oral health

The Super Guide to Toothbrushes for all Ages

April 11th, 2019

As your child grows up, their mouth will change and grow along with them. It’s important for the developing teeth and gums that your child has the right toothbrush for their age. 

Babies 1 – 12 months 

A baby’s first tooth doesn’t typically erupt until they are 8 months old, but it’s still important to keep their mouth clean. You can clean their gums by taking a damp cloth or gauze and gently rubbing it over their gums to remove any food debris. You may choose to use a very soft, baby toothbrush and lightly brush their gums using a very low amount of pressure to avoid upsetting their sensitive gums. However, a damp cloth works just as well.   

Toddlers 13 – 24 months 

After the first tooth emerges – usually around the 8-month mark – begin to use a toddler’s toothbrush to clean their mouth. When shopping for a toothbrush, look for one that has rounded bristles and a small head that can easily fit into their mouth. Find a toothbrush that has very soft bristles, without the hard rubber liners on the outside of the head (called burs). You can begin flossing their teeth once they have two teeth touching. Use flat, wide floss and apply very gentle pressure to clean all sides of the tooth. 

Preschoolers 2 – 4 years 

By now, they will be walking, talking and eager for a bit of independence. They should have most of their teeth, and be familiar with brushing and flossing. Now is the time to start letting them have some input into their oral care routine. Take them with you to pick out their next toothbrush. Children love to be included in making decisions, and by giving them a little bit of responsibility, you empower them to make a decision. Make sure that the head of the toothbrush easily fits inside of their mouth, and that it has soft bristles. Since children lack developed dexterity, look for a toothbrush with a large handle to help them grip it more easily and continue assisting them as they brush. At this stage, you should also still be helping them floss and using the flat, wide dental floss.

School-aged Children 5 – 8 years 

Your child is a tooth-brushing master, and the only thing they need to keep making progress is the right toothbrush. Help them pick a toothbrush that has a longer neck, and a larger head than their preschool toothbrush, but still fits comfortably inside their mouth. See if you can help them find a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or superhero to keep them engaged and entertained while they brush. If you think they are ready, you can begin to let them floss on their own, but under your supervision. As they approach 8 years of age, they should be ready to brush and floss by themselves. 

Be Consistent 

It’s important to buy them a toothbrush that they are comfortable using. Monitor their mouths for any minor bleeding, and ask them about how it felt to use their new toothbrush for the first time. To establish the healthiest oral care routine, be sure that they are brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. Try to only buy toothbrushes and tooth paste that has the ADA seal of approval, so that they are is getting the best product possible for their oral health.

Visit Our Office 

If you are unsure of the exact toothbrush your child should use, then we can help! We will be able to help you choose the best toothbrush for your child, and we can suggest a specific model most of the time. Visit our office today to discuss the tools your children use to attain better oral health.

Will Chewing Ice Ruin My Child’s Teeth?

March 14th, 2019

Chewing ice is a common habit that can cause a surprising amount of damage. Here’s how chewing ice can ruin teeth, which may end up in a costly trip to the dentist or orthodontist. 

Fractured Teeth

Teeth may seem tough and sturdy, but they aren’t designed to crunch very hard objects like ice. Chewing ice can easily lead to a cracked or chipped tooth, which requires an emergency dental visit to repair the broken tooth. If your child has a cracked tooth, then try to save the remnants of the tooth in a small bag of milk, and immediately schedule an appointment with our office. If you act in time, a dentist will be able to repair a fractured tooth.

Broken Oral Appliances

Despite their sturdy construction, chewing ice can damage oral appliances. Oral appliances like braces and retainers play a vital role in developing healthy smiles that have proper tooth and bite alignment. Those with braces risk dislodging wires or even damaging brackets, which can result in an expensive trip to the orthodontist. If your child has an oral appliance, it is important that you communicate to them the dangers of chewing ice.

Damaged Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are one of the most common oral appliances used today, and are adhered to teeth by a bonding agent. Many fillings are made of porcelain, which can be cracked by chewing ice. Additionally, the glue adhering fillings can crack, which causes the filling to become dislodged. Losing a filling hurts, and requires an immediate trip to the dentist for a repair. Dental fillings play an important role in keeping teeth healthy, and when they’re cracked the tooth is more vulnerable to cavities and sensitivity.

Cracked Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet chewing ice can still damage it. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay. Tooth enamel takes enough abuse from food as it is, so tell your kids to avoid chewing ice, it’ll save them from a trip to our office.

Bad Dental Habits Damage Teeth


Chewing ice is a common habit, and can become a reflex that children don’t even notice. If you see your child chewing ice, talk to them about it, and communicate how it can negatively impact their smile.

How Parents can Help Kids Learn to Brush Their Teeth

February 28th, 2019

Toothbrushing can be tough for young children to pick up, but it’s absolutely vital for developing a healthy smile. Here’s how parents can encourage their children to brush my making toothbrushing fun!  

1 – Brush Together 

One great way to making brushing fun for young brushers is by brushing with them. This helps you get into a fun routine with your child and have a bit more time together, and allows you to give them specific brushing tips, as well as keep an eye on how ling they’re brushing.  

2 – Find Fun Brushing Videos 

For children, it can be tough to brush for two minutes at a time. This is because it’s difficult to keep young children still and focused on brushing their teeth for two minutes. You can help your child have more fun while they brush by letting them brush while watching a tooth brushing video. These educational videos help guide children through brushing their teeth, and each lasts at least two minutes. We suggest finding one that you deem appropriate for your child, and one that they will enjoy watching.  

3 – Try an Electric Toothbrush 

An electric toothbrush is an appealing option for children just beginning to brush, since they require less dexterity and physical motion to operate. Additionally, most electric toothbrushes feature brushing timers ensures that they brush for two minutes at a time. We suggest looking for an electric toothbrush specifically made for children that is easy for them to hold, and has a head that fits in their mouth comfortably.

Care for Teeth the Right Way 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes at a time. The time limit helps ensure that all of the bad bacteria is scrubbed off of teeth, which prevents plaque buildup and cavities. Make sure your child brushes their entire tooth surface, including the backside of teeth – which is often neglected. 

Encourage Your Children to Make Brushing Fun 

Our office specializes in caring for children, and helping them understand the importance of oral health. If you have a reluctant toothbrusher, visit our office. We can show your child how fun toothbrushing can be, and how important it is for a healthy life.

Teen Vaping is on the Rise – and It’s Terrible for Teeth

February 14th, 2019

Teen use of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaporizing devices is on the rise, with nearly 4 in 10 high-school aged children reporting that they regularly use the devices. Unfortunately, these electronic cigarettes and vaporizers contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that is terrible for teeth, and the entire body. 

First: Tobacco Hurts Teeth & Overall Health 

Tobacco use harms teeth and health in many ways. It can lead to oral cancer, periodontal disease, delayed healing after oral procedure, bad breath, stained teeth and gums and damage the ability to smell and taste. The health risks related to tobacco use are serious, and negative oral side effects are chilling. 

E-cigarettes & Vaporizers 

In 2013, the Center for Disease Control reported that 1.78 million students in middle and high school reported trying e-cigarettes, and that their main reason was to be socially accepted and appear cool. In 2018, it was reported that teen e-cigarette use is steadily rising as more products are marketed at young people, and make it easier to vape on the go.

Most young people begin using tobacco after first trying an e-cigarette or vaporizer as a “safe” alternative to smoking cigarettes. In fact, teens that experiment with e-cigarettes are far more likely to try traditional cigarettes than those who did not try an e-cigarette. However, no amount or medium by which tobacco is consumed is ever safe – tobacco use in any fashion is unsafe. Make sure your child does not experiment with vaporizers or e-cigarettes, since they are basically an entry-point to normal, habitual tobacco use.

Chewing Tobacco Presents Real Risks, Too 

According to the AAPD, nearly 15% of high school teens use chewing tobacco. Unfortunately, smokeless tobacco can lead to periodontal disease, oral cancer, cavities, and tooth abrasion. It can cause bone degradation and increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The Center for Disease Control reports that smokeless tobacco use has steadily risen in the United States since 2000. If your child uses chewing tobacco, then urge them to quit for the consideration of their long-term health.

Talk to Your Teen about the Dangers of Tobacco Use 

You can help your child avoid tobacco use by discussing the dangers of nicotine, and how e-cigarettes can lead to nicotine addiction and smoking traditional cigarettes. Most studies find that teens that are actively discouraged from smoking, or that live in an environment where smoking is not normalized, are less likely to use tobacco as an adult.

Is Mouthwash a Good Way to Clean Teeth?

January 24th, 2019

Mouthwash is a great way to freshen breath and keep gums healthy, but is it good for cleaning teeth? Here’s what you need to know about mouthwash and its benefits.

There are Two Main Types of Mouthwash

There are generally two types of mouthwashes available: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash gives your mouth a clean, pleasant taste and reduces bad breath. However, cosmetic mouthwash treats the symptoms of bad breath, not the causes of the problem. 

Therapeutic mouthwash helps treat tooth decay, prevent gingivitis and reduces plaque buildup. Therapeutic mouthwash may not freshen your breath as well as cosmetic mouthwash, but it will help fight the causes of bad breath.

Check for the ADA Seal of Approval

The American Dental Association – known as the ADA – tests oral products for effectiveness and safety. To attain the ADA seal of approval, a product must prove to be safe and effective. That’s why we suggest that you look for products with the ADA seal of approval. This will help you find a mouthwash that has been rigorously tested and approved by a legitimate association that advocates for oral health.

Is Mouthwash Safe for Children?

There are a number of mouthwashes that are designed specifically for children. They are usually alcohol free and feature popular children’s cartoons and come in flavors that kids enjoy like bubblegum, wild berry and grape. Mouthwash for kids is usually therapeutic and helps prevent cavities. It usually contains no alcohol and is easier on their mouth than cosmetic mouthwash. As a rule of thumb, mouthwash should not be used by children under the age of six. However, in some instances a pediatric dentist may prescribe mouthwash for a child beneath that age, but that usually only occurs in special cases. 

Is Mouthwash a Good Way to Clean Teeth?

Mouthwash is a great tool to help you get better teeth, but using mouthwash alone does not replace the value and effectiveness of a full oral health routine. A proper oral health routine includes brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time twice per day and flossing once per day to clean the hard-to-reach areas of your teeth.

Visit Our Office!

