Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City | How to Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as “baby bottle” tooth decay. This type of tooth decay is often caused by bacteria shared by the primary caregiver or by a lack of proper oral hygiene. However, the most common cause is frequent and prolonged exposure to drinks containing sugar, especially in the baby’s bottle.

It is important to try to protect your child from developing baby bottle tooth decay. The health and development of your child’s primary teeth is crucial to ensuring their permanent teeth come in healthy and correctly-positioned.

Here are some simple, but effective ways to help prevent your child from developing baby bottle tooth decay:

Try not to share saliva with your child.

Do not lick your child’s spoon or pacifier before giving it to them. This can spread the bacteria which cause tooth decay, even when your own teeth are clean and healthy. Instead, wash the item thoroughly or replace it with one that is already clean.

Practice good oral hygiene for your child.

As a parent, your child’s dental health is in your hands. After feeding your infant, wipe his or her gums clean with a dampened washcloth. When teeth start to erupt, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush. Use a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth positioned next to one another.

Take your child to regular dental cleanings and exams starting with the eruption of their first tooth. As your child grows, talk to them about keeping their teeth healthy. Explain why and how you brush their teeth. When they are old enough to start brushing their own teeth, brush with them to reinforce the proper oral hygiene habits recommended by their Elizabeth City pediatric dentist and dental hygienist.

Limit sugary drinks, especially in bed.

Saliva decreases during sleep, allowing drink residue to stick to your child’s teeth instead of washing away. Baby bottles should only be used for milk, formula, or water. They should never contain juice, soft drinks, or sports drinks, which have high sugar content. Only give water in your baby’s bottles at nap time, bedtime, and in the car. Save milk or formula for meals and snacks, so your child’s teeth can be cleaned afterward.

As a parent, you are your child’s first line of defense against baby bottle tooth decay. For more information about keeping your child’s teeth healthy, contact Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Kids Dentist Elizabeth City NC | Is Your Child Excited to Visit Us?

Getting your child to visit the dentist willingly is a difficult task that many parents face. Having your child be excited about a dental appointment is even more of a challenge. Here are tips to help your child feel excited about their next dental visit.

Dental Education

Use resources to educate your child about what takes place at a dental office. This is an effective way to set initial expectations. There are numerous resources available online that are designed to appeal to children while educating them about dentistry. Knowing what to expect can help your child feel at ease. We recommend not trying to trick your child into going to the dentist but be honest and open about what they can expect.

Find the Right Team

Familiarity with a dentist can go a long way in getting your child excited about going to see them. Going to the office and meeting the staff and dentist prior to an appointment is a good way to increase your child’s comfort level. If your child is comfortable with our team members, we can help educate your child. We invite you to get to know our team before your next visit.

Leading by Example

Children learn by example and imitation. If your child sees you dreading the dentist, they can mimic your fear or stress. Set the right example for your child. Another way to do this involves expressing your excitement and how great your teeth look will look after a cleaning.

Children may not always cooperate when going to the dentist, but these tips should help get them excited about their appointment. Being honest and letting your child know what to expect will help quell any fears they have, while leading by example can help get them excited.

Contact our pediatric dentist in Elizabeth City to schedule your visit today.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Elizabeth City Pediatric Dentist | Healthy Snack Choices for Kids

Do your children constantly ask for sugary snacks that you know are not good for their health? There are healthy alternatives to the junk food your child loves that taste just as great. Here are a few options to get you started.

Low-Fat Yogurt with Berries

Premade parfaits can be high in sugar with added fat and artificial flavors. Make your own parfaits at home with plain low-fat yogurt to cut down fat and calories. This combination of food gives you a balanced meal consisting of protein, calcium, and fiber. These are all important nutrients to keep bones and teeth growing strong. The berries also provide antioxidants which are very important for overall health.

Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese and Sunflower Seeds

Usually kids will do anything they can to get away with not eating vegetables. Have you ever thought of pairing vegetables with a snack they love? Cream cheese will make the celery more appealing to your children. The celery is fibrous and will gently scrub their teeth as they chew. The sunflower seeds are an added bonus containing magnesium and Vitamin B.

Hummus with Toasted Whole Grain Pita

This is a snack that has become popular over the years. It is delicious and also great for your child’s teeth. Hummus can prevent sugars from sticking to your teeth, decreasing the risk of cavities. Whole grains are nutritionally better than white bread, which has more sugar.

