Pediatric Dentist Orlando

Scheduling Your Baby’s First Dental Visit

Scheduling Your Baby’s First Dental Visit

There’s something so special about a baby’s first smile. It melts your heart. You’d do anything to see that smile again and again. One of the most important things you can do to keep your child smiling is to make sure they have healthy teeth and gums. This not only includes helping your child develop a good oral care routine while they’re young, but it also ensures they get the dental care needed. During teething, parents often wonder when they should schedule their baby’s first dental visit, how to prepare, and what to expect. We’ve answered your most important questions on scheduling your baby’s first dental visit.


When to Make the First Appointment

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s essential for your baby to have the first dental visit by age one or within six months after that first tooth is in. It’s best not to wait after their first birthday. 


What to Expect from Your Baby’s First Visit

That first visit is more about getting your child used to the office. These appointments are usually quick and straightforward. Your pediatric dentist will want to count your baby’s teeth and examine them for any signs of decay. The dentist will do a quick check of your baby’s bite and look for any potential problems with the jaws, gums, or other oral tissues. Don’t worry if your baby fusses or cries a bit. Dentists that work with children regularly understand that your baby is having a new experience, and they’ll work with you to keep your baby as happy and comfortable as possible. 

One of the best things about getting to that first dental visit is that your dentist can offer you plenty of information on teething, feeding practices, developing good oral hygiene habits and more. You’ll also find out when it’s best to schedule the next appointment for your child.


Preparing Your Baby for the Dentist’s Office

Most babies aren’t thrilled with strangers touching them or holding them, so it’s a good idea to work on preparing your baby for that first visit to the dentist’s office. Even though your baby may not even be talking yet, it’s a great idea to look at dental picture books for kids together or read your baby a simple story about going to the dentist. You can also practice counting and examining your baby’s teeth so they get used to fingers being in their mouth. Parents may also want to prepare for the appointment by filling out any necessary forms ahead of the visit. It’s often simpler to deal with forms at home instead of trying to deal with them when you have your baby at the dentist.


A Few Tips to Remember for the Best Visit

You’ll want to take a few measures to ensure that your baby has the best possible first visit. A few tips that can help keep the dental visit hassle-free include: 

  • Tip #1 – Avoid scheduling the dental appointment during your child’s naptime. 
  • Tip #2 – Make sure your baby eats before having that visit so they won’t be hungry and cranky during the exam.
  • Tip #3 – Work to make sure you’re calm and look at the appointment as a fun and happy experience. If you’re anxious, your baby may notice.
  • Tip #4 – Write down any questions you want to ask the dentist. 
  • Tip #5 – Be sure to have a list of any medications your baby is taking.


The experienced pediatric dentistry team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is dedicated to compassionate and gentle dental care for kids, along with great support for parents. You can arrange your child’s appointment at one of the two convenient locations in the Orlando area through the online contact form or by calling the Maitland office at (407) 628-2286 or the St. Cloud office at (407) 593-8900 today. The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida team looks forward to seeing you and your child soon!

tooth fairy

Celebrate Tooth Fairy Day: The History of the Tooth Fairy

When compared with the other central figures associated with children’s mythology in America, the origins of the Tooth Fairy are somewhat mysterious. You know that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were brought about via a combination of pagan and Christian traditions; however, for the most part, the origins of the Tooth Fairy are somewhat of a mystery.

Celebrate Tooth Fairy Day: The History of the Tooth Fairy

A Radio Series Leads to Increased Curiosity About the Tooth Fairy

In the 1970s, a Chicago radio disc jockey (DJ) by the name of Dick Orkin created a radio series entitled “The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy.” These broadcasts ignited the curiosity of those listening and the American Dental Association (ADA) was flooded with calls requesting more information about this intriguing character; however, at that time, even the ADA was lacking information related to this mythical sprite.