Mouthwash is a great tool to help you and your child get clean teeth and gums. If you would like more information about the types of mouthwash that are safe and effective for your kids, then schedule a visit to our office! We will talk with you and your child about the best mouthwash for their overall mouth health. 

3 Reasons Why Calcium is a Dental Super-Mineral

January 17th, 2019

Calcium is one of the best substances to promote overall health, but it’s particularly healthy for teeth! Here’s why.

1 -  The Human Body LOVES Calcium


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, and supports healthy bodies in many ways. Calcium is required for a healthy heart, helps with muscle function, and aides in nerve transmission. Although most of the body’s calcium is stored in teeth and bones (around 99%), it plays a large role in aiding vital bodily functions outside of teeth and bones.

2 - Calcium Helps Build Strong Teeth


Calcium aides in the formation of young teeth, and plays a key role in creating a healthy jaw that can support both new and adult teeth. In fact, teeth and bones are mostly made out of calcium. Both are constantly remodeling through the resorption and deposit of calcium, which means that they rely upon calcium intake to power the process that maintains healthy bones.

3 - Calcium Protects Tooth Enamel


Calcium is a dental super mineral because it neutralizes damaging acids and is a great enamel protector. Enamel is the first line of defense for teeth, so it’s important to keep it strong. Dairy products neutralize damaging acids that eat away teeth and are rich in casein, an enamel protecting substance.

How Much Calcium does My Child Need?

Children need calcium to develop strong teeth and bones, while adults need calcium to maintain healthy teeth and bonesYour child’s calcium intake will vary as they get older. Provided below is the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) recommended dietary allowances for children: 

0–6 months: 200 mg 

7–12 months:260 mg 

1–3 years: 700 mg  

4–8 years: 1,000 mg 

9–13 years: 1,300 mg   

14–18 years: 1,300 mg

Add Calcium to Your Family's Diet



Try to add at least one dairy product to each of your family’s meals to provide them with adequate amount of calcium. If your family does not consume dairy, try introducing some of these other calcium-rich foods: almond milk, canned fish, kale, soy yogurt or soy beans. If you’re buying packaged food as a calcium source, check the packaging to ensure that there is an adequate amount. Calcium is a fantastic mineral that’s found in a variety of foods, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a source that everyone in your family enjoys.

5 Signs of Gum Disease and How to Treat It

December 20th, 2018

Periodontal disease – more well known as gum disease – affects nearly half of Americans every year. Here’s some common signs of gum disease, and what to do if your child contracts periodontal disease.

5 Signs of Gum Disease 

1 – Bleeding gums that regularly occur during or after brushing.  

2 – Gum discoloration. Healthy gums are pink and firm, not red puffy and tender. 

3 – Gums receding or pulling away from the teeth. 

4 – Consistent bad breath that won’t go away. 

5 – Loose teeth that are not caused by impact or any other force.

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis 

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Gingivitis is caused by excessive plaque buildup. If plaque is not removed, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, which causes gums to become red and puffy, and easily bleed.

Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis and occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis is typically characterized by gum inflammation and recession and it typically progresses slowly, but rapid periods of progression can occur.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene, which can lead to gingivitis. Other common causes are diabetes, use of certain medications, tobacco use, a poor diet, and genetic predisposition. However, most gum disease begins as simple gingivitis, which can be easily treated and prevented.

How to Prevent Gum Disease 

Gum disease can be prevented by maintaining a healthy oral routine – brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day. You can also fight gum disease by visiting your dentist once or twice per year for a routine oral checkup and maintaining a healthier diet.

It’s Best to Treat Gum Disease Early 

Gum disease is best dealt with in its early stages making early diagnosis vital for successful treatment. Gum disease is also very nuanced and should be diagnosed by an oral health professional like a dentist or periodontist. Schedule an appointment with our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and provide them with a treatment plan that will help combat gum disease 

3 Stocking Stuffers that Hurt Teeth

December 13th, 2018

Christmas is a wonderful time of year to gather with family and shower your loved ones in gifts and excellent meals. But, before you stuff your family’s stockings with care, be sure that you’re not packing it with anything that will hurt your children’s teeth.

Candy Canes 

The penultimate Christmas candy and stocking stuffer, the candy cane is sadly, terrible for teeth. Candy Canes are basically 100% sugar, and excessive sugar can lead to cavities. Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on your teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary snacks that you pack into your child’s stocking.

Peanut Brittle 

A holiday classic, peanut brittle is a type of very hard candy that is embedded with broken bits of nuts like pecans, peanuts and almonds – and all of that is bad news for teeth. The hard consistency of peanut brittle can chip and fracture teeth, and the sticky candy can get stuck in the hard-to-reach areas of teeth, and leave them more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.

Old Fashioned Christmas Candy 

Once a year, Christmas stockings everywhere are filled with Old Fashioned Christmas Candy – and it’s terrible for teeth and tooth enamel. Old Fashioned Christmas Candy is a bag of unwrapped assorted hard candies of all sizes and flavors, and that makes them a really attractive option for kids sitting down for a candy binge. Each of those hard candies is capable of cracking teeth, and can stick onto the surface of teeth and fuel tooth decay and cavities long after snack time has ended. Sorry ribbon candy lovers, but we advise you keep the Old Fashioned Christmas Candy out of your family’s stockings this year.

If You Must Pack Candy, then Pack Water, Too

If you just can’t avoid packing any of the above Christmas classics, we don’t blame you. But, you can help your family’s oral health by imploring them to drink water after enjoying any holiday candy. Water helps rid the tooth surface of sugar and food debris, which helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. It also encourages healthy saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth and keeps the mouth at a healthy ph balance.

Try Mouth-Healthy Stocking Stuffers Instead  

Instead of candy, you can stuff stockings with mouth-healthy items that your children will use long after Christmas is over. Dental floss, a new toothbrush, and xylitol sweetened gum are all excellent stocking-stuffers that can help improve your loved one’s smiles, and keep their teeth clean and healthy.  

Add These Mouth-Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes to Your Table

November 21st, 2018

Thanksgiving is a great holiday to test your culinary skills and spend some quality time with your family in the kitchen. But, a lot of Thanksgiving dishes are loaded with unnecessary sugar, and terrible for oral health. This Thanksgiving, add some mouth-healthy dishes to your family’s table.  

Sautéed Green Beans

Green beans are a very popular vegetable around Thanksgiving, and they are usually made into dishes that aren’t very mouth-healthy. But, on their own, green beans are incredible dental super foods that help oral health in many ways. Green beans are full of fiber, which cleans teeth as it is eaten. They are also full of vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant that helps heal gums, and fight gum inflammation. To get the most of these benefits, we’re going to keep our dish simple and really focus on making fantastic sautéed green beans.  

1lb bag of French Green Beans, ends cut and washed 
½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper 

Heat up a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and let it heat up for 30 seconds. Then, add the garlic and toss in the hot oil until it is lightly browned. Add the green beans and toss to evenly coat in garlic and oil. Finally, add the salt and pepper. Cook the green beans until they are bright green and pliable enough to eat, about 6 minutes. You can add salt and pepper to taste 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving staple, but it is packed with sugar and can be full of sticky marshmallows that are awful for teeth. This year, try roasting your sweet potatoes instead for a more mouth-healthy meal!  

Sweet potatoes are great for teeth, and packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that promote good oral health. They contain vitamin C, which promotes gum help and works to prevent gingivitis. They also have vitamin D, which helps to decrease bone and tooth loss. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin B, which promotes saliva production. All of these benefits make sweet potatoes a great mouth-healthy addition to your Thanksgiving meal.  

4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling  
1/4 cup honey 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender. Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil. 

Eat Well This Thanksgiving!

When planning a mouth-healthy Thanksgiving, try to incorporate as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible, and try to stay away from heavy, creamy sauces and sugary desserts.  If you want help planning a mouth-healthy diet for your family, visit our office to discuss some healthier dietary options that can improve your family’s oral health.  

Can Candy be Mouth-Healthy?

November 15th, 2018

People love candy, and what’s not to love? It’s sweet, and you can enjoy it pretty much anywhere. But, if you eat too much candy, your teeth will suffer. So, are there any types of candy that are healthier for teeth? 

Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks and keeping enamel healthy. 

If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, find some all-natural dark chocolate. Be sure that it is at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutrition.  Dark chocolate can also help reduce cholesterol, blood clots and clogged arteries. Milk chocolate contains a combination of milk and sugar additives that can contribute to tooth decay, while dark chocolate does not contain those ingredients. 

Xylitol Mints 

Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health. Increased saliva can help prevent bad breath by eliminating dry mouth, and prevent prolonged exposure to acid and sugar caused by food debris. You can find xylitol-sweetened mints at your local supermarket or convenience store! 

Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts 

Nuts contain fiber and protein, both of which promote healthy teeth. Chewing nuts promotes saliva production that naturally protects and cleans your teeth by clearing the mouth of debris and acid buildup that can lead to cavities. You can find dark chocolate covered nuts to really supercharge your mouth-healthy sweet treat.

Avoid These Types of Candy 

Hard Candy 

Be vigilant when letting your child eat hard candy, because it can crack teeth. Hard candy also tends to stick around longer than other candy, which exposes teeth to sugar for longer. Extended contact with sugar can lead to more cavities because sugar provides bad bacteria with the energy it needs to destroy enamel.

Sticky Candy 

Like hard candy, sticky candy can get stuck in tooth crevices and stay around long after it’s been swallowed. Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel. 

Sour Candy 

Sour candy can leave teeth susceptible to cavities more so than any other candy. This is because sour candy contains a high amount of acid. In fact, the elevated acid content is what makes it so sour. The acidity can eat away the enamel of teeth, and leave them vulnerable to cavities. 

Visit Our Office 

A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We’ll perform a routine oral health checkup and provide a dental plan that works for their mouth.

Why Is Candy Passed Out During Halloween?

October 25th, 2018

Halloween is one of America’s favorite traditions, and gives us an incredible opportunity to get outside and celebrate our community with friends and neighbors alike. But, did you know that we haven’t always passed out candy during Halloween? In fact, Halloween isn’t even an American holiday.  

European Tradition

Halloween used to be known as The Festival of Samhain, which celebrated the harvest and the Celtic New Year. The Festival of Samhain originated in England and Scotland, and later grew more popular across Europe.  

