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This month, our family will celebrate our youngest daughter turning two. It’s a bit ironic to celebrate a toddler turning two, as we all know that the terrible twos are anything but something to celebrate! But, along with the tantrums, defiance and unpredictability, two-year-olds also have some major milestones to look forward to. Getting their two-year-old molars is just one milestone that comes during this crazy year!

So, when will your child get his or her two-year-old molars? Do these teeth serve a purpose? And how can you care for your child during the teething and their new teeth once they arrive? Let’s find out!

The two-year-old molars are also referred to as second molars. They are the large, flat teeth at the very back of your child’s mouth. Their primary use is for grinding food. As your child grows and begins to eat more types of foods, these teeth are especially helpful for chewing and digestion.

Two-year molars usually arrive sometime between 23 and 33 months. Typically, the lower set will arrive fist, around 23 to 31 months, with the upper set following closely after around 25 to 33 months.

While I would love to tell you that they will arrive unnoticed, chances are, your child will experience some sort of teething symptoms, such as pain/ tenderness, irritability and crankiness. They may even have a low-grade fever. This is normal and to be expected, as these molars are large, and must force their way up through the gums, which is not always a pleasant experience.

Most two-year-olds are not able to identify the pain as “teething” and won’t be able to tell you what is wrong. You can help your child during this time by being aware of the symptoms and ready to help your child cope. Signs that your child is getting his or her second molars include:

-        Increased chewing on toys, fingers or clothing

-        Drooling more than normal

-        Irritability and crankiness

-        More nighttime fussiness, as they are less distracted and more focused on the pain

-        Low grade rectal temperature

(Please note that teething will not cause a high fever. If your child experiences a high fever, you should seek medical attention, as this is not caused by teething.)

 

 

Just like when your child got his or her first tooth, there are ways to help alleviate the pain and fussiness. Once you recognize the symptoms of teething, help your child through a rough few days by using these simple soothers:

 

-        Give the child a cold, wet wash cloth soaked in ice water

-        Offer teething toys for chewing

-        Distract your child with singing, coloring, building, dancing, etc.

-        Administer children’s Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to help reduce discomfort for 1 or 2 days.
(pain that lasts longer than a couple of days needs to be evaluated by your pediatrician.)

-        Apply moisturizers to the skin around the mouth to prevent dryness caused by drooling.

 

Remember, teething only lasts a few days and your child will be back to his or her happy, active self. Once those two-year-old molars are in, be sure to take care of them with daily care!

If you have questions about your child’s oral development or you are looking for a dentist for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love top be your dental home! Call our office at 864-760-1440 and let is give you Something to Smile About!

 

Did you know that what happens in your mouth effect other areas of our body and overall health? Its true. Your oral health and the condition of your teeth and gums can impact your entire health.

How is this possible? Great question. Just like studies are now proving that your gut bacteria affect your health, the mouth’s bacteria do too. Bacteria in your mouth? Oh, yeah- tons of them! Most of these bacteria are pretty harmless, as our body’s normal defenses, combined with good oral health care (daily brushing in flossing), keep them under control. However, if a person does not have good oral hygiene, the bacteria may be allowed to reach levels high enough to produce oral infections, tooth decay and gum disease.

How does tooth decay or gum disease impact your entire body? Studies suggest that oral bacteria, and the inflammation associated with periodontitis, might actually play a role in some diseases.

- Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart. It typically occurs with bacteria and other germs from another part of your body spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart. You guessed it. Bacteria from your mouth can enter the bloodstream and go to your heart.

-Cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke are now believed to be linked to inflammation and infections that can be caused by oral bacteria.

-Poor oral health leading to periodontitis during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

The connection between oral health and your overall health goes both ways. Just as your oral health can cause problems for your overall health, health issues in your body can affect the health of your mouth.

Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, antidepressants and some inhalers, can reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is your body’s natural defense and method for washing away food and bacteria and neutralizing acids in the mouth, this can impact the amounts of bacteria in the mouth.

Other studies have found that some diseases that lower the body’s resistance to infection, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can make oral health problems more severe, too.

The human body is an amazing thing. But it’s important to remember that we have to take care of all of its parts- even the mouth. It’s not enough to diet, exercise and meditate. You have to brush and floss, too. Remember, your teeth are more than just a pretty smile. They aid in speech, development, eating and nutrition, face shape and appearance and so much more. You can hide a belly or other area you may not love, but you can’t hide your teeth!

This year, make a resolution to get in better oral health! Commit to brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Your teeth will thank you and so will your whole body.

