We all know that drinking water is good for us, but our children seem to be hard to convince that water is a better alternative to juice or soda. And while we would prefer they only drink water, we understand that some battles can’t be entirely won. However, there are a few reasons that we should try to get our children to drink water that benefit their teeth and overall oral health.
Tap water contains a small amount of fluoride
This means that drinking water will strengthen their teeth and help protect them from cavities. Consuming a small amount of fluoride regularly is responsible for a decrease in tooth decay in both children and adults.
Reduce sugary drinks
The more water we get into our children, the less they’ll be drinking their favorite sugary drink alternatives. Which leads to less tooth decay, and a happier child(with a better smile!).
It prevents dehydration
Some sugary drinks, especially soda, can dehydrate the body, leaving their body needing hydration. If they continue drinking sweetened beverages to quench this thirst, their body will just need water even more! When they drink water, their body is benefiting, not just their teeth.
Water has no calories
Although your child isn’t, and shouldn’t, be concerned with calories or diet, it’s important for us to give our children healthy food and drink to keep them healthy and functioning at 100%. Water is naturally calorie free, which means that not only is water the healthiest choice, but it promotes a healthier diet overall.
Water will clear the sugars from their teeth
Since it’s inevitable that your child will be drinking beverages besides water, it’s important to balance those other drinks with water. Water will help naturally keep their teeth clean throughout the day, which will reduce plaque buildup, and make brushing their teeth at night a less painful experience.
Flushes toxins from their body
Not only does drinking water help clean your child’s’ teeth, but it will help clean out the rest of their body. It will help remove any toxins and aids digestion. This is one of the reasons why drinking extra water when they’re feeling sick is so important! It will help move the infection and toxins out of their body, so they’ll be feeling better quicker.
It can be hard to convince our kids to drink water, and we understand that. But it’s important that they’re drinking water everyday, not just for the health of their teeth, but for the health of their entire body.
No parent wants to hear that their child has a cavity… again. Sometimes, even when you’re trying your best to keep them brushing, it’s still not enough.
Are Baby Teeth Softer?
This dilemma can be so frustrating, in fact, that it’s given rise to the myth that children’s teeth are just softer than adults, and more prone to cavities. But it’s not true. Baby teeth and adult teeth have the same chances of getting a cavity. The difference is in the brushing. Continue Reading
It’s important to practice strong dental hygiene with your kids on a daily basis. And if there are areas in your dental hygiene routine where you can improve, the beginning of a new year is a great time to work on them. Here is a look at five simple dental care resolutions you might consider making with your kids at the start of 2017. Continue Reading
As pediatric dentists, we understand the important role that healthy eating can play in strong dental and oral health. This is especially true for children. Because encouraging children to eat nutritious and teeth-friendly foods can be difficult, here is a look at ways that you can promote healthy eating in the home. Continue Reading
“Plaque” and “tartar” are two words that you see frequently in the world of dental health, and chances are you’ve spotted toothpastes that are targeted against precisely these two things. But what are plaque and tartar, exactly? Here is what you need to know about them. Continue Reading
When you think of dental appliances, you normally think of a teenager wearing braces, but some dental appliances are used earlier to protect a child’s mouth, prepare it for braces, and help the permanent teeth grow in correctly. Below is a list of common appliances used to correct oral problems in children. Continue Reading
As your child starts to develop teeth, you probably have a lot of questions. You might be wondering what is normal, what else you can expect throughout development, when and how you should start brushing their teeth, and more. A lot of these questions will be answered during your child’s first dental visit. Read on to learn more.
When Should You First Visit the Dentist?
As a general rule, you should have your child’s first dentist visit by their first birthday, or six months after they develop their first tooth — whichever comes first. If your child is born with a natal tooth and it starts to cause problems nursing or mouth sores, you will need to visit the dentist as soon as possible.
How Can I Find the Right Dentist?
