What Are Those White Spots on My Baby’s Teeth?

white spots on baby teeth As a parent, you want your children to be healthy, and that includes their teeth. Baby teeth may be replaced in a few short years by the permanent set, but they still require care to prevent decay and other more significant issues. Any untreated dental problems may affect their adult teeth if left untreated.

Perhaps you have noticed white spots on your child’s teeth and have wondered what causes them. In most cases those white spots are no cause for alarm, but they should be evaluated by a dentist to determine if treatment is needed. There are two main causes for white spots on baby teeth, overexposure to fluoride and tooth decay. Luckily, both of these conditions can be diagnosed and addressed to protect your young child’s dental health.

The Good News

Fluoride is one of the best ways to protect young teeth from cavities caused by the buildup of plaque, which is why it is added to water supplies in most areas. If your child drinks a lot of water, be happy that floride is being delivered via the water supply. White spots may develop on his or her teeth due to too much fluoride, a condition known as fluorosis. While it may be concerning, you should not worry too much. There is little risk that these white spots will affect the development of adult teeth; in fact, the exposure to fluoride may strengthen the enamel of adult teeth as well while they begin to form under the baby teeth. Check with your dentist to see if fluorosis has caused these white spots to appear. You may also want to make sure your child is not using too much toothpaste when brushing to limit the fluoride intake.

And the Not So Good News

The other main cause of white spots on your baby’s teeth is decay. Tooth decay can result from not enough brushing and flossing to remove bits of food. When bacteria has the opportunity to take hold, you may notice white spots near the gum line and other signs of tooth decay in toddlers, such as puffy gums and bad breath. A trip to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup, followed by a fluoride treatment, can take care of your child’s baby teeth to keep them healthy and prevent cavities or deeper infections.

Teach your child proper dental hygiene now to take care of teeth for a lifetime. Colgate Oral Care Center has lots of good tips to help you instill healthy habits at any age as well as more information on white spots on baby teeth and other dental concerns. This is just one of the signs of tooth decay in toddlers that you should keep an eye out for. Even the best pediatric dentist in Langhorne can’t force you to teach good dental hygiene at home. This often comes from patient persistence between the caregiver and the child.

 

Water Flossing for Kids Fights Bad Breath

Kid FlossingWe try to drill the message of important dental hygiene into our kids’ heads every day, yet statistics seem to show that those efforts are largely unsuccessful. So much so, in fact, that the American Association of Pediatric Dentists reports that 42 percent of U.S. parents recognize that their children’s dental hygiene standards are not up to par. Yet if you feel you’re losing the battle of getting your kids to understand the importance of dental health, don’t be discouraged. There are several tools and techniques out there that can help make the process of brushing (and more importantly, flossing) easier and even fun for kids.

Helping Kids to Develop a Good Dental Perspective

The trouble in getting your kids to see why they need to take care of their teeth and gums is often due to the fact that the message of having a healthy smile as an adult typically falls on deaf ears. Most children have trouble picturing themselves in a week, much less 10-15 years in the future. Thus, you need to try and show what the benefits of good dental hygiene are in the here-and-now.

What about avoiding bad breath? Given their many daily interactions with their peers, no kid wants to be singled out as the one with bad breath. The trouble is that brushing alone often isn’t enough to completely prevent it. Much of the plaque and tartar buildup that contributes to halitosis falls into the spaces between teeth, which is almost impossible to reach with a toothbrush. Therefore, if your kids are to avoid bad breath, flossing needs to be part of their daily routine.

Water Flossing is the Way to Go

Enter the concept of water flossing. Rather than trying to prefect the process of traditional flossing, kids can use an easy-to-operate device which uses a pulsating watering action that serves to first decompress and then compress the areas between the teeth, allowing for the simple removal of all harmful particulates. Best of all, kids find the gentle sensation produced by a water flosser feels cool and even ticklish, which helps to turn the task of flossing into a fun activity.

