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Many parents are unaware that children can also suffer from symptoms of halitosis, better known as chronic bad breath. This common oral problem affects a majority of the population, including both adults and children. During treatment for this condition, it’s worthwhile to focus on the cause of the problem. Take a look at the most common reasons why your child might develop bad breath.

Having constant bad breath can be embarrassing and troublesome. Most often, boys and girls develop halitosis as a side effect of some sort of upper respiratory infection. It may be a common cold, allergies, or flu symptoms.

When the nasal passages are blocked, it’s more likely that your child will breathe through the mouth. Mouth breathing may also occur if your youngster is put on medication that decreases saliva flow. Mouth breathing can make bad breath much worse if there isn’t enough saliva to cleanse the area.

Another cause of halitosis in children can be tonsillitis. When your child’s airway is constricted, he or she is more likely to mouth-breath. When the tissues in your mouth dry out, bacteria will grow and increase in potency. If you notice symptoms of tonsillitis in your child such as a fever, swollen throat, trouble swallowing, chills, or congestion, get your little one to treatment right away.

Halitosis in children is can also be caused by an infection of the mouth. If your child’s teeth or gums are infected, odor will develop if untreated. Infection can occur due to inadequate brushing and flossing, which can lead to gum disease or cavities. If cavities are left untreated, they can develop a strong, noticeable odor. If you think your child has an infection or cavity, contact us and schedule an appointment.

Other causes of halitosis may be certain pungent foods your child eats, or bacteria built up on the tongue. Make sure your son or daughter brushes and flosses thoroughly every day. Some mouthwashes may be beneficial for your child to alleviate bad breath caused by leftover bacteria in the mouth. Other ways of treating of halitosis can vary, based on the cause of the problem.

If you’re unsure about why your child has halitosis, contact our office and we can help you figure out where the issue originated. Remember, masking symptoms of bad breath with gum or mints will be only a temporary fix. Your child’s bad breath problems can be helped with a little investigation from our team! Always feel free to call our office if you are concerned about your child’s oral health.

The post Children and Halitosis appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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School’s out and you’ve emptied your gym locker until next fall. But while you’re stowing away the football gear, the basketball warm-ups, the field hockey sticks, and all the other equipment you’ve collected over the school year (that’s where that other shoe went!), be sure to keep one item handy: your mouthguard.

Team and contact sports like football, basketball, and wrestling aren’t the only potential dental dangers. In fact, almost any sport or activity can be made safer when you use your mouthguard.  While you’re keeping active and fit in the summer months, remember to look out for your smile.

  • Sports on wheels

Biking, skateboarding, rollerblading—it only takes one fall to make you realize that roads, sidewalks, and concrete are not ideal landing pads. If you do take a spill, using a mouthguard, along with your helmet, will help protect your teeth and jaw.

  • Court sports

Handball and tennis are not what we consider contact sports, but an unexpected bounce from a ball, or a completely unexpected backhand from your partner, can lead to dental injuries. Ace your workout and wear a mouthguard.

  • Water sports

A fall in the water can lead to a collision with your surfboard or water skis, and water polo often seems to be a game of stamina, accuracy and elbows. Wear your mouthguard on land and sea, and help reduce your chance of dental injury.

  • Team sports

Anyone who has played summer league baseball, softball or soccer knows that occasional contact with other players is pretty much a given. Cushioning your head, mouth, and teeth with a mouthguard will not only protect you, but keep you in the game—and your teammates will appreciate that!

If you already use a mouthguard, keep up the good work! If you don’t, talk to us about the importance of protecting your smile with a mouthguard. There are ready-made options available at drug stores and sporting goods shops. These will provide protection to your mouth and teeth, but can sometimes be bulky and uncomfortable and should never be used with braces. If you would like a mouth protector that provides the best fit and comfort, or if you wear braces, we can customize a mouthguard in our office that will be a perfect fit for your teeth and bite.

Whatever activity you choose, play it smart! Don’t gear up without your mouthguard, and you’ll greet next year’s classes energized, fit, and sporting a beautiful smile!

