Thursday, April 12, 2018

Top 5 Foods and Drinks That Harm Your Children's Teeth

There are so many different things you need to keep track of as parents that sometimes you overlook something important. Dental hygiene is necessary to instill at a young age, but even good brushing habits can be flummoxed by some common foods and drinks kids consume. To prevent tooth decay and multiple visits to pediatric dentists, try to teach your children about the perils of the following tasty treats.
  1. Energy Drinks
    While sports drinks are not great for your health, they pale in comparison to carbonated energy drinks. While these drinks may give you wings, they also result in significantly more enamel loss than sports beverages. In fact, energy drinks cause 3.1% enamel loss compared to 1.5% in sports drinks.
  2. Sour Candy
    No surprises here, but the reason sour candies are so harmful is actually rather illuminating. There are numerous acids that go into creating the flavor in these candies, but they also can get stuck to your kid’s teeth, prolonging the exposure.
  3. Citrus
    Orange juice is generally good for you and definitely delicious, but the citric acid content is high, so moderate your kid’s intake. Just because citrus can decay enamel, it doesn’t mean you should give up OJ altogether, but consider buying it as an occasional special treat instead.
  4. Potato Chips
    Kids dentists aren’t the only people that will say to avoid potato chips, but the high starch content breaks down into complex sugars, something to be avoided if the goal is having healthy teeth.
  5. Ice
    Who doesn’t like chewing on ice cubes? It’s certainly a refreshing way to cool down in the summer, but ice is really hard. Chewing on it can cause chipped teeth, loosened crowns, and a number of dental emergencies. Kids dentists see teeth that have been damaged by ice all too often.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your children make the best decisions for their health. This includes proper brushing habits, regular exercise, and moderating potentially harmful food intake. To help your children develop the best dental hygiene habits, talk to your kids dentist today about better food options.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What To Do When a Child Can't Get Over Dentist Anxiety

Making your children feel comfortable at the dentist can be trying. Kids dentistshave their job cut out for them. Keeping anxious and scared children calm during an important dental procedure is essential for everyone’s safety. If a child makes any sudden movements, it could lead to injuring the dentist and the child. Luckily, there is a solution.
Over time, dental professionals have received extensive training and have become better versed in the proper ways to employ, monitor, and moderate dental sedation. In fact, this practice is becoming more widespread with up to 250,000 pediatric dental sedations performed every year. But why is this necessary?

Traditional Techniques and When They Don’t Work

There are many ways a children’s dentist might attempt to assuage a patient’s anxiety. Sometimes they are effective, and other times they are not. Here are some examples.
    • Using Positive Language
      The easiest and most common way kids dentists prepare anxious patients is by using words like ‘sugar bugs’ instead of ‘bacteria’. Dentists also encourage kids by explaining how good their teeth will feel afterward, and how they were very well behaved throughout the process.

    • Distractions
      If you’ve ever noticed the unnatural amount of brightly colored toys, pictures, and even wallpaper in pediatric dentists offices, know that they aren’t there for fun. They are there to captivate the children’s attention, making it easier to perform dental work.

  • Systematic Desensitization
    If the child has an aversion to any particular equipment, some dentists will show it to them, explain everything about it and what it’s used for, and have the kids hold the instrument. This will familiarize and desensitize them to their preconceived fears associated with the tool.
These are all great strategies, but sometimes still prove ineffective. Whatever the reasons, you can’t fault a young child for being afraid of the dentist. In cases of severe anxiety, the option of pediatric dental sedation is great to have. The sedation options also range from conscious, but sedated, to completely unconscious. The sedation strategy will coincide with the level of anxiety presented. In the end, this will help kids grow up not fearing the dentist, and make everyone’s lives easier.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Dental Hygiene Habits For Kids

