How the Weather Can Affect Oral Health

How the Weather Can Affect Oral Health

Don’t you hate that feeling when your dentist scrapes along your teeth and gum line using his metal scraper? Once he hits a tender spot you just want to scream. That unpleasing feeling is known as a ‘zing’. You can also experience a zing when your teeth are exposed to the chilly outdoor air. Although your teeth are hard and sturdy, that doesn’t mean they’re not vulnerable to extreme temperatures. By nature, teeth are sensitive and porous. But, healthy teeth and gums should ideally be able to handle the bitter cold with very little irritation. Your teeth are naturally accustomed to the temperature of your body. Therefore, when you eat or drink something that’s very cold or hot, they can feel mildly irritated or even cause a great deal of pain.

Things that Irritate Your Teeth

Hot or cold liquids and certain substances can affect your teeth along with other things as well. Breathing in crisp, cold air through your mouth can make your teeth actually contract and come in contact with sensitive areas in your mouth, particularly along your gums. Once your teeth contract from cold air exposure, they’ll expand once you close your mouth. Over time, the contractions and expansions may cause tiny, hairline cracks within your teeth that most people aren’t even aware of. However, once the temperature drops to a certain point you’ll know for sure if you have them because you’ll feel them in the form of pain.

Many times you’ll see young children playing outside in the cold trying to keep warm by tensing up and clenching their jaw. This can cause both the teeth and jaw to erode over time and can cause considerable tooth and/or jaw pain as well.

How to Prevent Tooth Pain in the Cold Air

The easiest way to prevent your teeth from hurting when you’re outside in the cold winter air is to simply breathe through the nose rather than your mouth as much as you can. Cold air has the ability to make your teeth hurt even if you’re just outside for a few minutes. But, when you close your mouth while you’re outside and use your lips to cover your teeth, your saliva will start circulating again and eventually your pain will dissipate. If, however, the dull ache or cold sensation remains longer than a couple of days, it’s likely that your teeth are hurting for another reason other than just cold air exposure.

If you or your child’s teeth are reacting to the cold air much harder than usual, there could be a more serious underlying issue that the colder weather is revealing. Some of these issues may include a number of things such as cavities, cracked teeth, teeth grinding or clenching, bite issues, periodontal disease, receding gums from over-brushing, eroded bridges or crowns, or older fillings that no longer fit.

Sensitive Teeth and Exposed Roots

If you have exposed roots, then you know how sensitive they can be to cold liquids and air. Dental roots are often exposed if you’re regularly brushing too hard or when your gums start to recede. The zings you feel due to exposed roots can be very painful as well as long-lasting.

How to Reduce Tooth Sensitivities

Fighting cold-sensitive teeth is as easy as making good oral hygiene a regular part of your lifestyle. It’s crucial to have dental check-ups every 6 months for best results. Because most insurance companies cover the cost, there’s no excuse to miss a visit. Also, several toothpaste brands have tooth-sensitive alternatives that are specially designed to address tooth sensitivity over time.

Other ways to help reduce the sensitivity of you and your children’s teeth is to use a fluoride mouthwash at least once a day. Mouthwash helps create a protective barrier over the more sensitive areas in your mouth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth rather than too hard. Your enamel will thank you.

Want your children to get the best dental care possible?

Visit www.KidsDentalSpecialists.com as your number one dental source to get real answers about your children’s tooth sensitivity and how to treat their toothaches.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.


Ease Your Child's Fear of the Dentist

Ease Your Child's Fear of the Dentist

Our smiles are one of our most important ways of communicating. They communicate friendly, positive feelings and let people know that we’re happy to see them. Taking care of our teeth is not just important for maintaining our physical health, but for maintaining our smiles and self-confidence about showing them. It’s never too soon to start teaching your child about the importance of good dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.

Not taking the time to emotionally prepare a child for regular visits to the dentist can result in a greater likelihood of a negative experience that may cause your child to avoid dental care even into adulthood. Having to meet, and be touched by, a stranger in a foreign environment is enough to cause most young children a degree of anxiety. Add a mask, some scary-looking machines and someone putting gloved fingers in their mouth, and you have all the necessary elements for a potential emotional trauma. However, there are some things that you can do to make sure that your child’s visits to the dentist are positive experiences.

Setting a Positive Example

On your next visit to the dentist, you can take your child along to acclimate them to the sights and sounds of the office. Your being relaxed and smiling during your own visit will send your child a powerful message that a visit to the dentist is nothing to be afraid of. This requires the assistance of another person the child is very comfortable with that could play with them in the waiting room during the rest of your appointment. It’s also a good idea to bring along one of your child’s favorite comfort toys, since it’s an unfamiliar environment.