The post Summer Sports and Mouthguards appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Your darling three-month old is crying and fussy—can she be teething already? Or, your happy baby boy has just celebrated his first birthday—with only one tooth in that beautiful, gummy smile. Is this normal? Probably! While baby teeth do typically erupt (come in) in the same order for all babies, and around the same time, there is still a lot of flexibility in the time it takes for a full, healthy smile to develop.

Baby teeth actually form before your baby is born, and those 20 teeth are there under the gums waiting to come out and shine. And even though there are no firm and fast dates for each of these primary teeth to erupt, it’s helpful to have a general overview of typical teething patterns so you know what to look forward to.

Incisors

These little teeth create a charming baby smile, and, if your finger has been in the wrong place at the wrong time, a very sharp one as well! That is because these tiny incisors are made to bite into foods. You might notice this when you introduce solid foods, even if the majority of your child’s “chewing” is done with her back gums. These teeth are the earliest to arrive.

  • Six to ten months old: The lower central incisors (bottom front teeth) are often the first to come in.

  • Eight to 12 months old: The upper incisors (8-12 months) are the next to show.

  • Nine to 13 months old: The upper lateral incisors on each side of the front teeth arrive.

  • Ten to 16 months old: The lower lateral incisors appear.

First Molars

Because these are larger teeth, babies often experience another bout of teething pain at this time. The large flat surface of each molar helps your child to chew and grind food, so he can handle a wider variety of foods and develop his chewing skills.

  • 13 to 19 months old: You can generally expect to see the upper first molars arrive.

  • 14 to 18 months old: The lower first molars appear.

Canines (Cuspids)

Fitting between the first molars and the incisors, the strong, pointed shape of the canine teeth allows your child to grip food and break it apart more easily.

  • 16 to 22 months old: The upper two canines make their way into the space between the incisors and the first molars.

  • 17 to 23 months old: The two lower canines appear.

Second Molars

By the age of three, most children have a full set of baby teeth.

  • 23 to 31 months old: The second pair of bottom molars start erupting—you are in the home stretch!

  • 25 to 33 months old: The upper second molars come in—completing that beautiful set of 20 teeth!

Baby teeth are extremely important, as our will tell you when you visit our office. They help your child eat and chew, develop face and jaw muscles, assist proper speech formation, and provide space for the adult teeth to come in properly. Now that your child’s smile is complete, keep providing him with the same care and attention you have been giving those little teeth since the arrival of the very first incisor.

It seems that so much of new parenthood is scheduling—when to feed her, when to put her to bed, how many hours between naps. But we soon find out that every baby is not on the same schedule, and the same is true for the arrival of their teeth. We should see your baby when that first tooth comes in, or by his or her first birthday. And if you ever have concerns at any time about your child’s teething schedule or teething delays, always feel free to give us a call.

The post Are My Child’s Baby Teeth on Schedule? appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Today, our team thought we would answer some of the most frequent questions about pediatric dentistry and oral health we hear from parents.

What constitutes a “healthy, balanced diet” for my child?

A healthy, balanced diet contains all the nutrients your child needs to grow, including one serving each of fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish and eggs per day. Make sure your child limits snacking in between meals and limits how frequently they consume food or beverages that contain sugar, which is known to cause tooth decay. Besides pastries, cookies, and candy, sugars are usually found in processed foods such as crackers, cereals, and soda, as well as in condiments like ketchup.

Should my kid give up all foods that contain sugar?

Absolutely not, we simply recommend choosing and serving sugars sparingly. A food with sugar is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack. When your child chews during his or her meal, the saliva produced helps neutralize the acids that are found in sugary and starchy foods. Foods that are not easily washed away from your child’s teeth by saliva, water, or milk have more cavity-causing potential.

What causes cavities?

Many types of bacteria live in our mouths—some good, some bad. When these bacteria come into contact with sugary foods left behind on your child’s teeth after eating, acids are produced. These acids then attack the enamel, and eventually eat through the enamel and create holes in the teeth, which our team call cavities, or caries.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?

This is a great question that we hear a lot. Make sure that your child brushes his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important, as flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing simply can’t. And finally, we encourage you to schedule regular appointments with us so that we can check the state of your child’s teeth and gums, as well as provide a professional cleaning to protect him or her from cavities and gum disease.

What is the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?