While your children will enjoy the fact that water flossing helps them to avoid bad breath, you’ll rest easy knowing that it also helps prevent oral ailments such as:

  • Gingivitis
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth decay

It’s Never Too Early to Introduce Good Habits

When is it too soon to start introducing your kids to flossing? The truth, if they’re ready to brush, they’re also ready to floss. Starting early will help make maintaining good dental hygiene for toddlers a veritable breeze.

Your kids want to enjoy a happy, healthy smile and the pediatric dentist in Levittown PA we spoke with agrees; they just don’t yet appreciate the work that goes into maintaining one. By incorporating techniques such as water flossing into their dental hygiene regimens, and getting your childrens dentist to make flossing fun during the initial instruction, you can help them to develop healthy patterns that they’re more likely to adhere to as they get older.

Doylestown Kids Castle and Other Playgrounds

Kids Castle PlaygroundDoylestown, PA, is home to several fun playgrounds for kids such as Build the Kingdom, Kids Castle and Meyer Way Community Park. Kids Castle in particular stands out and has even been lauded along with other playgrounds in countries such as Sweden, Australia and France as a top attraction. Here is a look at what makes these playgrounds in Doylestown special.

A Playground Fit for Royalty

Kids Castle was built in 1997 and has recently passed a safety audit by continuing to make safety improvements in 2013-2015. The full name of this playground is Build the Kingdom at Kids Castle, and it is filled with magnificent child-size structures such as castles and turrets. It is comprised of four parts, or kingdoms, and one is geared toward children age five and younger. In addition, Kids Castle is designed to be accessible for all children, including those who use wheelchairs. The playground strives to address developmental needs by using sensory, emotional, mental and cognitive equipment in addition to serving as a physical outlet. Among the many features of the playgroundis a solar climber, chime panel, glide slide, a rockblocks curved wall and a hoop climber.

Old-Fashioned Fun

Meyer Way Community Park is technically in Jamison, a stone’s throw from Doylestown. It can be especially delightful for children on summer afternoons, as it offers a splash pole for bathing fun. Summer concerts are free and popular with families. In fact, there is something for everyone at this park, which makes sense since it stretches over 27 acres. Highlights for children include a small zip line, slides and plenty of climbing opportunities. While the children play, adults can relax in the shade, play basketball or take advantage of multi-use paths to run or bike.

When Kids Stumble

No matter how safe a playground is and how well supervised children are, accidents happen. For example, children can hit their teeth on the monkey bars or fall and chip a tooth. It is important that equipment is well maintained and not broken or rusty. That only complicates accidents and it is important that children use equipment designed for their age range. To help prevent accidents, also tuck in shoelaces and loose clothing.

If a pediatric dental emergency in Doylestown occurs, it is best to contact a pediatric dentist in Doylestown, PA. There are also some dentists that specialize in special needs dentistry for children in Bucks County. If the child injured has ADA requirements, the personnel at these offices have been specially trained and often well-versed in playground mishaps. Seeking professional attention as soon as possible also helpsprevent additional consequences such as infections, unnecessary pain, and in serious cases, increases the chances that a child’s tooth can be saved.

Preventing Expensive Dental Work Requires Regular Visits as a Child

Kid’s DentistAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dental caries affect upwards of 25 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 in the United States. By the time children reach the ages of 12, half of them are estimated to have serious tooth decay. The state of a person’s teeth when they are young is a fairly reliable predictor of what their teeth will be like when they are older.

If preventative steps are not taken throughout a child’s life to temper cavity development and keep teeth healthy, expensive dental work will almost certainly be required at some point in the future. For this reason, it is important for parents to dedicate themselves to finding the best kid’s dentist near them and start taking their children in for regular visits once they reach the age of four or five years old. Worried about the costs associated with regular dental visits? Regularly taking your kids to an affordable kid’s dentist is actually less expensive than trying to treat years of dental neglect later on.

