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Healthy Tips and Treats for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it tends to bring with it a lot of treats that may be harmful to your child’s teeth. It usually means candy galore and a lot of sweets from classmates, parents, and grandparents. However, this year consider making Valentine’s Day a sweet treat without all the excess sugar.

The good news is that it’s possible to maintain good oral health through sugary holidays such as this one. The following tips will allow you to help your children limit their sugar intake on Valentine’s Day and keep a healthy and beautiful smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth

The reality is that there’s damage being done that all this sugar is silently doing to your child’s (and your) teeth. Sugar from candy and sweet treats sits on the teeth and gums of your mouth. While saliva does a little to wash away the sugar and stickiness, it can’t get the job done fully, especially with the chewy and gummy candies. Suckers and hard candy are tough on your teeth as well. Cavities occur when bacteria in your mouth digest sugar and produce acid, which weakens the tooth enamel. Eventually, this weakening leads to tooth decay and cavities. Sugar remaining on the teeth becomes food for the bacteria in the mouth that will attack the tooth.

Healthy Treat Options & Alternatives to Candy

We’re not here to take away the fun or say no candy at all. We’re here to let you in on a few ideas that will be yummy to eat and won’t lead to more cavities. Below are a few tips and options you should consider this Valentine’s Day:

  • Heart-shaped granola bars
  • Flower-shaped fresh fruit
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Whole-wheat heart-shaped pancakes
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Sugar-free candy

What to Avoid & Tips for Healthy Teeth

Prevention is essential to good oral hygiene and preventing cavities. Below is also a list of what items and foods to avoid:

  • Anything sticky or chewy
  • Candies that are nothing but loose sugar
  • Lollipops
  • Super hard candies

You can also focus your efforts on caring for your child’s teeth, especially around the sugary types of holidays. For instance, you can choose the right foods and non-candy treats, limit candy to after-meal treats, stay hydrated with water, and brush and floss.

Next Steps

Our team at North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry wishes all our patients and prospective patients a Happy Valentine’s Day. Remember to keep brushing and flossing away! If you are looking for a dental home for your child, we invite you to schedule your child for a check-up with Dr. Taylor.

Dr. Amberlee Taylor and her team specialize in pediatric dentistry for children from infants to adolescents. We are committed to providing the best quality care for your children’s teeth while making them feel as comfortable as possible. Along with caring for teeth, we consider it our duty to educate both kids and parents about how to maintain healthy teeth from the youngest ages.

How to Find The Best Pediatric Dentist

It doesn’t matter whether your child has a mouth full of pearly whites or whether they have some freshly sprouted teeth because you have to make sure that they undergo regular dental care. If you can make sure that you choose a pediatric dentist who your child is comfortable with, then this will really help them to maintain their healthy smile as they get older.

Finding The Best Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric dentists need to undergo 2-3 years of training after they finish dental school. They are also very well-versed in child psychology, development and growth. You can expect them to offer a very welcoming atmosphere and you can also expect them to have sunglasses which are child-friendly so you can shield them from the bright lights that they are faced with during the exam.

Accessing More Support

If you have a child who you know has very special needs, then it may be that they need a greater level of support. Try and find a dentist who is compassionate because a child’s reaction to even mild treatment can be very extreme. A child with autism may need to be treated in a hospital with sedation if they struggle to cope with the environment of a dental office.

Evaluating the Office

The best pediatric dentist will make their environment very welcoming. Before you sign your child up with a dentist, make sure that you meet with the dental professional in person and also determine if they are a good fit for your child. Ask them if the dentist your child is going to be registered with has any kind of special training and also ask them if they are a member of the American Dental Association. It’s also helpful to find out if the dental office is set up for children. Do they have games? Toys? Books or anything else child-friendly?

Emergencies

Sometimes emergencies happen and there just isn’t anything that you can do about it. If you want to do your part and help your child, then you have to make sure that you ask the office to see if they have any kind of procedure in place to help your child to get seen, or if they often have emergency appointments available. If you can do this, then you will soon find that you can access the support you need and you can also rest assured knowing that if your child does need any emergency treatment, that they are going to be seen promptly.