We recommend you clean your baby’s gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. This is even before your baby’s first tooth appears. As soon as his or her first tooth does appear, you may begin using a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You can most likely find a toothbrush designed for infants at your local drugstore or ask us for one during your next visit.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

First, we recommend rinsing the irritated area with warm salt water and placing a cold compress on his or her face if it is swollen. If you have any at home, give your child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the affected teeth or gums. Finally, give us a call as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.

We hope that helps! Please give us a call if you have any questions or ask us next time you visit our office for your child’s appointment! If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

The post Pediatric Dentistry Q&A appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, with more than 16 million children suffering from it each year. Oral disease also leads to just over 51 million school hours lost every school year. You can help prevent your child from getting cavities by getting them toothpaste that works for their smile. Here’s what to look for when buying toothpaste for your children.  

Look for… 
The ADA Seal of Approval

Look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval when buying any dental or oral care products. The seal will be easily viewable on the box. The ADA’s stringent testing procedures help ensure that you’re buying a useful product that actually works.  

Fluoride 

For more than half a century, the ADA has recommended using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but make sure that your child spits all of it out and rinses their mouth thoroughly after brushing since ingesting excessive fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis.  

Avoid Abrasives 

Mild abrasives remove debris and residual surface stains from teeth, but they can also remove enamel. Avoid whitening toothpastes for your children that contain abrasives like: calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, and silicates.  

Enjoyable Flavors 

Your goal is to get your child to brush twice per day for two minutes each time. A lot of children find that mint or other traditionally flavored toothpastes are too “spicy” for them. You can find flavors that aren’t too harsh on their sensitive palates. Children’s toothpaste often comes in fun flavors like berry and bubblegum, and sometimes features some of their favorite cartoon characters or superheroes on the container.  

Begin a Good Cleaning Routine Early 

Just because your toddler doesn’t have teeth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean their mouth! You can clean toddler’s gums with a clean, damp cloth by gently running away residual food. By doing this, you are actually improving the health of the baby teeth that will soon erupt, and familiarizing them with oral care early in their life. 

Does Your Child Brush Twice per Day? 

To prevent cavities and tooth decay, your child should be brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. If they are complaining of sensitive or painful teeth, then visit our office for further evaluation. Our team will check their mouth for signs of tooth and provide them with a treatment plan that will get them a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.

The post A Parent’s Guide to Choosing the Best Toothpaste appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Dental injuries account for nearly 20% of all sports related injuries. Did you know that your child is 60 times more likely to sustain damage to their teeth when they aren’t wearing a mouth guard? Here’s what you need to know about mouth guards, and how to select the one that is best for your child.

How Do Mouth Guards Work?

Mouth guards – sometimes called mouth protectors – work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of broken teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue or cheek. Did you know that the CDC estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at youth sporting events? Mouth guards work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries.

What Kind of Mouth Guards Work Best?

There are a variety of mouth guards available today, and some are more effective than others.

Stock Mouth Guards

The most inexpensive, and least effective mouth guards are stock mouth guards. Stock mouth guards can be very bulky and ill-fitting, and they can make breathing very difficult. You can find them at most major sporting goods stores for very reasonable prices. We advise getting these if your child is in a sport with less contact, but for contact intensive sports like football or hockey, a better fitting model will protect their teeth much more effectively.

Boil and Bite Sports Guards

The middle-of-the-road option in both price and quality is the boil and bite mouth guard. Boil and bite guards are made of rubber composites that become malleable when heated. When you buy one of these, they are packaged as “U” shaped pieces of rubber without indentation. After you boil it (read the manufacturer’s instructions before boiling) you child firmly bites into the guard so that it molds to fit her teeth. Boil and bite guards can be found at many major sporting goods stores, and they provide sufficient enough protection for high contact sports.

Custom Made Mouth Guards

The best fitting and most effective mouth guards are custom-made mouth guards, which can be made for your child by a dentist that offers the service. Custom mouth guards are available in multiple materials and affords them a mouth protector that is completely personalized to fit their teeth. Custom mouth guards fit the best and provide the most advanced protection.  

Which Sports Require Mouth Guards?