You will want to visit a pediatric dentist, as not all dentists are used to dealing with patients under the age of 8. The first thing you need to do is call the office and ask when you should bring your child in for their first visit. If they don’t answer by their first birthday, you’re better off using a different office. You should also try to find a dentist that makes you and your child feel comfortable. Many people have dental phobia due to traumatic experiences they had as a child, so you can help prevent that by visiting a dentist that makes you and your child feel safe.
What Can I Expect?
On your first visit, the office staff will review your child’s history (much like a pediatric doctor visit), and answer any questions or concerns you have. When you and your child are ready, you will have a knee-to-knee oral examination with the dentist. You will carefully lay your child down facing you, with his or her head in the dentist’s lap. The dentist will do a thorough yet gentle examination of their teeth and jaw. He or she will teach you how to properly care for your child’s teeth as well as give you an opportunity to practice. If necessary, your dentist will apply fluoride to your child’s teeth (especially if they are at a high risk for developing cavities). Your dentist will also discuss with you tooth milestones, your child’s risk factors, and more. You should bring a favorite toy or blanket to soothe your child if necessary. Having a positive dental experience as a child can help prevent dental phobia in the future.
Is your child anxious about their first or next dentist visit? Anxiety for new experiences is normal, especially for children. Here are some tips we have to help allay their fears and help get them on the path to developing a healthy (and happy) relationship with dental hygiene.
- Regular Visits: Hold on, don’t roll your eyes yet. There are many benefits to making sure that your child follows a regular dental check-up schedule. First and foremost, this is the best way to ensure your child’s dental health. Secondly, regular exposure, especially at a pediatric dentist, will acclimate your child to the dental office environment in a comfortable way. Lastly, as children grow up used to following a regular dental check-up schedule, the habit is more likely to carry over into their adult life.
- Start Simple: Studies show that adults can transfer anxiety about the dentist and other similar types of institutions without even realizing it. For your child’s early dental visits, answer their questions, but try to keep it simple. Sometimes, the anxiety that children feel can build when having too many things to think about, or they sense that dental hygiene is something their parents aren’t comfortable with. Here at The Kids’ Dentist, our entire office atmosphere has been devoted to helping children feel at ease. Our staff will work with you to nurture a happy association with dental hygiene in your child.
- Focus on Health:Focusing on the positive benefits of good dental hygiene can make the less pleasant aspects of dental treatments seem less important. Everyone experiences some level of discomfort at the dentist, whether they don’t like sitting still, or the taste of florides. However, reducing the significance of this discomfort can help everyone have a better time at the dentist— even adults. Using phrases like “strong teeth” and “healthy gums” can go a long way in reducing the impact of “bad tastes”, “shots”, or other discomforts that a child may be sensitive to.
- Don’t Bribe or Bargain:Anxiety for new experiences is normal. This is especially true for first dental visits. Unfortunately, in some circles, dental visits have developed a bad rap and it’s often the case that children get exposed to some negative commentary. Realistically, there isn’t a way to eliminate all anxiety. However, it is also important not to use techniques like bribery or bargaining. The act of offering children a reward for not crying or fussing can be detrimental for a number of reasons. One thing it can do is trigger the fear it was supposed to remedy. A child might think that if you are offering them something to not cry, then there is something to cry about. Showing patience and a positive attitude can often instill more confidence in a child than bribing would without the high potential for backfire.
- Have A Fun Pretend Visit: Have a pretend visit to the dentist where you and your child take turns looking at each other’s teeth. If you’ll be coming by our office, you can give them a virtual tour of our offices, which have lots of fun activities for kids. Get them ready for a fun day at the beach shack, or an underwater adventure. Our specially trained staff will help take care of the rest!
- Be Calm Always and Firm When Necessary: A child’s dental anxiety, no matter how severe, will only get worse if the adults around them are anxious as well. If a child is acting particularly anxious or difficult, show appropriate firmness without losing your cool. Being calm without being in control can also make a child feel anxious. Instead, show authority in a calm, collected manner and reassure your child that the task at hand is under control.
