Six Steps to Healthy Baby Teeth

Looking at your infant’s toothless—or near toothless—smile, you may wonder why there is any reason to worry about establishing good dental health practices at such a tender age. The fact is that even before teeth emerge, a baby’s mouth is subject to the same sorts of bacteria found in the adult mouth. Failure to keep your child’s gums and emergent teeth healthy and clean can result in dental problems down the road.

Baby bottle tooth decay is the name given to one of the most common dental problems faced by infants and very young children. Sugars from both sweetened and unsweetened drinks, such as fruit juice, formula and even milk, provide an ideal habitat for harmful bacteria to thrive.

Long ago, many parents felt that because they were not permanent, baby teeth were expendable and there was no need to address cavities that might develop in them. In fact, healthy baby teeth play a critical role in helping a young child develop chewing and speaking skills, while serving as placeholders for the adult teeth that will eventually replace them. Baby teeth that are not cared for properly can cause pain and infection and may need to be extracted. Missing baby teeth can cause adult teeth to come in crooked or cause deformation of the oral cavity.

Fortunately, caring for a baby’s gums and teeth is a pretty simple process:

  • Even before teeth emerge, wipe the baby’s gums with a soft cloth after each feeding.
  • Establish regular brushing after the first tooth emerges, but avoid toothpaste until your child is able to keep from swallowing it.
  • Avoid beverages with added sugar.
  • Never allow your baby to sleep with a bottle that contains anything other than water. If your child already has sugary drinks in his or her bottle, wean your child from the practice by diluting the beverage until it is all water.
  • Focus on healthy snacks rather than sugary between-meal treats.

And the most important step: Bring your child into our office before the age of one year to help us identify any potential problems and provide guidance that can help ensure that your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Fruit Smoothies May Be Hazardous to Your Kids Teeth

Fruit smoothies have been touted by some companies as an easy and tasty way to get your child to eat the two to four daily servings of fruit recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its food pyramid. But fruit smoothies may not be all their proponents claim. And a new study suggests that fruit smoothies may be hazardous to the teeth.

A typical fruit smoothie is made of fresh or frozen fruit pureed with fruit juice into a cold, thick beverage. Some smoothies add milk, yogurt or another dairy product to improve their consistency and taste. Although some people make their own smoothies at home, many commercially made smoothies are available. These often contain added sugar and other ingredients.

An investigation published in February 2013 by the British Dental Journal tested a range of fruit smoothies for their potential impact on teeth. The authors used four commercial all-fruit smoothies that included such fruits as strawberries, bananas, kiwis, apples, pomegranates, blueberries and acai, along with one commercial smoothie that was 73% yogurt and a homemade smoothie made of strawberries, bananas and a blend of apple, orange, grape and lime juice. They analyzed the chemical makeup of each drink and tested its effect on previously extracted teeth.

Food and drink with too much acid have the potential to harm tooth enamel. The results of this study showed that each of the all-fruit smoothies had acid levels that could cause damage to teeth. Only the smoothie that was nearly three-quarters yogurt did not have troublesome acidity levels. Smoothies that included apples, kiwi or lime altered the surface hardness of the teeth.

Although fruits are naturally sweet, many commercially available smoothies also have a significant amount of sugar added. One “super-sized” smoothie offered by a popular national chain has been found to include more than 169 grams of sugar. Besides the danger that consuming all that extra sugar poses to your child’s teeth, a 12-ounce smoothie may exceed 500 calories. An extra 500 calories daily would equal a weight gain of one pound per week.

None of this means that you should not give your child a fruit smoothie. Smoothies can be a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients. And smoothies made with yogurt or milk provide calcium while having less harmful acid than pure fruit smoothies. But if you are not making the smoothies yourself, read the label carefully to know exactly what your child is drinking.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588Winnipeg Kids Dentist

Out Patients’ Parents are Raving Fans

Putting your children’s dental care first for over 30 years

 

This is the most fantastic dentist. He looked after both of my children’s teeth for all their childhood from 1976 to 1997. Regular check-ups meant no (as in NONE) cavities. They cried when they reached 18 and had to go and find a dentist for adults! Today they are in their late 20s and early 30s with perfect teeth. Mitch started them on a life of good dental hygiene that will probably continue for the rest of their lives. Thank you Mitch.

