Pelham Pediatric Dentist | Early Dental Care Could Save Your Child’s Life

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

The negative effects of poor oral hygiene are well documented, and can impact much more than your mouth. A lot of serious medical conditions can be caused or worsened by complications arising for poor oral health. Starting your child’s oral care off right serves the twofold benefit of modeling the importance of good oral hygiene to them and giving their mouth a solid foundation of oral health. If you want to ensure your child’s oral health is taken care of, contact our pediatric dental team today to schedule your child’s next examination and cleaning!

The Dangers of Poor Oral Health

Poor oral health can result in much more than cavities and toothaches. Studies have linked a long list of serious and life-threatening conditions to poor oral hygiene, including heart disease, dementia, stroke, respiratory issues, an increased risk of miscarriage, and more. Most of these conditions are worsened by the bacteria that can enter your blood stream due to gum disease or tooth decay. These issues take time to develop and time to treat. However, the sooner you start practicing good oral health, the better defense your mouth with have against disease, protecting your whole body.

Care for All Ages

Everyone experience different oral care needs throughout their childhood. From the teething stage as baby teeth start to appear to loss of teeth as adult ones begin to take their place, there are a lot of different stages a child’s mouth will go through before it’s fully developed. It’s important to recognize that each of these stages requires their own unique oral care. Waiting to teach your child good oral hygiene could be disastrous for their health.

Invest in your child’s future health by starting off their oral care routine off well. Contact our pediatric dental team today to learn more about the potentially life-saving benefits of early childhood dental care or to schedule your child’s next examination and cleaning.

6496 Quail Run Drive
Pelham, AL 35124

Phone: (205) 739-7773

Children’s Dentist | 4 Ways to Achieve Optimal Oral Health

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

Keeping up optimal oral health takes more than brushing and flossing. Maintaining oral hygiene demands a bit of work, but it is worth it in the long run. Here are four ways you can improve your dental health right now.

  • Replace your toothbrush more often. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? A month ago? Six months? Most people don’t swap out a new brush often enough, which can lead to reduced brush effectiveness. Change your brush at least every three months. Be sure to switch after having an infection like the cold or flu to prevent reinfection.
  • Lay off the fizzy drinks. The acids present in soda wear away enamel, weakening your teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay. In fact, people who drink three or more glasses of soda per day experience about 62% more tooth decay than those who choose another beverage like water.
  • Opt for chocolate. Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but did you know that certain candies are better for your teeth than others? The American Dental Association reports dark chocolate is the healthiest option, as it is soft and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Hard, sticky, and sour goodies should be avoided, because they can stick to your teeth and even cause chips or cracks if you bite down too hard.
  • Visit your dentist. Trips to our office should occur at least twice a year—not just when you have a toothache. We offer preventative care, vital education, and important cleanings, which are all part of maintaining excellent oral health.

We are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment today.

Indian Springs Pediatric Dentistry
6496 Quail Run Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
(205) 739-7773

Pediatric Dentist 35124 | 7 Ways to Get Your Calcium Dairy-Free

Children’s Dentist

Calcium is an important mineral for building strong, healthy teeth, but not everyone can tolerate the lactose found in dairy. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. About 65% of people have reduced ability to process lactose past infancy.

If you have difficulty with lactose but want to ensure you are getting the calcium you need, consider one of these non-dairy sources of natural calcium.

  1. Canned seafood, such as sardines and salmon, can be a good source of calcium. These inexpensive options actually contain more calcium than their fresh counterparts. Canned seafood contains small, soft, edible bones that are generally unnoticeable but can be a great way to add calcium to a salad or other dish.
  2. Calcium-fortified juices are available in both orange and cranberry varieties. These juices taste the same as non-fortified options, but contain a substantial amount of calcium. Check the label to ensure it is a calcium-fortified juice.
  3. Soy, rice, and almond milks offer added calcium and can be used as a milk substitute for many dishes. Experiment with different varieties to determine which flavor you like the most for each use. Try one of these milk alternatives on cereal or use in a cooked dish in place of regular milk. Soy, rice, and almond milks are available in a variety of flavors, including plain, sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, and other options.
  4. Beans are a calcium-rich food. Black-eyed peas and baked beans are particularly high in calcium.
  5. Green vegetables are a good source of natural calcium. Collard, mustard, turnip, and dandelion greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, kale, okra, and broccoli are all great choices for adding calcium to your diet.
  6. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, or Brazil nuts are strong sources of calcium. Flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are a great snack or salad additive with calcium. Almond butter, cashew butter, and pumpkin seed butter are a fun and calcium-rich alternative to peanut butter.
  7. Breakfast cereals are highly fortified with several vitamins and minerals, including calcium. Old-fashioned rolled oatmeal adds calcium to your breakfast as well.