If you need help getting your child’s mouth in shape this year, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to help. Call our office at 864-760-1440 and let us give you Something to Smile About!

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

When our children are infants, their baby teeth are a BIG deal. We spend hours consoling them as they drool and gnaw on their hands during the teething process. We mark the date of their first tooth’s arrival in their baby books. We get just as excited as they do the first time they get to put their tooth under their pillow and eagerly await the tooth fairy.

So, why then, do many people feel like baby teeth aren’t as important as permanent teeth? The answer is right in that one word- permanent. Because we know that our “big” teeth are meant to last for life, we somehow get the idea that our children’s baby teeth, that we know they will lose at some point, must not be that important. After all, they get replaced, right?

Wrong! Baby teeth, despite their small stature and their shorter life span, serve many important roles in your child’s long-term oral health and development.

Promote good nutrition through proper chewing
Just as adult, or permanent, teeth do, the baby teeth serve the important role of biting, gnashing and chewing our food so that our bodies can readily digest the nutrients. Missing or painful baby teeth can make the child hesitant to eat certain foods which can cause them to lose out on much-needed nutrients.

Serve as space holders for the permanent teeth and provide a path for permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt
Baby teeth are essentially a road map for the permanent teeth to follow, and when removed prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, it can cause long-term problems, even changing the structure of the child’s jaw bone and face. The permanent teeth may come in improperly, or possibly not at all, and your child could require orthodontic treatment to correct the problem.

Build self-esteem by providing a beautiful smile
Children naturally love to smile and find joy in the world. Beautiful baby teeth help them to do so. Even a young child can begin to feel self-conscious of missing or decayed teeth.

Enable the child to pay attention and learn in school without the distraction of dental pain.
It’s simple. Healthy teeth don’t hurt. In fact, kids don’t even think about their teeth when they are healthy. However, decayed teeth can cause a lot of pain! This pain can prevent them from getting adequate sleep, interrupt their day, and be distractive, preventing your child from excelling at school.

So, while it’s tempting to skip brushing your young child’s teeth when life gets busy, remember these small teeth play a BIG role in your child’s oral health and development. And remember, the care and importance that you give to their baby teeth will influence how they take care of their teeth on their own.

Taking care of your young child’s teeth can be simple. Follow these rules and help your child’s smile shine bright.

1)     Start brushing as soon as your child gets his or her first tooth. Brush twice a day, even if it’s just for a short amount of time.

2)     Floss any teeth that touch.

3)     Limit sugary drinks, even juice.

4)     Don’t go to bed with any drinks other than water.

5)     Model good oral health by taking care of your own teeth! Kids learn by watching their parents.

6)     Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist within six months of the arrival of their first tooth, or by their one-year old     birthday. Early prevention and monitoring, as well as education about good oral health, will help prevent problems.

 

As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants to be your go-to resource for helping to educate parents and children alike, and giving all children the beautiful smiles that they deserve. If you are looking for a dental home for your child, give us a call at 864-760-1440, and let us give you Something to Smile About!

Soda. Is it really that bad for your teeth?

 

 

The short answer is yes. Sugar in soda, combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which eats away at your teeth. And diet drinks aren’t necessarily better. They may not contain the sugar, but both regular and diet, or “Sugar-free” sodas contain their own acids which attack the teeth.

 

Erosion begins when the acids encounter the tooth’s enamel. This is your tooth’s protective covering. Think of it like an eggshell. Once it’s softened or eroded, there’s nothing left to protect the sensitive inside of the tooth, often leading to further damage of the next layer, the dentin, and cavities.

 

The reality-

 

While drinking water is the best option, we aren’t saying that you can’t enjoy an occasional, refreshing soda. But, we are going to give you tips to help lessen the damage.

 

Don’t Sip All Day –

Each time you drink a sugary beverage, whether it’s soda, lemonade, fruit juice or sports drinks, the acids from the drink and those formed by the sugar and bacteria in your mouth will attack your teeth. With each sip, this attack will begin again and last for about 20 minutes. If you sip sugary drinks all day, your teeth are under constant attack. If you choose to drink a sugary drink, don’t sip it over a long period. Consume it all at once. This means that children should not be drinking sugary drinks, even fruit juice, from a sippy cup or bottle throughout the day.

 

Limit or Eliminate Sugary Drinks-

Water is your best option, and milk provides the calcium needed to actually strengthen your child’s teeth. While we would love to see all sugary drinks eliminated from your child’s daily diet, we realize that it may not happen immediately. If you can’t eliminate it, at least choose to limit sugary drinks to no more than one soda a day. Aside from empty calories that children don’t need, even one soda a day will do damage.

