Improve your Oral Health with Probiotics | Children’s Dentist Elizabeth City




Probiotics have long been touted for their digestive health benefits, but recent studies reveal their potential in improving oral health as well. At Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina, your trusted Children’s Dentist Elizabeth City, we explore the promising role of probiotics in promoting healthy smiles.

Combatting Gingivitis

Research indicates that probiotics can aid in reducing gingivitis, a common gum inflammation. In a clinical trial involving children, those supplemented with probiotics experienced significant improvements in gingival health compared to those on a placebo. Probiotics effectively mitigate gum bleeding, offering a promising solution for managing gingivitis.

Managing Periodontitis

Probiotics demonstrate efficacy in combating periodontitis, a severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss. By targeting harmful bacteria responsible for gum detachment and subsequent infection, probiotics aid in reducing inflammation and facilitating oral healing.

Preventing Cavities

Furthermore, probiotics contribute to cavity prevention by reducing plaque buildup and inhibiting decay-causing bacteria. Clinical studies reveal a significant decrease in plaque formation among children supplemented with probiotics, leading to a healthier oral environment and fewer instances of dental decay.

Freshening Breath

In addition to their role in combating oral diseases, probiotics have a cleansing effect on breath. Malodorous gases produced by bacteria contribute to bad breath, but probiotics help maintain a balanced oral microbiome, minimizing odor-causing bacteria and promoting fresher breath.

Holistic Oral Health

Beyond digestive benefits, probiotics play a vital role in maintaining overall oral and systemic health. Researchers emphasize the importance of probiotics in fostering a healthy mouth and body, underscoring their multifaceted benefits beyond digestion.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

For more information on how probiotics can enhance your child’s dental health or to schedule an appointment, contact our dental office today. Our dedicated team at Tidal Smiles Pediatric Dentistry of North Carolina is committed to providing comprehensive dental care and empowering families to achieve optimal oral health. Let us help your child enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles!

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

Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy | Kids Dentist Elizabeth City

It is helpful if oral health is not neglected during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can significantly affect your oral health. There is evidence linking oral health complications to an increased risk of other significant health problems. What’s the most prominent oral health problem during pregnancy? How can you prevent it? Here are some tips from our office.

Problems with your oral health during pregnancy

Women do not visit a dentist during pregnancy nearly as often as they do during other phases of their lives. We can detect problems early on by visiting our office regularly during pregnancy. Most pregnant women experience gingivitis. Pregnant women are more likely to have red, swollen, and bleeding gums due to plaque buildup. It can cause non-cancerous pregnancy tumors if the gums become even more swollen and inflamed. If left untreated, oral health problems can lead to serious health problems. 

There are several ways to prevent gum problems.

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to prevent gingivitis. Ensure that every part of the tooth is touched, including the gums. Your gums will also remain healthy if you floss regularly. By visiting our dentist more frequently, plaque will be reduced, and potential problems will be minimized. 

The impact of poor oral health on your baby

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, there may be a link between gingivitis and preterm or low-birthweight babies. Gingivitis can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream of the expecting mother and travel to the uterus. As a result, the bacteria release chemicals that may trigger early labor.

Pregnant women should maintain good oral health to avoid problems. The most common concern you can manage with the help of our dentist is gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis can lead to other health issues that can affect your pregnancy and your overall health. Consult your dentist before or during your pregnancy to ensure the safety of both you and your unborn child. We also recommend that you take your baby to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts to begin their journey to good health. 

For more information, please contact our dental office today.

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

Are My Child’s Medications Affecting Their Mouth? | Elizabeth City Kids Dentist

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about 20% of children regularly take prescription medications. Over the years, the number of children who take medication prescribed by a doctor has steadily increased. Some medicines may harm your child’s dental health. Our team will better adapt our treatment plan if we know about any medications your child takes during their regular examination.

The following are five ways medications can affect your child’s oral health.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is caused by a reduction in saliva production in the mouth. Many medications cause the mouth to produce less saliva. Especially for young children’s teeth, saliva is crucial for neutralizing acids that may damage them. Leaving a dry mouth untreated can cause tooth decay to increase.

