Kids, Sports, and Dental Injuries

Kids, Sports, and Dental Injuries

Young kids playing soccerKids and sports sound like a formula for disaster waiting to happen. Children are natural thrill-seekers and often don’t understand the dangers that can arise when participating in sports.

In a particular study, researchers observed 62% of the 1,020 players studied sustained dental injuries from an unorganized sport. Moreover, 59.6% of these dental injury cases were from children aged seven to 12.

Interestingly, less than half of the studied participants wore mouthguards, and only two sustained dental injuries, indicating their effectiveness in protecting against dental injuries.

What Are Hazardous Sports and Activities for Your Child’s Teeth?

Sports are vital to helping children develop a strong body and disciplined mind. However, if your child is participating in any of the following activities, you should consider taking extra precautions to protect their teeth:

Martial arts and boxing: Fighting arts are excellent for teaching your children discipline and self-control. However, always ensure your child wears protective gear during sparring matches.

Stick or bat games: Athletic games like lacrosse, hockey, and baseball require players to run around with sticks in their hands. This increases the chances of accidental contact between sticks or bats and your child’s face.

Football: American football is popular among children and can be incredibly fun. However, it’s also one of the most dangerous sports in terms of dental injuries. Sometimes, players may not even realize they’ve been hit in the mouth until after the game has ended.

Ball games: Basketball is a popular competitive and close-contact game requiring players to move quickly and make quick decisions. This increases the chances of accidental contact with another player’s body or head, leading to dental injuries.

What Sort of Prevention or Safety Can Be Used To Prevent Dental Injury?

As a parent, you shouldn’t keep your child from pursuing their passion and keep them participating in the sport they love. The key is to give them ample protection to prevent unwanted accidents. Here are some ways you can protect your child from sports-related dental injuries.

Helmets: One of the obvious ways to keep your child’s face from injury is to have them wear a helmet. Helmets are necessary for sports like hockey and baseball and can also be used in other risky sports, such as snowboarding and skiing.

Mouthguards: Mouthguards are incredibly effective in reducing the chances of dental injuries. Even professional competitive players use them to prevent dental and mouth trauma. The key to choosing the right mouthguard is to ensure it’s a perfect fit.

Rules and Risks: The first two points refer to safety equipment to reduce the likelihood of dental injuries in sports. However, it’s vital to only allow your children to participate in regulated sports and teach them about good sportsmanship and the risks associated with different activities.

Are There Different Types of Mouthguards?

Mouthguards are available in various forms and styles. There are three primary types of mouthguards:

Stock: Stock mouthguards are often called “ready-made” because they are pre-shaped and don’t require any customization. This offers the least protection because they don’t fit your child’s mouth perfectly.

Mouth-formed: These mouthguards are also called boil-and-bite mouthguards because of the slight customization they offer. The dentist will boil a plastic mouthguard and have the patient bite and suck on it to fit their teeth. Boil-and-bite mouthguards provide a false sense of security, as the fit loosens over time and is easily damaged by biting.

Customized: The best type of mouthguard is a custom-made one. These mouthguards are created with exact molds of the patient’s teeth and are designed to provide maximum protection and durability.

What Should You Do if Your Child Experiences a Dental Injury?

Accidents happen, and not all injuries can be prevented. So what should you do if your child experiences a mouth or dental injury?


Call a pediatric dentist ASAP: If your child has suffered a dental injury, you should immediately call a pediatric dentist. This will help prevent further damage and ensure prompt medical attention is given to the injury.

Apply pressure to the area: For an immediate remedy, apply pressure to the site and have your child rinse their mouth with warm salt water. This helps reduce swelling, bleeding, and discomfort.

Offer an ice pack: Cold helps reduce swelling and pain, so it’s vital to offer an ice pack or an ice pop to help manage the pain.
Give pain reliever for unbearable pain: If the pain is too much for your child, you can give them over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Prevent Further Dental Injury With the Right Dental Care

As a parent, we must help our children explore the world and all its possibilities. However, this often means exposing them to pain and risks. That said, there are ways to reduce the chances of dental injuries in sports and ensure your children enjoy their sports with minimal risks.

Mouthguards are an easy tool for you to help protect your children’s teeth and facial structure from the dangers of kids’ sports. Get your child set up with protection today at Bay Area Kids Dentist. The board-certified pediatric dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist are ready to provide your kids with a positive, fun and educated dental experience. Contact us today for a consultation or appointment.

Summer Dental Health for Your Kids

Summer Dental Health for Your Kids

Child playing in water on the beachWe’re only a few months away from summertime, and you know what that means… a lot of sleepovers, camping, and vacation plans. It’s one of the times of the year when children can be children and enjoy more time with friends and family. 