- Show Positive Reinforcement After Each Visit: Positive reinforcement is different than bribing. It isn’t something a child expects as a reward and it shows your child that they are doing something good for themselves. Showing positive reinforcement after each dental visit can help instill in your child a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they have made a good decision for their own personal health.
Most adults who fear dental visits ended up that way because they had a traumatic experience. For them, the dentist equals pain. At the Kid’s Dentist, we always strive to apply a gentle touch and make sure no child has a bad first experience in the dentist’s chair. We understand that there is an inherent philosophical difference when it comes to pediatric dentistry, as opposed to dentistry for adults. As much as our jobs entails medicine and procedural work, it as much about knowing how to handle kids and make them feel comfortable during their time here. We always remember that we’re dealing with children, and therefore, must try to relate with them in order to give them the best experience possible! Through education, respect, and kindness, we have been able to put thousands of kids at ease in the chair, creating a trust with medical professionals that will stay with them as they grow older!
Being Gentle Facilitates Dental Hygiene
The more gentle we are as dentists, the better the chances of your child starting to practice good dental hygiene with a positive attitude. A key part of giving your child a gentle dental experience is instilling in them a good attitude about dental hygiene and visits. If your child feels safe at the dentist, they will be motivated to practice oral hygiene in an attempt to maintain that sense of safety that they now associated with brushing and flossing their teeth. We know how important it is for every child to develop good hygiene habits at an early age, and we offer gentle dental care as a direct result.
Take the Gentle Touch Home
When you bring your child to the Kid’s Dentist, we will not only give your child a gentle, positive dental experience; we will also advise you on how to take the gentle approach when rearing your child in dental hygiene. We’ll show you how to brush your younger children’s teeth gently but efficiently while they still need your help. Your child’s dental comfort is a team effort. We keep you involved in hopes that both you and your child see the difference coming to the Kid’s Dentist makes.
Contact our offices for more information on how we can ensure your child’s comfort and positive attitude through gentle dentistry.
Many parents wonder, “Why does my child need a pediatric dentist? Won’t any dentist do?” While it’s true that every dentist knows each mouth is different and requires individualized care, a pediatric dentist will have the experience and know-how to ensure a child’s dental health with the extra care and gentility that a child’s teeth require.
The sooner that children receive dental care, the better chance they have for healthy teeth throughout adolescence, and on into adulthood. It is strongly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) that parents establish an ongoing relationship with their child’s dentist. A child’s dentist should also have a basic knowledge of the parents’ dental history as well so that any hereditary problems can be diagnosed properly.
Children are generally not at risk of early tooth decay if they have a dentist who knows their history and has educated their parents on home care. Most people don’t know that pediatric dentists, in addition to four years of dental school, have two more years of residency training in dentistry for children and infants. A pediatric dentist can give each parent individual tips for how to spot cavities in their child’s teeth. That way, should a cavity arise, it can be taken care of quickly. A pediatric dentist can also tell you how to regulate fluoride, milk, juice and other potentially sugary liquids so that the child’s teeth don’t suffer from overexposure to sugar. They will also tell how often to get checkups, how to brush the child’s teeth, and how to treat the teeth after meals. No matter how many preventative factors can be applied to everyone, each child will require an individual plan.
One of the best ways to ensure an infant’s dental health is to seek counseling early and keep the baby’s mouth clean before the teeth even start coming in. There are common behaviors among parents and children, particularly infants, that pediatric dentistry often assists in eradicating. Though baby bottle tooth decay prevention and other forms of preventative dental hygiene are fairly simple, the fact remains that every patient’s teeth is different, and requires a well-mitigated plan that a parent can rely on to keep their child’s teeth healthy. A pediatric dentist can make sound judgement calls about what exactly an individual set of teeth needs to thrive and grow.
Adolescence is the time to receive preventative dental care. Our office, as well as the The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all recommend establishing a “Dental Home” for your child by one year of age. We strive to make each and every visit to our offices a fun one! Contact us for your first appointment today!