When your child loses teeth, it’s the first sign of a bunch of exciting things coming down the pipe. First and foremost, your baby is growing his or her adult teeth – the teeth that will remain in the mouth throughout adulthood. Secondly, your child is learning about proper oral hygiene and preparing to meet the tooth fairy for the first time.
If you’re like most parents, though, you’re not exactly sure what to do when your baby starts losing teeth. Don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In this post, we’ll lay out some simple ways to navigate this life phase and ensure you’re giving your little one everything he or she needs.
When Your Child Starts Losing Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are fascinating things. They start forming before a baby is born and play an essential role in speech development and other critical issues. Here are a few facts to consider about your baby’s teeth:
- Most kids get all 20 baby teeth within their first three years of life
- Teeth are critical for processing food, obviously, but also for helping kids learn to speak
- Generally, kids get their first tooth by six months of age
- Baby teeth, while not permanent themselves, offer spacing for adult teeth and help guide them as they push through the gums
- Young children lose their teeth at various rates – molars and canines don’t generally fall out until ages 9-13, while incisors fall out between ages 6-8
- Toddlers and infants who drink sugary juices from bottles, or who regularly fall asleep with bottles in their mouths can suffer premature tooth decay
- Parents should start promoting good dental health in babies within the first few weeks – rubbing thee gums with a clean cloth or a finger is a great start
- Proper dental development helps kids chew properly, which then supports healthy digestive and GI function
- Parents should take their babies to the dentist by the time the first tooth pops through the gums
- According to a June 2015 study, babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months were 72% less likely to have crooked or overcrowded teeth
According to information from the Mayo Clinic, most kids start losing their first teeth around the age of six years. While the timing varies slightly from child to child, it’s still smart to visit the dentist if your baby loses teeth as the result of an accident or premature dental decay. If the tooth loss is normal, there’s no reason to make an emergency trip to the dentist, although maintaining your regular check-ups is smart.
As a general rule, a child’s teeth will fall out in the order in which they first broke through the gums. Usually, this means your baby will lose the first two teeth on the bottom fist. From there, it will spread to molars and moe. Generally, the shedding of the baby teeth lasts from about age 6 to age 12 or 13. In some cases, teeth can take a few days or weeks to fall out. If this is the case for your child, avoid the urge to yanked the tooth out forcefully, and try to discourage your child from touching the tooth excessively.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Baby teeth usually stay in place until they are pushed out by permanent teeth. If a child loses a baby tooth early as a result of tooth decay or an accident, a permanent tooth might drift into the empty space. This can crowd permanent teeth and cause them to come in crooked.”
Pulling at ooh prematurely – even when it’s loose or wiggling – can expose the socket too early, creatine ga direct pipeline for infection, bacteria buildup, and more. Once a tooth falls out, a new one should replace it within six months. If no new tooth grows in that timeframe, take your child to the dentist to ensure there’s no underlying problem.
What to do After a Child Loses a Tooth
Before you summon the tooth fairy, take some time to care for the new gap in your child’s mouth! Here are a few steps to follow:
- Have the child gargle with saltwater. When a tooth falls out, it exposes a part of the mouth that’s not used to being exposed. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for infection and more. To prevent this, have your child gargle with salt and warm water once the tooth is gone. This is especially important if the space is bleeding. Encourage the child to spit all the water, rather than swallowing it.
- Brush around the space. Bushing directly over the exposed socket can create irritation and pain. With this in mind, have your child to brush around the socket, and avoid pushing too hard on any space that is sore or painful, as this can cause excessive irrigation. Your child should continue brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Avoid foods that can damage teeth. To maintain a healthy mouth, have your child avoid consuming soda, candy, and other foods that can damage the teeth. This is critical as the vulnerable socket is exposed. The more sugar and bacteria you introduce into the space, the more likely it is that the socket will become irritated or infected.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Dental care is critical as your child’s mouth continues to change. With this in mind, maintain your regular schedule of dental visits, and make sure you’re not skipping appointments. Your dentist will be able to identify problems before they flare into significant issues, and ensure that your child’s teeth are all falling out and growing in normally.
When to Call a Doctor
There are very few reasons to seek out medical help as your child loses and grows new teeth. If, however, you notice your baby’s mouth is bleeding excessively, that new teeth are not growing in the places of old teeth, or that your child seems to be losing too many or not enough teeth, it can be smart to pay a visit to your doctor. The doctor will be able to evaluate your baby’s mouth and ensure everything is progressing normally and that there aren’t any warning signs to be aware of.
Has your child started to lose baby teeth? Give our office a call! We’ll help guide you through this process and ensure your little one’s mouth is healthy and happy.
We all have bad habits, some bad habits have side effects that can cause real issues. There are some bad oral health habits that can take a toll on your teeth. Your oral health bad habits can be hard to break and there a few you should try and break as soon as possible.
If you suffer from any of these bad oral habits, do not stress you can break your bad habits and your dentist will be there to help. You do not have to suffer from your bad habits and their nasty side effects there is hope!