Trick-or-treating evolved from an old tradition called “going a-souling,” which occurred when children celebrating the Festival of Samhain solicited food and treats from door to door. Kids would knock on a neighbor’s door and offer to pray for the souls of their relatives in exchange for gifts. The children would be handed food, coins, ale and other trinkets in exchange for their kind thoughts. This tradition eventually made its way to America in the early 1900s, when the United States welcomed a large influx of European immigrants.  

Parental Concern

Trick-or-treating gained popularity in the 1930s and 40s, but as Halloween became more popular, parents felt unsafe allowing their children to accept unwrapped food from strangers. At the time, some of the most popular treats were cookies, cakes, fruit, popcorn balls and muffins. Parents argued that the treats could be tampered with and potentially harm their children. Combine this risk with how expensive and time consuming it is to make treats from scratch, and Halloween had a real problem: a lot of people wanted to celebrate, but could not do so without steady, reliable supply that parents could trust.  

Sweet, Packaged Confection

During the 1950s, Halloween boomed in popularity across the USA. However, parents were still concerned about the treats their children were receiving. Candy producers saw this as a golden opportunity to alleviate parent’s concerns by providing reliable, enjoyable treats. Candy producers created large advertising campaigns promoting the safety of prepackaged candy. They argued that it was safer for children to eat packaged candy, because it couldn’t be altered without visible marks on the wrapper. Suddenly, it became much cheaper to buy candy and hand it out instead of spending hours creating your own treats. 

Sugar Harms Teeth 

Candy is packed with sugar, which fuels unhealthy bacteria that eats away tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Be sure that your child doesn’t eat too much candy, and that they brush and floss their teeth after eating candy. We hope that your family has a happy and safe Halloween this year! 

The 3 Grossest Ways Kids Use Their Teeth

October 11th, 2018

Teeth are meant for chewing and processing food, yet children can find some interesting ways to use their teeth outside of eating. The problem is that teeth can crack or fracture when used improperly, which can lead to tooth loss. Here’s 3 of the grossest – and riskiest – ways children use their teeth.

Holding and Cutting Non-Food Items


When teeth hold or cut things other than food, they are exposed to harder surfaces that aren’t found in food. Additionally, the pressure needed to cut some of these objects is far greater than the amount needed to chew. This puts unnecessary stress on teeth, and can cause them to crack or fracture, which results in a painful dental emergency that needs to be treated by a dental professional. Holding items in teeth is particularly dangerous, because one can easily trip and fall and sustain serious oral and facial injuries. 

Warn your child not to use their teeth as an extra set of hands, and explain to them the potential harms of using their teeth as scissors.

Opening Bottles 

Believe it or not, it’s still trendy among some teenagers (and a few adults) to open glass bottles with their teeth. Bottles should never be opened with teeth. This is one of the worst, most traumatic things someone could do to their own teeth, and will likely result in a cracked tooth. Furthermore, metal bottle caps can scrape enamel away from teeth, and leave them more susceptible to cavities. If your child must have a drink from a glass bottle, just go ahead and open it for them. 

But, this isn’t just a rule for glass bottles – teeth should not be used to open plastic bottles with twist tops, either.

Cracking Nuts 

Using your teeth to crack nuts is a bad idea. Trying to crack open a nut with teeth often leaves teeth fractured or cracked, rather than the nut. Tell your kids to stay away from nuts that have the shells on them, or teach them how to use a metal nutcracker. Most nuts come pre-shelled, and don’t contain the hard-outer coating that needs to be cracked off. But, there are plenty of people that fracture their teeth each year from trying to crack a nut.

Teeth are Meant for Chewing 

Did you know that cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss? It’s incredibly risky to use teeth as tools, and can lead to an emergency trip to the dentist. Teach your child that the only things they should use their teeth for are chewing, and smiling, and stress to them that teeth are not tools.

Packing the Perfect Mouth-Healthy Lunch

September 28th, 2018

As a parent, you can help your child achieve a healthy smile in many different ways. One way you can greatly help is by packing a lunch that improves their oral health. 


Avoid Sugary Drinks – Even “Healthy” Drinks 

Allowing children to sip on sugary beverages over long periods of time increases their exposure to sugar, and acid attacks that can erode their enamel. Try to limit or remove sports drinks, sodas, and high-sugar juices from their diets to aid in their oral health. Sugary beverages are one of the leading sources of sugar for children, and some can even be disguised as “healthy drinks” like nutritional water or sports drinks.

Pack Water 

Water helps rid teeth of damaging acids and food debris, and help keeps saliva flowing – which naturally keeps teeth clean. Water is the healthiest beverage for teeth, and we suggest packing it instead of any other drink in your child’s lunch. 

Also, don’t fall for nutritional waters. Most of these “enhanced” water products have an excessive amount of sugar, and aren’t great for teeth or overall health. 

Stay Away From Food Marketed as “Healthy” 

Granola cereal, dried fruit and trail mix can seem like healthier options, but they’re often packed with extras that aren’t healthy at all. In fact, dried fruit sticks to teeth and fuels bad bacteria that cause cavities, and granola can be packed with extra sugar and fat. If you’re buying granola or health cereal, stay away from those that have marshmallows, chocolate pieces, and even candy. Look for a higher fiber content, and granola that contains more natural ingredients like nuts and rolled oats.

Add More Whole foods 

When packing your child’s lunch, add in natural, whole vegetables and fruits whenever you can. Instead of packing starchy chips, try to add small pieces of celery with a healthy dip, or baby carrots. Instead of packing an imitation fruit snack as dessert, try packing fresh, fibrous fruit like strawberries, kiwi or apples. By replacing sweets and starches with fibrous fruits and vegetables, you can help your child avoid unnecessary sugar, and help them keep their teeth clean while they’re away from home. Fiber naturally cleans teeth by scrubbing away food particles leftover from a meal.  

Substitute Nuts for Chips 

Crackers, potato chips and other starchy foods can get stuck in the small areas of tooth surfaces.  Without proper brushing, these foods provide sugar to bacteria that feed on it, which ultimately leads to tooth decay. Instead of chips, pack nuts instead, which are full of fiber and healthy protein. 

Dietary Choices Affect Teeth

The food your child eats affects their teeth, and influences their overall oral health. Visit our office for more information about mouth-healthy diets, and how food can impact teeth.  

Six Quick Tips for a Mouth-Healthy School Year

August 30th, 2018

As school begins for families in the area, we thought we’d help ease some of the back-to-school madness by offering busy parents some quick tips that can help their children have a mouth-healthy school year.

 Schedule a Checkup 

Oral health ailments cause millions of children to lose valuable school hours every year. You can help keep your child in school this year by scheduling an oral health checkup with our office. We’ll evaluate the state of their mouth, and offer a treatment plan that works for them.  

2 - Floss the Right Way, Every Day 

A full flossing routine should include cleaning teeth below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes. If left untreated, plaque buildup near the root of teeth can lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing are often an early sign of gum disease. Make sure to floss daily! 

3 - Limit Sugary Drinks This Year 

Beverages like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar that damage teeth, and affect overall health. This school year, try giving your children water, or diluted fruit juice to cut back on the amount of sugar they intake. 

4 - Keep a Clean Tooth Brush 

Did you know that you don’t need a toothbrush cover to keep it clean? In fact, covering your toothbrush can actually breed bacteria on the bristles. The best way to clean your toothbrush is to rinse it with cool water, and let it air dry. 

5 - Try a Tongue Scraper 

A good oral healthy routine isn’t just limited to cleaning teeth – tongues need cleaning too! After brushing, bacteria can remain left on the tongue. You can use a tongue scraper after you finish brushing to remove any leftover food particles and bacteria from your tongue. A clean tongue can also help freshen breath! 

6 - Skip the Bedtime Snack 

Food debris that sticks on your teeth overnight is a quick way to decay. That’s because food can turn into sugar and feed unhealthy bacteria that causes cavities. If you enjoy a late night snack, try replacing it with a big glass of water instead.

Visit Our Office 

We would love to checkup on the state of your children’s teeth before the school year begins. Preventive care can greatly reduce the chances of your child contracting a more serious oral ailment. We hope your family has a happy and healthy school year!  

Quick Tips for Keeping Your Night Guard Clean

July 26th, 2018

Night guards are fantastic oral appliances that can help protect teeth from the damaging effects of clenching and grinding. But, night guards must be kept clean to operate properly. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your night guard clean and protecting your teeth! 

Rinse First Thing in the Morning 

After you wake up, take your night guard out and rinse it under cool clean water. This helps remove any saliva or plaque that’s accumulated on its surface.

Brush with Your Toothbrush 

After rinsing, gently brush your night guard with your toothbrush. You don’t need to use any toothpaste, just a little bit of cool water on your toothbrush head. Abrasives in toothpaste can damage night guards and cause them to degrade more quickly. 

Air Dry in a Clean Spot 

Always air-dry your night guard in a cool, clean spot before storing it. We suggest using a clean hand towel, or new paper towel and putting it near your sink. Always make sure that your night guard is completely dry before storing it, which usually takes around thirty minutes.

Store in the Right Case  

Always store your night guard in the proper case given to you by your dentist or orthodontist. This helps keep it clean and germ free, which can prevent you from unwittingly ingesting any germs that can make you sick.

Deep Clean the Right Way 

Because they are stored in a tight, dark case, night guards can attract bacterial growth if they’re not maintained properly. You can keep bacteria growth and illness away by performing a regular deep clean on your night guard. 

You can clean your night guard with a denture cleaner, which usually involves placing your night guard in a glass with water a dissolvable tablet. Or, you can pour a cap full of mouthwash into a glass and then dilute it with water. Then, simply soak your night guard for thirty minutes in the solution,  rinse it with clean water and allow it to air dry before storing it. 

Be sure never to leave your night guard soaking for more than an hour because extended time in liquid can damage your night guard, leaving it ineffective.

Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth?


If your child wakes up with a soar jaw, or complains of their molars hurting in the morning, then they may be grinding their teeth as they sleep. Teeth grinding can wear down tooth enamel, and cause your child to lose sleep. A night guard can help combat teeth grinding, and prevent your child from accidentally damaging their smile in their sleep. Visit our office so that we can evaluate the state of your child’s teeth, and offer a solution that works for them.  

Sports Drinks May be Giving Your Child Cavities

July 12th, 2018

Did you know that spots drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde are consumed by 62% of adolescents every day? Sports drinks are widely popular, and used by people of all ages. But, they are terrible for teeth, and can lead to cavities. Here’s why your family should avoid sports drinks for the sake of your teeth.

