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Maintaining good oral health is crucial for children as they grow and develop. Your child may wonder, “Which foods are bad for my teeth?” You play a vital role in shaping your child’s dental habits, including their diet. The foods your child consumes can significantly impact their dental health. In this blog, we’ll explore which foods are bad for your child’s teeth, and why our Overland Park pediatric dentists, Dr. Matt and Dr. Tara, recommend avoiding them.

For personalized recommendations, call our friendly dental team to schedule a first visit for your little one. 

Want to help your child understand the answer to “which foods are bad for my teeth?” Here’s what you need to know:

1. Sugary Snacks and Sweets

Kids love sweets, but excessive sugar intake can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Sugary snacks like candies, cookies, and sodas are major culprits. When sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth, it produces acid, which erodes tooth enamel. Over time, this erosion can lead to cavities and other dental problems. Encourage moderation and opt for healthier snack alternatives like fruits, vegetables, and cheese.

2. Carbonated and Sugary Drinks

Sodas and sugary drinks are not only high in sugar content but are also acidic. The acidity can wear down tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay. Additionally, the high sugar content provides fuel for bacteria, contributing to the formation of plaque. Encourage your child to choose water or milk instead, which not only hydrates but also supports their overall health.

3. Sticky and Chewy Foods

While it’s important to monitor sugar intake, the texture of certain foods matters too. Sticky and chewy foods, like caramels and gummy candies, can cling to the teeth, making it difficult for saliva to wash them away. This prolonged contact between the food and teeth increases the risk of cavities. Opt for snacks that are easily washed away by saliva, reducing the likelihood of dental issues.

4. Acidic Fruits and Juices

While fruits are generally healthy, some are acidic and can contribute to enamel erosion. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, as well as acidic fruit juices, can wear down tooth enamel over time. Encourage your child to consume these fruits in moderation and rinse their mouth with water after consumption to neutralize acidity.

5. Starchy and Processed Foods

Starchy and processed foods, such as chips and crackers, may seem harmless, but they can also contribute to tooth decay. These foods break down into simple sugars, providing a breeding ground for bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, these snacks often get stuck between teeth, promoting plaque formation. Choose whole grains and opt for snacks that are less likely to stick to the teeth.

6. Sports Drinks and Flavored Waters

While marketed as healthy alternatives to sodas, sports drinks and flavored waters can be just as detrimental to dental health. Packed with sugars and acids, these beverages can contribute to enamel erosion and cavities. Water remains the best choice for hydration, promoting overall health without compromising dental well-being.

7. Caffeinated and Sugary Lattes

For older children or teenagers who may indulge in coffee or flavored lattes, it’s essential to be mindful of their impact on dental health. Caffeinated and sugary lattes can stain teeth and contribute to decay. Encourage your child to limit their intake of these beverages and practice good oral hygiene to counteract potential negative effects.

Visit Our Pediatric Dental Team Today

Regular dental check-ups with a pediatric dentist can further ensure that your child’s oral health remains on the right track. By taking a proactive approach to their diet and dental care, you can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Dr. Matt and Dr. Tara are passionate about helping children gain and maintain optimal oral health through compassionate care. Call (913) 685-9990 today to schedule an appointment! 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
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Most parents fondly remember smelling the back of their baby’s head and thinking nothing could come close to that sweet scent. So if your child starts having chronic bad breath, it can come as a bit of a shock! Isn’t bad breath something that tends to affect older individuals? Actually, children can struggle with bad breath (halitosis) just as much as adults. Fortunately, a kids’ dentist near you can help you prevent bad breath and treat any underlying issues that might be causing the odors. 

Dr. Matt and his Overland Park, KS, team exclusively treat children. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we are compassionate and non-judgemental. We know that parenting is a challenge, so one of our primary goals is to answer questions and to help you feel confident in your role as a mom or dad.

To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.

1. Insufficient Oral Hygiene

Plaque is a film of bacteria clinging to teeth, and the buildup of microbes can cause a lingering odor. Routine hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and biannual visits to the dentist, are essential at every age. 

2. Cavities and Other Dental Concerns

If your child has a cavity, it means that dental tissue is currently decaying, which can emit a bad odor. Similarly, dental infection can cause chronic bad breath. If your child has a crown or filling, it may have come loose, which means that bacteria can become trapped beneath the restoration. If you suspect any of these issues, be sure to visit a kids’ dentist near you. 

