Break These Bad Brushing Habits

childrens dentist Tarrant countyBrushing your teeth is important at any age, including during one’s childhood. A child is very susceptible to developing dental caries (tooth decay) due to modern diets having too much sugar and inadequate oral hygiene. While brushing is important, brushing incorrectly does harm, too. Our children’s dentist offers preventive and restorative services through checkups, cleanings, and oral health education. Following are common bad brushing habits patients should avoid.

Brushing Too Hard

In many cases, the more vigorous one scrubs the cleaner something becomes, such as tough stains on dishes or floors. With teeth, however, vigorous brushing leads to damaging tooth enamel. Damaged tooth enamel compromises the health of teeth by exposing the softer, internal structures to cavity-causing bacteria. When brushing, it is best to use soft, circular and back-and-forth strokes. Brushing thoroughly but softly is the most effective way to clean teeth and gums.

Forgetting to Replace Your Toothbrush

Did you know that you should replace your toothbrush or electronic brush heads about every three months? Keeping a toothbrush too long is a bad habit. When bristles are frayed, they cannot effectively clean oral surfaces. Moreover, bacteria collect on the bristles of a toothbrush over time. An easy way to remember to change toothbrushes and brush heads is to buy a new brush at the beginning of every new season.

Brushing Immediately After a Meal

While brushing after we eat is a great idea, it is not wise to brush immediately after eating. This is because bacteria feed on food particles when we eat. As a by-product, bacteria will release acid that softens tooth enamel. It is best to wait about half an hour before brushing so that tooth enamel is not damaged while in a compromised state.

Brushing too Quickly

The American Dental Association recommends brushing for about two minutes each time. Rushing through your oral hygiene routine means that surfaces will not be cleaned effectively. We recommend keeping track of time when brushing so that you increase your chances of removing as much bacteria and debris as possible.

Call our family-friendly office today to schedule a checkup or cleaning with our children’s dentist.

Is Your Child’s Diet Tooth Friendly?

childrens dentist Tarrant CountyWith the immediate availability of prepared foods and snacks, it may have become more difficult to monitor what your child consumes. But it is critically important to their overall and dental health to watch what they eat and drink, make sure they are brushing and flossing every day and visiting your children’s dentist every six months for cleaning and checkup.

Many foods and drinks are labeled as “healthy” but unless you read food labels it is difficult to know. Getting back to basics by offering fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy like yogurt or cheese snacks, whole grains and nuts (of course, be aware of allergies), and plenty of water to stay hydrated are the optimum alternatives to prepackaged snacks and drinks.

A healthy, tooth-friendly diet will include calcium enriched foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, and lean protein. Your body needs calcium, so if you aren’t getting it through your diet, your teeth become the available source for the body to steal what it needs. Lack of calcium in your teeth can lead to dental decay and even gum disease.

Vitamins are essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums … fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins. Crunchy fruits and vegetables have the added bonus of actually scrubbing teeth to help reduce plaque build-up.

Water is best for quenching thirst and keeping the body hydrated; although bottled water lacks fluoride provided by tap water, it is still a better choice than sugary drinks, juices, or soda. You can add flavor to water by infusing it with fruit or one of the many sugar free flavored drink mixes available.

The list of foods to avoid is very extensive … sugary snacks like candy, cookies, or ice cream should be saved for special occasions and not consumed on a daily basis. The same goes for soda, which is unhealthy due to its sugar and acidic content. Many prepared foods that are not that high in sugar content should still be limited as the carbohydrates in them will cling to the bacteria already present in your mouth and allow harmful plaque to build on teeth.

Pediatric dentistry teaches the value the daily brushing and flossing which you can reinforce. Provide a tooth friendly diet and make sure your family sees the dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam.

For more teeth tips, contact our team today!

Why are the primary teeth so important?

childrens dentist Tarrant CountyPrimary teeth are also known as deciduous, milk, or baby teeth. Your baby’s teeth actually begin forming in the womb, and usually start to erupt around six months of age. Over the next three years twenty baby teeth will come in. Your child should see a children’s dentist starting at twelve months of age. This first visit usually involves a dental exam to make sure your child’s dental progress is on track, and to make sure any evident dental problems are attended to.

