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Kids Dentistry

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What Are The Causes of Child Tooth Pain?

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Child-with-tooth-pain-and-his-hands-over-his-cheeksAs a parent, it’s heartbreaking to see your child in pain. Whether a scraped knee, stubbed toe or, (heaven forbid!) a broken limb, you want to take the hurt away however you can. 

A child’s tooth pain falls squarely into the above. So what are the culprits that cause tooth pain in kids? 

Dr. Paddy and Dr. Roger at Kids Mile High are here with the experience and expertise to answer that question! As your Denver area pediatric dentists in Englewood, Central Park and Thornton, we’ve seen many children with sore teeth and gums and have helped them through it. Parents often schedule an appointment with us when:

  • Their baby has sore gums
  • Their child’s loose tooth hurts
  • Their child’s tooth hurts when eating
  • They’re concerned about childhood teeth grinding
  • Their child has sore jaws or teeth

A Baby with Sore Gums

When your baby is crying, irritable, drooling (more than usual!) and chewing on his fists, they’re probably teething and has very sore gums. Teething starts anytime from three months onward, with teeth starting to show around six months old. It’s an exciting ‘first’ for your baby but it can be a painful one. Just think, if adults experienced teething, “crying like a baby” would take on a whole new meaning! 

Alleviating Teething Pain

The team at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry has seen a lot of teething babies with swollen, tender gums and flushed cheeks. We know that it’s challenging for both the baby with sore gums and the parents. Here are our top tips for alleviating your baby’s sore gums

  • Counterpressure Using Teething Toys and Gum Massage – Your baby has the right idea when they’re chewing on their fist; they’re providing a relieving counterpressure. Give your baby with sore gums teething rings or plush teething toys — free of BPA, phthalates, latex and PVC, of course — and let them gum, gum, gum away! A wet washcloth is also comforting to chew. Even better? Try cold pressure: refrigerate teething toys and washcloths for further comfort. 

A gum massage is a nice way to bond with your baby and apply that much-need counterpressure. You’ll also get the chance to feel for any newly-erupted teeth.

  • Cold Food or Drinks: If your baby is already eating solid foods, give them cold items like yogurt or blended fruit. You could also try giving them refrigerated breastmilk.
  • Distractions and Play: When the irritability cranks up, try changing your baby’s activity. Pull out a new book, go for a walk, play some happy music and sing along. Even short distractions help.
  • Child Toothache Medicine: Baby pain relievers are an option, especially at night. Rest for your baby and you? Always important. Ask your pediatrician about infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

While we’re talking about babies, let’s cover baby tooth decay. Yes, tooth decay can happen in those tiny teeth! Baby bottle tooth decay is what happens when babies are put to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice — anything that has sugars in it — and the sugars that sit in the baby’s mouth all night turn into bacteria and plaque. It can happen in the daytime, too. When you give your baby constant sips or bottles of sugar-containing liquids, you run the risk of bacteria building up.

Brushing and Flossing your Baby’s Teeth

To help get rid of bacteria in a baby’s mouth, use a soft, damp washcloth to gently clean your baby’s gums and teeth twice a day. Once teeth begin to show, use a soft, baby toothbrush with a tiny, rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush teeth and gums. How often? At least twice a day. As for flossing, how many times a day should you floss your baby’s teeth? When teeth grow big enough that the gaps between start closing up, you should floss your baby’s teeth at least once a day. 

My Child’s Loose Tooth Hurts

After the arrival of baby teeth, losing those teeth is the next step in a child’s dental development. Losing baby teeth to gain adult teeth happens during most of childhood, from 5-7 years old until about 12-13 years old. When your child says their loose baby tooth hurts, it’s most likely gum tenderness around the tooth. This is normal. For the most part, however, losing baby teeth doesn’t hurt, except for the back molars occasionally. Back molars don’t have baby counterparts to pave the way so they might cause tooth pain in a child. During the day, cold or frozen food will soothe discomfort. At night, ibuprofen can help your child sleep better and lessen tooth pain.

In some cases, your child’s loose tooth hurts because of trauma to the tooth or gums. Are teeth or gums bleeding? Any teeth black or cracked? If so, make an appointment at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry as soon as possible!

My Child’s Tooth Hurts When Eating

Tooth pain in children when they’re eating is not a normal event and needs close attention. When your child complains that his teeth hurt when eating, tooth decay is a likely culprit. Some causes include

  • Cavities – Tooth decay, or cavities, can happen to anyone at any age. So if your child’s tooth hurts when eating, they could have a cavity. With a cavity, bacteria has worn away a tooth’s surface enamel, causing a permanent hole in the tooth. The lack of enamel makes a tooth more sensitive, and deeper cavities can expose nerves, which cause even greater pain. If your child’s pain is really bad, internal tooth decay is a possibility. Internal tooth decay is when tooth decay is happening within the tooth’s soft interior of nerves and tissue.
  • Infections – With moderate cavities, only the teeth are affected. But with more severe internal tooth decay or gum disease, not only does your child’s tooth hurt when eating, but there might also be an infection in the gums. Infections also occur because of cracked teeth or abscesses. Signs of infected gums include: swollen and red gums, throbbing pain, a swollen jaw, fever or a bad taste in your child’s mouth. Eep!

If you suspect a cavity or infection is why your child’s tooth hurts when eating, make an appointment at our Englewood, Central Park or Thornton office right away. 

Preventing Child Tooth Decay and Cavities

The best way to prevent and stop child tooth decay is a thorough brushing and flossing routine. Get your kids into good oral hygiene routines early so their healthy oral hygiene habits will carry into adulthood. Kids should brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Dentists suggest that parents brush their kids’ teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts and supervise kids’ teeth brushing until the age of 7 or 8.

