Why Oral Health Symptoms Shouldn’t Be Ignored

kids dentist Fort WorthIf your child complains of a toothache, there are several things that could be happening. A new tooth could be erupting or a baby tooth might be loose. These are very common occurrences, but there are other issues that could be affecting your child that might endanger their oral health. Your kid’s dentist should be seen every six months for cleaning and a dental exam, but in addition to those visits consult their dental provider for any problems that might occur.

Trauma to a tooth – If your child has experienced any kind of traumatic event affecting their mouth, there may be cause for concern. If a tooth’s nerve center is impacted, the tooth may or may not become discolored indicating a problem. Endodontic therapy may save a permanent tooth, so having your child examined by their dentist is essential.

Daily oral maintenance – Just as your child may neglect making their bed daily or keeping their room clean, they may need a daily nudge to make sure they are brushing and flossing every day. The caregiver needs to provide the correct tools, but if they are not being used every day, having a great toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste and rinses, and your child’s favorite floss are meaningless.

Daily oral maintenance is needed to keep plaque formation to a minimum … plaque buildup can result in dental decay and/or the onset of gum disease. Dental decay is more likely to occur in children as their teeth are not as strong at this age. Pediatric dentistry has many tools available to help in preventing tooth decay like topical fluoride applications and dental sealants that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth.

If your child tells you their gums are bleeding, this may be cause for concern. Your child should be using a soft bristle toothbrush and taught that they do not need to use excessive pressure when brushing to get their teeth clean. Your child might benefit from an electronic toothbrush. In addition to their ability to clean teeth, a built-in timer is usually included to encourage your child to brush the recommended two minutes every time they brush. Unprovoked bleeding gums may be an indication of gum disease.

Your child’s permanent teeth must last a lifetime so be proactive in their care. Your child will be grateful you did.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our team!

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

kids dentist Fort WorthFluoride is beneficial to the support of healthy teeth giving them strength and fortifying the protective enamel that covers teeth. Fluoride has been added to city water supplies since the 1950s. Fluoride is also available in many of the foods we eat. But how do you know if your child is receiving enough of this critical component? With untreated bottled water, and everyone on the run these days, it may be best to rely on regular visits with your kid’s dentist to make sure their teeth are protected.

Your child should have their first dental visit around six months following the eruption of their first baby teeth … or at about twelve months. Pediatric dentistry provides treatment from a dentist specifically trained to take care of your child. This first visit will include an exam to assure that your child’s dental health is progressing correctly.

This is also the perfect opportunity for the parent to learn how to care for their child’s teeth during their early years; the importance of keeping baby teeth healthy and how to support the permanent teeth that will need to last a lifetime.

Why is fluoride so important? It is a mineral that is found in foods and water; and like many other discoveries in medicine, research found that by boosting fluoride intake, the outer surface of teeth became more resistant to the acids that promote dental decay.

Toothpaste, mouthwash, and oral rinses are available today with fluoride. This topical application is applied daily as often as we brush and swish. But when your child is just starting out it is up to you to make sure their daily oral hygiene habits are performed correctly and with the right tools.

Your kid’s dentist might suggest holding off using your adult toothpaste on your child until you’re sure your little one has mastered the art of spitting. Until then, an age appropriate toothpaste is recommended.

As your child ages, pediatric dentistry has the tools available to apply a topical protective covering of fluoride to teeth during their six month visit. In addition to having plaque buildup removed from teeth and an exam performed, other decay prevention helps are available.

Dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth while fluoride (both topical and that taken internally) offer additional protection by strengthening dental enamel.

Contact our office at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!

Food Friends and Foes for Your Child’s Teeth

kids dentist Fort WorthNo doubt some foods are very high on the recommended list of what your child should consume, but an occasional snack should be kept on that list so your child does not feel deprived and looks to binge on junk at their very first opportunity. Your kid’s dentist will help with guidelines for you to maintain your child’s oral health, and you need to add common sense to provide a steady upbringing that will help your child grow up to enjoy great oral and overall health.