Whether that’s consuming bowls full of sweets during sleepovers, eating junk food during movie nights, or tasting new desserts on vacation, your kids have a higher chance of slipping when it comes to dental hygiene. That’s why it’s important to prioritize their dental health during the few short months of summer. 


Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups During Summer


Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are one of the top chronic diseases children develop in the United States. What’s more, the risk of getting cavities increases during the summer months since kids can easily forget their routines. 


Without school structures during their break, taking care of oral health takes a back seat, increasing the potential of developing cavities. 


We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay on top of your child’s oral health and schedule those regular dental visits – even in the summer. 


Summer Is the Best Time for a Dentist Appointment


As busy parents, it may be easy to forget or to put off your child’s dental check-ups throughout the year. That’s why, summer is the best time for a pediatric dentist appointment. 


Without the worry of missing classes or causing stress on your child, the summer break gives you the perfect convenience and opportunity to book routine dental appointments. During this time, children have a more flexible schedule, so you don’t need to wait until the weekend comes around to go to the dentist. You can go during the weekday to accomplish this task. 


And, with all this extra time on their hands, you can focus on enhancing your child’s nightly oral routine to keep their teeth in the best condition possible. 


Tips To Maintain Healthy Teeth During the Summer


If you want further assistance in maintaining your kids’ teeth during the summer, here are some expert tips to help you out. 


Stay on Top of Your Nightly Routine


As we’ve mentioned before, summer vacation can easily disrupt bedtime routines. But no matter how action-packed your vacation gets, it’s crucial to stay on top of your nightly routine and continue to practice proper oral hygiene. 


We understand how hard it can be to resist the temptation of allowing your kids to skip flossing or brushing their teeth — especially when everyone is tired from a full day of activities. To combat this, set an alarm on your phone for dental care, supervise your children during those times, and help them out if they need it.


Always Bring an Overnight Dental Kit


You never know what can happen in the summer. It’s best to always stay prepared and pack a simple overnight dental kit wherever you go. 


When you leave your kids for a sleepover, make sure to check if they have their dental kits packed before dropping them off. In case they forget, you can save the day with your emergency overnight dental kit, complete with floss, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. 


Plan for Dental Emergencies


The endless adventures during summer only mean one thing: more time outside. While this can be fun and exciting, it can also open doors for injuries like cracked teeth while riding a bike, playing sports, or doing daring activities. 


These accidents are impossible to anticipate. What you can do instead is plan ahead. In case they have dental emergencies, know who to call and which clinic to go to.


Visit Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist


Bay Area Kids Dentist offers high-quality, comprehensive pediatric dental care. All of our dentists are board-certified pediatric dentists and love what they do. 


Our goal is to provide a fun, positive, and comfortable dental experience for all kids. Rest assured that when you visit our dental clinics, you and your kids will leave with a smile on your face. 


Schedule an appointment with us this summer before the back-to-school rush begins!

String Together a Great Toothcare Routine With Flossing

String Together a Great Toothcare Routine With Flossing

happy child

Want to ensure a good dental routine for your kids? Make sure to include flossing.


You may have several questions about this, like how early they should start flossing, how to properly floss, and how you can motivate the kids to floss. Check out the article below to help take care of your child’s dental health.


When Should Kids Start Flossing?


Once your child’s teeth begin to fit closely together, you should help them start flossing. This usually happens when they’re two to six years old. Once they reach the age of 10, they’ll more likely be able to floss by themselves.


What Is the Proper Way To Floss?


You can teach your child to floss using the loop method or the spool method. With the loop or circle method, you’ll use around an 18-inch piece of floss and tie it to form a circle. Except for your thumb, insert your fingers into the loop. Afterward, let your index finger guide the floss along and between the lower teeth. Then, let your thumbs push the floss through the upper teeth. Cover the gum line with a C motion to remove any food particles or bacteria.


For the spool or finger wrap method, use a piece of floss that’s 18 to 20 inches long. Slowly wrap the floss string’s ends around your middle fingers. Guide the floss up, down, and between the teeth using your thumb and index fingers. Make the C motion too when going below the gum line to get rid of any plaque and bacteria.


How Can You Get Your Kids Interested in Flossing?


First, you should be a good role model to your child. Floss daily with them for two to three minutes. Seeing you do it should encourage them to want to join in.


Allow your child to choose their preferred floss type. They can use dental floss picks if they’re having a hard time with string floss. They’ll love the different flavors and colors. Or to make things a bit more high tech, they can choose a water flosser.


Remind your child to floss gently, so they won’t hurt their gums or get infections. One great way to motivate them to floss is to play or sing their favorite song while you floss together. You can also make their dental routine more exciting by letting them claim prizes depending on the number of dental hygiene stickers they’ve collected.


