Pediatric Dentistry Tips for the Winter Months

February 08, 2016
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Pediatric DentistryAs a pediatric dentistry office, we want to help your children remain in excellent oral health. This takes effort. Many parents think that baby teeth are healthy and strong, mostly because they are so new. We wish this were the case. In reality, baby (non-permanent) teeth are just as susceptible to decay and often do become infected. Even toddlers are known to suffer from cavities to the point that this common condition is often referred to as “baby bottle tooth decay.” In order to prevent this problem, you need to take steps to keep your children in excellent oral health. Bringing them to our office this winter is a step in the right direction.

Why do children need to visit the dentist in the winter?

It is always a good idea to have your teeth cleaned, regardless of what time of year it is. However, in the winter, there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing cavities. The first is that the holiday season is full of non-stop cookie and candy eating. This can leave a layer of plaque and tartar on your child’s teeth. While eating Santa’s cookies may seem fun at the time, if your child develops a cavity and toothache, it won’t be. The good news is that we can clean their teeth to remove plaque before they start to develop bad cavities.

The other reason to visit our pediatric dentistry office this winter is the weather. If your child is in the cold at home or on a ski trip, or a virus is going around the school, there is a good chance they will end up with a cold. All that nose-breathing can lead to a dry mouth. While that may seem innocent enough, constantly breathing out of the mouth can actually increase the risk of developing cavities. This is because dry mouth reduces saliva, and saliva is how the body naturally washes away food particles and plaque. Without it, these food particles could remain on the teeth longer, plaque can form as a result, and that plaque can secrete acid onto the teeth. The result is often newly formed cavities. By professionally cleaning your child’s teeth, we can help reduce the risk of them forming in the first place and treat them right away if they do.

What else can I do to keep their teeth healthy?

As a pediatric dentistry office, we recommend that you start by looking at what they eat. Do your best to cut out sugar, simple carbs, and anything acidic. For example, you should eliminate soda and acidic juices. You should also cut out lemons and limes and limit how many oranges they eat. While citrus has other health benefits, after eating them, your child should rinse their mouth with water and then brush before too much time has passed.

The other thing we advise is being sure to brush at least twice per day and floss daily. Your child may need help doing this until they are older, but your effort can significantly impact the health of their teeth.