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be major contenders for your child’s daily food budget. Dairy products like cheese, reduced sugar yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, and eggs are important in a balanced diet. Protein based foods like nuts, peanut butter, beans, non-processed meats, fish, and fowl are tasty, filling, and nutritious. Limited carbohydrates like those in pasta, bread, and potatoes are approved in moderation.

But it is unrealistic to think that a child is not going to want a snack like candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, pie, donuts … the list seems endless. And what about the beverages loaded with sugar like soda, juice, and many “healthy” drinks that flood the market. And with fast food temptations on almost every corner beckoning your child with toy giveaways and glitzy marketing, it seems like an almost impossible task to keep your child’s daily food consumption healthy and within range to prevent dental decay and other oral problems from occurring.

Your child should experience their first dental visit around the age of twelve months. With pediatric dentistry, parents not only have the opportunity for an early oral exam to make sure their child’s mouth and teeth are progressing normally, but they have a professional available to answer any questions they might have regarding things like the diet needed to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

No doubt parents will give in to the occasional treat. But if your child starts out learning to enjoy foods like vegetables, fruits, and healthy snacks, by the time they start school they will have learned to incorporate wholesome eating habits into their daily regimen.

Processed foods are everywhere so provide your child with a solid, healthy food base in the early years and they will likely carry that style of eating into adulthood enjoying great oral health along the way.

For more tips, contact our office today!

Tips to Prepare Your Child for the First Dental Appointment

kids dentist fort worthIdeally, your child should have his or her first dental appointment by the first birthday. This will help acclimate a child to the process. Success at the dentist’s office begins with the type of dentist you choose.

When the first professional that your child interacts with is a kid’s dentist, your child will receive specialized care that considers the unique needs of the pediatric patient. They’ll use techniques and terminology that are targeted to a child’s experience and understanding. The dentist will show the child any instruments that will be used during the appointment and demonstrate how they are used, as well.

A kid’s dentist also will feature pint-sized amenities, like chairs, tables and aprons. This will make the child feel more comfortable in the environment and make it less frightening for them. You and your child are welcome to tour our office before the appointment to establish some familiarity.

There are steps that you can take as a parent to make sure that the experience is a positive one for your child. Stay in the room while the dentist is examining your child, so that you can be there to comfort him or her if necessary.

As children get older and enter toddlerhood, they may express some reluctance about going to the dentist, even if it is a kid’s dentist. If this happens, you can calm any fears that they may have by being open and honest with them about the process. If you have any dental fears of your own, it’s best to get those under control before approaching the subject with your child.

Take care to reassure your child that the dentist will take good care of them and explain clearly what they can expect from the appointment, making sure not to make it sound too scary. Remember, a positive early relationship with the dentist can set the stage for a lifetime of good oral health. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your child’s dental appointment, feel free to call our office at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry and speak to one of our experienced professionals for their advice.

The Role Nutrition Plays in Maintaining Healthy Teeth

kids dentist Fort WorthWhat we eat and drink has an impact on our oral health. Diets high in sugar and acid can severely affect children’s dental health – especially since children are constantly enticed by foods full of sugar, artificial ingredients, and acidic preservatives. Whether it is commercials advertising unhealthy foods or the plethora of harmful choices available at schools and other public places, maintaining good nutritional habits can be cumbersome for parents and caregivers – especially since many harmful ingredients are listed on packaging by less common names. Our pediatric dentistry practice and our kid’s dentist are committed to helping our community achieve vibrant oral health by providing comprehensive care and oral health education.

Why Sugar and Acid are Dangerous

Sugar is dangerous to oral health because it is a source of fuel for bacteria. When sugar is consumed – by either food or drink – bacteria go on a feeding frenzy. When bacteria feed, they colonize, which ultimately leads to plaque formation and as a result of this process, they produce acid as a by-product. Any kind of acid, even acid produced by bacteria, softens tooth enamel by stripping away its mineral content. Alone, sugar and acid are quite dangerous to the health of teeth and when they are combined, they can lead to permanent tooth damage and dental caries.