The primary teeth serve very distinct purposes:

  • They reserve proper spacing for permanent teeth. Adult teeth are preparing to come in as baby teeth are lost. Primary teeth will begin to fall out around age six allowing permanent teeth to begin to emerge. If a baby tooth is lost prematurely, your children’s dentist may recommend placing a space maintainer to prevent already erupted adult teeth from shifting blocking the emergence of a tooth in its correct place.
  • Teeth play a very large role in word formation. As your child learns to talk, they will use their tongue and teeth to form sounds and learn proper word pronunciation.
  • Chewing. As your child develops the ability to eat solid foods, the teeth play a very large role in consuming a nutritious diet. Of course, early foods will be soft; but as your child grows and starts to eat other foods, proper nourishment from fresh fruits and vegetables; protein; grains; and dairy will be enabled by healthy teeth.

Daily oral maintenance for your child’s primary teeth is very important. Wiping newly formed baby teeth with a soft cloth until your child is able to allow you to brush their teeth is acceptable. Once several baby teeth have erupted, use a soft bristle toothbrush and an age appropriate pea size drop of toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth. It will be some time until your child learns to spit out toothpaste, so never use a fluoridated toothpaste for your baby or toddler.

In an effort to keep your baby’s teeth cavity free, never put your child to bed with a bottle containing anything but water. Milk, formula, and juice can linger in your baby’s mouth after they fall asleep. The sugars from these beverages can allow plaque to form on teeth leading to dental decay.

For more questions or to schedule an appointment, contact our caring team today!


Dental Health for The New Year

childrens dentist Tarrant countyGreat dental health contributes to good overall health. If teeth and/or gums are plagued with decay or disease, the health of the body is going to suffer as well. The ways are evident … pain, inability to eat properly, and social issues like appearance or chronic bad breath. Many people commit to making healthy changes in the New Year. But waiting isn’t a great idea, and those changes are easy to make. For your child’s better oral health, you can start by scheduling an appointment with a children’s dentist.

If your child has reached the age of twelve months, you should be keeping their oral health in mind by taking them for their first dental check-up. At this appointment your child will receive an examination to either confirm their dental health is on the right track; or perhaps a problem or concern will be identified. Early diagnosis usually leads to a better result.

At this first appointment the caregivers are given a golden opportunity to ask questions about their child’s dental welfare. The advice given should start being followed right away including:

  • Teach your child about teeth brushing. Use an age appropriate tooth paste and soft bristle brush to keep your child’s teeth clean – brush twice each day.
  • Flossing should be done daily – teaching by example is often the easiest way so let your child watch how you care for your teeth.

You’ve followed through with this first dental appointment, so make sure your child’s oral health is a priority and keep those dental check-ups every six months. When your child experiences no dental health issues, it is easy to elongate time between appointments. However, taking chances with your child’s teeth can result in costly and time consuming treatment.

Now that you have made a plan with your children’s dentist, you can follow through on your own dental needs. Do you brush with a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice every day? Do you floss to remove what your tooth brush missed? And when was the last time you visited the dentist for a cleaning and dental exam?

Do not let a date on the calendar be your guide for maintaining your family’s dentition. Even though the start of a new year is motivation for making positive changes, the pursuit of great oral health should be ongoing every day of the year.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for your child!

A Parent’s Guide to Infant and Toddler Dental Care

childrens dentist Tarrant CountyA parent’s responsibility to maintain great overall and dental health for their infant carries a lifetime of commitment and a bundle of accountability. Your children’s dentist provides a wonderful source to stay informed on all you can do to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

Your baby’s teeth actually form while still in the womb. They will begin to erupt around the age of four to six months. Once teeth start to break through the gums, your infant might experience discomfort and cry and/or run a fever, which are symptoms of teething.  A cold teething ring might provide some relief. There are some topical medications that might help as well.

As your baby’s teeth appear, wiping them clean daily with a soft cloth is advised. The baby should never be put down for a nap or for the night with anything in their baby bottle except water. Formula, milk, and juices all contain sugar. If the baby is allowed to go to sleep with these contents in their mouth, the sugary liquid literally lingers on teeth for hours leading to the potential of dental decay.

At one year of age, your child should have their first appointment with the children’s dentist. This first visit consists primarily of an exam to make sure your child’s oral health is on course. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss your kid’s dental health and learn what is needed to protect their teeth and gums.

Appointments should be kept regularly. This will allow your child to become familiar with the activities of the dental office. If your child is taken to the dentist for the first time due to a dental problem, subsequent visits will always be resisted.

As your toddler grows, brushing daily with an age appropriate fluoridated tooth paste is a hands-on daily responsibility. Your child needs to know how to brush, spit, and floss. Allowing your child to watch you is a wonderful teacher.

As your child gains coordination, they will eventually learn to brush and floss on their own; but daily monitoring is usually still needed.

In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the children’s dentist, a healthy diet is critical limiting sugary snacks and beverages to special occasions. Following these guidelines will promote great dental health that will serve your child well for life. 

