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Dental Exam for Children

When it comes to instilling good habits, it is always best to start early in children. One of the earliest and most important habits that every parent should teach their children is good oral health. When these children know the value of good oral hygiene early on, dental problems will be prevented and they will have good oral habits until they become adults. Some parents may think that dental exam is not as important as immunizations and physical exams. But what these parents should realize is that a healthy body starts with good oral health. All the food that the child eats pass through the mouth. When the teeth and other parts of the mouth are not healthy, then child’s body can be affected as well.

Dental exam is routinely done in schools or during the child’s first visit to the dentist to check his teeth and oral cavity for oral problems such as inflammation. The teeth are also checked if it has tartar or cavities and whether a tooth needs to be extracted or not. When a dentist conducts a dental exam, he keeps record your dental record and this is very helpful in cases of emergencies or employment for identification purposes. The child will also be treated for dental prophylaxis during a dental examination to get rid of those unwanted tartar and cavities that can cause destruction to the child’s tooth.

Some parents may have a hard time in bringing their children to the dentist for a routine dental exam. This is because children often associate going to the dentist with tooth extraction as what they always see on television. Most often parents are faced with the challenge on how to remove the child’s fear with dentists. But with these easy steps, parents will be able to prod their children to submit for dental exams. Here are the ways how:

  • Inform your child on the importance on seeing their dentists. Explain to them in a manner that they will understand. You can try to be creative like telling them stories on the importance of dental hygiene.
  • Give your child a scenario on how it is like to be inside a dentist’s clinic. In this way he knows what to expect. And when he is already in the clinic it will prevent him from putting any tantrums.
  • Tell your child to ask questions.
  • Assure your child that you will be there for him during the scheduled dental exam. In this way he will feel confident that he will be able to do good during the dental exam.
  • Use the reward system. Tell your child that if he behaves and cooperate during the dental exam, you will give him a present. This is much needed during a child’s first dental exam especially when your child is full of fears at this time.

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What are Canker Sores?

Have you ever noticed round-like whitish to yellowish open sores enveloped by red halo inside the cheeks, lips, gums, tongue and palate of your child? These sores bring about pain and discomfort to your child and can either appear individually or in clustered forms. Thankfully, these sores known as mouth ulcers or canker sores are not really fatal.

Its Incidence and the Causes

A canker sore is called aphthous ulcer. When the condition occurs, it affects more girls than boys. Although it may be unusual for children under the age of ten to experience canker sores, it may happen amongst school-aged children and teenagers. Basically, the cause of the condition is something that experts have not clearly identified.

One attribution is that the condition’s genetic tendency. Apart from genetic orientation, individuals with immune system problems have higher chances of developing the condition. The same reasoning goes with those suffering from viral problems. Also, experts have linked mouth injuries caused by dental work-ups or even a simple bite in the cheek or tongue.

In some instances, there are triggering or aggravating factors that have been identified. These are allergies, stress, nutrition deficiencies and even hormonal changes as in cases of pregnancy and menstruation especially for teens who have raging hormones.

The Symptoms

Apart from the painful open whitish to yellowish sores surrounded by the red halo, the following can also be noticed in your child:

  • the sore turns to gray when it starts to heal
  • fever
  • tender lymph nodes
  • body discomfort
  • guarded behavior on the face specially in the cheeks or jaws


Just by assessing and evaluating the sore, the doctor may be able to tell if your child is suffering from canker sore. If the condition persists, then, a biopsy is possible to determine a canker sore from other types of mouth ulcers. This especially applies to a sore that does not heal which may mean a squamous cell carcinoma.

The Management

In most cases, treatment is no longer necessary as canker sores go away by themselves; specifically, in three days, the pain will subside and your child will completely feel that he no longer has the sore in a week.

You should warn your child about eating or drinking citrusy foods and beverages. Also, avoid giving your child foods that are spicy. It may also help if you let your kid use a straw rather than drinking straight from the cup or glass to avoid irritation of the sore. Frozen products like ice cream will help numb the area temporarily plus imagine the joy it can bring to your ailing child.

An effective management at home would be to ask your child to gently gurgle a half a glass of warm water with half a teaspoon of salt. The solution will relieve the pain. You may also want to mix equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution gently on the sore using a cotton swab. Then, dab a little amount of Milk of Magnesia. For both procedures, you may do it on your child three to four times in a day to help the sore heal and to alleviate the pain.

