Tag Archives: dental care for children

Children’s Dental Health: Why is Drinking Water Important?

We love raising awareness about the importance of oral health at any age! And in February, we get to celebrate our children with National Children’s Dental Health Month. While February might seem full of school projects, cold weather, and Valentine’s plans, it’s important and exciting to celebrate good oral care for your children. With extra stress on our kiddos with COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to visit us every 6 months for dental check-ups and exams.

Water: Nature’s Drink

This year’s theme for National Children’s Dental Health Month is Water: Nature’s Drink. It’s all about removing sugary liquids and replacing them with the healthiest alternative – water! Why is drinking water important? Let’s take a deeper look into the benefits of drinking water, especially for our kiddos!

More Benefits of Drinking Water: 10 Reasons Kids Need to Drink Water

Why is drinking water important? Here are 10 reasons for you and your kids to drink plenty of water every single day:

Benefit #1: Water Eliminates Dehydration

Water helps kids stay hydrated–which is important for their brains to work and for them to stay healthy!

Dehydration means that your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. Seventy-five percent of people (including children) are chronically dehydrated.

Even mild dehydration will:

  • slow down your child’s metabolism as much as 3% and cause fatigue
  • cause your child to feel grumpy or tired
  • give your child headaches

The human body has no stored water to draw on during dehydration so it’s vitally important that your child drinks water throughout the day.

Suggestion:

Dehydration can happen very quickly—keep water with you in the car for thirsty kids. If they play sports or are involved in strenuous extra-curricular activities, send them with plenty of water in their backpacks.

If your children come home from school grumpy or tired—give them a glass of water.

Benefit #2: Water Helps Kids Suffering from Asthma and Allergies

Your children need water for their cells to grow. As they grow, 75% of the cell volume must be filled with water. This is one reason why children develop asthma and allergies during the growth stage of their physical development–they don’t have enough water for their body systems to function. Some research indicates that asthma can be caused by chronic dehydration and by increasing water and adding a bit of salt to the tongue, asthma coughing disappears.

Kids are also susceptible to allergies if they increase their food intake but not their water intake.

Suggestion:

If you have a child who suffers from asthma or allergies, water obviously will help. Kids with allergies should drink a glass of water BEFORE eating food. And kids with asthma need to drink more water. They also need to stop drinking sodas containing caffeine and reduce their orange juice consumption which can trigger an allergic reaction in some children.

Benefit #3: Water Lessens Hunger Pains

In a University of Washington study, it was discovered that dieters who drink one glass of water before bed will shut down late-night hunger pains by almost 100%! Drinking water helps separate the feelings of thirst and hunger. Thirty-seven percent of Americans suffer from a very weak thirst mechanism. In fact, it is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. Many kids and parents who feel hungry are really in need of water.

Suggestion:

Does your child get up at night complaining of hunger or thirst? If so, either give him/her a glass of water an hour before bedtime or even 30 minutes before bed.  If they get up feeling hungry or thirsty—give them another glass of water. You’re probably thinking, “they are going to be up all night going to the bathroom.” Possibly, but if your child’s body is in need of water, the water they drink will be used to replenish their organs and cells.

Benefit #4: Water Reduces Fatigue and Helps Kids Learn

When your kids are thirsty, they get tired very easily. In fact, studies show that not replenishing the body with water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Kids in school need water to help:

  • Keep their brains alive and working
  • Water gives a child electrical energy for brain functions, particularly thinking.
  • It is needed for sustained focus energy
  • Water can also help prevent attention deficit disorder in children (and adults). In fact, kids who drink plenty of water, their attention spans increase.
  • Water integrates mind and body functions. It helps kids and teens with the desire to make goals and have a purpose. Hard to believe that water can do this–but research indicates it can and does!

Suggestion:

Send bottled water with your children to school. Let their teachers know exactly why you are doing this. If they don’t understand, encourage them to read the research connecting water to learning.

Benefit #5: Drink Water to Ease Growing Pains & Back and Joint Pains

Back, joint and muscle pain are not relegated to the aging. It can also happen to your kids. Growing pains are common among children. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day can significantly ease back, joint and muscle pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

Suggestion:

If your kids are experiencing growing pains, give them plenty of water throughout the day and a glass of water about one hour prior to them going to bed (so they can empty their bladder before they nod off). It should help.

Benefit #6: Drinking Water Helps with Short-term Memory

Did you know that a mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory? It can also cause kids to have problems understanding basic math, and have difficulty focusing on a computer screen or printed page in a book. Drinking water every day can help prevent memory loss well into old age.

Suggestion:

Before starting their homework, make certain your kids have had a big glass of water to drink. And as mentioned above, send them to school with a bottle of water. It’s necessary for their memories and learning.

Benefit #7: Water Decreases the Risk of Certain Cancers

Drinking water can help ward off certain cancers. For instance:

  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily help to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water each day can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%
  • When a person drinks at least 5 glasses of water a day, they are 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer

Water also helps to normalize the blood-manufacturing system in the bone marrow which helps prevent childhood leukemia and lymphoma.

