8 Bad Habits That Are Bad For Your Teeth

8 Bad Habits That Are Bad For Your Teeth

From nail biting to chewing ice, we all have different habits that we do on a daily basis or that your kids do. We want to share some bad habits that can ruin your teeth or your kid’s teeth if we don’t get rid of some bad habits.

Keep track and see if you or your children are guilty of any of these bad habits.

1. Sucking Your Thumb

Hopefully this is just your kid but adults do this too. After permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.

2. Nail Biting

Biting your nails doesn’t just harm the appearance of your hands, it can also damage your teeth and become an oral hygiene issue. It can actually impact your jaw because of the extended period of time its placed in a protruding position. It can also wear down the front teeth, leading to cracks or chips.

3. Having a Sweet Tooth

Too much snacking, especially foods that are high in sugar will increase your chance of cavities and tooth decay.

4. Craving Sugary Sodas and Juices

Sugar is in many foods and juices but there are good replacements for sugary food. Read 7 Tips to Lower Kids Sugar Intake

5. Using Your Teeth as a Tool

Teeth are meant for eating not to tear open a bag of potato chips, uncap a bottle, or rip a price tag off a piece of clothing.

6. Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth

Whether you do it when you’re nervous or something you do in your sleep, teeth grinding is a bad habit that can lead to loss of enamel and other problems. Grinding your teeth can lead headaches as well as teeth problems.

7. Chewing on Ice

It’s just frozen water… but it can be sharp and as hard as a rock. Chewing ice can lead to cracked or chipped teeth plus mess with preexisting fillings.

8. Skipping Your Oral Healthcare Routine

It’s easy to skip brushing once, or twice but it can become a habit that leads to many problems. For your kids, it’s a habit that starts young so Instilling Healthy Dental Habits at a Young Age is critical to their oral health.


Pat your self and your children on the back if you don’t have these bad habits. If you did have some, see if you can break them and challenge your children to do the same!

Ask us about these next time you come in for a visit.

7 Tips to Lower Kids Sugar Intake

7 Tips to Lower Kids Sugar Intake

Sugar seems to be in everything, especially the foods that kids want. We can reduce the sugar intake though!

Not long ago, we talked about Ways to Help Prevent Cavities and these 7 tips will help with that too.

1. Stick to Water

It’s hard to drink sugary drinks when water is your first choice.  Water helps to clear away any sugar or acid that gets stuck in your teeth too.

2. Have a Colorful Plate

Children and adults should eat multiple servings of produce per day such as apples, carrots, broccoli, bananas, and peppers. Whole fruit and vegetables contain water and fiber, which will help kids to feel full. It’s easier to keep from eating candy when you’re full.

3. Have Healthy Snacks Ready

Have snacks that are easy and ready to grab and go. Chopped carrots or apple slices can make that quick snack not feel like a chore.

4. Stay Away From Processed Foods

There is no reason to eliminate sweet treats altogether, it’s all about moderation and having options. Meal planning can help make this easier.

5. Plan Meals Ahead

When meals and snacks are planned, the impulse to find something quick, easy and usually unhealthy is defeated. Having easy back up options planned is always helpful for those days that something comes up.

6. Cook More, Eat Out Less

Baking at home allows you to use less sugar or even replace it with applesauce or other low-sugar alternatives. Look for sugar-free or low-sugar recipes online.

7. Eat Healthy Together

Eating together can reaffirm that healthy food is important for your kids by showing adults eat the same things and want to be healthy.

Yes, sugar is in many foods but we can limit it by following some of these tips. Even using one of these tips can reduce the sugar intake for kids.

Ask us about sugar!

Plaque Attack!

Plaque Attack!

What is dental plaque? How does it affect your child’s oral health? How do you prevent the buildup of plaque?

What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque is a film or coating of bacteria that grows on the surfaces within the mouth. If plaque is not removed twice daily with proper brushing and flossing it becomes hard and appears brownish or yellow on the teeth, this is called tartar. Tartar needs to be removed by a dental professional, either a hygienist or dentist to prevent gum disease and decay.

How does plaque affect your child’s oral health?

Plaque and tartar can both cause problems for your child’s teeth. The bacteria in plaque eat the foods we eat and their waste product is acid. The acid weakens the enamel of the teeth and over time can lead to a cavity.
The long-term buildup of plaque and tartar can cause the gums to become inflamed or swollen and bleed when brushing or flossing. These are the early symptoms of gum disease or gingivitis. If left untreated gum disease can progress and result in the roots of the teeth being exposed or tooth loss.

How do you prevent the buildup of plaque?