Most Sports Drinks Have too Much Sugar 

Unfortunately, sports drinks can contain more sugar than leading cola beverages. All of that sugar does considerable damage to tooth enamel and provides bad oral bacteria with the fuel it needs to create cavities. Some of the leading sports drinks can contain up to 21 grams of sugar per 20 Oz bottle – which is just over half of the amount sugar that your body needs on a daily basis, according to the American Heart Association. 

Acid Hurts Tooth Enamel

Most sports drinks contain a surprising amount of citric acid for added flavor, but extra acid on teeth can erode tooth enamel in a process called demineralization. Tooth enamel is literally the hardest substance in the human body, but it’s no match for a steady stream of acid.

Sports Drinks can be Counter-Productive

A large bottle (20 – 32 Oz.) of the leading sports drink can have more sodium than a bag of potato chips. The sodium actually plays a hydration trick on your body, and makes you want to drink more water – thereby quenching your thirst and hydrating your body. 

Water is the Best Hydration Option 

Water helps strengthen and clean teeth. With every sip, water cleans teeth by ridding them of any leftover foods or acids. It also washes away bacteria and sugars that can eventually lead to cavities. Water has zero calories, and helps restore the mouth’s pH balance to fight unhealthy levels of acid. Water also hydrates the body as it sweats. 

Visit Our Office 

If your child is participating in an intense activity with constant movement and an elevated heart rate, a small serving of sports drinks may be okay on occasion, but water is always the better choice. If you have more questions on sports drinks versus water, please contact our office and we will be glad to discuses this with you.

The Perfect Menu for a Mouth-Healthy Day

June 28th, 2018

A mouth-healthy diet can be a great tool for improving your oral health. But, altering your diet can take a lot of time and research. So, we’ve decided to help by outlining the perfect day of mouth-healthy food.

Breakfast: Apple Slices, Mixed Nuts, and Milk 

Breakfast is the perfect time to begin a mouth-healthy day of nutrition! This mixture contains a high amount of fiber, which naturally cleans teeth. Both the nuts and milk contain calcium and vitamin D, which promotes healthy teeth and helps teeth and bones absorb calcium. Milk also contains a protein called casein, which strengthens tooth enamel and helps fend off cavities. This light, refreshing breakfast is easy to eat at home, or can be easily eaten on the go.

Lunch: Garden Salad with Cucumber, Bell Pepper and Chickpeas 


A garden fresh salad is a fun meal that you can eat at home, or pack for your children to enjoy at school. We suggest making it with a base of fresh spring mix lettucefresh-diced bell pepper, thin sliced cucumber, rinsed chickpeas, feta cheese, and your favorite vinaigrette salad dressing. 

The chickpeas are high in protein, and the cucumbers are high in vitamins B and C, which fight gum inflammation and help repair gums. All of the vegetables are high in fiber, which helps naturally scrubs teeth free of food debris. The feta cheese adds a nice bit of calcium and casein to the dish, and provides a creamy flavor.

Dinner: Baked Salmon with Glazed Carrots and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

For dinner, we have a trio of mouth-healthy items that are sure to please the entire family. This meal contains a nice balance of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins.

The salmon contains high amounts of vitamin D, which signals your body to absorb calcium into the bloodstream. Carrots are full of fiber and vitamins B and A, which helps promote healthy salivary flow. Saliva naturally cleans teeth by washing away harmful acids that can erode enamel. The brussels sprouts provide more fiber to the meal, and contain a lot of potassium, which improves bone and teeth density.

Bonus! Mouth-Healthy Snacks!

Snacking is inevitable, and there are plenty of mouth-healthy options that are easy to eat. Cheese is a great option that is high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth and bones, and casein, which strengthens tooth enamel. Mixed nuts, baby carrots, celery and kiwi are also fantastic mouth-healthy snacks that are delicious, and easy to eat on the go.

Oral Health Includes a Healthy Diet 

Brushing, flossing, and visiting us, your pediatric dentist, are all great ways to keep teeth healthy – but a healthy diet is also a fantastic way to get healthier teeth. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then visit our office. We’ll give you mouth-healthy dietary tips that you can use at home to help your children earn a healthy, bright smile. 

When is it Too Soon to Lose a Baby Tooth?

June 14th, 2018

Baby teeth aren’t permanent, but did you know that it’s possible to loose a baby tooth too soon? Here’s everything parents need to know about losing a baby tooth too soon.

It’s Too Soon When… 

If your child loses a tooth before the age of 3, then you need to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. Usually, natural tooth loss begins around age 6, and concludes around age 12.

Risks of Losing Teeth Too Soon 

If a baby tooth is lost too early, it can cause serious crowding problems for the developing adult teeth, as well as negatively impact the jaw’s muscle and bone development. This can lead to necessary orthodontic treatment later in life to correct a bite and alignment issues. 

Common Causes of Tooth Loss 

The most common causes of premature tooth loss are traumatic facial injuries and tooth decay. It’s impossible to prevent accidents from happening, but you can prevent tooth decay by ensuring your child follows a healthy brushing and flossing regiment, and enjoys mouth healthy foods and plenty of water.

When is it OK to Lose Baby Teeth? 

Baby teeth usually begin to fall out around age 6, and the process usually lasts 6 years until ages 11-12. Baby teeth will naturally become looser, and fall out on their own to make room for adult teeth erupting beneath them. Usually, teeth fall out in the order that they first arrived, but that’s not always the case.

Can You Fix a Tooth Lost Too Early? 

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for those that lose teeth too soon! Spacers and space maintainers are placed in the gap of the lost tooth to help prepare for the arrival of the incoming adult tooth. Spacers come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and can make an un-fun situation more enjoyable for your child.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Office 

If you think that your child has lost a tooth too soon, then call our office to schedule an evaluation. We’ll provide your child with the necessary treatment that best prepares their mouth for a healthy, adult smile.  

All About Wisdom Teeth

June 4th, 2018

Tales of wisdom teeth often sound like horror stories, but that’s not the whole story. In fact, wisdom teeth were once useful tools that helped ancient people chew and eat. Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth.

What are Wisdom Teeth? 

Wisdom teeth are the back most molars on each row of teeth, and they usually erupt between ages 17 and 25. They are the third molars, and ancient humans used wisdom teeth to grind up hard foods that were difficult to digest. Since cooking meals arrived, humans have outgrown wisdom teeth and most can be removed before they erupt without any effect on a person’s natural chewing pattern. 

Wisdom Teeth Don’t Always Need to be Removed 

Most people assume that wisdom teeth always need to be removed, but that’s not always the case. In fact, some people have wisdom teeth grow perfectly into their smile without crowding or issue. However, most wisdom teeth need to be removed before they erupt to prevent potential crowding problems. 

When Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

There are many reasons to have wisdom teeth removed before they arrive, but they can only be discovered by a dentist using advanced imaging to assess the position and health of an incoming wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth need to be removed when they will negatively affect the health of surrounding teeth or the mouth. Most people that need their wisdom teeth removed have it done between the ages of 16 and 18.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt, they can become impacted, which causes them to grow in sideways and is a reason for removal. Wisdom teeth can also push against second molars, pushing them out of alignment and making them more difficult to clean and susceptible to decay. Additionally, narrow spaces between molars can become more easily infected with bacteria, which raise the risk of periodontal disease, inflammation and decay.

Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Painful? 

Wisdom teeth removal is usually done under anesthetic, so the procedure itself is not painful at all. However, the recovery period after a wisdom tooth removal can be uncomfortable. Soreness, swelling and limited mouth opening can last anywhere between 1 and 4 days. A typical recovery period is dependent upon how impacted the incoming wisdom teeth are, how large the teeth are, and how deep they are when they are extracted. 

Is Your Teen Experiencing Wisdom Tooth Pain? 

If your teen is experiencing pain in the very back of their mouth, then it may be time to evaluate how their wisdom teeth are growing. Visit our office so we can evaluate their smile, and provide a treatment plan that will improve their smile and avoid any wisdom tooth pain down the road.  

Sweet Treats are Fine for Teeth

May 10th, 2018

A well-rounded diet is vital for healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, dieting means excluding some of your favorite sweets to improve your overall wellbeing. But, never fear: you can still enjoy certain sweet treats that promote a healthy mouth.

Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate might not strike you as mouth healthy – but it’s actually a fantastic treat for tooth enamel! Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks and keeping enamel healthy. When buying dark chocolate, be sure that it is at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutrition.


Strawberries are an amazing, sweet fruit that can be eaten raw, or added into a number of sweet desserts. They are also high in fiber, which scrubs teeth and keeps tooth enamel strong. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen – a protein vital to maintaining your gums’ strength. All in all, strawberries are one of the absolute best sweet treats for teeth and gums. 


Apples are high-fiber fruits, which naturally clean teeth as they’re being eaten! Apples scrub your teeth, gums and tongue as they’re being eaten because of their fibrous texture – particularly the skin. This helps fight plaque buildup, and helps remove surface stains from teeth. Apples also fight bad breath by removing traces of bad plaque and residue from the back of the tongue.  

Apples are fantastic treats that can be enjoyed many ways. We suggest dipping apple slices in almond butter for a high-fiber and protein snack.

Frozen Yogurt Popsicles 

Frozen yogurt is packed with healthy bacteria, which helps fight bad bacteria that stick to teeth and lead to cavities. The best news is that frozen yogurt popsicles are a fun way to get a healthy serving of calcium, and they come in a variety of options. When purchasing frozen yogurt popsicles, look for some that are made with low fat, Greek yogurt, which is full of healthy protein.

Drink Water after Treating Yourself 

After enjoying any meal or treat, be sure to drink a glass of water. Water naturally cleans teeth by washing away food debris and damaging acids that can lead to cavities. 

Visit Our Office 

If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We will evaluate their smiles and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case. We can also give you tips on eating for better oral health, and point out food that can lead to tooth decay. 

These Foods Destroy Oral Appliances

April 19th, 2018

Caring for an oral appliance can be difficult, but it is absolutely imperative. If your oral appliance is not clean, then it won’t properly function. One way to keep your appliance clean is by avoiding foods that can harm it. 


Nuts are very hard, and can do real damage to oral appliances. Nuts can destroy rubber bands, wires and even brackets! If you have braces, then avoid nuts and hard foods that can damage your bracketsNuts may be great for teeth, but they are awful for oral appliances, so it’s best to avoid them while wearing an oral appliance. 

