6 Tips for Dealing With a Loose Tooth

6 Tips for Dealing With a Loose Tooth

It seems like just yesterday that your baby got their first tooth, and now they are starting to lose their teeth! Before a baby tooth actually falls out, it will typically feel a bit loose for a week or two, sometimes longer. What should you do with that loose tooth, and how can you make your child more comfortable during this phase? Start by following these tips.

1. Don’t Try to Pull the Tooth

Don’t try to pull the tooth out until it is very, very loose and basically falling out on its own. Most children actually wiggle the tooth out with their own tongue at this stage; there’s really no need to pull. Trying to pull the tooth out before it’s really ready to come out can cause pain, bleeding, and damage to the gums.

2. Keep Brushing Around It

Your child may find that brushing around the loose tooth feels a little funny, but it’s important to keep brushing in this area. You’re not worried about the tooth developing cavities at this stage, but it’s still important to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth in order to prevent gum disease and damage to the other nearby teeth. Just have your child brush very gently, using a soft-bristled brush.

3. Don’t Worry About Bleeding

A little bleeding is normal now and then as the tooth works itself loose. If the gums start bleeding, just have your child rinse their mouth out, either with clear water or saltwater. The bleeding should stop within a few minutes.

4. Use an Ice Pack for Soreness

Some children never experience any soreness when their teeth become loose, and others do complain of some pain. An easy way to dull the pain is to hold an ice pack, wrapped in a towel of course, against the area. You can also have your child suck on a Popsicle to ease pain and inflammation. Just make sure they rinse their mouth out after eating a sugary frozen treat.

5. Reassure Your Child With Stories

Your child may feel a bit nervous and anxious about the idea of losing their first tooth. Reassure them by explaining that this happens to everyone, and that it doesn’t really hurt. Tell them that you lost all of your baby teeth, too. Knowing that you understand what they are going through can make them feel more comfortable and confident.

6. Provide Soft Foods

Some kids will take the gung-ho approach and want to keep eating hard, crunchy foods because it will loosen the tooth faster. Other kids may find chewing a little painful or awkward with a loose tooth. Just make sure you have plenty of soft foods available for your child to eat while their tooth is loose. Soft pasta, fish, smoothies, yogurt, and applesauce are all easy to eat.

Your child’s first loose tooth is an exciting experience for both of you. Follow the tips above, and reach out to your pediatric dentist if you have any additional concerns.

5 Teething Jewelry Alternatives

5 Teething Jewelry Alternatives

Teething jewelry has become quite popular lately, but popularity does not equate to safety. The FDA recently released a formal News Release regarding the risks of teething necklaces. In this report, they describe how teething necklaces pose a choking hazard. They also explain how teething necklaces made from materials like amber may release harmful substances that are absorbed into the baby’s bloodstream. There have been several reports of infants suffering serious injuries or death after choking on beads from teething necklaces.

Teething can be miserable, both for babies and for their parents. However, teething necklaces are not a safe solution. The following are some safer ways to keep your baby comfortable during the teething process.

Cool Washcloths: A Safer Teething Jewelry Alternative

Another way to ease your baby’s teething discomfort is to keep a moist washcloth in the freezer. Rub the washcloth over your baby’s gums whenever he or she gets fussy. You can even let your baby chew on the washcloth a little bit. Rotate the cloth out with a fresh one once it starts to warm up.

Mesh Feeders

Many baby stores sell mesh feeders that you can fill with your baby’s favorite foods — such as bananas, apples, and carrots — and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can let your baby chew on them. The food will slowly work its way through the mesh, serving double-duty as a healthy snack and a soothing, cooling aid.

Chamomile

You’ve probably heard of the relaxing, soothing effects of chamomile. It can soothe pain topically, too. If you visit your local pharmacy, you may be able to find chamomile-based teething gels made specifically for babies. Applying a little bit of this teething gel each time your baby seems irritable can help keep teething more manageable.