Professor Rosemary Wells Begins an Investigation

At around the same time as Dick Orkin’s broadcasts, a professor at Northwestern University Dental School became intrigued with the Tooth Fairy. Professor Rosemary Wells wanted to know what prompted children to begin the practice of placing their lost baby teeth under their pillows. And why did they think these teeth would be replaced with money?  A decade after her research began, Professor Wells had become the world’s expert on the Tooth Fairy. She even opened a museum dedicated to this beloved dental sprite: Much of the information that is available today was gathered by Professor Wells.

How Old is the Tooth Fairy?

The first known print reference of the Tooth Fairy in America can be found in the Sept. 27, 1908, edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune. The author, Lillian Brown, discusses how a child will allow the removal of a loose tooth if he/she is informed about the Tooth Fairy.

The first print appearance of the Tooth Fairy occurred in 1927. This initial depiction was created for Esther Watkins Arnold’s book, “The Tooth Fairy: Three-act playlet for children” and the oldest verbal references can be traced back to the 20th Century. When compared to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy herself is just a mere babe.

Traditions From Around the Globe Influenced the American Tooth Fairy

The American Tooth Fairy is most-likely based on a combination of creatures from around the globe who are believed to carefully exchange cash for teeth as a child sleeps as well as on the typical, European fairy.

Traditions from around the world:

  • The 18th Century bedtime story, “La Bonne Petite Souris,” conveys the tale of a fairy who transforms herself into a mouse so she can help a queen conquer an evil king. The mouse hides under the king’s pillow and is eventually able to conquer him by knocking out his teeth.
  • In Italy, a tiny mouse named Topolino serves as the Tooth Fairy. In French-speaking Belgium and France, a mouse also serves as the Tooth Fairy, this mouse is referred to as ‘la petite souris’ (i.e., the little mouse).
  • Lowland Scotland’s tradition includes a white fairy rat who uses coins to purchase children’s teeth.

It is easy to see how some of these other traditions influenced America’s modern-day Tooth Fairy. Today, the Tooth Fairy can be found in children’s books, on television programs and in movies. Specialty pillows that have their own ‘tooth-holding pockets’ are now available. These pillows can be placed on the nightstand next to the bed or even hung on the doorknob. Each of these pillows is specifically designed to make swapping out a tooth for cash easier than ever before.

Finding a pediatric dentist that can provide kind, gentle dental care is essential. At Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, we are dedicated to providing your child with personalized care to ensure he/she remains comfortable throughout treatment. If your child needs a dentist, contact us today by clicking here or calling one of our offices at 407.593.8900 (St. Cloud) or 407.628.2286 (Maitland). When you choose Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida, you know that your child will receive high-quality dental care from dedicated, experienced professionals.


Talking to Your Teens About the Dangers of E-Cigarettes

Vaping devices like e-cigarettes have quickly risen in popularity, particularly among young people. While teens may see vaping as a harmless, fun social experience, there are dangers to using e-cigarettes. With vaping products available in dessert, candy, and fruit flavors, it seems like a great way for kids to be ‘cool’ these days. Unfortunately, according to the CDC, e-cigarette use among teens has now become a public health concern since tobacco use during the teen years can lead to a lifetime nicotine addiction.

It’s important for parents to take action to protect the health of their teens, both now and in the future. Here’s a helpful guide that can help you prepare yourself to discuss the dangers of e-cigarette use with your teen.

Before You Have the Talk

Having this type of talk with your teen isn’t easy, so the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re armed with the facts on e-cigarettes yourself. Make sure you have credible information to present to them, which can be found at websites like or the Center for Disease Control website.

It’s also important to remember that you want to have a conversation with your teen – this isn’t the time for a lecture. Setting a positive example for your teen is also essential. Don’t use tobacco products, and if you do, it’s the perfect time to quit.

Starting the Conversation

For the best results, you’ll want to have a natural conversation with your teen. Start out with the phrase, “We need to talk,” and your teen will instantly have their guard up. Wait for the right moment, such as when you pass an e-cigarette shop, you see an ad for e-cigarettes, or you see someone using one.

While it’s important to talk to your teen yourself, you may also want to ask others for support. Coaches, counselors, relatives, teachers, and healthcare providers can all help reinforce the message you want to get out to your teen.