Cheddar Cheese and Apples

Placing cheddar cheese and apples on a whole grain cracker is a tasty treat for your child. The apples are high in fiber and water, which will help wash away bacteria and food particles. The cheddar cheese gives your child an extra dose of calcium to keep their teeth durable.

Tip: Do not forget to throw in a bottle of water with your kid’s snack. It will wash away any sugar, bacteria, and plaque left on their teeth from eating.

Remember to schedule regular dental appointments for your children’s constantly evolving teeth. For more healthy options, call and visit our Elizabeth City pediatric dental office today.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City | How Pregnancy Affects Your Oral Health

During pregnancy, it is essential that you don’t neglect your oral health. A fluctuation in hormones can cause drastic changes in your mouth. Oral health complications have been linked to increased risk in other significant overall health issues. Here are the most common oral health problems, how they can affect your pregnancy, and how to prevent them.

Oral Health Problems During Pregnancy

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy. Regular visits to our Elizabeth City pediatric dental office while expecting can allow us to detect potential issues early. Gingivitis is the biggest concern during pregnancy. The buildup of plaque is more likely to cause an expecting mother to have red, swollen, and painful gums that bleed. If the gums become even more swollen and irritated, it can cause non-cancerous pregnancy tumors. If oral health problems are left untreated they can lead to serious diseases.

Ways to Prevent Gum Problems

The best way to decrease any risk of getting gingivitis is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure you brush the full tooth, all the way to the gums. Flossing your teeth regularly will also keep your gums healthy. Seeing your pediatric dentist in Elizabeth City more frequently for cleanings will reduce plaque and minimize any problems.

How Bad Oral Health Can Affect Your Baby

The Academy of General Dentistry suggests a link between gingivitis and having a preterm or low-birthweight baby. If an expecting mother has gingivitis, it can cause bacteria to enter in the bloodstream and travel to the uterus. The bacteria triggers chemicals that may induce early labor.

Maintaining good oral health is important in combating problems during pregnancy. Gingivitis is the most common concern that can be managed with the help of your dentist. Without proper treatment, gingivitis can lead to other health issues that not only affect you, but also your pregnancy. Keep yourself and your child safe by having a consultation with your dentist before or during your pregnancy. We also recommend that you bring your new baby to the dentist as soon as their first tooth grows in so they can get started on the path to a healthy life.

Contact our Elizabeth City pediatric dentist today to schedule an appointment.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Pediatric Dentist in Elizabeth City NC | 5 Ways Medication May Be Affecting Your Child’s Oral Health

According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20% of children take prescription medication regularly. There has been a steady, noticeable increase in the number of children using medication prescribed by their doctor. Several types of medication can impact your child’s oral health. When you visit our Elizabeth City pediatric dental office for your child’s regular examination, please tell our team about any medications your child uses so we can better adapt our treatment approach.

We’ve compiled a list of 5 common ways medication can affect your child’s oral health.

1. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition where the mouth produces a reduced level of saliva. Several medications can inhibit the mouth’s saliva production. Saliva is important, especially to children’s young teeth, as it helps to neutralize damaging acids. When left untreated, dry mouth can lead to higher rates of tooth decay.

2.  Gum Tissue Enlargement

Certain medications can lead to your child’s gum tissue becoming enlarged or overgrown. Extra attention is needed to avoid gum inflammation. In these instances, our Elizabeth City pediatric dentist will recommend special care instructions to help your child maintain healthy gums.

3. Tooth Decay

Most medications will not directly cause tooth decay. However, there are medications that use sugar, particularly for flavor. Think of the great-tasting liquid medicines available for kids, or candy-like throat lozenges. Over time, sugar can contribute to tooth decay as it feeds decay-causing bacteria. Our Elizabeth City pediatric dentist recommends opting for sugar-free versions of medications when available. It is also advisable to have your child take their medication with a meal and a drink, to wash away sugary compounds.

4. Bleeding

Medications can reduce the ability for blood to clot. If your child is going to undergo oral surgery, or even may be ready to lose a tooth, an increase in bleeding may occur. We ask that you notify our team of any medications your child is taking prior to scheduling treatment. This will allow our pediatric dentist in Elizabeth City to provide a high level of care for your child.

5. Soft Tissue Reactions

Certain medications can lead to oral inflammations, discoloration, or even the appearance of oral sores. Contact us if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms. We can work with you and your child to create an oral hygiene plan to alleviate these side-effects.