Suggestion:

Although some of these forms of cancer are not cancers common in children, it’s a good idea to get your kids in the habit of drinking plenty of water every day. It just may help prevent certain cancers when they are adults because water keeps the immune system working at peak performance and can fight infections and cancer cells where they are formed.

Benefit #8: Sip or Guzzle?

If your child sips water throughout the day, they will keep their systems hydrated and their abilities to learn and function will substantially increase. If they guzzle water (drinking it very rapidly) they will cleanse their systems. Both are helpful for their bodies and minds.

Suggestion:

Either sipping or guzzling water is good for your child’s health.

Benefit #9: Drinking Soda, Juice or Milk Doesn’t Count Toward Water Intake

Many parents think that as long as their child is getting some form of liquid (milk, juice, soda) in their systems, they will be hydrated. This is partially correct. However, sodas and juices are loaded with sugar and sugar drains water from the colon and can cause constipation and/or diarrhea. Plus, the sodium in sodas increases dehydration. Kids don’t need excess salt or sugar in their diets. It impedes their ability to learn. They need water.

Suggestion:

Make water your family’s #1 beverage choice. You’ll be glad you did. You will notice your children having sustained, focused energy; their brains will work better and more efficiently which all translates into a healthier more positive learning experience.

Benefit #10: Drinking Water Helps Clear Teen Skin

When your kids get to be teens, they will be concerned about their skin. Having healthy, acne-free skin is important for teens and their self-esteem. There are many reasons for teen acne, but several things that can help is drinking plenty of water, giving up sodas and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with water and will help clean out the cells.

Drinking water every day will help improve your teen’s skin by:

  • eliminating toxins from the body
  • flushing out the system
  • hydrating the skin
  • making the skin smoother
  • decreasing the effects of aging

These tips and additional information can be found in the article titled: 10 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water and How it Makes Kids Smarter

Children’s Oral Health

While this year’s theme may focus around water (and we hope we answered the question: Why is drinking water important?), Children’s Dental Health Month is really about the importance of oral health in our children. Regular, scheduled dental checkups every 6 months are a great way to stay on top of your child’s oral health. When you come and see us early on for family dentistry, we can assess your child’s gums and you can ask us any questions you’d like. It’s a great way to establish your child’s dental routine, monitor their oral health, and implement any preventative measures.

Stress can contribute to poor oral health choices, such as brushing and flossing less, or if we’re stressed, we may clench our jaw more or grind our teeth. If your child is suffering from any signs of oral stress, we can see them during our oral exam and can begin preventative measures, if needed.

Download posters, worksheets, and more for National Children’s Dental Health Month from the American Dental Association HERE!

Oral Care Begins Early On

Baby teeth and children’s teeth also need good oral care to prevent bacteria and decay. It’s important to implement brushing every day and help your child floss. In infants or baby teeth, it’s helpful to limit the amount of sugary liquids and remember our theme of water: nature’s drink! Instead of sending your child to bed with a bottle full of milk, formula, or juice, use water instead. For more information about Oral Bacteria, read our blog: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents find a dentist for their child as early as their first tooth loss or first birthday. When your child experiences their first tooth, you can begin brushing and when two teeth are touching, you can begin helping them to floss. Learn more tips and tricks to keep your kiddo’s teeth healthy HERE.

Learn more about National Children’s Dental Health Month HERE.

GPS Dental Wants Your Family to Have Healthy Smiles

As you know, it’s so important for children to start their lives with a solid foundation and that includes oral health habits. Not only does that include brushing and flossing daily, but also having healthy habits — including drinking water! Why is drinking water important for you and your family? I hope we answered that question in this blog. Dr. Skrobanek and his Team love to talk about dental health and look forward to answering any of your questions during your next dental appointment.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

February is Childrens Dental Health Month … Celebrate with Us!

SMILE!! February is National Childrens Dental Health Month and GPS Dental is excited to CELEBRATE with our Little Patients and their families!

What is Childrens Dental Health Month?

Brought to the public by the American Dental Association, every February thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators come together to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers, and others during Childrens Dental Health Month.

Understanding Why Baby Teeth Are Important

Baby (primary) teeth are a child’s first set of teeth. A baby’s teeth start to come in at 6 to 10 months, and by the time a child is 2½ to 3 years old, all 20 baby teeth will have come into the mouth. Taking care of a child’s baby teeth is important for the child’s overall health and development.