Facts About E-cigarette Use Among Teens

What exactly are the dangers of e-cigarette use for teens? Here’s a closer look at some of the facts that you can use when you talk to your teen.

  • E-Cigs Aren’t Risk-Free – While teens often look at vaping as less harmful than having a cigarette, it’s important to communicate that e-cigs are not risk-free. In fact, there’s plenty of research that suggests they can have negative consequences, including:
    • Damage to the lungs, heart, or brain
    • Harmful effects on lung and brain development in teens
    • May increase the risk of cancer
  • Nicotine is Highly Addictive – E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which we already know is highly addictive, and using e-cigs now increases the risk of using other nicotine products and even other drugs later in life.
  • Young People are Vulnerable – Science has shown that young people are vulnerable to using e-cigs because nicotine can disrupt brain development in teens, increasing the risk of mental health problems in the future.
  • Many E-Cigs Contain Diacetyl – Research has found that most e-liquids used in e-cigarettes include a flavoring chemical known as diacetyl. This chemical has been linked to a variety of respiratory problems, including:
    • Closure of the airways
    • Asthma
    • Wheezing and coughing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Popcorn lung
    • Lung irritation

How to Keep the Conversation Going

It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to cover everything about the dangers of e-cigarettes in a single conversation, so it’s important to keep the conversation going with your teen. If your teen admits that they’ve tried e-cigs with their friends, avoid jumping on their case and work to keep the lines of communication open.

Many parents also find that texting can be a great way to keep the discussion going since most teens respond well to texts. You can easily share websites with your teen that have important information on e-cigs and their dangers. Texting or instant messaging makes it easy to share articles you come across on the topic as well.

Reminding your teen about the dangers and repeating some of the health risks via text can also prove helpful. Even if your teen isn’t using e-cigarettes now, there’s a good chance they’ll have the opportunity to try it, so keeping the dangers fresh in their mind is crucial.


teaching kids healthy habits

Love Your Teeth: Teaching Healthy Habits to Your Children

Before children are able to care for their own teeth, it’s important to begin teaching them healthy oral habits. Starting when kids get that very first teeth, you can begin working with them on dental hygiene and healthy practices so they can keep their mouth and teeth healthy for a lifetime. Here’s a closer look at how you can teach healthy habits to your children at every age so they enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile.

Teaching Healthy Habits to Babies

As soon as your baby is born, it’s important to begin caring for gums. Before they even have teeth, wipe their gums with a damp cloth or gauze. This cleans the gums and starts to get them used to oral care. Once that first tooth pops in, then you can begin brushing with a tiny drop of non-fluoridated toothpaste. After teeth start touching, you can gently begin flossing their teeth.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Part of keeping teeth healthy and strong is keeping up with routine dental visits, and taking your child to the dentist early helps facilitate good oral health, both now and in the future. Once your child has that first tooth, make a dental appointment. This not only allows a dentist to ensure teeth are growing in properly, but it can reduce anxiety about future dental appointments.

Modeling Healthy Dental Habits

One of the best ways to teach healthy dental habits to your children is to model them yourself. Kids love doing things that make them feel like a grownup, so let kids watch you go through your dental hygiene regimen. A few great ideas include:

  • Make brushing your teeth together a morning and nighttime routine.
  • Have a contest with your kids. See who can do the best job spitting toothpaste to the drain or who can create the most toothpaste bubbles.
  • Floss your own teeth while kids are watching, and then work with them on flossing their own teeth.
  • Model healthy eating habits. Limit the sugary sweets that both you and your children eat. Remember, keeping junk food out of your home is the first step.
  • Choose teeth-friendly foods yourself, such as milk, yogurt, or nuts.
  • Even when you’re on vacation, make sure you still model good oral habits and keep up with your dental hygiene routine.
  • If possible, make your dental appointments at the same time as your child’s. When you show that dental care is a priority, they’ll learn that their own oral health should be a priority.

Helping Kids Develop Good Oral Habits – Make it Fun!

As you’re working to teach your child health dental habits, try making it fun to get them excited about oral care. Try some of these tips for making dental hygiene fun.

