Santa’s Watching: Don’t Let Kids Forget Dental Care During the Holidays

Santa’s Watching: Don’t Let Kids Forget Dental Care During the Holidays

boy wearing santa hat

The holidays are here. Of course, along with time spent with family and friends, that also means delicious treats! Cookies, candies and traditional sweets are present at every gathering and event. And while we’d never expect our kids to munch on veggies while everyone else was eating cookies, it is important to be aware of what all the extra sweets do to your kid’s teeth. 

 

Some of the worst foods for your teeth are unfortunately also beloved holiday staples. Because it’s especially hard for kids to avoid sweets and treats at this time of year, it helps to reinforce dental care around the holidays. Continued care of your kid’s teeth and gums can prevent problems that could creep up next year.

 

Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your children’s teeth will continue to shine throughout the holidays.

 

1. Encourage Healthy Treats

While it might be difficult to break away from tradition, you can still find treats that can keep your teeth healthy. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are all great choices. If you’re looking for something sweet, try to opt for sugar-free options like sugar-free cocoa or candy. While it will be impossible to eliminate sugar, you can try to limit the amount. Too much sugar can lead to cavities, so try to stress enjoying treats in moderation.

 

2. Drink Water

Staying hydrated is key to preventing cavities. Drinking plenty of water helps to wash away sugary residue and bacteria in the mouth. It also stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes plaque acids. Plus, there is no sugar in water, making it the perfect drink. So keep those water bottles handy and encourage drinking water instead of sugary beverages.

 

3. Brush and Floss Regularly

Brushing and flossing are essential to keep your kid’s teeth healthy during any time of the year, but especially during the holidays. Make sure to have them brush twice a day and floss regularly to get rid of any food particles that may be stuck in between teeth. And as more sugary foods are around for holiday gatherings, getting them to brush and floss after eating can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

 

4. Regular Dental Visits

Keep those regular dental visits and checkups. If your child is scheduled for a routine cleaning or checkup during the holiday season, don’t skip it. Preventative care visits are so important for healthy teeth and they establish good dental care habits for your kids that will last a lifetime. During these checkups we are able to perform a good cleaning and address hardened plaque that may have formed and is not able to be removed with a toothbrush at home. We also check the development of your child’s smile and ensure their bite is developing properly. If we find anything, it is much easier to address them early while they’re easier to treat.

 

5. Don’t Forget Santa

Why not add a few tooth-friendly holiday gifts into the mix? Older kids might like an electric toothbrush or new water bottle, while a really fun, colorful toothbrush or toothbrush holder makes a good stocking stuffer for little ones.

 

Taking care of your kid’s teeth year-round is important for their overall health. By following these tips, you can help your kids enjoy the holiday season without compromising their dental health. 

 

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. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Baby Teeth and What Parents Need To Know

Baby Teeth and What Parents Need To Know

baby in high chair rubbing teeth

Having a baby is thrilling, especially for first-time parents. There will be endless “firsts,” like the first word, first laugh, and first steps. Another first that every parent looks forward to is the baby’s first tooth. When that first baby tooth appears, it’s a sign that your baby is growing and flourishing.

 

While baby teeth may be temporary, they are still important. Often parents are unaware of the importance of taking care of baby teeth, not realizing that they should care for them in the same manner that they would care for their child’s permanent teeth. So, what do you need to know about baby teeth?

 

When Do Baby Teeth Appear?

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, typically start to erupt between six months of age until about 12 months. However, some babies can start teething before they hit six months. By age three, all baby teeth should be in place. Take a look at this eruption chart, a baby tooth timeline that can help you track when your baby’s teeth should come in.

 

When all baby teeth have erupted, there will be 20 primary teeth, including:

  • Second molars
  • First molars
  • Cuspids/Canines
  • Lateral incisors
  • Central incisors

 

How Do You Deal With Teething?

Teething can be stressful for some babies. While it doesn’t hurt at all for some, parents can observe the following symptoms in others:

  • Red and sore gums
  • Mild temperature
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Rash on their face
  • Rubbing their ear
  • Gnawing and chewing
  • Dribbling more than usual
  • More fretful than usual
  • Not sleeping well

 

If your baby is having a hard time, there are ways you can make the phase more bearable. You may give them teething rings or healthy food to chew on, such as fruits and vegetables. You can also try teething gels if you find that nothing else is working effectively. Ensure you choose a teething gel designed for young children.

 

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help with the pain, but talk to your baby’s pediatrician first. To comfort babies, you can massage their gums with a clean finger. To prevent rashes, wipe your baby’s face more frequently to clean their dribble.

