The Importance of Dental Hygiene Through Covid-19

Covid-19 has made all of our routines uncertain, and unfortunately, that also means that some have neglected their oral health. Early in the pandemic, it was difficult to imagine safely visiting the dentist. Today, we understand more about the virus and preventing its transmission, making it safe to schedule your routine appointments. It is especially important for children to see their pediatric dentist at least twice a year.

Postponing Dental Care Allows Problems to Worsen

Even minor dental problems, such as cavities, can escalate to bigger issues if they are left untreated. These issues can be painful for your child and require expensive, complex treatments if left to worsen over time. This is why routine appointments with your dentist are so important at any age. During routine appointments, sealants can also be applied to help prevent cavities or other issues from forming in the future.

For children, however, it is also important for a dentist to have the opportunity to monitor the progress of their teeth and oral health as they quickly grow. Your pediatric dentist will check for normal growth progress and can give you advice for issues that may develop over time. For example, your hygienist and dentist can give valuable advice for nutritional needs, bad habits like thumb-sucking, and at-home hygiene.

In addition to these health problems, avoiding the dentist can make visits unfamiliar and frightening to kids. At Sprout Kids Dentistry, we take extra steps to make visiting the dentist a fun and positive experience for children. This can only be achieved when we see our patients on a regular basis and get to build a relationship over time.

Routine Dentist Appointments Teach Kids Good Habits

Scheduling routine cleanings and checkups allows your hygienist and dentists to teach your child good at-home habits from an early age. This includes proper brushing and flossing techniques that can be difficult to instill in your child as a parent. Seeing the dentist regularly also shows your child that oral health is valuable and reinforces the steps you take at home to take care of your teeth and gums.

Oral Health is Important to Overall Health

Dentists understand that oral health can often indicate your overall health. Signs of conditions ranging from diabetes to respiratory illnesses to poor immune function can be seen in the mouth before other symptoms emerge. Your pediatric dentist is trained to recognize these signs and protect your child’s overall health in addition to their oral health.

How We Make Our Office Covid-Safe

Through the pandemic, we have established a simple Covid-19 protocol that keeps our staff and patients safe. We follow all CDC and ADA disinfecting measures and safety protocols to keep our office sanitized through the day. We also require masks for all adults and children over the age of four and require visitors to wash and sanitize their hands upon entering our office. Only one parent or guardian is permitted to accompany children to treatment areas to limit the number of people in our spaces. Finally, we ask that any patients who are feeling unwell or have a known Covid-19 exposure to follow our cancellation policy and reschedule their appointments.

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about your pediatric dentistry options or to schedule your first appointment, call (617) 934-6339 or contact us online.

Back to Blogs

The Difference Between Children’s Teeth Cleaning and Adult Teeth Cleaning

We all know how important it is to care for our children’s teeth. This includes proper brushing and flossing techniques to help them establish good oral hygiene habits as they grow. However, not all parents realize just how important regular dental cleanings are in childhood. Routine dental check-ups for children may be even more important than they are for grown-ups because they help establish the foundation of good dental hygiene practices that will see young people through their entire lives.

Children should be seen by a pediatric dentist twice a year for regular cleaning and to ensure their teeth are growing properly. Pediatric dentists undergo several years of specialized, rigorous training beyond traditional dental education. While dental check-ups are very similar for adults and children, there are some differences. Here are just a few to know before you bring your child in for their appointment.

Learning How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

A big part of a regular pediatric dental appointment is making sure kids and parents know how to take care of their teeth. Your child’s dentist will look out for signs that your child is brushing and flossing correctly. If their technique is still lacking, they’ll take the time to teach your child how to brush their teeth thoroughly and floss well. Sometimes, very young children have enough space between their baby teeth that they don’t yet need to floss. However, it’s still very important to be checked by a pediatric dentist throughout development.

Pediatric Teeth Cleaning

Like an adult dental appointment, the main part of a regular pediatric dental appointment is the cleaning stage. Your child’s dental technician will clean their teeth with special toothpaste, floss if necessary, and (depending on the level of build-up present) may use a sonic device to remove plaque and tartar.

Growing Assessment

One vital part of a children’s dental check-up is ensuring that their teeth are coming in correctly. This may require x-rays for teeth that have not erupted yet. When problems in the growth patterns are caught early, children can get early orthodontic care that may help prevent bigger issues down the road.

