Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tips for a "Tooth"rific Halloween

Halloween is an exciting holiday for kids, as they look forward to dressing up as their favorite characters and getting lots of yummy candy.  However, with all the extra candy can come extra tooth decay and cavities.  By following these simple tips you can keep kid's teeth healthy while they enjoy Halloween.

1. Choose candy wisely- Not all candy is equally scary for your teeth.  Choose candy that melts quickly and is eaten quickly (like chocolate).  Avoid candy that is sticky, gooey, chewy, or that sits in your mouth for long periods of time (like caramel).  When candy sits in your mouth it allows bacteria to produce the acid that causes tooth decay.

2. Keep candy out of reach- Gather up all the candy your kids collected and keep it out of reach and out of sight.  This keeps you and the kids from constantly thinking about and eating the candy.  It also keeps kids from being able to eat candy throughout the entire day without you being aware of it.

3. Avoid grazing- Don't allow children to constantly eat candy during the day.  This lengthens the amount of time sugar is in contact with teeth.  Instead have kids eat their candy at specific times, such as with a snack or after meals.  It is always best to eat sweets with other foods. The presence of the additional food increases the saliva production in the mouth. Plaque thrives on the acids produced by sugar. This increase in saliva helps to break down the sugar quickly, which in turn decreases the amount of acid produced in the mouth.

4. Eat Healthy Meals- Try to ensure children eat a good, hearty meal prior to trick-or-treating, so there will be less temptation to gorge on candy.  Eat healthy meals on a regular basis to prevent excessive snacking on candy throughout the year, as well as during Halloween.

5. Brush and Floss- Brush and floss immediately after your child eats candy.  You can also have them rinse with children's fluoride mouth wash to give extra protection to their teeth.  If brushing their teeth is not an immediate option have them chew sugarless gum, which will increase saliva production and help break down sugar.

6.Visit your dentist regulary- Check ups help maintain healthy teeth and gums. Your dentist can detect oral infections, gum disease, and cavities earlier. Allowing for easier management of dental disease.

Use Halloween to teach children they can still have fun, and eat their candy too. By following these tips, they will learn how to enjoy the occasional treat while remembering the health of their teeth at the same time. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Misuse of Sippy Cups

Sippy cups are meant to help children transition from bottles to cups.  They are a convenient way to prevent spills as children learn this new skill.  However, sippy cups are often overused and misused, leading to tooth decay among toddlers and preschoolers.  Sippy cups can cause tooth decay when they are filled with sugary beverages that children are allowed to sip on throughout the day.  This constantly coats their teeth in sugar which allows bacteria and plaque to form causing tooth decay.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry offers these tips to help parents know how to properly use sippy cups:
  •  The sippy cup is a training tool to help children transition from a bottle to a cup. It shouldn’t be used for a long period of time - it’s not a bottle and it’s not a pacifier.
  • Unless being used at mealtime, the sippy cup should only be filled with water. Frequent drinking of any other liquid, even if diluted, from a bottle or no-spill training cup should be avoided.
  • Sippy cups should not be used at naptime or bedtime unless they only have water in them.

Your dentist can further explain the proper use of sippy cups and can evaluate your child for tooth decay.  Use the sippy cup appropriately and let kids try real cups too.  They will be excited to be a big kid and will get the hang of it faster than you may think!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

The use of fluorides for the prevention and control of caries is documented to be both safe and highly effective.

Fluoride is important in your child’s dental health as it helps prevent and control tooth decay.  However, it is important that your child gets the proper amount because too much fluoride can actually cause problems.  

Fluoride can be found in drinking water, toothpaste, and mouth rinses. Having fluoride in drinking water is a safe and cost effective way to reduce tooth decay.  You can ask your dentist or local public health department if fluoride levels are optimal in your area’s drinking water.  

Toothpaste is another important way to protect teeth.  It is important to teach children to spit out toothpaste rather than swallow it, as swallowing fluoride toothpaste will cause children to get too much fluoride and result in problems.  Fluoridated toothpaste should be used twice daily as a primary preventive procedure.  According to the American Academy of Pediatric dentistry use only a smear of fluoridated toothpaste (left toothbrush) for children less than 2  years of age and a 'pea-size' (right toothbrush) amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children 2-5 to decrease the risk of fluorosis (or too much fluoride).