Role Playing

One of best ways to prepare young children for any kind of new experience role playing because children learn most new skills by copying what they see. Choose a good time, such as after the morning tooth brushing ritual, to “play dentist”. Allowing your child to take a turn looking inside your mouth with a small flashlight while will help them feel more in control, while showing them that it isn’t painful for you. You could also demonstrate a dental exam on one of your child’s favorite stuffed animals. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if you discover your child conducting a mock dental exam of their own later.

Educational Videos

There are also some great cartoons and real-life videos like this one that you can use to show your child what a visit to the dentist is actually like. There are several available for just about any age group. Watching educational videos like these with your child provides them a visual preview of the experience. It also has the added benefit of helping your child associate a visit to the dentist with relaxation, positive interaction, and laughter.

The Right Dentist

It’s very important that the dentist you select for your child’s first visit is one that has extensive experience in working with young children. Just as children can sense your own emotional state regarding a visit to the dentist, they can also sense when someone isn’t comfortable around them. Kids Dental Specialists has just that kind of experience. We believe that one of the benefits of starting young is the opportunity for them to benefit from preventive care such as regular cleanings and sealants to avoid cavities and gum disease that sometimes require painful procedures. One of our goals is to help you make sure that your child’s first visit to the dentist ends with a smile, so that their smile can last a lifetime.


Start Early | How to Care For Your Baby's Teeth

Start Early | How to Care For Your Baby's Teeth

Everyone knows that taking good care of their teeth is essential for oral health and hygiene, but most people don’t realize how much of an influence they have over their children’s future oral health. When a parent starts proper oral care early, their children are much more likely to go through life with a fresh and happy mouth; setting a good foundation and instilling healthy oral habits in your children is an easy way to help them for the rest of their lives.

When Should You Start?

When it comes to children and good oral care, you really can’t start too early. If your baby’s teeth haven’t started coming in yet, you can still get them in the habit of brushing their teeth by gently massaging their gums with gauze or a wet cloth. A few simple wipes during bath time removes germs and bacteria, and it gets your baby used to manual cleaning; this leads to an easier transition down the road when they need to switch to a toothbrush.

Remember, don’t brush too hard. Bacteria don’t harm your child’s gums at this point, but you should be doing this to get them used to the brushing motion, so be delicate and make the process enjoyable for your child.

When Do You Start With A Toothbrush?

Children’s teeth usually start to come in when they are about six months old, but some children don’t develop teeth until they are 15 months or older; every child is different, and you’ll need to keep an eye on your child’s mouth to figure out when their first tooth starts coming in.

When you notice the first tooth, you should start brushing it immediately. Choose a soft toothbrush that has a small head, but make sure that you get a brush that you can grip comfortably; this gives you control, and it allows you to brush your child’s tooth from different angles.

Use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing; we recommend brushing the tooth (or teeth) twice a day. Brush your child’s tongue as well. This helps remove bacteria, and it keeps your child’s mouth healthy. Most experts believe that you don’t need to rinse your child’s mouth out after brushing because you use such a small amount of toothpaste.

Don’t forget to replace your child’s toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to get worn. This ensures a good cleaning, and it minimizes the bacteria that grow on your child’s toothbrush.

What About Fluoride?

Your child’s teeth can definitely benefit from a little fluoride; it’s a mineral that prevents tooth decay while strengthening your child’s enamel. You don’t really have to have to go out of your way to supplement fluoride for your child; it can be found in most tap water and almost every single toothpaste on the market today.

If you aren’t sure about your town’s tap water, call up your local government to find out for sure. If your water does have fluoride in it, then your child shouldn’t have a problem getting all the fluoride that they need. Whatever you do, don’t overdo it with the fluoride; an overabundance of the mineral can lead to a condition called Fluorosis. This condition leaves white spots on your child’s teeth when they grow up.

Don’t Forget Check Ups

Experts agree that children need to visit the dentist within six months of their first tooth breaking. We at Kids Dental Specialists are a leading source for dentistry in young children. We deal exclusively with kids, and we know exactly what we are doing when it comes to your child’s health. We can work with you to put together a plan of action for your child that will keep their oral health in tip-top shape for the rest of their lives.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.


