What to Expect When Kids Start Losing Their Teeth


What to Expect When Kids Start Losing Their Teeth

When your child loses their first baby tooth, that's a clear sign they're growing up. In fact, to a typical 6 year old it's more important than learning how to ride a bike or fly a kite. Kids are always tracking how many teeth their siblings or classmates have lost and eagerly telling everyone about their experiences.

As their roots eventually dissolve, baby teeth clear the way for the adult teeth to make their debut. Usually, the bottom front two teeth are the first to fall out followed by the top front two teeth close behind.

When will my child's teeth start getting loose?

Most children get their very first loose tooth around 6 years of age, but it can happen as old as 8 or as young as 4 as well. Usually, kids whose baby teeth came in early lose them before the kids who teethed late. It often takes a couple of months from the time a tooth gets loose until it completely falls out. Most teeth tend to just fall out on their own when they get stuck in food or even swallowed, which is harmless. However, some loose teeth are more stubborn than others and can literally hang on by a thread for a number of weeks. This is no fun for little Suzie! Many moms wonder if wiggling teeth free is okay and harmless. The answer is yes.

In fact, it's actually a good idea to encourage them to give it a little wiggle. If it's just hanging there, sometimes you can take a tissue and rotate it in order to get it out. (This deserves a little extra cash from the Tooth Fairy). However, never force it or tie it to a string and pull unless it is flapping in the breeze. The root could break and become infected if it's only half dissolved.

Here are some of the issues you can expect when your child starts losing their baby teeth:

Funny Grins

Once little Suzie's baby tooth finally falls out, her permanent tooth is waiting to make its appearance just below the gums. At first, Suzie's permanent teeth will actually have ridges along the biting edges since they haven't had a chance to wear down yet. As more permanent teeth replace the baby teeth, the color difference isn't noticed as much.

Sometimes a child's teeth appear too big for his small face. Don't worry, his small head is growing bigger every day, and eventually he'll grow into his own teeth. On the other hand, if the teeth are really crowded, it may be best to take a visit to your friendly dentist about perhaps seeing an orthodontist.

Teething Pains and Kids

Losing baby teeth is usually a painless process. However, if the sharp edge of a baby tooth painfully cuts into Suzie's gum, your family dentist will probably encourage her to wiggle it a bit harder. While Suzie's baby teeth are falling out, her 6-year molars are trying to pop up and get noticed. Sometimes the gums can appear tender and swollen and the child may express pain. Ask your dentist or doctor about giving them ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help their overall discomfort.

Even though little Suzie says it's hard to chew or bite down with her missing or loose teeth, assure her that it's normal and it's important for her to maintain her healthy diet. It may be better to serve her healthy soft foods like yogurt, pureed fruits, and vegetable soup. Make sure Suzie keeps brushing at least twice a day so the dentist will be very proud of her.

Losing Teeth Late

If your child is age 7 and still hasn't lost any teeth, talk to their dentist. While it's likely there's no problem, the dentist may recommend X-rays in order to ensure that all the teeth are indeed under Suzie's gums. In fact, late teeth may offer an advantage. Late blooming teeth are often harder since they remained in the jaw somewhat longer and are therefore more resistant to developing cavities.

It's likely that little Suzie won't be happy about the delay of her 'big girl' teeth. She may feel different because hers are taking longer to come in than the other kids. Just remind her that everyone is different and hers are taking longer because they want to be extra beautiful when they finally pop in.

Eventually, all children will have a tooth to put under their pillow for the Tooth Fairy. After all, isn't that what they really care about anyway? Read more about What to Expect When Kids Start Losing Their Teeth

Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?


Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?



The cosmetic health of your teeth seems to have little to nothing to do with the future of your children, right? That's why it's a great title, and that's why you clicked on it. You wanted to see if the connection was real. At the same time, you know in the back of your mind that there is a connection; otherwise you would have dismissed it as the ramblings of a homeless scam artist.