What You Can Do to Prevent Childhood Tooth Decay

Prevention is the most effective way to keep cavities at bay and prevent them from developing into more serious dental issues.  When children are brought to a dentist for regular checkups, they are less likely to require extensive (and expensive) dental work. This is because it takes time for dental conditions and diseases to develop, and if they are detected early on they can normally be treated with minimal cost and invasiveness. Here are a few things you can do to promote dental health in your child:

  • Religiously schedule 6-month checkups from the age of 4 and upwards.
  • Avoid feeding your child excessive sugar, which has been linked with tooth decay.
  • Teach good dental habits like brushing twice each day.
  • Understand that dental decay is more about dental care than it is about genetics.
  • Feed your child a healthy, balanced diet that will facilitate proper dental development.

If childhood dental diseases are left undetected and untreated, they can develop into more serious conditions that require more aggressive treatments. Allowing a cavity or other dental issue to progress unchecked will not only cause your child unnecessary pain, but can also negatively affect his or her dental and overall health. Find yourself a great pediatric dentist in Levittown or your home town that connects well with your child.

Above all, it is important to realize that proper dental care for your child is well worth the cost. Regular dental checkups will not only help keep your child free from dental pain, but will also help you avoid expensive dental repairs and treatments down the road.

Summer Sweets Linger On Teeth

Kid With SweetsIt’s easy to get out of your routine during the summer when the kids are home from school. Healthy choices like brushing and flossing don’t have to go by the wayside when you’re going to theme parks and enjoying some last-minute fun.

  • Limit sweet treats like sodas, ice cream and slushees. These treats are packed with sugar, so make them rare treats. Oral bacteria feeds on sugar in the mouth, which can cause cavities in baby teeth and permanent teeth. Even though saliva has minerals to repair the enamel on teeth, there’s only so much your mouth can do to fight the damage sugar causes.
  • Watch for added sugar in treats. Read the ingredient list before giving your children a packaged treat. You may be giving them more sugar than you realize. High protein snacks, such as cheese or nuts, provide long-lasting energy without extra sugar. Watermelon and cantaloupe are very refreshing, have a higher water content and have a type of sugar that readily absorbed by the body.
  • Drink water. Water is the best source of hydration for kids and adults. It promotes salivation, which reduces the acids that accumulate in the mouth. Add flavor with fruit or herbs like your favorite restaurant does. Keep water available not only for dental health, but overall well-being all year long.
  • Brush after snacks. Sure, a toothbrush seems like one more thing you have to pack, but keeping a toothbrush on hand to use after snacking keeps those pearly whites sparkly bright. Look for travel toothbrushes and toothpaste to take to the theme park or pool. Good habits now keep those baby teeth healthy.
  • Maintain your healthy routine. Remember to have kids brush their teeth when they wake up and before bed. Even on those mornings when you’ve let them sleep in or when they’re staying up late, don’t forget to take care of their teeth. Younger children may still need some guidance when brushing, for example, remembering to spit out the toothpaste or assistance when flossing.

Summer is a great time to enjoy some down time from the routine, but it shouldn’t be time to slack off fighting cavities in baby teeth. Encourage good dental health for kids all summer long to keep your children’s teeth looking their best. It’s one less stress you’ll have when you bring them in for their semiannual checkup with the pediatric dentist near me. It’s easy to take a few steps every day to protect those pearly whites, but you have to make it a priority in your routine.

Avoiding Sugary Snacks for Healthier Teeth

Sugary snacks might taste good, but they’re not very good for your body, especially on your teeth. Those candies, cookies and cakes and other foods with refined sugar that many kids eat between meals will damage the teeth. Kids who eat sugary snacks don’t always brush and floss immediately after and that is where the problem starts. Starchy food can break down to sugars as well and good dental hygiene should really be top of mind after all snacks.

You might not know it, but there’s bacteria living in your mouth all the time. Some of them form a sticky material on the teeth surface called plaque. When there’s sugar in your mouth, the bacteria in the plaque breaks down the sugar and turns some of it into acids. These acids can dissolve the hard enamel covering the tooth, which eventually leads to cavities. If you control your sugar intake, then the bacteria won’t produce as much acid that causes decay.