Enlargement of the gum tissue

Certain medications can enlarge or overgrow your child’s gum tissue. Gum inflammation can be prevented with extra attention. Our team will recommend care instructions to ensure your child maintains healthy gums if this is the case. 

Tooth decay

Most medications do not cause tooth decay directly. However, some medicines use sugar as a flavoring. Liquid treatments are available in delicious flavors for kids and tablets that taste like candy. Sugar feeds decay-causing bacteria over time, leading to tooth decay. Whenever possible, opt for sugar-free versions of medications. It would help if you also had your child take their medication with a meal and a drink, so the sugary compounds are washed away.

 Bleeding from your gums

Blood clotting can be affected by some medications. An increase in bleeding may occur when your child is about to undergo oral surgery or is about to lose a tooth. If your child takes any medications, please tell us before scheduling treatment. This information will allow our team to provide your child with high-quality care.

Reactions involving soft tissues

Some medications can cause mouth inflammation, discoloration, and even sores.If your child experiences any of these symptoms, please contact us immediately. We can create a customized oral hygiene plan for your child to alleviate these side effects.

Keeping our team informed of your child’s medications is essential. It allows us to make appropriate treatment suggestions. Please contact us if you notice any changes in your child’s oral health. Our goal is to establish a lifetime of healthy habits and improve your child’s oral health with you.

Contact our pediatric dental office if you have questions about medications or your child’s oral health or to set an appointment.

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

Do I need to worry about my child’s mouth? | Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City

There are hundreds of bacteria in your child’s mouth. You and your child need to understand that not all bacteria are harmful. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find out what you need to know about the bacteria in your child’s mouth.

Understanding Bacteria

There have been more than 700 kinds of oral bacteria identified to date. The majority of people have less than 10% of these strains in their mouths at any given time.Each strain serves a different purpose. We refer to probiotic bacteria as harmless bacteria that aid in digestion. Your child’s tooth and gum health is also affected by other types of bacteria. Bacteria that cause decay and periodontal disease are the leading causes of bad teeth and gums.

Bacteria can be harmful to your teeth and gums.

Your child’s mouth is constantly filled with bacteria. If conditions are right, certain bacteria species can double their number in 20 minutes, according to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine. The bacteria feed on starches and sugars that your child ingests each day through food and drink. Certain bacteria produce acids when they consume starches and sugars. Your child’s tooth enamel is eroded by this acid, making them vulnerable to decay.

Take Care of Your Mouth.

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is the best way to manage the bacteria in your child’s mouth. You should brush for at least two full minutes twice a day and floss regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria. A mouthwash with antibacterial properties may be helpful. Adhering to a healthy diet is also essential for maintaining good oral health. You can reduce the multiplication of bacteria in your body by reducing your consumption of sugar, acids, and starches.

However, not all bacteria are harmful. Thanks to bacteria, keeping your child’s health in check can be beneficial. Follow your child’s oral hygiene routine to protect their mouth and teeth from harmful bacteria. On your next visit to our office, we will thoroughly clean your teeth and check for decay. Additionally, we’ll look for any other signs of oral health issues.

Please get in touch with our dental team if you need more information on keeping your child’s mouth healthy.  Is it time to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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

Take Action: Protect Your Child’s Teeth | Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City NC

When you lose a tooth, you may have difficulty chewing, talking, and smiling. Sporting activities put your child at a higher risk of losing teeth. Consult our pediatric dental office to discuss the best oral health solutions for your child. Maintaining your child’s dental health is made easier with a mouthguard. Let’s take a closer look.

Why Use a Mouthguard?

Mouthguards are designed to prevent damage to your teeth. It will protect the tongue, jaw, and lips. Most mouthguards protect the upper teeth because they protrude more than the lower teeth.

Do You Need a Mouthguard?