The difference between a homeless scam artist and us is that we can go straight to the science that will connect your smile to your children's well-being. Yes, we will justify spending money on yourself for the sake of your kids, LA.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

This is the reputable scientific agency that will show that making yourself more marketable improves the lives of your children. This is the truth, by the way: Making yourself more marketable in the workplace will positively influence your children. A better smile earns you more money, which you will then take back home to the benefit of your offspring. This is an order, by the way, if you had any thoughts of not seeing this scenario through to its endgame.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has plenty of studies all saying that a healthy smile increases your viability in the workplace and in social circles. If people view you as a healthy person, they will put you in line for advancement opportunities. There are many opinions on this, but the best way to view this is from a genetic perspective.

Clean teeth and a healthy mouth are indicative of strong genetic material. Everything from fresh breath all the way to the way that your molars line up dictates, at least in the mind of an observer, how your entire DNA lines up. People look at your face first. People want to be around other smart, healthy, beautiful people. If you fit the bill, you will be given the reins of leadership, trust, representation and bigger checks.

These bigger checks will obviously mean an easier time paying for the education of your children. This is definitely nothing to sneeze at. Tuition continues to rise year over year faster than inflation, faster than any blue chip stock dividends and much faster than any living wage. In order to pay for college for even one child these days, you have to be well ahead of the curve when it comes to finances. You are either at the head of your own business or you are a favored employee at your place of employment. Either way, you will do much better with a great smile.

Genetically, perfect teeth mean a balanced brain with approximately the same amount of connections from left to right as from right to left. If you do not have this naturally, you can at least fake it with a little help from your favorite orthodontist. There is no shame in that, especially because the types of intelligence that naturally straight teeth are indicative of are not necessarily the types of intelligence that will get you ahead in today's society.

Look your best and you will certainly have an opportunity at better paychecks. Put this extra money into your children, and they will have an easier time of college. This may seem a bit of a stretch, but let the results speak for themselves. If you do not believe the research, take a look at the people who are at the top of your firm or oganization. I would bet that all of them take a great deal of care in their appearance. Read more about Will Getting Perfect Teeth Help Your Kids Get into College?

12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths

12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths


The most teeth you will ever have is 32. This might be hard to believe when you look at a snail that can have as many as twenty-five thousand tiny teeth located on their tongue. The truth is there are a lot of differences between your mouth and the mouths of animals. The following are 12 facts about animal mouths that you may not have heard before and some will leave you feeling happy that you are not one of them: 

1. The ELEPHANT has molars that can weigh as much as 8 pounds. Can you imagine carrying around teeth that weigh that much? The elephant tusk is also considered a tooth. Elephants have twenty-four teeth in their mouths. That is over two hundred pounds of teeth.

2. The T-REX was a ferocious dinosaur that could eat whatever was in its path. It’s no wonder, considering that the T-Rex had teeth that were 9 inches long and they had more than 60 teeth. They could eat whatever they wanted. 

3. GIRAFFES have 32 teeth like you will when you’re an adult. What is so different about the giraffe’s mouth, though, is their tongue. The giraffe’s tongue is about 20 inches long and they use it just like an elephant uses its trunk. They can pick stuff up with it and even clean their own ears. Jealous?

4. Most kids are jealous of DOGS because it is very rare for a dog to get a cavity. This is because the dog has a lot of good bacteria in the mouth that helps to prevent them. Also, dogs don’t eat a lot of foods with sugar and acid. If you cut back on sugar and acid, you, too, won’t get a lot of cavities. 

5. DOLPHINS only get one set of teeth and they don’t even use them for chewing up their food. They actually swallow all of their food whole. This prevents fish bones from getting caught in their throats. What do they use their teeth for then? They use them only to defend themselves from predators like sharks. 

6. Some animals, like the RABBIT, have teeth that continuously grow. They keep them short by chewing on sticks and twigs. If you have a pet rabbit, you may need to get a metal cage instead of wood so it doesn’t chew through the sides and get out. If they don’t chew to keep the teeth short, they will not be able to eat. 

7. Look inside the mouth of a baby BIRD and you might be shocked by what you see. Baby birds have tooth-like spikes in the back of their throat. They look like teeth and they help them to swallow the food that their mothers bring them. 

8. There is actually a fish that has teeth that look like yours. A SHEEPSHEAD fish has three rows of teeth on the top and two rows on the bottom. The teeth look almost the same as yours and are used to eat a wide variety of foods, including those with hard shells. 