People often ask, “How many times a day should you floss your kids’ teeth? Is it the same as brushing? More? Less?” When it comes to how many times a day you should floss your kids’ teeth, we typically recommend flossing your kids’ teeth at least once a day. Flossing is proven to significantly reduce the number of bad bacteria left in your mouth. Like brushing, parents should help their child with flossing, or at least closely supervise, until their child is about 7 or 8. After that, it’s still a good idea for parents to keep an eye on your kids’ flossing and brushing to ensure they’re doing a thorough job. 

Tips for Encouraging Teeth Flossing 

Find a flavor of dental floss that your kids like, use floss picks or a water flosser. If you make flossing fun, your kids’ answer to “How many times a day should you floss your kids’ teeth?” might be a surprising one like, “Every chance you get, mom!”

Kids’ Teeth Grinding

When your children go to bed, you wish them sweet dreams and a restful, peaceful sleep. What happens, though, if you hear the alarming sounds of your kids’ teeth grinding? Bruxism, as it’s officially called, affects 2-3 out of 10 children. It’s one of the more common kids’ oral health concerns we see at Kids Mile High and we’ve found that kids teeth grinding is most often related to misaligned teeth or stress. It can also be behind your child’s tooth pain. 

  • Misaligned Teeth – As we talked about earlier, losing baby teeth and gaining adult teeth happens continually from about ages 5 to 13. So there’s plenty of times during childhood when your kid’s teeth might not line up, resulting in discomfort and teeth grinding. The good news is that kids usually grow out of teeth grinding when all their adult teeth are in. If teeth grinding continues into the teen years, we suggest booking a visit with our Kids Mile High pediatric orthodontist Dr. Owens to assess if your child needs orthodontic care.
  • Stress – An upcoming test at school, a piano recital or pivotal soccer game, an argument with parents or friends. Childhood stressors are a non-dental cause of kids’ teeth grinding. While we can’t eliminate your little one’s stress, if your child’s teeth grinding is damaging their teeth, Dr. Paddy and Dr. Roger can provide some guidance or suggestions — like outfitting your child with a custom-made mouthguard to protect their teeth.

Sometimes kids’ teeth grinding is a medical symptom. Certain medications can cause teeth grinding. Medical issues such as hyperactivity or being tongue-tied are linked to it, as well as conditions like cerebral palsy.

Sore Jaws or Teeth From Illness

Occasionally, your child’s tooth pain isn’t from any of the common dental problems in children that we’ve mentioned. Does your child have a stuffy nose? Is she complaining that her ears hurt? Sinusitis or an ear infection can cause jaw or teeth pain. In these cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen is an option, as long as it doesn’t interfere with any other medications your child is taking.

Dr. Paddy and Dr. Roger to the Rescue!

Now that you know what can cause child tooth pain, your next step is visiting us at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry. As your Denver pediatric dental specialists in Englewood, Central Park, and Thornton, our fun, kid-centric vibe helps kids feel calm — even when they’ve got tooth pain. Dr. Paddy or Dr. Roger will quickly figure out the cause of your child’s tooth pain and provide guidance and solutions for a happy, pain-free child! Contact us today for an emergency virtual visit or an in-person appointment.

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Give Your Child the Gift of a Healthy Smile

By | Kids Dentistry | No Comments

Can you believe it’s already the holiday season? After a long and interesting year (to say the least!), we all deserve a reason to celebrate with our families. And as pediatric dentists in Englewood, Central Park and Thornton, you know what we think is the perfect gift this year. To us, there’s no better way to show your little ones you care than by setting them up for lifelong oral health.

Okay, we know it’s not a traditional gift, but this year the Kids Mile High team encourages you to give your kids the gift of a healthy smile. After all, it really is the gift that keeps on giving: not only does a healthy smile support your children’s health overall and reduce their need for serious (and costly) intervention in the future, it’s also proven to boost their self-esteem, happiness and confidence.

Wondering what you can do to support your children’s oral health? Here are some simple tips for keeping your kiddos’ teeth strong and healthy this holiday season and beyond.

Book Your Child’s First Dental Appointment by Age One

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all children have their first dental appointment by age one, or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth. On average, kids begin to get their primary teeth around six months old, and it’s important to have those little pearly whites examined by a professional to make sure they’re coming in properly.

At your child’s first dental visit with their Central Park, Thornton or Englewood pediatric dentist, we’ll take a look at their overall dental health and assess any potential issues, as well as provide tips for proper oral hygiene and give some nutritional guidance. The goal is to establish healthy habits early on to set your child on the path to a beautiful, healthy smile.

Teach Your Kids Tooth-Healthy Habits

We’re always here to support our patients and provide education on taking care of your kids’ teeth, but the real work happens at home. Getting kids excited about brushing and flossing their teeth is a tall order, but it’s a necessary one, so the sooner you get started the better. Fortunately, there are creative ways to make oral hygiene fun for kids. Here’s how:

  • Brush and floss as a family, because kids love to mimic their parents!
  • Play a two-minute tune to ensure your children brush for the appropriate amount of time
  • Reward your kiddos for brushing and flossing every day
  • Turn brushing and flossing into a game to get rid of those nasty sugar bugs
  • Let your little ones choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste so they feel like they have a say

Practice Preventive Dentistry

When it comes to kids’ oral health, it’s always better to prevent issues from happening than try to fix them afterwards. That’s why preventive dentistry is the best dentistry for kids. When you take preventive measures, it helps your child avoid oral health problems like cavities, gum disease, enamel decay and more.

