Wednesday, October 10, 2018


dentistSummer is coming to an end, and it won’t be long until the school season starts and parents have less control over their children — specifically, their diets. It’s one thing if you pack a lunch for your child each day, but if they’re eating food from the cafeteria, it’s important to be wary of each day’s choices. Eating the wrong foods can hurt not only your children’s overall health, but their dental health in particular. Here are just a few tips to help make sure your child or young teen is eating healthy meals throughout the entire school year.

Provide your child with their own (healthy) beverages so they don’t take a trip to the vending machines.

Everybody knows that sugary drinks are bad for your health and especially your teeth, but many schools stock their vending machines with the worst of the worst: energy drinks. As much as sports drinks are harmful to your teeth, dentists and researchers found that exposure to energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster®, and Red Bull® resulted in twice as much enamel loss as exposure to sports drinks such as Powerade®, Gatorade®, and Propel® (3.1% to 1.5%). To prevent your child from the temptation, provide them with their own healthy beverages from home. Milk, unsweetened iced tea, and flavored water are all great options.

Pack a healthy snack for between meals.

Some students don’t have lunchtime until later in the afternoon, which means they’re usually hungry before they even get out of their last class. Help them resist cravings by packing them a healthy snack for before lunch. A granola bar, dry cereal, or a piece of fruit are all great options. You never know if the snack they ate before lunch is what prevented them from treating themselves to a sugary dessert.

Check the school lunch menu ahead of time.

Finally, it’s important to check the school’s lunch menu ahead of time to determine whether or not it’s a healthy option. When in doubt, pack your child’s lunch or buy the ingredients they need to make it for themselves. Communicating with your child or young teen is also important to ensure proper dental development and oral health education.
Ultimately, these tips can make sure your child or young teen takes care of their teeth throughout the entire school year. For more information about pediatric dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.


dentistsOne 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65% of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained. Knowing this, it’s clear to see that both children and adults alike are woefully misinformed about the essential facts of fluoride. Without further ado, let’s debunk some of the most misleading facts about how fluoride affects your teeth and overall dental health:

Fluoride is unsafe for young children.

Perhaps this misconception originated from someone who read a bit too much into the ‘do not swallow’ warnings on toothpaste tubes. But the fact is, fluoride is absolutely safe for young children. Moreover, kids dentists agree that fluoride is an essential component of oral health because it helps to strengthen the enamel. This is important to start from a young age. Make sure to encourage consumption of fluoridated water and twice-daily brushing with your child — their dentist will thank you.

Fluorosis is a common effect of ingesting fluoride.

While it’s true that fluorosis can result from ingesting too much fluoride, it’s very difficult to reach these levels of toxicity. If you have very young children, you may want to ask your dentist what the right amount of fluoride is. You should also double check with your dentist if you plan on using infant formula with fluoridated water — typically, infants should be drinking formula only with purified or distilled water. Still, the chance of fluorosis is very rare.

Fluoride causes cancer.

Finally, this outdated has been discredited long ago, but for some reason, it still scares some people who may not know the facts. Experts agree, however, that there is absolutely no evidence of any sort of connection between fluoride intake and bone cancer. Take it from Colgate Professional:
“The National Cancer Institute asserts, citing decades-long surveys by the Public Health Service and other national organizations and reviews of studies, that there is no association between fluoride and cancer. Years and years of epidemiological data support the safe use of fluoride,” writes Jen Collins.
Now that you know the real facts about fluoride, you can make the most informed decision for your family’s dental health. For more information about kids dentists, contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Tooth Decay 101

Most people will get a cavity at some point in their lives. While this is never an enjoyable experience, it is very routine. Tooth decay still shouldn’t be taken lightly, so if your children are suffering from tooth pain or have simply not been in for a checkup recently, seek out your family dentist. To help your children avoid cavities, here are some basic facts about tooth decay.


There are good reasons that dentists caution against sugary snacks and advocate better brushing habits. When sugars and starches stay on your teeth, they form a thin film called plaque. The acidity of plaque is quite high, and when over concentrated can cause the bacteria in your mouth to eat its way through your teeth.


The symptoms of a cavity are typically fairly painful. Pain on the affected tooth could be triggered by pressure, hot or cold beverages, or it could come in waves. If you see any visible holes on your tooth, or if you can feel them with your tongue, you have a cavity.

Prevention and Solutions

Preventative measures are fairly straightforward. The best thing you can do is avoid sugary foods and maintain a regular brushing regimen. Your children can still eat sweets so long as they thoroughly brush after doing so.
Treatment for tooth decay is also straightforward, but can sometimes be tricky for children, which is why a dentist for children is a good idea. The procedure is a simple filling of the cavity and the installation of a cap. Some kids might fear this, though, which is one of the reasons pediatric dental sedations are growing in popularity. In fact, the number of sedations performed on children each year has swelled to 250,000, contributing to a reduction of fear for the dentist among many.
Tooth decay is simply part of life. It can happen even if you are excellently disciplined at brushing your teeth. Still, your chances are reduced greatly by proper brushing and eating habits. If you would like to learn more, visit our blog or contact us today.

Monday, May 7, 2018

5 Fun Flouride Facts

Kids dentists are in the business of protecting your children’s teeth. In order to give the best dental care possible, childrens dentists recommend a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Why? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that contributes positively to the health of everyone’s teeth. So, without further ado, here are some interesting facts about fluoride.
  1. We Drink It Every Day
    Almost every single source of water contains trace amounts of fluoride, as that is where it occurs naturally. Don’t worry, though, because fluoride is not classified as a medicine. Humans lived for many years drinking natural water, so drink up and don’t sweat it.
  2. How Much Do We Drink?
    A 2012 study published in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry revealed that over 65% of parents who used bottled water didn’t know the fluoride levels it contained. Thankfully, the recommended level for drinking water is 0.7 parts per million. This ensures the public doesn’t consume too much fluoride.
  3. Fluoridation Saves Money
    Fluoridation, or the introduction of additional fluoride into drinking water has been shown to save money on dental costs on a large scale. In most cities, a $1 investment in fluoridation can save $38 on dental costs. This just goes to show how protective this mineral can be.
  4. Fluorosis Is Rare
    Fluorosis can have parents a little worried. Too much fluoride consumption can cause little white flecks to appear on teeth. This will not harm your children in any way. Besides, even mild cases are not very common.
  5. Tooth Decay Is Down
    Even though tooth decay is still five times more common than asthma, overall national rates have declined. This is due in part to fluoridation and to the cultural promotion of healthy teeth.
As a naturally sourced mineral, fluoride is found in almost all water. This is good news, as it can provide enormous public health benefits. If you are concerned about your kids’ dental health and what to learn more about the dos and do nots of fluoride, talk to your childrens dentist today. They will be able to provide you with great information about preventing tooth decay, giving your children a head start on growing great teeth.

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.