How your child’s tongue position & breathing affects their health.

Did you know that how your child breathes can greatly impact their dental health, as well as their overall health? The key to healthy swallowing and breathing depends a great deal upon your child’s tongue. Where your child’s tongue sits while at rest impacts their breathing and swallowing capabilities, which in turn can affect their sleeping, eating, speaking, habits and behavior. Tongue position also plays a crucial role in how your child’s face, jaw, palate and teeth develop!

 If you or a healthcare provider has noticed that when your child swallows their tongue does not rest on the roof of their mouth, your child might have what we at GBPD call a orofacial myofunctional disorder, otherwise known as an OMD. Below we will cover some common causes, signs, and side effects of OMDs, as well as offer solutions and treatment options!

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How to Keep Halloween Treats from Playing Tricks on Your Child’s Teeth

Ahh, Halloween!  Candy, costumes, and…cavities!  Well, you don’t have to let cavities be a reality.  Your kids can enjoy Halloween candy without too much worry if you follow our dentists’ advice.  Here are 5 ways to keep Halloween candy from causing cavities.

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Each generation of teenagers defines cool trends for themselves. Sometimes, these trends come back to haunt us as adults in the form of embarrassing photos (Mom, why is only one pant leg rolled up on your jeans?), but they don’t usually impact our health for years to come.  One of the biggest trends with teens today, however, poses serious long-term health risks.  We’re talking about vaping. Vaping, the term teens used to describe smoking an e-cigarette, continues to attract teens at an alarming rate.  Indeed, the latest numbers state that “more than 3.6 million U.S. youth, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students” currently uses some form of e-cigarette.  With these numbers, the Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in the US.  Not only does vaping have nicotine addiction implications for your teen, but their oral health can suffer greatly, too. The effects of vaping on teeth and your teen’s overall oral health are real and serious.

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Most of us know that sugary snacks and drinks can harm your child’s teeth.  As a result, some of us choose sugar-free sodas and natural fruit juices believing we’re solving the problem while satisfying a sweet tooth.  But diet soda does cause cavities, and some fruit juices and sports drinks are guilty as charged, too.  How?  The answer lies with understanding the role acids play in oral health. Indeed, sugar is not the only cavity-causing culprit found in food and drinks.  Citric acids and phosphoric acids are villains in this equation, too.

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Two minutes, twice a day. What could be simpler, right? The ADA recommends we all brush our teeth for two minutes twice a day, but for kids, this simple task isn’t always so simple. Little hands can struggle to work a toothbrush well enough to reach every nook and cranny on every tooth. Also, a million distractions can keep kids from standing still for those couple of minutes. Worry not! We’re here to help.

If your child’s brushing habits could use some help, consider these 5 benefits of using an electric toothbrush for kids.

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Have you ever seen a child in the grocery store with their shoes on the wrong feet and shirt on backward?   Chances are that they insisted on getting dressed “all by themselves.” Kids love to assert their “big kid” status around 4 years of age, so it’s not uncommon for battles around brushing teeth to start at this age.  But at what age should kids brush their own teeth really?

No one-size answer fits all kids, but here are 4 questions to help you decide.

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Why Pulling Baby Teeth with Cavities is NOT Your Dentist’s First Choice

As a parent, you try to do all the right things for your child.  You help your child brush and floss, you offer teeth-healthy snacks, and you only let them drink water, yet despite all your efforts, your toddler or child has cavities in their baby teeth.  You and your child are not alone. In fact, almost 30% of children 2 to 5 years of age get dental caries in their primary teeth. That number jumps to a little over  50% for children 6 to 11 years of age!   

Since these teeth eventually loosen and fall out anyway, you may be tempted to ask your dentist to pull a decayed primary tooth. However, pulling baby teeth with cavities rarely is the best option. 

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Is your child afraid of the dentist?  

Raise your hand and cover your mouth if you’ve ever dreaded a trip to the dentist.  If you’re like 60% of the population, you just raised your hand. More than half of us have some amount of dental anxiety.  Not surprisingly, your child might be afraid of the dentist, too. Allowing this fear to continue or get worse can adversely affect your child’s oral health for decades to come.  Indeed, nearly 20% of children under the age of 18 have untreated cavities, and fear is reported as one of the major reasons why they are left untreated.  Luckily, dental anxiety can be overcome!  Read more

Many parents feel nothing but fear and dread when faced with packing back-to-school lunches.  It’s no wonder. We’re faced with finding healthy foods that kids will actually eat. (Raise your hand if the perfectly nutritious lunch you packed with love ever came back home untouched.  While we, unfortunately, don’t have a magic solution for all your lunchtime woes, we do have four tips on how to make sure your kids’ lunch choices are healthy for their teeth. Read more

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) Stops Tooth Decay Without Drilling!

Imagine treating your child’s cavity without subjecting them to the dental drill.  This dream can be a reality with silver diamine fluoride (SDF).  SDF has been used to treat and prevent cavities painlessly in Japan and the UK for decades, and now this exciting dental treatment has been FDA approved in the US.  How does it work?  Whom is it right for?  What are the downsides?  Keep reading to find out! Read more