Popsicles

Popsicles made with real fruit juice can also be soothing to a baby who is teething. You don’t have to let your baby eat the whole Popsicle. Just let him or her bite or suck on it for a few minutes at a time, as needed. Always rinse your baby’s mouth out with water and wipe his or her gums off after feeding a Popsicle and before putting him or her to bed. Putting your baby to sleep with sugary residue on the gums is not good for dental health, even if the teeth have not erupted yet.

Teething Biscuits

You’ll find teething biscuits in the baby food aisle of most grocery stores. These hard biscuits slowly break down as your child chews on them, making them a safe and tasty alternative to teething jewelry. Make sure you choose a low-sugar variety for dental health. Zweiback bread, a European bread, is a good choice.

Use one or more of the methods above for safer pain management during teething. If you run into any trouble or have questions, reach out to your pediatric dentist.

3 Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

3 Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to start creating a summer reading list.  Reading exercises the brain, helps teach children about the world around them, and encourages a sense of empathy. Plus, reading along with your child — whether that means reading to them or reading the same book and discussing it book-club-style — is a great way for you to bond. To that end, here are three books to consider adding to your summer reading list this year.

Tight

By: Torrey Maldonado

Ideal for ages 10 and up, Tight is a coming of age novella that teaches kids life lessons about friendship and standing firm in their values. The main character, Bryan, finds that his friend, Mike, is becoming involved in risky activities. At first, Bryan follows along, but he soon starts realizing that what he’s doing is dangerous. The reader then follows Bryan as he learns to stand up for himself and be true to his own feelings.

Although Tight has a lot to teach children, it does so in a story-based manner. The inclusion of superhero references and the suspenseful plot will hold your kids’ attention — and your own.

One Third Nerd

By: Gennifer Choldenko

One-Third Nerd is written at an elementary level, but middle school students will enjoy it, too. It’s the perfect addition to a family summer reading list if you have kids of multiple ages. The book tells the story of Liam, a fifth grader who is dealing with quite the conundrum. If the family dog he and his siblings love does not stop peeing in the house, mom and dad are going to find it a new home. In the challenge of finding a way to save their dog, the kids also learn lessons about navigating other life challenges, such as divorcing parents and making new friends.

One-Third Nerd is heartwarming and will probably have you in tears at least once. Reading it as a family will help teach you all that it’s okay to be vulnerable around each other.

Because

By: Mo Willems

Because is ideal for children ages three to six who are just learning to read. However, it’s a good story for older children to hear, too. Consider having your older child read it aloud with the younger child so they both get some practice and bonding time.

Because details a string of events that lead to a child following her dream and becoming a career musician. Because she hears Ludwig’s music, she is inspired to also create beautiful music. Because she works very hard, she eventually earns a job as a composer… and so forth. The story teaches children the idea of cause and effect and shines a light on how events that are seemingly meaningless at the time end up shaping our lives.

As you’re building your summer reading list, be sure to include one or more of these excellent titles. No matter what you read, you and your children will enjoy expanding your minds together.

Does Juice Cause Cavities?

Does Juice Cause Cavities?

Sugary drinks and tooth decay is a hot topic — but there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s name is “juice.” Juice is often seen as a healthy drink because it’s made from fruit. However, giving your kids too much juice actually increases their risk of cavities. Here’s a closer look at the link between juice and tooth decay.

Sugary Drinks and Tooth Decay: Why Juice Is a Poor Choice

To understand how juice causes cavities, you first need to understand a little about the tooth decay process itself. Your mouth is home to millions of oral bacteria. These bacteria eat sugar and release acids, and those acids weaken your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. The more sugar you eat, the more fun those oral bacteria have digesting it, and the more cavities you’ll develop.

Soda is the notorious “sugary drink” that we all know to avoid. But juice contains just as much, if not more, sugar than soda. An 8-ounce glass of cola contains about 22 grams of sugar. A glass of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar! Oral bacteria don’t care whether the sugar comes from fruit juice or soda; they love it all.