The American Dental Association recommends wearing custom mouth guards for these popular sports: basketball, boxing, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, racquetball, roller hockey, rugby, skateboarding, skiing, soccer, volleyball, water polo and wrestling, among others. This is just a recommendation by the ADA. If you’re unsure about whether or not your child is required to wear a mouth guard, consult the rules of the sport.

The post Which Sports Guard is Right for My Child? appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Baby teeth aren’t permanent, but did you know that it’s possible to loose a baby tooth too soon? Here’s everything parents need to know about losing a baby tooth too soon.

It’s too Soon When…

If your child loses a tooth before the age of 4, then you need to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. Usually, natural tooth loss begins around age 6, and concludes around age 12.

Risks of Losing Teeth too Soon

If a baby tooth is lost too early, it can cause serious crowding problems for the developing adult teeth, as well as negatively impact the jaw’s muscle and bone development. This can lead to necessary orthodontic treatment later in life to correct a bite and alignment issues.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

The most common causes of premature tooth loss are traumatic facial injuries and tooth decay. It’s impossible to prevent accidents from happening, but you can prevent tooth decay by ensuring your child follows a healthy brushing and flossing regiment, and enjoys mouth healthy foods and plenty of water.

When is it Okay to Lose a Baby Tooth?

 

Baby teeth usually begin to fall out around age 6, and the process usually lasts 6 years until ages 11-12. Baby teeth will naturally become looser, and fall out on their own to make room for adult teeth erupting beneath them. Usually, teeth fall out in the order that they first arrived, but that’s not always the case.

Can You fix a Tooth lost Too Early?

Fortunately, there are plenty of options for those that lose teeth too soon! Spacers and space maintainers are placed in the gap of the lost tooth to help prepare for the arrival of the incoming adult tooth. Spacers come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and can make an un-fun situation more enjoyable for your child.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

If you think that your child has lost a tooth too soon, then call our office to schedule an evaluation. We’ll provide your child with the necessary treatment that best prepares their mouth for a healthy, adult smile.  

The post Can a Child Lose a Baby Tooth too Soon? appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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St. Patrick’s day can be a fun holiday for the whole family to celebrate. This year, try making some mouth-healthy green treats that your family will love so much they may pinch you!

Super Green Super Food Smoothie 

This super green smoothie is fantastic for cooling down on a warm spring day. The kale gives it a mouth-healthy kick with calcium and vitamin-B. Calcium strengthens teeth, and B vitamins help treat and prevent gingivitis, often called gum disease.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas 

  • 2 cups kale, packed 

  • 2 tbsp chopped mint, packed 

  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder 

  • 2 cups coconut milk 

  • 1/2 cup of apple juice

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You can add more ice to the mixture to give it more of a frozen body, if required. You can also add more mint to your liking, or garnish with fresh mint leaves. 

Yogurt and Kiwi Popsicles

Yogurt is high in calcium and casein, but it also contains a high amount of healthy bacteria. Healthy bacteria in yogurt helps fight the bad bacteria that can stick to your teeth, and lead to cavities. The best news is that yogurt and fruit popsicles are a fun way to get a healthy serving of calcium and super easy to make. Kiwi is a great, green fruit that is high in vitamin C, which helps boost gum health.

Ingredients: 

1 cup frozen kiwi 

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt 

3 tablespoon honey 

Directions: 

1 – In a blender, combine frozen kiwi and 2 tablespoons of honey and purée.  

2 – In a separate bowl, combine yogurt with one tablespoon honey and mix.  

3 – Place alternate layers of yogurt and fruit puree in small paper cups, or ice cube tray. Place a popsicle stick in the center of the cup, and put them in the freezer until they are solid.

A Healthy Diet is Important for Strong Teeth

A proper oral health routine should incorporate a mouth-healthy diet for the best results. Try giving your child more leafy green vegetables, healthy proteins like nuts and yogurt, and encourage them to drink more water, which keeps teeth clean and helps fight cavities. If you have questions about your child’s diet, then visit our office. We’ll discuss mouth-healthy options that can help your child earn a healthier smile.

The post Kid-Friendly St. Patrick Treats that are Great for Teeth appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Caring for teeth is a full-time job that lasts a lifetime. But, you can make that job a lot easier (and more successful) by using the four most essential tools for optimum oral health.