Apart from the home remedies, there are over-the-counter drugs you may buy but just to be sure, consult your doctor. If the pain seems very difficult for your child, you may give Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen.
If the canker sores come with fever, diarrhea, rashes and headache, consult your doctor.

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Promoting Dental Wellness in Children

Because they love eating sweets and candies, children should be given the greatest concern regarding dental health. This is one common problem that sometimes parents tend to overlook because they are more focused on other physical aspects. Children’s dental health should be promoted since it will cause them so much discomfort when they experience perturbing toothaches. With this, we would like to share tidbits on how to promote dental wellness:

  1. Dental health begins before your child is born. As early as the 24th week of gestation, a child’s tooth is being formed. With this, the future mom has to promote dental wellness by eating nutritious foods and taking calcium supplements.
  2. Your baby’s teeth are there at a young age and practicing dental hygiene should be started. Wiping or rinsing the baby’s gum with water can take off transient microorganisms.
  3. Toothpastes should not be used for children below age of 2. Instead use water and ensure that dirt will be removed.
  4. Have your child’s teeth checked at the age of 1. Bring her to the dentist of your choice. Fluoride administration may be done as necessary.
  5. Proper brushing style and techniques should be learned as early as the age of 6 or 7. Toothbrush should be soft and rounded. Toothpaste should just be in pea size amount. Demonstration can also help children do the right way of brushing their teeth. Emphasize circular strokes and brushing all the areas including gums. Rinsing should also be properly instructed as to avoid accidental swallowing of toothpaste.
  6. Use dental floss to remove excess dirt and plaque.
  7. Dental health should be fun and children should not be afraid visiting their dentist. Parents should take the role in explaining that dentists are friends who will take care of their teeth.
  8. Encourage children to eat nutritious foods. Make sure vegetables and fruits are included in the diet.
  9. Milk is essential l in tooth formation as it contains calcium.
  10. Limit overly sweet foods and encourage liberal oral fluid intake.
  11. Monitor the child and do not allow him or her to sleep without brushing the teeth.

Whatever it takes, parents and children should be guided accordingly as to promote dental wellness continuously. Busy days and hectic schedules are no excuse. Money is not a problem either. Even without spending, proper dental care is possible.

Follow these tips and you will absolutely benefit. Remember it’s not all about brushing your teeth three times a day, it should be a combination of different efforts and interventions.

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What Your Child’s Teeth Grinding Means

We all love to watch our babies sleep. Because the baby is new in the family, parents feel overwhelmed and all they want to do is to take good care of them every minute of everyday if possible. Normally, when babies are sleeping, we expect to hear them sleep quietly. But for some parents, they hear something different like teeth grinding, and they wonder why. This article will be discussing all the essential information regarding this sleeping mannerism of a child for parents to become aware of what to do and if there are any risks teeth grinding has on their baby’s health.

 Teeth Grinding Defined

Teeth grinding is medically known as bruxism. Bruxism is jaw clenching or teeth grinding which happens when a child is in deep sleep. This can also be experienced by a baby when they are under a lot of stress. Statistically, around 20 – 30 percent of babies experience bruxism and will grind their teeth during sleep as concluded by experts. But a big percentage of children who have bruxism will most likely outgrow the disorder.

 What Causes Children to Grind their Teeth during Sleep?

There were a lot of studies conducted by experts to find out the real cause of bruxism in children. But even if there were no substantial evidence to link any medical conditions with teeth grinding, one of the major causes of this condition would be stress. According to studies, stresses in children which are brought about by anger, nervousness or tension makes the child grind his teeth during sleep.

An example which causes stress includes a situation when a child is having a major exam at school. He could also experience stress if he is about to have a sibling, or when he is meeting someone new like a new lecturer. In addition, some arguments where the child is involved causes stress which leads to teeth grinding.

Other studies conducted linked bruxism with a medical condition called cerebral palsy. Experts have also found evidence that children may develop teeth grinding when they are under medication or when they are hyperactive.

In other cases, improper alignment of a child’s teeth can also cause bruxism. There are other children who will be noticed to grind their teeth when they are teething or when they are experiencing pain in their ears. But these causes are normally outgrown by children in the long run.

 What are the Effects of Teeth Grinding on Children?

There are a lot of cases of teeth grinding which have never been medically examined but in the end, they caused no health complications to children. But there are cases wherein teeth grinding can cause teeth chipping, sensitive teeth, and the weakening of the same, and there are some which causes extreme facial pain or even jaw problems (applicable to children who has chronic bruxism).