If you need some help making sure that your child is with a good dentist then why not get in touch with us today? When you do, you can count on us to make sure that your child is in the best of hands. After all, our team is trained to the highest standard and they personally make sure that they treat every child with kindness and compassion. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Prevention

Baby bottle tooth decay is something that a lot of babies experience, and is caused when their teeth are frequently exposed to liquids containing sugars over a long period of time. Usually when infants and young children are put to bed with a bottle to suck from as they fall asleep. Milk, sodas, fruit juice, formula. These liquids and the sugars in them will pool around the gums and teeth of your child, feeding the bacteria that will result in plaque. Whenever your child has a liquid that contains sugar, the acid will attack their gums and teeth. After a number of exposures or attacks, tooth decay can begin. This condition has also been linked with infants who are breast-fed with prolonged feeding habits, as well as children who have had their pacifiers dipped regularly into syrup, sugar, or even honey. The sweet fluids that are left in the child’s mouth will increase the likelihood of cavities while the infant is asleep.

Tips on the prevention of decay from baby bottles

There are a number of different things that you can do in order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. First and foremost, make sure you do not enable a habit of putting your child to sleep with a bottle. You also need to make sure the baby’s gums are massaged and cleaned once each day, as this helps with establishing healthy teeth, as well as aiding in teething. Simply wrap a washcloth or gauze square that has been moistened around the finger, gently massaging the gingival tissues and gums.

When your child’s first baby tooth starts to show, this is when the activities to remove plaque will begin. You should schedule your baby’s first appointment with Dr. Taylor when the first tooth begins to appear.

At home, you should use a soft toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth. You need a small amount of toothpaste, about the size of a pea. Before your child is able to spit, make sure the toothpaste you use is non-fluoride. Once your child is able to spit, you can then use fluoride toothpaste. Once your child is aged between six and 12-months-old, they should have had their first trip to the dentist.

You can make changes to your child’s diet in order to try and stop baby bottle tooth decay. A number of small changes over a period of time is typically easier for you as a parent and will result in improved oral health in the end. So, what sort of changes should you be looking to implement?

  • Over a period of two to three weeks, gradually dilute the contents in your child’s bottle with water.
  • When this period has ended, fill it with water if you give your child a bottle. Water is the only safe liquid to put in a bottle to stop baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Decrease your child’s sugar consumption, especially in between meals.
  • As soon as your child is able to drink from a cup, you should wean him or her from the bottle. However, do not take the bottle away too soon, as the sucking motion can help in terms of developing tongue and facial muscles.

When you are ready to learn how to take care of your new little one’s teeth and oral health care needs, please contact us for an appointment with Dr. Taylor. She can teach you much more about how to ensure proper dental development.

Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

As a parent, you’ll know that looking after your child’s oral hygiene is a top priority. Nevertheless, when it comes to pediatric dentistry and its specifics, parents generally have a lot of questions. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular ones that come up.

When should I first take my child to the dentist?

You will need to take your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears. Your child’s first tooth should likely appear by their first birthday. Baby teeth will be susceptible to tooth decay as soon as they come in, so dental services and prevention techniques are vital from the get-go.

How can I prepare my child for their first dental appointment?

Talk to your child about the importance of keeping their teeth healthy, to help them understand why it’s vital for them to see the dentist. Ensure that you talk about going to the dentist in a positive way and make the experience sound like fun. You’ll also want to realistically prepare them about what the appointment will involve. It may help to show them some pictures of where they are going. Your dentist will be able to continue the process of making them feel safe and at ease when they arrive.

Are baby teeth that important?

Yes, baby teeth are incredibly important because they aid your child in both speaking naturally and eating well. Baby teeth can also function to hold space for the permanent teeth, so if they are taken the best care of; it’s more likely that the adult teeth will end up in good condition too.

How can I prevent tooth decay for my child?

To prevent tooth decay, take your child to a pediatric dentist at least every six months. Ensure that you help your child to brush and floss regularly enough and that they have a balanced diet without too many sugary foods and drinks.

Does my child need dental sealants?

Dental sealants work by painting thin coats of plastic on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. This is a safe process which is recommended to prevent tooth decay and protect the enamel on your child’s teeth.

Are pacifiers and thumb sucking bad for my child’s teeth?

If your child has a short-term pacifier or thumb-sucking habit, then this isn’t too much cause for concern. If your child’s habit continues past the age of three, then you should see your pediatric dentist. Your child might be a good candidate for a mouth guard to help them. If these habits persist, there’s a risk that this may cause problems with your child’s teeth later down the line.

