Having a loose tooth can be scary and weird, but it is also exciting! When your baby teeth get loose, it means that your adult teeth are coming in. It also means that you can expect your first visit from the tooth fairy. If this is your first loose tooth, you may be wondering what to do and how to get ready for the tooth fairy. Here are some of the most popular questions answered by your fellow tooth specialist: 

Why do baby teeth fall out?

Your baby teeth are placeholders for your adult teeth. When you are a child, your adult teeth are hidden underneath your gums. As you grow older, these adult teeth start to move up and push against the baby teeth. This makes the baby teeth loose and eventually they will fall out to make room for your adult teeth. Even though you are getting adult teeth, you have plenty of time before you need to grow up. 

Can I pull out a loose tooth?

young girl holding her missing tooth

You can pull out a loose tooth if it is very wiggly and ready to come out. First, wash your hands and ask your parents for a tissue or piece of gauze. Then gently wiggle your tooth from side to side and twist it. If your tooth is ready to fall out, this should do the trick. If your tooth doesn’t seem loose enough, you can try brushing it, eating an apple, or wiggling it some more. You can also ask your parents for help. 

Will it hurt?

If you try to pull out your tooth and it hurts, your tooth is not ready to fall out yet. It probably will need a few more days to get loose enough so you can pull it out. When a tooth falls out, it might hurt a little bit. But you can make the pain stop by counting to a hundred. 

What do I do with my lost tooth?

tooth shown under pillow

This is the best part! When you lose a tooth, you will leave it for the tooth fairy. Ask your parents for a small container to keep your tooth in so that the tooth fairy can find it easily. Then, you will put the container under your pillow or next to your bed. When you go to sleep, the tooth fairy will take your tooth and leave you a surprise! Sometimes it may take more than one night, especially if the tooth fairy is very busy or gets lost. You also need to be asleep, otherwise the tooth fairy won’t come. 

Does the tooth fairy come everytime I lose a tooth?

Yes! The tooth fairy loves to collect beautiful baby teeth and leave surprises for children who take good care of their teeth. To make the tooth fairy happy, don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Eating healthy fruits and vegetables and drinking milk can also make your teeth beautiful. Finally, visiting your dentist is important so they can clean your teeth for the tooth fairy. 

dr-chris-leyster-1

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

Did you know that babies are born with all 20 of their primary teeth? These primary teeth, also called baby teeth, deciduous teeth, or milk teeth, are concealed below the gum line when your child is first born. In most cases, you can expect to see your child’s first tooth between the ages of 6-12 months. When baby teeth begin to erupt, or become visible above the gum line, this is known as teething. 

While teething is a necessary part of growth, it can be quite uncomfortable for your little one. This is because the teething process can cause their gums to be generally sore and tender to the touch. As a result, you may notice your child’s disposition suddenly changes. When teething, your child may have trouble sleeping, become more fussy or irritable, lose their appetite, or start drooling more than usual. Some little onces may also try to gnaw on hard objects or may have a slightly raised temperature. However, teethting should never make your baby sick and if your child has a fever of 101° or higher, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, or rashes, call your pediatrician immediately. 

With that being said, teething can be an uncomfortable period for your child and a stressful time for you. In order to make things easier on both of you, here are some teething tips: 

Mother using finger to massage babie's gums

Massage their gums

Gently massaging your child’s gums with your finger, a cloth, or a small piece of gauze can provide some relief from the soreness. You will want to apply gentle pressure and simply rub over the top of their gums. 

Whiney baby chewing on teething ring

Cold is your best friend

Anything cold your child can put in their mouth will help alleviate teething discomfort significantly. Some popular ideas are to place a wet washcloth, pacifier, or rubber teething ring in the fridge to cool before letting your child chew on it. However, you will want to avoid frozen items, because these can be too hard for your child to bite down on and can make the pain worse. 

Modify their diet

The younger your child is, the more likely it is that they are on a soft foods diet. However, as your child begins to eat more solid foods, you may need to make temporary adjustments when they are having an especially bad day of teething. On these days, feeding soft, cool foods like yogurt, applesauce, frozen fruit, and smoothies can help to soothe their achy mouth and make sure they are still eating. 

Avoid certain teething remedies

There are a few teething remedies that have been found to either be detrimental or non-effectie when it comes to alleviating teething discomfort. Therefore, it is recommended to limit or avoid these remedies: teething jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, anklets), herbal remedies, numbing medications such as lidocaine and benzocain, and using more than one acetaminophen or ibuprofen. 