 How can Bruxism be Treated?

Experts say that most cases of bruxism are outgrown by a child. But for parents who want the best for their children, it is recommended that once they hear the unpleasant sound of grinding teeth, they should immediately seek the help of a doctor or a dentist to address the problem.




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Dental Safety for Children

The importance of dental hygiene should be taught to children as early as possible. If such is not made, in the long run, the child will suffer greatly. Thankfully, there are dental safety measures that can be employed by parents to make sure that their children do not experience one of the most undeniably excruciating pain ever.

Beginning in infants, parents should be aware that a condition called the baby bottle tooth decay affects some babies. This condition stems from the practice of letting babies feed on their bottles for a long period of time most especially during the night. Early in infancy, babies already develop cavities because of the invasive bacteria in the mouth feeding on the milk particularly the sugar creating acid. To prevent this problem, parents may use water as a substitute to lull their baby to sleep. Instead of toothbrushing, use a clean gauze soaked in warm water to clean your baby’s gums and any emerging teeth.

As for the older children, it is crucial to know that not all toothpastes can be used for children. Some pastes are just not formulated for children’s use. Instead of benefiting, the children’s teeth are damaged. This is because the tooth enamel can be stripped off unintentionally with the use of these toothpastes. As dentists will say, the tooth enamel in our teeth cannot be replaced any longer once they are removed. Therefore, choose the ones that are aptly manufactured for children.

Speaking of toothpastes, parents should also be warned about not supervising their children when toothbrushing. Studies have already proven that a pea-sized toothpaste is already fine. Besides, toddlers and pre-schoolers have a tendency to allow swallow the paste so precautionary measures should apply. Age-appropriate toothpastes usually do not contain fluoride. Event though occasional swallowing proves no harm at all, a prolonged period may lead to a disorder called fluorosis. This condition brittle, discolored teeth than may become permanent. If fluoride deficiency concerns you, your doctor may prescribe other supplements for your child.

There are some others who let their children use mouthwash. This practice should also be reserved for the older teens because the amount of alcohol present in the mouthwash might prove harmful to the sensitive bodies of children.

As for toothbrushes, do not forget to replace them as per instructions set by the manufacturer. As young as they are, educate your children about not sharing brushes. Always remind about the importance of brushing every after meals and before going to bed. In addition, demonstrate the proper way of flossing.

As for other measures, resist the temptation of yanking lose your child’s teeth. Remember that a dentist is there to do that. Instead of giving the wrong signal of being impatient, accompany your child to a dentist or just let the tooth come off naturally. Besides, you don’t want to cause unnecessary bleeding, pain or worse, infection. On the other hand, in times of playing combative sports, encourage your child to make use of a mouthguard for added protection.

Finally, teach your child about the importance of eating healthful foods to avoid cavities in the long run. These sugary foods are almost always implicated. 

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Brushing 101

Toothbrushing is an essential you must teach your child. Using a damp or wet washcloth for a baby is fine but as soon as your baby starts growing his teeth, you may want to switch to commercial toothbrushes specific for babies who are older than 18 months. These brushes are usually sold as soft-bristled so as not to injure the sensitive gums as well as the teeth of your baby. In using the toothbrush, it is perfectly fine not to use a toothpaste for the younger children; instead, use plain water while gently and carefully brushing the teeth. Additionally, do not forget to brush the tongue as the bacteria present herein may cause bad breath.

For toddlers, it is best for you to permit them to brush their teeth independently. Even if he might not be able to really brush his teeth well, starting out early inculcates the importance of good hygiene. The best way to convince your child that he needs to really brush his teeth is to do it with him. Do not make that mistake of scaring him about having to go to the dentist for a tooth extraction. Both of you should brush at the same time. Remember, children look up to their parents so if you don’t brush yourself, then your kid might do the same thing.

However, if your child is not convinced about brushing his teeth, you might want to weave magic on his toothbrush by purcahsing those that are colorful and attractive. In addition, you might also want to buy those brushes that have cartoon characters printed in it. Another solution you might also have is to bargain with your child. For instance, if he is able to effectively brush his teeth after dinner, he’ll be able to geta fifteen minute time to watch TV.