1 – Toothbrush 

Often overlooked and under considered, it is vital that you take the time to buy the right toothbrush for your child. By selecting the proper toothbrush, you can help your child get a healthier smile with ease and comfort. Be sure that the head of the brush easily fits into your child’s mouth, and that they can comfortably grip the handle. Change out their toothbrush every six months, or immediately after they’ve overcome an illness like a cold or flu.

2 – Dental Floss 

Brushing only cleans about 1/3 of the total surface area of teeth which leaves most of the teeth unclean! Your child should floss once per day, and clean between every space in their teeth. For young children, flat dental tape works well as a beginner’s floss, and a set of floss picks can also help young children floss more easily.

3 – Water 

Water is fantastic for a healthy mouth in a lot of ways. For instance, water helps clean teeth of food debris that can lead to tooth decay and cavities. But, did you know that saliva is critical in keeping tooth enamel strong? Saliva is the body’s natural way to rid teeth of food debris and keep the mouth at a healthy Ph level. Saliva is also 99% water, so make sure that your child drinks plenty of water to keep their teeth debris-free and clean.

4 – Toothpaste 

For more than 50 years, the American Dental Association has recommended using toothpaste containing fluoride to prevent cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but make sure that you spit all of it out and rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing. When shopping for toothpaste, avoid abrasives, and look for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) seal of approval on the packaging to ensure that you’re getting the best toothpaste available.

The ADA Seal of Approval 

Look for the American Dental Association’s seal of approval when buying any dental or oral care products. The seal will be easily viewable on the box. The ADA’s stringent testing procedures help ensure that you’re buying a useful product that actually works.

Make Sure Your Child Brushes Twice per Day 

To prevent cavities and tooth decay, your child should be brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. If they are complaining of sensitive or painful teeth, then visit our office for further evaluation. Our team will check their mouth for signs of tooth and provide them with a treatment plan that will get them a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.

The post The 4 Essential Tools to Keep Teeth Clean and Healthy appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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Growing a healthy, adult smile takes a lot of work and maintenance, but your teenager can earn a healthy mouth by avoiding some the greatest threats to teen teeth.  

1 – Cavities 

Cavities are the most prevalent disease affecting children and teens in the United States, but cavities are nearly 100% preventable. Your teen can fight cavities by avoiding eating and drinking too much sugar, adding high fiber fruits and vegetables to their diet, and brushing twice per day for two minutes at a time and flossing once per day.  In addition to a proper oral care routine, your teen should have an oral health checkup every six months in our office so that we can help them navigate growing a healthy, adult smile. 

2 – Sports Injuries 

The CDC estimates that more than 3 million teeth are knocked out at youth sporting events. Mouth guards – sometimes called mouth protectors – work by helping cushion a blow to the face, and minimizing the risk of breaking teeth, or lacerating a lip, tongue or cheek. Mouth guards work to prevent tooth loss and other facial injuries.

Without a mouth guard, young athletes are susceptible to jaw damage, lacerated lips and tongue, broken teeth, and even concussions. If your child is playing any contact sport, then buy them a mouth guard that will provide adequate protection for their sport. If you’re unsure, just check online too see if their sport requires – or even suggests – using a mouth guard to prevent an injury.  

3 – Tobacco and Nicotine 

90% of adult smokers began smoking as teens, and each day more than 3,200 Americans younger than 18 try their first cigarette. Tobacco use harms teeth and health in many ways. It can lead to oral cancer, periodontal disease, delayed healing after oral procedure, bad breath, stained teeth and gums and damage the ability to smell and taste. The health risks related to tobacco use are serious, and negative oral side effects are chilling. Unfortunately, teen use of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaporizers is on the rise, and they’re also terrible for teeth.

Most studies find that teens that are actively discouraged from smoking, or that live in an environment where smoking is not normalized, are less likely to use tobacco as an adult, so encourage your children to stay away from all nicotine and tobacco products.

Visit Our Office 

Call us today to schedule an appointment so that we can evaluate the state of your children’s teeth, and help them reach healthier smile this year.

The post The Three Threats to Teen Teeth appeared first on Palatine Pediatric Dentistry.

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