3. Your Child Is Sick

Just as dental infection can cause bad breath, so can other types of infections, particularly those affecting the throat and/or sinus passages. A sinus infection, tonsillitis, infected adenoids, and gastroesophageal reflux can all cause halitosis. These conditions typically cause other symptoms, so if you suspect your child is sick, be sure to contact your pediatrician.

4. An Odiferous Diet

If your child regularly consumes smelly foods like garlic and onions, this could be the cause of bad breath. These foods are particularly problematic because they are sulfurous. This means that molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream and released when your child exhales. So even a thorough brushing after a meal may not fix the problem. What will? Time. And if the problem is chronic, consider limiting those more pungent foods.

5. An Object Is Stuck Where It Shouldn’t Be

If you’ve ruled out these other causes, check their nasal passages. As kids start to explore their world, they may stick objects up their nose. In fact, nasal foreign body insertion is most common among kids aged two to five and slightly more common among boys than girls

If you suspect that your child has an object lodged up his nose, be sure to visit your pediatrician. Trying to remove the object yourself may only push it further up and cause serious damage. 

Contact a Kids’ Dentist Near You to Treat Your Child’s Halitosis

Your child doesn’t have to live with embarrassing smelly breath. A kids’ dentist near you can provide appropriate care and offer tips for prevention. 

Contact us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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June is Oral Health Month. This is a time dedicated to promoting good dental care and raising awareness of the importance of oral hygiene. With school out for the summer, now is a great time to reinforce healthy habits and learn some unexpected tips and techniques for a healthier smile. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we love the enthusiasm and curiosity of children. We are always happy to teach our youngest patients about dental science. And, of course, Dr. Matt also educates parents, informing them about the best ways to safeguard their kids’ teeth

For more dental care tips or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

1. Have your kids brush before breakfast.

You know that it’s important for your kids to brush their teeth twice a day, but does it really matter when they brush? As a matter of fact, it does! Though it may seem counterintuitive, it turns out that your kids should actually brush before they eat breakfast, not afterwards.

Oral bacteria accumulate significantly during the night. That’s why even your cherubic youngster can wake up with morning breath! Brushing first thing helps to get rid of those microbes. It also stimulates saliva production, which, in turn, further helps to remove bacteria and bits of food.

2. Floss before brushing. 

While experts haven’t weighed in on what time of day to floss, many health professionals have declared that it’s better to floss before you brush your teeth. Think about what happens when you floss – you loosen bits of food, along with microscopic bacteria and molecules of plaque. Unless you brush afterwards, those particles are likely to stay in your mouth. 

3. Protect your child’s smile during practices and games.

As many as 61% of all athletes – including children – have experienced dental trauma. Fortunately, most injuries can be prevented with simple mouthguards. You can purchase mouthguards at drugstores and sporting goods stores. However, their generic size will make them uncomfortable and less effective. They could even impair breathing and athletic performance. A custom-made mouthguard from your pediatric dentist will fit more securely and better prevent injury.

4. Start brushing before your child has teeth.

“Brushing” is an early milestone, although you won’t actually be using a toothbrush. From the time your child is a newborn, wipe her gums with a soft cloth a minimum of once a day. This will help to prevent a buildup of oral bacteria, which could lead to tooth decay later down the road.

5. Schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday.

Many parents are surprised to learn how early their child’s first dental visit should take place. In fact, a baby should visit the dentist once he gets his first tooth. If he has not begun teething by his first birthday, you should still schedule an appointment to evaluate dental development. 

Schedule an Appointment Today

Celebrate Oral Health Month by booking an exam for your child! 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Whether you are a new parent or a veteran, you know that when it comes to your kids, there’s no shortage of advice out there. Frustratingly, much of it is contradictory. And it is no different when it comes to oral hygiene. So how do you know the right thing to do? Fortunately, organizations like the American Dental Academy and the American Academy of Pediatrics have issued clear guidelines about how to protect your child’s teeth.

A great pediatric dentist is another invaluable resource. Dr. Matt and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, stay on top of the latest dental research and guidelines. They can help you navigate the often confusing waters of kids’ oral health. And they also offer oral hygiene and preventive care for children of all ages. 

