Healthy Kids

Healthy Sleep Schedules for Children of All Ages

April 25th, 2019

Your child needs sleep, that’s a fact. But they require different amounts of sleep as they age. Here’s a quick guide outlining how much sleep your child during each stage of their development.

0 – 3 Months Old 

Sleep can be hard to come by with a newborn baby. That’s because newborns need a total of 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day on an irregular schedule. Newborns will fuss, cry or rub their eyes when they need to sleep, so parents should pay attention to understand when to put them to bed.

Newborns need 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day 

4 – 11 Months Old 

Around 4 – 11 months, infants are usually capable of sleeping through the night, with occasional disturbances. In additionally, most infants will take 2 – 4 naps per day, which can last between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Parents should put their infants to bed when they become show signs of sleepiness, rather than waiting for them to fall asleep. This will help them become more independent when falling asleep in the future.  

Infants need 10 – 18 hours of sleep per day.  

1 – 2 Years Old 

Around 18 months, your toddler will begin needing less frequent naps, and may only take one nap, for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Many toddlers resist going to bed at bedtime, and experience nighttime awakeningsParents can help their toddlers sleep through the night by setting a consistent bedtime schedule, which helps set their internal clocks to a designated bedtime. 

Toddlers need 9 – 16 hours of sleep per day. 

3 – 5 Years Old 

Preschoolers typically sleep between 11 – 13 hours per night, and only require one nap per day. As with toddlers, preschoolers can experience difficulty sleeping through the night, and some resist bedtime. Parents can help children get past this with a security item like a blanket or teddy bear, which can comfort children through the night.  

Preschoolers need 8 – 14 hours per day. 

6 - 13 Years Old

As a child’s schedule increases with school and social activities, their need for a good night’s rest increases too. Typically, children don’t need naps, but do need to get a solid 8 – 12 hours of sleep per night.  Try limiting TV and digital entertainment before bed, which can make it more difficult for a child to fall asleep.

Children need 8 – 12 hours of sleep per day. 

14 - 17 Years Old

By this point, your teen should be able to sleep comfortably throughout the night, and may only need one nap per day, between 20 – 40 minutes. In fact, your child may come to value their sleep and need no instruction to go to bed. Try to emphasize the importance of adequate sleep with your child, and establish a bedtime routine that takes TV’s and computers out of their bedroom, and avoid caffeinated beverages at dinner so that they don’t have extra energy before bed.  

Teens need 7 – 11 hours of sleep per day.  

Does your Child Have Trouble Sleeping?

Poor and inadequate sleep can lead to developmental problems, mood swings, and impact your child’s ability to learn. Talk to us about your child’s sleep routine, and pay attention to your child’s nightly routine to see if there are any routines that may be impeding their ability to sleep.

4 Keys to a Healthy Mouth

March 23rd, 2018

A healthy mouth is something that parents can help their child attain right in the comfort of their own home. Here are 4 important keys to a healthy mouth for children – and adults!

1 – Maintain a Proper Oral Health Routine 

Food debris left on your child’s teeth encourages bacteria growth that eats away at enamel and causes cavities. This is why it’s important to have a steady, consistent oral health routine. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends children brush twice per day, for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day to clean debris from the hard-to-reach areas of their teeth. A proper oral health routine is the best way to keep a mouth clean, and prevents a lot of oral health ailments. 

2 – Drink More Water

Water is a fantastic tool in the fight against bad bacteria and tooth decay. Water is not acidic, and does not harm teeth at all. In fact, it improves saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth of debris and restores the mouth back to a healthy ph balance. Try giving your child more water instead of sugary drinks to help keep their teeth strong and healthy. If they must have juice or a sweeter drink, water it down so that they aren’t consuming too much sugar at one time. 

3 – Limit Sugar 

Sugar feeds the bad bacteria on teeth, causing plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks that your child consumes. Before buying snacks, check the back of the package for the amount of sugar contained in the package. Try to avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks, all of which are notoriously high in sugar.

Additionally, reconsider how many starchy snacks like bread, chips and crisps you give your child. Starch can stick onto teeth, and turn into a food-source for bad bacteria that lead to cavities.

4 – Eat a Mouth-Healthy Diet 

A healthy diet is critical to getting a healthy mouth. Mouth-healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts and calcium-rich items can all strengthen teeth. When buying fruit and vegetables, make sure that you purchase them in their full-forms, and that you don’t buy fruit packaged in sugary syrup. Try adding fibrous vegetables like celery, spinach or carrots to your child’s diet, since fibrous food naturally scrubs teeth clean of food debris, and combats bad bacteria buildup.

Does Your Child have a Healthy Mouth? 

The best way to help your child achieve a healthy smile is by scheduling an appointment with our dental office so that we can evaluate the state of their oral health. Our team of dentists will give you a status report, and offer any treatment necessary to get your child the healthy smile they deserve.

Caring for Baby Teeth Matters – Here’s How to Care for Them

October 6th, 2017

“Baby teeth are temporary, so why are they so important?” Sometimes, baby teeth are overlooked in how vital they are to a smile that lasts a lifetime. But, make no mistake: baby teeth are incredibly important to your child’s smile development, and overall health.  

Baby Teeth Help Smile Alignment

Baby teeth are temporary, however, if a baby tooth is knocked out too soon, it can lead to other teeth crowding the vacant spot. This can cause alignment issues when the permanent tooth begins to emerge, and could cause crooked teeth and biting problems. If your child has a misaligned smile, or biting problems, then the issues will need to be corrected with oral appliances later down the road – and that can cost a lot of money.  

While caring for baby teeth won’t prevent the future need of an oral appliance, it certainly helps lower the likelihood that your child will need one as they get older.  

Avoiding Cavities Helps Kids Stay in School

On average, oral health ailments cause children to miss just over two days of school every year. According to one study, more than 51 million school hours in the United States are lost each year due to dental disease. Lost school hours are closely linked to poor academic performance, and can cause your child’s grades to suffer. This means that your child’s oral health is directly related to their academic performance. 

Additionally, tooth decay is painful and distracting, and can cause your child to lose focus in school or even prevent them from participating in the class discussion. 

Cavities Can Leave Children more Prone to Infection

Cavities and infected teeth are riddled with unhealthy bacteria. If left untreated, a tooth infection can cause a deeper infection in the pulp tissue. This may result in a hospital trip or medical emergency, according to the AAPD. Additionally, severe cavities and tooth decay are major causes of tooth loss, which makes the body much more prone to infection. 

By preventing cavities in baby teeth, you can help your child avoid more serious complications later on. 

How to Care for Baby Teeth

Avoiding cavities begins with proper, routine oral care. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes each session. By brushing for the proper amount of time, your child can clean all of the bad bacteria off their teeth, and help prevent cavities. Be sure that they brush the entire surface of their teeth - including the backside, which is often neglected. 

Use Fluoridated Toothpaste

Toothpaste with fluoride strengthens enamel through a process called remineralization – which can help prevent cavities. When choosing fluoridated toothpaste, make sure that it has the ADA seal of approval to ensure that it has been rigorously tested and approved. 

Visit our Dental Practice

Tooth decay is the most widespread diseases among children today – and it’s almost entirely preventable. Tooth decay (cavities) is 5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than childhood obesity and 20 times more common childhood diabetes. 

Schedule an appointment with our office if your child is experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, as these symptoms may indicate that they have a cavity that needs to be fixed by a pediatric dentist. We will provide a treatment plan that works for your child’s needs, and sets them up to achieve a healthy smile that can last a lifetime.