If you have further questions, call our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry!

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

childrens dentist Fort WorthAlthough teeth actually start forming in the womb, the appearance of baby’s first teeth is usually in the four to six month range. Wiping teeth with a soft cloth is considered sufficient in those early months. At around the age of twelve months, you should plan on taking your child to visit a children’s dentist for an initial checkup. This appointment is a perfect opportunity to become educated on caring for your child’s teeth.

As an infant, you can’t expect your baby to understand the importance of brushing and flossing. Also, your baby isn’t coordinated enough to perform these functions without a lot of help. So until your child demonstrates the ability to thoroughly brush and floss on their own, you need to be on hand to help complete this task twice every day.

It is difficult for your child to comprehend that you don’t want them to swallow the toothpaste you use to clean their teeth. That is why it is very important to use an age appropriate cleaning agent and a soft bristle toothbrush. A very small amount of tooth paste is usually sufficient to clean tiny baby teeth.

Sadly many parents believe baby teeth are eventually going to be replaced so they don’t give them the care they should. But these baby teeth are paving the way for the permanent teeth, so maintaining their health by preventing decay and premature loss is critical for your child’s dental health.

Sufficient fluoride is needed to prevent decay. Although tap water and a healthy diet are great ways to get fluoride, for children who consume bottled water or alternative beverages, a supplement may be needed to help prevent decay. Your dentist can apply fluoride right in the office. It is important to note that over fluoridation can result in teeth stain, so an honest discussion should be held during dental visits.

Prevention trumps reacting to dental problems. A diet with healthy fruits and vegetables, limiting sugary snacks and beverages, daily oral hygiene care, and regular dental visits promote healthy teeth and gums.

Your kid’s dental health is as important as their overall health. You wouldn’t think of missing any of your baby’s doctor visits, so seeing your children’s dentist at around one year and at regular intervals thereafter will help foster great dental health.

To schedule an appointment for your baby, call our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today!

Enjoy Safety and Convenience With Digital X-rays

children's dentist Tarrant county Digital x-rays offer many advantages that traditional radiographs don’t provide. Your children’s dentist can see immediate images for quick diagnosis of all dental problems, which means fewer minutes in the dentist’s chair.

Digital x-rays are also advantageous in the fact they can provide a much clearer image. With older x-rays, if the technician made a mistake in the development of the x-ray, it might be too dark or too light. Since digital imagery appears on a computer screen, the dental provider has the ability to modify the contrast to make it clearer and easier to read.

Exposure to radiation is drastically reduced. The radiation from one older x-ray is about equal to the exposure from a full set of x-rays taken digitally. This is critical, especially if the radiograph needs to be retaken to get a clearer view or a different angle.

If your children’s dentist refers the patient for pediatric dentistry, the ability to transfer x-ray images over the internet can be done in an instant. This means additional x-rays may not be needed, and both dental providers have a permanent record of the x-rays that can be stored in their computer files.

Having instant access to patient’s radiographs can be very important especially in the case of a dental emergency. In a few clicks of the mouse, the dentist can view essential dental x-rays.

Behind the scenes in many dental offices where older x-ray technology still is used, the patient cannot see the machinery and chemicals needed to process dental images. Digital eliminates the need for processing using smelly liquids that ultimately pollute the environment.

The little square image produced by older x-rays often lacks definition making diagnosis more difficult. Trying to show a patient what you’re seeing is virtually impossible. However, with digital radiography, the view is crystal clear and appears on a screen that can be enhanced with light, size, and clarity. Your dental provider can show you specifically what the problem is … no more wondering about what you’re seeing.

Digital screening can be performed externally providing a panoramic view of the patient’s entire dentition; or what most patients experience where images are taken of specific teeth.

The result means improved diagnostics taken in a safer manner. This offers a better outcome for the patient, dentist, and environment.

To learn more about the technology we offer in-house, call our caring and professional team today!

Enjoy a More Natural Looking Smile with Tooth-Colored Fillings

childrens dentist fort worthThe tooth colored filling material known as composite resin has multiple uses. Bonding, cosmetic enhancements, and repairing dental decay are a few of the ways your children’s dentist will repair and improve your child’s appearance.

Chipped or severely stained teeth can be improved to make those dental maladies virtually disappear. For decades, cavities were filled with dental amalgam; a large amount of natural tooth was removed around the decay to make room for the silver filling material.

With today’s tooth colored filling material, much less of the biological tooth is removed to complete the repair. This allows the tooth to maintain strength and stability following treatment.