9. CHIMPANZEES, just like you, will have 32 when they reach adulthood. Why don’t they end up with braces like you? As humans evolved, our faces became flatter, while the chimps mouths are still extended. This gives them more room for their 32 teeth. Your mouth is smaller, which means less room and teeth can be pushed out of place easily. 

10. Both ALLIGATORS and CROCODILES have teeth that are hollow. This means they break very easily. However, unlike your adult teeth, alligators and crocodiles grow new ones. They can actually grow as much as three thousand teeth over their lifetime! 

11. Another animal that goes through a lot of teeth is the SHARK. They have teeth that can be replaced over and over again. Many sharks can grow as many as twenty thousand teeth before their death. 

12. Perhaps the weirdest fact about animal mouths, though, is that of the TURTLE in China that pees out of its mouth. That’s right. It actually pees out of its mouth. You just want to be happy that you are not this type of turtle! Read more about 12 Little Known Facts About Animal Mouths

9 Signs Your Child Needs to See a Dentist Right Now

You probably already know just how important your teeth are. They help you talk. They allow you to chew. They give others something to see when you smile.

They even give 
you something to smile about when you look at yourself in the mirror.

Now take that importance and think about what it means to your child. Think about just how important those pearly chompers are to everything from your child's daily activities to their personal development when growing up.

Without a doubt, they're even more important for your children.

That's why when you notice any of the following 9 signs from your child, your child needs to see the nearest pediatric dentist as soon as possible.

1. White Spots

White spots are normal, right? Most parents think they go away with time.

Wrong! They're generally the first warning signs that a cavity is about to develop. They require quick intervention, or your child's beautiful smile may be on the way towards being tarnished.

Your dentist can perform restorative dentistry if those spots are decay and it has gone too far, or they can recommend dietary changes or dental products to help remineralize the teeth.

2. Irritated Gums

If your child complains about their gums feeling sore or irritated after they brush, then that's a warning sign that they may have gingivitis.

Should you be worried? Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, but it is also a stage that can be reversed if treated promptly.

With improved dental hygiene, your child may be able to enjoy brushing and flossing without having to worry about irritated or bleeding gums.

3. Sensitivity to Liquids or Foods

Every child has their favorite cold or hot treat. Hot chocolate, ice cream, soup with silly shapes in it and even ice-cold milk comes to mind.

What would cause your child to stop eating the foods they enjoy? The same thing that might stop you: sensitivity in your teeth to foods that are hotter or colder than room temperature.

While this may be a problem that sorts itself out, it can also be the beginning signs of tooth decay, an exposed tooth root or a myriad of unfriendly problems. Your child's dentist can treat these problems and, worse comes to worst, give your child special medicine that decreases sensitivity so they can enjoy their favorite treats once more.

4 Full-On Decay

Tooth decay starts as small white spots that represent a thinned outer layer of the enamel. The decay then changes to a brown color and finally turns black. The last two colors represent decay that the body cannot reverse on its own.

If your child has brown or black spots on their teeth, then it's time to see your dentist. Your child may need fillings to ensure that the decay doesn't progress.

As with all things, prompt treatment of dental cavities ensures teeth will last far longer than if you waited until the last second to have your child's teeth fixed.

5. Wobbly Teeth

Does your child have a tooth that wobbles to and fro? Does it wiggle back and forth? Does it act like it wants to go?

Even though it's natural for “baby” teeth to do this as your child ages, it may not be because there's another tooth trying to grow in place. Your child may already have periodontal problems or teeth affected by trauma.

To ensure this isn't the case, schedule an appointment for your child with their pediatric dentist immediately.

6. Adult Teeth

If your child is at that age where they begin to lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth are setting in, there's a few problems that might occur.

Their adult teeth might be impacted or crooked. One or more teeth might be trying to erupt underneath other adult teeth. There may even be damage to some of the teeth due to other conditions.

That's why it's always a good idea to check things out at the dentist's office with some x-rays. Early intervention can make your child's smile better.

7. Yellow Teeth

The one color besides white, brown or black that hasn't been covered yet is yellow. It's the color that some teeth get due to the ingestion of certain foods or chemicals while teeth are developing.

If your child's teeth are yellow, then this could be a cause for concern. While yellow teeth may not be a direct threat to the health of their teeth, it does represent something that could hurt their self-esteem as they grow up.