Once your child’s first tooth comes in, it’s time to schedule their first dental appointment. In the meantime, you will need to be responsible for your child’s oral care until they are old enough to do so themselves. If you haven’t already, be sure to wipe down their gums twice a day and brush any erupted teeth. You should use a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. As your child gets older, they can start brushing their teeth when they can spit. At this point, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea size.  Teaching proper oral care at an early age will help your child develop healthy dental habits as they grow. 

dr-chris-leyster-1

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children is to encourage good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. However, not only is this much easier said than done, but children often miss the hard to reach areas in the mouth. This means that even with good oral hygiene, there is still the unfortunate risk of developing tooth decay. 

Luckily, there are preventative measures that your pediatric dentist can take to help reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay. One common way that pediatric dentists prevent tooth decay in children is through the use of dental sealants. Like their name suggests, dental sealants effectively seal the tooth surface to protect it from the bacteria that cause tooth decay. To learn more about dental sealants, here are some interesting facts: 

Applied to the molars

Not only are the molars all the way in the back of the mouth, but they are highly texturized. These pits and fissures as they are called, unfortunately provide an easy hiding place for bacteria and can be easily missed during brushings. This is the main reason why molars are one of the most common locations of dental cavities. Thus, applying dental sealants to the chewing surface of molars can prevent bacteria from accumulating in these crevices and reduce the risk of tooth decay. 

Effective

In addition to regular dental hygiene, dental sealants have been found to be extremely effective at preventing tooth decay. In fact, the American Dental Association notes that the use of sealants prevents 80% of dental cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this protection lasts for up to two years and then from years 2-4 sealants will remain only about 50% effective. While sealants can remain on the teeth for up to 9 years, it is recommended to have them regularly replaced to maintain their effectiveness. 

Invisible

The different variations of dental sealants are made from either ionomer cement, resin cement, or a combination of the two. What this means is that the coloring of dental sealants will vary from being clear, white, or matched exactly to the natural tooth color. As a result, they are barely noticeable once applied to the teeth. 

Safe

Although some people have raised concerns over the fact that some materials used in the fabrication process of dental sealants contain BPA, the American Dental Association has performed extensive research that has found no threat. In fact, the amount of BPA produced during fabrication is such a low amount that it is estimated more BPA exposure is obtained by simply taking a breath outside. 

Easily Application

As a final note, dental sealants are also extremely easy to apply. They are applied topically to the surface of the teeth after a cleaning and do not require any type of enamel modification. This application process is quick, painless, and low stress for your child. 

As you can see, dental sealants provide an effective, invisible, safe, and easy way to protect your child’s molars from decay-causing bacteria. When combined with daily dental hygiene and regular cleanings, dental sealants can even prevent cavities from occurring. For more information on what dental sealants can do for your child, schedule an appointment with your local pediatric dentist today. 

dr-chris-leyster-1

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

The outbreak of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, also called COVID-19 or Coronavirus, has resulted in the implementation of social distancing across the nation. While the federal government has recommended social distancing as a way of slowing the spread of the virus, some state and local governments have taken these recommendations one step further and called for their own mandates. As a result, people across the nation are staying home.

In response to the federal recommendations, the American Dental Association issued a statement on April 1st calling for all dentists to temporarily suspend elective and preventative treatments to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. In fact, the ADA recommends that dentists only open their offices to treat urgent or emergency cases. 

During this temporary pause of preventative dental services, it is more important than ever to make sure your child’s oral health is protected. The best case scenario for everyone is to maintain your child’s oral health and prevent the need for emergency dental treatments. Therefore, we have compiled a few tips on how to protect your child’s oral health during this period of social distancing: 

Maintain Daily Oral Hygiene Routine

With all the various changes that have occurred as a result of social distancing protocols, it can be helpful to stick to one familiar part of your child’s daily routine. Not only that, but brushing twice a day and flossing daily is an important part of maintaining your child’s oral health. Keeping up with oral hygiene removes plaque and bacteria buildup on the surface of your child’s teeth and decreases the risk of developing dental cavities. For the best results, make sure your child brushes for two minutes twice a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. 