We all know that some foods are bad for our teeth: soda, candy, and ice, for example. While avoiding these foods is critical to dental health, it’s also wise to get acquainted with the foods that are good for your teeth, and eat more of those. Fortunately, there are dozens of tooth-healthy food options out there. You just have to know which ones to choose.
In this post, we’ll cover a few of our favorite tooth-boosting snacks and meals. Let’s dive in.
6 Foods That Strengthen Your Teeth
You are what you eat. That’s as true for your teeth as it is anything else. To boost the health and wellbeing of your teeth, incorporate these delicious, flavorful foods into your diet more regularly:
Cheese lovers, rejoice! It’s one of the top foods dentists recommend eating for good dental health.
According to a study published in a 2013 issue of General Dentistry, eating cheese boosts the pH of your mouth, thus lowering the risk of dental decay. Additionally, chewing cheese increases saliva production, thereby coating and protecting teeth and restoring balance to the dental environment. Finally, cheese contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
With that in mind, grab a slice of cheddar next time you need a tasty, mouth-healthy snack.
Crunchy, nutritious, and delicious – oh my! Carrots are a great snack as far as your oral health is concerned. Chock-full of fiber and vitamin A, carrots increase your mouth’s natural saliva levels, thus reducing your risk of cavities. Additionally, the texture and crunch of carrots can give teeth a light cleaning, serving to wipe away bacteria and plaque buildup.
Almonds are a heart-healthy snack, but they’re also great for your teeth. A great source of protein and enamel-boosting calcium, almonds are low in sugar and nutritious to boot. Add a few sliced almonds to a stir-fry or salad, or eat a handful of raw, unsalted almonds next time you need a mid-afternoon blood sugar boost.
Yogurt, like cheese, is an excellent source of protein and calcium. Because of this, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants a stronger, healthier, cleaner teeth. Additionally, yogurt contains naturally-occurring probiotics, which balance the bacteria levels in the mouth, banish cavity-causing bacteria, and restore healthy oral pH. If you decide to eat more yogurt, be sure you’re opting for protein-dense Greek yogurt varieties with no added sugar.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are great for everything from your heart to your digestive system. So is it any surprise that they’re excellent for your teeth, as well? Packed with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, while also being low in calories, leafy greens contain calcium to build tooth enamel, folic acid, and B vitamins that can reduce your risk of dental disease and bacteria buildup. If you have trouble getting enough leafy greens in your diet, consider adding a handful to a stir-fry, smoothie, or your lunchtime sandwich.
Celery might taste a little less exciting than yogurt or cheese, but it’s great for your chompers. Like carrots, apples, and other crunchy fruits and veggies, it acts as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing the teeth and removing bacteria and plaque buildup. Celery is also a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as fiber. Top your celery with cream cheese or almond butter for an extra nutrient-dense snack.
Eating for Your Dental Health
Just like you can eat to lower your blood pressure, decrease blood sugar spikes, or build muscle, you can eat to promote strong, healthy teeth. Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association to do just that:
- “Drink plenty of water
- Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
- whole grains
- lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas, and other legumes
- low-fat and fat-free dairy foods
- Limit the number of snacks you eat.
- If you do snack, choose something healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.”
In addition to following the tips above, it’s also essential to keep your dental habits up to snuff. This means brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. To keep teeth healthy and prevent plaque buildup, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly – at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have particular dental concerns.
Finally, keep your teeth healthy by being mindful of what you eat. Foods with high sugar content contribute to dental decay and other dental conditions. To limit your sugar intake, start reading the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on the foods you consume. Be mindful of sneaky sources of sugar – like beverages, fruit juices, and whole fruits. Stay away from distinct sources of processed sugar, like candy and soft drinks.
If you do have a sweet snack, be sure to flush your mouth with water immediately afterward, and to brush your teeth as quickly as possible. This will limit the amount of time the sugar has to impact your teeth and wash away any residue that could contribute to dental decay. Even if you brush your teeth immediately afterward, avoiding sugar is still the best bet to keep your mouth healthy.
Building Strong Teeth Doesn’t Have to be Hard
If you want to boost your oral health and experience less frequent trips to the dentist, start by evaluating your diet. Even a few simple changes can go a long way toward improving your dental health and creating better outcomes for your teeth. Your dentist and your mouth will thank you.
Concerned about your dental health? Overdue for your check-up? Give our team a call today to book your annual cleaning!
Good habits start young, and it is a lot easier to establish good habits when your children are younger than they can carry into their adult lives. Oral care just like other good health habits can be difficult to get your children on board, thankfully there are some great tips and tricks to help your child develop good, healthy habits.
You can establish good, healthy habits in your children, start young and keep a routine so they get used to it. Your children will thank you when they are older for their good habits and fewer trips to the dentist to repair the damage.
Today, dental decay affects more than 90% of the U.S. population. Gum disease, meanwhile, affects about 50% of people over the age of 30, and 40% of kids under the age of 19 are suffering from tooth decay, as well.