Hard Candy 

This may not surprise you, but hard candy can wreak havoc on teeth, and damage oral appliances. Hard candy sticks onto oral appliances, and can expose teeth to an extended sugar attack. Hard candy dissolves slowly, which allows bad bacteria longer access to the sugar they need to survive and cause havoc on teeth. This can lead to more cavities and tooth decay. Hard candy can also crack wires, dislodge brackets, and even crack teeth. It’s best to avoid hard candy. 

Starchy Snacks 

Starchy foods easily get stuck on teeth, and provide bad bacteria with sugar, which powers the bacteria to multiply and attack enamel. This problem is made worse by dental appliances, because starchy foods can easily get stuck in them and continually attack the surface of teeth. This makes the acidic attacks last longer, and has a more negative effect on teeth. If you eat starchy snacks like chips or crackers, then rinse your mouth out with water to get rid of any excess food debris.  

Sticky Candy  

Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel. Sticky candy also sticks to wires and brackets, which increases the time that teeth are spent contacting sugar. This can erode tooth enamel, and lead to tooth decay and cavities. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Water is essential in keeping your mouth and oral appliance clean. It helps stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans food debris and keep the mouth at a healthy ph level. We suggest swishing with water after meals, and always keeping a water bottle handy.  

Keep Your Teeth & Appliance Clean 

Most orthodontists advise brushing 4 times per day: in the morning after breakfast, after lunch or right after school, after dinner and at bedtime. The extra brushing ensures that your mouth stays debris-free, and helps to fight cavities and potential damage to your oral appliance. 

Schedule an appointment with our office for more tips about caring for your oral appliance, and what you need to do to get the healthiest smile possible.  

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.

Why Does My Child have Bad Breath?

March 8th, 2018

Children can get bad breath from a variety of sources, and it’s actually an incredibly common and treatable condition. In fact, 50% of Americans are diagnosed with bad halitosis (bad breath) each year. But never fret, bad breath comes from a number of innocent sources, most of which can be easily fixed.

Poor Oral Hygiene Habits 

The number one cause of halitosis in children is poor oral hygiene. Luckily, a proper oral care routine is incredibly easy to achieve. To start, make sure that your child has a fresh toothbrush, that is under 3-months old and has bristles that don’t plume outward. Also, be sure that they have floss that is comfortable for them to use, and appropriate for their age.

Make sure your child brushes twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flosses once per day. When flossing, stress the importance of hitting both sides of the tooth, and beneath the gum line so that they clean their entire tooth.

Leftover Food 

Food sometimes sticks around long after mealtime, and it can cause really stinky breath – especially in children! If your child has food stuck in their teeth, then have them swish cool water in their mouth vigorously for 30 seconds. If that doesn’t work, then have them floss into the affected crevice to remove any leftover food.

Dry Mouth 

Saliva naturally cleans the mouth, and a dry mouth can cause bad breath. Dry mouth can usually be fixed by eating foods that increase saliva production like cheese, apples or carrots. Make sure your child gets 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 their saliva flow.

Dietary Choices 

Food can - and absolutely does - lead to bad breath.  Certain foods like garlic, onions, fish and spicy foods can turn even the best breath sour. Even dairy – which strengthens teeth and enamel – can cause bad breath. Make sure your children drink plenty of water at mealtime to help keep their teeth free of food debris.


If your child just recently began a new medication, then it could be causing their bad breath. Sometimes generic medications like antihistamines can decrease saliva and lead to dry mouth – which can cause bad breath. To combat this, parent can make sure that their children are maintaining a proper oral care routine by brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once per day.

Visit Our Office 

If your child has bad breath that is not alleviated by brushing and proper oral care, then visit our office. Our team can diagnose the cause of your child’s bad breath, and provide a treatment plan that will help them have more confidence in their smile.

Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?

February 22nd, 2018

Adequate sleep is vital to leading a healthy life – regardless of age. For parents, it can be tough to know how much sleep your child should get every night. Here’s a quick guide outlining the amount of sleep your child needs for each stage of their development.  

Newborns (0 – 3 months): 10 – 18 hours

New parents understand one truth: sleep is 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 parent should pay attention to their gestures to understand when to put them to bed.

Infants (4 – 11 months): 10 – 18 hours

By the infant stage, babies are usually capable of sleeping through the night for 9 – 12 hours. In addition, most infants will take 2 – 4 naps per day, which can last between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Parents should put their infants to bed when they become sleepy, rather than waiting for them to fall asleep. This helps them to become self-soothers, and teaches them to fall asleep on their own.

Toddlers (1 – 2 years): 9 – 16 hours

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 nighttime awakening. This is incredibly common, and parents can help their toddlers sleep through the night by setting a consistent bedtime schedule.

Preschoolers (3 – 5 years): 8 – 14 hours

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.

Children (6 – 13 years): 8 – 12 hours

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.

Teens (14 – 17 years): 7 – 11 hours

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.

Does Your Child Snore or Miss Sleep?

If your child has difficulty sleeping through the night, or snores in their sleep, then they may have sleep apnea. 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.

7 Snacks Better for Your Child's Teeth than Cheetos

February 8th, 2018

Chips give parents a quick way to satisfy their children’s snacking habits. Chips and other starchy snacks can stick onto teeth long after snack time, and can lead to tooth decay. 

The Problem with Cheetos and Starchy Snacks

Starchy snacks like crackers, bread and chips tend to stick to teeth after they are consumed. The starch breaks down and turns into sugar, which feeds unhealthy bacteria that attack and erodes enamel. This can make teeth more susceptible to cavities, which cause tooth sensitivity and pain.

Try these Mouth-Healthy Snacks Instead

1 - Celery

Celery is packed with water, which helps stimulates saliva production – which helps keep teeth clean of damaging acids. Celery also scrubs teeth as it is eaten, and that’s because it’s packed with fiber. Celery is a great dipping snack, and can be eaten anywhere on the go.

2 - Cheese

Cheese is high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth. It also contains a protein called casein, which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. String cheese and other handheld cheese snacks are far better for teeth than chips and starchy snacks.

3 - Carrots

Carrots are full of fiber and vitamin A. Carrots stimulate saliva production, which cleans teeth and helps prevent the buildup of bad bacteria that can lead to cavities. Vitamin A also helps maintain healthy mucous membranes in the mouth, which help prevent oral disease.

4 - Nuts

Nuts contain calcium and vitamin D – both of which promote healthy enamel and teeth. They also have high amounts of healthy fats and protein that help promote muscle and tissue growth.

5 - Apples

Apples are fantastic treats that have earned the nickname “nature’s toothbrush.” That’s because the fibrous content and thick skins on apples are perfect for scrubbing teeth of damaging sugar and food debris.  Apples are great at fighting against plaque build up. 

6 - Yogurt

Non-fat Greek yogurt is a great snack for teeth, and it can be used as a base to add some of your favorite fruit and nuts. Yogurt is full of calcium, casein and protein – all of which build stronger enamel and teeth. 

7 - Kiwi

Kiwis are sweet fruits in the berry family. They’re packed with calcium, which helps build strong teeth. Their high fiber content cleans teeth as they’re eaten. Calcium also helps fight bad acids that damage tooth enamel. 

Does Your Child Have a Mouth-Healthy Diet?

If you’re concerned about your child’s diet, and think that it may be affecting their teeth, then visit our office. We will work with you and discuss mouth-healthy foods that promote beautiful, healthy smiles.  

Parents: Many Homeopathic Teething Remedies are Unsafe!

January 25th, 2018

Teething can be a painful experience for an infant, and make life a lot louder for parents. Many parents will do anything they can to soothe their child, and ease their teething pain. But, parents should stay away from some common homeopathic teething remedies that are very dangerous for teething infants.

Teething Gels

One common type of homeopathic teething remedies are teething gels. Teething gels are applied directly to the gums, and contain some type of numbing agent that is designed to numb sore gums. But, the FDA has repeatedly warned against the dangers of the numbing agents in homeopathic teething gels, and advises parents to stay away. In extreme cases, teething gels can cause a rare and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia. You best bet is to stay away from numbing teething gels all together, to avoid any potential incident. 

Teething Tablets 

Teething tablets are designed to dissolve in a bay’s mouth, and numb tooth pain through “all-natural” ingredients. The FDA also advises that parents stay away from teething tablets, because some contain toxic levels of belladonna – a toxic substance  

that is found in plants commonly used to make teething tablets. In certain cases, The FDA has found that belladonna far exceeds the amount listed on the label.  Again, our advice is that parents avoid teething tablets, and instead try a more moderate approach.

Teething Tips for Parents

There are many things that parents can do at home to help ease their child’s teething pain. Parents can use a cool, damp cloth to gently apply pressure to the gums, which helps ease pain. Make sure that the cloth is cool, but not too cold, because exposure to extreme temperatures can cause more discomfort. Also, be sure to dry the drool on their face, since it can dry out your baby’s skin, and lead to skin irritation.

Symptoms of Teething Pain 

Your child may be experiencing teething pain if they display any of the following symptoms:

  • Drooling 

  • Irritability or crankiness 

  • Sore or tender gums 

  • Chewing on solid objects

These are all very normal symptoms that don’t require a special visit to the dentist, but do require your attention.

Visit Our Office 

Teething pain and discomfort is incredibly common for infants as their first teeth arrive. Parents shouldn’t worry about teething pain, but they should bring their infant to a pediatric dentist when their first tooth emerges – around the age of 6 months, and before their first birthday. 

We would love to be your child’s dental home. Our office is designed to be fun and stress-free for children. This helps them enjoy themselves as they learn about the value of proper oral health. Call our office and schedule an appointment today.

Do Baby Teeth with Cavities Need to be Treated?

December 28th, 2017

Everyone has primary (baby) teeth, and most people (around 60%) experience some level of tooth decay that affects baby teeth. But, baby teeth are temporary, and not as important as adult teeth, right? Wrong. Primary teeth don’t last forever, but they are not expendable and untreated cavities can cause serious immediate harm, and negatively affect how a young mouth develops. 

YES - Cavities in Baby Teeth Must be Treated 

Tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than childhood obesity and 20 times more common than childhood diabetes. Tooth decay is an acid attack on tooth enamel that can lead to cavities – which are essentially holes in teeth. Cavities on baby teeth are treated with fillings, which help prevent the cavity from worsening or spreading.

When tooth decay is not treated by dental professionals, or with proper oral care, teeth can become riddled with cavities. Children with cavities affecting their primary teeth face many risks that affect their overall development.