Calcium is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. If you have trouble with dairy, don’t let that stop you from consuming your recommended amount of daily calcium.

For more information that can improve your oral health, contact our office.

Indian Springs Pediatric Dentistry
6496 Quail Run Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
(205) 739-7773

Pediatric Dentist Pelham | Pacifiers and Teeth Development

Pediatric Dentist Near Me

One of the best ways to calm fussy babies is by giving them a pacifier. However, as babies grow this can be a difficult habit to break. The use of pacifiers can cause improper mouth development which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here’s what you need to know about the impact pacifiers have on your baby’s smile.

Negative Effects of Pacifiers

Physical development is crucial for children’s overall health in the first few years of their life. What you do now can affect them for their entire life. Pacifiers can influence the shape and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw. It can move the front teeth forward and you may notice your child developing crooked teeth or bite problems. The front teeth may also not meet when their mouth is closed and there can be changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth.

Positive Effects of Pacifiers

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits for parents and children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) babies up to one year of age who are offered a pacifier at night have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What You Should Do

Since pacifiers can be beneficial for other health reasons, you should speak with us about how to wean your baby off of pacifiers. We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth develops.

Breaking the habit of pacifier use can be difficult, but there are various ways you can wean your child off a pacifier. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.

Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with our team today.

Indian Springs Pediatric Dentistry
6496 Quail Run Drive, Pelham, AL 35124
(205) 739-7773

Pediatric Dentist Pelham | 6 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

Pelham Children’s Dentist

Oral health is important at every stage in life. Just because your children are going to lose their primary (baby) teeth eventually doesn’t mean that we can ignore the importance of dental care. Tooth decay can be painful and uncomfortable to treat. To protect your child’s smile, it is vital to understand optimal preventive care.

  1. Explain the important of routine dental care to your children and turn brushing and flossing into something fun that they look forward to each day.
  2. Schedule routine appointments to our office for cleanings and dental exams. Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. Make sure to continue visiting us twice a year for optimal oral health.
  3. Include crisp and fibrous foods into your child’s diet. Fruits and vegetables high in water content help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Foods such as apples increase saliva which inhibit bacteria from sticking to their teeth.
  4. Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar. Soda, juice and candy are all treats that most children love to eat. However, these can be detrimental to your child’s teeth and overall health.
  5. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Water flushes bacteria and acid away from teeth. Encourage your children to drink water especially after eating.
  6. Ask us about dental sealants for your children. Sealants can add a layer of protection to your child’s teeth where bacteria build up to prevent damage.

Tooth decay starts out as a small problem, but left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. By adding a few minor habits into your daily routine, your child’s oral health can change for the better. Simple changes in diet and routine can keep cavities at bay.

Call us today to schedule an appointment for your child.

Pelham Children’s Dentist | Your Child’s Dental Filling Appointment

Children’s Dentist in Pelham

You never want to hear that your child has decay in one of their permanent teeth. If our team advises you that your child needs a dental filling, please remember that you and your child are in good hands.  Here are a few tips to help guide you through this process:

First, stay calm. When you deliver the news to your child that they will need a dental filling, stay calm and be confident. Just like the first shot from their pediatrician, your child may feel scared about their first filling. However, if you stay relaxed as you explain that this is a simple treatment to help keep their teeth healthy, your child will likely follow your lead.

Second, know this is a quick and comfortable treatment. If your child is experiencing anxiety, the use of sedation dentistry may be recommended to allow them to relax and stay still as the filling is placed.

Finally, consider sharing your own filling story, or that of another child. Let your child understand the process by discussing another’s experience with getting teeth filled. Knowing that their parent, sibling, or friend has experienced the same treatment with great results can be a major mental victory for many children.

For more recommendations on how to discuss dental fillings with your child, contact our team.

Kids Dentist Pelham | Common Questions from Parents

Children’s Dentist Near Me

These are some of the most common questions we hear from parents, and the answers we provide:

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

Our team recommends that you schedule an appointment for your child as soon as your baby’s first tooth develops. If your child does not have teeth by their first birthday, you should schedule an appointment so we can ensure their teeth are developing properly. You can help protect your child’s teeth by establishing a pattern of regular dental visits.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

A pediatric dentist must complete additional education necessary to provide care to children. Pediatric dentists undergo two to three years of specialty training to treat the specific oral health needs of infants and children through adolescence, including those with special needs.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

At your child’s first visit, you should expect to:

  •      Review your child’s history
  •      Respond to questions and concerns
  •      Bring any questions you would like answered
  •      Have your child’s mouth examined and cleaned
  •      Have our team help set your child at ease and make their visit fun

For other questions, please call our office. We’re here for you and your child.