Before eating something, ask yourself what happens to these bits of food during chewing? If it breaks down to simple sugars, think of another snack. Also, remember that certain kinds of sweets can be more damaging than others. Chewy or gooey sweets spend more time on the surface of your tooth, and therefore may cause more decay. Also consider when and how often you eat snacks. Damaging acids form each time you eat something sugary, and it continues affecting your teeth for at least 20 minutes after you eat.

If you have to eat sweets, eat them as dessert after a main meal, rather than munching on them several times a day in between meals. And, more importantly, if you eat sweets, brush your teeth well afterwards with a fluoride toothpaste. For your snacks and in-between munches, pick something that has less sugar or starches like chips. There are so many tasty and filling snacks that are less harmful to your teeth compared to foods teeming with sugars with low nutritional value.

Snacking smart is a key to protecting your teeth and keeping them healthy. Low fat choices such as fresh fruits, raw vegetables or whole grain bread or crackers are examples of smart choices. Eating the right kind of foods will help protect you from tooth decay as well as a host of other diseases. So the next time you crave a quick snack, take your pick from a menu of low-fat, non-sugary snack items from the basic food groups. You can ask your children dentist in Langhorne for healthier snack ideas.

Candy bars aren’t the only suspects. A pediatric dentist in Washington Crossing we interviewed says foods like breads, hamburgers and pizza also has sugars. This is why it’s important to read labels. Today’s new food labels identify the fats and sugars on the package’s Nutrition Facts panel. Remember that honey, syrups, molasses and brown sugar can react with bacteria to create acids in the same way refined sugar does. These food items have the potential to damage your teeth as well.

Snacks for your child should include a variety of foods from the basic food groups, including vegetables and fruits; grains, including cereals and breads; meat, nuts and seeds; and milk and dairy products. Some snack items contain greater nutritional value than others and can better promote the growth and development of your child. If you have any more questions about sugar and how it affects your child’s teeth, consult with the best kids dentist in your area.

Dental Sealants Protect Your Childs Teeth

Dental sealant are a thin, protective coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth – mostly on the back teeth – to help prevent tooth decay. Sealants bond quickly into the grooves and depressions of the teeth, forming a defensive shield over the tooth enamel. Even though thorough flossing and brushing often remove the majority of plaque and food particles from the teeth’s smooth surfaces, simple hygiene does not always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to get rid of plaque and food particles. Sealants can help protect these crucial areas from tooth decay by sealing out food and plaque.

Who Needs to Get Dental Sealants?

Because developing decay in the grooves and depressions of the molars and premolars is more common in children, they are good candidates for sealants. But adults without fillings or decay in their molars can also benefit from sealants. Typically, children need to get sealants on their permanent premolars and molars once these teeth have established themselves in the dental arch. Applying sealants too soon may leave the lower portion of the tooth unprotected.

When the baby teeth of a child have deep grooves and depressions or when the child has poor dental hygiene habits, sealants are often recommended by the pediatric dentist in Newtown. Since baby teeth play a very important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it is important that these teeth be kept healthy so they are not lost too soon.

How are Dental Sealants Applied?

Applying dental sealants is a relatively painless and simple process, so it should not be feared by kids or their parents. It will only take a few minutes for the dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal every tooth. The procedure starts by thoroughly cleaning the teeth to be sealed. Every tooth is then dried by an absorbent material.

The dentist will put an acidic solution on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up slightly and this helps the sealant bond to the enamel. The sealant is then painted onto the enamel of the tooth, where it will directly bond to the tooth and harden. At times, a special curing light is used to facilitate the hardening process.

How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

When properly applied and cared for, dental sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to a decade. However, they need to be regularly checked for erosion and chipping during dental check-ups. Your kids dentist in Pennington can replace sealants as necessary. Most insurance companies do cover the cost of dental sealants, so check with your insurance carrier first to determine if sealants are covered under your particular insurance plan.

Dental sealants offer a great way to protect the teeth of your kids, especially during those years when they are highly prone to teeth decay and damage. It is good news that the pediatric dentistry world has come up with options like sealants to help ensure good dental health. Visit your pediatric dental offices in Langhorne or in your area now to get more information about dental sealants.