  • Get Kids Involved in Choosing Their Equipment – Allow your kids to pick out their own toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. It lets them take ownership of their dental health, and they’ll love the chance to pick out exactly what they want, whether it’s bubble gum flavored mouthwash or a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character on it.
  • Add Some Music – Sometimes it’s tough to make sure kids brush their teeth for the whole two minutes. Add a tune to brushing time that lasts at least two minutes so they know how long they need to keep brushing. Dance while you brush to make it even more fun.
  • Videos and Books – Watch exciting videos about dental hygiene with your kids or find a good children’s book that teaches kids the importance of good oral care habits.
  • Come Up with a Reward System – If your kids need some motivation and encouragement to brush and floss regularly, consider setting up your own reward system. You can make a chart and let them earn stickers each time they brush and floss. Let them pick a fun reward for collecting so many stickers on their chart.

Developing good oral health habits are important for kids, and it’s essential to start teaching healthy habits to your children as early as possible. By modeling an excellent oral health routine and making oral hygiene fun, you’ll help your children build good habits that last a lifetime.


nitrous oxide in pediatric dentistry

Why We Use Nitrous Oxide in Pediatric Dentistry

If your child is scheduled for a pediatric dentistry procedure soon, you may be a bit concerned about the anesthetic, especially if it’s your child’s first time with nitrous oxide. There’s great news, though: nitrous oxide is a highly reliable choice for pediatric dentistry procedure, and there are multiple reasons that the Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida team uses it for young patients. Read on to learn what parents should know about nitrous oxide and why it’s the best choice for pediatric dentistry procedures.

Nitrous Oxide: The Top Choice For Pain and Anxiety Relief in Pediatric Dentistry

Nitrous oxide is the number one choice when your child needs a procedure at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida. You may have heard nitrous oxide referred to as “laughing gas” before. The reason for the funny nickname is that nitrous oxide gives your child a sense of well being, happiness, and even mild euphoria. Some kids get the giggles and may even make some funny comments or observations. Your child will be thoroughly relaxed, and most likely quite drowsy but still awake during their procedure. Nitrous oxide is excellent at reducing anxiety and making your child feel completely comfortable, even if they’re feeling some worry or anxiety before their dental procedure.

Nitrous oxide isn’t only great at reducing anxiety — it’s also powerful in terms of pain relief. You won’t have to worry about your child experiencing pain or even discomfort during their procedure when they have nitrous oxide. In some cases, the pediatric dentist may use local anesthetic injections in combination with the nitrous oxide to numb the treatment area, particularly in cases of more complex dental issues.

Nitrous oxide is widely considered to be a safe and reliable way to make even young children feel comfortable and secure during dental procedures. Nitrous oxide is a far superior choice to other types of anesthesia that have overly strong effects, or that have potentially unsafe side effects in young patients.  

Before Nitrous Oxide: Easy Preparation

The preparation for nitrous oxide dental procedures is very easy and straightforward. Your child’s dentistry care provider at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida will give you specific advice about nitrous oxide prep, but in general it’s fine for your child to eat a light meal, such as toast, a few hours ahead of their appointment and then nothing further until their treatment. You can reassure your child that they’ll be relaxed and comfortable during the procedure — and that you can stay with them if they’d like.

After Nitrous Oxide: The Recovery Advantage

Another big benefit of nitrous oxide is that the recovery is very easy. Many kids don’t even remember the dental procedure afterwards, which is a big benefit in terms of making them comfortable in the dental chair. Once your child’s procedure is finished, the nitrous oxide mask is turned off. Then, your child inhales pure oxyen for several minutes, which clears away lingering nitrous oxide.

Your child will recover from their nitrous oxide procedure very rapidly. You should watch over your child to make sure they’re feeling fine. If your child experiences nausea, vomiting, or feels generally unwell, have them rest and drink water or other clear liquids until they’re feeling like themselves again. Most kids tolerate nitrous oxide extremely well and are back to their regular activities the next morning after their procedure. With such a simple and easy recovery, most kids feel much more relaxed about future dentistry procedures. After all, they never have to be in pain or stressed with nitrous oxide, so it’s much easier to deal with!