First things first, help your child get into a routine of brushing and flossing as soon as their teeth erupt. Children like consistency and even if they resist brushing they need your help until they are 7-8 years of age. Try to make things fun! An electric toothbrush with a 2-minute timer can make it easier to brush and remove the plaque. There are many on the market with different cartoon characters that play music and sing your child to the 2-minute mark. There are brushing apps for your phone or tablet to entertain your child while brushing. Let your child help with the brushing process. Allow your child to have a turn and after they are finished you need to help them get the hard to reach places. Limit sugary foods and drinks as this is the plaques favorite food. Lastly, we encourage you to take your child to the dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Regular preventative care will help aid in good oral health for your child as we can catch any potential problems as soon as possible.

Call our office today to schedule an appointment!

Updated: October 23, 2018

7 Ways to Care for Sensitive Teeth

7 Ways to Care for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth occur when the nerves of your dentin are easily irritated which can result in mild discomfort or even sharp pain. Too many people go through their life without ever addressing the sensitivity of their teeth, but there are ways to help sooth that sensitivity. Take a look at these 7 ways to care for your sensitive teeth:

1. Talk to Your Dentist

When there’s a problem in your mouth, always remember that you have a dentist for a reason. Our dental office is here to help you have the healthiest smile in any way we can. So if your child is experiencing irritation from sensitive teeth, be sure to consult the dentist. We may be able to determine the root of the problem as well as provide you with helpful ways to deal with or even eradicate tooth sensitivity.

2. Find the Right Toothpaste

There are toothpastes made specifically for people suffering from sensitive teeth. Your dentist may even prescribe you with toothpaste to treat and prevent further sensitivity associated with brushing. At the end of the day (and the beginning), you have to brush, but finding toothpaste specific to your needs can help to ease any discomfort.

3. Get a Sensitive Toothbrush

If you have sensitive teeth, you’re going to require a toothbrush with softer bristles than the typical brusher needs. These special toothbrushes can be found at most pharmacies. Feel free to ask your dentist for recommendations. Try to brush vertically rather than horizontally, which can be more painful as it further exposes the roots of your teeth.

4. Avoid Certain Foods When Possible

Too hot or too cold can be painful if you’re struggling with sensitive teeth. Certain drinks or highly acidic foods may be problematic as well. Sensitive teeth can have triggers and once you learn what those are it’s best for you to avoid them until sensitivity has improved or subsided.

5. Maintain Your Dental Hygiene Routine

You don’t want to ever skip out on brushing or flossing, but this is one case where it’s particularly important that you don’t brush too hard. Be gentle with your delicate teeth. You still need to brush twice daily but with a soft bristle toothbrush and sensitivity minded toothpaste, you should be able to maintain your oral care routine.

6. Consider Outside Factors

Do you grind your teeth? Are you using at home teeth whitening strips? Things like these can result in sensitive teeth. If you’ve never dealt with sensitivity before, think of what’s new to your mouth. You might be eating too many citrus fruits, which have high acidity. Whatever it is, addressing the behavior and consulting with your dentist is essential for the health of your teeth.

7. Drink More Water

Just like almost every other health concern, hydration can do wonders to those suffering from tooth sensitivity. Water helps to clear away any sugar or acid that gets stuck in your teeth. You brush morning and night, but throughout the day drinking water helps to wash and rinse your smile. The less water you drink, the more irritants get stuck in your teeth and sensitivity ensues.

Sensitivity in your teeth can be caused by a wide variety of issues. You may simply be predisposed to generalized pain. On the other hand, sensitivity might be ensuing from neglected dental hygiene, which can result in tooth decay. Your enamel could be worn out, but no matter what the issue, sensitive teeth is something to be addressed by your dentist. So care for your sensitive teeth in every way you can, but don’t forget to let your dentist know about your pain in order to help ease said pain as well as detect any underlying issues.

When Should My Kids Start Brushing Their Own Teeth?

When Should My Kids Start Brushing Their Own Teeth?

From the day your child’s first tooth appears you joyously begin their brushing routine. As they grow older, you want your kids to have an active interest in their oral hygiene, but exactly when should your children start to brush their own teeth?

At Age Two, Teach Your Kid to Spit

After you brush their teeth, tell your child to spit out the extra toothpaste in their mouth before you rinse. This teaches your child not to swallow the toothpaste. After they spit you can then give them water to wash the rest of their mouth out. This is usually the first step to your kids taking an active role in their oral hygiene.

From 3-6 Years Old

Kids develop at different paces and that’s okay. At age 3 you can start your child off but it may take years of practice to get it right. Some kids aren’t ready until a couple years later but remember it’s not a competition. It’s about their health.