 

How Do You Keep Baby Teeth Clean?

Every parent should remember that developing healthy oral habits for a child’s teeth starts the moment the baby teeth come in. Yes, baby teeth are temporary and will eventually fall out, but taking care of them is essential in keeping your baby’s mouth healthy.

 

Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth and give your baby’s face a normal shape. They’re also essential for proper chewing and help in proper speech development. When you keep the baby teeth healthy, you also help the permanent teeth grow healthy.

 

When brushing baby teeth at least twice a day, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush baby teeth in small circles, and cover all the teeth surfaces.

 

Some parents will find it hard to make babies love brushing their teeth. Be creative and try making it fun for them by singing or making funny faces. You can also let your baby chew on the toothbrush for a while to get them used to the sensation.

 

Try to avoid giving kids sugarsweetened drinks. And, for complete oral health, regularly visit a pediatric dentist.

 

When Do Baby Teeth Fall Out and Permanent Teeth Emerge?

At four years old, the jaw and facial bones start to grow, providing gaps for permanent teeth that are larger than baby teeth. At around age six, baby teeth begin to fall out, and permanent teeth start to erupt. The process can last until age 12. So, by age 13, all permanent teeth should be in place.

 

When Should You Start To See a Pediatric Dentist?

The best time to see a children’s dentist is when the baby teeth start to come in. Pediatric dentists can help you develop a dental care routine for your baby and ensure that their baby teeth are healthy. Dental visits should be every six months or as recommended by the dentist.

 

At Bay Area Kids Dentists, our services focus on the dental health of toddlers, kids, teens, and families. We are committed to providing an exceptional dental experience for every child, and we’re ready to check your baby’s teeth as soon as they emerge. Whenever you’re ready, book an appointment with us!

What To Do If Your Child Has a Dental Injury

What To Do If Your Child Has a Dental Injury

teenage dental injury

Dental emergencies for children can quickly bring parents to a panic. While taking the child to the dentist is usually the first idea that comes to mind, the interval between the injury and the dentist is a crucial time, especially for kids’ teeth. Here’s what you should know as a parent.


What Is the Most Common Cause of Dental Injury in Children?

The usual causes of dental trauma in children include falls, fights, and sports injuries. The last one is something you can guard against as a parent but the first two are mostly surprises for parents. This makes it more important for parents to be prepared in the event of problems.


What Should I Do if My Child Has a Bleeding Mouth?

This depends on where the bleeding occurs. If it’s from the lips, apply steady pressure on the area for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. Any blood coming from inside the mouth requires quick attention.


Your child needs to clear the blood first by gargling cold water to help soothe the wound. This should also help remove any dirt or debris that has settled inside the mouth. Once the mouth is clear of any blood, the inside of the mouth should be assessed to find out where the blood is coming from.


What Should I Do if My Child Has Dental Pain?

Blood is not the only indicator of an injury. Sometimes, there’s a significant amount of pain that your child will experience. If this happens, ask them to gargle cold water to clean out the mouth before assessing the damage. Ask the child to pinpoint the exact location of the pain. You can also perform a tap test to narrow down the cause of the injury.


How Do You Assess a Tooth Injury?

Right after a good gargle, have your child open their mouth for a quick assessment. Use your phone’s flashlight and check for the source of the blood or pain. Chipped, cracked, or dislodged teeth can be easily noticed through a physical check. Note that even if you don’t see anything, it’s a good idea to bring your child to the dentist if they complain of any pain. Hairline chips can happen and are best diagnosed by a dentist.


What’s the First Aid for a Knocked-Out Baby Tooth?

First, be sure to clear the area of any blood and check if your child is in any pain. Do not try to re-insert the baby tooth as this could cause further damage. A knocked-out baby tooth is less severe than a knocked-out adult tooth, but it’s still important to get your child to a dentist to assess any damage to the area.


What’s the First Aid for a Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth?

If your kid’s teeth are already permanent or if your child is over 10 years of age, the first step is to quickly rinse the tooth using warm water. Once clean, slot it back into place, making sure it occupies its original position. Grab a piece of foil and cover the tooth with it to prevent jarring. For added security, have your child bite down onto the foil so that it locks in place. Visit the dentist quickly!


What’s the First Aid for a Chipped or Cracked Tooth?

For a chipped or cracked tooth, have your child bite down on a soft cloth to prevent further movement. Use a cold compress to avoid swelling. From there, go to the dentist as quickly as possible to help assess and manage the pain.


