Vitamin D Can Help Prevent Cavities in Children

vitamin-d-cavities-childrenTooth decay is one of the most common health problems in children. Even babies can get cavities if they are put to bed with a bottle filled with formula, milk, or juice. Tooth decay is caused when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acid that wears away tooth enamel. Fortunately, cavities are preventable.

How Vitamin D Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay

In addition to brushing and flossing, vitamin D can help prevent tooth decay. According to Nutrition Reviews, studies have found that cavities in children can be reduced by as much as 50 percent by increasing the consumption of vitamin D. Vitamin D can help prevent cavities because it improves the health of bone and helps prevent osteoporosis. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate through the intestines, which in turn strengthens teeth.

Research has shown that getting enough vitamin D can improve the development of a child’s teeth. It can also help with the formation of dentin, and the effects can last a lifetime. Vitamin D can protect the surfaces of teeth in a way similar to the way fluoride can, which reduces the risk of cavities. Vitamin D changes the amount of saliva and its components to improve the strength of tooth enamel. It can also improve immunity throughout the body.

How to Make Sure Your Child Gets Enough Vitamin D

Children can get vitamin D from the foods they eat and from taking supplements. They can also get it from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays from sunlight.

Before you begin giving your child vitamin D supplements, you should discuss it with your pediatric dentist or pediatrician. He or she can tell you if your child needs supplements or is getting enough vitamin D from diet and sunlight. If your child needs supplements, a dentist or pediatrician can recommend the right dose. Studies have indicated that vitamin D supplements are ineffective at preventing cavities after the age of 13.

The Importance of Vitamin D During Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant can also help protect their babies’ teeth in the future by getting enough vitamin D during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy has been linked to enamel hyperplasia in young children, which can contribute to cavities.

Brushing, Flossing, and Dental Exams Are Still Important

Even if your child gets plenty of vitamin D, brushing and flossing are still necessary to prevent cavities. Your child should brush twice a day and floss once a day, with assistance from you until he or she is old enough to do a good job. You should also take your child to a pediatric dentist for exams and cleanings. If you need to schedule an appointment for your child, contact CT Pediatric Dentistry today.

Why You Should Not Pull out Your Child’s Loose Baby Tooth

pull-out-loose-baby-toothLosing a baby tooth is an important event for a child that is often a cause for excitement. Parents sometimes want to help a tooth come out faster. Some have come up with creative ways to do this, such as tying a piece of string around the tooth, tying the other end to an object such as a door, and pulling out the tooth. This is generally not a good idea.

The Tooth Might Be Loose Because of an Injury

When your child has a loose tooth, you should first think about why it is loose. It could be that the baby tooth is ready to come out and be replaced by a permanent tooth, but that is not always the case. Your child might have fallen down or gotten hit with an object like a ball that knocked the tooth loose. If something like that happened and the tooth is loose, you should make an appointment with your pediatric dentist to get the tooth checked out. Your dentist can help you prevent infection or damage to the permanent tooth under the loose baby tooth.

It Might Be Too Early for the Tooth to Come Out

Children usually lose their baby teeth in the same order they got them. The front teeth are generally the first ones that are lost, usually around the age of 6 or 7. If it seems like it is too early for the tooth to come out, or if it is out of sequence, you should consult your pediatric dentist.

Pulling on a Loose Baby Tooth Can Cause Pain

The root of the baby tooth should dissolve so the tooth can fall out without pain and with a very small amount of blood. Then a new permanent tooth can erupt to replace it. If the tooth is not ready to come out on its own, pulling on it can pull on the root and cause your child pain.

Your Child Can Wiggle a Loose Baby Tooth

You can allow your child to wiggle a loose baby tooth if it is coming out as part of the natural process. This can minimize the amount of pain and bleeding your child will experience. If you have any concerns, see your dentist.

CT Pediatric Dentistry Can Answer Your Questions

CT Pediatric Dentistry can answer any questions you may have about the process of losing baby teeth and getting permanent teeth. We can also check your child’s tooth if he or she suffered an injury that knocked it loose and recommend the best course of action. If you have any concerns about a loose baby tooth, call CT Pediatric Dentistry to make an appointment.

What to Do If Your Toddler’s Gums Bleed

toddler-gums-bleedIf your toddler’s gums bleed when brushing, that can be a cause for concern. A toddler’s gums can bleed for several reasons. The problem can be caused by plaque, gingivitis, dry mouth and gums, or an injury to the gums.

Possible Reasons Why Your Toddler’s Gums Bleed

Buildup of plaque is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums in toddlers. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar from food and form plaque. This can eventually lead to tartar, tooth decay, and inflamed gums that bleed when you brush your toddler’s teeth.

Toddlers often develop dry gums if they breathe through their mouths instead of their noses. This can be caused by an allergic reaction or swollen tonsils or adenoids. Some toddlers have a short upper lip that prevents them from closing their mouths when sleeping. When toddlers have dry gums, the condition usually only affects the upper gums. A toddler with healthy gums may experience bleeding from brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush.

How to Stop Your Toddler’s Gums from Bleeding

In most cases, bleeding gums can be reduced by brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Toddlers do not have the coordination to do an effective job of brushing their teeth. You should help your child brush until he or she reaches the age of 7 or 8.

