According to statistics published by the ADA Health Policy Institute, the rates of untreated tooth decay are decreasing among young children, which is a good sign. It’s up to parents to keep these trends moving in a positive direction with the help of a pediatric dentist. Consider these tips for how to maintain the health of your child’s smile, and establish a strong relationship with pediatric dentists Dr. Annelise Hardin and Dr. Shauna Woody at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.
Brush and Floss with Your Child at Home
You serve as the best example for your child of what to do to keep their teeth white and clean. Spend the extra couple of minutes each night to brush and floss with your child. Also, reward them when they brush their teeth in the morning without being asked. These actions, done regularly, will help create new, healthy hygiene habits that they’ll carry with them for many ears. At-home care is especially important if you want to help preserve your child’s smile.
Update Your Child’s Daily Nutrition
Besides visits to your Chapel Hill, NC pediatric dentist, the food that your child eats has a major impact on their dental health. First off, reducing the child’s consumption of sugar-filled snacks and replacing them with natural sweets (like sliced apples, pears, and grapes) will help reduce the production of cavities. These are some additional foods to give your child for preventative pediatric dentistry:
- Probiotic-rich foods like low-sugar yogurt drinks.
- Foods high in calcium, like cheese.
- Nuts, seeds, and protein-rich foods.
- Vegetables like spinach and broccoli, which are antioxidant-rich.
Make Time for a Visit
It can be a challenge to find time in your schedule to go to the dentist, but it's crucial if you want to maintain the health of your child’s smile. Call 919-967-2773 today to schedule an appointment at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, providing preventative pediatric dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.
Most young people need basic cavity treatments and fillings at their dentist’s office to keep their teeth in good condition. However, some patients require special needs pediatric dentistry in order to help them maintain a strong, beautiful, and healthy set of teeth. Does your child need this extra attention? If so, read on to learn how Dr. Annelise Hardin, your dentist at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC, can provide dental care for your special needs child.
The Goals of Pediatric Dentistry
Children are mostly unaware of the importance of good dental care until they are taught by their parents and seen regularly by a dentist. Pediatric dentistry is focused on giving children the proper preventive care, restorative therapies, orthodontic treatments, and general dental attention that they need to maintain a healthy smile. Pediatric dentists typically serve children from the time they are born until they reach age 18.
Looking After Special Needs Dental Patients
The dental team here at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC is experienced in working with young patients who have special needs. They understand that these children are particularly sensitive to dental anxieties, being around strangers, and having their teeth treated in an unfamiliar place. Here at our special needs pediatric dentistry, you can look forward to compassionate care from a gentle dentist that has advanced training working with children who need extra attention.
Treatments to Consider for Your Child
The more you visit the dentist with your special needs child from a young age, the easier the experiences will be as time goes on. These are some of the treatments to consider as your child gets older:
- Appliances that will help discourage thumb sucking.
- Fluoride treatments to harden enamel (sometimes recommended when baby teeth erupt—consult your dentist).
- Dental sealants to prevent cavities (as early as age five).
- Orthodontic appliances to straighten the teeth (pre-teens).
- Safe sedation treatments and techniques to relax your child during appointments.
Put Your Child in Caring Hands
Here at Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry, the goal is to provide your special needs child with caring, focused dental treatment to ensure that they maintain a healthy smile now and in the future. Dial (919) 967-2773 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Annelise Hardin at her special needs pediatric dentistry in Chapel Hill, NC.
We are so excited to share these videos with you! Our staff had a blast creating these and we are so grateful to the patients who participated in making them. We hope that watching these with your children might help alleviate some nerves before coming to their first appointment.
What happens at a teeth cleaning?
A typical day at the office
Get to know Dr. Hardin and Dr. Katie
How do we brush our teeth?
What do our patients think about SVPD
Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me: Brushy Brush PSA
Kids Just Love to Brush
Skip the long lines and crowds at the mall this year. Bring your children to take a FREE picture with Santa, courtesy of Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry! Light snacks will be provided and each child will leave with a small gift. Immediately following the photo session, Santa will head over to the Southern Village Green to light the Christmas Tree! The evening is sure to be a blast, so bring your friends and come celebrate the Holiday Season with us!