Another concern parents also watch out for is the use of fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that is responsible for strengthening the enamel of the teeth to make it more repulsive of harmful bacteria. You can purchase fluoride as a supplement to be given to your child. However, this shall only be done if you have confirmed that your water source does not have fluoride in it. For Fluoride,however, you will need to be more careful as swallowing a great amount is not healthy for your child. In fact, he can develop a condition that is called fluorosis. This pertains to the formation of white spots in the teeth which will usually show during adulthood. Fluorosis is also a reason why pediatricians recommended using a toothpaste with fluoride only at the age of two. This is because children tend to swallow a lot of the toothpaste instead of just spitting it out. Moreover, be aware that when using a toothpaste with fluoride in it, make sure that you only give your child a pea-size amount.

Finally, do not forget to replace the toothbrush as often as necessary. Manufacturers often say that a toothbrush can be replaced every after three months.

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Caring for Your Kid’s Teeth

Taking care of your kid’s teeth is not an easy thing to. Kids are basically sweet loving individuals and we know what sweets can do to their teeth. But even at an early age, it is very important to instill the importance of hygiene in order to have good health, oral hygiene included. In this way they will grow to be healthy individuals that you have always envisioned them to be.

Here are some of the ways on how to care for your kid’s teeth without having much headache:

  • Tell them stories which focus on the values of dental hygiene. You can be creative in telling them stories, like showing them pictures of teeth with dental carries and how painful it can be.
  • Instill in them the importance of tooth brushing preferably every after a meal. After your kid eats, you can brush together. While doing this you can teach ways on how your kid should properly brush his or her teeth. This can be a good bonding moment that both you and your kid would enjoy.
  • Be certain that the toothpaste and toothbrush you bought for your child is the one specified for kids. Making them use adult toothbrushes and toothpaste may harm the child’s sensitive teeth and gums.
  • Make sure that your child limits his or her intake of sweets. Whenever it can’t be avoided that your kid get to eats sweets, then make sure that he or she brushes her teeth otherwise.
  • See to it that your refrigerator and kitchen counter are free from those sweets. In this way your child won’t be tempted to eat them every so often. Instead, try putting cereals on your pantry; they are more healthy and less sweet that can harm your child’s teeth.
  • Avoid letting your kid drink soda’s and other caffeinated drinks. These drinks are high in acid content that can damage the enamels of your child’s teeth.
  • Encourage your child to drink lots of water. This will help get rid of mouth bacteria that damages the teeth.
  • This early your child should have regular visits to the dentists. In this way he or she can have dental prophylaxis every time it is needed. Exposing your children to the dentist and the clinical set-up will prepare them for frequent dental visits. Also this will help conquer fears of teeth extraction when needed.

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How To Find the Right Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

A dentist for your child termed as a pediatric dentist is far different from your family dentist. You should understand that a pediatric dentist has two to three years of specialized training solely catered to focus on the care of children’s oral problems. He will be responsible for taking care of your child’s teeth until adolescence. This is one of the most important things you should remember when searching for the right professional to take care of your precious child.

To find the right pediatric dentist, check the name of the dentists in your area which are listed in a recognized website. An association among dentists exist to ensure the public that the individuals concerned have licenses to practice. Once you determine the licensed dentists in your area, you can check out their profiles. You can do this via the net, the phone and you can also inquire from other people.

Sometimes, the family already has a trusted pediatric dentist that have been working with the children for several years. In cases where you prefer to find a new one, recommendations from parents in the school or family friends can be considered. Talk to the school physician or nurse; at times, a school dentist can also a good source of information.

When evaluating the profile of a dentist, look at the number of years he has been working, the price he asks from his clients, the insurance options of his clinic and the overall care he presents. This is because although the dentist comes from a reputable school, you do not want to be financially burdened. Worse, you do not wish to encounter a mismatch between the dentist and your child.

Pay careful attention to the techniques he uses to allay the anxiety of a child going for dental visits. Some dentists make their clinics so child-friendly that you will be surprised at the decorations made just to pacify a child just in case something goes wrong but then even before you go with your child, discuss the options available for you if you ask for the services of a particular pediatric dentist. A secretary or a receptionist will be able to help you with this.

After all has been planned, visit the dentist with your child and decide after if the dentist suits your child. Give it time though in some cases.

Finally, bear in mind that what you are doing is a testimony to making sure that your child does not suffer the most common chronic illness suffered by most children around the world, even beating asthma. Besides, even if your child only has temporary teeth, these are vital in one’s speech and a guide for the permanent teeth. Your pediatric dentist ensures that routine check-ups are made to repair and restore decaying teeth; injury and damage to the teeth will no longer worry you and your child in the days to come.

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