Schedule an Appointment

Here at Sprout Kids Dentistry, Dr. Michelle Anderson and her team offer quality dental care exclusively for children. Along the way, they strive to educate kids and their parents on good dental hygiene. Start your child out on the path to great dental health for a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth. If you’re looking for excellent pediatric dentistry in Boston, give us a call or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment with Sprout Kids Dentistry today!

Back to Blogs

Truths and Myths About Cavities

Cavities are probably the most well-known dental issue, and also one of the most easily
treatable ones as well. And although most parents and kids are aware of their prevalence, it’s
unlikely that they’re as well-versed in the reasons they arise, what dentists do to fix them, and
even what they actually are. Let’s clear up some of the most common misunderstandings about
your kid’s oral health in general and cavities in particular.


Myth: You Only Need A Dentist When Something Hurts

One of the more popular myths surrounding dental care is that checkups are unnecessary
unless there’s a specific issue with pain involved. The reason this thinking is flawed is that by
the time something in your mouth or teeth is hurting, the issue has progressed way too far.
Pain in your mouth and teeth come from nerve signals, which lie in the roots of teeth. When
tooth decay or damage reaches the nerve, it’s likely gone past the point of simply needing a
filling, which is cheap and simple to fix, to more invasive procedures like a pulpotomy.
This is what makes routine dental checkups so important for your child’s oral
health. By getting your kid’s teeth examined by Dr. Anderson on a regular basis, you have a
trained professional keeping a close eye on their oral health that can identify and solve dental problems before they become
painful and costly.


Truth: Sugar and Carbs Cause Cavities

The process that causes cavities begins with bacteria in your mouth enjoying a sugary or carb-
loaded feast from the food and drinks you consume. Sugars in sweets like soda and candy—as
well as those in bread, potatoes, and pasta—interact with bacteria to form acids that erode tooth
enamel.


This starts as plaque, a tacky substance that contains bacteria that coats the surfaces of teeth.
Plaque, when it’s soft, can be brushed away on a twice-daily basis, preventing the formation of
hardened plaque that cannot be brushed away. This is called calculus.
When calculus and the bacteria sealed within it sit on teeth too long, it can wear a hole in the tooth,
allowing the bacteria to be even harder to brush away or get out. This is when cavities and other
forms of tooth decay form.


The bacteria that cause cavities thrive on sugar and carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you
need to totally eliminate these compounds from your diets—it’s impossible to do, in fact—but it
does mean you should help your children fully commit to a diligent brushing and flossing routine
to help prevent the accumulation of plaque and calculus.


Myth: Sugar-Free Drinks Don’t Cause Cavities


Although sugar and carbs are the main and most common culprits for encouraging tooth decay,
anything that makes the mouth environment more acidic can cause a cavity. This includes
sugar-free sodas and anything else with a low pH.


Fact: You Can’t Stop A Cavity in its Tracks


Once a cavity forms, it requires a dentist to correct it. No amount of brushing, flossing, or rinsing
can repair the damage to tooth enamel caused by bacterial decay. Once the bacteria makes it halfway through the enamel, there’s no going back.

Myth: Fillings Are Permanent Solutions


Although modern dental techniques and tools are excellent at providing relief and restoration to
decayed teeth, they’re still not the same as your natural tooth tissue. 
Fillings can wear and break down with time, and bacteria can still cause decay around the
edges of a filling, which is another reason why a healthy daily routine is critical to lifelong dental
health.

Children’s Dentistry in Quincy, MA


We understand the dentist’s chair can be one of the most intimidating places in your little one’s
life, which is why our staff and facilities are tailored to the experience of children. At Sprout Kids
Dentistry, we work with parents to craft a personalized plan for your child’s routine care and
dental treatment that you’re comfortable with, and that best serves your child’s needs. To learn
more about our practice and schedule your first appointment, call our office or contact us online
today.

Back to Blogs

Toothpaste: When to Start Using and How Much

We understand that parenting comes with a lot of uncertainties and concerns. Oral health is one important area, but it can feel overwhelming to worry about it on top of everything else. Is your child too young to use a toothbrush and toothpaste? Is there a right age to start teaching your child about oral health? Do you use the right amount of toothpaste yourself? Don’t worry! It’s normal to have a lot of questions. Here’s what to know about your child’s oral health and how to navigate it.

When should my child start using toothpaste?