What New Tools Are Available for Flossing To Make It Easier?


Your kids can take advantage of new tools to make flossing easier and more fun for them. For example, floss picks let them floss using just one hand. There’s no need to wrap it around the fingers. Another tool is a water flosser, which utilizes a strong stream of water rather than dental floss to clean the teeth. It’s perfect for kids with poor dexterity or braces. You can also use an interdental brush that has thin bristles for cleaning in between the teeth.


What Happens if You Don’t Floss?


If a flossing routine is not adopted, plaque can easily build up between your child’s gums and teeth. This can result in cavities and gingivitis or gum disease. The buildup of bacteria can also cause bad breath. That’s why you should guide them to incorporate flossing into their dental routine.


Final Thoughts


Flossing indeed plays a vital role in protecting your kid’s dental health. Early and regular visits to a pediatric dentist should also be prioritized. At Bay Area Kids Dentist, our board-certified pediatric dentists have the skills, tools, and experience to help your child follow a dental care routine that includes regular and proper flossing. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Preventing Tooth Decay With Regular Checkups

Preventing Tooth Decay With Regular Checkups

tooth decay

Your schedule has been busy for weeks, taking your kids to activities and managing different obligations. After packed days and nights, you finally get a slower day and help the kids with their bedtime routine. But when you check their teeth after brushing, you notice some discoloration. That’s when you remember one place you haven’t been in a while — the dentist.


Tooth decay is a serious issue affecting your child’s overall health and well-being. It’s something every parent dreads, and seeing it for the first time can be alarming. But the good news is that it is preventable, and it starts with regular dental checkups. How knowledgeable are you about tooth decay and tooth decay prevention?


What Is Tooth Decay?


Tooth decay, as defined by WebMD, is the destruction of tooth enamel and the dentin layer. The first signs of tooth decay include tooth sensitivity and discoloration. Your child may feel discomfort when consuming hot or cold food and beverages. The tooth may already be decaying if you also see white to brownish discoloration on the tooth surfaces. Discoloration can also be black if tooth decay has already reached its advanced stages.


What Causes Tooth Decay?


There’s a lot going on in our mouths all the time. We breathe, talk, eat, drink, and more. And while adults may be able to handle the grind, kids may not. In most cases, it is a result of poor oral hygiene and the presence of plaque.


Plaque is a combination of bacteria, food debris, saliva, and acids. It sticks to tooth surfaces and gums and starts wearing off tooth enamel. It leads to tooth decay and cavities as acid attacks tooth enamel.


People who don’t have enough saliva are at risk of tooth decay. It could be because of medicines, diseases, or treatments. Kids who don’t get enough fluoride through toothpaste and toothbrushing are also at risk. Babies and toddlers who drink from bottles and have their teeth frequently exposed to sugary liquids can also be prime candidates for tooth decay.


What Does Tooth Decay Cause?


When left untreated, tooth decay can cause toothaches and lead to cavities and tooth loss. Toothaches are a common symptom and can occur when tooth enamel wears off. It’s also the first sign of tooth infection, which can lead to tooth loss and even infection of other teeth.


Tooth decay can also lead to cavities. Cavities are holes in the tooth and may need a tooth extraction to prevent further damage. Sometimes, a root canal or other treatments may be better solutions.


How Can You Prevent Tooth Decay?


Yes, all these tooth decay stories sound scary, but it’s possible to keep your kids away from the nightmare. As parents and guardians, you don’t want them to feel pain or lose their teeth. To prevent tooth decay, you can do the following with your kids:


Regular Dental Visits

It’s very important to take your kids for regular checkups and teeth cleaning. Dentists thoroughly examine tooth surfaces and can detect tooth decay early on. They can also give you the best advice for tooth decay prevention and treatment.


Get Sealants

It’s also recommended to have kids get tooth sealants. These are thin coatings that help protect tooth enamel from tooth decay. They can also prevent tooth infection and tooth loss. Your dentist can advise if tooth sealants are suitable for your kid.


Have Proper Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene means brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice a day. Brushing helps remove tooth plaque and bacteria from tooth surfaces and gums. And don’t forget to use toothpaste with fluoride, which helps strengthen tooth enamel!


Have a Healthy Diet

Have a healthy diet. Avoid sugary and starchy food that can harm tooth enamel and increase decay risk. Instead of giving flavored or sugary drinks, use water for hydration. Give your kids plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep their tooth enamel strong.


