Book Online Book Online Forms Complete Our Forms Find Us Like Us on Facebook Reviews Leave a Google Review Call Map Text

Your Spring Teeth Cleaning

March 2, 2017

Children should start dental care early, so it’s important for parents to know the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. According to these official guidelines, children need to see the dentist 6 months after their first tooth erupts. If this hasn’t happened by the time the child is 12 months old, the child should see the dentist at that point.

The First Dental Visit

During the first dental visit, the child and parents will spend a fairly short time in the office. This is the ideal opportunity for children and their parents to meet Dr. Davis in a calm atmosphere. Dr. Davis strives to set her young patients at ease and believes that this “getting to know you” visit is extremely helpful in establishing the dentist as a friend in the child’s eyes.

The First Tooth Visit

If the child’s first visit to Dr. Davis occurs when their first tooth erupts (or at 12 months old) there is a special system in place to make it easy on the baby and the parents. The baby will rest in the parent’s lap while Dr. Davis looks at the teeth and gums using a toothbrush and a mirror. She will then review her findings with the parent and give them recommendations for future dental care. Parents can then take this opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about oral hygiene for kids while the child plays in the lobby. Many parents say that the hardest part of the “first tooth” visit is prying their child away from the toys in the lobby Kid’s Zone.

How Dental Visits Work For Toddlers and Older Children

Children will first have access to a range of fun distractions in the lobby playroom, the “Kid’s Zone.” This is followed by a tour of the whole dentist’s office. The staff is trained to use child-friendly words and terminology. Parents should avoid using words like “hurt,” “needle,” “pinch,” “drill,” or any other word that can make the child fearful or worried. The child will “take a ride” in the dentist’s chair to bring them to the right position for the exam. “Mr. Tickle,” the teeth shining device, is then used on the young patient.

Dr. Davis will look for signs of tooth decay, alignment issues, and other possible issues within the mouth. If a teeth cleaning is needed, Dr. Davis or a dental hygienist will perform that cleaning with a gentle touch. If fluoride treatment is needed, it may be done immediately after the teeth cleaning.

Parents can come back to the exam room with their child, but in most cases it’s best for parents to stay hidden where the child can’t see them. There is a “peek-a-boo” area where parents can observe the child while they’re in the dental chair. Parents may have anxiety that is easily transferred to the child, and children have generally done better when they’re alone with the dentist or hygienist. This also allows a chance for the dental staff to get to know the child, which helps the young patient relax.

Dental Care at Home

Dr. Davis and her staff can provide parents with tips and tricks to help them establish better oral hygiene routines for their child.  This usually includes brushing twice a day, two minutes per session. Flossing is also a critical part of good oral care and should begin early in life. Children can learn to brush their own teeth when they are still quite young, and if parents try to make it fun rather than a chore it will quickly become an ingrained habit. Some kids enjoy setting a timer for their brushing sessions. Non-food rewards like stickers can also be helpful as a child is settling into a personal dental care routine.

Dr. Maggie Davis is a pediatric dentist office in Palm Harbor, Florida. She offers regular check-up visits, consultations, emergency exams, digital x-rays, counseling on finger/pacifier sucking, counseling on tobacco & intraoral piercings, fillings, crowns, root canals, extractions, interceptive orthodontics, comprehensive orthodontics, space maintenance, cosmetic tooth bonding, teeth whitening, and dentistry for children with special health care needs. Several kinds of sedation are offered, including nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and I.V. sedation. Call anytime to arrange an appointment with Dr. Davis.

5 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

February 22, 2017

Getting the kids up and ready in the morning and getting them into bed at night can already be tough and stressful, add tooth brushing to the battle and you may be ready to give up. While it’s essential for your child to form good oral care habits now, it’s not always easy to get them to brush their teeth. If you’re struggling to get kids taking care of their teeth, it may be time to get creative, finding a tactic that works so your child can enjoy a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth.

Head Out Shopping for Fun Dental Supplies Together

If your kids enjoy going shopping, head out shopping for some fun dental supplies together. Let them have some fun picking out their own fun toothbrushes and toothpaste, although it’s best to choose options with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on them. You’ll find many great character toothbrushes to choose from, which may make brushing a lot more fun for your child, especially if he gets to pick it himself. Quality fluoride toothpastes also come in many different colors and flavors, so you child can have some fun making that decision too. Letting them pick out their own dental supplies may get them more interested in sticking to their regular brushing routine.