Manage Their Diet

In addition to practicing good daily oral hygiene, you can also help your child’s oral health by managing the foods they eat. Specifically, you will want to limit the amount of sugar your child consumes since sugar feeds the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. This means limiting sweet treats and carbs, as well as providing water or milk instead of soda or fruit juice. 

Other foods that you will want to avoid feeding your child include anything that is excessively hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky. Unfortunately, these foods can potentially cause chips, fractures, and even dislodged dental fillings. Therefore, in order to prevent a possible dental emergency, it is advised to temporarily avoid these foods. 

Discourage Bad Oral Habits

The final way to maintain your child’s oral health is to prevent dental emergencies from occurring. The best way to prevent an emergency situation is to discourage bad oral habits that have been found to cause significant damage to the teeth. Examples of such habits include nail biting, chewing on ice or toys, and using their teeth as tools to hold or open things. Basically, you will want to discourage your child from using their teeth for anything besides eating. 

By maintaining your child’s daily oral hygiene routine, managing their diet, and discouraging bad oral habits, you can help preserve your child’s oral health during this COVID-19 outbreak. These tips will also help to minimize the risk for dental emergencies that require immediate attention. With that being said, accidents still happen. In the case that you believe your child is experiencing a dental emergency, call our office for further guidance. 

dr-chris-leyster-1

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

There are very few things more adorable than watching your child sleep. In fact, some parents would argue that there is nothing more adorable than a sleeping child. However, if you notice your child is frequently breathing through their mouth while sleeping, this can be cause for concern. Mouth breathing is one method of breathing that is generally used to obtain more oxygen when exercising or when the nasal passages are congested. 

However, chronic cases of mouth breathing may not be noticeable to parents. Therefore, it is important to understand and recognize possible symptoms of mouth breathing in children. Some of these can include: 

baby with tongue tie

While occasional occurrences of mouth breathing can be considered normal depending on the situation, frequent cases of mouth breathing can be indicative of an underlying cause. Your child may be breathing through their mouth as a result of structural problems with their airway, finger sucking, or a restricted lingual frenum (tongue tie). Regardless of the cause, here are some reasons why you should be concerned about mouth breathing in children: 

Increased Risk for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Chronic mouth breathing dries out the mouth and decreases the amount of saliva present in the mouth. This is harmful because saliva is responsible for regulating acid concentration in the mouth as a natural defense against harmful bacteria. Without adequate saliva, acidity in the mouth increases. This makes it easier for bacteria to erode the enamel and lead to the eventual development of cavities. Additionally, increased bacterial populations can also lead to gum disease. 

Uneven Facial Growth

When a child frequently breathes through their mouth, this can cause their upper jaw to grow more than their lower jaw. This can eventually lead to a severe overbite, which is when their upper teeth protrude out further than their lower teeth. Additionally, mouth breathing can lead to flatter facial features, a longer face, droopier eyes, less prominent cheekbones, and a narrow palate (roof of the mouth). 

gummy smile

Can Cause Gummy Smiles

A gummy smile is the colloquial term used to describe the overgrowth of gum tissue. In most cases, gummy smiles tend to affect the upper teeth and can be the result of overgrowth in the upper jaw. Not only do gummy smiles affect the appearance of one’s smile, but they can also increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease since bacteria can reside underneath the excess gum tissue. Gummy smiles can also affect the placement of certain dental restorations. 

Overall, mouth breathing in children poses a significant threat to their oral health by increasing the risk of dental problems, distorting facial growth, and leading to gummy smiles. The best way to proceed if your child breathes through their mouth is to schedule a consultation with their pediatric dentist or pediatrician to determine and treat the cause. This will eventually allow for regular breathing patterns through the nasal passages. 

dr-chris-leyster-1

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

When it comes to taking care of your child’s teeth, most parents understand the importance of limiting their sugar intake and encouraging a daily brushing and flossing routine. However, there is another tooth decay culprit that many parents are unaware of. Black mold has recently been found to contribute to tooth decay in children and it can even increase its severity. 

There are two main ways your child can be exposed to black mold. The first is through sippy cups. While the design of sippy cups is fantastic for preventing spills by keeping liquids inside the cup, this design also has tiny spaces that may act as the perfect breeding ground for mold. However, since mold usually grows on the inside of the sippy cup, it may not be immediately noticeable. To prevent mold from growing within sippy cups, you can use bleach, vinegar, tea tree oil, boiling water, or steam sterilization. 