Be Your Kids’ Example

Your kids look up to you, so be a good example of tooth decay prevention. Moreover, “regular” dental visits mean every six months, though some people may need to visit more often. When it’s time to see the dentist, whether during the Halloween season or the holidays, make sure to book your appointment!


No Tooth Decay With Bay Area Kids Dentist


Making kids love brushing their teeth and going on dental visits can be challenging, so what can you do as a parent? Having a board-certified pediatric dentist you trust can make tooth decay prevention so much easier. At Bay Area Kids Dentist, we make tooth decay prevention exciting and enjoyable!


Our dentists help kids have a super smile for life. We guide children and parents in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and offer services necessary for dental concerns. If it’s time for checkups, preventive sealants, or dietary advice, Bay Area Kids Dentist is here!

Let’s keep tooth decay at bay together. Book an appointment

How Can I Prevent Cavities for My Preschooler?

How Can I Prevent Cavities for My Preschooler?

happy boy child running in sprinkler

Does your child frequently complain about tooth pain? As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our children’s health, including their teeth. Dental pain, possibly from tooth decay, can cause discomfort and pain to any child.


The best way to deal with this issue is to take step to prevent tooth decay altogether by visiting a pediatric dentist regularly and encouraging good dental hygiene practices. By doing so, your child can avoid dental pain from tooth decay and have better oral health.


What Is Tooth Decay?


Tooth decay is when tooth enamel is destroyed because of bacteria. The bacteria in the mouth makes a sticky substance called plaque. This plaque can eat away at a tooth’s enamel, leading to holes in the teeth. It may also cause tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss if left untreated.


Poor oral hygiene, a diet high in sugary foods, and not brushing daily with fluoride toothpaste can all raise a child’s risk for cavities. If your child consumes sugary foods regularly, it can lead to “acid attacks,” resulting in a hole or cavity. Cavities can develop if the enamel is weak, as it is no longer strong enough to protect the teeth against acids and bacteria.


Symptoms of Tooth Decay


It’s crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tooth decay, so we can take steps to prevent it and treat it quickly. Common symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Discoloration of the tooth enamel
  • Pain when eating or drinking something hot or cold
  • Sharp pain when biting down
  • Increased sensitivity to sugary or acidic drinks


As parents of young kids, it’s essential to understand the risks and treatments of tooth decay. If you see any of these signs, take your child for a dental checkup as soon as possible.


How To Treat Tooth Decay for Preschoolers


To treat tooth decay in our children, the dentist may recommend various treatments, including fluoride treatments, fillings, sealants, root canals, and even tooth extraction. Depending on the severity of the decay, the dentist may also suggest lifestyle changes such as reducing sugar intake and increasing oral hygiene habits.


It’s important to talk to your pediatric dentist about the best course of treatment for your child and any risks associated with the treatment. With the proper care and attention, we can ensure our children’s teeth are healthy and their smiles stay bright for years.


How To Prevent Tooth Decay for Preschoolers


To prevent tooth decay in our children, we can help them develop good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly. We should also monitor and possibly limit their consumption of sugary and acidic food and drink and ensure they get enough fluoride.


In addition to these preventative measures, sealants can also be applied to the molars and premolars of children to help protect their teeth from decay. Sealants are a thin plastic coating applied to the tooth’s chewing surfaces, providing a barrier against bacteria and plaque that can lead to cavities. Sealants are a safe and cost-effective way to protect children’s teeth and should be considered as part of any preventative dental care plan.


When Should a Child Start Seeing a Dentist Regularly?


Now that you know how to treat and prevent tooth decay, you should also be aware of when your child should begin visiting a kid’s dentist. When a child’s first tooth appears, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that they see a pediatric dentist within six months.


Parents can find more information on tooth decay by speaking to a pediatric dentist. With the right knowledge and preventative measures, we can protect our children’s teeth from decay and help them maintain a healthy smile.


Take Steps To Protect Your Child’s Smile


The right care and attention can ensure our children’s teeth are healthy and their smiles stay bright for years. To ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy, visit the board certified pediatric dentists at Bay Area Kids Dentist. With our expertise and knowledge of pediatric dentistry, we can help you and your child navigate the preventative and treatment options available.

Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers: How To Break the Habit

Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers: How To Break the Habit

baby with blue blanket and pacifier

Thumb sucking is not uncommon for infants. In fact, about 90% of newborns display various forms of this habit just two hours after birth. Using a pacifier is also very common and generally harmless for babies.


But at what age do these practices become troublesome?


Are they bad for dental care?


Do they have long-term effects?


We aim to answer these questions. Hint: They won’t do older kids any favors.


Ultimately, we want to help your child break the habit. Read on to discover just how to do it.


Why Do Infants Start Thumb Sucking or Using a Pacifier?