The experienced pediatric dentistry team at Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida is dedicated to compassionate and gentle dental care for kids, along with great support for parents. You can arrange your child’s appointment at one of the two convenient locations in the Orlando area through the online contact form or by calling the Maitland office at (407) 628-2286 or the St. Cloud office at (407) 593-8900 today. The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida team looks forward to seeing you and your child soon!


whitening kids teeth

When Should I Let My Child Whiten Their Teeth?

As your child loses his primary teeth and permanent teeth begin to erupt, you’ll probably notice that the secondary set isn’t as white as your child’s primary teeth. There’s nothing to worry about – it’s completely natural. Primary teeth are much whiter in appearance. However, this change often leads parents to ask about whether they should allow their child to whiten their teeth. As teens grow older and more self-conscious about their smile, they may be questioning their parent about whitening treatments as well. Here’s a closer look at when it’s okay to allow teeth whitening and a few alternatives to tooth whitening that can keep your child’s teeth looking bright and beautiful in the meantime.  

Dental Professionals Suggest Holding Off

While there’s not one specific age for when a child can whiten their teeth, dental professionals generally recommend that you have your child wait until somewhere between the ages of 14 to 18 years old. The reason for waiting is that dentists feel that the tooth pulp in permanent teeth should be fully formed before you try whitening to prevent tooth sensitivity and other complications. For most teens, the pulp is fully developed around age 15. Using a whitening treatment too early can damage gum tissue and break down tooth enamel in young adults.

You’ll probably even want to have your child hold off on using over-the-counter whitening options as well. Most OTC whitening products using hydrogen peroxide, and while it’s generally safe for adults, it hasn’t been proven safe for young adults. Teens are more likely to apply these products incorrectly and leave them on for too long, which increases the chance of adverse effects, such as burning gum tissue, tooth sensitivity, or even accidentally swallowing the bleaching product.

Alternatives to Tooth Whitening

Some kids and teens end up wanting to whiten their teeth after they have braces, while others simply want to feel better about their smile. Wearing braces often leaves behind some areas that are whiter than the rest of the teeth, which is normal. Until your dentist feels that it’s okay for your child to undergo whitening procedures, the following are a few great alternatives to tooth whitening that can help keep your child’s smile looking bright.

  • Skip Foods and Drinks that Stain Teeth – If your child wants a whiter smile, teach your child to skip foods and drinks that can stain teeth. Many teens love sodas and sports drinks, and both of those options have the ability to stain teeth and cause cavities. Sugar loaded sweets, tea, and coffee can also make teeth look stained and discolored.
  • Try a Whitening Toothpaste – While allowing your child to try OTC whitening strips and trays may not be the best choice, whitening toothpastes can be safer. They’re a lot gentler on teeth and can gently whiten teeth just a bit. Although a whitening toothpaste won’t provide dramatic whitening results, it’s an option your child can try until they’re old enough for in-office whitening treatments.  
  • Get Your Child in for Routine Checkups and Cleanings – One of the most important things you can do to make sure your child’s smile looks brighter is to make sure they are seen for routine checkups and dental cleanings. Your child should be seen every six months, and a dentist can evaluate your child’s oral health and provide them with some care tips for a healthier, whiter smile. A professional clean will leave your child’s teeth looking fresh and beautiful, too.

Talk to your dentist about the best age to begin whitening treatments for your child. When your child is ready to have tooth whitening treatment, make sure you go into the dentist for professional bleaching instead of turning to over-the-counter options. Having the bleaching done by a dentist helps prevent many of the side effects that can come with whitening, such as tooth sensitivity and burns to soft tissue, and ensures that your child gets the best results.


Should You Avoid Fluoride?

Fluoride is one of the most fiercely debated topics in the dental industry. Some people and dental professionals believe fluoride is something that should be considered an absolute “must have” while others believe that it should be avoided at all costs as it is toxic and harmful. These conflicting opinions make it difficult for many parents, who are just trying to keep their children healthy, to know what to do. That is why we are here to help.

We will take a closer look at what fluoride is, why it is commonly used in the dental industry, and explore whether or not you need to avoid it.