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

The first thing to do is to keep calm and control any bleeding in the mouth. See if you can find the tooth and then briefly rinse it with water if it has become dirty. Reinsert the tooth and if you cannot do so put the tooth in milk or a wet cloth. You will need to go to the dentist as soon as possible whether you can reinsert the tooth or not.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding pediatric dentistry!

Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is the practice of dentistry as applied to the specific needs of children. It’s not just a gimmick: kids have specific oral health requirements that are not shared by adults (such as their milk teeth). The job of a pediatric dentist, therefore, is to provide treatment to children in a way that is appropriate for their age group. Not only are the medical interventions often different from those adults receive (not many children go to the dentist for dentures), but the overall environment is different too.

What Do Pediatric Dentists Do?

Pediatric dentists are trained to be of specific benefit to children. They can help with the following:

  • Injuries from sports and play. Children often suffer injuries while playing sports. A hockey stick to the face can knock teeth out, for instance. So too can going over the handlebars of a bicycle. Pediatric dentists are experienced in dealing with the fallout from these injuries, and many more.
  • Helping children break habits like thumb sucking. Thumb sucking might seem like part of the natural development of children, but it can interfere with the path that their teeth take as they emerge from the gum.
  • Repair tooth decay. Young children can suffer from the consequences of tooth decay.
  • Diagnose oral health issues. Detecting and resolving oral health issues early on in life is vital for protecting the child’s adult self against diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future.

Why Should Parents Choose Pediatric Dentists Over General Dentists For Their Children?

There are all sorts of reasons why parents should choose a pediatric dentist.

Get The Child Into Good Habits From An Early Age

Children need to understand good oral hygiene habits from an early age. The earlier that brushing teeth can become a part of their routine, the more chance they have of maintaining it for the rest of their lives. Pediatric dentists have learned through experience how to communicate with children and get them to comply.

Specialist Knowledge Of Childhood Oral Health Issues

General dentists often don’t have the depth of experience to manage all of the eventualities that might befall the oral health of your child. Pediatric dentists do. There’s practically nothing that they haven’t seen before; they won’t need to refer your child to somebody else.

Understand How To Communicate With Children

Pediatric dentists understand that going to the dentist can be a scary experience for a child and make it their job to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Fear of the dentist can be something that stays with a person for life.

To Receive Preventive Treatments

Preventive treatments are vital for ensuring that your child maintains excellent oral health from an early age. Dentists can teach them about the importance of using fluoride, as well as provide interventions that may help prevent tooth loss.

Reading about how great pediatric dentists are is all well and good, but getting your child treated by one is even better. If you’d like a pediatric dentist to perform an exam on your child, then schedule an appointment with us today!

Creating a Good Foundation for Oral Health

Too many children suffer from poor oral health. As a consequence, they end up with a mouth full of fillings by the time they turn 21. It’s crucial to encourage good oral health from a very young age. As a provider of pediatric dentistry in North Royalton, we advocate the idea of teaching your children about good oral hygiene habits as early as possible.

How To Create A Good Foundation For Oral Health

Creating a foundation means you give children the tools and advice they need to practice good oral health. There are many things you can do to help create this excellent foundation. So, here are some of our top tips:

  • Create a daily routine: Set up a schedule that you stick to every single day. Make your kids brush their teeth at the same time each morning, and then again in the evening. It’s oral health 101, but it goes a long way to improving oral health and laying a foundation.
  • Demonstrate brushing your teeth: Kids don’t know how to brush their teeth; they have to learn from you. Ensure you stand there with them and show your children how they should brush. Be sure that they use the right technique to get rid of as much plaque as possible!
  • Reward good behavior: The best way to encourage your kids to carry on with this routine is by rewarding them. Create a chart where you make a note of every time they brush their teeth morning and night. At the end of the month, they get rewarded in some way. Suddenly, they’re eager to brush their teeth every day!.
  • Use a timer: It’s crucial that they brush for two minutes each time – most children will barely brush for 30 seconds. To do this, you should use a timer to keep track.

Improve Nutritional Habits

The above points help you lay the foundation for good oral health. However, you need to ensure that all your hard work doesn’t get overpowered by bad nutritional habits. Reduce the amount of sugar your children consume every day – and limit foods that are acidic too. Sugar causes cavities while acid will erode the teeth and weaken the enamel.

