard.

The acidity of foods and beverages also have an impact on the teeth. Items that are highly acidic can demineralize the teeth to cause tooth decay. Acids dissolve calcium, phosphorus and other minerals within the enamel, promoting the formation of holes or cavities. However, just as there are acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits and sodas, there are items, such as milk, which help neutralize acids in the mouth.

In addition, foods and drinks that contain fluoride can help maintain your child’s teeth. When your child ingests fluoride, it coats his or her teeth. Fluoride then draws displaced minerals back to the enamel and combines with them. The new combination becomes a new tooth material that is actually more resistant to acid-based decay than your child’s original enamel. Fluoride is often present in drinking water.

Do every person’s teeth react the same?

Some people have thicker and stronger bones than others. Likewise, teeth can differ from one person’s mouth to another’s. What a person eats, the amount of saliva in their mouth, how they care for their teeth and even the number of cracks and crevices within the teeth can affect the strength and decay resistance of a tooth. Although some factors, such as the number of grooves in a tooth, are beyond your child’s realm of influence, other factors that affect the teeth, such as dental hygiene, are well within his or her control.

To help ensure that your child’s teeth remain as healthy as possible, be sure that the little one visits our office regularly for preventive and restorative care. To make an appointment contact us today.

 

Brushing teeth

Preventing Cavities in Children

Cavities are a common problem in children, and over 50% of children will have a cavity by the time they reach second grade. However, while childhood cavities are a common and serious problem, they can be prevented. Taking measures to prevent cavities in baby teeth is important, and it helps build good oral habits so children keep adult teeth healthy too. Here’s a closer look at some important tips for preventing cavities in your children’s teeth.

Start with Good Pre-Natal Oral Health

It’s important for pregnant moms to take good care of their own oral health. This includes practicing good oral hygiene each day and having regular dental exams. Doing so helps to prevent the transmission of cavity germs to your baby. Good oral health is also important in the parents of babies and toddlers, since those cavity germs can be transferred to your baby. Make sure you’re not sharing utensils with your baby or cleaning off a pacifier using your mouth.

Begin Caring for Gums Young

Even before your child’s teeth appear, you should start caring for his gums. The inside of the mouth and gums should be wiped gently each day, particularly before bed and after feedings. This can be done with a warm, damp, clean cloth.

Start Brushing When the First Tooth Appears

When that very first tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing your child’s tooth. You can begin with a smear or toothpaste with fluoride and a baby size, soft toothbrush. For children between the ages of 2 and 5, you can help your child brush and give them a “pea size” amount of toothpaste. Brushing right away is important, and starting young will help your child build good oral health habits that prevent cavities.

Understand the Importance of a Healthy Diet

The food choices and eating patterns of your child can affect whether they develop cavities. If your child’s diet doesn’t have the right nutrients, it can be tougher for the tissues of the mouth to resist infection. Some research shows that disease, including dental caries, can progress faster and be more serious in individuals who have nutrient-poor diets.

It’s important to choose foods carefully. Many foods contain sugars, even if you don’t suspect they would, including bread, milk, and cereals. Teach your child to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet that includes the five food groups. Snacking should be limited, since the more often your child eats, the longer foods stay in the mouth and the more potential there is for tooth damage.

Skip the Fruit Juices

Fruit juices come with more calories than fruit and none of the important fiber. Many have added sugars as well. Many parents give their kids fruit juices thinking they are making a healthy choice. However, all those sugars can result in cavities. Kids shouldn’t have more than 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juice each day between the ages of one and six. If you do give juice, it’s a good idea to water it down.

Fight Cavities with Fluoride

Fluoride offers some great benefits for children. It can help to protect your child’s tooth enamel, helping it resist the bacteria and acid that can cause tooth decay. Drinking water that has fluoride can be very beneficial for kids, as can other fluoride products, such as fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes. If your water doesn’t contain fluoride, talk to your dentists about dietary fluoride supplements, and always talk to a dentist about using fluoride in kids younger than age two.

Talk to Your Pediatric Dentists About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants can offer a great way to prevent cavities, and they’re specifically used on the molars. It’s easy for food and bacteria to get stuck in the grooves and pits on the molars, and sometimes even brushing doesn’t remove them all easily. By covering these surfaces with sealants, food and bacteria can be prevented from falling into grooves and pits, reducing the chance of cavities in these areas. Sealants can be applied to these teeth as soon as they grow in.

Get Those Regular Dental Checkups In

Of course, regular dental checkups are also essential to prevent cavities. Your child needs regularly exams and cleanings. During a routine visit, dentists will eliminate dental plaque, check the teeth for any signs of tooth decay, help you and your child learn more about proper dental hygiene, and more. Keep up with these appointments and you’ll reduce your child’s risk of developing cavities.

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.