Your child should wear a mouthguard if they play sports, particularly high-contact sports. There are several sports activities where teeth can become injured, including hockey, football, wrestling, and boxing. Make your child’s mouthguard one of the essential pieces of equipment in their sporting activities. A mouthguard may also benefit players who do not engage in contact sports. You can use a mouthguard to protect yourself against oral injuries, even if you are a baseball player or gymnast.

Should I get a custom mouthguard made?

An ideal mouthguard would be custom-fitted for your child’s mouth. Although it is possible to purchase mouthguards in stores, they do not always fit well. Comfortable mouthguards that do not obstruct breathing or prevent you from talking are essential. At your child’s next dental appointment, we can provide your child with a mouthguard. You can rely on us to find a solution that keeps your child’s teeth safe when wearing braces.

Let’s make sure your child’s teeth are protected. Consider how hard it would be to talk, eat, drink, or smile if a tooth was missing. Each time a young athlete practices or competes, they put their mouth at risk. Please protect your child and have him wear protective mouth gear. 

Contact our office if you have questions about your child’s dental care or to schedule your child’s next dental appointment.

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

Maintaining Your Infant’s Oral Health | Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that tooth decay is the single largest disease impacting children. In fact, tooth decay is more widespread than other common illnesses like 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 gum tissue. 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 team suggests cleaning your child’s gums at least twice a day.

2. Introduce Fluoride-Free Toothpaste

Many parents find it helpful to introduce the flavor of toothpaste to infants after establishing a routine of cleaning their gums. Consult our team before using any toothpaste on your child’s gums. A small amount of toothpaste may be rubbed onto your child’s gum tissue. The amount of toothpaste used should be significantly less than what you might put on your own toothbrush. This will get your child used to the flavor and texture of toothpaste in their mouth. 

3. Use a Toothbrush Once Teeth Erupt

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.

4. Schedule Your Child’s First Visit 

When your child’s first tooth erupts, it’s time to visit our team. Their first dental examination should be scheduled within six months of the eruption 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.

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. If you have concerns about your infant’s oral health or need to set up their first dental visit, give our office a call.

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

How A Musical Instrument Can Affect Oral Health | Elizabeth City Pediatric Dentist

A seemingly harmless hobby may actually be putting your child’s oral health at risk. If your child participates in the school band or is learning an instrument at home, 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 Risk of a Musical Instrument

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.

Reducing the Risk 

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 bacteria at bay. 

Learning a musical instrument can be an 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 healthy. Our 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 today.

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

Chewing Gum and Your Oral Health | Elizabeth City Children’s Dentist

Sugary, sticky, and sweet candies can damage your teeth by increasing your risk of decay. Though gum can be considered a type of candy, chewing sugarless gum approved by the ADA can actually help protect teeth and prevent tooth decay. Here’s what you need to know about gum and your teeth.

How Gum Prevents Decay 

Chewing gum helps increase the production of saliva. Chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay because the saliva helps wash away food and other debris from the surface of your teeth. Increased salivary flow can also neutralize acids that bacteria produce inside your mouth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, leading to decay. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which aid in strengthening tooth enamel.

The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal 

The ADA Seal assures you that the gum is sugarless and has met the ADA’s criteria for safety and effectiveness. ADA-labeled products are tested to ensure they provide the benefits guaranteed by the seal. Companies must verify all relevant data with the ADA to become certified. If you are unable to brush for a short period of time, chewing gum with the ADA seal is a great option to help clean your teeth after a meal or snack.

Does chewing gum replace brushing?

No. Chewing gum for twenty minutes after a meal helps but is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. You should brush at least twice each day, for at least two full minutes. Chewing gum also does not eliminate your need for regular dental examinations. Our dentist recommends scheduling two visits each year, with additional visits necessary for high-risk patients with oral health conditions.

Chewing sugarless gum has noticeable benefits for your oral health, such as increasing the production of saliva. While this can help prevent the build up of decay-causing bacteria, chewing gum should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Our dentist recommends that if you are chewing gum, be sure to choose an ADA approved brand of sugarless gum. 