Weakened tooth enamel leaves teeth unprotected against the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. Children’s oral health and well-being is greatly compromised by tooth decay. Cavities can cause daily discomfort that can affect performance in school, speech development, and overall health. Untreated tooth decay not only damages teeth, it can progress into a chronic infection like an abscess.

Tips for Reducing Sugar and Acid in One’s Diet

Since sugary and acidic food is commonplace in modern diets, we encourage to be vigilant when reading the ingredients on food and beverage packages. For instance, ingredients like alcohol-based sugars or forms of fructose feed bacteria the same way that sugarcane does. Additionally, common flavor enhancers and preservatives like ascorbic or citric acid can weaken teeth. Beyond reducing sugar and acid intake, parents should encourage the consumption of clear water to help rinse the mouth and maintain a healthy pH. Children should also receive routine pediatric dentistry care.

Contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to schedule a checkup or cleaning with our kid’s dental team.

5 Things You Need to Know About your Child’s Dental Checkups

Fort Worth kids dentistAs a parent, you most likely bring your child to their pediatrician once a year for regular exams and vaccinations. However, many parents do not place this same emphasis on their child’s oral health. Considering the health of their mouth, teeth, and gums is also important and understanding the need for regular visits to your kid’s dentist is smart.

Scheduling Dental Exams

To ensure your child receives proper care, consider staying on the right pediatric dentistry schedule. Although each child is different, your child should have their first dental visit when their first tooth develops. If they still have not developed their first tooth after turning one year of age, schedule a complete dental exam.

For ongoing dental care, bring your child to a kid’s dentist twice a year for cleanings and general exams.

Visiting the Right Dentist

You should also understand the differences between a family dentist and pediatric dentistry professional. A pediatric dentist will offer your child the best care, since they have specialty education and training in treating children. In most cases, pediatric dentists have an additional 2 to 3 years of specialized education that centers on treating infants to teenagers.

Dental Checkup Process

During your child’s regular dental checkup, the dentist will conduct a thorough exam and a series of x-rays to determine how well their teeth are developing. Advice on treatments will be given, if necessary. A hygienist will also perform a detailed cleaning while educating you and your child on proper dental care.

Home Care

While bringing your child to the dentist on a regular schedule is smart for their oral health, proper care at home is just as important.

During your child’s checkups, the dentist will discuss the correct ways to brush, floss, and rinse to achieve healthy, appealing teeth. Brushing twice a day, for two minutes at a time, and flossing each night are essential rules for your child to follow.

Further Treatment is Possible

Many pediatric dentists recommend an orthodontic consultation. This may be surprising to you, but visiting an orthodontist early can prevent further developmental issues. Children who receive orthodontic care at an earlier age are able to improve their smile and their bite alignment in a more effective manner.

Your child deserves a healthy, appealing smile, so consult our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to learn more about proper oral health.

A Healthy Mouth is a Gateway to a Healthy Body

Fort Worth kids dentist Like the saying goes “the eyes are the window to the soul”, one could argue that the mouth is the gateway to a healthy body. In fact, there has been quite a lot of scientific evidence to back up the claim that oral health and overall well-being are connected. For example, numerous studies have linked gum disease to cardiovascular problems, stroke, and even Alzheimer’s. We know that tooth decay can lead to systemic infections that enter the blood stream, too. Since optimal oral health is important to overall wellness, our kid’s dentists strives to instill healthy habits among our younger patients. Our practice provides comprehensive pediatric dentistry services that help prevent common oral diseases and restore damaged teeth.

The Importance of Oral Hygiene and Preventive Care

Establishing good oral health begins at home. Parents and caregivers should instill the value of oral hygiene to children. Developing good habits at a young age will carry over into adulthood. Children should be monitored when learning to brush and floss their teeth. Caregivers should make sure that children are brushing correctly and adequately. To remove the most amount of plaque, patients should brush their teeth, tongue, and gums for at least two minutes in gentle, circular motions. When children reach the age of four or five, they should begin flossing on their own. Flossing is important for cleaning between teeth and along the gum line. Proper brushing and flossing greatly reduce the risk for cavities and gum disease.