Dental sealants are one of the best ways to take preventive action for your kids’ teeth. They’re basically like protective armor that blocks out all the bad stuff, like bacteria, plaque, acids and food particles that eat away at your child’s teeth. Dental sealants are made from a thin plastic that’s painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth to create a barrier over the enamel of each tooth, keeping your child’s teeth as healthy as possible. Fluoride treatments are another fantastic preventive dentistry option and we’re not talking about the yucky, messy kind in trays. These days, we apply fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth and they’re free to go about their day.

Visit an Orthodontist By Age Seven

If a pediatric dentist is like a general practitioner for your child’s teeth, an orthodontist is a specialist that focuses on a specific aspect of oral health. Orthodontists are primarily concerned with straightening the teeth and aligning the bite to create beautiful, functional and healthy smiles. While there’s no standard age for kids to first visit an orthodontist, most dental professionals recommend seeing an orthodontist by the time your child turns seven.

Similar to your child’s first dental visit, their first orthodontic appointment gives their doctor a chance to examine, diagnose and prevent potential bite issues. It also gives parents and kids a better idea of whether they’ll need orthodontic treatment in the future.

Schedule Regular Dental Appointments

Aside from taking all the necessary steps at home to care for your child’s teeth, regular visits to your pediatric dentist in Central Park, Thornton or Englewood are crucial to your child’s ongoing oral health. Kids should see their dentist approximately every six months to keep an eye on their development and watch out for any incoming problems. We’ll also do routine cleanings and can add on fluoride treatments or dental sealants if you’d like. And if you still have questions, the Kids Mile High team is always here to help you out.

Ready to book your child’s first dental appointment or schedule regular visits to your pediatric dentist? Contact Kids Mile High today.

Children and Gum Disease

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Most of us think of gum disease as an adult problem that only affects us later in life. Of course, as pediatric dentists in Central Park, Englewood and Thornton, we know that gum disease (and especially its precursor gingivitis) are extremely common in children and teens. Gingivitis and gum disease cause puffy, swollen or red gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. Caused by a build-up of food particles, bacteria and plaque, gum disease in kids and teens can lead to significant tooth damage and health concerns if left untreated.

Though signs of gum disease are typically first seen in adolescence, the beginning stages can begin at any point in childhood. That’s why it’s so important for kids to learn healthy oral hygiene habits from an early age. At Kids Mile High, it’s our job to help set your child up for lifelong tooth health. Here, we’re answering all your questions about kids and gum disease, including:

  • What are common symptoms of gum disease in kids?
  • Why do kids get gingivitis or gum disease?
  • How can I treat my child’s gingivitis at home?

What is Childhood Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Characterized by inflamed gums, bad breath and loose teeth, gum disease can affect children, teens and adults alike. There are three types of gum disease in children: chronic gingivitis, localized aggressive periodontitis and generalized aggressive periodontitis.

Chronic gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is not only very treatable, it’s preventable with proper brushing and flossing and regular dental care. Gingivitis itself is a non-destructive form of periodontal disease but untreated, it can lead to more serious, damaging periodontitis.

Localized aggressive periodontitis primarily affects the first molars and incisors in teens and young adults. Oddly, patients with this type of periodontal disease don’t usually have much plaque, but experience severe loss of the alveolar bone. That’s the part of the jaw that holds the roots of your teeth and keeps them in place, so it’s pretty important!

Lastly, with generalized aggressive periodontitis, your child will have very inflamed gums and heavy build-up of plaque and tartar. Over time, this condition can weaken the teeth and cause them to become loose, leading to tooth loss.

Gum Disease in Kids: What to Look Out For

Do you think your child might have gingivitis or gum disease? There’s no reason to panic. It’s a common part of childhood and adolescence and if you catch it early, it will not cause lasting damage. If you suspect your child is suffering from periodontal disease in any form, it’s always best to visit your pediatric dentist. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the main symptoms of gum disease in kids:

  • Swollen, red or puffy gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away with regular brushing and flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Gums that bleed during or after brushing and flossing
  • Loose teeth that are not caused by any other impact or force

However, your child’s symptoms alone are not always enough to diagnose childhood gingivitis. A baby with sore gums most likely has a tooth erupting, not gum disease. Loose teeth are also not a cause for concern on their own because all kids lose their baby teeth to make space for their adult ones. But if, for example, your two year old has swollen gums and bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away, it may be an early sign of childhood gum disease.

Why Does My Child Have Gum Disease?

If your child does in fact have gum disease, you’re probably wondering what caused it in the first place. As we’ve mentioned, gingivitis and periodontal disease are characterized by excess plaque, bacteria and tartar that accumulate on the teeth over time. In most cases, the condition is caused by poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing or flossing your teeth, which allows all that gunk to build up. But even with proper dental habits, kids can still develop gingivitis. There are several additional causes of gum disease in children and teens, and risk factors that may make them more likely to develop the condition.

Puberty (and all the wonderful hormonal changes that come along with it) can contribute to the development of gum disease in teens. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, heightened progesterone and possibly estrogen during puberty raise blood circulation to the gums. This in turn increases the gum’s sensitivity to any irritation, including food and plaque, causing sore, swollen and red gums. These symptoms will go away as puberty progresses, but teens need to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing their teeth during this time to avoid further gum disease in the future.

Additional risk factors for childhood periodontal disease include various diseases, such as Kindler syndrome, type 1 diabetes, Down’s syndrome and Papillon–Lefèvre syndrome. Genetics may also increase your child’s risk of gum disease.

