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How to Be Part of Our Cavity-Free Club  

March 3, 2020

Kids are proud when they receive news that they have no cavities. At Dr. Maggie Davis & Associates, we know the amount of work that goes into keeping teeth free of decay. That is why we created our Cavity-Free Club to act as a reward system and encourage young patients to develop and maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. Each time a child leaves their appointment cavity-free, they become part of the Cavity-Free Club and earn the chance to win a prize. Our Palm Harbor pediatric dentist motivates children to care for their teeth in a way that is both fun and informative.

Want to help your child become a member of the Cavity-Free Club? It takes just a few minutes a day to establish a good oral hygiene routine. Read on to learn more!

Start Early

Many parents are unsure of the best time to start brushing and flossing their child’s teeth. What many parents don’t know is that they should begin good oral care before any teeth emerge. The AAP recommends wiping a baby’s gums with a baby toothbrush or soft washcloth after feeding. Once the first tooth erupts, parents should start brushing for two minutes two times a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dab of toothpaste.

When it comes to flossing, it’s best to start when the child has teeth that are in contact with one another. This usually occurs around age two or three. When teeth come in contact with one another, food particles can become lodged in the space in between. It’s important to teach them to upkeep their brushing and flossing every day, morning and night.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are the foundation for good oral health. Children should brush their teeth with the help of a parent starting from infancy. Only a small dab of toothpaste is needed for young children. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste until your child is old enough to spit it out, then you can switch to fluoride toothpaste as they get older. Show your child how to brush each tooth, front and back, along with the gums, and on the tongue. If you are not sure of the correct technique, ask your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist to show you.

By the time that your child is 7 or 8 years old, they may be ready to start brushing on their own. This is also the time to switch to a larger-sized toothbrush. When brushing, set a timer for two minutes to ensure that your child does not stop brushing before an adequate amount of time has passed. Also, teach your child to floss at least once a day. If you find traditional floss difficult to use, try floss equipped with a handle to make it easier. Don’t forget to replace your child’s toothbrush every three to six months.

Eat Healthy

Diet plays a major role in the health of teeth and gums. Children who consume a high sugar diet are at a much higher risk of developing tooth decay. Limit the amount of soda, juice, sweetened drinks, and other sugary treats that your child has. It is also a good idea to limit snacking between meals. When your child does have sugar, have them brush afterward.

Children over the age of two should drink mostly water to stay hydrated. Water is not only healthy for children but also helps to wash away food debris and dilute acids that can weaken enamel. Provide your child with a balanced diet containing fresh fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy, nuts, and seeds. Older children can benefit from chewing sugarless gum with xylitol, which can help stimulate the salivary glands, strengthen the jaw, wash away bits of food, freshen breath, and balance the acids that cause decay.

Visit a Pediatric Dentist

As soon as teeth emerge, cavities can develop. That is why it’s important for your child to visit a pediatric dentist at least every six months. At Dr. Maggie Davis & Associates, we offer a wide range of preventative services to keep your child’s smile gleaming. Regular visits to a pediatric dentist will also help ensure that your child is part of our Cavity-Free Club month after month. Call us today to schedule your child’s first appointment and get your child one step closer to a cavity-free life!

Seal Out Tooth Decay

January 6, 2017

Candy, sugary snacks, soda, and even everyday food and drinks can cause tooth decay if your little ones aren’t properly caring for their teeth. Germs use the sugar in what we eat to create acid that leads to cavities over time. Since our back teeth are rough and uneven, the grooves and pits make it easier for food and germs to stick and develop into cavities. While regular brushing and flossing helps to clean our mouth of harmful germs, sealants are one of the best ways to combat tooth decay.

Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of our back teeth. This coating provides extra protection to our back teeth, which saves time and money in the long-run on fillings, crowns, and other restorative procedures. Children should get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as possible to protect their molars from decay:

  • “The 6-Year Molars” – These permanent molars typically come in between the ages of 5 and 7.
  • “The 12-Year Molars” – The second permanent molars usually erupt between ages 11 and 14.

Some sealants can last up to 10 years, however they usually need to be retouched or replaced every 2 to 5 years to ensure they’re able to fully protect the teeth. The dental sealant process is quick and easy!

  1. The tooth is cleaned
  2. The tooth is dried and cotton is used around the tooth to keep it dry
  3. A solution is used to make the tooth surface rough so that the sealant can stick
  4. The tooth is cleaned and dried again
  5. The sealant is applied as a liquid and hardens within seconds
  6. The sealant is complete

While sealants are a great way to help protect your children’s new, permanent molars, it’s still critical that they keep up with regular brushing and flossing. To learn more about the benefits of dental sealants, ask Dr. Maggie at your next appointment!

Preventing Tooth Decay

September 29, 2015

For many of my little patients’ parents, preventing tooth decay is the first thing on their mind. Luckily, controlling tooth decay and preventing cavities is not as hard as it seems, and by only slightly altering your routine you can create healthy habits that will prevent cavities for a lifetime.

Tooth decay is the result of bacteria that deposits on teeth from the food we eat. Over time it forms plaque. When we brush our teeth we remove this plaque, however when the plaque builds up and combines with sugar and starches it produces acids. These acids deteriorate the enamel and eventually lead to cavities.

The first step in preventing tooth decay is to steer your child clear from sugary snacks. By feeding them crunchy fruits and veggies like carrots and apples, you can significantly reduce the amount of plaque-causing sugar in your child’s mouth.

The next essential thing you can do to prevent tooth decay is teach your child to properly brush their teeth. When we brush, we remove the decay-causing plaque and remineralize the teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste. Children should brush two minutes after breakfast and two minutes before bedtime to remove the plaque that built up all day.

And finally, flossing. Brushing removes decay-causing plaque from the surfaces of teeth, but to remove the plaque from in-between the teeth, flossing is a must. It can be hard to teach kids how to floss, but with the use of cool new tools like pre-strung flossers, flossing is just as easy as brushing.

If you have any questions about helping your child prevent tooth decay, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maggie today. She’s a pediatric dentist who can teach both your child and you the various ways prevent tooth decay and cavities for a lifetime of healthy teeth.



Curing Cavities with Composites

August 31, 2015

At Dr. Maggie Davis’s office we do our best to teach children how to take care of their teeth, so they don’t get cavities. However sometimes, even when kids keep up good oral hygiene, they can still get a cavity. While we can’t really “cure” a cavity, the pediatric dentists that work with Dr. Maggie Davis can prevent one from decaying further by filling it up with our favorite material: Composite resin.

Composite filings are the tooth-colored fillings we prefer to use. Not only are they inconspicuous, they are easy to apply and are better than silver fillings because we don’t have to remove as much tooth to place them.

Here’s how they work:

  • We numb the tooth so your child won’t feel a thing.
  • Next, we remove only the decayed portion of the tooth.
  • We paint a bonding material into the cavity.
  • Next, come the layers of composite resin.
  • A special light cures the resin and bonds the filling in place.
  • Dr. Maggie then shapes, and polishes the filling so it looks just like your child’s tooth.

Cavities are no fun, but with Dr. Maggie Davis your child is in good hands when it comes time to fill them. Scheduling your child’s appointments at regular intervals can tip us off to cavities before they become severe, and help keep your child’s chompers clean and cavity free. Schedule your appointment today.