What Exactly is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is commonly found in water. This mineral has been shown to help improve people’s oral health by doing everything from preventing the spread of tooth decay to strengthening the teeth’s enamel and reversing early damage caused by cavities and decay.

There are a number of ways fluoride is consumed. Fluoride can be found in both tap water and bottled water, toothpastes you use, mouth rinses, and even as gels or supplemental tablets.

What is the Potential Problem with Fluoride?

People who have a problem with fluoride don’t have a problem with the actual mineral. Their problem is with the fact that people may be over-consuming fluoride. These people believe that consuming too much fluoride can cause a number of health problems from developmental delays to autoimmune diseases and cancer.

The concern over fluoride developed when people started to notice it is being added to so many things people consume on a daily basis. Since it is present in so many things it can be extremely easy for people to consume too much of it and potentially develop health problems.

Is My Child Getting Enough Fluoride?

Parents often come to us asking “is my child getting enough fluoride”. That is a question we can answer, but only after completing a complete dental exam. A dental examination will allow us to see the health of your child’s teeth. If there are noticeable problems, such as extensive tooth decay or weak enamel, it could be a sign your child is not getting enough fluoride.

Without conducting an exam on your child, the only way we can answer that question is by saying “it depends”. Depending upon the source of your drinking water your child may be getting enough fluoride and therefore you don’t really need the supplemental fluoride found in toothpastes, tablets, and mouth rinses.

Most of our patients live in or around Orlando, Florida. For these patients, there is a good chance that the tap water you give to your child has enough fluoride in it. However, different parts of Orlando get their water from different places, so there may be a chance that your child is not getting the proper amount of fluoride and may need use fluoride toothpaste, mouth rinses, or gels.

Some people don’t like the taste of tap water and prefer bottled water. While some bottled water may contain fluoride, it often does not contain enough to help improve the health of your child’s teeth and gums. To get enough fluoride, your child may need to use toothpastes or mouth rinses that are supplemented with fluoride or they may need to take supplemental fluoride tablets, which are available by prescription only.

Concerned about Fluoride? Talk to Your Dentist

We encourage parents who are concerned about the potential health risks of fluoride to talk with our pediatric dentist. Our pediatric dentist will ask you questions about the type of toothpaste is used and the type of water that is consumed. The answers you provide along with a visual examination of your child’s teeth will help our dentist assess whether your child is getting too little, too much, or just the right amount of fluoride.

Wish to discuss whether or not you should avoid fluoride? Call The Pediatric Dentistry of Central Florida to schedule an appointment for your child and to have the opportunity to talk with one of our experienced dentists about fluoride.


laughing gas

Laughing Gas in Pediatric Dentistry

While it has a funny name, laughing gas is a seriously safe and effective procedure that helps your child stay relaxed during a dental procedure. Laughing gas helps your child tolerate dental procedures so he or she gets the most out of dental care without all of the worries.

About Laughing Gas

Dentists and other health professionals refer to laughing gas as nitrous oxide (NO).

Laughing gas is a type of sedation dentistry, which is an approach that uses sedatives to help manage anxiety and other special needs when a person receives dental care. Sedation dentistry is helpful when a child must undergo especially long procedures or multiple procedures, has a high fear of dental care, finds it hard to sit still or who has special needs. Laughing gas is helpful during procedures that may be mildly uncomfortable, and for dental care that requires your child to sit very still for a long time. Sedation dentistry is also helpful for kids that have strong gag reflexes.

Nitrous oxide is a very safe, mild sedative that helps your child stay relaxed while he or she undergoes dental procedures. Your child will be able to respond normally to commands while under the effects of laughing gas. Laughing gas has only a small effect on reflexes, so it does not affect coughing, blinking or other protective reflexes.

Laughing gas is safe and effective, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Nitrous oxide does not change your child’s blood pressure, pulse or other vital signs. When administered at recommended levels, nitrous oxide has a superior safety record with no recorded fatalities or significant problems. Safety is always important to you and to your child’s dentist.