When Should You Call the Emergency Dentist?

Severe swelling, knocked-out adult teeth, and any extreme pain warrant a visit to the emergency dentist. Difficulty breathing should be quickly addressed with a visit to the emergency room. This can happen if there’s massive swelling of the throat or if the blood pours down heavily which can block the passage of air.


How To Prevent Dental Injury in Kids

Mouth guards are the best way to prevent mouth injury if your child is participating in sports. Make sure the mouth guard is well-fitted and that your child understands the importance of wearing them during games. There are many guards available on the market including some custom fit options available directly from your dentist.


Should I Call the Dentist or the Pediatrician?

For a chipped tooth, seeing a dentist is usually best. However, if it happens often, a pediatrician may be an option for the job. Fortunately, there are medical practitioners who are dentist pediatricians, giving parents the best of both worlds.


Be Prepared for Any Dental Injury

Chipped, cracked, or knocked-out teeth shouldn’t be the only reasons for your child to visit the dentist. Annual checkups are strongly encouraged for all the stages of their dental health from the emergence of baby teeth to the onset of permanent teeth.


Ideally, you should bring your children to a dental clinic that caters specifically to children, guaranteeing that they’ll be able to properly work with your child. Places like Bay Area Kids Dentist help your child through the process while making sure that they’re developing healthy oral hygiene habits and positive attitudes towards dentistry! With a board-certified pediatric dentist, parents can rest assured that their children’s dental health is in good hands.

Should My Teen Still See a Pediatric Dentist?

Should My Teen Still See a Pediatric Dentist?

teen at dentist

At our Bay Area Kids Dentist practice, some questions we often hear from concerned parents are, “What’s the suggested protocol for my teenager and what type of dentist should they see? Is a pediatric dentist still the right choice for my teenager? Why?”

 

The teenage years can be a difficult time for your children, rife with complex social, mental, and physical changes — changes that include their teeth. You might be wondering if that warrants making the switch to an adult dentist from the pediatric dentist they’ve grown used to seeing.

 

Generally, a pediatric dentist is still a good fit for teens. Even if they’re no longer little kids, they’re still in an in-between state between childhood and adulthood. Their pediatric dentist is the best equipped to look after them during this phase and ensure that their teeth get the care they need. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why your teen should continue seeing a children’s dentist.

 

Reasons Why a Pediatric Dentist Is the Best Choice for a Teen

Here are the three main reasons why your teen should still see a pediatric dentist:

 

Teens Are Still Growing

No matter how tall they’ve gotten since they were a toddler, your teen isn’t done growing just yet. Even if their baby teeth have all been replaced by permanent teeth, the structure of their mouth, jaw, and face is still changing.

 

Because certified pediatric dentists have specialized training and education, they’re the ones who best understand the effect of your teen’s growth on their oral health. A pediatric dentist can monitor any changes and ensure that your child’s health and development are as they should be.

 

Pediatric Dentists Can Cater to Early Orthodontic Needs

Early orthodontic inventions, like braces, can help address future problems before they worsen (e.g. crowded teeth, overbites, teeth impaction). A children’s dentist is very familiar with the signs of possible issues because that typically pop-up during middle to high school — and they’re specially trained to treat that age range. What’s more, when a pediatric dentist works with your teen throughout their childhood, they’ll constantly be on the lookout for any irregularities.

 

If your teen ends up needing braces or other orthodontic interventions, a pediatric dentist will often be the first person to notice and they’ll be more than capable of working with an orthodontist to give your child the orthodontic care they need.

 

Wisdom Teeth Monitoring

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the backmost part of the mouth. They usually grow in during the late teens to early 20s, around the ages of 16 to 25. When wisdom teeth emerge, they have the potential to cause harm to your teen’s oral health, especially if they come in sideways. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause extreme pain and cause other teeth to shift around.

 

You can trust a pediatric dentist to monitor the development of your teen’s wisdom teeth and point out concerns before they become painful problems.

 

What Age Should They Switch?

Going to a pediatric dentist can help your teen as they navigate growing up and learning to take care of themselves. Your teen’s dentist can give them pointers about taking responsibility for their own dental health and overall well-being — making healthy nutritional choices and avoiding the typical pitfalls of teen diets (namely a lot of carbohydrates and sugars), caring for orthodontic appliances (such as braces, retainers, brackets, etc.), mitigating the risks of sports injuries, and more.