Caring For Sensitive Teeth

Does drinking a cold soft drink or eating hot soup make your child wince? If so, he or she may be one of the more than 40 million Americans with sensitive teeth.

Tooth sensitivity develops when a tooth loses its protective layers. The part of the tooth above the gum line is protected by a layer of enamel, the hardest substance in the body. A softer layer of a material extends below the gum line and protects the tooth roots. Under this lies a layer of dentin. All these protective layers shield the tooth pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. When the enamel and dentin are worn away or a tooth root is exposed, hot, cold or acidic foods—even breathing in cold air—can stimulate nerve cells in the pulp and cause a short, sharp pain.

What can you do to stop this pain? First, take your child to see the dentist if the sensitivity lasts more than a few days. Worn fillings or crowns, cracked teeth, a developing abscess, tooth grinding at night, receding gums or gingivitis—sore, swollen, or inflamed gums—can cause tooth sensitivity. These problems need to be treated.

If your child’s mouth gets a clean bill of health, we may recommend some or all of the following:

  • Choose the right toothpaste. Some people develop sensitivity to tartar-control or whitening toothpastes. Ask your dentist whether an American Dental Association–approved fluoridated desensitizing toothpaste might be right for your child.
  • Brush correctly. Have your child brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. If the bristles on the brush are bent, your child is brushing too hard.
  • Choose the correct mouthwash. Acidic mouthwashes can worsen tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist to recommend a neutral fluoridated mouthwash for your child.
  • Become more aware of what your child eats. Acidic drinks such as juice and colas can wear away protective enamel.
  • We can apply a fluoride gel, fluoride varnish or dentin sealer to protect the tooth’s roots.

Do not let tooth sensitivity ruin your child’s enjoyment of food. Talk to us about ways to protect your child’s teeth.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Choosing the Right Toothbrush For Your Children

 

Winnipeg Kids Dental Specialist

Susan

Teaching children to brush regularly is essential to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. But with so many toothbrush types on the market—disposable, battery-powered, electronic—how do you choose the one that is best for your child while meeting your budget considerations?

While it is important to select a toothbrush appropriate to your child’s age, size and special needs, your child should also like using the toothbrush. Children who like their toothbrush will be more likely to brush regularly and properly. If your child is old enough, let him or her help pick out a new toothbrush.

Your pediatric dentist and hygienist can advise you in this important choice. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Select a toothbrush that has an American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This will ensure that the construction and materials of the toothbrush are appropriate for children.
  • Pick an age-appropriate toothbrush. Most children’s toothbrushes have the recommended age range printed on the box. If the brush head is too small or too large, it will not reach all areas of your child’s mouth. The handle should feel comfortable so that your child will be able to use it properly.
  • Choose soft bristles. A child’s teeth and gums are more sensitive than an adult’s, especially when the child is teething. A soft-bristled brush cleans teeth well without wearing away tooth enamel or gum tissue. The bristled end of the toothbrush should be small and round, so that the child will not be hurt if his or her hand slips while brushing.
  • Choose a special brush for braces. Children who wear braces may do better with special orthodontic toothbrushes that have bristles altered to reach hard-to-clean areas.
  • Disposable or battery powered? Both types can effectively keep teeth and gums healthy. The choice may depend on your child’s preferences and age, as well as the evaluation of your pediatric dentist.
  • Options and attractions. Child-friendly toothbrush designs make the brushing experience fun and may be more effective. Some brushes feature cartoon characters or a variety of colors. Several models play music or flash timed colored lights to let your child know how long to brush.

Whichever choice you make, be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush as recommended, usually every three months for the average disposable brush. Your pediatric dentist is your best resource in the choice and maintenance of the right toothbrush for your child’s oral health.