It is important to note that laughing gas only provides a relaxing effect – it does not cause your child to go to sleep. The relaxing effects of nitrous oxide will last for up to six hours after administration.

Furthermore, nitrous oxide does not control discomfort or pain during or after the dental procedure. The dentist will control pain by injecting a numbing agent directly into the treatment area. Your child’s dentist will recommend pain relievers as needed to control discomfort related to the procedure.

What Happens During Administration of Laughing Gas

There are no special preparations for laughing gas, except you should limit your child to only a light meal before undergoing the procedure.

To administer laughing gas, the dentist uses a “space mask” that carries a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. The dental professional will ask your child to breathe in the mixture through his or her nose, rather than through their mouth. Your child may notice a faint, sweet smell.

The sedation should take effect after about 5 minutes. The dentist will leave the mask on your child’s face throughout the entire procedure. While your child is awake during the whole procedure, he or she will experience happy feelings throughout.

The dentist will turn off the laughing gas when the procedure is over. Your child will then breathe in pure oxygen for approximately 5 minutes, just to air out any nitrous oxide remaining in his or her lungs.

Your boy or girl will be able to return to normal activity right away unless he or she underwent a procedure that requires a few hours of quiet time. Most children feel fine after having laughing gas and are even enthusiastic about the “space ride” after they wear the “space mask.”

Some kids say they feel light-headed or a tingly feeling in their arms and legs. Others say their arms and legs feel heavy. These feelings disappear quickly after the laughing gas helps the child feel calm and comfortable. The sensations fade completely after the dentist removes the mask.

For more information about laughing gas in pediatric dentistry, ask your child’s dentist. The more you know about sedation dentistry and other dental procedures, the more your child can gain from dental care.


mouth guards

Mouth Guards for Your Grinder

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is relatively common in children, and the Cleveland Clinic estimates between 15-33% of children grind their teeth. Although many children outgrow it, it does have the potential to cause damage to your child’s teeth, resulting in cracked or loose teeth over time. The good news – in many cases a mouth guard can offer an excellent solution to grinding to protect your grinder’s teeth.

Signs Your Child is Grinding

Many parents realize their child is grinding because they hear their child loudly grinding while they’re sleeping. However, even if you haven’t heard it, other signs may indicate that your child is a grinder, such as:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Complaining of facial pain or jaw pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Earaches
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Wear on teeth discovered by a dentist

Causes of Teeth Grinding

Many different things can cause bruxism in children, and some of the most common cause include:

  • Stress – Stress is the most common cause of teeth grinding in both children in adults. Children often have a tougher time verbalizing their problems, and grinding can be a sign that something is bothering them.
  • The Eruption of New Teeth – Sometimes the eruption of new teeth can result in discomfort and pain that causes grinding in children.
  • Misalignments – If your child’s teeth aren’t properly aligned, bruxism may occur.
  • Tension Headaches – Some studies have shown that bruxism is more common in children who get tension headaches.
  • Pain – The pain from a cold, ear infection or other illness may result in grinding, particularly at night.

Effects of Grinding on Children

While teeth grinding may be common, it can have some adverse effects. Some of the dangers of bruxism may include:

  • Lack of Good Sleep – Grinding at night is actually considered a sleep disorder, and it can disrupt your child’s sleep.
  • Damage to Teeth Enamel – Over time, continual grinding may wear down the enamel on your child’s teeth. Eventually, this can lead to the exposure of the dentine layer, making the tooth more prone to damage and decay. In some cases, teeth may crack or become loose.
  • Headaches and Pain – Bruxism also has the potential to cause headaches, jaw pain, ear pain, and facial pain. If it’s not treated, it can have a negative impact on your child’s quality of life.

Mouth Guards as a Solution for Grinding

In many cases, bruxism will disappear as your child grows. However, if it’s turning into a problem and putting your child’s oral health at risk, talk to your dentist about a mouth guard. Your dentist will be able to tell if grinding is causing damage and can prescribe a mouth guard to be worn at night to keep your child’s teeth protected. Keep in mind, since your child is still growing, the mouth guard may need to be replaced from time to time to ensure it fits properly as your child grows. It’s also important to realize that a night guard isn’t a cure for grinding – it only helps protect your child’s teeth from further damage.

