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 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.
As a parent, your child’s well being is one of your top concerns. Of course, it is! You want your little one to grow up strong, healthy, and happy. One of the best ways to do that is to take care of their teeth. When you give your little one the care, attention, and skills needed for their teeth to develop correctly, you set them up for straight teeth and a healthy mouth well into their lives.
Like you, we care about setting your little one’s mouth up for success. Here are a few of our top recommendations for doing just that:
How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Healthy teeth are one of the essential pieces of your child’s overall health. In addition to cutting down on the risk of chronic diseases and bacterial infections, a healthy mouth inspires confidence and promotes normal development. Here are a few ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy from the get-go:
- Avoid leaving bottles in a baby’s crib, and given children fruit juices and sweet drinks sparingly
- Before your baby’s teeth erupt, rub the gums with your finger or a wet cloth after the baby eats or drinks. This will keep the gums clean and keep oral bacteria to a minimum.
- Take your baby to a pediatric dentist by this first birthday, or as soon as they cut their first tooth
- As soon as your little one’s first tooth erupts, start brushing the tooth and teaching the child healthy brushing habits
- Demonstrate healthy oral habits and routines in your daily life – lead by example as parents
- Limit sweet food, sticky food, and food that’s high in sugar. Offer healthy food options for your child and limit unhealthy choices
- Give your child plenty of books and education to help them learn about good oral health
Behaviors to Avoid for a Healthy Mouth
Knowledge and great habits are essential for good dental health. While other things, like genetics, also play a role, one of the biggest definers of your child’s dental health is behavior. Specific behavioral considerations can damage dental health and put your child at risk of future dental issues. With that in mind, be aware of the following behaviors in your child:
Pacifiers are often considered a lifesaver by parents. Used to calm a fussy baby, soothe a child who wants to suckle, or put a little one to sleep, pacifiers are a popular accessory for young kids. Despite that, however, the use of pacifiers is much-debated in the parenting world.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pacifier use is fine for kids, as long as it’s implemented correctly. When used excessively or for too long, pacifiers can damage a child’s dental development. If a child is still using a pacifier as his or her teeth begin to break through the surface, for example, the pacifier and the pressure of the suckling motion can press teeth out of position and cause a misalignment in the mouth.
Thumb sucking, pacifier sucking, can develop into a damaging habit if it goes on too long. While kids typically chew and suck on their fingers as they are teething, children who continue thumb-sucking behavior for too long risk misaligning their teeth and becoming dependent on the action.
Because of this, dentists recommend discontinuing thumb sucking by the time the child reaches the age of two. If the behavior persists past this point, teeth may come in crooked, or they may protrude from the front of the mouth.
Dental Problems Kids May Face
With or without potentially-damaging behavior, kids may face the following dental issues:
- Overcrowding. This is a common issue in both kids and adults alike. If your child has a small jaw, there might not be enough space for your baby’s adult teeth to come through. This can cause other teeth to move or shift to make room for adult teeth. Poor hygiene from overcrowding is another issue. Overcrowding can make it challenging to maintain a healthy mouth since it’s hard to clean all teeth adequately when they’re too close together.
- Dental Misalignment. Things like crossbites and overbites can cause teeth to come in crooked, leading to bite issues down the road.
- Airway Restriction. In some extreme cases, kids can even experience airway and breathing issues thanks to dental problems. Mouth breathing, for example, can be caused by jaws that are too narrow or deep.
- Crooked Teeth. Crooked teeth can lead to bite issues and confidence issues for kids. Adolescence is already hard enough for little ones, without struggling with these things.
How to Set Your Child up for Dental Success
The best thing you can do to ensure your children’s teeth develop correctly is to be attentive. The more attention you pay to your child’s dental development, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to spot potential dental issues and stop them before they become significant issues.
By brushing your child’s teeth, setting a good dental hygiene example, and taking your child to the dentist regularly, you can avoid most common dental issues. According to The American Association of Orthodontists, you should take your child for his or her first orthodontic check-up before he or she reaches the age of seven.
If you don’t have a family orthodontist, as your dentist for a recommendation. They likely have a professional in town they enjoy working with. The orthodontist will be able to evaluate your child’s jaw and tooth development and decide whether or not any intervention is required.
This orthodontic care, when combined with your child’s traditional dental care, will go a long way toward setting your child up for dental success and ensuring a lifetime of healthy teeth and mouths. Additionally, getting your child into the dentist early helps prevent dental phobias and ensure that your child will continue taking care of his or her teeth, long after you stop being in charge of it.
Ready to learn more or book your child’s first appointment? Contact our team today.
Dry mouth can not only cause discomfort it can lead to other issues in your mouth such as cavities, infections, and other issues. If you are experiencing prolonged dry mouth it is important to speak with your dentist to find the underlying cause so it can be treated properly. There are some great ways to help alleviate your symptoms and help you heal your dry mouth.
Dry mouth does not have to cause you issues or pain, generally, it is easily treatable as long as it is not caused by an underlying disease. Be sure to talk to your dentist about any symptoms you are having and what does and does not help!