Come Up with a Reward System

For many children, a fun reward system can make brushing a lot more fun. Print our or buy a calendar and get some stickers your kids will appreciate. Every time your child brushes his teeth, give them a sticker to put on the calendar as a reward. The stickers can be an exciting surprise on their own. If your child gets all his stickers in a week, allow him to have a reward. You can offer an even bigger reward if your child sticks to the routine for an entire month.

Find Fun Books and Videos About Brushing

Purchase some fun books and videos about good oral care habits, or head to your local library to find them free. You can sit down and read a book about brushing your teeth to your child. Another idea is to show them fun videos about brushing and other good oral hygiene practices. Many popular children’s books and shows have great stories about brushing and good oral hygiene. Stories and videos offer a great way to teach kids more about caring for their teeth while offering this information in a way they can easily relate to.

Turn Brushing into a Game

Kids love games, so if you’re having a tough time getting kids to brush or brush long enough, turn it into a fun game they’ll enjoy. Come up with a superhero game, complete with cape, where your child fights off the villains attacking his teeth by brushing. If you have multiple children and they aren’t brushing long enough, consider having a contest when they brush to see who can keep brushing the longest, although you want to ensure they don’t brush too vigorously, since this can damage their gums. You can even make up a story or create a fun character to inspire your child to brush.

Add Some Music to Your Brushing Routine

Do your kids just love music? Consider adding some music and rhythm to the brushing routine to make it more exciting. You can find apps that offer music that plays for two minutes while your kids brush, or you can play your child’s favorite tunes as they are brushing their teeth. It’s even more fun if you and your kids dance around to the music together are you brush. Making it a family affair can also let kids learn by your example, and they’ll be more likely to brush and keep good oral hygiene routines when they see their parents doing it too.

Along with good oral hygiene at home, remember that regular dental checkups are an important part of keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy for life. Ensure your child heads to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months. If it’s time for your child’s regular dental exam, give us a call today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Maggie Davis.

What is Childhood Bruxism?

December 5, 2016

Bruxism is known as the habitual grinding and clenching of the teeth and is very common in children. Nearly three in ten children are known to grind their teeth, and though it’s a treatable habit, it can cause damage if it’s not addressed. Bruxism erodes tooth enamel and can lead to behavioral problems, headaches, earaches, sore jaw, and TMJ issues. Since every child is unique, there are usually a combination of factors that cause bruxism. There are several theories as to why children grind their teeth, including:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Psychologic stress
  • Inner ear pressure
  • Misaligned bite
  • Hyperactivity

Symptoms of bruxism include a grinding sound at night, the rhythmic contraction of the jaw muscles, painful jaw muscles, or the occasional swelling of the jaw. Tooth grinding can begin as soon as a child’s first teeth erupt. It usually subsides between the ages of six and nine and should stop by the time your child is between nine and twelve years old. Fortunately many children grow out of this habit without intervention, but for those who require treatment a mouthguard may be helpful to prevent any loss of the tooth structure. Additionally, reducing stress, working to relax the jaw before bed, or correcting an improper bite can help to reduce bruxism symptoms.

Oftentimes the grinding sounds worse than it actually is, but If you believe that your child has a problem with grinding their teeth, it’s best to notify us at your next appointment. Dr. Maggie and her team can check your child’s teeth for any wear and tear and also make sure that there are no problems with tooth fractures or nerve exposure. Together we can work to determine the possible causes and, if necessary, the proper course of treatment for your child. To schedule your child’s next appointment, give us a call today!

Don’t Forget the Mouth Guard!

August 15, 2016

When hitting the field or court, the best way to prevent injuries is to wear the proper protective gear. Each sport has their own set of rules for what’s required, but when it comes to dental safety, many sports skip the mouth guard. Though mouth guards help to protect the lips, cheeks, tongue, and teeth, 67% of parents admit that their children do not wear a mouth guard during organized sports. The mouth and face of a child can be easily injured without the proper safety equipment and those who don’t wear mouth guards are 60 times more likely to damage their teeth.

Not only do mouth guards protect the teeth and soft tissues in the mouth, they can protect kids from head and neck injuries such as jaw fractures and concussions. According to a study by the American Association of Orthodontists, 84% of kids choose not to wear a mouth guard because they’re not required. Though it may not be required by coaches or referees, kids should be wearing a mouth guard whenever he or she is at risk of falling or contact with other players or equipment. While we may think of football or hockey as some of the most dangerous sports for teeth, nearly half of sports-related mouth injuries occur in basketball and baseball.

Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard, but choosing one that your child can wear comfortably is important. An effective mouth guard helps to hold teeth in place, resists tearing, and allows for normal speech and breathing. There are several options for mouth guards, including a “boil-to-fit” mouth guard, which can be found in most sporting good stores, or custom mouth guards that can be provided by your dentist. As your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist, we want your kids to enjoy their favorite sports while also keeping their pearly whites safe! If you have questions about the best mouth guard for your child, contact us or talk to Dr. Maggie during your next appointment.