 

Typically, we recommend teens to continue seeing a children’s dentist up until they turn 18. By this point, most of the changes to their face and jaw structure will have slowed or stopped, orthodontic issues have already been identified and addressed, and wisdom teeth have either erupted or have begun to show up on x-rays.

 

Takeaway: Consult With a Professional

In the end, the best way to figure out if your teen should still see a pediatric dentist is to consult with a professional. They will have the best advice for your individual situation and child.

 

At Bay Area Kids Dentist, we provide professional dental care for infants, children, and adolescents and we always want to provide the best care possible. If you have any questions about your teen’s dental health, feel free to give us a call.

Five Simple Steps To Take Care of Your Kids’ Teeth This Halloween Season

Five Simple Steps To Take Care of Your Kids’ Teeth This Halloween Season

kids dressed up for Halloween

Halloween is that spooky time of the year overloaded with spectacular tricks and sugary treats. Aside from ghosts and vampires, more spooky entities could haunt your household throughout October going by the names of tooth decay and dental cavities. We don’t want to discourage the appetite of a strong sweet tooth this time of the year, but how can you keep your children’s teeth safe and healthy while still allowing a bit of fun to happen? Here are some tips to take care of your kids’ teeth this Halloween season.

  1. Identify the Best and Worst Candies for Dental Health

Oral bacteria love to feast on the sugar remaining in the mouth after eating. While it may sound strange to think that there are better candies for preserving oral health, some candies can wreak more havoc on your children’s teeth than others. Here are just some of the topmost offenders.

Sticky and Chewy Gummies

Small tidbits of these types of candies — which include gummy bears, gummy worms, and caramel taffy — can easily get stuck in the gaps and grooves of your kids’ teeth, making them difficult to rinse away.

Sour Candies

Sour candies contain high acidic content, which can strip away protective tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. Keep their consumption of products like Sour Patch and PixieStix in moderation.

Hard Candies

Hard candies increase the duration of time that teeth are exposed to sugars, which then increase the supply of leftovers that oral bacteria can feed on. Aside from this, biting on candies like lollipops or jawbreakers can also pose the risk of chipping a tooth.

 

Instead of these dental destroyers, why not try other alternatives like sugar-free candies and snack-sized morsels instead? These treats are much lower in sugar content and promote saliva production, which can help to neutralize acid levels in the mouth and dissolve food particles. 

  1. Don’t Forget To Brush and Floss

Halloween can be a busy time of the year for families that participate in trick-or-treating, but you need to make sure to remind your kids to regularly brush their teeth and floss thoroughly. Brushing and flossing are the most classic ways to prevent tooth decay. Making them a habit can help keep your children’s teeth safe and healthy.

After consuming sweet treats, make sure to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging sensitive tooth enamel. Remember that it takes two minutes to clean the nooks and crannies of the mouth. Flossing after brushing ensures that remaining sticky plaque has been removed from the surface of your kids’ teeth.

  1. Keep Sweet Treats in Moderation

Trick-or-treating sessions wouldn’t be complete with just the tricks; there has to be some treat involved! Still, make sure to set ground rules for your kids this Halloween. Have a specific schedule where they’re allowed to eat treats — whether it’s after meals or when they’re finished with their homework — to balance the amount of sugar they get in their system. Moderation is key in maintaining oral health!

  1. Drink Water Often

Aside from keeping your kids hydrated and increasing their energy levels, drinking water can help to flush away remaining sugars within the mouth that bacteria can easily feed on. Remind your kids to drink water regularly to prevent frightening oral issues.

  1. Visit Your Pediatric Dentist Regularly

Of course, any steps that you employ to take care of your kids’ teeth this Halloween will be greatly supplemented by a visit to your pediatric dentist. Regular check-ups and cleanings can ensure that hidden dental problems are addressed as soon as possible.

 

Contact Bay Area Kids Dentist for consultations from board certified pediatric dentists about your children’s teeth. This Halloween, we’ll make sure to drive away any terrifying tooth problems from your household

The Basics of Choosing the Right Pediatric Dentist for Your Kids

The Basics of Choosing the Right Pediatric Dentist for Your Kids

Many children, both in their early years and later in life, suffer from dental cavities and complications due to dental problems. According to studies, dental cavities affect roughly 42% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 and a similar number of children between the ages of 6 and 19 who have permanent teeth.

 

For your child’s dental health, it’s important to choose the right dentist. As a parent, you are aware of the significance of maintaining your child’s oral health. Since children are more likely than adults to experience cavities and other dental problems, it is important to develop a relationship with a reliable and trustworthy pediatric dentist to take care of your child’s dental needs.