This is a common question among parents with infants. We recommend starting oral hygiene practices as early as possible. For the first few months, your baby will be toothless and there’s no need to use toothpaste. However, you should clean your baby’s gums with a soft cloth and water to prevent the build-up of bacteria. At 24 months, your child should have all their milk teeth come in. You can introduce fluoride-infused toothpaste anywhere between when they have their first tooth and when they have all their teeth. But remember, the earlier the better.

How much toothpaste should my child use?

It’s not recommended to use fluoride toothpaste on children below the age of 6 months because they have no teeth. Fluoride works best on teeth enamel. You should only need a tiny amount for children. At 24 months, all your baby’s teeth should have come in.

Once this happens, you can use a rice grain amount of toothpaste. Pediatric dentists usually recommend less concentrated levels of fluoride in toothpaste suited for children. Shop for baby-friendly toothpaste brands. Toothpaste should be used together with a soft-bristled toothbrush suitable for tender baby teeth and gums.

How often should my child brush?

Like general dentistry, it’s a universal rule in kids’ dentistry to brush and floss teeth daily. Brushing with toothpaste, in particular, should be regularly done twice a day. Encourage your children to brush their teeth gently over a two minutes and spit the toothpaste out.

When should I increase the amount of toothpaste?

Kids grow rapidly and usually, the small pea-sized amount of toothpaste isn’t enough after a while. Once they turn three years old, consider increasing the measure of toothpaste to a pea-size amount. Your child’s pediatric dentist can help you make sure you’re getting the right amount. As your children age, they’ll begin to use the same type and amount of toothpaste you use on your teeth.

Schedule an Appointment

As a parent, it’s important to assist your child through these dental hygiene habits until they are old enough to manage it on their own. We recommend starting early for healthier and brighter teeth with minimal problems in the future. If you still have questions or are looking for the right pediatric dentist for your child, we can help. Schedule an appointment with our team by contacting our Quincy office. We invite you to call or fill out our online form.

Back to Blogs

How Do Sealants for Children Work?

How Do Sealants for Children Work?

While brushing and flossing are the most effective ways to prevent cavities, it can be particularly difficult for small children to clean their teeth thoroughly by reaching all the areas where bacteria can accumulate. For this reason, many dentists recommend sealants, which can reduce tooth decay in children. Sealants have also been in use since the 1960s, meaning they have a safe an effective track record. Here’s what to know about this option if you are considering this for your children’s dental health.

How Do Sealants Work?

A dental sealant is a coating made from a special type of BPA-free resin or similar material that sticks to the molars’ chewing surfaces. It essentially acts as a raincoat for the teeth and can protect the underlying enamel.

Bacteria and food particles form acids that create cavities or holes in teeth. Just as a raincoat keeps you from getting wet during a storm, the sealant keeps bacteria and acid from settling on the surface of your teeth. This means that bacteria can’t eat away at the enamel and cause decay over time.

Who Can Get Sealants?

While virtually anybody can benefit from sealants, however they are especially beneficial for children as they don’t develop the necessary coordination and habits to brush their teeth effectively until around six to nine years of age.

A child’s first molars typically grow in when they are around six years old, while their second molars emerge when they are about twelve. Applying sealants to these teeth as soon as they emerge can protect them from the start and thus prevent decay and the need for expensive fillings. Sealants can also prevent premature tooth loss, which in turn reduces the risk of bite problems.

How Are Sealants Applied?

Getting sealants is quick and painless. Your child’s dentist will start by thoroughly cleaning and drying the teeth. They will then apply an acidic gel that will make the surface of the teeth rougher so the sealant will stick to them more readily. After rinsing off the gel, your child’s dentist will dry the teeth and paint the sealant on them. Finally, your child’s dentist will shine a special blue light on your child’s teeth to make the sealant harden more quickly. The whole process takes under an hour, and the exact time will depend on the number of teeth being treated.

Can Sealants Be Placed Over Cavities?

No. A sealant is placed on a cavity-free tooth and used to lower the risk of that tooth developing a cavity.

How Long Do Sealants Last?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, sealants can last for up to a decade. It’s still a good idea to take your child to their dentist regularly, though, so they can look for chips or worn spots in the sealant. If necessary, your child’s dentist can apply more sealant coating to repair the sealant.

Schedule an Appointment

Sealants are an excellent way to set your child up for a lifetime of dental health. To meet with our pediatric dentistry team, we invite you to contact Sprout Kids Dentistry by calling our Quincy office or filling out our online form.

Back to Blogs

All of your Pediatric Dentist FAQ’s Answered!