As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your child at a young age is reinforce good dental hygiene habits in your children. If you are having a hard time with this, talk to a pediatric dentist to get a better idea of what causes the most damage to your child’s teeth. Here are a few examples of bad habits that children can get into.
  1. Sugary Drinks
    Even though no sugary drink is a good thing, popular energy drinks are markedly worse than sports drinks. Your child can lose over twice as much enamel from energy drinks (3.1%) than sports drinks (1.5%). In fact, energy drinks are pretty much designed for the adult consumer, so it’s best to avoid feeding energy drinks to kids altogether.
  2. Brushing Wrong
    Good brushing habits can be hard to master, but an often overlooked factor is brushing intensity. Not brushing hard enough can lead to plaque accumulation, and brushing too hard can lead to gum and enamel damage. Talk to your pediatric dentist to learn more about proper brushing vigor.
  3. Chewing Hard Food
    Jawbreakers, hard peppermint candy, lollipops, ice, and any number of hard foods could chip a tooth, or at least weaken your children’s teeth over time.
  4. Not Brushing Enough
    This is straightforward. Make sure your kids are brushing at least twice per day.
  5. Failure To Floss
    This might be a bit more difficult to enforce, especially if you don’t floss. Children follow the lead their parents set for them. Floss with your kids for the best result.
  6. Grinding Teeth
    This is hard to stop on your own. Talk to a dentist for children about the potential causes for teeth grinding.
  7. Sucking Thumbs
    Rather unexpectedly, sucking on your thumb forces your front teeth forward over time. If, after your child’s permanent teeth have grown in, they are still sucking their thumb, try to help them stop. If they don’t, they could develop a serious overbite.
If you are invested in your children’s oral health, talk to pediatric dentists in your area to get a better idea of how to help them form the best dental hygiene habits possible.

Friday, January 19, 2018


Proper education and training in methods of employing and monitoring the use of pediatric dental sedation have led to some amazing children’s dental health victories. As many as 250,000 pediatric dental sedations are now performed every year. Not only is this good news for kids who are scared of the going to the dentist, but for dental professionals as well. It will reduce the stress of calming kids down for their procedures and put the parents at ease.
What are pediatric dental sedations?
They are a series of techniques that aim to make children feel more comfortable while receiving dental treatment. Here are a few common ones used by many professionals, including your local pediatric dentist in Arcola.
  1. Oral Conscious Sedation
    This sedation technique is generally used to calm anxious children while maintaining consciousness. A small amount of liquid medicine will be orally administered to prevent both pain and risk of sudden movement that could result in injury.
  2. General Anesthesia
    This sedation method is used in one of two circumstances. The first involves a very anxious child or a child with special needs. The second involves extensive dental surgery. General anesthesia puts your child completely to sleep so the surgery can go smoothly and without anxiety induced movement. This is very effective and used only under direct supervision of an anesthesiologist.
  3. Nitrous Oxide
    Laughing gas is used if necessary, and to calm the worried parents out there, it’s harmless. Children might feel a bit tingly, but they remain awake throughout the procedure. Nitrous oxide is a gaseous anesthetic, and it numbs them in a subtle, calming way.
If you have a child and you need a pediatric dentist in Arcola, talk to us about what pediatric dental sedations you feel comfortable with. Teaching children good dental hygiene practices from a young age is essential to proper development. Brushing habits, gum care, and dental issues can be neglected if kids are not positively encouraged. That’s why we strive to make both the children and the parents feel safe in our hands. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Getting Your Kids Excited About Dental Hygiene

Getting your kids excited for the dentist seems like an impossible task. You can’t just force them to visit a kids dentist in Aldie and expect them to have buckets of fun. And while the Tooth Fairy isn’t above a little bribery, that’s not the best option for instilling lifelong dental hygiene habits in your youngsters.
But you can do a few things throughout the year to get them to at least think differently about dental hygiene. Although you can talk to them about the dangers of tooth decay and not taking care of their teeth, don’t focus too much on the negatives. Show them that taking care of their teeth actually can be fun.
Another important thing you can do is to stop buying damaging food and drink products and purchasing fun and healthy snacks instead. Sports drinks, for instance can be extremely harmful to your children’s teeth, but energy drinks are even worse. Sugary energy drinks actually cause 3.1% enamel loss (compared to only 1.5% from sports drinks). While we hope you aren’t giving your toddlers energy drinks, your kids will model your behavior, so try and keep these drinks out of the cabinet as much as possible.
Before your next family trip to pediatric dentists, consider getting your kids some fun items. Here are some fun things you can get that will really help your kids start having fun as they take care of their teeth:
Fun and silly toothpaste
If you only give your kids boring white toothpaste for boring grownups, they will likely never want to brush their teeth. If you’re serious about having your kids take better care of their teeth, they are going to need fun toothpaste — not plain white. So try letting your kids pick out a fun toothpaste and let them giggle away while brushing.
Animal floss products
If you’re the best parent in the world, you might be able to convince your children that plain white toothpaste is actually fun. But there is no way that you will have that same success with traditional floss. You need to purchase fun floss products if you ever want your kids to develop a flossing habit. Your kids can brush three, four, even five times a day, but if they don’t floss, they are going to experience some serious issues later on.
Finding a quality kids dentist in Aldie should be your first move, but you need to do all you can to help your children actually get excited about taking care of their teeth and their overall health. If you’re in need of an experienced and friendly kids dentist in Aldie, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group today.