It is essential that our team is aware of any medications your child is taking. This allows us to plan our treatments and recommendations accordingly. If you notice any changes in your child’s oral health, contact our team. Our goal is to work with you and your child to establish a lifetime of healthy habits and optimal oral health. For questions regarding medication and your child’s oral health, contact Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Pediatric Dentist Near Me | Periodontal Disease in Children

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the gums that can impact the teeth and jawbone if left unchecked. About half of all children suffer from periodontal disease. Fortunately, if identified and treated early, its effects can be managed and even reversed to allow your child to return to optimal oral health through adolescence and beyond.

There are several factors that can lead to the onset of periodontal disease in children. Poor oral hygiene and untreated plaque are the most common, but diet, diabetes, hormonal changes, and even genetic predisposition can increase your child’s risk.

Your child should be screened for periodontal disease if their gums are:

  • Sore
  • Swollen
  • Red
  • Bleeding from brushing and/or flossing

If left unchecked, periodontal disease can cause your child’s gums to pull away from the teeth, affecting the structure of the bone beneath and potentially impacting their jaw alignment and bite. Over time, bone and tooth loss can occur.

Periodontal disease is preventable and highly treatable. Regular cleaning and exam appointments will help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. Teach your child about the importance of daily oral hygiene. If periodontal disease has begun, our doctor can help. Contact our Elizabeth City pediatric dental office for your child’s periodontal screening today.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Elizabeth City Kids Dentist | What’s in Your Child’s Mouth?

Your child’s mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Before your child reaches for the toothbrush and mouthwash, understand that not all bacteria are bad. Here’s what you need to know about the bacteria that makes its home in your child’s mouth.

Bacteria Basics

More than 700 different oral bacteria species have been detected. Most people usually have less than 10% of these different strains in their mouth at one time. Different strains have different purposes. Bacteria that are harmless and help digest food are known as probiotics. Other types of bacteria help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. The troublemakers are those that contribute to decay and periodontal disease.

The Dangers of Bacteria

Bacteria constantly grow and multiply in your child’s mouth. According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, certain bacteria species can double their population in 20 minutes if conditions are right. They feed on starches and sugars that are the byproduct of the food and drinks your child consumes throughout the day. Certain bacteria types produce an acid while they feed. This acid erodes your child’s tooth enamel, leaving their teeth susceptible to decay.

Maintain a Healthy Mouth

The best way to manage the bacteria in your child’s mouth is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice each day for two full minutes and flossing regularly is the best way to keep bacteria in check. You may want to consider an antibacterial mouthwash. Another key element to maintaining optimal oral health is sticking to a healthy diet. By avoiding or cutting back on foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugars, acids, and starches, you can reduce the multiplication of bacteria that feed on these byproducts.

Not all bacteria are out to harm your child’s teeth. Bacteria can be incredibly helpful in maintaining your child’s overall health. To help protect your child’s mouth and teeth against the bad bacteria strains, keep them following their oral hygiene routine. During your next visit to our office, we will provide a thorough cleaning and check for decay. We will also screen for any signs of other oral diseases.

For more information on keeping your child’s mouth healthy, please contact our Elizabeth City pediatric dental team.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Pediatric Dentist Near Me | Gear Up – Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Losing a tooth can make simple tasks difficult. A missing tooth can impact the way you smile, eat, and talk. If your child plays sports, they are at a higher risk for losing a tooth. It is important for them to visit us to discuss potential protective solutions. Mouth guards are a useful tool for keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Here’s what you need to know.

What do Mouthguards Do?

Mouthguards help protect the teeth. They are a line of defense in situations where an injury may occur. In addition to protecting teeth, they help cushion the tongue, jaw, and lips from injury. Usually, a mouthguard protects the top row of teeth because they protrude out further than the bottom set.

Who Should Wear a Mouthguard?

If your child plays sports, particularly high-contact sports, they should wear a mouthguard. Hockey, football, wrestling, and boxing can all present situations where teeth may become injured. Think of a mouthguard as a necessary component to your child’s set of equipment. It may also be helpful for non-contact sports players to wear a mouthguard. Even baseball players and gymnasts can benefit from using one to protect against an oral injury.

Custom vs. Store-Bought

Ideally, your child should wear a custom-fitted mouthguard. There are options available at stores, but these often do not fit well. Having a mouthguard that fits comfortably and does not impeded talking or breathing is important. At your child’s next visit, ask us about fitting your child for a mouthguard. If your child wears braces, we can help you find a solution that keeps their teeth safe during orthodontic treatment.