You should brush your toddler’s teeth after breakfast and before bedtime. It is also a good idea to brush after your toddler eats sugary or starchy snacks. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head that fits comfortably in your child’s mouth. Use a smear of toothpaste until your child reaches the age of 2 and a pea-sized amount up to the age of 5. Begin flossing your child’s teeth when they touch each other.

You can also change your toddler’s diet to prevent bleeding gums. Soft drinks, candy, fruit juice, dried fruit, chips, bread, crackers, pretzels, and pasta can contribute to bleeding gums. Feeding your child healthy meals and snacks can reduce bleeding gums.

Make an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist

Improving brushing and giving your child a healthier diet can often reduce bleeding within seven to 10 days. If making these changes does not stop your child’s gums from bleeding, other action may be required. Make an appointment with CT Pediatric Dentistry to have your child’s teeth and gums examined and to discuss any concerns you have about bleeding gums, brushing, flossing, and nutrition.

How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth from Plaque

prevent plaque child teethPlaque is a film that forms on teeth and in spaces between them. Plaque is formed by food particles and bacteria and can affect anyone, even young children. If plaque is not removed by brushing, flossing, and cleanings by a dentist, it can harden and form tartar. This can eventually lead to cavities and gum disease.

Why You Should Be Concerned about Plaque on Your Child’s Teeth

Plaque is especially problematic for children because baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel than permanent teeth. This means that plaque can damage baby teeth faster than permanent teeth. Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems affecting children across the United States. Cavities can cause pain and can also expose the nerves of teeth.

How to Remove Plaque from Your Child’s Teeth

You can do a lot to remove plaque from your child’s teeth and keep them healthy. You can start establishing good oral hygiene habits before your child even has teeth. Rub your infant’s gums with a damp washcloth to remove germs and get him or her used to the feeling of having the mouth cleaned. This will make it easier to brush and floss your child’s teeth later. When your baby starts to get teeth, brush them with a toothbrush that has very soft bristles at least twice a day.

When your child has two teeth that touch each other, you should begin flossing. You will need to do this yourself at first since most children do not have the coordination to floss effectively until they are about 8 or 9 years old. Brushing alone for that long is not enough to prevent plaque and tooth decay. You can start out by placing your child on your lap and flossing his or her teeth. This will establish a healthy flossing routine that can continue as your child gets older.

How to Make Brushing and Flossing Fun for Your Child

Making brushing and flossing fun can help keep your child’s teeth healthy. Your child will be more likely to want to brush and floss if you play a song or hum a tune together as you brush and floss. Children also tend to want to do a better job of brushing if they can see plaque. You can use dye tablets or solutions to show areas where plaque has accumulated on the teeth so it can be brushed away.

Make an Appointment for Your Child to See a Pediatric Dentist

Brushing and flossing are important, but so are regular dental exams and cleanings. All children should begin to see a pediatric dentist by the age of 1. If your child is due for a dental exam or cleaning, make an appointment at CT Pediatric Dentistry today.

Children Should Wear Mouth Guards for After-School Sports

mouth guards kids sportsKids across the United States are heading back to school, and many of them will be participating in after-school athletic programs. Playing sports such as football, hockey, soccer, basketball, and baseball can lead to many types of injuries. One type of potential injury that is commonly overlooked is damage to the teeth. In any sport where there is a possibility of contact between players or between a player and a hard object such as a ball or puck, the teeth can be seriously damaged by an impact.

A Mouth Guard Can Protect Your Child from Sport-Related Teeth Injuries

The best way to protect a child’s teeth when participating in after-school sports is to wear a mouth guard. A mouth guard is a piece of plastic that is worn over the teeth to absorb the shock of an impact and prevent damage to the teeth and surrounding tissues.

Mouth guards can be very effective at preventing injuries, but many children who participate in sports do not wear them regularly or at all. Some children who have mouth guards only wear them at games, even though many injuries occur at practices.

If your child plays a sport where there is a possibility that he or she could be hit by a ball, a puck, or a collision with another player, it is important to wear a mouth guard. Mouth injuries can be serious, painful, and expensive to repair, but they are also easy to prevent. Wearing a mouth guard regularly can protect your child from a painful injury and can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in dental bills.

Types of Mouth Guards

Mouth guards come in three types. Stock mouth guards are the least expensive and come in a pre-formed shape that cannot be adjusted. They are not as effective as more expensive mouth guards, but they are better than having no mouth protection at all.

Mouth-formed mouth guards are sold at many sporting goods stores. They are usually boiled in water to soften the plastic so it can be molded to the individual’s teeth.

Custom-made mouth guards are made by a dentist after taking a mold of the child’s teeth. They provide a tighter fit and the best protection, but they are also the most expensive option.

Get a Mouth Guard for Your Child to Wear for After-School Sports

Any child who participates in a sport where there is a possibility of a mouth injury should wear a mouth guard at all practices and games. A mouth guard can prevent many serious injuries. Now that kids are heading back to school, you should be thinking about protection for your child at after-school sports.

CT Pediatric Dentistry can fit your child for a custom mouth guard that can provide the best protection from sport-related injuries. To make an appointment to get your child fitted for a mouth guard, contact CT Pediatric Dentistry today.



12 Sep 2016 04:27 PM