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Fun Fact Wednesday!

George Washington

The country’s first president is riddled with rumors about his dental state.  In reality, President George Washington began losing his teeth at the age of 22 but never had wooden dentures as legend claims.  Modern science shows that his dentures were actually made of ivory, gold, lead, human teeth, and animal teeth!  Interestingly, by the time he became president, he had only one remaining natural tooth.

Casa de Esperanza Chili Cook-off

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our chili team at the cook-off last weekend.  It was a huge success!  We placed 2nd out of 40 teams and we are very happy!  The Smiles Gone Wild team is already trying to tweak our chili recipe for a 1st place prize next year!!  We support Casa de Esperanza year round and we have the privilege of taking care of all of their little smiles while they are under the care of Casa.  It is a true joy to have these children in our practice.


How To Protect Your Baby’s Teeth From Cavities

Did you know that cavities are caused by germs that can be passed from parent to child?

Babies are born without the bacteria that causes cavities.  They get it from spit that is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own.  Caregivers pass on these germs by sharing saliva- by sharing spoons, by testing foods before feeding it to babies, by cleaning off a pacifier in their mouth instead of using water, and through activities where saliva is shared.

These germs can start the process that causes cavities even before the babies have teeth, so it’s important to avoid sharing saliva with your baby right from the start. Here are some tips on how to keep your baby- and your baby’s teeth- healthy and happy.

For you:

  • Eat healthy food to reduce the cavity-causing germs in your mouth
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Do not put anything in your baby’s mouth that has been in your mouth including spoons or a toothbrush
  • Do not use spit to clean your baby’s pacifier- use water instead
  • If you have bleeding gums or cavities, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible

For your baby:

  • Before your baby’s first tooth becomes visible in the mouth, you should wipe the mouth every day with a soft, moist washcloth.  As soon as teeth become visible in the mouth, brush the teeth with a small soft bristle toothbrush that contains a pea-sized smear of fluoride-containing toothpaste.
  • Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste.
  • You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day- once in the morning and once at night.  Remember, the most important time to brush your baby’s teeth is right before bedtime.
  • Talk to your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your baby.  As if you child should be brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Avoid giving your baby sticky foods and unhealthy snacks like candy, soda or juice in between meals.  Instead, give your baby healthy snacks like cheese, yogurt or fruit.  Only give your baby treats or juice at meal times.
  • Establish bedtime routines that do not involve using a bottle filled with milk or juice to soothe the baby to sleep. Also avoid having the baby sleep with a bottle filled with milk or juice as the natural sugars in these liquids will get changed to acid, which will rot or decay the teeth and lead to dental infection and pain.  Avoid having your baby drink from a sippy cup filled with juice between meals.
  • Do not give your baby juice until he is 6 months old.  Do not give your baby more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day.
  • If you see white spots developing on your baby’s teeth, then take your baby to a pediatric dentist right away.  A white spot is often the first sign of a dental cavity.
  • Schedule your baby’s first dental visit with a pediatric dentist when she is one year old.  Pediatric dentists have additional training beyond dental school working with babies and young children.  Remember- first tooth, first birthday, first dental visit!

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Pumpkin Contest Winner!!!!

Thank you to all of our friends in the dental community who chose to participate in our first annual pumpkin decorating contest and thank you to all of our Facebook friends who voted!!!  The Village Dentist, the office of Dr. Deborah Haase, West U Dental & Dr. Neda Dodig, Texas Orthodontic Specialists & Dr. Stephen Chen, and  the office of Dr. Mark Hablinski all put in some really great pumpkins.  The winner is………DR. MARK HABLINSKI!!!!  We hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

The mummy pumpkin creation by Dr. Habliski’s awesome staff won them lunch for the office!

Thumb Sucking & Pacifiers

  • Sucking is natural for babies.  Whether it’s their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects, sucking helps babies feel secure and happy.  Young children may also suck to soothe themselves.  Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may help them fall asleep.
  • When Should it stop?  Usually kids stop thumb sucking between 2-4 years old, or by the time the adult front teeth are ready to break through their gums.
  • After your child’s permanent adult teeth com in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of their mouth and teeth alignment.  Vigorous thumb sucking may also cause problems with baby teeth.  If you notice changes in your child’s baby teeth, please talk to your dentist.
  • Using pacifiers at a later age can be as much of a problem as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it’s usually an easier habit to break.
  • Feel free to come come into any of our 3 convenient locations and consult with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Longoria about other ways Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists can help your child break their habit!

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Tooth To-Dos

  • Encourage your kids to brush with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste for kids ages 2-6, and use slightly more when they are older.
  • Teach them to spit out the toothpaste when they’re done so they don’t swallow it.
  • For kids under age 2, just use a smear of toothpaste and a little water.
  • Help your kids place the toothbrush at an angle against their gums.
  • Make sure they move the brush back and forth, gently, in a small circular motion.
  • Help them brush the front, back, and top of their teeth.
  • Teach them to brush their tongue to remove germs and freshen breath.
  • Teach them to floss every day to remove plaque and food where a brush can’t reach.