 

Use a Straw-

Drinking out of a straw will help to keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth.

 

Rinse Your Mouth With Water-

Rinsing your mouth with water after drinking soda will help to wash away any excess sugars and acids and stop them from continuing to attack your teeth.

 

Brush, but NOT Right Away-

While it may seem smart to brush your teeth right after drinking a soda, it can actually do more harm. The teeth that have just been attacked by the acid are vulnerable and the friction from a toothbrush can actually damage the enamel. Rinse with water after drinking a soda and then brush 30-60 minutes later.

 

Avoid Soft Drinks and Sugary Drinks at Bedtime-

Consuming a soda before bed will allow the sugar and acid to attack your teeth all night long!

 

Get Regular Dental Cleanings-

Regular check-ups and exams will help to identify and monitor any problems or damage before they worsen or become painful.

 

Choose Wisely-

Again, water is always best. But, if you are drinking soda, there are some that are “better” than others, or at least, not as bad.

 

Check out the table below from the Mississippi State Department of Health’s website

 

Acid and Sugar in Soft Drinks

 

Acidity

Sugar Amount

Battery Acid

 6

0

Pepsi

 4.5

9.8 tsp.

Coca-Cola

 4.5

9.3 tsp.

Minute Maid Orange Soda

 4.2

11.2 tsp.

Dr. Pepper

 4

9.5 tsp.

Gatorade

 4

3.3 tsp.

Nestea

 4

5.0 tsp.

Diet Pepsi

 4

0

Mountain Dew

 3.7

11.0 tsp.

Minute Maid Grape Soda

 3.7

11.9 tsp.

Diet Coke

 3.6

0

Diet Dr. Pepper

 3.6

0

Sprite

 3.6

9.0 tsp.

Barq's (Root Beer)

 2.4

10.7 tsp.

Pure Water

0

0

 

 

We hope this information will help you and your family to make informed decisions regarding your child’s diet and oral health. As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is always available to answer your questions and discuss your child’s individual needs. Call us to schedule your appointment today (864-760-1440) and let us give you and your child Something to Smile About!

What You Need to Know About Chlorine

 


It’s summertime and we are all excited for school to be out and pools to be open! As temperatures climb and summer activities begin, we want to start discussing some summer safety tips for your teeth. That’s right. I said safety tips for your teeth. Chances are, when you head to the pool this summer, you aren’t going to be thinking much about your teeth. You’ll pack your sunscreen, hats, pool floats and flip flops, and your teeth won’t even be on your list of concerns. But maybe they should be!

 

Pools with too much chlorine contain pH levels that can cause enamel erosion as water occasionally seeps into your mouth during your swim session. When you and/or your children are swimming frequently, this constant exposure can cause long term damage. When the enamel wears downs, teeth can become discolored, the edges can become transparent and you may experience sensitivity to hot and cold.

 

How can you tell if a pool is over-chlorinated?

 

Chlorine is not noticeable to the naked eye and only ph testing can reveal accurate results. However, you can look for telltale signs when in a public pool or on vacation. Take notice of pool linings, railings and ladders that are eroded. It’s likely due to acidic water eating away at the surfaces. Pool water that's too acidic may do the same damage to your teeth.

 

If it’s your home pool, regularly test your ph and make sure to keep water between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale.

 

How can you prevent chlorine damage to your teeth?

 

The biggest thing you can do to prevent chlorine damage on your teeth is to keep your mouth shut while you’re in the pool.

 

While it’s not possible to keep pool water from ever touching your teeth, you should avoid opening your mouth under water as much as possible. Teach your kids not to drink the water, hold it in their mouths or spray it from their mouths. So, when your kid comes up with a mouthful of water and sprays it at you like a sprinkler, remind them that not only does the water likely contain urine (eww!), but it’s also damaging their teeth! The less amount of pool water you get in your mouth, the better!

 

It may seem like a hard habit to start, but pack your toothbrush and brush your teeth as soon as you get done swimming. Long hours spent poolside are often accompanied by sugary drinks and snacks. Bacteria and sugar, combined with chlorine, is a disaster waiting to happen! Brushing right after you finish swimming will remove the bacteria and sugar, as well as the chlorine, lessening the chances of staining and decay.

 

Anderson Pediatric Dentistry wants everyone to have a wonderful and safe summer, full of great memories and beautiful smiles. If you notice staining on your child’s teeth after hours of swimming, or if you have any questions about how to keep your child’s smile safe this summer, please give us a call at 864-760-1440.