4 Ways to Make Oral Hygiene Fun

It can be difficult to get your child to practice proper oral care unsupervised. However, the long-term benefits of an early start to optimal oral hygiene are worth the effort. Below are some tips to help you make oral health a fun part of your child’s daily routine.

  1. Brush with a Buddy.

Your child will be much more excited to floss and brush their teeth if it’s a family activity. Brush your teeth with your child, or if they have siblings, have the kids brush together. This will help make the time more fun and help your child to subconsciously accept oral hygiene as a normal part of a daily routine.

  1. Choose the Right Supplies.

Let you child pick out their own toothbrush. This will help them feel like they have a say in their oral care routine.

  1. Reward Good Behavior.

A little incentive can go a long way. When trying to get your child to floss and brush on their own, it might be helpful to implement a simple reward system. For example, your child could track their own brushing on a calendar and trade it in for a small gift or prize after a month of twice daily brushing.

  1. Educate to Empower.

It’s important that your child understands why practicing good oral hygiene is so important. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about the dangers associated with poor oral health.

There are a lot of strategies you can use to make brushing a fun part of your child’s day, rather than a chore. You know your child better than anyone, so don’t be afraid to come up with some additional techniques that will work better for them!

Regular professional dental cleanings are an essential part of any good oral hygiene routine, so contact our dental team to schedule your child’s next appointment today.

Kids Dentist Near Me | Make Your Child Smile at the Dentist

It’s always important to have fun with our children. New experiences, new people and new surroundings can seem overwhelming to little ones. Read on for ways to make a trip to the dentist fun for your child and for you!

  1. Explain the Profession

Treat each experience at our office as a chance to educate your child. Look for way to discuss how different adults have different professions. Explain to your child that a dentist is a doctor, who treats and cares for teeth. Watch your child’s initial fear of the unknown transform into curiosity.

  1. Explain Why

Children as young as 3 can value an explanation. Whether imparting the importance of sunscreen or a winter jacket, children often understand far more than most realize. Explain the importance of visits to the dentist as well as daily brushing and flossing. This will help them to enjoy their visits as they understand the role we play in their healthy body and smile.

  1. Make the Visit Fun

Our dental team will always greet you and your child with a smile. We understand the importance of making each appointment enjoyable. With your assistance, we can create a fun and educational experience at each and every visit. This will establish the foundation for a lifetime of optimal oral health for your child.

  1. Reward and Applaud

When your child leaves with a smile, make sure he or she is given attention for excellent behavior at our office. Spending special one-on-one time with your child after his or her appointment can create a routine that both you and your child will enjoy.

Please know your child’s oral and overall health is important to us. Call us any time with questions or concerns. We’re here for you.

The History of the Tooth Fairy

Children losing their first tooth is an exciting stage in life. They often run to you as soon as their tooth falls out asking if the Tooth Fairy will visit them at night. Most children know about the Tooth Fairy, but many people don’t know where or when this tradition started. The concept surrounding lost baby teeth has been around for centuries. Below we have shared common historical traditions that have helped evolve the Tooth Fairy into the tradition that it is today.

  •         A story, originating in Spain, is very similar to the modern Tooth Fairy. A mouse named Perez exchanged gifts for teeth, which were put under pillows of sleeping children.
  •         There’s a reason mice have a tradition with teeth. Rodents’ teeth grow for their entire lives.
  •         In France, there is a fairy tale about a queen who is imprisoned by a king. She receives assistance from a mouse who happens to be a fairy. The fairy knocks out the king’s teeth and hides them under a pillow.
  •         Teeth have been disposed of in ritualistic ways since ancient times: buried, burned, or even swallowed.
  •         The fairy has been depicted in a wide range of forms in popular culture. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays a sports star who is turned into the fairy in the movie the Tooth Fairy. The mythos of the Tooth Fairy isn’t even safe from the horror genre.  In 2003’s Darkness Falls the Tooth Fairy is depicted as a vengeful spirit.
  •         The Royal Canadian Mint sold quarters depicting the Tooth Fairy in the years 2011 and ’12.
  •         A survey completed by Visa showed children in the United States get an average of $3.70 per tooth.
  •         In the 1970s, a radio DJ based in Chicago mentioned the Tooth Fairy. The American Dental Association ended up receiving an enormous amount of calls regarding the figure and had no way to answer.

Did you know these facts about the Tooth Fairy? Now when your child asks where the tooth fairy came from, you have answers. Don’t forget to schedule a dental exam and cleaning as soon as your children’s teeth start developing. Please contact our office today to schedule an appointment!