It may come as a shock to you, but babies develop natural sucking reflexes — sometimes even before birth. For this reason, thumb sucking and using a pacifier are habits easily developed. Below are some of the reasons why they do it.

  • Eating necessity: Newborn babies eat by sucking. Hooray if your child has already figured it out!
  • Calming mechanism: Sometimes, even newly-fed babies still need to suck more. Their non-nutritive sucking soothes them.
  • Availability: There’s another reason why babies suck their little thumbs. They’re always right within reach!


What Does Thumb Sucking or Using a Pacifier Do to Mouth and Teeth Formation?


Thumb sucking and pacifier sucking are not ideal for children’s teeth. A pediatric dentist can further explain some of the outcomes, like:

  • Jaw misalignment: Pacifiers come in all shapes and forms, some of which are unnaturally large for a child’s mouth. These scenarios push teeth out of alignment since the pressure from the cheek, lips, and tongue can create an open bite or posterior crossbite.
  • Slanting teeth: Pressure from a prolonged sucking habit pushes teeth out of alignment. The front teeth may appear flared out. Fortunately, a children’s dentist can help address this symptom.


How Long Can a Child Safely Thumb Suck or Use a Pacifier?


Don’t be alarmed if a newborn or infant enjoys thumb sucking or using a pacifier. After all, these habits are natural coping mechanisms for them.


The natural sucking urge typically drops when a child turns six months. However, some kids might still find comfort in these habits well past this age.


As a gauge, many professionals and even the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) agree that thumb sucking and pacifier use should be okay until about age three. After this timeframe, it’s best to help kids beat these habits.


How To Break the Habit


Remember, every child is different. There’s really no one-size-fits-all solution in helping them say goodbye to thumb sucking or pacifiers. However, here are some of the most popular methods parents and guardians use:

  • Ignore them: More often than not, children will naturally stop sucking on their thumbs and pacifiers. There’s no need to use harsh words or punishments to get rid of these habits.
  • Praise and reward: When your child doesn’t suck on their thumbs or pacifiers, applaud them for it. Treats like hugs, kisses, and high-fives are also most welcome.
  • Keep them busy: Sometimes, children use sucking to deal with boredom. When this happens, distract them with fun activities.


How Your Pediatric Dentist Can Help


Apart from family members, friends, and other loved ones, one more person can help you talk to your kids about thumb sucking and pacifiers: your children’s dentist. Regular visits can make all the difference in your efforts.


Reliable dental specialists can teach you and your child how to address changes to the teeth and jaw often associated with these habits. They are the ideal partner in such endeavors because they can give you tips and tricks for stopping the behaviors. Ultimately, the goal is to avoid expensive treatments in the future.


Usually, these strategies work well on their own. However, if necessary, a pediatric dentist can use an oral appliance to break these practices within a couple of months.


Book an Appointment With Bay Area Kids Dentist Today


If your child still sucks on their thumbs and pacifiers past age three, it’s time to double your efforts to help them beat such habits. After all, they may lead to dental problems like jaw misalignment and slanting teeth. If left untreated, these habits may require costly treatments.


Let the experts at Bay Area Kids Dentist help. All our dentists are board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). We know how to make dental visits comfortable and fun for kids of all ages. Plus, our dental assistants have a commitment to excellence and a warm demeanor.


We would like to help you and your child beat thumb sucking and pacifiers for good! Book an appointment with one of our super dentists now.

Teething Tips and How To Help Comfort Your Baby

Teething Tips and How To Help Comfort Your Baby

teething baby

Teething is a normal part of baby development, but it can be challenging for both baby and parents. As new teeth begin to appear, babies may experience pain and discomfort.


Knowing how to help your baby through this process can ease the distress it causes. We share some teething tips and ideas for how to help comfort your baby with teething discomfort.


Signs of a Teething Baby


A baby’s first tooth usually starts to show around six months. However, the teething process depends on the baby and can start as early as three months.


You may be able to tell if your baby is teething by looking for the following signs and symptoms.


Crying and Irritability

It’s normal for a teething infant to cry more than usual. Teething can be uncomfortable and cause an infant to experience pain, making them fussier than usual. They may also have difficulty sleeping or refuse to eat.



Drooling is a sign that your baby is teething. While all babies drool, excessive saliva can be a telltale indicator of teething pain. The excess saliva helps cool and soothe sore gums.


Chewing and Biting

When babies are teething, they may start chewing on their fingers, toys, clothes, blankets, or anything they can get their hands on. You may even see them biting their cribs or playpens to soothe the ache in their gums.



Teething can cause a low-grade fever in some infants. If your baby has a fever, contact your pediatrician for further advice.