Treating Children with Gum Disease

Gum disease, as with all health concerns, is best treated early. If possible, it’s better to prevent it before it even starts! This is absolutely possible with proper oral health care, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once per day, and maintaining regular visits with your dentist. All of the above applies to treating gum disease in children, teens and adults.

So teach your child how to brush and floss from an early age, be a good role model by demonstrating positive oral health behavior, and always stay up to date on your child’s dentist appointments. Is your child due for a visit with the doctors at Kids Mile High? Contact us today to book.

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Your Guide to Teeth Grinding in Children

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Ever heard of bruxism? You’re not alone. Even though it’s one of the most common kids’ oral health concerns we treat at Kids Mile High, it’s not a term that most of our Thornton, Central Park and Englewood pediatric dentistry patients are familiar with. You probably know it better by it’s non-technical name: teeth grinding. While it can be cause for concern in some cases, it’s a totally normal part of childhood that typically resolves itself on its own.

Taking care of your little ones’ teeth is our number one priority at Kids Mile High, from infancy all the way through adolescence. We know that navigating your child’s oral health can be confusing at best. If you’re hearing grinding noises from your child’s bedroom at night, it can be downright scary! Unfortunately, there can be long-term effects of bruxism if left untreated and it may also be a sign of a bigger issue. Here, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about teeth grinding in children and what to do about it.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

If your child is grinding his or her teeth, you might be wondering why it’s happening in the first place. The exact cause of teeth grinding in children is unknown, but most experts agree that it’s a response to tooth discomfort due to normal oral development, such as emerging or misaligned teeth. If the cause of tooth grinding is developmental, kids will usually stop on their own once all of their adult teeth come in.

Sometimes, though, teeth grinding has nothing to do with tooth development. When teeth grinding is ongoing, it may be caused by emotional upset, such as stress or anxiety. Believe it or not, children deal with a lot of stress in their young lives, from school pressure like getting good grades and making friends, to changes at home like moving or a death in the family. Children thrive in routines and any major changes can lead to physical reactions — including bruxism.

Additional causes of teeth grinding include reactions to medications, hyperactivity, being tongue tied, or medical conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Effects of Teeth Grinding

Many parents never even know their kids are grinding their teeth. That doesn’t make you a bad parent! Bruxism usually goes away on its own, so you may never have the chance to worry about it! If you know your child is grinding his or her teeth, you’re probably concerned about the effects of bruxism for your child’s oral health.

Some children may experience temporary symptoms, such as headaches or earaches, but these typically go away when tooth grinding stops. For children who continue to grind their teeth, you may see some more serious side effects, such as damage to tooth enamel, chipped teeth, increased temperature sensitivity, facial pain, or jaw issues.

Teeth Grinding: What to Look Out For

The most important thing to remember about teeth grinding in children is that it is generally not something you need to worry about. It’s a normal part of childhood oral development that should resolve itself eventually. That said, there are always exceptions. Teeth grinding isn’t good for your child’s teeth and can cause wear and tear in the long run. Asking yourself, “Is my child grinding her teeth?” Here’s how to tell if your child has bruxism.

  • Grinding noises while your child is sleeping
  • Complaints of a sore jaw
  • Changes in eating habits or discomfort with chewing
  • Chipped teeth
  • Behavioral changes

Any combination of these symptoms can be a sign that your child is grinding his or her teeth. As we’ve mentioned, kids usually outgrow this habit on their own but if you notice that it’s not going away, err on the side of caution and contact your Central Park, Englewood or Thornton pediatric dentist.

How to Treat Children’s Teeth Grinding

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: children usually stop grinding their teeth on their own. But simply waiting for teeth grinding to go away can be somewhat stressful for parents. How long does it take for kids to stop grinding their teeth? When is it time to see a pediatric dentist for bruxism? While intervention for bruxism is not usually required, a pediatric dentist like the doctors at Kids Mile High can give you the guidance and reassurance you and your child need.

Even for mild cases of bruxism, having a pediatric dentist keep an eye on your child’s development can ensure teeth grinding isn’t interfering with their oral health. If your child is experiencing facial or jaw pain from teeth grinding, we recommend getting a special mouthguard for your child to wear while sleeping. A custom-made night guard can help prevent teeth grinding quickly, effectively and for the long-term.

But what about treating teeth grinding that’s caused by stress or anxiety? This can be a little more difficult and treatment starts at home. Talk to your child about what’s upsetting them and encourage them to open up about what’s triggering their anxieties. Once you know why your child is upset, you can help them develop healthy strategies for coping with stress. In the interim, it may be helpful to schedule a consultation with one of our pediatric dentists to determine if they would recommend an occlusal guard to help protect the teeth from damage.

Does your child grind his or her teeth? Worried that your child’s bruxism isn’t going away? Kids Mile High is here to answer any questions you have about teeth grinding in children. Call us to book a free consultation and help your child overcome their bruxism today.

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Is it Safe for Kids to Use Mouthwash?

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As your little ones get older and begin to sprout new pearly whites, you probably have a million questions about how best to care for your child’s developing teeth. From what kind of toothpaste to use to teaching your kids to brush and floss, there are a few key things you should know about children’s oral health.

At Kids Mile High, one of the most common questions we hear is, “Is mouthwash safe for kids?” First, it’s important to remember that what’s safe for adults may not be ideal for kids. But fortunately, there are kid-friendly versions of oral health products that can be extremely effective. Read on to find out when it’s safe for your child to start using mouthwash and which products are the safest choice.

When is Mouthwash Safe for Kids?