For more information about how to care for your child’s teeth or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

As soon as they come in! Baby teeth are just as prone to decay as adult teeth, and this is true from the moment they erupt. Brush twice a day, just as you would your own teeth. 

Actually, good oral care begins even before teething. When your child is still an infant, wipe her gums with a soft cloth or a piece of gauze. Not only will this help to prevent decay later on; it will also accustom her to oral hygiene from an early age.

When can my child start brushing his own teeth?

The timeline varies from child to child. Your little one should not begin brushing on his own until you are certain that he can do so safely and effectively. For some children, this may be as young as age 6. Others may be closer to age 8 or 9 before they are ready to brush for themselves. Regardless of the age, be sure to supervise your child until you are certain that he is brushing properly. And you may need to remind your child to brush twice daily for several years to come!

How much toothpaste should I use?

For children under age 3, use a smear no larger than a grain of rice. After age 3, use the same amount that you should for yourself – a dollop about the size of a pea.

Almost 40% of kids between the ages of 3 and 6 use too much toothpaste. The excessive fluoride they are taking can damage the still-developing dental enamel. They may develop fluorosis, a condition that causes white spots on the surface of teeth.

What kind of toothbrush should I buy?

Actually, for both kids and adults, soft bristled toothbrushes are the best. This type is less abrasive and will not damage the dental enamel. For very young kids, be sure to purchase a toothbrush with a smaller head.

Learn More about Kids’ Oral Hygiene

We are always happy to answer your questions and help you feel confident about your child’s oral hygiene. Contact our office today with any questions or to schedule an appointment. 

Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Oral hygiene begins way before your child can brush his or her own teeth, and it’s more than just toothbrushing. Thankfully, there are steps you can take now and as your child grows to help him or her achieve and maintain optimal oral health. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we are ready to help you and your little one achieve that goal through routine check-ups, dental cleanings, and other oral health treatments. Give Dr. Matt and his dedicated team a call at (913) 685-9990 now!

Beginning at a young age, you can teach your little one numerous habits that will help them maintain good oral health and hygiene and understand the importance of it. 

1. Make healthy snacks

Instead of sugary treats or drinks, smoothies, and healthy snacks are a great way to encourage good oral health. Think green! You can use healthy ingredients, like:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Green apples
  • Celery

Use these ingredients in smoothies and salads, pair them with peanut butter or yogurt, or bake them in the oven to create a delicious snack that your child will love. 

These ingredients contain numerous essential nutrients, like vitamins K and C. Both are important for pediatric dental health, as vitamin K helps strengthen teeth while vitamin C keeps gums healthy and vibrant.

2. Offer plenty of water

Water is essential for washing away food debris and bacteria from the mouth. But, kids aren’t exactly thrilled to drink water. 

So, liven things up a bit by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to their water! Alternatively, you can add sugar-free flavor packets (like lime or green apple!) to your kiddo’s water for tasty, healthy hydration.

3. Let them pick their own toothbrush

Dentists recommend swapping out toothbrushes every three to four months. If your child is due for a replacement toothbrush, then try replacing it with one of their choosing! Choosing a movie-themed or character-themed brush will make oral hygiene much more fun and exciting.  

4. Read dental-themed books

There are several children’s books available that teach kids about the importance of dental care. Look for books like “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Seuss or “Brush Your Teeth, Please” by Leslie McGuire.

5. Make dental-care crafts together

Making crafts together is a great way to teach your kids about the importance of dental care while also having tons of fun! You can try making toothbrush holders, tooth fairy boxes, or other art projects that get your little one excited about oral hygiene and pediatric dentistry.

6. Visit a pediatric dentist regularly

Building a relationship with a pediatric dentist is beneficial for both you and your child. You will feel more comfortable asking questions, and your child will feel more and more comfortable after each visit. A pediatric dentist will keep track of your child’s oral health and dental development, so they can spot or predict any oral health issues early on. 

Schedule a dental check-up today!

Ready to put your child on the road to oral health success? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt online here, or by calling our Overland Park children’s dental office at (913) 685-9990 today!

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we want to make sure that your little ones have positive experiences with dental professionals. One way that we do this is by teaching them how to properly care for their teeth and gums at home. And what better time to brush up on daily oral hygiene than National Children’s Dental Health Month?