Restrict the amount of candy you give them, cut down on cookies and chips, and avoid seasoning food with vinegar. Soda is a huge culprit when it comes to damaging children’s teeth, so try and get your kids to drink more water – milk is good too, it helps keep their teeth strong.

Some Final Oral Health Tips

As a pediatric dentist in North Royalton, we have some essential tips that you should follow to further improve your child’s oral health:

  • Only use fluoride toothpaste as it protects the teeth from cavities
  • Wait 30-60 minutes after eating before brushing teeth
  • Floss regularly and ensure they brush below the gumline
  • Use an electric toothbrush for a more thorough brush every day

Schedule An Appointment

Lastly, it’s paramount that your children visit the dentist regularly. We can help check their oral health and prevent any serious problems. Feel free to schedule an appointment with us today, and we can give you more information on creating a good foundation for oral health with your children.

Tips for Helping Kids Prevent Cavities

Teeth are an incredibly crucial part of the human body. Without these little calcified chunks, it would be impossible to eat many of the foods which you enjoy each day, and this can make life very hard. This makes the way that you look after your teeth critical, and this is especially so when you are young. How exactly can you help your children to maintain their dental health and avoid cavities, though?

Building Good Habits

The habits your child builds when they are young will often be carried with them throughout their lives. This makes it worth building good habits from the very beginning, having your child brush their teeth twice a day, with flossing after meals which will get them in a routine. After enough of doing this, they will continue to follow the right path for years to come. Going to see a pediatric dentist every six months is also a big part of this, and this is something which can also be started early.

Teaching Them To Brush

While brushing twice a day is crucial, there won’t be much point in going through this process if your child isn’t going to brush correctly. There are loads of guides around which can teach you the best routine for a thorough mouth cleaning, making it much easier to use the correct techniques with your little ones. You can also find toothbrushes with extra features which help with good dental hygiene. Electric brushes, for example, often come with speakers inside which can help your child to keep track of how long they’ve been brushing for.

Feeding The Right Foods

Food can have a dramatic impact on the inside of your mouth, despite your teeth being designed to deal with it. Sweet and sugary foods will increase the rate at which cavities will form, with starch, acid, and salt also harming teeth. This doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t enjoy the foods they like or have the occasional sweet treat, but they do need to be handled with moderation.

Go To The Dentist

Finally, as the last part of this, it’s time to think about the dentist again. During their growth and development, your child will need to have their teeth carefully observed. This will help to spot any signs of future trouble, giving the dentist the chance to reverse something which could be very painful in the years to come. If you’re ever worried about the state of your child’s teeth, it will be well worth seeing a professional like Dr. Taylor and the North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry team as soon as you can, with the work they do being instrumental to keeping your child’s teeth healthy.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of keeping your kid’s mouths healthy. It can be hard enough to properly maintain your own oral health, making it into a real challenge to do it for someone else, especially when they are not the one focusing on it. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Tooth-Friendly Stocking Stuffers

As you go through your holiday shopping list and check it twice, make sure you remember to get stocking stuffers for your family! The most common stocking stuffers that our patients get for their kids are small toys, candy, and jewelry–things small enough to fit. But if you’re looking to get more unique and tooth-friendly gifts this year, North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry has some great ideas!Stocking stuffers for your kids!

  • Unique Toothbrushes

    It can be a challenge to encourage your child to brush regularly, but we think a unique toothbrush of their very own can help! Colgate and other brands offer toothbrushes themed after your child’s favorite cartoons and movies–from Frozen to Paw Patrol, there are many options that your child is sure to love. Some of these toothbrushes even sing, so your child can time their brushing!

  • Flavored Toothpaste

    It’s no secret that kids love sweet things, so they may struggle with your common toothpaste flavors. But, you can get flavored toothpastes from Colgate! These toothpastes are still ADA approved, and will work just as hard to clean your child’s teeth. One of our favorite flavors is strawberry!

  • Small Crafts

    If your child loves creating, try including a small craft kit in their stocking. Lots of stores offer tiny crafts like puzzles, plants, paints, and even sewing kits that are just for kids! You can even make a family night out of it, where each child creates an ornament out of their crafting kit, so they can include it on the tree next year.