Back-To-School Dental Tips

August 1, 2016

The new school year is upon us and with that means stocking up on school supplies, the latest wardrobe, booster shots, and sports equipment. According to the American Dental Association, a dental checkup is just as important as your usual back-to-school prep. Tooth decay affects kids in the US more than any other chronic infectious disease and dental disease causes students to miss over 51 million school hours each year. To best prepare your child to have their greatest school year yet, don’t forget these items on your back-to-school checklist:

  • Dental checkups: Your child’s regular dental exams are important for diagnosing and treating dental problems before they become a serious issue. Your dentist may suggest fluoride treatments or sealants to help prevent decay and other dental problems to help save your child lost school time and pain.
  • Brushing and flossing: An excellent oral healthcare routine is the key to success. The start of a new school year is a great time to remember to grab a new toothbrush and stock up on floss and mouthwash. Consider buying several toothbrushes at a time to remember to change it out every few months. If you can’t remember, try to change it every time report cards come out.
  • Healthy foods: Choose healthy lunches and snacks for your child, including grains, milk, cheese, raw vegetables, yogurt, or fruit. As a family, it could help to cut back on sugary foods and soft drinks.
  • Sports mouthguard: Wearing a properly fitted mouthguard is critical to protecting your child’s teeth and gums during their favorite sport season.

As your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist, we want to prepare your child to have a healthy and successful school year! Our mission is to help your child achieve the cavity-free, healthy smile they can wear with pride. To learn more about how to help your child have healthy oral habits to last throughout their life, contact Dr. Maggie today.

Sippy Cup Safety Reminders

July 11, 2016

Parents are often surprised when they find that their toddlers have cavities during their dental checkups. They’re always making sure their kids are brushing, flossing, and eating healthy, but many times they forget that giving their kids sugary drinks in their sippy cups creates a hotbed for cavities. Sippy cups were created to help kids transition from drinking from a bottle to a regular cup, but they’ve become more of a long-term device rather than a transitional one because of how convenient they are for both parents and kids.

When kids sip on sugary beverages for an extended period of time, they’re exposed to a high risk of decay. Here are some reminders for healthy sippy cup use:

  • Your child’s sippy cup is a training tool to help them transition into using a regular cup. It should not be used for a long period of time.
  • With the exception of mealtime, a sippy cup should only ever be filled with water. Frequently giving your child any other drink in a bottle or training cup can lead to cavities.
  • Unless it’s filled with water, avoid giving your child their sippy cup at nap time or bedtime.

Many dentists believe that the misuse of sippy cups stems from many parents waiting too long before taking their little ones to the dentist for the first time. Shortly after your child’s first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday, they should see a dentist. At their first visit, your dentist will make sure you child’s teeth are developing properly and talk to you about proper sippy cup use and more. As your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist, we’re here to help set your child up for a lifetime of healthy teeth! To learn more about caring for your child’s pearly whites, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Maggie Davis today!

Your Dental Care Playbook

June 21, 2016

On game day, most athletes have their own checklist or pregame ritual to get in the zone. Uniform? Check. Water? Check. Warmup? Check. Mouthguard? We hope so! No matter what sport or skill level, athletes should be taking care of their teeth on and off the field. Here are three ways athletes can improve their oral hygiene game to keep their teeth healthy and strong:

  1. Always wear a mouthguard: Make a mouthguard part of your uniform! Anyone who plays contact sports should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue. Wearing a mouthguard can keep you safe from soft tissue damage and jaw injuries that could otherwise cause serious harm. While it doesn’t necessarily matter what kind of mouthguard you choose, make sure it fits comfortably.
  2. Skip the sugary sports drinks: Rather than reaching for a sugar-filled sports drink on the sidelines, choose water. The bacteria in your mouth takes the sugar from these drinks to produce acid that weakens the outer shell of your teeth and can increase your risk for cavities.
  3. Practice makes perfect: Just as with your sport, mastering your dental habits takes practice. An unhealthy tooth is more likely to be damaged in a sports injury. Keep your smile as strong as your game by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily.  