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

 

3 Secret To Healthy Teeth and a Great Smile!

Nobody likes to get cavities. Brushing and flossing will help your child avoid the dentist’s drill, but there are other, lesser-known ways to keep your child’s mouth healthy and beautiful.

Secret #1: Eat right—keep your smile bright and your teeth healthy

A healthy diet, rich in whole grains and vegetables and low in processed foods, benefits every part of a child’s body—even the pearly whites. Most of us know that fluoride is important for children’s oral health, but other minerals and vitamins can help reduce gum disease and strengthen teeth. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins A and D are important for building and protecting tooth enamel; antioxidants (found in many fresh fruits and vegetables) help the body ward off infection, which can lead to gum disease. Since all of these can be found in healthy foods, eating right can be a great tool in your child’s fight against cavities.

Secret #2: Attack the plaque

Starchy or sugary foods mix with the acids in saliva and form a sticky substance called plaque. If the plaque sits on your child’s teeth too long, it can lead to decay (cavities). Brushing, chewing sugarless gum with xylitol or rinsing out your child’s mouth 30 minutes after eating will help remove the plaque, but another idea is to focus on regular meals. Snacking throughout the day means that your child’s mouth is exposed to more bacteria, and, realistically, most children are not going to remember to brush every time they eat. And when they do snack, children should stick to tooth-friendly snacks like cheese or veggies.

Secret #3: Shun the sugary drinks

Speaking of plaque-forming acid, some of the main culprits of tooth decay in children are soda and sugary fruit drinks. These tend to have a high acid content, which erodes tooth enamel—even diet sodas, despite being sugar-free, are highly acidic. When enamel is not strong, teeth are more prone to cavities. Have your child avoid soda and candy as much as possible, and, if children do indulge, make sure they brush their teeth soon afterward.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Is a Cavity Free Mouth Really Possible?

Wouldn’t it be nice if a magic shield could help protect your children from cavities? Well, think of your dentist as a magician: By using a process called sealants, she or he can help your kids avoid decay in the back molars, the teeth most prone to cavities in young mouths.

The back molars have a few things working against them. They are full of deep grooves, making it easy for food particles and germs to become trapped. They are also difficult to clean, particularly when you’re dealing with small mouths and the impatient little people attached to them. Dental sealants provide a protective coating, made out of a thin plastic substance that covers the grooves on the back teeth. Since food and bacteria can’t get through the plastic, the teeth are protected from decay.

Better still, sealants are virtually invisible, and quick and painless to apply. We clean the tooth using a special gel before painting on the sealant itself. Sometimes, a special light is used to harden the sealant. The process only takes a few minutes to complete, and the sealant can protect the teeth for up to 10 years.

Dentists recommend applying sealants as soon as the permanent molars erupt, before any decay occurs. That way the sealant will be most powerful during the prime cavity-prone years (ages six to 14 years). Sealants can be put on both permanent molars and pre-molars, and are often covered by dental insurance.

Keep in mind, though, that it is still important for children to maintain good oral hygiene. With good brushing, fluoride and regular dental care, sealants can be an almost magical way to keep your children’s mouths healthy and cavity-free!

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

 

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

The Link between Pacifier Use After Age 3 and Adverse Effects in Tooth and Jaw Development

 

The Latin root for pacifier is “pax,” or peace—and any parent who has been brought relief from an infant’s screams by that bit of plastic knows why. But when the infant has become a toddler, or even preschooler, getting him or her to forgo the binky for good may feel like a war.

On the one hand—no pun intended—it can be easier to break a child of a pacifier habit than a thumb-sucking habit (you can’t take away a thumb!), so the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that you provide your baby with a safe pacifier in infancy to satisfy her natural need to suck.

But, according to the AAPD, the pacifier habit should be strongly discouraged after age 3. In fact, there’s evidence that the longer a child uses a pacifier after age 2, the greater the chances that his or her jaw and tooth development will be adversely affected and correctable only by orthodontics years later.

If your child is very attached to the pacifier, you may have to employ a creative strategy (or two) in the detachment process. Experienced parents have made the following suggestions:

  • Enlist your dentist’s help. Arrange in advance for your dentist to give your child a special gift in return for her bag of collected binkies.
  • Visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop. Along with the stuffing, fill the bear with the pacifiers. This way, your child still has the binkies, but they won’t be ruining his or her bite.
  • Create a sticker chart. Every binky-free day earns a sticker for your child. A certain number of stickers earn her a special toy.
  • Conduct a visit from the Tooth Fairy’s cousin, the Paci-Fairy. Pacifiers placed under your child’s pillow at night are “miraculously” replaced with something very special by the next morning.

Even if one of these strategies works initially, there is no guarantee that a follow-up tantrum or two won’t erupt. Be sympathetic but staunch, suggests Mark L. Brenner, author of the book Pacifiers, Blankets, Bottles, and Thumbs: What Every Parent Should Know About Starting and Stopping. Most kids, he says, will accept their binky-free state in a couple of days.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588Winnipeg Kids Dentist

The Key To Healthy Tooth Enamel in Children’s Teeth

Tooth enamel, the hardest tissue in the human body, protects teeth from daily wear and tear. If properly cared for, the enamel that covers your child’s teeth is designed to last a lifetime. Although enamel will become worn with normal use, establishing good habits in childhood can go a long way toward keeping the hard covering stable and healthy. Here are a few tips for protecting enamel:

  • Limit sugar-laden foods and drinks. Sugar triggers the production of acid in your child’s mouth. Foods that are both sweet and sticky are especially bad for enamel. Beverages like soda pop frequently contain other ingredients such as citric or phosphoric acid that can be harmful to enamel.
  • Focus on foods that protect enamel. Dairy products help strengthen and protect dental enamel while neutralizing acids in the mouth that can erode enamel over time. If your child likes orange juice, choose a juice with calcium added to help neutralize the juice’s natural acid.
  • Brush thoroughly but gently. Make sure your child uses a soft brush and does not scrub teeth too vigorously. It’s also a good idea to wait about an hour after eating before brushing because some foods can soften enamel, making it more prone to brush-related damage.
  • Look out for chlorine. If your child swims, make sure the gym or pool he or she uses checks and maintains the proper water pH level. Improperly chlorinated pools can become acidic. Tell your child to keep his or her mouth closed when swimming to avoid having his or her teeth come into contact with the water.
  • Drink lots of water. Especially after periods of strenuous play or exercise, drinking water helps keep teeth and gums clean and moist, and reduces levels of harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid the daily grind. Many children grind their teeth at night, a habit that can erode enamel significantly over time. If your child is a grinder, ask us about tooth guards to prevent damage.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. The best way to monitor your child’s tooth enamel for signs of damage is to make sure he or she sees the dentist every six months. Other ways to protect enamel include the use of oral care products containing fluoride.

Start early and monitor your child’s oral health to ensure that the tooth’s enamel will remain intact throughout his or her entire lifetime.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

Helping Your Kids When They Get a Toothache

When your child complains of a toothache, it does not always mean there is a cavity. Many toothaches occur when a tooth temporarily becomes overly sensitive. Knowing how to relieve the pain—and when to call the dentist—are important factors in helping your child overcome tooth discomfort.

If your child develops a toothache, you can take several simple steps that may relieve the pain. At first complaint,

  • ask your child to identify the tooth causing the pain
  • check for food or other objects which may have lodged between teeth
  • even if nothing is visible, very gently use dental floss on either side of the painful tooth to dislodge any tiny particles that may be causing the discomfort
  • have your child rinse his or her mouth with warm salt water, which may help reduce swelling and relieve accompanying pain
  • give your child an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen if pain persists
  • use an icepack on the cheek or jaw for 20 minutes

However, not all toothaches can be treated at home. We can determine the cause and treat your child if

  • the pain is accompanied by fever
  • the pain is very severe
  • your child’s face is swollen
  • your child continues to complain of tooth pain after a day or so

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Childrens Dentist - Dr Vodrey