The resin material used in pediatric dentistry is plastic based and perfectly safe. There are no hazardous chemicals used to make or apply the filling material. It goes without saying that preventing the need for dental fillings is optimum. However, if dental decay is present, your children’s dentist will prepare the tooth and complete the procedure making it virtually impossible to detect.

The ideal age for a first visit with pediatric dentistry is twelve months. Your child will receive an exam and the parents have a perfect opportunity to discuss what they can do to maintain their child’s dental health.

Recommendations to help prevent tooth stain and dental decay would include brushing your child’s teeth with an age appropriate tooth paste and soft bristle tooth brush daily. Introduce flossing by gently flossing your child’s teeth daily.

Never put your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything but water. Formula, milk, and juice all contain sugar that could linger in your child’s mouth for hours. Just like with adults, sugars from food and beverages consumed can build on teeth leading to the formation of plaque.

Plaque build-up is a leading contributor to dental decay and gum disease. Ineffective or insufficient daily oral care can impact your child’s teeth. In addition to daily care, there are treatments that can help prevent dental decay.

The surface of your child’s teeth can be treated with a dental sealant. The sealant is applied to the surfaces of your child’s teeth sealing the areas of the tooth where decay is prevalent.

Your children’s dentist is available to treat whatever is needed to keep your child’s oral health as excellent as can be. To learn more, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633 today.

Toothache: When is it time to visit the dentist?

children’s dentist Tarrant countyTeeth are like other parts of our body. When a person experiences pain, it is normally a sign that something is wrong. The same principle is true for a toothache. If tooth pain is present, the tooth is likely infected. A cavity is the result of bacteria eating through the surfaces of teeth, and when the cavity deepens, it will produce discomfort. This is why it is important to set up an examination with our children’s dentist as soon as painful symptoms occur. We offer a number of pediatric dentistry services to help prevent the development of tooth decay and restore teeth damaged by infections.

Will cavities heal on their own?

Although other tissues in the body can self-heal, teeth are different. Once they are damaged below the enamel surface, the cavity will only deepen. This is why professional treatment is required to restore the tooth’s structures and prevent further damage. The most common method that our children’s dentist uses to repair damage done by decay is through placing a filling. Fillings are small restorations that protects teeth from further decay. Placing a filling is minimally invasive and we will administer a local anesthetic to ensure that our patients are comfortable throughout treatment.

Are there preventive dentistry treatments available?

In addition to providing restorations, we do offer preventive treatment that helps reduce the risk of developing decay while strengthening teeth. One method for preventing decay is for children to receive regular professional cleanings. During cleanings, our hygienists can look for signs of enamel loss and remove substances that contribute to dental caries like tartar and plaque. Other preventive services include dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Sealants help prevent cavities from forming on the biting surfaces of teeth while fluoride treatments strengthen tooth enamel.

Children should receive two cleanings every year and an annual checkup. We offer a family-friendly environment that is welcoming and serene. To reserve an appointment with our children’s dentist, call our office at your convenience.

Healthy Dental Habits your Child Should Follow

childrens dentist Tarrant countyGood oral health is just as important for children as it is for their parents. Therefore, you should teach your child good dental habits at an early age.

Cavity prevention is particularly important for children, as tooth decay is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases. Just as is the case with adults, thorough brushing and flossing is the cornerstone of reducing the risk of tooth decay.

Children as young as three years old may be capable of brushing their own teeth with some assistance, such as the parent putting the toothpaste on the brush. Of course, parents may still need to check the child’s mouth afterward to make sure that no spots were missed. The parent may need to continue to do some brushing until the child demonstrates the ability to brush independently.

In very young children, flossing may be unnecessary, but parents should have a children’s dentist demonstrate proper flossing technique whenever the child has two teeth that touch each other.

It’s also essential for your child to establish a good relationship with a dentist. A specialist in pediatric dentistry is well-attuned to the dental problems often faced by children. Furthermore, when your child visits the dentist every six months, it helps to reinforce a positive working relationship.

Parents should take their children to see a children’s dentist no later than their first birthday. This allows the dentist to evaluate the child early and monitor the child for any potentially problematic issues.

Maintaining a healthy diet and limiting sweet treats is also a good dental habit for your child, and it promotes overall health as well.

Keep in mind that what’s good for your child is good for you, too. When you keep good oral hygiene habits, you also serve as a good role model for your child.

If you have any questions about your child’s oral hygiene routine and healthy dental habits, ask your pediatric dentist for advice and suggestions. Remember when your child establishes a solid oral hygiene routine and oral care at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at a young age, the benefits will continue for years to come.