The answer to this question really comes down to your child’s age and behavior, as well as your personal preference as a parent. To decide whether you want your child to use mouthwash, you’ll want to consider whether your child is ready for mouthwash, from both a developmental and maturity perspective.

Since mouthwash usually contains fluoride, it typically is not recommended for children under the age of 6. Fluoride has many benefits, including the prevention of tooth decay, but too much too soon can cause a condition called fluorosis. This condition can only occur when your child’s teeth are still developing and causes changes to the color and texture of the teeth, such as brown spots or bumps. But don’t worry; fluorosis is a cosmetic issue and can be prevented by not giving fluoride mouthwash to a child too young to understand the concept of spitting after rinsing.

Even if your child is old enough for mouthwash, he or she may not be ready to use it. Just like toothpaste, mouthwash should not be swallowed and needs to be spit out. It can take practice for some children to get used to swishing and spitting, instead of gulping it down. Before giving your child mouthwash, practice with water. Encourage them to swish the water around their mouth to wash all their teeth, and then spit it out into the sink. If your child does this with ease, he or she is probably ready to graduate to mouthwash.

Benefits of Mouthwash for Children

Now that you’re able to assess whether your child is ready for mouthwash or not, you might be wondering why you should give your kids mouthwash in the first place. Fortunately, there are many benefits of mouthwash for children, including the following.

  • It gives brushing and flossing an extra boost. Brushing twice and flossing once every day is the gold standard for at-home dental care, but mouthwash can boost the effects by whisking away any leftover food particles and plaque.
  • Mouthwash prevents tooth decay. Like we mentioned earlier, fluoride has incredible cavity-fighting power. Just remember that it’s only recommended for children over 6 years old.
  • It freshens your child’s breath. If your child experiences bad breath, mouthwash can provide extra freshness between brushing and flossing sessions.
  • Mouthwash helps those with braces clean their teeth more effectively. If your child has braces, you know how tricky it can be for them to brush and floss properly. Mouthwash can help loosen trapped bits of food and get into hard-to-reach areas, ensuring a more effective clean.
  • It’s a stepping stone towards proper brushing and flossing. It can take time for children to learn how to brush and floss their teeth properly. If your child hasn’t quite mastered the techniques, mouthwash can provide an effective (temporary) solution for cleaning their teeth.

Safe Mouthwash Brands for Kids

Just like there are kid-friendly toothpaste flavors and colors, the same exists in the world of children’s mouthwash. When choosing a mouthwash for your kids, you’ll want to look for alcohol-free mouthwash. Here are a few child-safe mouthwash options you can use.

  • Listerine Smart Rinse Anticavity Mouthwash: Everyone’s go-to mouthwash brand is also available in a kid-friendly mouthwash option, with zero alcohol, fun flavors and themed bottles with your kids’ favorite characters. When your kids can clean their teeth with Elsa or the Avengers, rinsing with mouthwash will become their favorite part of their oral health routine.
  • Kid’s Crest Anticavity Alcohol Free Fluoride Rinse: Crest kids mouthwash is an alcohol-free, fluoride rinse that’s safe for younger mouths (over the age of 6, of course). Available in bubble gum or strawberry, this mouthwash for kids provides effective cavity protection and deep cleaning for hard-to-reach teeth, all in a tasty flavor your kids will love.
  • Tom’s of Maine Children’s Anticavity Mouth Rinse: If you’re looking for a more natural mouthwash for kids, Tom’s is a fantastic choice. In addition to being alcohol free, it contains no artificial flavors, dyes, sweeteners or preservatives. This natural kid’s mouthwash comes in a tasty strawberry flavor we’re sure your kiddos will be excited to use.

So there you have it. If you’ve been concerned about giving your kids mouthwash, rest assured that it can be perfectly safe, as long as your child is old enough and responsible enough to use it properly. The doctors at Kids Mile High always recommend supervising your children when they use mouthwash to avoid any swallowing. Still have questions about mouthwash for kids? Call your Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric dentist today!

We’re reopening!

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Hey KMH patients,

We’re super excited to welcome you back to the office starting Monday, May 4th, however, to continue to ensure a safe and healthy environment for both our patients and team, we’ve made the following changes to our policies and protocols while we adjust to this “new normal.”

As always, we appreciate your understanding and support, and we look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces again in the weeks to come!

Changes we’ve made:

  • When visiting the office for an appointment, both patient and parent must wear masks. (If you have them)
  • We will be asking parents to limit siblings coming to appointments when possible.
  • We will ask a series of screening questions upon arrival, such as travel, symptoms, etc.
  • We will also be taking temperatures of all staff as they enter the practice for work each morning and patients and parents at check-in.
  • We will be opening at a 50% capacity to abide by the social distancing requirements and will be adding sneeze guards to our front office stations.
  • Staff will now be wearing surgical hair bonnets and N95 masks with additional eye shields.
  • We have purchased medical-grade air fresheners to circulate the air in the treatment rooms.
  • We have removed toys, books and magazines from the reception area, and the video game systems will be turned off.
  • The coffee/tea stations have been removed, but we are happy to get patients a beverage if desired.
  • We will be delegating “family areas” so patients do not co-mingle in the reception area.
  • The toy stations for patient prizes will now be restricted to staff disbursement.
  • We are diligently working on developing electronic forms to minimize staff/patient exposure with paper forms.
  • If patients have dental needs, but the parent/patient has flu-like symptoms, we will do a screening by phone and ask them to upload photos of the problem via our website portal set up for patients.
  • The medical building we are located in has also done their part by bringing in a professional sanitizing crew to sanitize the common areas.