Child's tongue with oral thrush
Child’s tongue with oral thrush

When your child drinks through a sippy cup containing mold, this allows a fungus known as Candida to enter the mouth. This fungus can interact with decay-causing bacteria known as streptococcus mutans to form a glue-like polymer that allows it to adhere to the teeth. Not only that, but the fungus can also coat the insides of the cheeks and tongue, eventually resulting in oral thrush.

Another way that your child can be exposed to black mold is by inhaling it. Black mold can grow in damp areas of the home and will feed off of organic matter in the carpet, drywall, or insulation. Mold spores, or mycotoxins, can then be inhaled by everyone in the household. The inhalation of these spores often irritates the mucous membranes and causes the following symptoms: 

Additionally, the body will often respond to the irritation of mucous membranes by producing excess mucus. This in turn causes congestion of the nasal passages and makes it difficult to breathe through the nose. At this point, children will inevitably begin to breathe with their mouths open. This causes dry mouth, or a reduced production of saliva. Since saliva is an essential defense mechanism used to protect the enamel and prevent tooth decay, less saliva often results in an increased risk for both tooth decay and gum disease. 

Black mold accumulating along a windowsill

Not only does black mold increase the risk of your child developing tooth decay and gum disease, but it can also increase the severity of these problems. It can also pose various threats to everyone’s overall health in the household. For these reasons, it is important to consult a professional about mold removal and to regularly check for leaks as a preventative measure for mold growth. 

Overall, black mold has recently been found to be one culprit of tooth decay that is not well known. The fungus found it black mold can cause problems when it enters the mouth, as well as when it is inhaled. Although this article focuses primarily on the effects of mold on your child’s teeth, there are many more health issues associated with black mold. Therefore, any exposure to black mold should be taken very seriously and dealt with accordingly. 

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

Maintaining your child’s oral health is important to ensure the proper development of permanent teeth and to prevent the need for invasive dental procedures. While you may be well aware of this, chances are your child is not concerned with brushing twice a day. After all, they have more important things to do like playing with their favorite toy or annoying their sibling. 

As a parent, you may find it difficult to get your child to brush their teeth. When pressed by time in the morning or feeling tired after a long day, it may be tempting to just skip battling with your child over brushing their teeth. Unfortunately, this can eventually lead to the development of cavities that will require dental fillings. 

Therefore, we have compiled some strategies you can use to make dental hygiene more enticing to your children. It is our hope that these strategies help decrease their resistance to brush their teeth in order to make your life easier. 

Let them pick their toothbrush

Young boy brushing his teeth and making a thumbs up

Nowadays, kid’s toothbrushes are colorfully decorated with their favorite cartoon or movie characters. This makes them seem more like toys and less like boring dental tools. Additionally, letting your child pick their own toothbrush helps them to be more excited about using it and gives them a sense of control. 

Be a role model

When it is time for your children to brush their teeth, brush your teeth along with them. You can make it a game of “Simon Says” and use it as a way to show them the proper way to brush their teeth. Children look to their parents and often try to imitate them at a young age, so this can help them be more likely to brush their teeth. 

Have fun with it

Kids love fun and they respond well to situations they deem as fun. Therefore, you should make tooth brushing a fun activity. Fighting with your child is not fun for you or your child, so try not to make it a daily part of the tooth brushing routine. Instead, treat tooth brushing like a game. If you have more than one child, you can have them challenge each other and the winner can earn points to redeem for a prize at a later time. You can also pick a favorite song and play it only for  brush time so your child looks forward to it. It may also be helpful to have them watch a two minute video clip while they are brushing. Ultimately, you will have to be creative here. 

Be positive

Another large part of making tooth brushing fun is to maintain positivity. This is sometimes easier said than done, but do your best. As a general rule, you should NEVER use scare tactics to motivate your child because this can cause dental anxiety at an early age and can make them less likely to want to brush their teeth. Instead, tooth brushing should be viewed as a positive activity that they enjoy to some extent. 

Maintain a routine

hand with stopwatch

Kids also respond well to structure and having a daily routine can make things much easier on both you and your child. Making tooth brushing part of their routine is an easy way to have them complete the activity without questioning or resisting it. In order to make it a routine, you will need to set a disciplined schedule that makes time for them to brush in the morning at night. Then you will need to enforce this routine and do your best to not skip brushings. 