Monday, November 6, 2017


Halloween is over. You did it! You managed to keep all your children happy, avoided any costume disasters, and actually even enjoyed yourself in the process. But after the treats comes the truly tricky part. Now that you have thousands of pieces of candy safely stashed away around the house, it’s up to you as a parent to not let your kids' sugar addiction progress into anything damaging.
If your children let their sweet teeth get the best of them recently, you might want to find a quality kids dentist in Dulles to ensure their dental hygiene is up to par. In order to prevent some of these dental issues, however, you need to focus on getting your children off the sugar addiction.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Here are few tips for breaking your kids’ sugar addiction.
Lower their sugar threshold
You can’t just get rid of every piece of candy or every sugary item in your home because your kids will not be happy. Also, they will inevitably find ways to sneak sugar outside the house if you try and make them go cold turkey. If they are that after sugar, they will find it no mater what.
So what’s a responsible parent to do? You have to start slow in order to really make any progress. Try letting them have a piece of candy or two instead of the regular five or six. Also, try cutting back on buying sugary beverages because they often damage your kids’ teeth even more than candy. More than 65% of parents who buy bottled water are unaware of how much fluoride the bottles contains. Water is obviously much more healthy than sugary sodas and juice drinks, so start quietly replacing these sugar cocktails with healthy ice water.
Make homemade desserts that are sugar free
As long as your children are eating desserts, they will likely be happy and satisfied. They don’t have to know sugar isn’t actually inside every piece of dessert you make them. Spend some time online looking up tasty desserts that aren’t as bad for you and your family. If cooking just isn’t in your parenting wheelhouse, there are a lot of fruit based desserts that will also work. If you find certain snacks that are both filling and healthy, consider giving your kids second and third servings so they are too full to even ask for candy.
Talk to family dentists about dental issues
Don’t intentionally terrify your kids, but you should show them at least what will happen if they are always eating candy. Quality pediatric dentists will talk to your kids about the importance of not eating too many sweets in a way they can understand. Find a great kids dentist in Dulles and make sure your children are taking care of their teeth.
And if you’re looking for a post-Halloween kids dentist in Dulles, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group today.

Thursday, August 31, 2017


As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure your kids’ teeth are healthy and strong throughout their entire childhood. Although the most important thing you can do to assist your kids with their dental issues is to regularly visit your family dentist, the next step is to make sure that you’re not buying too many foods and drinks that cause serious teeth problems.
Again, consult with your family dentist on major dental issues, but beware of these popular foods and drinks that can damage your teeth.
Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks
Kids love fun drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and Propel, but they are actually quite damaging to your children’s teeth. It won’t hurt to buy an individual Gatorade here or there, but regularly buying cases of these sports drinks can do serious damage. As much as sports drinks are harmful to your kids’ teeth, researchers have found that exposure to energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar results in twice as much enamel loss as sports drinks (3.1% to 1.5%).
Gummy Vitamins
Although children love the taste and look of gummy vitamins, they are not as great for their teeth as you might think. Because these snacks are both chewy and sticky, they adhere to your children’s teeth for a long period of time. Pieces of these vitamins can get stuck in the grooves and in between teeth, which can lead to severe cavities. There are plenty of vitamins available, however, that aren’t as sticky and can go down much easier for your kids.
Popcorn is such a perfect snack for kids. It’s easy to make, it’s easy to serve, and there is usually enough to go around for the entire family. Unfortunately, popcorn can ruin your kids’ teeth if they eat too much of it. Not only is popcorn typically covered in butter and sometimes unhealthy powdered cheese, but the pieces can get stuck in between teeth for hours, resulting in damaged tooth enamel and cavities. Getting a small bag of popcorn at the movies once in a while isn’t too bad, but if you rely too much on popcorn around your home, your kids are going to need to visit the family dentist a few more times.
In addition to regularly visiting the family dentist, make sure your kids aren’t eating and drinking all these unhealthy products too much. If you want to talk to experienced pediatric dentists about healthy food and drink alternatives for your kids to enjoy, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.