In regards to scheduling, every effort has been made to contact patients that require schedule changes, and we will be reaching out again to get them back on schedule. However, if you have not been contacted, please give the office a call to get those appointments scheduled.

We will continue to update our patients through our websitesocial media, and email announcements. When calling, please update your email address with our practice to ensure you get all of our updates and go to our Facebook page to see the latest news. We will also be extending office hours as necessary to accommodate patient needs and assist them in maximizing their insurance.

Thank you, and see you SOON! 😁

The Kids Mile High Team

The Benefits of Dental Sealants for Your Child’s Smile

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A pediatric dentist’s number one job is to care for children’s teeth from birth through to adolescence. That, of course, includes treating oral health issues when they arise — but more importantly, pediatric dentistry is about preventing problems before they start in the first place.

At Kids Mile High, dental sealants are one of our favorite ways to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Never heard of dental sealants? Don’t worry! As your Englewood, Thornton and Cenral Park pediatric dentists, we’re here to answer all of your questions. Read on to learn more about dental sealants for kids and how they can improve your child’s lifelong oral health.

What Are Dental Sealants?

First things first: before you can decide whether dental sealants are right for your child, you’re probably wondering what exactly they are and what they do. Dental sealants are basically like protective armor for your child’s teeth. Made from a thin, BPA-free plastic, dental sealants are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth (usually the premolars and molars) to create a barrier over the enamel of each tooth. Dental sealants block out all the bad stuff, like bacteria, plaque, acids and food particles, to keep your child’s teeth as healthy as can be.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t that what brushing and flossing is for?” Well, you’re right. But brushing and flossing alone often isn’t enough to clean hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in your child’s back teeth. Instead of washing away harmful bacteria or plaque after the fact, dental sealants prevent the nasties from getting in there in the first place. Preventive dental care for the win!

When Should My Child Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are most effective on the big chompers, officially known as the molars and premolars. That’s because they have rough, uneven surfaces which are perfect places for bacteria and food debris to hide. So it makes sense that dental sealants for kids should be applied when their molars come in. This will happen twice in your child’s life: their first molars will typically erupt between the ages of six and seven, and their permanent molars will come in around age 12 or 13. It’s best to apply dental sealants for kids shortly after their molars arrive to prevent as much decay as possible.

Dental sealants may also be effective for adults, but only for those who don’t already have decay or fillings. Since dental sealants are a preventive measure against decay, their purpose is to block the bad stuff before it takes hold on your teeth, not afterwards. That’s why children are the best candidates for dental sealants.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

So what exactly can you and your child expect from the dental sealant process? It’s a super simple, pain-free procedure! It only takes a few minutes to apply the sealant to each tooth, so your kids will be back doing the things they love in no time. Here’s how it works:

  1. First, your pediatric dentist will thoroughly clean and dry off the teeth to be treated.
  2. Then, we’ll apply a solution to the chewing surfaces of the teeth which will help the sealant stick.
  3. Next, the teeth are once again rinsed and dried.
  4. Finally, we’ll paint the sealant onto your child’s enamel. Once it hardens, you’re free to go on your way!

How Long Do Dental Sealants for Kids Last?

When cared for properly, dental sealants have a lifespan of three to 10 years. That’s up to a whole decade of decay and cavity prevention! That said, things do happen and your child’s dental sealants may become loose. At each appointment, we’ll check on the condition of the sealants to make sure they’re still doing their job and protecting your child’s teeth.

Since the process of applying dental sealant is so quick and easy, we can fix up any missing sealants on the spot. As for what you can do at home to increase the lifespan of dental sealants, make sure your kids avoid hard candies, lollipops, or other hard treats that can chip away at their sealant.

Do Dental Sealants Actually Work?

In a word, yes! They’re one of the simplest, most effective ways to prevent tooth decay in kids. The CDC reports that dental sealants protect against 80% of cavities in the first two years, and 50% of cavities for up to four years. It’s also been shown that school-age children without dental sealants have nearly three times as many cavities than children with sealants.

At Kids Mile High, we believe it’s our duty to protect your children’s mouths — and therefore, they’re overall health — from harm. Dental sealants are a quick, painless, cost-effective way to improve your child’s lifelong oral health. Call your Central Park, Englewood and Thornton pediatric dentist today to find out more.

smiling-children-oral-health

5 Benefits of Good Oral Health in Children

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5 Benefits of Good Oral Health in Children

It goes without saying that in order to maintain good overall health, we need to take care of our teeth and gums. Regular brushing, flossing and dental visits are all part of any healthy adult’s oral hygiene routine — but did you know that when you start practicing proper dental care can have a big impact on your lifelong health?

At Kids Mile High, we know that children’s oral health matters just as much now as it will in their adult years. Establishing healthy routines from an early age will not only pave the way for proper oral development, it will help your children grow into strong, healthy, confident adults. In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, let’s discuss the benefits of good oral health in kids and how your Denver, Englewood and Central Park pediatric dentist can set your child on the path to a healthy smile.

1. Dental Care for Kids Prevents Disease

You might think that taking care of your child’s baby teeth doesn’t matter much, since they’re just going to fall out anyway. But when it comes to kids’ dental care, it’s all about stopping oral health issues before they start. Just like you brush and floss your teeth to keep plaque and disease at bay, your children will benefit from preventive measures too.

It’s important to develop at-home oral health routines for kids as soon as possible, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily and visiting your Denver pediatric dentist regularly. Taking good care of young, developing teeth will reduce plaque, prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and improve your child’s overall health. This will mean fewer sick days and time off from school, less time dealing with discomfort from cavities, and more days doing what they do best: being a kid.