Starting a dental routine for your child at an early age is essential in creating life-long healthy habits. To help you get started, here are the answers to FAQs concerning children’s dental health and the role of pediatric dentists.

Why should we choose a pediatric dentist?

Dentists who specialize in kids dentistry only treat children and are equipped to treat their specific needs. Children require different treatment than adults.

At what age should my child have their first dental checkup?

When your child gets their first tooth, or by the time they turn one year old, they should be seen by a dentist. The dentist can teach you how to care for their teeth right from the start.

How frequently should we visit the dentist?

Most dentists suggest coming in every six months. This allows them to check for cavities and overall dental health.

How can we prevent tooth decay?

Regular dental check-ups, brushing and flossing, and healthy diet choices can help prevent tooth decay. Minimize the intake of sugary drinks and foods and ensure they are getting enough vitamins and calcium. It’s helpful if your water supply has fluoride, which helps strengthen teeth.

Can my child start using toothpaste?

Children can start using toothpaste containing fluoride at age one. Start with a rice-grain amount, and brush their teeth and gums for them. Children under age one can have their teeth cleaned with a fluoride-free training toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.

What kind of toothbrush should we use?

Children’s toothbrushes should have a small head and soft bristles. Most packages recommended ages to help you choose. It’s fun to pick a toothbrush with your child’s favorite character on it. This helps make brushing more exciting.

When should we start flossing?

Begin flossing your child’s teeth around age four or as soon as neighboring teeth are touching. Many kids can do it themselves at age eight using floss picks, but it should still be supervised.

How can I alleviate my child’s toothache?

Have your child rinse with warm saltwater. If there is visible facial swelling, use a cold compress. Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help treat the pain. Make a dental appointment as quickly as possible to examine the affected area.

When should we stop pacifier use and thumb sucking?

It is recommended to start halting pacifier use at six months old. Prolonged use is linked to a higher rate of ear infections. It is recommended to start halting a thumb sucking habit no later than age 3 to prevent long term effects to the adult teeth.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are used to prevent food from causing decay in the crevasses of your child’s teeth. The application is quick and can protect your child’s teeth for many years.

Are x-rays safe for children?

Dental x-rays use only a small amount of radiation, and pediatric dental staff use extra precautions for the child’s safety.

Schedule a consultation

If you’re looking for pediatric dentistry in Boston, give Dr. Anderson of Sprout Kids Dentistry a call at 617-934-6339! Get your child started on the right path toward life-long dental health.

Back to Blogs

How to Prevent Cavities for Children?

What are cavities?

Cavities are holes in the enamel layer of the tooth. If not treated, a cavity will grow and eventually affect the inner layers of the tooth as well. This can cause infection and lead to tooth pain and toothaches. Unfortunately, cavities are a very common health issue, especially among young children and adolescents.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a cavity can vary depending on its location and size. These include:
 Pain When Chewing or Biting Down
 Tooth Discoloration
 Toothache
 Tooth Sensitivity to Hot or Cold temperatures, and Sweets

When to see a dentist

You can’t always tell when a cavity is starting, so taking your child for regular dental checkups and cleanings is the surest way to prevent them. If your child is experiencing tooth pain, be sure to take him/her to the dentist as soon as possible.

Causes and risk factors

Tooth decay is a process that occurs over time. Bacteria feeds on any sugars and starches left on teeth, creating plaque. Over time, plaque destroys the enamel layer of the teeth. Once the enamel is compromised, plaque goes to work on the next inner layer of the tooth, called dentin. Dentin communicates with the nerve in the center of the tooth, so it is at this point, tooth pain becomes an issue. Several risk factors contribute to the formation of plaque and tooth decay. Inadequate brushing is a leading cause, as is not using a fluoride toothpaste or consuming fluoridated drinking water. Back teeth, which are often hard for children to clean thoroughly, are at higher risk of developing plaque.

Prevention

Preventing cavities in children is a process that should begin while the child is still a baby. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child be no older than twelve months before going for his/her first dental visit. Scheduling regular dental visits for your child is the best way to prevent cavities.
Make sure to brush your child’s teeth twice a day until they can do so effectively themselves. Use fluoride toothpaste, as fluoride strengthens tooth enamel. Also, limit the amount of snacking your child does. When we eat, bacteria forms in our mouths and attacks our teeth. This is why, ideally, you should brush after meals. If your child snacks throughout the day, they are at increased risk for plaque build-up and tooth decay.