To learn more about the right amount of fluoride for your child ask your dentist.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

the juice on juice

fruit is nature's candy. it's super sweet and tasty. and bonus it's a part of a healthy diet. even the USDA recommends fruits and vegtables for half our plate. but believe it or not juice (even 100% fruit juice) is not an essential part of a kid's diet. with the high sugary content and the high acidity, it makes the perfect formula for cavities. i recommend, along with the AAPD, that juice not be a daily part of a meal but instead only given as a treat. juice should be limited to 4-6 fluid ounces, or 1/2 a cup per DAY, given only in a cup (not a sippy or bottle).   besides cavites, excessive juice intake can lead to other health problems for your little ones such as diabetes and obesity. have you noticed any unusual spots on your child's teeth? set up an appointment with my office and i'll be happy to take a look.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Prepare Children for Dental Appointments

Many parents ask me how to prepare their child before they come to the dentist for the first time. Dr. Andrew Beuttenmuller at Watertown Pediatric Dentistry says, "Tell your kids to be excited about going to the dentist. It's going to be fun at our office.  And please don't tell your kids any stories about past bad experiences." On the PBS website, they pass along tips help you prepare your little one. Below are some of the suggestions but to read them all go here

Be Patient. Give Choices. Then Go
"Allow plenty of time to get out the door, so battles don't escalate because you are late. Offer choices like, 'Do you want to bring your book or headphones?' or if necessary, 'Would you like to walk to the door or shall I carry you?' Then go." Susanna Neumann, Ph.D.  Psychologist Consultant, Rockefeller University, New York City

Plan Something Fun After the Visit
"Instead of bribing or threatening a young child into going to the doctor, ask him what fun thing he would like to do afterwards. Use this as an incentive, rather than a reward for good behavior, because it's normal for young kids to get upset during the visit." Dr. Benjamin Kligler Associate Medical Director, The Continuum Center for Health and Healing, New York City

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sesame Street brushes

Check out Sesame Street's "Healthy Teeth, Health Me" for videos, tips, and tools. Your kids can follow along Elmo and Abby as they make healthy choices in oral health. It's new and was designed to empower children ages 2 to 5 years and to help educate adults about the benefits having a dental home and taking care of primary teeth.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

When should my child first see a dentist?

"First visit by first birthday" is what the AAPD says. A study in the journal of Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits. Coming early gives your child a dental home and early exams and cleanings gives smiles a better chance of success. If you are still not convinced read this brochure put out by the AAPD that lists even more benefits

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Say Cheese!

Snacks. . . I have three boys and snacking just happens. They are busy kids and get hungry. I know the dentist says it's bad for their teeth. And as much as a toddler eats, I can't brush his teeth after every snack. But thankfully I just read on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists' website an amazing food that actually is GOOD for my kids' teeth. What? Eating a snack, good for your teeth? Yep you heard me right. And the wonder food is: CHEESE!
So next time your little one is hungry grab some cheddar and SMILE!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

ADA for kids

The American Dental Association (ADA) has some great resources on their website for parents and kids. Check these out:

Visit the dentist with Marty to read along as Marty visites the dentist

To Tell the Tooth to play a fun game with host Al Smiles 

Dudley & Friends and watch videos

or print out this fun Dental Word Search

and so much more at ADA for kids

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insurance Participation

Watertown Pediatric Dentistry is currently participating providers for the following dental insurance plans:

and Child Health Plus through

If you have another dental insurance and would still like to have your child seen by a pediatric denist, you can still be seen at our office! Just provide us with your insurance information, we will gladly submit your claim and your benefits will be sent directly to you. Our office is fee for service so payment will always be due at time of service regardless of insurance carrier.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking for a dentist

Have you just moved to a new area? Not happy with your current dentist? Or are you looking for a specialist? You might want to check out the

website. They have a search engine that will look up all the dentists in your area or you can search by specialty. All the dentists posted are members of the assocation. The American Dental Association is the oldest and largest national dental society in the world and is the leading source of oral health related information for dentists and their patients. Stay tuned for more posts about how can benefit you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rewards to Motivate

What makes a kid cry when he can't see the dentist? What makes a kid excited to see the dentist? What makes a kid want to have a cavity filled? You may think that's impossible but we see patients all the time with these problems. We love to reward great behavior and the Treasure Tower makes coming to our office a joy for kids. 

The Treasure Tower is filled with lots of fun options. Visit the Treasure Tower website and let us know what toy your kid would like to see in there next time. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pediatric Dentist in Watertown NY

Watertown NY has been without a pediatric dentist for a long time but not any longer. Meet Dr. Andrew Beuttenmuller. . .

A native of Watertown has returned and opened a dental practice devoted to infants through adolescents. Read more about him in Watertown Pediatric Dentistry's website or Watertown Daily Times  or Channel 7 News.