Teeth Damaged by Cavities can:

- Impact children’s nutrition, and impede them from eating healthy food. 
- Cause overbites, and bite alignment problems that require oral appliance to fix.
- Hinder adult teeth from growing in straight and healthy.
- Impede proper speech, and negatively affect self-esteem.
- Cause severe tooth pain, that worsens without treatment.
- Lead to infections that affect nearby teeth, and cause more cavities.  

Baby teeth may be temporary, but their impermanence does not mean that they are not important. Children with cavities on their primary teeth face oral health challenges now, and in the future they mature into adults.

Symptoms of Baby Teetth with Cavities

It’s pretty easy to spot the symptoms of tooth decay and cavities, but only a dental professional can accurately diagnose and treat cavities in baby teeth. If your child exhibits any of the following, then schedule a visit with our office as soon as possible so we can treat the root of their oral health issues.  

 Common symptoms of cavities in baby teeth: 

- Pain in the tooth when chewing, or brushing. 
- Pain below the gum line that is localized around on tooth or area.  
- Increased sensitivity to temperature extremes, like hot or cold beverages. 
- Visible holes, discolorations, or dark spots on teeth. 
- Persistent bad breath that is not alleviated by consistent brushing or mouthwash.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay and Cavities

Cavities are the most prevalent childhood disease in the United States, but it’s also the most preventable. You can empower your child to prevent cavities and tooth decay by helping them get into a proper oral health routine, which means brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once per day. You can take easy dietary measures to prevent cavities, too. Try removing sugary beverages from their diet, and substitute them for water, which is one of the most powerful tools in the fight against cavities.

Does Your Child Have a Cavity or Tooth Decay? 

Visit our office if your child experiences persistent tooth pain, or pain in their gums. They may have severe tooth decay or cavities that need to be treated It’s impossible to diagnose a cavity by yourself, and only trained dental professionals can accurately diagnose and treat cavities. We treat children of all ages, and help families get their oral health on track by giving them the tools and knowledge needed to keep a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.  

Why Does My Child have Bleeding Gums?

December 14th, 2017

Does your child have sensitive gums that bleed when they brush or floss? if they do, then they may have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. But, never fear: gum disease can be diagnosed and treated by a pediatric dentist. Here’s the quick rundown of periodontal disease, sometimes called gum disease.

The Basics of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease manifests in a variety of ways. It occurs when plaque spreads below the gum line and irritates the gums. If periodontal disease is left untreated, then tissues and bone that hold teeth can be destroyed, resulting in tooth and bone loss. But that is only found in the most serious cases.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is mostly caused by poor oral hygiene, which can lead to gingivitis. Other common causes are diabetes, use of certain medications, a poor diet, and genetic predisposition.  

But, most periodontal disease begins as simple gingivitis, which can be easily treated and prevented. 

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the most mild form of periodontal disease. It causes gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, which causes gums to become red and puffy, and easily bleed. There is normally little or no discomfort associated with gingivitis, however, bleeding while brushing is quite common.

Gingivitis can lead to a variety of outcomes, such as gums that are recede away from the teeth, and chronic bad breath. More serious progressions can lead to tooth, gum and bone loss.

Preventing Periodontal Disease 

Like cavities, periodontal disease can be prevented by maintaining a healthy oral routine, which includes brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and flossing once per day. You can help your child prevent periodontal disease by visiting their dentist once or twice per year for a routine oral checkup, and helping them maintain a healthier routine. 

Detect Periodontal Disease Early

Luckily, a dentist or pediatric dentist can treat and completely reverse the effects of periodontal disease. As with most ailments, periodontal disease is best dealt with in its early stages, which makes an early diagnosis vital for successful treatment.  

Schedule an appointment with our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and provide you with a treatment plan that will help you combat periodontal disease.

How to Help Prevent Cavities this Halloween

October 19th, 2017

This Halloween, your child will surely come into an inordinate amount of candy - all of which is packed with sugar and terrible for teeth. While sugar won’t lead to cavities overnight, it can do some serious damage in the long term. Here’s how you can help prevent cavities this Halloween.

Water, Water, Water!

Water can drastically improve your child’s overall health, and does a lot to promote a healthy mouth. But, did you know that saliva is 99% water, and is critical in the fight against cavities? This makes it imperative that your child drinks plenty of water this Halloween so that they can help keep their teeth clean. Water also helps prevent cavities by rinsing food debris away from in between teeth. By drinking enough water, you help prevent dry mouth and ensure that your child’s saliva is produced at an optimal rate. 

Avoid Sour Candy

Sour candy can leave teeth susceptible to cavities more so than any other candy. This is because sour candy contains a high amount of acid. In fact, the elevated acid content is what makes it so sour. The acidity can eat away the enamel of teeth, and leave them vulnerable to cavities. 

Try Xylitol Gum

Most chewing gum can’t claim to help clean teeth, but gum sweetened with xylitol can. That’s because xylitol helps stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth. The mouth fights cavities by producing saliva to wash away food debris, and restore its proper Ph balance. Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health. Increased saliva can help prevent bad breath by eliminating dry mouth, and prevent prolonged exposure to acid and sugar caused by food debris.  

Try giving your child chewing gum sweetened with xylitol 15 minutes after a meal to improve their saliva production, and naturally clean their teeth. You can find xylitol gum is most health food stores, or online.

Limit Candy Consumption

Finally, the best way to prevent cavities this Halloween is by limiting your child’s candy consumption to only a few servings per day. Don’t let your child binge-eat their candy, as 3 pieces of candy can quickly turn into 10. If your child does have a few pieces of candy per day, be sure that they rinse their mouth out after eating their candy to avoid acid buildup on their teeth.

Visit Our Office

It’s important that your children brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time if you want to keep cavities away. This is especially important when consuming foods that contain high amounts of sugar. So, as your child hauls in bag of candy this Halloween, be sure that they thoroughly brush and floss after eating candy to keep their enamel strong and their mouth healthy.

3 Simple Steps to Master Flossing

September 21st, 2017

Brushing alone only covers about 1/3 of the total tooth surface area in your mouth, which leaves a lot of space for plaque – and cavities – to thrive. Flossing removes plaque buildup in the places where toothbrushes can’t reach – between teeth. But, more than 50% of American don’t floss daily, and that’s a problem. Flossing is simple, and will help your entire family. To better care for our patients, we’ve decided to write 3 simple steps that will help you master flossing. 

3 Steps to Master Flossing

1 - Floss Once Every Day

The best way to become a master flosser is to floss daily. Repetition is the key to mastering anything, but also fully cleaning your teeth. A full flossing routine should include cleaning teeth below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes. If left untreated, plaque buildup near the root of teeth can lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing are often an early sign of gum disease. People who regularly brush and floss their teeth suffer from gum disease and tooth decay far less than those that do not.

2 - Slow Down

If you move quickly from tooth to tooth, then you risk not fully cleaning the tartar buildup on your teeth. Remember: flossing cleans debris from between your teeth, but also helps remove a thin, damaging layer of plaque that can lead to cavities. We suggest spending about 10 seconds flossing each side of your teeth. 

3 - Floss the Whole Tooth

A lot of people only floss one side of each of their teeth – focusing on the gaps between teeth as singular spaces to be cleaned. Again, flossing fights plaque buildup on teeth, so focus on flossing each side of your tooth below the gum line.

How to Floss Children’s Teeth

Here’s a basic guide to flossing your children’s teeth:
1. Begin flossing your children’s teeth when any two teeth touch.
2. Use about 12-18 inches of dental floss. If that is too difficult, try using flossing tools like soft flossing picks.
3. Use wide, flat dental tape to floss your children’s teeth. The width of the floss helps with the larger spaces in children’s teeth.
4. Be gentle when flossing children’s teeth, and avoid applying too much pressure on their gums.
5. Floss both sides of the teeth, and make sure to gently dip beneath the gum lime.

Visit Our Office

Did you know that cavities are the largest disease affecting children? Don’t let that discourage you: flossing is almost entirely preventable. Visit our office so that we can help your child fight cavities, and provide them with an oral health plan that will give them a healthy smile for years to come. 

All Kids Pediatric Dentistry is a Green Practice

September 18th, 2017

Dr. Mujica and the wonderful team here at All Kids Pediatric Dentistry is happy to share that our dental practice is 100% powered by solar energy. We installed solar panels last December, and since then, our year in green energy has been a lot of fun, and incredibly beneficial.

Easing Off the Grid

All Kids Pediatric Dentistry believes in preserving the environment for our children, and being responsible stewards of the globe. We’ve seen tremendous green benefits since we’ve installed our solar panels and discontinued using energy from the grid as a primary energy source.

Since December, our practice has saved energy to the effect of planting nearly 710 trees, and powering 54,917 light bulbs for a day.













We’re so excited about the amount of energy we’ve conserved, and can’t wait to see how much more we can preserve in the future.

All Kids Deserve State-of-the-Art Dental Care

No child should ever have to worry about their smile, which is why we believe in treating all kids equally and providing dental care that is accessible and affordable for all families. Our green initiative will help us reinvest our energy savings into providing the best dental care possible for more families in Charlotte and Gastonia, NC along with Rock Hill, and the surrounding areas.

We Care for All Kids

If you visit our office, you’ll see murals on the walls depicting monuments from around the world. We chose to hang art from around the world because we are committed to caring for children from all backgrounds, and providing accessible dental care for every child.

We would love to welcome you and your family into our dental office, so call and schedule a visit today. We provide an environment where children feel safe, comfortable and right at home among the kid-friendly amenities. We hope to see you soon!

Is Your Child Playing Sports this Year? Don’t Forget this Important Item….

September 7th, 2017

Is your child considering playing soccer, volleyball, or football this year? If so, then it is absolutely imperative that they have a mouth guardThis year, nearly 25 million children in the United States will play youth sports, and 1 in 3 young athletes will suffer an accidental injury. Mouth guards go a long way in protecting your child from suffering an oral injury. Here’s how.  

What are Mouth Guards?

Mouth guards are composite inserts that act as a cushion for teeth and the facial area. Mouth guards – sometimes called mouth protectors – work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue or cheek. Did you know that the CDC estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at youth sporting events? Mouth guards work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries. 

There are a variety of mouth guards available today, and some are more effective than others.  