Different Ways To Soothe a Teething Baby


The worst thing about teething is the pain and discomfort it brings to your baby. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help soothe your baby.


Teething Rings

Teething rings are a great way to help comfort your baby, giving them something soft and safe to chew on. They come in many textures and sizes and can be filled with liquid or gel for relief.


Ensure the ring is cold, which can provide additional relief for teething gums. If you don’t have an appropriate teething ring, consider freezing a clean washcloth, plastic spoons, or plastic toy.



A gentle massage can do wonders for teething pain. Use your fingertips to massage the inflamed areas of your baby’s gums gently. This can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief.


Cold Food

Cold foods and drinks like yogurt, smoothies, or frozen fruit can be soothing for a teething baby. Just make sure that whatever you offer is age-appropriate and easy to eat.



Gels and ointments containing topical anesthetics are available to help relieve teething pain. Make sure to talk to your pediatrician about the best products for your baby’s age before using.


Pain Relievers

If other methods fail, you can opt for over-the-counter medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check with your pediatrician first to ensure it’s the right choice for your baby and make sure you use the infant version.


With these tips in mind, you’ll help comfort your teething baby and make this process easier for both of you. The most important thing is to stay patient and understanding as you journey through the teething process.


Caring for Your Baby’s New Teeth and That First Dental Visit


Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, keeping them clean and free of plaque and cavities is essential. Start with a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants, and use water only to brush their teeth.


You should also make sure to schedule your baby’s first dental visit by age one or when the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. A pediatric dentist can check that your baby’s teeth are growing correctly, offer advice on proper oral hygiene and diet, and answer any questions you may have about baby teeth and dental care.


Give Your Baby a Beautiful Smile


Teething can be challenging for you and your baby, but you can make it a little easier by understanding the process and how to help soothe your baby.


Visit the experts at Bay Area Kids Dentist. Our board-certified pediatric dentists provide world-class care and will ensure that your baby has beautiful and healthy baby teeth. 


Contact us today to schedule an appointment! 


What Are Tooth Sealants and Are They Important?

What Are Tooth Sealants and Are They Important?

young child in dentist chair

When children reach age six, they become eligible for dental sealants to further protect their teeth and smiles from tooth decay. Most children get their first molars around this age, which may also require some adjustments when brushing their teeth. Some children might forget to brush these new teeth and risk tooth decay.


According to the CDC, more than half of all children between ages six and eight have had cavities. Luckily, you can help prevent cavity formation and tooth decay early with sealants. Here is a closer look at this dental service and how your child can enjoy its benefits for years to come.


What Are Tooth Sealants?


Dental sealants are thin coatings that shield teeth against cavities. Cavity-causing bacteria hide in teeth’s hard-to-reach surfaces — particularly the molars. Moreover, toothbrush bristle designs are not enough to remove bacteria in these places, which explains why kid-friendly mouthwash is a common recommendation.


Getting these tooth coatings is a preventative care solution for clean and healthy teeth. It’s a fairly quick procedure, where a pediatric dentist will clean your child’s teeth before applying the sealant. Cleaning may involve some drilling that some kids might find scary, but we will help your child understand that the process is painless.


Why Do We Recommend Tooth Sealants for Kids?


Our pediatric dentists recommend dental sealants for tooth cavity prevention purposes. As your child grows more teeth, there are more potential areas for cavity formation. Considering children’s relationship with sugary treats, they may become even more prone to cavities and tooth decay.


Although regular brushing, mouthwash, and flossing are all important, taking that step of extra protection can surely add that additional sense that your child’s teeth are maximally protected. We recommend this method to give your child another layer of defense against dental problems, including cavities, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. Essentially, tooth sealants keep bacteria out and make it easier to maintain good dental hygiene.


How Long Do Tooth Sealants Last?


High-quality dental sealants for kids can last up to a decade. According to current American Dental Association facts, cavity formation among children and adolescents with tooth sealants reduced by 86% after one year and 58% after four years. These percentages may rise to 90% even after 10 years with appropriate follow-up care.


In addition, sealants may also extend beyond the expected lifespan if your child follows the best practices for maintaining good oral hygiene, like replacing their toothbrush when necessary, eating healthy food, drinking enough water, brushing teeth regularly, rinsing with mouthwash, and flossing.


Are Tooth Sealants Safe?


Dental sealants are safe and effective methods of preventing tooth diseases. The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs recommends tooth sealants for protecting the primary and permanent molars of children and adolescents against cavities and tooth decay.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recognizes the safety and benefits that tooth sealants offer children and adults. With these established organizations giving their position on this tooth-protection measure, we urge parents to highly consider getting sealants for their children.


What Long-term Benefits Do Tooth Sealants Offer?