Do you need to schedule a dental appointment for your child? Let Dr. Matthew Hillman be your trusted pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS. Reach Dr. Matt and our friendly team of experts at (913) 685-9990 for scheduling and more information now!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. In today’s blog post, Dr. Matt goes over four ways to renew your child’s interest in dental health all month long

Conduct Daily Oral Hygiene Together

Whether we know it or not, children are following our every move. So, why not include them in activities that are beneficial to both of us?

Conducting daily oral hygiene together allows children to learn from our example. Not only that, but it allows us to monitor and improve their brushing and flossing habits in real-time. This prevents our little ones from learning damaging or unhelpful brushing and flossing techniques as they grow.

Make Brushing and Flossing Memorable

Kids look forward to fun. So, making daily oral hygiene fun and exciting is a great way to help them remember (and look forward to!) brushing and flossing. 

Here are a few ways to pump up the fun during National Children’s Dental Health Month:

  • Sing songs about brushing and flossing
  • Watch YouTube videos on proper brushing technique (here’s a fun video that we recommend!)
  • Use a sticker chart system to track daily brushing and flossing habits
  • Let your child pick out a new toothbrush and toothpaste to try
  • Schedule a fun activity before and/or after oral hygiene to encourage compliance

Give Your Child More Options

Variety is the spice of life, even when it comes to daily oral hygiene. So, giving your children more options may encourage them to brush and floss more often (even if they really don’t want to).

For National Children’s Dental Health Month, we recommend:

  • Trying new foods for a healthy smile (like yogurt, fiber-rich foods, and cheese)
  • Letting your child try new and exciting toothpaste flavors
  • Allowing your kiddo to pick their own toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash at the grocery store
  • Giving children the option to brush before or after certain activities (i.e. breakfast, bedtime stories, etc.)

Schedule Routine Exams and Cleanings

Perhaps the best way to kick off National Children’s Dental Health Month is with a routine exam and cleaning. These preventive appointments are designed to keep your child’s smile healthy and functional as they grow. Furthermore, the sooner you can get your child into our office, the more comfortable they will be around dentists and oral care as they age. It’s a win-win!

Pediatric Dentistry in Overland Park, KS

Don’t let National Children’s Dental Health Month pass you by. Get started with Dr. Matt and his dedicated team today! Simply call (913) 685-9990 or send us a message online here to get started.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Nothing ruins a snuggle session with your little one like bad breath. If this is the first time you’ve detected your child’s bad breath, it might not be a cause for concern. At some point, we all struggle with bad breath. However, if the bad breath is persistent, your child may have halitosis, and it might be time to schedule an appointment with our Overland Park, KS, pediatric dentist

During an appointment with Dr. Matt, your child will feel safe and comfortable as he determines the cause of the halitosis. Then, he will recommend the most effective treatment as well as tips for avoiding bad breath in the future. 

Continue reading to learn about some of the most common reasons for bad breath in children. 

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

As with adults, children must brush their teeth once in the morning and once in the evening and floss daily. Without this routine, it’s likely that cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues will develop. These can lead to halitosis. 

Persistent bad breath may also occur without these additional health issues, simply because food and beverage particles aren’t being removed from the oral surfaces. If you need help with maintaining an oral hygiene routine for your child, check out this blog! 

2. Eating Certain Foods

Bad breath can often be linked back to a meal. Has your child recently eaten something that had onions and garlic in it? Did he or she just eat a sugary snack? Thankfully, this bad breath is typically temporary and should resolve after brushing or drinking some water. 

3. White Tongue

Take a look at your little one’s tongue. Is it white? This tongue coating is full of odor-causing bacteria and food that can cause smelly breath as they break down. The white color is specifically caused by gunk that is trapped between the papillae, or tiny bumps on the tongue. 

4. Dental Decay

Cavity-causing bacteria release odors that could be the cause of your child’s persistent bad breath. Food may also be stuck in the damaged part of the tooth, causing a bad smell. 

5. Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the inflammation or infection of the gum tissue. This occurs because of plaque and tartar buildup along the gumline, which may be the reason for persistent bad breath. Infections in any part of the body typically smell bad, and gum infection is no different. 