Stock Mouth Guards

The most inexpensive, and least effective mouth guards are stock mouth guards. Stock mouth guards can be very bulky and ill-fitting, and they can make breathing very difficult. You can find them at most major sporting goods stores for very reasonable prices. We advise getting these if your child is in a sport with less contact, but for contact intensive sports like football or hockey, a better fitting model will protect their teeth much more effectively.  

Boil and Bite Mouth Guards

The middle-of-the-road option in both price and quality is the boil and bite mouth guard. Boil and bite guards are made of rubber composites that become malleable when heated. When you buy one of these, they are packaged as “U” shaped pieces of rubber without indentation. After you boil it (read the manufacturer’s instructions before boiling) you child firmly bites into the guard so that it molds to fit her teeth. Boil and bite guards can be found at many major sporting goods stores, and they provide sufficient enough protection for high contact sports. 

Custom-made Mouth Guards

The best fitting and most effective mouth guards are custom-made mouth guards, which can be made for your child by a dentist that offers the service. Custom mouth guards are available in multiple materials, and affords them a mouth protector that is completely personalized to fit their teeth. Custom mouth guards fit the best and provide the most advanced protection.  

Which Sports Require Mouth Guards?

The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for these popular sports: basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, skateboarding, skiing, soccer, volleyball, water polo and wrestling, among others. This is just a recommendation by the ADA. If you’re unsure about whether or not your child is required to wear a mouth guard, consult the rules of the sport.  

Ask Us about Mouth Guards

Dental injuries account for nearly 20% of all sports related injuries, and your child is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth when they aren’t wearing a mouth guard. 

As your child’s pediatric dentist, we care about the protection of your child’s teeth and smile. Call our office today and ask us if we provide mouth guards for your student athlete.   

The Perfect Dental Travel Kit for a Busy Summer

July 6th, 2017

Summer is here and with it comes a much needed respite from school and work. As exciting as extended breaks can be, we can sometimes fail to adequately maintain our oral health. Luckily, there is an easy and effective way to stay on top of your oral health while on vacation. This summer, help your family keep their teeth healthy with a dental travel kit.  

Toothbrush and Travel Case

Optimum oral health begins at the most basic and universal tooth care tool: the toothbrush. When buying a toothbrush for your young traveler (or for yourself), buy one that easily fits into their hands, and one that has round, soft bristles. Be sure that the toothbrush head easily fits into their mouth, so that it is easy for them to brush. Also, look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval, so that you know the toothbrush has been thoroughly inspected and works properly.  

Make sure that your family brushes twice per day for two minutes at a time. If your child is travelling away from your family this spring break, try sending them daily reminders to brush.  


Brushing without toothpaste would be an exercise in futility, so it’s important that you buy an appropriate toothpaste for any summer travels. Find a small, travel sized toothbrush that will last for the length of the trip, and a pick a flavor that they enjoy. Children should avoid whitening toothpaste, which can contain harmful abrasives that can scrub away enamel. Also, look for the ADA seal of approval to get the best toothpaste available.  


Brushing only cleans about 1/3 of the total surface area of teeth which leaves most of the teeth unclean! Your child should floss once per day, and clean between every space in their teeth. Give them a small pack of travel floss, or a set of floss picks to encourage them to regularly floss while they are away.  

Tongue Scraper

Tongue scrapers are fantastic little tools that can help rid you of bad breath. Tongue scrapers work by scraping away bacteria that causes bad breath. After you’re done brushing, simply use the head of the scraper to scrape the surface of your tongue. Don’t use too much pressure, and be sure to rinse the scraper when you’re done.  

For Those with Braces or Oral Appliances

If you or any of your family members have braces, then you can understand the difficulties with cleaning teeth and gums that are impeded by oral appliances. Below are a couple of tools that help clean teeth covered by oral appliances.  


A proxabrush is a tool designed to help those with oral appliances clean their teeth and appliance. It has a handle similar to a toothbrush, with a cone-shaped head made of fine bristles. Proxabrushes come with 3-4 replacement heads so that users are guaranteed to find the right fit for their mouth. The head can easily clean between teeth, and behind brackets. Use a proxabrush after brushing to remove any leftover food debris.  

Floss Threader

Floss threaders help those with oral appliances floss more easily. Braces and other devices can make it difficult to adequately floss, but floss threaders aid that pursuit by providing a way to floss behind brackets and in-between teeth. To use a floss threader, simply take 12 – 18 inches of floss, and tie one end to the loop end of the threader. Then, use the sharp end of the floss threader to thread floss into the hard-to-reach areas, and floss like normal.  

Maintain Your Routine

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun of a vacation, but you owe to your overall health to maintain your oral care routine. Remember to brush twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. Try to make it a fun activity in the morning and the evening with your kids! Talk about what you enjoyed that day and what you’re looking forward to on the rest of your vacation. Having more than one person involved with your brushing routine will give you and your family members more accountability and make you more likely to stick with it. 

Have a Happy and Safe Summer! 
We love helping busy parents find solutions that keep their families’ oral health in focus. Schedule an appointment in our office so that we can thoroughly evaluate your child’s smile, and provide them with oral health tips and treatment options that work.

Why Sports Drinks are Terrible for Teeth

June 8th, 2017

Sports drinks are widely popular, and used by people of all ages. But, children and teenagers are particularly fond of sports drinks. In fact, studies have shown that these “thirst quenchers” are consumed by 62% of adolescents every day. But, sports drinks can be awful for teeth, and can give cavities the fuel they need to thrive. Below, we outline why sports drinks are terrible for teeth.

Packed with Sugar

Did you know that sports drinks can contain more sugar than leading cola beverages, with as much as 19 grams of sugar per serving? All of that sugar does considerable damage to tooth enamel and can lead to cavities and other oral issues. Sugar helps provide bad oral bacteria with the fuel it needs to create cavities. Some of the leading sports drinks can contain up to 21 grams of sugar per 20 Oz bottle – which is just over half of the amount sugar that your body needs on a daily basis, according to the American Heart Association.  

High Amount of Acid

A 2012 study showed that sports drinks are often highly acidic. This acid interferes with the mouth’s ability to regulate a healthy pH balance, and can lead to the enamel erosion. Tooth enamel is literally the hardest substance in the human body, but it’s no match for a steady stream of acid. 

Sodium Overload

Some sports drinks contain up to 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. Keep in mind that a serving is usually 8 ounces, which means that a large bottle (20  32 Oz.) of the leading sports drink can have more sodium than a bag of potato chips. The sodium actually plays a hydration trick on your body, and makes you want to drink more water – thereby quenching your thirst and hydrating your body.

Try Water Instead

If your child is participating in an intense game with constant movement and an elevated heart rate, a small serving of sports drinks may be okay on occasion. But, most youth sports don’t involve that level of activity, and water is almost always the better choice. 

Water – especially water with fluoride – helps strengthen and clean teeth. With every sip, water cleans teeth by ridding them of any leftover foods or acids. It also washes away bacteria and sugars that can eventually lead to cavities. Water has zero calories, and helps restore the pH balance in your mouth to fight unhealthy levels of acid. But, water also hydrates the body as athletes sweat.  

While there is no exact measurement, the American Council on Exercise recommends that people consume 7 – 10 ounces of water every 10 – 20 minutes of exercise, depending upon how much the individual sweats. 

Common Flossing Mistakes

May 25th, 2017

Flossing is an important part of getting a healthy smile and keeping cavities and gum disease away. Yet, it is entirely possible to floss the wrong way – and damage your teeth in the process. Below, we cover why flossing is important, and a few common flossing mistakes.  

Brushing Only Does So Much

Flossing removes plaque buildup in the places where toothbrushes can’t reach – between teeth. Brushing alone only covers about 1/3 of the total tooth surface area in your mouth, which leaves a lot of space for plaque – and cavities – to thrive. Flossing helps fix this by removing food and other debris in between your teeth that causes plaque accumulation. Plaque accumulation leads to oral disease and cavities. Flossing helps completely clean your mouth so that you avoid oral disease.  

4 Common Flossing Mistakes 

1 - Flossing Too Often

If you floss too often, you risk damaging your gum tissue and prolonging gum sensitivity. To clean properly without hurting your gums, floss once per day, right after brushing. We suggest flossing right before bed, since it provides ample time for flossing.  

2 - Moving Too Quickly

If you move quickly from tooth to tooth, then you risk not fully cleaning the tartar buildup on your teeth. Remember: flossing cleans debris from between your teeth, but also helps remove a thin, damaging layer of plaque that can lead to cavities. We suggest spending about 10 seconds flossing each side of your teeth.   

3 - Missing Both Sides of the Tooth

A lot of people only floss one side of each of their teeth – focusing on the gaps between teeth as singular spaces to be cleaned. Again, flossing fights plaque buildup on teeth, so focus on flossing each side of your tooth below the gum line.  

4 - Quitting at the Sign of Bleeding Gums

If you haven’t flossed in a while, you may bleed a bit when you begin flossing again, and many people stop flossing at the sight of blood. Bleeding gums often indicates oral disease, which is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup – exactly what flossing helps to prevent! In order to fight oral disease, you actually need to stick to flossing. Eventually, your gums will become less swollen and no longer bleed.  

Flossing Helps Prevent Gum Disease

A full flossing routine should include cleaning teeth below the gum line, where dental plaque can go unseen and unreached by toothbrushes. If left untreated, plaque buildup near the root of teeth can lead to gingivitis and tooth loss. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing are often an early sign of gum disease. People who regularly brush and floss their teeth suffer from gum disease and tooth decay far less than those that do not.  

If your child has tender, swollen gums that bleed when they brush or floss, then it’s time to schedule an appointment and evaluate their oral health. Gum disease is very treatable and can be prevented by regular brushing and flossing. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.

Can Fruit be Bad for Teeth?

April 27th, 2017

A more nutritious diet can help your child live a fuller, more healthy childhood. There are endless dietary actions that you can take to improve your child’s health, but one of the most common and effective methods is to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. But, not all fruit was created equal. Sometimes, fruit can wreak havoc on young teeth that leads to cavities and tooth decay. Here’s some instances when fruit isn’t so peachy for your child’s health. 

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is a food that you should avoid if you’re trying to improve your child’s oral health. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Let’s use prunes as an example. Prunes are just dried plums, except just one cup of prunes contains more than 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar. However, one plum contains just 75 calories and 16 grams of sugar. The bottom line is that you should choose fresh fruit and not dried fruit.