If you have concerns that your child may have possible tooth decay, schedule an examination with our dentist as soon as possible.

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

A Healthy Diet For Your Child | Pediatric Dentist Elizabeth City

The food children eat can significantly affect their long-term oral health. Some foods are dense with nutrients that your child needs to grow and develop in a healthy way. Others are full of acids and sugars that are harmful to teeth. With so many unhealthy food choices being marketed to children every day, it is vital that you take a proactive approach. Offer fun, healthy snacks and model the better food choices you want your child to make.

Kids should have a well-balanced and nutritional diet. This not only promotes overall health but also helps build a strong, healthy smile. Nutrition is an important part of oral health. Teaching your kids about eating healthy and limiting sugary foods will help foster a balanced diet from an early age. This will form habits that will result in a lifetime of strong teeth and better health overall.

Make Snack Time Fun 

Promote a nutritious diet by getting creative with snack choices. If you show your kids that healthy snacks are fun, they will be more likely to eat them. Apple slices with peanut butter, fruit smoothies, and yogurt with granola or fruit are great examples of fun, yet healthy combinations. Remember to avoid soda and sugary drinks. These can leave sugars on teeth and can increase the risk of plaque and tooth decay. Water is always the best choice. 

Make Their Plates Colorful

Make sure to add a variety of fruits and vegetables to every meal so that your kids become accustomed to them. 

Model Good Habits 

Children learn habits by following the example set by their parents. Send your kids the right message by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables yourself. Avoid sugary snacks that can cause cavities or gum disease. Be sure to practice good oral hygiene in front of your kids. If you brush and floss after meals and snacks, your kids will follow the example. Consider brushing together with your child to reinforce good brushing skills and habits. Make sure to brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime. If it is possible, try to encourage your child to brush after lunch or after sweet snacks.

It is also very important to have regular dental appointments for your child, and model healthy habits by seeing your own dentist regularly. Please contact our office if you need  more ideas on how to promote healthy snacking for great long-term dental health.

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

The Power of Dental Sealants | Pediatric Dentist Near Me

You may have heard of the term dental sealants or maybe our dentist has even recommended them for your child already. Sealants are a powerful way to protect your child’s teeth against decay. As with any dental treatment, it helps to understand the procedure and how it can impact your child’s oral health.

The Benefit of Sealants 

Sealants help to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are applied on the back teeth, where decay is most likely to develop. The back teeth often have deep anatomical grooves that can trap food and bacteria. The sealant fills in the groove so that nothing can get trapped in that area. Our dentist will often recommend sealants for children and teens, but adults may benefit from sealants, as well.

The further your teeth are in the back of your mouth, the more difficult it can be to maintain the proper hygiene needed to keep them healthy. Sealants can prevent up to 80% of decay within the first two years alone. After 4 years, sealants continue to prevent as much as 50% of decay. Children without sealants are more than three times as likely to develop tooth decay than those with sealants.

When To Consider Sealants

Your child’s first molars usually become visible around age 6, with the second set around age 12. You will want to talk to us about the best course of action for keeping molars healthy. Sealants are most effective when they are done as soon as the molars break through. Regular examinations with our dentist will determine the best time to have sealants applied.

The Treatment Process 

Sealants are one of the simplest treatments we perform in our office. There is generally no discomfort associated with this process. We will first thoroughly clean your child’s teeth, and then use a special gel. The gel is then cleaned off before the sealant is applied. A small blue light is used to harden the sealant in a matter of moments. The sealant is a tooth-colored resin material, similar to a tooth-colored filling. 

Are Sealants Safe?

There are no side-effects from sealants, and allergic reactions are extremely rare. However, talk to our doctor about any allergies your child has so we can discuss the best possible course of action. The materials used are safe and biocompatible. 

Sealants can last for years before needing to be reapplied. It is important to schedule regular visits to our office so that our dentist can check the condition of the sealants and teeth on an ongoing basis. If your child had sealants several years ago and you are unsure if they should be reapplied, schedule an appointment with us.

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