Your child’s teeth deserve to be protected. Imagine how difficult it would be to talk, eat, drink, or smile with a missing tooth. Young athletes put their mouths at risk each time they practice or compete. Make sure they have the right gear to stay safe.

For questions about your child’s dental care or to schedule your next visit, please contact our Elizabeth City dental office.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Children’s Dentist Elizabeth City | 5 Building Blocks for Optimal Infant Oral Health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that tooth decay is the single largest ailment impacting children. In fact, tooth decay is more widespread than illnesses such as asthma. As a parent, you can help establish habits that will lead to a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child. Essential oral health care practices start during infancy. Don’t wait for your child’s teeth to begin erupting before considering their oral health.

1. Clean Gums, Healthy Smile

Before your infant has teeth, it is important that you clean their gums. This can be done by using a clean, damp cloth and gently wiping your child’s gum line. This cleans off any residue from food and drink. When left uncleaned, your child may be at risk for developing gum disease. Our Elizabeth City dentist suggests cleaning your child’s gums at least twice a day.

2. Introduce Toothpaste

Many parents find it helpful to introduce the flavor of toothpaste to infants after establishing a routine of cleaning their gums. Consult our Elizabeth City dentist before using any toothpaste on your child’s gums. A small amount of toothpaste may be rubbed on your child’s gums. The amount of toothpaste used should be significantly less than what you might put on your own toothbrush.

3. When Teeth Erupt, Brush

Once your child’s first tooth erupts, it is time to begin brushing. We recommend selecting a soft-bristled toothbrush made for infants. A pea-sized amount of child-friendly toothpaste should be used. Gently brush your child’s tooth, and be sure not to neglect their gums. Continue to gently clean their gums.

4. Visit Us

When your child’s first tooth erupts, it’s time to visit our team. Their first dental examination should be scheduled once you notice the appearance of their first tooth. Children should receive at least two regular dental examinations each year, or more if they are at a higher risk for oral health complications.

5. Instill Proper Brushing Habits

Help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Children learn by imitating. You can try brushing alongside your child to supervise their progress. Children should brush twice each day, for a minimum of two full minutes. Each child develops at his or her own rate, but on average, children can begin brushing their own teeth, with parental supervision, at age 5.

Proper oral health practices are vital for infants and children. Your role as a parent is to shape your child’s habits to set them on a path for a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Don’t wait for your child’s first tooth to erupt before considering their oral health.

Schedule an appointment with our team today at Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Pediatric Dentist in Elizabeth City | The Hidden Risks in Your Child’s Hobby

Does your child play a musical instrument? While participating in the school band or learning an instrument at home can be a rewarding and enriching hobby, there can be underlying health risks. This is particularly true if your child plays instruments such as the flute, saxophone, or clarinet. Instruments that require contact with the mouth can be a home for germs and bacteria. Here’s what you can do to keep your child healthy.

The Health Problem Associated with Musical Instruments

The potential issue is not with the instrument’s mouthpiece alone. Children who join their school’s band program often get instruments loaned to them. If the instrument is not properly sanitized between students, bacteria and fungi can grow for months after use. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, woodwind and brass instruments are most commonly affected. Proper sanitation can reduce the bacteria found covering these instruments.

The Dangerous Effects of Bacteria

A 2011 study published in the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry uncovered the extent of bacteria in school instruments. Thirteen instruments were tested from a high school after one week of being played, and over 442 different types of bacteria were found. Aside from bacteria, molds and yeasts were also discovered on the instruments. Many types of bacteria can be dangerous and cause staph infections, asthma, and skin infections. Doctors are starting to find certain bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, which makes cleaning your child’s instruments even more important.

Steps to Take to Reduce the Risk of Infections

Not only is it extremely important to sterilize your child’s instrument after someone else uses it, but you should be cleaning the instrument after every use. Focus on keeping the mouthpiece clean and free of bacteria. Taking the instrument apart and cleaning it with a new cloth daily can help keep your child healthy.

Learning a musical instrument can be educational and a rewarding experience for your child. Knowing about the risks of improper sanitation and the correct steps to take to sanitize your child’s instrument will help them stay happy and healthy. Our Elizabeth City dental office encourages families to visit the dentist at least twice a year to avoid oral health complications.

For more information or to schedule your next appointment, please contact us at Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina.

Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina
Phone: (252) 251-7900
Url: http://tidalsmilesnc.com
1755 City Center Blvd.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909