8. White Streaks

Every child should have fluoride in their diet to ensure that their teeth can be protected from acids. What happens when your child gets too much fluoride?

A number of things can happen to their body, but the most prominent concerns the development of white streaks or splotches on their teeth. These can have a damaging effect on your child's self-esteem, which means that it's best to fix them as soon as possible.

9. Toothaches

The most obvious sign that your child needs to see a dentist is a toothache. Nobody should be forced to suffer through this kind of pain, because it affects everything from eating to trying to rest at night.

If your child experiences toothaches, then don't hesitate for one second to contact us at Tatum Pediatric Dentistry. We'll do our best to get your child in as soon as possible so that their toothache woes go away. Read more about 9 Signs Your Child Needs to See a Dentist Right Now

10 Signs You Should Invest in Your Child's Teeth

Even before your son or daughter gets his or her first tooth, it's time to start investing in their dental health. Good dental care helps your child avoid cavities. Starting early with brushing and flossing also helps your child develop good dental care habits. Keep in mind these ten signs that you should invest in your child's teeth so he or she can have a lifetime of good dental health.

1. Your Child Is Teething
As soon as your child starts showing signs of teething; it's time to start investing in his or her teeth. Use a clean, damp washcloth to rub his or her gums. This will get your child in the habit of having their teeth cared for from an early age. 

2. The First Tooth
As soon as your child gets his or her first tooth, it's time to brush with baby toothpaste. Use a soft bristled brush for
your young child's teeth. Put a dab of toothpaste onto the brush and gently clean the tooth. You can also lightly brush the gums. Give your baby or toddler his or her own toothbrush so he or she can help brush his or her teeth.

3. A Mouth Full of Teeth
Once your child has two or more teeth next to each other that are touching on the sides, it's time to start flossing.
 Floss helps get out bits of food stuck between your child's teeth. Once these bits of food are out, it's easier for the brush to clean the teeth. Flossing takes less than a minute. You can buy fun flavors of floss like vanilla and bubble gum for kids.

4. Crowding
If your child's teeth are crowded together, your dentist may suggest orthodontic care. An orthodontist is a special dentist that helps make your teeth straight. The orthodontist can help make more space if your teeth are crowded together. Getting your teeth straightened makes it easier to keep them clean and healthy. You might get
 braces to help straighten your teeth. Braces can come in different colors. The orthodontist fits them on the front or back of your teeth. You'll visit the orthodontist about once a month to have your braces checked.

5. Pain
If one of your child's teeth hurts, he or she should go to the dentist. The dentist can check to see if there is a cavity in the tooth that is hurting. If there is a cavity, your dentist can put in a filling. Getting a filling doesn't hurt. The filling will match the color of the tooth and your child won't even notice that it is there. It's important to get any mouth pain checked as soon as possible. Filling the cavity helps make sure your tooth stays healthy.

6. Sensitivity
If it hurts your child to eat ice cream or drink hot chocolate, these are signs
of tooth sensitivity or even cavities. When your child has sensitive teeth, it can be painful to eat or drink hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks. You can invest in dental care like fillings or fluoride treatments that reduce sensitivity.

7. Your Child is Embarrassed
If your child feels embarrassed about his or her smile, your dentist can help. Your dentist can help your son or daughter feel better about his or her teeth. Dentists can do 
polishing to make the teeth whiter or do other dental treatments to help boost your child's self-esteem.

8. Trouble Chewing
Trouble chewing is a sign that your child should see the dentist. Your dentist can help get your child's teeth aligned so chewing doesn't hurt. Good tooth alignment allows your child to eat a variety of healthy and tasty foods like apples and carrots.

9. Early or Late Tooth Loss
When you lose
your baby teeth earlier or later than normal, this can cause issues for your adult teeth. Your dentist can check to see what's going on with the baby teeth.

10. Overbite
Overbite is when your top teeth stick out more than they should. An overbite makes it hard to chew, speak or smile. If you have an overbite, your dentist may recommend
 braces or other treatments. Braces are an investment for a lifetime of healthy and beautiful teeth. Read more about 10 Signs You Should Invest in Your Child's Teeth

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