As you can see from these statistics, dental decay is an alarming problem in the U.S., and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. The biggest culprit leading to these issues is poor oral hygiene. Just behind that, though, is the lack of a balanced, healthy diet.
They say you are what you eat, and that’s as true for your teeth as it is everything else. Depending on what you eat or drink, you can enhance or harm the health of your pearly whites. Eat and drink the right things, and you’ll boost the health of your mouth. Eating and drinking the wrong things, though, or not getting enough of what your mouth needs and your teeth will suffer.
Is Your Mouth Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals?
Proper nutrition benefits your entire body – not just your teeth and gums. When you ingest ample vitamins and minerals, though, you do your mouth a significant favor and help set it up for success. In addition to supporting the healthy function of your mouth, you also give it the tool and material it needs to fight off dental decay and other troubling conditions. With that in mind, here are a few vitamins and minerals to focus on, specifically:
Most of us know that calcium is good for our bones, but its benefits go much deeper than that. Calcium is a critical building block for the teeth. In addition to helping maintain healthy teeth, calcium strengthens the structure of the teeth, improving enamel and making teeth stronger and harder to break.
Looking for good sources of calcium? Add dairy products to your diet. Cheese, milk, and yogurt are all tooth-healthy snacks that pack a serious calcium punch. If you’re on a vegan diet, look instead to fortified cereals and leafy green veggies.
Phosphorous is a critical vitamin for anyone who wants healthy teeth. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, phosphorus is one of the most common minerals in the body, behind only calcium. As it turns out, most of the phosphorus in your body lives in your teeth. Because of that, incorporating enough phosphorus into your daily diet is a critical way to care for your teeth and keep your mouth healthy.
Phosphorus is found in many foods that are also a good source of protein, including nuts, eggs, legumes, dairy, and more. You can also find ample phosphorus in whole grains and dried fruit. If you’re still concerned you’re not getting enough phosphorus, talk to your doctor about supplementing.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for dozens of body systems. In addition to playing a significant role in keeping your teeth healthy, it’s also a crucial factor in how your body absorbs calcium. Without enough vitamin D, your body actually starts to pull calcium reserves from your bones and teeth, which contributes to weak systems and an increased risk of fractures and cracks.
To add extra Vitamin D to your diet, look to milk, dairy products, and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin D is also easy to supplement, and you can talk to your doctor about adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
4. Vitamin C
Some vitamins support your teeth, and others support everything around them. That’s where Vitamin C comes in. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin C supports your body as it creates blood vessels that feed your teeth. Additionally, your body needs the nutrient to promote healing and support immune function. People who have a vitamin C deficiency often experience increased rates of dental infections and bleeding gums.
5. Vitamin A
According to the NIH, Vitamin A is good for your teeth and your whole body. In addition to supporting healthy vision, Vitamin A supports healthy tissue and mucous membrane production. Meat, eggs, dairy, and poultry are excellent sources of Vitamin A, although you can also supplement if you’re not getting enough from your diet. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be the case.
Eating for Strong Teeth and Gums: 3 Critical Snacks
If you want to keep your mouth healthy and happy, the best thing you can do is focus on your diet. Here are a few simple tips for doing just that:
1. Look for Calcium-Rich Foods
Calcium is critical for your teeth, and it’ll go a long way to boost the strength of your enamel and teeth themselves. With this in mind, look for foods like milk, Greek yogurt, cheese, tofu, salmon, dark green leafy veggies, and almonds. These are all great sources of calcium and will help you take care of your teeth.
2. Eat Eggs
Your teeth need phosphorus, and eggs are a great source of that. If you’re not a big fan of eggs, you can choose fish, lean meat, nuts, beans, and dairy to boost dental health and contribute to good overall nutrition.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a super-nutrient. It boosts your immune system, promotes gum health, and battles dangerous bacteria in your mouth. With this in mind, eat lots of citrus, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. You can also supplement with Vitamin C if you don’t believe you’re getting enough.
Eat for Your Dental Health
Vitamins and minerals are critical to your overall health and your dental health. If you’re interested in eating for better dental health, this post offers some smart places to start. Not only does getting ample vitamins and minerals ensure strong teeth and healthy gums, but it’ll also boost your immune system, support healthy body function, and keep your skin beautiful and luminous.
Want to learn more about eating for your dental health? Contact our office to schedule a visit, check-up, or cleaning today!
Getting braces can feel like a rite of passage for many kids, in the United States alone, 3.5 million children will get braces this year. Many of us will at some time in our life wear braces to fix a variety of dental issues, from crooked teeth to bite issues to spacing issues. If your dentist has recommended your child needs braces there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare for their braces.
If your child is getting ready for braces make sure they know and are ready for the commitment of having braces. Talk to your child’s orthodontist and dentist to make sure everyone is comfortable with the treatment plan, as long as everyone is ready braces should be a piece of cake!