Other Ways to Stop or Prevent Grinding

A mouth guard for your grinder can prevent damage to their teeth. There are other steps you can take to try to stop or prevent grinding, such as:

  • Talking to Your Child’s Pediatrician – Discuss grinding with your child’s pediatrician as well as your dentist. They may be able to try to find out what’s bothering your child or point you in the right direction for further help.
  • Relax Your Child Before Bed – Try doing things before bed that will relax your child, such as playing relaxing music, giving them a warm bath, or reading a bedtime story together. A glass of warm milk or some gentle stretching may also prove helpful.
  • Talk to Your Child – Ask your child about feelings of stress or anxiety. Helping them communicate their feelings and working to relieve their stress levels may help.

It’s never a good idea to ignore teeth grinding in your child. Severe grinding can cause tooth loss or even lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which causes pain and other symptoms. If your child is grinding, book an appointment with your pediatric dentist right away so you can address the problem before it causes damage to your child’s teeth.


first lost tooth

Your Child’s First Lost Tooth

“Mommy, my tooth is loose!” is a phrase parents both dread and welcome. Indeed, this bittersweet milestone means your child is growing up, officially leaving the preschool years behind.

But since the process can also be a little bit scary for kids, assure them that it’s a natural process that everyone goes through. Here are some things that will help you explain the process to your child.

Why do kids lose their baby teeth?

Children lose their baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth, which continue to come in until your child is a late teen. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are typically the last teeth to erupt.

Your child will have 20 teeth by the time he or she is three years old. The baby teeth typically start getting loose as the root dissolves and the permanent teeth start pushing up from underneath. They usually fall out in the same order they came in. For the grand majority of kids, the bottom two center incisors are the first to come in and the first to fall out. The top two incisors usually follow.

Teeth usually start falling out around the age of six, though some kids may be as young as four. If your child’s teeth start getting loose much before four, consult your dentist. Conversely, it’s not all that unusual for a child to have not lost a tooth by the age of seven or even eight. This is usually not a problem, but you should consult your dentist to be sure.

What happens when a tooth becomes loose?

When your child notices his tooth is loose, encourage him to gently wiggle it using his tongue or finger. Don’t on yank the tooth or pull it forcefully. Wait until it’s ready to fall out on its own. Pulling a tooth out makes its root vulnerable to infection and could damage the gum. Remember, it may take several months for a tooth to come out, even with a good amount of wiggling and twisting. If a tooth simply won’t come out, your dentist may need to provide assistance. This is rarely required through.

Reassure your child that losing a baby tooth will not hurt. It will likely bleed a little. Encourage your child to rinse his or her mouth with water. When the space opens up, it will likely feel strange for a few hours. But your child will quickly become accustomed to the empty space.

Timeline for losing teeth

While the first teeth usually come out around age six, the rest of the baby teeth typically fall out on a schedule, too.

  • The upper and lower lateral incisors are lost between ages 7 and 8.
  • The upper and lower canines are lost between ages 9 and 12.
  • The upper and lower first molars are lost between ages 9 and 11.
  • The upper and lower second molars are lost between 10 and 12.

Other common questions

What if my child swallows the tooth?

Children often swallow baby teeth, especially the first one, as they may not have realized it was loose in the first place. If this happens, don’t worry! There’s no harm done. Just write a note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation. She’ll understand.

Why do the permanent teeth look so big?

Permanent teeth will look bigger and less white when compared to baby teeth. Remember, your child’s head will continue to grow, her teeth won’t. Eventually, her teeth won’t look too big for her mouth!

What are shark’s teeth?

Occasionally, a child’s permanent teeth will come in before the baby teeth fall out. This causes a double row of teeth, called shark’s teeth. The permanent teeth will push the baby teeth out of the way within a few weeks. If the double row lasts longer than three months, consult your dentist.

If you have more questions about losing baby teeth, contact our office at (407) 628-2286 in Maitland or (407) 593-8900 in St. Cloud.