Use the Tooth Fairy to Teach Good Dental Habits

Use the Tooth Fairy to Teach Good Dental Habits

The Tooth Fairy Isn’t Just For Lost Teeth

The Tooth Fairy is a time-honored tradition when it comes to handling children and the inevitable loss of baby teeth. As frightening as it can be for a child to lose a first tooth, the promise of a Tooth Fairy’s visit- and the rewards she leaves- can make the experience just another milestone and help your child to look forward to the gain of adult teeth. Is the Tooth Fairy just a mechanism for handling lost baby teeth? She has more functionality than that! While it may seem that the health of baby teeth is nothing to be concerned about- after all, those teeth will be gone before your child reaches adolescence- it’s absolutely vital that dental hygiene be part of a child’s daily life. Not only does the groundwork help establish lifelong habits, the health of baby teeth can actually benefit the incoming adult teeth. Preventing gum disease, bacterial build-up and keeping the placement of baby teeth naturally even will help adult teeth come in without weak enamel or crowding.

Here are a few steps in using the Tooth Fairy as a tool to help your child approach dental health cheerfully.

The Tooth Fairy likes healthy teeth.

Children grow up hearing about the quarter or dollar under a pillow for each baby tooth. What they don’t hear is anything in regards to the health of that lost tooth. Healthy teeth are pretty teeth, and children are naturally inclined to like attractive things. Explain to them that the Tooth Fairy prefers healthy teeth. She may even be inclined to offer more than just a token dollar for a good-looking tooth. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to shell out extra money; for a lost tooth, include a note from the Tooth Fairy congratulating your child on having such excellent dental hygiene. Add a playful toothbrush or some flavored children’s toothpaste to encourage your child to go right into more dental care.

The Tooth Fairy rewards dental care.

A fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in the modern world. To a child, it can be a terrifying experience filled with discomfort and strange events. If your child is going to the dentist and they feel it has no reasoning beyond ‘you have to go,’ they’re not going to be inclined to feel favorably about a return visit. Before a dental check-up or procedure, tell your child that the Tooth Fairy is a friend of dentists and likes to reward children who visit them regularly. Sugar-free gum, a small toy or a coloring book can be the Tooth Fairy’s little reward to be discovered the next morning for taking a dental visit in stride.

The Tooth Fairy talks to parents, too.

Have you been struggling to get your child to brush their teeth every night? Is flossing a tiresome chore that leaves your child disgruntled and you irritated? Hygiene isn’t meant to be fun, but positive reinforcement is the strongest tool in any parent’s box. Keep an eye on your child’s dental hygiene and let the Tooth Fairy reward accordingly. Did your child go straight to brush their teeth before bed? A note from the Tooth Fairy can reinforce that behavior. Children should always have small efforts noticed and rewarded, especially when it comes to learning behaviors that will benefit them in the future. Having the Tooth Fairy praise them for flossing without fussing or brushing their teeth after Halloween candy will make them feel proud that their efforts were noticed.

Just as how Santa Claus is eventually going to fade from a child’s belief system, so too will the Tooth Fairy. It’s possible for a family to make ‘the Tooth Fairy’ into a tool that will help a child learn the importance of dental hygiene and make the process fun. With the Tooth Fairy firmly on your side, a clever parent has the ability to turn routine tasks into something a child helps with and endures, knowing that their efforts will be rewarded.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.


Keeping Your Teeth Healthy and Disease Free

Dental Tips For Busy Parents and Their Children

People today are busier than ever. Many busy parents are neglecting basic care, including dental hygiene. In many cases, children are not getting the proper dental care either. The good news is that there are many things busy parents can do to stay on top of their dental hygiene:

Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking water is one of the simplest things people can do to keep their smiles healthy. That is why it is a good idea to keep a pitcher full of water in the refrigerator. You may also want to keep some water bottles in the car so that you and your kids can drink water while on the go.

Keep Toothpaste And Toothbrushes At The Kitchen Sink

It will be a lot easier for you to brush your teeth after meals if you keep toothpaste and toothbrushes at your kitchen sink. Regular brushing not only removes food from in between your teeth, but it also helps prevent plaque from building up. Make sure that toothbrushes are replaced at least once every three months.

Make Good Snack Choices

You may have been told that snacking is something you should avoid because it is bad for your teeth. However, it is important to remember there are many healthy snacks that can help keep your teeth healthy. Cubed cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, rice cakes and whole wheat crackers are examples of some of the healthy snacks you and your children can eat.