 

But how do you choose the best pediatric dentist for your child? We review the basics of what you should look for when choosing a pediatric dentist for your child.

 

Pediatric Dentists Vs. Family Dentists

Understanding what a pediatric dentist is and how one differs from the standard family dentist will help you find the best pediatric dentist for your child.

 

Pediatric dentists and general dentists both address conditions related to dental health, but there are several ways in which they differ. The obvious difference is that a pediatric dentist specializes in treating the dental health of children. General dentists often treat and concentrate solely on adult teeth and adult dental health conditions. While a pediatric dentist, also known as a kids dentist, specializes in addressing children’s teeth, baby teeth, tooth care/habits, and overall dental conditions of children. They are trained and experienced, with the proper tools and knowledge to specifically address children’s dental health. You should choose a pediatric dentist for your child and not a family dentist. 

 

What are some things you can do before choosing a pediatric dentist for your child?

 

Ask Friends or Talk to Other Parents

One excellent way to find out about fantastic pediatric dentists is by asking friends or speaking with other parents for a recommendation. Every parent wants to give their kid the best, thus a lot of parents may already have a reliable pediatric dentist in mind. 

 

You can ask other parents that you trust where they take their child for dental care and pay attention to what they have to say about the service and the dentist. This can assist you in reducing your options, avoiding those with negative reviews from reliable sources, and having a list of solid recommendations that you may further investigate.

 

Check Qualifications

When choosing a kids dentist for your child, it is crucial to take their areas of specialization into account. Compared to general or family dentists, pediatric dentists are dental experts who have completed additional years of school and have additional training and experience treating children. Pediatric dentists complete a two-year residency program following dental school. 

 

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, pediatric dentists are trained in advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques, child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia. Therefore, your options should only include certified pediatric dentists and not regular dentists. Make sure the pediatric dentists you’re looking at have relevant qualifications and credentials. 

 

Check Reviews

Many companies, including dental offices, let customers post honest reviews on their websites, social pages, and reputable websites like Google. This gives you important knowledge about how the dentist and their staff have handled other patients and what other patients liked and disliked about their visit. If the reviews are largely positive, then it can be a great indicator that it is an excellent dentist for your child. 

 

Last but not least, reading reviews will enable you to observe how the dentist addresses and responds to negative reviews. This will allow you to perceive an office’s genuine approach to all patients, not just those with positive feedback.

 

Visit the Office and Schedule a Consultation

Scheduling a consultation can assist you in figuring out whether your children feel at ease with that particular dentist and observing how the staff interacts with you and your child. Bring your child with you to meet the most favorable dentists on your list. During the initial consultation, pay attention to how the dentist spends time getting to know you and your child. 

 

Take note of how the dentist and staff interact with your children and how they make your child comfortable. A good pediatric dentist will find ways to make treatment enjoyable for your child. They’ll have an uplifting attitude, crack jokes, give amusing names to the tools and equipment, and have your child observe how things are done to gain interest and trust. They may even give rewards or prizes to your child for visiting the office.

 

Check Insurance Coverage

Comparing dental costs, and insurance coverage, can also help you select the ideal pediatric dentist for your child. Choosing an excellent pediatric dentist is important, but so is finding a dental office that can accommodate your financial needs. 

 

Ask your insurance company if the dentists on your list are in their network and if they are covered for the kinds of treatment your child needs. Before seeing a dentist, you should confirm that they accept your insurance. If you don’t have insurance or if the dentist is not in your insurance network, speak with the dental office about possible payment options that will meet your needs.

 

Other Considerations

The office’s location is another important factor to consider. The accessibility of the office is important, especially for emergency dental concerns. You can also assess the dental office’s atmosphere, cleanliness, hygiene, and the attitudes of other patients while you’re there for your initial consultation. You should also think about the office’s service offerings, including if they provide your child with comprehensive dental treatment or just the bare minimum. Ensure that you are well informed about the types of treatment and services they provide and whether or not they emphasize prevention over addressing problems as they arise.

 

Bay Area Kids Dentist

If you’re in the Bay Area and are trying to find the children’s dentist, check out Bay Area Kids Dentist. We have four locations, all of which are run by board-certified professionals:

  • Santa Clara Office
  • Sunnyvale Office
  • Morgan Hill Office
  • Fremont Office 

 

Through hospitality, education, and dental expertise, Bay Area Kids Dentist is known for giving every patient an outstanding dental experience. We’ll make sure your child is comfortable and cared for throughout their treatment. For more information, contact us today!