Request a consultation

If you’re in need of quality children’s dental care in the Greater Boston area, look no further than Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy. Dr. Anderson and her staff have created an environment designed to put your child at ease as they receive the outstanding dental care they deserve. Visit us online at sproutdentistry.com or, better yet, call today to schedule an appointment.
Back to Blogs

Is having a tooth extracted very painful?

Is Having a Tooth Extracted Very Painful?

Taking care of your dental health is of utmost importance. Not taking care of your child’s teeth can lead to tooth decay, loss of teeth, and tooth infections. These infections can lead to problems with their overall health. If they need to have a tooth removed, there is no need to worry. This
procedure is common and will help to ensure that their dental health is where it should be. Sprout Kids Dentistry is experienced in tooth extractions. We’re here to answer all of your questions or concerns.

Why Are Teeth Removed?

There are many reasons why a tooth may be removed. Infections, severe damage, and overcrowding can be a factor in tooth removal. Removing the tooth in the case of severe damage or infections can help to ensure that there are no further issues. In the case of overcrowding, removal of the tooth can allow for the proper spacing of teeth.

How Much Does A Tooth Extraction Cost?

The cost of a tooth extraction will vary depending on whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. The staff at Sprout Kids Dentistry will provide a price point and explain possible payment options.

How To Prepare For A Tooth Extraction

A dental x-ray will first be done to determine what teeth need to be removed. After this x-ray, Dr. Anderson will create a treatment plan. She will ask questions about previous medical issues, medications, and anything else of concern. As a parent or guardian, you will want to tell Dr. Anderson if there are any issues or family history of heart disease, cancer, bleeding disorders, liver disease, impaired immune system, or diabetes. To prepare for your child’s appointment, you will want to make sure that you follow all the instructions that are laid out by Dr. Anderson and her staff.

What Is The Procedure For A Tooth Extraction?

This will depend on what type of extraction Dr. Anderson will be performing. If it is a simple extraction, a local anesthetic will be given. Once the area is numbed, the tooth will be removed. If a surgical extraction is needed, general anesthesia or I.V sedation may be necessary and Dr. Anderson will give you a referral to consult with an oral surgeon.

What Are The Risks Of A Tooth Extraction?

While the benefits outweigh the complications, there are some potential risks that you will need to be aware of. The most common complication is dry socket. Dry socket occur when the blood clot removes itself from the former spot of the tooth. This can cause extreme pain, which will require a visit back to Sprout Kids Dentistry. Other risks include excessive bleeding, infection, cough, redness, swelling, and chest pain. If any of these are experienced, the dentist should be contacted immediately.

What Is The Recovery Period From A Tooth Extraction?

It will take a day or two to fully recover from tooth extraction, especially a surgical tooth extraction. During the recovery period, ice packs, saltwater rinses, and resting should be done. Tooth brushing should be done as normal, but the extraction site should be avoided for the first 24 hours to avoid dry socket. Foods such as ice cream, applesauce, yogurt, and pudding should be consumed for the first few days after the extraction.

Request A Consultation

If your child is experiencing an issue with their teeth, please call Sprout Kids Dentistry in Quincy, MA. Dr. Anderson is available to help ensure that your child has all of their pediatric dental needs met with quality and affordable care.

Back to Blogs

What Is a Mouthguard and How Does It Prevent Teeth Grinding?

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, affects millions of people every year. In some cases, teeth grinding can cause people to experience headaches and soreness in the jaw or face. Teeth grinding can also cause a person’s teeth to break or destroy the enamel on their teeth. In severe cases, bruxism can even cause tooth loss. The good news is that mouthguards worn at night can help treat bruxism and protect your teeth.

What Is a Mouthguard and How Does It Work?

A mouthguard is an oral device that you wear over your teeth while you sleep at night. This guard protects your teeth by working as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. As your jaw clenches at night, the mouthguard will force this tightening to loosen up to prevent grinding. This device helps to protect your teeth by preventing the teeth to grind together during the night and it can reduce facial and jaw pain by stopping your jaw from clenching while you sleep.

Types of Mouthguards

You don’t need a prescription to purchase a mouthguard. They are available over the counter or you can request one from your dentist. According to the American Sleep Association, there are three main types of mouthguards.

1. Soft Mouthguard

As the name suggests, soft mouthguards are soft and flexible. Many people find this the most comfortable mouthguard to use. However, it’s not always effective for severe cases of teeth grinding. In addition, this type of mouthguard is not as durable as some other options, so you may need to purchase a new one every few months.