As you can see, there are some strategies you can use to make tooth brushing more appealing to your child. It may take some time, however, to figure out which strategy works best for them. If you have tried these strategies and are still having trouble getting your child to brush their teeth, mention this at their next dental appointment. Chances are, your child’s pediatric dentist has a variety of other strategies you can try. 

Dr. Leyster is a board-certified pediatric dental specialist. He is recognized as a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as faculty as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in the Division of Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Leyster belongs to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, California Dental Association, Pacific Northwest Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, can develop cavities just like permanent teeth. One condition that we see frequently as pediatric dentists is a condition called early childhood caries, commonly known as baby bottle tooth decay. The informal name is derived from the cause of the caries, which is allowing infants and toddlers to fall asleep with a bottle of juice, sugar water or even soda. However, these drinks can also result in decay if they are given to the child during waking hours. The best course of action is to give the child only plain water, breast milk or formula in a bottle, and at bedtime, allow only water.

Missing or Damaged Primary Teeth

Some parents wonder why it is important for the child to retain his or her baby teeth for the appropriate period. They reason that the primary teeth will be lost in a few years and that it is only important to make sure that the permanent teeth are kept in good health. However, baby teeth play an important role in the future dental health of the child and should therefore receive proper care.

One of the most critical roles played by baby teeth is that of “space holder” for the adult teeth. It takes time for the permanent teeth to develop beneath the gums. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the adult teeth have much more leeway to shift out of alignment before they ever erupt. The permanent teeth can come in crooked, which can result in crowding of the teeth that follow.

It is also possible for a baby tooth with a cavity to become infected. This is not only potentially painful for the child, but the infection can also spread to other teeth. Oral infections have been linked to an increase in the risk of childhood asthma as well as to other health problems.

Parents’ Role in the Child’s Dental Health

As much as we would welcome a “magic wand” that we could use in our office to safeguard your child’s teeth, we do not have one. Ensuring your child’s future dental health is a partnership between your home and our office.

Caring for your child’s oral health should begin — at minimum — as soon as the first tooth breaks through the gum. Even before your child has his or her first tooth, you should clean the baby’s gums very gently after feedings. Use a damp, sanitary, soft cloth to clean the gums, or use a soft-bristled “baby toothbrush.” Wait until the child has his first tooth before using toothpaste, and then use only a very small dab.

Encouraging good dental habits in your child is important. You might need to supervise brushings until the child is six or seven years old. You might also want to talk with your child about the relationship between good dental care, such as proper brushing and limiting sweets, and an attractive smile that can last for a lifetime.

Allow Us to Help

Our practice is devoted to pediatric dentistry, so our staff members have the training and experience to make your child’s visit a pleasant one. We use the latest technologies, products and techniques to help you make sure that your child’s teeth will be strong and beautiful into adulthood and far beyond.

If you would schedule an appointment with us around the time of your child’s first birthday, we can conduct an examination of his or her dental health. This is an excellent opportunity for your child to become comfortable with our staff and environment.

We offer emergency services should your child ever need immediate attention. Whether your child needs cosmetic pediatric dentistry, routine cleanings and care, restorative care or preventive treatments, our caring staff can help. Your child’s dental health is our first priority!

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.

For any good parent, keeping a child healthy is of paramount concern. A child’s oral health has a strong link to their overall health. Poor oral health can result in difficulties paying attention in school, increased bullying, and lower self-esteem. The following are 7 things that parents can do to keep their children’s teeth as healthy as possible.

1. Start Early

Many parents are surprised to learn that successful pediatric oral health care begins before the child has their first tooth appear in their mouth. It is recommended that parents start to clean out there infant’s mouth using a wet washcloth to wipe their gums. The reason for this is that a child’s gums are the basis for good teeth. Children are born with all of their teeth already in their mouth. It is just that the teeth are underneath the surface of the gums. If gums are kept healthy, baby teeth will grow in healthy as well.

2. Early and Frequent Dental Visits

A child should already have had their first dentist appointment before they reach one-year-old. This allows the dentist to monitor the growth of the child’s teeth and also to provide practical suggestions that will help the parent plan for future oral health situations. From then on, regular dental visits should be scheduled every six months.

3. The Detrimental Effect of Baby Bottle Decay

Many parents with good intentions put their child to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. These bottles often contain juice, milk, or baby formula. This is detrimental to the health of their child’s teeth. Why? Sugary liquids such as juices and milks will stick to their baby’s teeth. This results in bacteria growth, which in turn leads to tooth decay. If parents feel that putting their child to bed with a bottle is a must, they should guarantee that the bottle only has water.