Dental sealants can potentially last for your child’s lifetime if you get a dedicated pediatric dental professional to perform the procedure. Although some cases involve chipping, wearing, and falling, you will not have to worry about them if the right person applies the correct techniques.


Moreover, sealing teeth pits and fissures to protect them against decay also helps prevent associated conditions, such as tooth loss and infections. Tooth and gum infections from decay can further lead to pain, abscess formation, facial swelling, and fevers.


Most parents might agree that the benefit of protecting their children against dental diseases using this simple solution outweighs the risks of chipping sealant. Be sure to let an experienced pediatric dentist check your child’s condition to determine whether tooth sealant suits them.


Final Word: Protect Your Children’s Teeth Early With Professional Tooth Sealants


Tooth sealants are great solutions that reduce your children’s risk of cavities. The procedure is safe and effective with recognition from the ADA and FDA. It’s also a long-lasting solution. Our team at Bay Area Kids Dentists recommends sealants to help keep your kids’ teeth clean and healthy. Contact us to set an appointment today!

How To Help a Child Who Is Nervous About the Dentist

How To Help a Child Who Is Nervous About the Dentist

Young girl smiling in dentist chair

Dental anxiety is common among people of all ages, especially children. Statistics show that around 20% of children are either nervous or afraid to go to the dentist. 

Some children develop dental anxiety as a result of a previous unpleasant experience. Others experience fear for a less obvious reason, like the perception of pain or the feeling of powerlessness. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to pinpoint the underlying cause so you can help your child overcome their fears. 

As a parent or guardian, you need to remember that your child is still learning and trying to understand the world around them. Even if they haven’t had a negative experience with a dentist, just the thought of being in an unknown environment can be scary for them.

Techniques To Help Children Overcome Their Fear of the Dentist

There are several ways to help your child feel more at ease before, during, and after a dentist visit. Often just visiting a pediatric dentist with imagery, décor and staff geared toward a child’s point of view can help. Based on our experience, here are some overall effective methods you can try.

Communicate With Your Kids

First thing first: talk to your kids about their dental visit. Even if they’re only going in for a straightforward checkup, it’s vital that you give them a step-by-step summary of what they can expect. Doing so can help lessen the unknown and help them understand what they’re getting into. If they have further questions, be sure to answer them as honestly as possible. If you need help explaining to them in clear and comforting language, you can search for images online to help them visualize the process better.

Play Games or Read Stories Involving Dentists

Other than communicating with your kids, you can also relieve their stress or anxiety by playing games or reading stories about dentists in the safety and comfort of your home. You can roleplay dentist visits with the help of toolkits to give them a glimpse of what goes on inside the dental office. Alternatively, you can also read fun storybooks about children visiting the dentist to help ease their anxiety. 

Use Positive Reinforcement

If there’s one thing you need to avoid, it’s using dental procedures as threats to encourage good oral hygiene. While it may seem useful at first, it may cause your kids to develop a fear of the dentist. Instead, try to use positive reinforcement to entice them to practice proper oral hygiene. 

For instance, you can have a reward system for every time they finish their teeth cleaning routine. Whether that’s extra 20 minutes of screen time or buying them their favorite toy, having something to look forward to can be a great motivator for kids.

Bring a Toy Every Time You Visit

Bringing their favorite stuffed animal or toy to the clinic can be an added layer of comfort and support for your kids. The stuffy can act as their friend in times of fear and stress. 

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

To ensure that your child gets the best oral care possible, be sure to visit a pediatric dentist near you. Unlike regular dentists, pediatric dentists have more knowledge and experience in dealing with children. Hence, they are more equipped at easing their worries and relieving their anxiety. 

Want to learn how you can find the best pediatric dentist for your kids, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Get recommendations from friends and other parents
  • Check their qualifications and reviews
  • Schedule a consultation

Pediatric dentists are trained in providing the care your developing kids need to achieve the best oral health. From oral hygiene instructions, check-ups and cleanings, and dietary counseling to preventive sealants and digital x-rays, you can get the treatment you need to ensure your kid’s teeth, gums, and mouth are in optimal condition. 

Should your child require more serious dental work, pediatric dentists are also trained in sedation. 

Sedation Dentistry Options To Calm Children

Although some parents have concerns about the use of sedation during dental procedures, know that this option is completely safe and effective. There are two main options to choose from, so to help you get a better idea, we’ll discuss the choices in more detail below. 

  • Monitored Anesthesia Care: For children who are younger or more anxious, a pediatric dentist may opt for monitored anesthesia care where an anesthesiologist injects an IV to directly inject sedatives into their bloodstream. 

Find the Best Pediatric Dentist at Bay Area Kids Dentists

Want to find the best children’s dentist for your children? Look no further than Bay Area Kids Dentists. We have board-certified pediatric dentists who are trained to examine and treat children in the safest and most comfortable way possible.

With our expertise in handling infants, children, teens, and those with special needs, Bay Area Kids Dentists have the equipment needed to ensure that every child receives the care they need. 

Book an appointment today and start your child’s oral care journey with Bay Area Kids Dentists.

How To Help Brush Your Toddler’s Teeth

How To Help Brush Your Toddler’s Teeth

toddlers brushing teeth

A common mistake parents make is assuming that caring for their child’s baby teeth isn’t important because they fall out eventually anyway. What caregivers don’t realize is that losing a baby tooth too soon or developing tooth decay early can have a major effect on the health of future adult teeth. That’s why we at Bay Area Kids Dentist place so much emphasis on how to brush kids’ teeth.


It’s Never Too Early to Start

A good oral healthcare routine starts long before your baby’s first tooth erupts. It’s important to clean the gums to remove the residue of breast milk or formula as well as baby food. To do this, just rub a damp cloth over your baby’s gums several times a day.


Most children have their first tooth appear around six months of age. We recommend scheduling your baby’s first appointment with us by the time he or she turns one or has had teeth for at least six months. This helps to get your baby off to the best possible start with oral health.


Also, families without dental insurance and/or access to quality dental care are found to be more likely to develop cavities. If you’re concerned about your child’s oral health, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer a sliding scale for payment and accept a number of dental insurance plans.


When to Start Brushing

Once your baby’s teeth start coming in, you can begin brushing them with a grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste up to age 3 and a pea-sized amount after 3 years old, with a soft bristled toothbrush. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. You can usually tell if a product has the ADA Seal if it says so on the packaging.


For best results, have your toddler use a soft bristled toothbrush with the recommended amount of toothpaste. Rub the brush in gentle circular motions against your toddler’s teeth and gum line at a 45-degree angle. Make sure to brush the inside of each tooth and use a back-and-forth motion on the chewing surfaces of molars. Finally, once your toddler is done brushing, have them spit out the toothpaste.


You should brush your toddler’s teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It is best if you can brush after every meal, but at least brush after the last meal of the day. If your toddler is resistant to brushing their teeth, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier:

● Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. There are many kid-friendly options available that will make brushing more fun.
● Remind your child to brush teeth gently and not to swallow the toothpaste.
● Try singing a song while you brush or let them watch you brush your own teeth. Make sure they see you brushing your teeth, so they know that it is important.
● Be patient and understanding, it may take some time for them to get used to the process.


If you have any questions about how to care for your toddler’s teeth, be sure to ask us or schedule an appointment so we can help you look after your kid’s teeth and gums in the best possible way.


Teach by Example

We advise parents to brush their child’s teeth with a toddler-sized toothbrush until around the age of two. It’s fine to use the toothbrush with only water until your child has the ability to spit toothpaste out and rinse his or her mouth. Because your child looks to you to set an example, be sure to demonstrate how you brush your own teeth and act enthusiastic about it. To prepare for independent tooth brushing, try brushing your child’s teeth and then request him or her to repeat the process alone.


When you think your toddler is ready, allow him or her the chance to try tooth brushing independently. Instruct your child to spend at least a few seconds scrubbing each tooth in a circular motion.
You can even count 1-2-3 for each tooth. Offer plenty of praise and remember that your toddler will probably make a lot of mistakes before mastering tooth brushing for good. You will probably want to continue supervising the process until early elementary school to ensure quality results.


What Are the Risks of Not Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth?

Again, the misconception that baby teeth are temporary and not important leads many parents to believe that there are no risks associated with not brushing their child’s teeth. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Just like permanent teeth, baby teeth are susceptible to decay and cavities.


If left untreated, cavities can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss. In addition, poor oral health has been linked to problems with eating and speaking, as well as issues with self-esteem. When your child grows up and their baby teeth fall out, their permanent teeth may be affected. They might come in crooked or crowded or have other issues if their baby teeth were not properly cared for.


Therefore, it’s very important to start teaching your toddler how to brush their teeth as soon as they get their first tooth. Not only will this help them develop good oral hygiene habits, but it will also set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Taking a proactive approach to your child’s dental health will pay off in the long run.


The Bottom Line

Taking good care of your kid’s teeth is important for their overall health — and it starts with you. As a parent or caregiver, you can help your toddler brush their teeth and develop good dental habits by leading by example and being patient.


If you are looking for more tips, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Bay Area Kids Dentist. We are always happy to help. We are always just one call away and we are always willing to go the extra mile for our patients.