2. Hard Mouthguard

A hard mouthguard is made from acrylic and it’s not flexible. This type of mouthguard must be ordered from the dentist and is made using an impression of your teeth. This style of nightguard is ideal for those who suffer from severe teeth grinding. While it can take some time to get used to wearing a hard mouthguard, it is very durable and will last longer than other types.

3. Dual Laminate Mouthguard

The dual laminate mouthguard is a mixture between the hard and soft style. It has a hard exterior and a soft interior. This type of nightguard is ideal for those who suffer from moderate teeth grinding.

 Ordering Your Mouthguard

There are several ways mouthguards adjust to your teeth.

Non-Molded Mouthguard

  • Non-Molded Mouthguard – You can purchase this type of mouthguard over the counter and use it instantly without any molding or preparation.

Boil and Bite Mouthguard

  • Boil and Bite Mouthguard – This mouthguard can be purchased at the store, but you will need to boil it and then place it in your mouth and bite down to make an impression before using it.

Customized Mouthguard

  • Customized Mouthguard – You can order a customized mouthguard online, but you will be required to send the company an impression of your teeth so they can make you a customized nightguard.

Laboratory-Made Mouthguard

  • Laboratory-Made Mouthguard – When you order a mouthguard through your dentist, he will start by taking an impression of your teeth and then sending it to the laboratory to be made.

Using a mouthguard can significantly reduce the effects of teeth grinding and protect your teeth from damage. It’s important to only use your mouthguard at nighttime and to place it in your mouth just before you are ready to go to sleep. Keep in mind that it could take up to four to six weeks to get used to using a mouthguard.

Back to Blogs

Your Baby’s Mouth: What to Expect

If you’ve had a baby, there can be a lot of things to worry about. Although infants usually do not have teeth when they are born, it is still important to provide dental care from the start. We recommend that you bring your baby in for a dental checkup by age one to ensure their gums and teeth are developing properly and detect any abnormalities. Here’s a simple guide to navigating your child’s early dental health.

What we look for

When you bring your baby in for their first check-up, there are a few specific things we look for. These include:

  • Epstein pearls: Small, white cysts in the baby’s mouth that are usually harmless and disappear on their own
  • Bohn nodules: Small, grayish-white nodules that can occur on the palate and are usually harmless as well
  • Inclusion cysts: Small, harmless bumps on the gums
  • Natal/Neonatal teeth: Some infants are born with teeth, or their teeth begin to erupt within thirty days of birth. In some cases, these need to be removed.

Your baby’s mouth during infancy

During the first year of life, your baby will likely experience teething, which is when their teeth begin to erupt through the gums. This usually occurs between 3 and 9 months, and will likely cause your child some pain or discomfort. Signs of teething include irritability, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, and restlessness. Some treatments that may help are teething biscuits or teething rings, pain medicine, eating cold foods, or massaging the gums. Talk to your dentist about how to best relieve your baby’s teething pain.

Another normal aspect of an infant’s life is sucking on a pacifier, thumb, or finger. This is not something to be concerned about, as sucking is a natural reflex for babies. These sucking habits are usually gone by around 3 or 4 years old, and if stopped at this age, will likely not affect the jaw or teeth. However, if a prolonged sucking habit continues it can cause:

  • misaligned upper and lower jaws
  • bottom front teeth to slant inward
  • top front teeth to slant out

These bite problems may need to be corrected with orthodontic work in the future. 

A common problem that can occur with your baby’s teeth is baby bottle tooth decay. This often occurs when a child is repeatedly put to bed with a bottle, and the sugars in the milk or juice sit on the child’s teeth for a long period of time, eventually causing tooth decay or cavities. This can be prevented by not giving the child a bottle in bed, as well as performing adequate dental care.

How to care for your baby’s mouth 

You should begin cleaning your child’s gums soon after birth, even before any teeth have erupted. This will ensure your baby’s mouth is clean as well as get them used to the cleaning process. Here is how to clean your baby’s mouth: 

  • Lay their head down on a flat surface or in your lap
  • Rub a damp washcloth over the upper and lower gums
  • After teeth have erupted, switch to using a baby toothbrush and water 
  • Repeat these steps twice a day, in the morning and evening

Schedule an Appointment

It’s never too early to bring your child to the dentist to ensure that they remain healthy and happy for the years to come. Schedule an appointment with Sprout Kids Dentistry by calling or filling out our online form and we can find the appointment that works best for you.

Back to Blogs