4. Require Oral Hygiene

Most children are reluctant to brush to their teeth. They will put up a fight, and they will fuss when it comes time for them to brush your teeth, floss their teeth, and rinse them off before they go to bed. At times, parents may be inclined to yield to their child’s demands. However, parents must be firm, and they must hold their ground. They must let children know that when it comes to oral health, they have no choice.

5. Have Patience

Patience is key when helping a young child of two or three years old learn how to brush their teeth. Usually, it is not until the child is around age 6 that they will be able to brush their teeth on their own without supervision. And, it is not until they are around 10 years old that they will be able to floss on their own.

6. Have Fun

Many parents have commented that they are more successful in getting the child to brush their teeth if they start before the child is too tired and already ready to go to sleep. Additionally, many parents have found it beneficial to have their child shop with them when they purchase toothpaste, toothbrushes, and flossing material. This way, the child feels like they have an active role in maintaining their oral health. Additionally, if children see brushing their teeth as a fun activity, they are more inclined to do it with regularity. Some parents have set up a system whereby a child receives a gold star every time they brush their teeth. After they collect 50 gold stars, they are able to turn those in for a dessert, movie, or video game of their choice.

7. Use the Appropriate Amount of Fluoride Toothpaste

Fluoride is an important tool in fighting cavities. However, children who are younger than six years old can suffer ill effects if they swallow excessive amounts of fluoride. Parents can prevent this from happening by only using a pea size amount of toothpaste on their child’s toothbrush and by teaching the child to spit the toothpaste out and rinse well after they brush their teeth.

A child’s oral health is an important part of their development. Unfortunately, children do not understand the importance of keeping their teeth and their mouth healthy. For this reason, it is up to parents to diligently help their child keep their teeth healthy.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.

People today are busier than ever. Many busy parents are neglecting basic care, including dental hygiene. In many cases, children are not getting the proper dental care either. The good news is that there are many things busy parents can do to stay on top of their dental hygiene:

Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking water is one of the simplest things people can do to keep their smiles healthy. That is why it is a good idea to keep a pitcher full of water in the refrigerator. You may also want to keep some water bottles in the car so that you and your kids can drink water while on the go.

Keep Toothpaste And Toothbrushes At The Kitchen Sink

It will be a lot easier for you to brush your teeth after meals if you keep toothpaste and toothbrushes at your kitchen sink. Regular brushing not only removes food from in between your teeth, but it also helps prevent plaque from building up. Make sure that toothbrushes are replaced at least once every three months.

Make Good Snack Choices

You may have been told that snacking is something you should avoid because it is bad for your teeth. However, it is important to remember there are many healthy snacks that can help keep your teeth healthy. Cubed cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, rice cakes and whole wheat crackers are examples of some of the healthy snacks you and your children can eat.

Chew Gum

Contrary to popular belief, chewing gum is not always bad for your teeth. Sugar-free gum that has been sweetened with xylitol is the best type to chew. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating a meal can stimulate saliva production. This flow of saliva helps neutralize acids. It can also help get food particles off of the teeth.

Use Fluoride Rinses

Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel and greatly reduce the risk of cavities. That is why you and your children should use a fluoride rinse every night.

Drink Sugary Beverages Through A Straw

Sugary beverages can cause serious damage to your teeth. It is best to limit your consumption of sugary beverages. However, if you drink sugary beverages, then you can minimize potential damage by drinking the beverages through a straw. You reduce the amount of the beverage that comes in contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw. You should also rinse your mouth out with water after you finish drinking your beverage.

Keep Travel Toothbrush And Toothpaste On Hand

You may not always have the time to brush your teeth on a busy day when you are rushing to get out of the door. Fortunately, you can still brush while you are on the go. That is why it is a good idea to keep some toothpaste and toothbrushes on hand while you are traveling.

Use Floss Picks

Using floss picks is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are on the go. The reason floss picks are effective is because they can easily fit in between your teeth. Not only do they help keep your gums and teeth healthy, but they can also freshen your breath. In many cases, bad breath is caused by the buildup of food particles in between the teeth.

Educate Your Children

Children who develop good dental hygiene habits early will most likely continue them once they hit adulthood. That is why it is important to educate your children about why brushing and flossing is necessary. You will also need to talk to them about making healthy food choices.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.

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