Let Them Practice

Young kids, even toddlers might try to grab their toothbrush and brush their baby teeth on their own. It’s good to encourage them to do it themselves and let them feel like a big kid, but don’t forget to follow up with proper brushing yourself. It’s great that your child is showing an interest in their dental care and be sure to let them know how proud you are of them, but at that age, they can’t brush every which way on their own and still need their parents to remain in control of the health of their teeth.

When Your Kids Can Tie Their Own Shoes

If your kid can tie their own shoes, they’re definitely old enough to be brushing their own teeth. Once your child can figure out the coordination it takes to tie up their laces, they have the mental and physical ability to brush their pearly whites themselves. They should remain under supervision, but after this accomplishment, they can hold their brush on their own.

Keep an Eye on Their Brushing

Until your child is at least eight years old, you should be monitoring the way they brush their teeth. Even once the toothbrush is in their hands you still need to make sure they’re not just brushing, but also that they’re brushing the right way. Just like everything else, proper dental care is a learning process for kids and they need you to help them figure out what so wrong so they can learn to do it right.

The Older They Get the Better They Brush

Being a part of your child’s dental routine is not a bad thing. When they first start brushing on their own they’re not going to know how to do it properly and may not take an active interest in their oral health, that’s where you come in. As they grow, they’ll learn more and more about how to care for their teeth and that’s why it’s so important that you’re there to keep their oral care in check.

There is no definite time that all kids are able to brush their teeth on their own. It varies from child to child, but you can use these guidelines to determine when your own child is ready. Even after they start brushing on their own, don’t forget to supervise and continue to help with the rest of their dental routine such as flossing and making sure they visit the dentist for a routine checkup every six months.

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Braces?

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Braces?

For so many children, braces are essential for their health as well as their self-esteem. Crowded teeth, misalignments, and a crooked smile can not only cause embarrassment but can also cause your kids a lot of oral pain. So how can you tell if your kids have braces in the future?

1. First and Foremost—Your Dentist Says So

If you’re worried your kids might need braces, all you have to do is ask. There is no harm in asking our qualified staff for a professional medical opinion on your child’s teeth. A pediatric dentist knows what to look for and knows when your child should be referred to an orthodontist. Remember, getting braces too late or too early can be harmful to your child’s developing smile. So let us tell you when the time is right and if braces are necessary.

2. They Have Spacing Issues

Gaps in your child’s smile can be a direct indication that they will eventually need braces. Teeth that are spread too far apart may disrupt the proper placement of the rest of their smile. Gaps can result in overcrowding in the rest of their teeth. The gap takes up space that is now unavailable to the rest of their developing adult teeth. As the teeth search for spacing of their own, the smile is disrupted and the teeth become more and more crooked in the process. Braces can fill these gaps and put each tooth in its proper place.

3. Their Smile Is Crooked

This is one of the easiest ways to detect if your child is going to require braces. Your kids may want their smiles straightened specifically for the cosmetic benefits, but crooked teeth can be a health issue too. So many parents wonder if slightly crooked teeth will still require braces, but is this just a cosmetic issue? The answer is no. In fact, crooked teeth can cause oral pain and discomfort, as well as, making it difficult to chew, speak, and even maintain basic dental care. It’s best to refer to your dentist for an opinion, but most professionals find braces advisable for the correction of crooked teeth.

4. Your Child’s Jaw Does Not Properly Align

The alignment of your kid’s jaw is crucial to the health of their entire mouth. Misaligned jaws can cause problems in concerns to chewing as well as speaking. The jaw may also shift from time to time causing pain and irritation, even to the point of annoying sounds when the jaw moves. Your child may also have an abnormal bite, which can result in serious trauma to their teeth in the future. Braces can help to correct pain or discomfort now and prevent future damage to your child’s mouth, jaw, and smile.

5. Teeth Are Not Rightfully in Their Place

Out of place teeth can cause kids embarrassment resulting in confidence issues when they just don’t want to reveal their imperfect smile. It’s not just about the cosmetic complications of misplaced teeth though. It’s about what those teeth do to the rest of their teeth, their smile, and how it affects things like eating and even speech. There may also be an issue of baby teeth remaining present or adult teeth taking too long to descend. In these cases, braces may be essential in order to keep other teeth in place while allowing the missing adult tooth to finally take its proper place in their smile.

At the end of the day, there are signs you can look for to indicate whether or not your child will need braces. Just remember though, your dentist is looking for those signs too. It’s best to leave it up to a dental professional to refer you to an orthodontist when or if the time comes. Just keep taking care of your kids’ dental hygiene and make sure to schedule a checkup with our pediatric dental office every six months to keep your kids on track for perfect smiles.


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