Eating Habits

Does Your Family Have Bad Breath? Fix it with These Tips!

May 2nd, 2017

Bad breath is something that everyone has had to deal with at some point in their lives. Medically called Halitosis, children and adults can get bad breath from a variety of causes, most of which are minor and easily fixed. However, bad breath can also indicate more serious issues that require a trip to the dentist. Below are some of the causes – and remedies – for bad breath.


Certain Foods

Some foods are notorious for causing temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, fish and spicy foods can turn even the best breath sour. The best way to get rid of bad breath caused by food is to swish cool water around your mouth for 30 seconds, 15 minutes after a meal. Make sure to always brush your teeth after eating a spicy meal, but wait an hour between finishing the meal and brushing so that you don’t damage your enamel.


Certain medications can cause bad breath. If you have just started taking a new medication recently, then this may be causing bad breath. The way that medications are processed by our bodies may result in bad breath. Continue to brush your teeth twice per day, and consider adding a minty mouthwash to your routine to help mask bad breath.

Leftover Food

Sometimes, food debris can get left in your mouth and will result in bad breath. If this is the case, rinse out your mouth with clean, cool water for 30 seconds to remove any excess debris. If that doesn’t remove leftover food, brush and thoroughly floss to reach any food lodged between your teeth.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally cleans the mouth, so when you have  a dry mouth your breath will likely suffer. While there are multiple causes for dry mouth such as stress, anxiety and certain medications, you can usually fix it by eating foods that increase saliva production like cheese, apples or carrots. Make sure to drink enough water – 8 to 10 cups per day- and if that doesn’t help, then try chewing gum sweetened with xylitol – a healthy sugar substitute – to increase your saliva flow.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you are not brushing twice daily or flossing once per day, then you might get bad breath. To make the most of your oral hygiene routine, make sure that you are brushing for at least two minutes each session. Additionally, check your toothbrush to see if it is still in working order. If the bristles are frayed and it is older than 3 months, then it’s time to replace it.

Infections or Mouth Sores

Bad breath can be the result of oral surgery, open sores or plaque buildup. If you have a mouth sore, you can help treat it and keep it clean by swishing warm salt water in your mouth for 30 seconds. If your bad breath still persists, then see your dentist to help remedy it.

The Best Remedy is Prevention

Most bad breath is the result of poor oral hygiene. If you or your child is maintaining a good dental cleaning regiment – brushing twice per day for 2 minutes at a time and flossing once per day – then you will most likely have fresh breath. However, if your child has a good oral health routine and still suffers from bad breath, then bring them into our office so that we can evaluate their mouth and find the underlying cause.

Teeth are for Chewing and Smiling, Not Opening Bottles

April 5th, 2017

People use their teeth in surprising – and sometimes destructive – ways. We’ve all used our teeth as tools at some point in our lives, but did you know that you can crack or fracture your teeth if you use them improperly? In fact, cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. This is why it’s important that you instruct your child not to hold things (other than food) in their teeth. Below, we discuss some ways that you can help you child avoid cracking their teeth.

Teeth Are Not…


Surprisingly enough, teeth are not designed to crush the hard outer shell of nuts. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts all have a protective shell encasing the edible nut. Trying to break open a shell is a great way to crack a tooth.

Our tip: Buy a metal nutcracker, or shelled nuts so that you can avoid shells altogether. And crack any unshelled nuts for your child so that they don’t try to open them with their teeth.


Using teeth to try to tear or cut something is another process that can lead to a cracked tooth. When you try to cut something with your teeth, you are often exposing your teeth to harder surfaces than you would encounter when eating. In addition to chewing on something that’s harder than food, you’ll also be applying an unnatural amount of pressure on your teeth that can cause them to crack or break.

Our tip: Instruct your child on how to safely use scissors, and teach them not to tear anything with their teeth.


Ok, your hands are full and you just need to hold that one final item in your mouth for a few steps before you can release it and get on with your day, that’s not so bad, right? Wrong. Carrying items in your mouth can lead to cracked teeth or worse – serious oral and facial injuries. This is unsafe because if  trip or stumble while your hands and mouth are full, you have no way to brace yourself and you risk suffering a serious facial injury.

Our tip: Tell your kid to practice patience and teach them not to carry things in their mouths.

Bottle Openers

This should be an obvious no-no, yet people continue to use their teeth to pry off metal bottle caps. You should never bite metal, or chew on metallic objects because they are much harder than your teeth and can seriously damage them.

Our tip: Teach your child how to open bottles with a bottle opener. Better yet, open the bottle before serving your child that mineral water or soda.

Remind Your Children that Teeth Aren’t Tools

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that our teeth are meant for chewing, and not to lend us an extra hand or tool in a given situation. It’s especially easy for children to forget this. Talk to your children about why it is unsafe to use their teeth as tools, and remind them that cracking a tooth can hurt! If your child has fractured or chipped a tooth, then bring them into our office as soon as possible. If you can, retrieve the broken piece of tooth and store it in a cup of milk and bring it along for your visit. Oftentimes, we’ll be able to fix their tooth using the broken piece.

Charlotte Pediatric Dentist has Healthy Snack Ideas

March 24th, 2016

“That kid is growing like a weed!” How many times have you heard that comment about one of your children, or thought it yourself? To fuel that growth, children need to be fed a nutritional diet at breakfast, lunch and dinner that includes, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean meats, chicken and fish. But what about when those growing children need a snack to tide them over in between meals? Then, what should they eat? Charlotte pediatric dentist Dr. Marcela Mujica offers the following snack ideas to help ensure your children eat for their general health as well as their oral health.

1. Fresh fruits and vegetables. Check at the supermarket to see what’s in season and then make sure to have plenty around the house. Fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as apples, melons, pears, cucumber and celery are best. Try to minimize snacks like bananas and raisins that are high in sugar.
2. Cheeses. Kids love cheese, and that’s a good thing. Cheese is high in calcium, which helps to build strong bones and teeth, and it also increases saliva production that washes away food debris. Aged cheeses are best, including cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack.
3. Plain yogurt and cottage cheese are also good sources of calcium. If you’re children prefer sweetened yogurt, stick to plain and add just a bit of fruit puree or chopped fruit.
4. Water, water everywhere. At mealtime and especially with snacks, offer your children water instead of juice or soda. The sugar content in these drinks washes over their teeth and contributes to tooth decay. Water, on the other hand, rinses away food particles that may get stuck on your children’s teeth, and moreover it does not harm their teeth.
5. Hard-boiled eggs. Keep a container of hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh for three days and they make a healthy and filling snack for when you and your kids are on the go.

Although children do need snacks to maintain energy, try to limit their snacks to one or two a day. Frequent snacking without brushing afterwards leaves teeth susceptible to a more constant presence of the bacteria that causes tooth-decay. And if possible, have your kids brush their teeth after a snack or at least rinse with water.

Call Our Office Today

For more ideas on how to maintain your children’s healthy smiles, or to schedule a dental cleaning and exam for your child, contact All Kids Pediatric Dentistry, the dentist Charlotte parents trust for their child.