6. Dry Mouth

Saliva does more for your mouth than you probably realize. It washes away food particles and bacteria and neutralizes acids in the mouth that cause cavities. At night, saliva production slows down, which is why most people experience “morning breath.” Dry mouth, however, doesn’t just occur in the morning, but all throughout the day as well. 

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can lead to bad breath in children because there isn’t enough saliva to remove food particles, bacteria, and acid from the oral surfaces.  

7. Allergies or Infections

Allergies or infections in the ears, nose, and/or throat are often linked to bad breath. Mucus and other secretions drip down the throat and onto the tongue when these health issues are present. Then, the bacteria in the mouth feed on them and produce smelly gases. 

When the allergies or infections clear up, you should notice an improvement in the smell of your child’s breath. 

Overland Park, KS Dentist Treats Bad Breath in Children

Bad breath doesn’t have to ruin quality time with your little one. If you can’t determine the cause of your child’s bad breath or if you know the cause and need treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt today by calling (913) 685-9990. 

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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The first smile, the first steps, the first words. When you have very young kids, it seems that every day brings a new milestone. But one important milestone that you may not have considered is the first dental cleaning. Babies and toddlers require routine dental care just like their parents. Preparing for this appointment at our Overland Park, KS, office can ensure that it goes smoothly for both you and your child.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt works exclusively with children. He understands the special concerns of young patients, and he knows how to make appointments fun. 

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment or to find out what is entailed in a first dental cleaning. 

Do young children really need teeth cleaning?

Absolutely! Children’s teeth are just as prone to decay as adult teeth. In fact, 52% of children between the ages of 6 and 8 have suffered from at least one cavity. For teens, the situation is even more alarming, since 57% of them have developed a cavity in their adult teeth.

Dr. Matt believes so strongly in early preventive care that he offers free exams and cleanings to kids under 2.

When should I schedule the first dental cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends that children first visit the dentist when their teeth first come in and no later than their first birthday.

That being said, it’s never too late to begin good oral hygiene. Whether your child is six months old or six years old, cleanings can lay a foundation for lifelong dental health.

What will happen during my child’s appointment?

One of our hygienists will gently clean and polish your child’s teeth. Like Dr. Matt, our hygienists specialize in pediatric treatment, so they know how to keep kids comfortable in the dental chair. 

Cleanings always occur in conjunction with dental exams. Dr. Matt will evaluate your child’s teeth, taking x-rays if appropriate. He can recommend any treatment that he deems necessary and provide tips for better oral hygiene at home. 

How can I prepare my child for a cleaning?

Brushing your child’s teeth at home will not only help to prevent dental decay. It can also acclimate her to having her teeth cleaned. 

Discussing the upcoming visit can give your child a sense of security since he will have an idea of what to expect. You can also find a number of good children’s books about the dentist. Pictures can help familiarize smaller children with the sights of a dental office. 

How long will the first appointment last?

Dental visits last from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on your child’s health needs and level of comfort. This also includes time to answer any questions you may have.  

Please note that for your first visit, you should arrive at least ten minutes early. We work hard to keep wait times to a minimum. 

Schedule a Dental Cleaning Today

Make sure your child receives specialized dental care, tailored to his or her particular needs. Contact our Overland Park, KS, office today.

Request an appointment online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Although dry mouth is commonly associated with the elderly, this condition can affect any age group—temporarily or long-term. If left untreated, this condition can lead to issues that threaten their oral health and development. So, we have compiled this guide to educate parents and their children about everything they need to know about dry mouth.

Signs of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is defined by low saliva production and an extreme lack of saliva. As the mouth dries out, it becomes more tender. You may observe that your child has:

  • Chapped or cracked lips
  • Dry gums and tongue
  • Parched throat

In addition to irritation, these drying symptoms can lead to significant consequences that can impact daily life:

Issues with Speaking, Swallowing, Eating, and Drinking

A lack of saliva and irritation can make your child’s mouth feel clumsy, which may cause them to trip over their words. Also, a dry mouth can feel uncomfortable for the mouth and throat. Consequently, mealtimes can be difficult due to the mouth and throat being unable to make the necessary movements for digestion, increasing the chances of choking.