2. Proper Oral Hygiene Supports Healthy Tooth Development

Children’s teeth have very different needs than adults’ do. While your mouth is fully developed, your child’s teeth, gums and jaw are still growing and changing every day. That’s why we always recommend that your child see a Denver, Central Park or Englewood pediatric dentist as early as their first birthday (and, of course, continue with routine visits throughout their lives!).

A pediatric dentist like Dr. Paddy or Dr. Roger can give your child the support they need throughout their oral development, starting from their very first tooth until their 18th birthday. With their special training in kids’ oral health needs, the doctors at Kids Mile High have the knowledge and expertise to treat younger mouths, catch potential issues early on, and set your kiddos on the path to a beautiful smile.

3. Healthy Teeth Save Money

Children’s oral health care starts at home. The sooner you begin proper oral hygiene routines, the fewer dental appointments your child will need in the long run. As much as we love to see our little patients, the less often your child needs to visit the dentist chair, the better. Your pediatric dentist is always there to help when issues arise, but corrective dentistry can be expensive. It can also cause your child discomfort and anxiety, so outside of routine check-ups, our hope is that your child won’t need any intervention. Teeth-healthy habits are a win-win: your child (and your bank account!) will be healthier overall.

4. Children Thrive with Routines

Believe it or not, brushing and flossing regularly is about more than creating the foundation for a healthy smile. It also forms an important part of a child’s day-to-day routine, which is essential for their development. Kids thrive when they have a routine, as it gives them a sense of security and stability. Whether they understand it yet or not, kids take comfort in repetition and knowing you’re there to go through the motions with them every day. Routines also teach your kiddos time management, responsibility and the importance of healthy habits. So create a fun routine for your kids’ oral health care and they’ll be well on their way to a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth.

5. Healthy Smiles Lead to Happy Kids

At the end of the day, you really can’t put a price on the confidence that a strong, healthy smile brings. Studies have shown that a healthy smile helps kids eat and talk better, which in turn improves their self-esteem. Dealing with oral health issues like tooth decay or bad breath, on the other hand, can cause embarrassment or reduce your child’s confidence. It’s your job as a parent, and our job as your Central Park, Englewood and Denver pediatric dentist, to give your child the tools and support they need to build a healthy, confident smile. After all, a healthy child is a happy child and that’s a win for all.

Ready to book your child’s next dental appointment or have questions about at-home oral health routines for kids? Call Kids Mile High today.

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The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

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The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

A baby’s (and new parent’s) life is full of firsts: first smile, first steps, first word, and of course, first tooth! As Denver pediatric dentists, we know how exciting all of these little milestones are. We also know there’s a lot to learn about keeping your little one happy as they go through a million changes — especially the more uncomfortable experiences like teething.

While it’s exciting to see your baby’s first tiny tooth appear, teething can be a challenging time for both parents and child. Your little one is going to experience some discomfort as his or her smile begins to take shape, so you might be in for a few sleepless nights (and a whole lot of drool!). The doctors at Kids Mile High are here to support you and your baby throughout the teething process. Read our teething survival guide for everything you need to know about what to expect, what not to do, and how to keep your baby as comfortable as possible.

What to Expect When Your Baby is Teething

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when your baby will get her first tooth. For some babies, the first tooth erupts as early as three months, while others remain toothless until after their first birthday. But for most infants, teething symptoms will start before the appearance of any pearly whites. That’s because your baby’s teeth are already beginning to form beneath the surface.

Most babies will experience some level of discomfort during the teething process, but some lucky kiddos (and parents!) will have little to no symptoms. If you’re not sure whether your baby has started teething, here are a few telltale signs:

  • Excess drooling
  • Irritability and fussiness
  • Gumming and biting objects
  • Refusing to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Ear pulling and cheek rubbing

Safe Remedies for a Teething Baby

Naturally, a teething baby is going to experience swollen, tender and painful gums. When it comes to soothing your baby during this time, there are plenty of safe, at-home teething remedies you can try. Here are some ways to alleviate teething pain for your child:

  • Chewing: As your baby has probably already been showing you, chewing can help to relieve pain from teething. Chewing, or gumming, applies counter-pressure to developing teeth as they work their way to the surface. Give your baby teething rings or plush teething toys made from safe materials, free from BPA, phthalate, latex and PVC. Cold objects are even more effective against teething pain, so put teething toys in the fridge to give your baby the cool comfort he needs.
  • Gum Massage: This is simple yet effective way to give your baby relief from teething pain. Similar to chewing, massaging your baby’s gums will provide counter-pressure to aching teeth.
  • Cold Food/Drinks: As we mentioned, cold objects are soothing to teething babies. If your baby has been introduced to solid foods, start giving her cold items like yogurt, applesauce or fruit blended with ice. You could also refrigerate breastmilk to give to your little one in a bottle. Another option is to let your baby chew on a cold washcloth that’s been soaked in water or breastmilk.
  • Distractions: You’d be surprised how effective distractions can be for a teething baby. If your kiddo is extra cranky, find ways to take his mind off his teething pain. Go for a walk, read a story and have extra playtime. Focusing on other things will help your little one feel better.
  • Wipe Up Drool: Yep, there’s going to be plenty of drool while your baby is teething. This is totally normal, but it can also cause irritation to your baby. The constant flow can cause a rash or redness to the area around your child’s mouth, so be sure to wipe droll away frequently using a clean cloth.
  • Pain Relievers: When all else fails, talk to your pediatrician about using a baby-safe pain reliever. This might be the best option for babies (and parents) who aren’t getting any sleep due to teething pain.

