Caring For Your Child's Teeth

By Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry - April 6, 2021

Since parents have plenty to multi-task in the mornings and then again in the evenings, brushing may be something that a parent and/or child might want to skip out on.  However, we think that it is one of the most important activities of the day. 

It is important to make brushing twice a day part of your family’s routine.  As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur so we recommend adopting a twice daily brushing habit as soon as your child’s first tooth makes its grand entrance.  A baby’s front two bottom teeth usually push through the gums at about 6 months of age, although some children don’t have their first tooth until 12 or 14 months.  Once those baby teeth have erupted through the gums, parents can start brushing their child’s teeth with a child-size toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.  The amount of toothpaste should be no more than a grain of rice.  Brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night) or as directed by your pediatric dentist or pediatrician.  If two teeth are touching, flossing should be incorporated into the evening brushing routine.  This way the food, and “sugar bugs,” from the day can be removed prior to a night’s rest.  Please keep in mind the toothpaste might be considered a treat to your child so please supervise them and make sure the appropriate amount of toothpaste is being used. 

By the time your child is 3 to 6 years of age, they can increase their fluoride toothpaste amount to a pea-size.  Encourage your child to start preparing their toothbrush on their own.  Again, it is important to supervise the amount of toothpaste your child puts on the toothbrush.  It is important to make your child learn the responsibility of brushing their teeth.  They won’t be able to take the reins quite yet so be nearby to help the toothbrush make its way around their mouth a couple of times to ensure a successful mouth cleaning session.

Flossing, this deserves it’s own blog!  Until then check out my “Brushing & Flossing Frequency” blog and my personal struggles implementing both into my three kids daily routine. 

Happy Brushing!

Dr. Nick

Baby's First Dental Visit - When?

By Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry - April 6, 2021

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends parents bring in their child when their first tooth erupts or no later than the first birthday.  One might think taking a 1-year-old to a dental checkup is a bit early.  However, it helps both parents and child learn about healthy oral hygiene and establishes brushing as part of their routine early-on.   A child will also become familiar with being in a dental office, get used to the dental cleaning process and become accustomed to their visits which take place twice a year. 

We understand that some parents bring their child in for the first dental visit after the age of one.  We appreciate that life can get busy.  As soon as your child gets his or her first tooth, the goal is to be brushing twice a day.  Under the age of 3 years, we recommend using a rice-grain size of fluoride toothpaste.  Over the age of 3 years, we prefer to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. 

At Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry, education is a cornerstone of our office.  At the first visit, we will teach you and your child how to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits.  Additionally, we will check for cavities and ensure everything is being done to maintain healthy gums.  In addition, we also provide tips on how to handle certain habits such as thumb sucking or pacifier usage.  For more information, on this please check out our other blog Pacifiers: What’s the Harm in Them?

Until next time, keep Smiling!

Dr. Nick

The Importance Of Baby Teeth

By Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry - March 24, 2021

A topic we come across a lot when discussing baby teeth, cavities and proper dental hygiene is “why do baby teeth matter if they are going to fall out anyway?” 

Baby (or primary) teeth are unbelievably important to your child’s health and development.  Of their many positive attributes, they help him or her chew, speak and smile.  With regard to chewing, our teeth help us to ensure proper jaw development as well as providing the necessary nutrition for development of the rest of the body.  With regard to speaking, they play a pivotal role in development of appropriate speech patterns. 

In their most basic form, however, primary teeth hold the space for and even guide the eruption of adult (or permanent) teeth into the most ideal position in the mouth.  If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth or even other primary teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This circumstance may lead to crowded or crooked teeth.  Furthermore, this would create the environment for a more difficult and costly orthodontic treatment plan to lead to that perfect smile.

For the previously mentioned reasons, as well as many more, starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to ensure you are doing everything you can to ensure impeccable oral health for your child call Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry at 303-793-0899. 

We look forward to meeting you!

Dr. Nick

Brush Along the Gumline!

By Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry - February 19, 2020

There are many catch phrases in dentistry such as, “Don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth,” or “Don’t eat too many sugary snacks,” and “Only floss the ones you want to keep!”

One of my personal catch phrases that I say to parents often at Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry is, “The most commonly neglected place to brush is right along your gumline.” 

We are able to determine patients who do and patients who don’t brush well along their gumline because those who don’t will have puffy, red and inflamed gums along the margins of their gums (where the gums touch the teeth). 

Another indication that patients should improve brushing along their gumline is the presence of white spots on teeth near the gumline.  These white spots represent an early stage of a cavity.  Without an improvement in brushing along the gumline, these white spots can turn into full-blown cavities that have the potential to spread to other teeth or cause pain that can lead to missed school.

When we see patients with gumlines that are red and puffy, we always have a lengthy discussion about how to improve brushing-habits including where the toothbrush bristles need to be aimed, and how best to floss the enhance gum health.

When we notice the presence of white spots along a patient’s gumline, we have the same discussion about increasing oral hygiene habits, and we also often recommend an extra strength toothpaste that can help to turn those early-stage cavities back into healthy tooth structure over time.

Thanks for reading!

Facilitating dental health for you and yours,
Dr. Nick at Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry

Brushing & Flossing Frequency

By Lone Tree Pediatric Dentistry - October 7, 2019

When I explain to parents that they should be brushing twice daily and flossing once daily, they look at me like I have multiple heads!  I get it…brushing and flossing my teeth alone can be a chore, let alone three other little mouths.  But I assure you that the payoff of dental health is worth the effort.  Plus, you get your child used to what the norm should be and engrain in them what will hopefully become routine for the rest of their life.   Don’t think because I am a pediatric dentist that brushing my kiddos teeth is an easy task.  It is not!  I hear every excuse possible!  My typical mornings consist of plopping bowls of breakfast foods down for my kids, tell them to hurry and eat up, then when they are done picking or flicking their food all over the table and floor, I tell them “time to brush your teeth.”  Their response – NO!  Then the excuses start rolling in.  “I’m not done with breakfast”; “It’s so and so’s turn to brush their teeth”; “I will go last”; “I’m busy playing”; “I’m not dressed”; “I brushed my teeth yesterday”.  With the little patience I can muster, lo and behold our children eventually give in with a “Fine, I’ll go”.  With those three little words, I hustle that child to the bathroom where I have the toothbrushes and toothpaste ready to go.  I brush each child’s teeth for 1-2 minutes and make sure I brush both the top and bottom teeth equally with small circular motions.  Next!  This process normally takes me 15 minutes but this is also because I put on sunscreen and brush their hair.  Brushing the twins hair will change once their hair actually grows in past their necks! 

Nighttime brushing, I approach the same way except I include flossing.  I recommend starting to floss when neighboring teeth are touching.  Because you are adding another item on the to-do list, their delay tactics will potentially grow even more bazar as they go from energizer bunnies to gremlins.  They are tired, they don’t want to open their mouths, they don’t want to stand still (morning attribute as well), and they are spitting water/toothpaste at the mirror.  I could go on!  But it is crucial that you brush and floss your child’s teeth after a long day of eating who knows what.  Unless your child is a health nut and stays away from sugar, they will likely have a lot of buildup from the day. 

We use the flossers to floss our kid’s teeth.  It will help with your wrist ergonomics and decrease the chance that your fingers will get in the way of a ferocious chomp.  We use electric toothbrushes at night and manual toothbrushes in the morning only because that is the routine we found ourselves in.  I believe both toothbrushes will do a fine job cleaning teeth so choose the one that your child is more likely to use.  As for toothpaste, search around for the flavor your child will like the best; but please make sure it contains fluoride (so long as your child doesn’t have any allergies or other reasons for not using fluoride).  As for the amount of fluoride, our recommendations are a rice-grain size until age 3 and a pea-sized amount after age 3.

So I’m not trying to add to your already eventful morning and evenings.  I’m just trying to encourage healthy routines and cavity-free dental appointments!

Happy brushing and flossing!