Increased Tooth Decay, Tartar, and Periodontal Disease

Did you know that saliva has a starring role in our mouth’s ecosystem? Saliva is responsible for:

  • Protecting the enamel from harmful bacteria and acid
  • Moisturizing the tongue, gum, and other soft tissues

Without ample saliva, the mouth is more vulnerable to oral disease. Many experts believe that oral health is connected to overall health. As a result, managing dry mouth is vital to oral and systemic health.

How to Manage Dry Mouth

Whether your child is suffering from short or long-term dry mouth, there is more than one way to resolve this oral health issue:

Stay Hydrated

One of the most effective remedies against dry mouth happens to be simple: drink more water. The more hydrated a person is, the easier it is to produce saliva. Sipping water moistens the mouth and hydrates the body.

Practice Excellent Daily Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing every morning and night helps remove unwanted debris and bacteria and stimulates the gums. Ask our team about which types of toothpaste and oral rinses are ideal for chronic dry mouth.

Avoid Sugar and Caffeine

Sugar and caffeine are drying ingredients. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid sodas and other treats with these ingredients. Additionally, carbonated drinks are acidic and can erode your child’s already vulnerable teeth.

Chew on Sugar-Free Gum

Conveniently, chewing gum encourages salivary flow and volume by mechanical action and stimulation of oral taste receptors. So, urge your child to pick a flavor of sugarless gum that they love. Then, let them chomp away!

Visit Your Kid’s Dentist

Taking your child’s oral hygiene seriously gives them a fighting chance to avoid discomfort and long-term oral health complications. If your child persistently has a dry mouth, it’s wise to bring your child’s dentist in the loop immediately.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt identifies the source of mouth dryness and recommends treatment options to help relieve the symptoms. If you suspect that your child is suffering from dry mouth and live in the Overland Park, KS area, schedule a kid’s dental visit by messaging us online or calling (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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As a parent, it seems you worry about everything, but your child’s oral hygiene doesn’t have to be one of the things that keeps you up at night. We know it’s easy to fret, especially when nearly 20% of children between ages 5 and 11 have untreated cavities. However, when you take basic steps to protect your little one’s dental health, you can help lay the groundwork for a healthy smile well into adulthood. 

Dr. Matt and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids provide tips and guidance for maintaining children’s oral hygiene. And, of course, scheduling biannual dental exams and cleanings will further help to ensure your child’s dental wellness.

Dental Care for Infants

Many parents don’t realize that infant oral hygiene actually begins before any teeth erupt. But milk and formulas contain sugars, a leading culprit in the development of cavities. To protect those developing teeth, be sure to wipe your baby’s gums with a soft cloth after nursing or feeding. After your baby is finished, don’t let her sleep with the bottle in her mouth or keep sucking on it while it is empty. Long-term exposure to the sugars in the formula could increase the risk of dental decay.

Oral Hygiene for Older Babies and Toddlers

Once your baby starts teething, you should start brushing. Use a toothbrush with very soft bristles and special non-fluoridated toothpaste. A dollop the size of a pea is enough. As soon as your little one has two or more teeth that touch, it’s time to start flossing. You should also schedule your baby’s first dental visit when his teeth start to come in or by his first birthday, whichever comes first. 

By the time your child is two, you can begin using fluoride toothpaste. At this point, it is good for children to start learning to brush themselves, but you should continue to monitor them until you know they are capable of doing it completely on their own. Many children need adult supervision until they are school aged. 

Tips for School Aged Children and Teens

Older kids are likely brushing and flossing on their own, but it is good to check in with them to make sure they are maintaining proper dental care. In addition, make sure that your kitchen is stocked with healthy foods that will promote good oral (and physical) health. Limit sugar consumption and have kids fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts, lean proteins, and calcium-rich cheese and yogurt also make great snacks. (Just make sure you are buying low or sugar-free yogurts.) Whatever your kids are noshing on, it should be accompanied by a glass of water! This will help to wash away sugars and bits of food left on teeth. 

Schedule an Oral Hygiene Visit with a Pediatric Dentist 

Of course, whatever the age of your child, regular trips to the dentist are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Dr. Matt specializes in pediatric dentistry, and his advanced training gives him a detailed knowledge of the unique needs of children. Plus, the upbeat cheerful demeanor of our team means that every office visit is a reason to smile! 

To schedule an appointment for your little one at our Overland Park, KS, office, give us a call at (913) 685-9990 or send us a message online

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
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8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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