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Lewisville Pediatric Dentist | Healthy Transitions: Trading Bottles for Cups

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Helping your child switch from bottles to cups can be challenging. Babies may become emotionally attached to their bottles as a source of comfort as well as nutrition.

However, bottles can also become dangerous to your child’s teeth over time. Continuing to use a bottle too long can cause your child’s palate to narrow. This can lead to an increased need for orthodontic treatment as they grow.

Bottles also expose a baby’s teeth to liquids over an extended period of time. Liquids such as milk, formula, and juice contain sugars that can increase the risk of tooth decay. To help protect your child’s teeth, you should encourage your child to start drinking from a cup by their first birthday.

It is important to consider your choice of training cup. There are many and varied options of child training cups available. Here are some things to consider when selecting cups for your child.

Keep the goal in mind when choosing a style of training cup for your child.

Cups advertised as “no spill” often contain a special valve beneath the spout. This valve does protect against easy spilling, but also prevents sipping. Instead, these cups require your child to suck on the spout, essentially replacing one type of bottle with another. This can slow your child’s training on cup usage. In some cases, these valves may even require a high level of suction, making them frustrating to use.

Look for a cup with a simple spout rather than a “no spill” spout.

These cups are easy for your child to use and help them learn to sip. Cups with handles can be easier for small hands to learn to hold. If spills are a concern, look for a cup with a weighted base that can help it self-right.

Remember that transitions occur in stages.

Phase out the bottle in favor of the cup, don’t try to change all at once. Once your child can use the cup, limit the bottle to water. This can help make the bottle less desired. Provide the bottle less often over time to allow your child time to adjust. Once your child has mastered training cups, start offering a small plastic cup without a lid. When they can use this new cup, phase out the training cup.

For more information about bottle to cup transitions or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

 

Pediatric Dentist in Lewisville | Baby Teeth – Should My Child’s Teeth Be Removed?

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Making sure your child’s mouth develops properly is important. Part of a growing mouth will mean your child’s baby teeth will come out. For many kids, baby teeth loosen and fall out on their own, but every child is different. When you bring your child in for an orthodontic evaluation, we take into consideration your child’s baby teeth. Here are some things to remember about your child’s teeth.

Is My Child on Track?

Sometimes we see parents in our office who are concerned that their child’s baby teeth have not fallen out. Each child’s mouth is going to be different. Typically, between the ages of 6 and 8, your child will lose their first teeth. This usually continues through ages 10 to 13 when the last of their baby teeth come out. Many kids experience a break between ages 8 and 10, so don’t be alarmed if your child hasn’t lost any teeth for a while.

What This Means for Orthodontic Treatment

We start any examination with a basic inventory of your child’s teeth. We look at how many they have lost and what teeth still must come in. Your child might lose teeth at a slower pace, and this usually is not cause for any concern. However, as kids reach age 12 and beyond we might consider removing baby teeth when planning orthodontic treatment. If your child is getting their second molars and has yet to lose some of their baby teeth, we likely will consider removal.

Why They Need to be Removed

Crowding is an issue when a permanent tooth begins to grow next to a baby tooth. We usually recommend removal in this instance, but it is important to note that this does not solve the issue of crowding. Usually expansion is a solution for crowding.

In our office, we use x-rays and scans to track your child’s mouth. These are a valuable resource in helping figure out the best time to have teeth removed. We can see what is coming in and decide to remove a baby tooth if it will cause complications to the new permanent tooth.

Why They Shouldn’t be Removed

Sometimes, the best course of action is to wait it out. Your child’s baby teeth have an important function in holding the required space needed for permanent teeth to come in. With missing teeth, our doctor will decide if the space between needs to be closed. Keeping teeth in place is also good for keeping your gums healthy.

Our doctor will decide if removal is needed based on your child’s teeth. Your child should be receiving regular examinations. Their fast-changing mouths need to be looked at frequently to ensure their teeth will grow properly in the future.

For more questions about orthodontics, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office.

Pediatric Dentist Lewisville TX | 5 Building Blocks for Optimal Infant Oral Health

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that tooth decay is the single largest ailment impacting children. In fact, tooth decay is more widespread than illnesses such as asthma. As a parent, you can help establish habits that will lead to a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child. Essential oral health care practices start during infancy. Don’t wait for your child’s teeth to begin erupting before considering their oral health.

  1. Clean Gums, Healthy Smile

Before your infant has teeth, it is important that you clean their gums. This can be done by using a clean, damp cloth and gently wiping your child’s gum line. This cleans off any residue from food and drink. When left uncleaned, your child may be at risk for developing gum disease. Our team suggests cleaning your child’s gums at least twice a day.

  1. Introduce Toothpaste

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

  1. When Teeth Erupt, Brush

Once your child’s first tooth erupts, it is time to begin brushing. We recommend selecting a soft-bristled toothbrush made for infants. A pea-sized amount of child-friendly toothpaste should be used. Gently brush your child’s tooth, and be sure not to neglect their gums. Continue to gently clean their gums.

  1. Visit Us

When your child’s first tooth erupts, it’s time to visit our team. Their first dental examination should be scheduled once you notice the appearance of their first tooth. Children should receive at least two regular dental examinations each year, or more if they are at a higher risk for oral health complications.

  1. Instill Proper Brushing Habits

Help your child learn how to brush their teeth. Children learn by imitating. You can try brushing alongside your child to supervise their progress. Children should brush twice each day, for a minimum of two full minutes. Each child develops at his or her own rate, but on average, children can begin brushing their own teeth, with parental supervision, at age 5.

Proper oral health practices are vital for infants and children. Your role as a parent is to shape your child’s habits to set them on a path for a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Don’t wait for your child’s first tooth to erupt before considering their oral health.

Schedule an appointment with our team today.

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