The other reason juice is bad for teeth has to do with its pH. Acidic foods and drinks — those with a low pH — weaken your tooth enamel and increase your risk of cavities. Most juices are acidic, which compounds their cavity-causing effects.

Are Some Juices Better Than Others?

Virtually all fruit juices are acidic and sugary, making them a poor choice for dental health. Green vegetable juices made from spinach and kale can be a better choice since they are lower in sugar.  Watch out, though — some commercially prepared green juices are sweetened with apple or carrot juice, which makes them sugary and a poor choice.

Should You Ever Give Your Child Juice?

All things in moderation! You don’t need to ban juice altogether, but don’t offer it on a daily basis. If you do occasionally give your child juice as a treat, offer it with a meal so your child drinks it all at once, rather than letting the sugar bathe their teeth as they sip all day.

What Are Good Alternatives to Juice?

The best alternative to juice is plain water. When your child sips water throughout the day, it helps rinse food particles off their teeth, reducing the risk of cavities. You can also give your child whole milk; it’s a good source of calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that promote strong, healthy enamel.

Whole, fresh fruits are also a good alternative to fruit juice — especially crunchy fruits like apples and watermelon. The sugar is less concentrated in whole fruit than in fruit juice, and the fiber in fruit also limits contact between the sugar and the tooth enamel.

When thinking of sugary drinks and tooth decay, don’t forget that juice can be just as bad as soda. Save juice for a special treat, and instead give your child snacks and drinks that promote tooth health, like milk and crunchy fruits.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Every year we set aside one special day to celebrate Mothers. The one who helped raise us and showed us right from wrong.  The one who showed us grace when we maybe didn’t deserve it. She knows the right time to give advice and the right time to lend a listening ear.

Shout out to the Moms!

Each year we strive to recognize and appreciate not only our own Mother, but also the Moms who take their children to our office. We do this by hanging a paper flower pot on the wall in the waiting area and our patients get to write what they love about their Moms on flowers.  It’s so fun for us to read some of the sweet things kids say about their Moms and why they love them so much.

Happy Mothers Day to All Moms

We really want to say thank you for all that you do and how much you sacrifice each day.

Thank you for taking your kids to the dentist and brushing their teeth.

Thank you for making breakfast in the morning and supper at night.

Thank you for the morning hugs and bed time stories.

Thank you for taking them to school and picking them up from sports.

But most of all, thank you for being you.

 

Moms hold a special place in our hearts and we sincerely hope every Mom out there gets spoiled on this special day!

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Port Pediatric Dentistry!

Updated 05/03/19

PJammin® for Kids With Cancer Success!

PJammin® for Kids With Cancer Success!

During the Month of September, Everyone in our office, our wonderful patients, and The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) wore PJs to raise money for children who are currently battling cancer.

Thank You For Supporting PJammin® for Kids With Cancer.

Why PJ’s?

Because pajamas are what these cancer stricken hospitalized children wear every day. They call it their warrior clothes and on September 12 we’d like to do what we can to be warriors for them. Children with cancer often spend months, even years, living in their pajamas at home or in the hospital as they undergo critical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

During this time, they frequently miss school, time with siblings and friends, and other normal childhood activities. Instead, they rely solely on their family and medical team to help them through this difficult time in their lives.

Full details from our PJammin® for Kids With Cancer.

We had 1 day to dress up in pajamas and the rest of the month to raise money. For every child who wore pajamas to their appointment on September 12th we donated $5. For every Facebook picture this day we will donate $3.

Some fun pictures from our pajama day!

Posted by Port Pediatric Dentistry on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Posted by Port Pediatric Dentistry on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

 

The results were incredible!

  • 27 people dressed up for their appointments
  • 9 families participated on Facebook
  • $567 Donated in September!

It was a great month for a amazing cause so thank you to everyone who participated to help children who are currently battling cancer.

Pajama day is finished but you can still Donate at acco.org – Port Pediatric Pentistry