As your Palm Harbor pediatric dentist, our team is here to help keep your kids’ teeth in tip-top shape. From orthodontics to fillings and cosmetic dentistry to restorations, our mission is to raise our children with a cavity-free, healthy smile they can wear proudly. We want your child to love the dentist and grow into a confident adult with a lifetime of healthy dental habits. To learn more about how to help improve your child’s dental hygiene game or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

How to Care for Your Toothbrush

June 7, 2016

Passing along proper oral hygiene habits to your kids is an important task. If kids start brushing and flossing at a young age, they’re more likely to carry on healthy habits throughout their life. Many people don’t think about caring for their toothbrush, but it can be just as essential as keeping up with your dental care. As you begin to teach your little ones how to brush, don’t forget to include the following tips for terrific toothbrush care:

  1. Keep your toothbrush in the open air: Frequently keeping moist toothbrushes in a closed or covered container increases the risk of microorganism growth.
  2. Don’t share toothbrushes: When you use someone else’s toothbrush, you expose yourself to their germs and increase your risk of illness. Anyone with a weak immune system or anyone who is sick should avoid using someone else’s toothbrush.
  3. Keep your toothbrush upright: If you store your toothbrush in the upright position it’s able to properly dry before the next time you use it. When you have multiple brushes in the same holder, make sure to keep them from touching to avoid any cross-contamination.
  4. Rinse out your toothbrush: After you brush, be sure to properly rinse out your toothbrush to remove any leftover debris and toothpaste so it’s clean for the next time you use it.
  5. Replace your toothbrush every 3 – 4 months: Kids toothbrushes usually need to be replaced more frequently than adult brushes. When your toothbrush is worn and frayed it’s not able to do its job as effectively.

Teaching your kids at a young age to properly care for their teeth will help ensure that their pearly whites are strong and healthy for years to come. From teaching frequent brushing to flossing, Dr. Maggie Davis is here to help keep your kids cavity-free and smiling. To learn more about how to help your kids care for their teeth or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

Make Dental Hygiene Fun: Part Two

May 26, 2016

Getting kids to brush their teeth can seem like a terribly difficult feat. Even if you can get them to brush, they might be fighting it the whole way…and who knows if they brushed for two minutes! While these tasks might seem impossible to achieve, there are simple ways to make oral care not only fun, but effective for kids. Check out the continuation of our last blog:


Books and Videos

Check out a children’s book from the library that encourages healthy oral care habits. You can also show your child a fun video about dental hygiene for kids. Stories and videos that are designed for children are great for teaching kids how to take care of their teeth and for making oral health something that they can relate to.

Special Toothpaste

Your child’s toothpaste can even be amusing! Your five year old may not run to the bathroom to use plain, minty toothpaste, but they can look forward to a good time cleaning his teeth with a strawberry or watermelon flavored toothpaste.

Gold Stars

To make brushing twice a day and flossing more enjoyable create your own gold star reward system. You and your child can decorate a poster with teeth, toothbrushes, healthy snacks, and other oral health themes to represent the days of the month. Give your child a sticker to put on the poster every time they brush their teeth.

Dentist Visit Surprise

Regular check ups are another important part of good dental hygiene for kids. Visits to the dentist every six months help keep your child’s smile sparkling and healthy. Surprise your child after the appointment with some fun family time. Head to the park or plan a picnic with healthy foods for healthy teeth.

So, there you have it. Who knew that encouraging great dental care in your children could be this simple? If it seems like they are reluctant, don’t give up! Your child’s teeth are very important, and making sure that they take care of them is something they will definitely thank you for it later.

Make Dental Hygiene Fun: Part One

May 12, 2016

Help your kids have a healthy smile by making dental hygiene for kids fun. Making brushing, flossing and dental check-ups a positive experience can help to keep your child excited about good oral care. Your child will not only grow up with a beautiful smile, but also with healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Brush and Floss Together

One way to make your child interested in oral care is to brush and floss together. Kids like to mimic what their parents do, and most of the time they don’t even realize that they’re doing it! Show your son or daughter your excellent brushing technique, including your great tongue brushing skills! After brushing, floss your child’s teeth or help them to floss if they are old enough to do it on their own. To give routine brushing an air of excitement, make up a rhyme about keeping teeth clean or sing a fun song.

Special Brush

Another way to keep your child’s interest alive is with a new, fun toothbrush. When it is time to replace the old toothbrush with a new one, opt for a colorful, soft bristled brush, or one with your child’s favorite cartoon character.

Keep Track of Dental Hygiene Time

The American Dental Association advocates brushing for two minutes, twice per day. How do you know that your child is brushing for long enough? Use a two minute sand timer. Let your child flip over their brightly colored timer and then start brushing.

These tasks might seem simple enough, but there are plenty more where these came from! This is only half of our list. Check back in with us later this month for the second installment, and until then, use these great tips to make your child’s experience with dental care a good one. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it when they’re old enough to appreciate it!

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »