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Child Dental Care

Child dental care for Minneapolis-area families … more than six decades of ensuring healthy teeth for Twin Cities children!

man-brushing-teeth-with-sonChild Dental Care for More Than 66 Years!

Looking for child dental care in St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, Hopkins and Minneapolis? Rhode Island Dental has been providing dental care for children for more than 66 years!

Why should I take my little one to a dentist when baby teeth will fall out anyway?

Once a baby tooth gets infected with bacteria, it usually progresses fast, seeping through the tooth and going to the bone. In the worst case scenario, this can cause a dental infection in your child that can even be fatal.

So, even though we may lose our primary teeth eventually, the health of these teeth is very important to our oral health over our lifetime. What a lot of people don’t know is, if bacteria remains and festers in the baby teeth, the enamel for the adult teeth may not be formed properly, so those adult teeth could be permanently damaged.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

Most dentists say, “When they reach their first birthday, or get their first tooth, whichever is earlier.” Many parents are shocked that it’s so early, since the older guideline was age three, an age when dentists generally found they could manage a child.

But at three, we often find that damage has already been done from baby bottle tooth decay or cavities.

At Rhode Island Dental, we’ve provided child dental care for generations, so you’ll enjoy peace of mind when you bring your child to Rhode Island Dental.

When should children begin to brush their teeth?

One guideline is, when they can neatly write their own name, usually around the age of 6 or 7. Children need fairly fine motor coordination to do a good brushing job. In the meantime, have your child watch you brush your teeth. It’s good to be the role model here! Then when you think they are ready, give them a small, soft toothbrush and brush with them, using normal (not “whitening”) toothpaste that tastes good.

By all means, feel free to call us at Rhode Island Dental in St. Louis Park with any questions you have on child dental care!

woman-brushing-teeth-with-daughterFood and drink have a huge impact on the health of a child’s teeth!

As you probably know, too many carbohydrates, sugar, and starches are not good for your child’s teeth. Of utmost importance is, the longer that sugary, sticky foods and carbohydrates remain on the teeth, the greater the chance of tooth decay. So, chips, pretzels, candy, cake, even milk, can affect a child’s teeth. Therefore, brushing your child’s teeth at least twice a day is very important.

Healthy food choices are also very important for your child

These foods are better for your child’s dental care:

  • Fruits and vegetables as a snack instead of carbohydrates. Those with a high volume of water, such as pears, melons, celery, and cucumbers are best. Limit banana and raisin consumption as these contain concentrated sugar … or if you serve these fruits, try to brush your child’s teeth immediately afterwards.
  • Saliva helps to wash food particles away from teeth, so serve cheese as a snack or with lunch. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, and other aged cheeses actually help the flow of saliva.
  • Avoid chewy, sticky foods like peanut butter cookies, honey, syrup, caramel and the like, since they stick to your child’s teeth and then it’s hard for the saliva to wash away the sugars.
  • If you want to give your child sweet treats, give them as a dessert right after the meal since saliva generated from the meal can help wash sugars off the teeth.
  • Rather than juice, water with your child’s meal helps also … or maybe a small glass of milk followed by a glass of water
  • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice, soda or even milk or formula.

Child dental care and fluoride: what about fluoride for toddlers and children?

Fluoride is a natural chemical. Fluoride ions occur on earth in several minerals, and are present in almost all types of tea leaves. The right amount of fluoride is fine for your young ones, but you should be aware of the levels of fluoride in your drinking water, especially if you are not on “city” water. Even if you are on city water, you can get a kit to test your water.

What about the fluoride in my water?

Optimum fluoride levels in water are about one part per million. More than that or less than that are problematic. In fact, too much fluoride can discolor teeth. Most city water which has been treated with fluoride has been done so very carefully. Call your local water supplier to find out about your fluoride levels. If your water has no fluoride, consult with the child-care dentists at Rhode Island Dental.

Child dental care and fluoride, from the respected source: the ADA

To help you understand more about fluoride and child dental care, here are a couple paragraphs from the highly-regarded American Dental Association website:

Cavities used to be a fact of life. But over the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically. The key reason: fluoride. Research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Unfortunately, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is like any other nutrient; it is safe and effective when used appropriately.

Fluoride is effective in preventing and reversing the early signs of dental caries (tooth decay). Researchers have shown that there are several ways through which fluoride achieves its decay-preventive effects. It makes the tooth structure stronger, so teeth are more resistant to acid attacks. Acid is formed when the bacteria in plaque break down sugars and carbohydrates from the diet. Repeated acid attacks break down the tooth, which causes cavities. Fluoride also acts to repair, or remineralize, areas in which acid attacks have already begun. The remineralization effect of fluoride is important because it reverses the early decay process as well as creating a tooth surface that is more resistant to decay.

Source: American Dental Association

If you would like to learn more about how fluoride affects child dental care, call us today …

Or, learn more about fluoride here: http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/fluoride-supplements

For Minneapolis, Hopkins, Minnetonka and St. Louis Park parents, superb quality child dental care is close by at Rhode Island Dental!

Rhode Island Dental | Douglas D. Talus, D.D.S. & Lawrence W. O’Halloran, D.D.S. | (952) 938-7628 | 3645 Rhode Island Ave. S, St. Louis Park, MN 55426