Chew Gum

Contrary to popular belief, chewing gum is not always bad for your teeth. Sugar-free gum that has been sweetened with xylitol is the best type to chew. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating a meal can stimulate saliva production. This flow of saliva helps neutralize acids. It can also help get food particles off of the teeth.

Use Fluoride Rinses

Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel and greatly reduce the risk of cavities. That is why you and your children should use a fluoride rinse every night.

Drink Sugary Beverages Through A Straw

Sugary beverages can cause serious damage to your teeth. It is best to limit your consumption of sugary beverages. However, if you drink sugary beverages, then you can minimize potential damage by drinking the beverages through a straw. You reduce the amount of the beverage that comes in contact with your teeth by drinking through a straw. You should also rinse your mouth out with water after you finish drinking your beverage.

Keep Travel Toothbrush And Toothpaste On Hand

You may not always have the time to brush your teeth on a busy day when you are rushing to get out of the door. Fortunately, you can still brush while you are on the go. That is why it is a good idea to keep some toothpaste and toothbrushes on hand while you are traveling.

Use Floss Picks

Using floss picks is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy while you are on the go. The reason floss picks are effective is because they can easily fit in between your teeth. Not only do they help keep your gums and teeth healthy, but they can also freshen your breath. In many cases, bad breath is caused by the buildup of food particles in between the teeth.

Educate Your Children

Children who develop good dental hygiene habits early will most likely continue them once they hit adulthood. That is why it is important to educate your children about why brushing and flossing is necessary. You will also need to talk to them about making healthy food choices.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.


chino-dentist-blog

Welcome to the Kids Dental Specialists Blog


Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog.
We will be periodically adding new posts to discuss matters related to your child’s dental health, so be sure to check back often. In this — our first post — we would like to take the opportunity to answer some of the most common issues related to pediatric dental health.

 

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, can develop cavities just like permanent teeth. One condition that we see frequently as pediatric dentists is a condition called early childhood caries, commonly known as baby bottle tooth decay. The informal name is derived from the cause of the caries, which is allowing infants and toddlers to fall asleep with a bottle of juice, sugar water or even soda. However, these drinks can also result in decay if they are given to the child during waking hours. The best course of action is to give the child only plain water, breast milk or formula in a bottle, and at bedtime, allow only water.

Missing or Damaged Primary Teeth

Some parents wonder why it is important for the child to retain his or her baby teeth for the appropriate period. They reason that the primary teeth will be lost in a few years and that it is only important to make sure that the permanent teeth are kept in good health. However, baby teeth play an important role in the future dental health of the child and should therefore receive proper care.

One of the most critical roles played by baby teeth is that of “space holder” for the adult teeth. It takes time for the permanent teeth to develop beneath the gums. When baby teeth are lost prematurely, the adult teeth have much more leeway to shift out of alignment before they ever erupt. The permanent teeth can come in crooked, which can result in crowding of the teeth that follow.

It is also possible for a baby tooth with a cavity to become infected. This is not only potentially painful for the child, but the infection can also spread to other teeth. Oral infections have been linked to an increase in the risk of childhood asthma as well as to other health problems.

Parents’ Role in the Child’s Dental Health

As much as we would welcome a “magic wand” that we could use in our office to safeguard your child’s teeth, we do not have one. Ensuring your child’s future dental health is a partnership between your home and our office.

Caring for your child’s oral health should begin — at minimum — as soon as the first tooth breaks through the gum. Even before your child has his or her first tooth, you should clean the baby’s gums very gently after feedings. Use a damp, sanitary, soft cloth to clean the gums, or use a soft-bristled “baby toothbrush.” Wait until the child has his first tooth before using toothpaste, and then use only a very small dab.

Encouraging good dental habits in your child is important. You might need to supervise brushings until the child is six or seven years old. You might also want to talk with your child about the relationship between good dental care, such as proper brushing and limiting sweets, and an attractive smile that can last for a lifetime.

Allow Us to Help

kids-dental-specialists-logoOur practice is devoted to pediatric dentistry, so our staff members have the training and experience to make your child’s visit a pleasant one. We use the latest technologies, products and techniques to help you make sure that your child’s teeth will be strong and beautiful into adulthood and far beyond.

If you would schedule an appointment with us around the time of your child’s first birthday, we can conduct an examination of his or her dental health. This is an excellent opportunity for your child to become comfortable with our staff and environment.

We offer emergency services should your child ever need immediate attention. Whether your child needs cosmetic pediatric dentistry, routine cleanings and care, restorative care or preventive treatments, our caring staff can help. Your child’s dental health is our first priority!

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.