We recommend that you visit this page to reserve a time slot.
Is your preferred time slot already taken? No worries! You are still welcome to visit with Santa on a first come first served basis and we will do our best to accommodate you as quickly as possible.
Halloween is just around the corner and that means that Halloween candy is about to be very available to your children. While you do want to make sure that your kid’s teeth and gums are healthy, keeping them from participating in one of the most fun, kid-friendly holidays of the year can be kind of harsh.
So what are you, as a parent, supposed to do? On the one hand, you want to make sure that your child has a fun Halloween with a cute costume and trick-or-treating without ruining their teeth. On the other hand, you want to make sure that your child doesn’t feel deprived - this can form unhealthy habits, making them want more candy and be more likely to sneak or hide candy.
Luckily, you can toe the line between letting your kids enjoy the holiday and making sure that they aren’t overindulging in Halloween treats. Emphasizing certain candies and treats while limiting others can significantly help your little one’s teeth from being at risk during the Halloween holiday.
STAY AWAY from These Halloween Treats
Sticky and Chewy Candy, Gummies, Taffy, and Dried Fruit
Candies, gummy worms, salt-water taffy, and yes, even dried fruit can be damaging to teeth because of how sticky they are. Small particles of these chewy treats will get stuck in hard-to-reach-places in your child’s mouth, making it harder for them to be cleaned away by a toothbrush or saliva.
Warheads, Sour Patch Kids, and other sour candies have high levels of acid, which is really bad for teeth. Acid from sour candies will promote erosion of protective tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Chewing sugar-free gum or eating crunchy foods to stimulate saliva production will help counteract the acid by lowering the pH balance in your child’s mouth. Be careful not to brush your child’s teeth for 30 minutes after eating sour candy, though! Brushing soon after your child eats sour candy can actually spread the acid around your child’s mouth, exposing more of their teeth and gums to the acid.
Cookies, Cake, and Candy Corn
Halloween parties can be a minefield with regards to sugary treats – cake, cookies, and candy corn by the handful! Limiting the number of cookies, brownies, and other sweets can dramatically help your child’s teeth remain healthy.
DO Provide These Halloween Treats
Sugar-Free Lollipops and Hard Candies
While still not the best thing for your child’s teeth, hard candies and sugar-free lollipops are better than nothing. They provide less sugar and less acid than other types of candy and actually can promote saliva production. Saliva helps to neutralize the acid, dissolve food particles, and lower the pH balance of the mouth.
As gum can easily get caught in your child’s hair or stuck to clothes, we’ll leave it up to you whether you want to let your child chew gum. That being said, sugar-free gum can help keep your child’s mouth healthy and free from decay. There’s no sugar to promote acid production, the chewing motion helps dislodge food particles that could be stuck between teeth, and it promotes saliva production.
Snack-Sized Pretzels, Crackers, or Trail Mix
It’s important to remember that snacking shouldn’t go overboard just because it’s Halloween, but snack-sized bags of pretzels, crackers, and trail mix can make an excellent compromise between vegetables and candy. This is especially so if you get the Halloween-themed packages! These kinds of snacks are not sticky, aren’t high in citric acid, and aren’t high in sugar either, making them much easier on little teeth.
Consider Implementing a “Buy-Back” Program
A “buy-back” program can help keep your child excited about Halloween without the focus being on the candy. A “buy-back” program is just as it sounds, your child will trade in some or all of their candy for something else. You can do this a couple of ways: you could offer a penny per piece of candy, so even if your child comes home with a candy bag bigger than they are, the overall cost for you could be no more than $10-$20. You could also offer small toys as a different incentive, where they get a few toys from the dollar store based on the weight of the candy they turned in.
Contact Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry today
Whatever steps you take to protect your child’s teeth this Halloween, remember to contact your Chapel Hill pediatric dentists at Southern Village. A check-up and cleaning can help prevent long-term tooth decay, so please call us at 919-967-2773 or request an appointment.
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