Sugary Fruit Juice

Fruit juice may seem like a good alternative to sodas and other sugary beverages, but fruit juice often contains as much – if not more – sugar than some of the leading sodas. Fruit juice has been extracted from the fruit, and in the process, it loses a lot of its nutritional value. After the fiber has been taken out of juice, what’s left is essentially sugar and water. Limit the amount of sugary fruit juices your child consumes, or, dilute juice with some water to reduce the sugar concentration.

Fruit Packed in Syrup

A lot of canned fruit is packed in a syrup that contains unhealthy amounts of sugar. The added sugar can lead to cavities, and many more health issues if your child eats it too frequently and in large quantities. When you are shopping for canned fruit, look for those that have no added sugar or those packed in 100% fruit juice. But the healthiest way to enjoy fruit is by eating fruit that hasn’t been altered in any way.


Smoothies can be a fantastic way to get the nutritional benefits of fruit, and the added mouth-healthy rewards of nonfat Greek yogurt. However, if made improperly, smoothies can be packed with sugar and calories. When making (or buying) a smoothie, make sure to limit using fruit high in sugar. Try to avoid figs, grapes, mangoes, pomegranates and cherries, since these fruits have very high amounts of sugar.

Citrus Fruits

Citric fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines have a high amount of acid in them that can lead to tooth enamel erosion. Enamel erosion leaves teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. If you serve your child citrus fruits, rinse their mouth out with water after they’re done eating to wash the acid away, and help prevent cavities from forming.

Does Your Child Have a Healthy Diet?

Our office helps parents teach their children about earning a healthy smile, and keeping it long after they leave our office. A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We will evaluate their smiles and offer a variety of treatment options that fit their case. We can also give you tips on eating for better oral health, and point out food that can lead to tooth decay.


What Are Teeth Made Of?

April 13th, 2017

Did you know that teeth are composed of four primary layers? Each layer plays a pivotal role in supporting a strong smile and a healthy mouth. Below, we discuss the four primary layers that make teeth and their primary purposes.



Enamel is the outer most layer of the tooth that protects teeth from the elements that cause cavities. It is the hardest surface in the human body and the first line of defense against cavities. It is the visual surface of the tooth, and usually stops around the gum line.  Think of enamel as a barrier that shields your teeth from harm.


The layer directly beneath enamel is dentin, which is made up of microscopic tubes! It is a sensitive layer that surrounds pulp, and plays a pivotal role in communicating sensations from the surface of your teeth to the nerves inside your teeth. Without dentin, our teeth wouldn’t feel the difference between ice cream and hot soup!


Cementum is layer between the root of teeth and gums. It is primarily beneath the gum line, and helps anchor teeth to the bones in the jaw. Cementum is really cool because it can actually repair itself! Think of Cementum as the foundation of a home that keeps the house (tooth) grounded and secure. 


Dental pulp is the living tissue at the core of teeth, and acts as an alarm bell that sends signals sent from the dentin to the brain. Pulp is soft and contains a large network of nerves and blood vessels. It is the most sensitive and important part of teeth, and can be very sensitive if it is ever exposed.

Protect Your Teeth

If your enamel becomes damaged then the different layers of your teeth are exposed to increasing harm. The best way to protect your teeth is by brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time. Additionally, you should floss once per day, and try to drink more water – which helps produce saliva and clean teeth.

If your child suffers from tooth sensitivity, or complains of gum pain, then visit our office. Dental cavities are the most prevalent –and preventable – disease that affects children. Visit our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and outline a plan to help them achieve optimal oral health.

Your Kids can be Cavity-Free with These 6 Steps

March 30th, 2017

Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, and what’s worse is that 20% of children’s cavities are left untreated. But there’s good news: cavities are nearly 100% preventable. Follow these steps to prevent cavities in your children’s teeth, and save a trip to the dentist!

Pick a Dental Home by Age One

Pediatric dental offices like ours seek to foster a fun and inviting environment that is specifically designed for children. Pediatric dentists have had 2-3 years of special training to care for young children and adolescents. Choose a pediatric dental home for your child before their first birthday to establish a consistent oral care routine, and prevent cavities.

Begin a Good Cleaning Routine Early

Just because your toddler doesn’t have teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean their mouth! You can clean toddler’s gums with a clean, damp cloth by gently running away residual food. By doing this, you are actually improving the health of the baby teeth that will soon erupt, and familiarizing them with oral care early in their life.

Brush and Floss with Them

A great way to get your children to brush and floss is by brushing with them! It’s a fun way for you to guide them into a healthy brushing routine, and it also gives you the chance to monitor their progress and brush time. Additionally, it helps everyone involved become more accountable for their mouth care!

Avoid Sugary Drinks

When left on your teeth, sugar gives bacteria the food it needs to thrive and create cavities, which is why you should avoid sugary drinks. Beverages like soda, fruit juice and sports drinks contain high amounts of sugar that damage teeth, and affect your overall health. Try giving your children water to cut back on the amount of sugar they intake.

Limit Starchy Foods

Crackers, potato chips and other starchy foods can get stuck in the small areas of tooth surfaces.  Without proper brushing, these foods provide sugar to bacteria that feed on it which ultimately leads to tooth decay. If they do eat starchy foods, have them floss and brush approximately 30 minutes after their meal. They can also swish cool water to get rid of starchy food debris.

Add More Dairy to Your Child’s Diet

Enamel is the first line of defense for teeth, so it’s important to keep it strong. Dairy products neutralize damaging acids that eat away teeth and are rich in casein, an enamel protecting substance. Give your kids healthy dairy products like milk, non-fat greek yogurt or cheese with every meal to boost their enamel strength.

Detect Cavities Early

Tooth decay is painful and can affect the overall health of developing mouths, which is why early treatment is the best way to handle cavities. Routine checkups every six months are the best way to stay on top of your child’s oral health.

Schedule an appointment with our office today to check your children’s cavity status, and to begin them down the path to a healthy smile.

National Children’s Dental Health Month Prevents Cavities with Tap Water

February 16th, 2017

Tooth decay is the most prevalent – and preventable – disease in children, but drinking more tap water can help prevent cavities. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and this year’s theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” National Children’s Dental Health Month is organized by the American Dental Association (ADA), and brings together dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators to promote the benefits of oral health to children. This year, learn about how tap water can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities, and lead to improved oral health.

Tap Water Protects Tooth Enamel

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that community water fluoridation is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Tap water contains small amounts of fluoride – which is great for teeth. Fluoride consumption is effective in preventing tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, according to the American Dental Association. You can also get fluoride from fluoridated toothpaste, but drinking tap water daily is a fantastic way to get a healthy dose of fluoride.

Stimulates Saliva Production

Saliva is 99% water and absolutely critical in the fight against cavities. When you are low on saliva, you will most likely experience dry mouth – a condition that makes it hard to swallow and chew because of a lack of saliva. By drinking sufficient amounts of water, you ensure that your saliva is produced at an optimal rate, and help prevent dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in naturally cleaning teeth of food debris that can cause cavities. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, you’re more susceptible to cavities.

Clears Teeth of Sugar

After you’re done eating, food can get stuck on the surface of your teeth, or in the tight cracks between teeth. . When food debris is left on teeth, it can turn into sugar, which powers enamel-killing bacteria that cause cavities. You can prevent this by rinsing your mouth with water immediately after you eat. Simply swish water around for 30 seconds after you eat to clear your teeth of any sugary or food debris leftover from you previous meal.

Water is Calorie-free

Rising consumption in sugary beverages has been a major contributor to the increasing rate of obesity in the United States. In fact, people who consume 1 – 2 sugary beverages per day are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. You can fight this by substituting colas, sugary juices and sports drinks with a glass of water. Water doesn’t have any calories, and it contains no sugar, which makes it incredibly healthy. Try reaching for water when you’re thirsty, not something full of sugar.

Encourage Your Child to Drink More Tap Water

Water is unlike any other drink, and is by far the healthiest drink available. Children should abide by the 8 X 8 rule: 8 glasses of water in 8 oz glasses per day, to get 64 oz of water every day. If you’re worried that your child may not be drinking enough water, then bring them into our office for a consultation. We will thoroughly evaluate your child’s teeth, and provide you with flexible treatment options that are right for them.

4 Super Foods for a Mouth Healthy Superbowl

February 2nd, 2017

The Superbowl is equal parts football and food. For most of us, it’s a time to gather with friends and family to observe a great game, and overindulge on tasty treats. But, a lot of the big-game snacks aren’t healthy for your body or your teeth. This Superbowl, try adding these foods to the celebration for more oral health benefits.

1 – Cheese

Cheese prevents other foods from hurting your teeth as you eat it, which makes it a great Superbowl snack. It’s high in calcium, which promotes strong teeth and bones. But the benefits of cheese don’t end there. It also contains a protein called casein which strengthens tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. Cheese also helps prevent acid from destroying tooth enamel. We suggest buying a cheese tray with an assortment of pre-sliced cheese. Or, if you’re feeling extravagant, try your hand at making fondue.

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2 – Carrots

Carrots are full of fiber and scrub plaque away as they are chewed. Carrots also stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth. In addition to cleaning teeth, carrots also contain multiple B vitamins, which fight gingivitis! Carrots make fantastic finger foods, and are easy to use as dippers. We suggest substituting carrots in place of starchy finger foods like chips, crackers and bread.

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3 – Yogurt Dips

Dips are a popular Superbowl tradition, and there are countless recipes online. A good number of dips have a sour cream base, which can easily be substituted for non fat Greek yogurt. Like cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and casein, but it also contains a high amount of healthy bacteria. The healthy bacteria in yogurt helps fight the bad bacteria that can stick to your teeth and lead to cavities. Try finding a popular dip recipe like French Onion or Artichoke Dip, and replacing the sour cream with yogurt.

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4 – Nuts

Finger foods are a Superbowl mainstay, but most of them – like starchy chips and crackers – are quite bad for teeth. Nuts are an incredible substitute for finger foods, and they’re great for teeth. Nuts have an incredible amount of fiber, calcium and protein, all of which benefit teeth. Fiber cleans teeth by scrubbing away plaque, and calcium and protein strengthen teeth. All of these oral benefits make nuts a better choice for your teeth than some of the other finger foods.

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Don’t Forget about Water!

By incorporating some of the foods above, you can have a healthier Superbowl, but don’t forget to add water! Water is the perfect mouth-healthy drink that stimulates saliva to clean teeth, and rinses acid from the surface of teeth to help prevent decay. This Superbowl, skip the sodas and choose water instead.