  • Healthier Holiday Treats

    It’s easy to find candy canes and M&Ms, but these treats are full of sugar and can cause decay in little teeth. Your pediatric dentist recommends you try including dark-chocolate covered nuts and dried fruit. The dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, and nuts are a great source of protein. Both the chocolate-covered treats and dried fruit have less sugar than the more common candy, and they are still festive and full of flavor.

We hope you enjoy these stocking stuffer ideas, and we also want to wish you a very happy holiday and new year! We appreciate and love each of our patients, and can’t wait to ring in a new year with you and your family! If you need to schedule a dental appointment for your child before the end of the year, give us a call today.

Avoid Cavities This Halloween

It’s October, and Halloween will be here sooner than you know it. Your kids may already have their costumes ready for the big night! Between trick or treating, school, and community parties, you and your kids will have plenty of candy to go around!

avoid cavities this halloween!

We all know that candy is not good for your teeth, but we also want your family to enjoy the holiday and the treats that are coming your way. Your North Royalton pediatric dentist has three tips to keep your kids’ teeth healthy, while also keeping the fun of Halloween.

  1. Brush After Treats

    Regular brushing and flossing can help keep cavities at bay. But, with kids eating more candy, it’s important that they brush their teeth after they finish their treats. To make it more convenient, we recommend you establish a time when the kids need to finish eating treats every day, and brush their teeth after.

  2. Make A Candy Plan

    To avoid Candy Overload, we recommend you plan out candy consumption ahead of time. After trick-or-treating or any parties where they get candy, have your kids select their favorites and get rid of the rest. You could also limit your child to a certain amount of pieces each day. This will teach your child self-control, and will also keep their teeth healthier!

  3. Non-Candy Options

    Halloween doesn’t just have to be about the candy! There are lots of fall-themed treats that are spooky, yummy, and are better for your teeth. Try these recipes for some fun snacks that aren’t candy. On that note, you can give your child the choice to either keep their candy and divide it out over the year, or exchange some or all of it for a toy or an experience they’ve been wanting.

Halloween is a great time of year to indulge in sweets and scares. But you don’t need to be scared about your child’s dental health! Just follow these few tips, make sure they’re brushing and flossing twice a day, and schedule a check-up with North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry. We will be happy to answer any of your questions. Give us a call today!

Get Your Child’s Back to School Checkup!

It’s almost time for another school year to begin and you want your child to be ready. You want them to feel confident, right? Those first couple weeks of school are pretty important. They can set a tone for the rest of the school year. Your North Royalton pediatric dentist wants to help your kids establish good dental hygiene early on in life. Brushing and flossing daily are important but regular dental checkups at our office are just as important.

get your child's checkup from your North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dental care ensures that your child’s first teeth stay healthy and free of decay and other dental diseases. Good oral hygiene starts early. There are so many benefits to go see a pediatric dentist for these important checkups. Here are just a few:

  • Establish Good Habits

    Good habits now lead to strong healthy habits later on in adulthood. Using a pediatric dentist for their oral care needs will help ensure that your child has a long lasting habit of taking care of their teeth and gums. It’s a perfect time of year to establish good habits. Let visiting North Royalton Pediatric Dentistry be one of them.

  • Centered Around Children

    Pediatric dentists have the unique opportunity to build their offices around the patients that they most often see, Children! Waiting areas will often feature more fun options for children that are waiting for their visit with the dentist. Your pediatric dentist’s office might actually become a place that your child looks forward to visiting. More important than even the surroundings are that pediatric dentists are trained and experienced in dealing with children and are there to help you establish a positive and long lasting relationship between your child and their oral care habits. It’s such a positive and happy experience to start your child’s school year off at a place that is centered around children and their needs.

  • Teach Responsibility

    Taking your child to the dentist helps teach responsibility. When a child goes to the dentist and has been eating a little too many sweets most likely they will hear about it through an x-ray or feel it as a cavity is forming. When children are faced with the consequences or rewards for their actions, usually behavior change accordingly. School requires responsibility to accomplish goals that they set. Visiting the dentist office regularly can help establish that same kind of responsibility early on in their life.

Start your child’s school year off on the right track helping them to feel happy and confident in themselves. Schedule a checkup from your North Royalton pediatric dentist to make sure that their smile is as healthy as can be.