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Archive for the ‘Pediatric Dentistry’ Category

Drinking Water & Oral Health; Producing More Saliva, Fluoride Strengthens Teeth & More

Smile Reef

There are many elements that affect the oral hygiene of our kids. With us firmly sitting in the summer, water is being promoted in the Vegas Valley to keep everyone hydrated, but water consumption plays another role as well. Training the little ones to brush at least twice a day, frequent flossing and using mouthwash are all the best habits for the kids to grow into adults, but there is more they can do to promote a healthy smile. Foods and beverages can make an impact on gums and teeth and choosing the wrong diet makes a difference. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to share the benefits and importance of water has for oral health.

1) Producing More Saliva

Chewing and swallowing can be difficult without adequate saliva. In addition, children often experience uncomfortable dry mouth. Simply by having your kids drink plenty of water, you can prevent the discomfort of dry mouth and assist in more efficient chewing and swallowing as more saliva is produced. With enough water, the kids’ enamel can be stronger and contribute to a cavity-free mouth.

2) Fluoride in Drinking Water

Fluoride is great for teeth’s health, and with the small doses found in tap water, kids teeth are better protected. To reduce tooth decay by at least 25% in both children and adults, fluoride use in water is effective as a preventative measure according to the ADA.

3) Water Helps Rinse any Residual Sugar & Acid from the Surface of Teeth

Any sugar residue clinging on tooth surfaces that causes cavities as well as leftover food particles that are left between your teeth surface when the children have finished eating can lead to cavities and other oral hygiene issues. Drinking water, especially during and after eating, will rinse away the residues and particles. While drinking water, encourage the little ones to rinse their mouth out for 30 seconds after eating before indulging in drinking their water to loosen up the particles.

4) Water is a Zero Calorie Drink

The United States has experienced a rising consumption in sugary beverages which is a major contributor to the increasing rate of obesity. Kids are 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when they consume up to 2 sugary beverages per day. To avoid these consequences, substitute water for one of colas, sugary juices and sports drinks instead. Water is an incredibly healthy choice for beverage consumption for the little ones and there are no calories to be concerned with.

5) Encourage Kids to Drink More Water

Unlike other drinks, water is by far the healthiest beverage available. It is recommended that 8 glasses of water in 8 oz glasses every day should be drank by everyone, including kids. Having your kids drink water has many benefits in addition to promoting healthier oral hygiene.

Pediatric Dentistry

To keep your teeth and gums in excellent health, do not forget to schedule your child’s routine dental cleaning and checkup with Smile Reef today!

How to Prevent & Fix Buck Teeth, Overbite & Other Negative Effects from Thumbsucking

Smile Reef

So many times babies have a hard time calming themselves down when they are upset. As a parent when you have a baby that finally learns how to self-soothe it is such a fantastic day! Parents do not normally care if their baby learns to soothe by sucking their thumb or fingers, using a pacifier, or with a special toy or blanket. They are just so excited that their baby does not always need their help to calm down they do not matter what the tactic is. As time goes on parents start to have concerns about whether their child’s self-soothing methods will cause any harm. One question that we get here at Smile Reef is if thumb sucking will damage their child’s teeth. Today we want to dive into this issue with you.

Does Thumbsucking Cause Damage to Teeth?

So does thumb sucking cause damage to your teeth? The answer is kind of tricky to give a straight yes or no to. Not all thumb sucking causes damage but some thumb sucking does cause damage. If your child simply has their thumb in their mouth but is just passively holding it in their mouth it does not typically cause any damage. If your child is actively sucking on their thumb with a lot of motion though it is more likely to cause damage to their baby teeth. If your child sucks their thumb for a prolonged amount of time it is more likely to cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of teeth. Sometimes it also causes to the roof of your child’s mouth.

Pacifier to Replace Thumb

If your baby sucks their thumb you will eventually need to break the habit. Some parents prefer to break the habit right away. If you want to break the habit when your child is a baby you may want to try to transition your child over to a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier provides your baby with the same comfort that sucking their thumb does. The advantage to switching over to a pacifier is that getting your child to stop sucking a pacifier is easier than getting your child to stop sucking their thumb.

How to Stop Kids from Sucking Their Thumbs

The American Dental Association reports that most children stop sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. As kids get older they spend more time playing friends and exploring the world around them and no longer feel the need to suck their thumb. Sometimes their friends help provide positive peer pressure that will help your child stop sucking their thumb. If your child is 4 years old and still is sucking their thumb you will want to help them break the habit. As you start this process we have a few tips for you. First we recommend that you focus on the positive instead of the negative during this process. Finding time to praise your child for not sucking their thumb in circumstances when they normally would is more effective than scolding your child when they are sucking their thumb. Offering rewards for your child is also something that is known to work well. Sometimes your child has a really hard time not sucking their thumb. You can try a bandage or a thumb on their thumb to see if that helps. There are products on the market that can help with this as well. Many parents have luck with an ointment that they put on their child’s thumb that makes their thumb taste bad.

Pediatric Dental Care

You can bring your child to us here at Smile Reef for some help too. We can talk to your child and explain what can happen if they continue sucking their thumb. Sometimes having someone else talk to your child is more helpful than doing it yourself. We can also examine and evaluate their teeth development and overall oral health to catch problems early. Contact us today!