Avoid These Teething Remedies

While it’s invaluable to know how to relieve your child’s teething pain, it’s just as important to understand what not to do. Certain teething remedies can actually be dangerous for your child. Before you try any teething remedy, make sure you’re avoiding any of the following:

  • Liquid Teething Rings: These are a popular choice as a teething toy for babies, but the liquid inside can pose a health risk. There’s no way to know for sure what it contains and if your baby chews through the plastic, there’s a chance she will ingest the substance. Solid teething rings are a safe, effective alternative.
  • Teething Necklaces/Bracelets: There’s been a lot of hype around teething jewelry to alleviate teething pain, but experts are warning of the dangers of teething necklaces and bracelets. Amber teething jewelry poses a choking hazard, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a case of a baby who suffered lead poisoning from a homeopathic bracelet. It’s best to avoid these teething devices altogether.
  • Products Containing Benzocaine: No parent wants to see their baby suffering, so it can be tempting to reach for over-the-counter products like teething gels to help them feel better. But the FDA has determined that these products contain benzocaine, which can cause potentially fatal harm to your baby. Benzocaine is associated with methemoglobinemia, a disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.
  • Homeopathic Remedies: We’d all love to find a safe, all-natural solution for teething babies, but the simple fact is that homeopathic remedies are not evaluated by the FDA.

As a parent, you want the best for your little one — and so do we. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth as they develop, give your Englewood, Central Park and Thornton pediatric dentist a call. We’re here to help.

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

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New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

Can you believe that we’re mere weeks away from a brand new decade? At Kids Mile High, we can’t wait to ring in 2020 with big goals for the year ahead. After all, the start of a new year is the perfect time to kickstart all your resolutions. This year, we want to help your kids set themselves up for a lifetime of healthy teeth!

As your Denver pediatric dentists, we know that getting little ones excited about oral health care can be a challenge — but with a little fun and motivation, you can set smart teeth goals for your kids to keep them happy and healthy all year long. Not sure where to start? Here are our favorite New Year’s resolutions for healthy smiles.

  1. Brush Twice a Day — For Two Minutes!

I think this is something we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another — kiddos and adults alike. Even though most people brush their teeth twice a day, most spit and rinse well before the recommended two-minute time frame is up. This year, help your kids (and yourself!) stay on track for great oral health by encouraging them to brush for two minutes, twice a day. You could even make a game of it by picking a fun, two-minute song to play while they brush. This is sure to keep them scrubbing their pearly whites until the final note.

  1. Floss Once Per Day, Every Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is a fantastic start on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions, but brushing alone isn’t enough to keep plaque and cavities at bay. Food particles can get stuck in hard-to-reach places between your teeth, leading to harmful build-up over time. To truly improve your kids’ oral health this year, you need to make flossing a regular part of their dental routine. And what better time to start creating new, healthy habits than the start of a new year? To get your kids to floss every day, make it a family affair and floss together. Kids love to imitate their parents, so show off your flossing skills and soon enough, your little ones will follow your lead.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water (And Limit Sugary Drinks)

Everyone knows how harmful sugar can be for your teeth. Plaque, tooth decay, cavities, oh my! This year, swap sugary drinks for the health-boosting benefits of good old fashioned water. Water is the healthiest drink in the world, not only because it’s hydrating and necessary for all your bodily functions — it also washes away bad bacteria and build-up on your teeth. On top of that, water also boosts your natural saliva production, which ultimately means that water prevents tooth decay. Talk about a healthy, tooth-friendly beverage! This year, avoid packing sugary drinks like juice or pop in your kids’ lunches and encourage them to drink plenty of water instead.

  1. Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods

Just like sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your kids’ oral health, so can sugary foods. One of the best New Year’s resolutions for kids is to eat more healthy, tooth-friendly foods (like vegetables) and cut down on foods that are bad for their teeth (like candy). Set your kids up for a healthy year by packing tooth-healthy lunches with plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats and, of course, plenty of water. After all, your kids’ teeth are only as healthy as the food you give them. Start making healthier choices today to give them a lifetime of good oral health.

  1. Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports

Not-so-fun fact: almost five million teeth are knocked out during sports every year in the United States. So parents with active kids, this one’s for you. If your child plays sports or participates in activities that put their teeth in harm’s way, this might be the year to invest in a mouthguard for your kiddo. Contact sports (like football, hockey, soccer and so on) put your kids at risk of chipping or breaking their teeth. A mouthguard offers necessary protection against falls, collisions or contact with hard surfaces. This keeps your child’s teeth safe and healthy, and also helps them avoid emergency visits to the dentist. You can buy ready-made mouthguards at sporting goods stores or you can have a custom mouthguard made by your Denver pediatric dentist. Not sure if your child needs a mouthguard? Talk to the experts at Kids Mile High.

  1. Visit Your Denver Pediatric Dentist Twice a Year

The foundation for good oral health starts at home, with regular brushing and flossing, and a proper diet. But to make sure your kids’ teeth are as healthy as possible, they should see their pediatric dentist twice a year for routine check-ups, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments. A dentist can catch underlying oral health issues that you or your child might not have noticed. They also have professional tools to give your children’s teeth a deep clean, removing all the bad stuff they may have missed. You can even schedule your kids’ appointments in advance, so you always have a visit with your Englewood, Central Park or Thornton pediatric dentist on the books. If you haven’t booked your child’s next dental appointment, call Kids Mile High today.

Ready to get a jumpstart on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions? The doctors at Kids Mile High are happy to answer any questions and provide helpful tips for keeping your kiddos on track. Let’s start the new decade off right with happy, healthy smiles for life.