While home care is essential to keeping one’s mouth clean and healthy, so is receiving regular professional care. Children should see our kid’s dentist office twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Regular checkups can reveal potential problems in their earliest stages and therefore increase the likelihood of conservative treatment protocols. Additionally, regular cleanings will help control the buildup of plaque and tartar, which both contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.

Our team is here to help children establish healthy habits and enjoy vibrant oral health. To schedule an appointment for pediatric dentistry services, call our family-friendly office today.

Tooth Pain and Poor School Performance: Is there a connection?

kid’s dentist Fort WorthIf you ever tried to focus on something, but you were dealing with pain at the same time, the pain can become the priority. Reading a book, watching a movie, or trying to do homework can be overshadowed if the discomfort that accompanies a toothache is present. Your kid’s dentist should be consulted immediately if your child experiences tooth pain.

You don’t have to be a scientist to understand the correlation between concentration and pain. If you stub your toe, that pain is front and center in your brain until it subsides. But a toothache is often a pain that does not stop – it is often an ongoing, throbbing sensation that interferes with everything you do.

As with most problems, prevention triumphs over resolution. There are many steps that can be taken to keep tooth pain from occurring:

  1. Take your child to the kid’s dentist around the age of twelve months. The advantages of early visits are numerous. The child becomes familiar with the surrounding sounds and smells, and builds a trust with the family dental provider. If your child’s first visit to the kid’s dentist is to deal with tooth pain, future visits are jeopardized.
  2. Teach your child about oral hygiene. Demonstrate the importance of daily flossing and brushing by allowing your child to watch your hygiene regimen. Discuss the importance of taking care of their teeth, and supervise them to make sure they’re doing everything consistently and correctly.
  3. Before dental decay can occur, have your child protected with dental sealants. A sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth not impacted by decay. The sealant will protect teeth but they can dislodge or wear away making consistent dental visits even more important.
  4. Make sure your child sees their kid’s dentist every six months. Plaque build-up will be removed that could lead to cavities or gum problems. The exam provided by the dentist will point out any areas of concern.
  5. Make sure your child limits (or better yet avoids) consuming sugary snacks and beverages. The sugar in foods and drinks clings to bacteria on teeth, and hardens to form plaque.

If your child speaks about tooth pain, don’t wait to see if it goes away. Take action to prevent a small issue from escalating to a big one.

Good Dental Health Starts Early

Did you realize that children should have their first dental appointment by their first birthday? Many patients do not since the child is far from having a set of completely erupted teeth at that point. Nonetheless, getting your child established with a pediatric dentist at an early age will help to set the stage for good oral health throughout childhood and beyond.

Children are very susceptible to tooth decay, so it’s important for a child to see a kid’s dentist at a young age. This gives the dentist ample opportunity to monitor any changes in the child’s teeth or gums that may indicate a significant problem. It also helps to establish a dental home for your child, as this dentist will be able to follow your child’s case until adulthood.

It’s also good for a child to get into a routine of going to the dentist. A kid’s dentist is likely to recommend that a patient visit every six months, just like his or her parents do – and for the same reason. Regular checkups help the dentist spot troubling symptoms earlier, whenever the problem is more treatable. Furthermore, routine dental appointments can help your child become more familiar with the dentist and dental team, easing any fears or anxieties about the process.

Of course, good dental health doesn’t just happen in the dentist’s office. What you do at home to keep teeth clean is just as important. Your pediatric dentist can educate you on what you need to do to care for your child’s teeth, and when your child will be able to take over some of his or her own oral hygiene routine.

Parents should also monitor their children’s diet to make sure they’re getting the right nutrition for healthy strong teeth. Limit sugary treats to cut the risk of cavities.

The dentist can also make recommendations on interventions such as fluoride treatments or sealants, which can be beneficial in protecting children’s teeth.

Even very young children can benefit from dental exams, so be sure to have your child see a dentist early and keep up with regular checkups afterward.

To schedule your child’s visit, contact Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at 817-569-6633 today.