Baby teeth are important for children to:

  • Chew and eat foods. Children need to eat healthy foods every day to grow and be strong. Children with tooth decay are less likely to eat crunchy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Being able to eat these foods promotes good nutrition and a healthy weight.
  • Speak clearly. Children who lose baby teeth too early may have trouble making certain sounds. This can make it hard to understand the child. A child may need speech therapy to improve speech problems that may develop because of missing teeth.
  • Have self-confidence. Children with decayed front teeth tend to not smile or may cover their mouth when talking. Sometimes they stop playing with other children. A healthy smile helps give children the self-confidence needed to have good social experiences.
  • Stay healthy. Tooth decay in baby teeth can lead to infections that can cause fever and pain. If not treated, the infection from tooth decay can spread to other parts of the head and neck and lead to severe swelling.
  • Keep space for adult teeth. Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth growing in the jaw. If a baby tooth is lost too early, other teeth that are already in the mouth will move into the space. It can block out the adult tooth trying to come in and cause crowding. The upper and lower jaws may not meet properly because of the crooked teeth.
  • Related Article: Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss… GPS Dental Can Help

Why is dental health important for kids?

Did you know that 42% of children from the age 2 to 11 have had dental caries or cavities in their primary or baby teeth?

AND … did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease?

That’s why promoting childrens dental health to families is important to Dr. Skrobanek and his Team. Developing good dental health habits at an early age, including scheduling regular dental visits, helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. They can avoid many of the problems that result from poor oral health, including gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.

Related Article: Dental Health for Kids: Brushing, Avoiding Cavities and More

Having a Healthy Mouth Also Means:

• Healthy growth and development

• Being able to focus and learn

• Lower dental care costs for your family

Why do children’s teeth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria make a sticky substance called plaque that can eat away at a tooth’s enamel. Poor oral hygiene can raise your child’s risk for tooth decay. A dentist can diagnose tooth decay with an exam and X-rays.

What will a Dr. Skrobanek do for toddler tooth decay?

Dr. Skrobanek can remove decayed parts of the tooth and perform either a dental filling or a dental crown to fill holes in the tooth. For a filling, he uses a tooth-colored composite resin or an amalgam filling.

How can I help my child develop healthy habits?

Here’s how to keep cavities away:

  1. Start good oral habits early. Teach kids to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly.
  2. Get enough fluoride. Regular use of fluoride toughens the enamel, making it harder for acid to penetrate.
  3. Limit or avoid some foods.

Things You Can Do to Help Your Child:

• Brush your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.

• If your child is younger than 3 years, brush with a smear of fluoride toothpaste.

• If your child is age 3 to 6 years, brush with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.

• Young children will want to brush their own teeth, but they need help until their hand skills are better. Brush children’s teeth or help children brush their teeth until they are about 7 or 8 years old.

• Be a role model for oral health! Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day (in the morning and at bedtime) and floss once a day.

• Serve healthy meals and snacks like fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and milk products, whole-grain products, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and beans.

• Limit the number of snacks your child has in a day.

• Do not give your child food for rewards.

• Take your child to the dentist for a check-up by her first birthday and keep taking her.

• If your child has not gone to the dentist take him.

Related Article: Why is it important to schedule your dental exam twice a year?

GPS Dental Can Help too!

Visiting the Dentist with Your Child

Children need to visit the dentist to keep their teeth and mouth healthy. If children have regular dental visits, the dentist and dental hygienist can take care of their teeth and find oral health problems early. Having regular dental visits also teaches children to value good oral health.

At Your Child’s Dental Appointment, our Dental Team Will:

  • Check your child’s teeth and mouth.
  • Talk to you about the best way to take care of your child’s teeth. For example, brushing your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste after breakfast and before bed.
  • Share other ways to help prevent tooth decay (cavities). For example, putting fluoride varnish or a sealant on children’s teeth. 

Tips for Visiting the Dentist:

  • If your child asks what will happen at the dental clinic, give a simple answer. For example, say:
    • “They may count how many teeth you have.”
    • “They may clean your teeth to make them shiny and bright!”
  • If you don’t like visiting the dentist, don’t share that information with your child. That might make your child worry about going, too.
  • Set up a pretend dental chair. Pretend to be the dentist or dental hygienist. Look in your child’s mouth and count her teeth; then talk to her about brushing her teeth.
  • Read books or watch videos with your child about visiting the dental clinic. Don’t use books or videos that have words like hurt, pain, shot, drill, afraid, or any other words that might scare your child. 
  • Let your child bring his favorite toy or blanket to the clinic.
  • If you find out that your child will receive a small toy or new toothbrush at the end of the visit, remind your child of this reward.
  • Plan a fun activity for after their visit to the dentist.

We love our little patients and strive to make their dental visits comfortable and fun! When they enjoy visiting Dr. Skrobanek and his Team, they will likely brush their teeth regularly and look forward to their next visit! We will do our best to schedule your children’s visits together, if that makes it easier for you to bring everyone at the same time!

Thank you for giving your child healthy dental habits that will last a lifetime!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

Dental Health for Kids: Brushing, Avoiding Cavities & More

 

dental-health-for-kids

As a parent, it’s difficult to know how much dental care our kiddos need. We know we want to prevent cavities, but don’t always know the best way to do so. Here are commonly asked questions and guidelines to help you lay the foundation on the dental health for kids topic to keep those little pearly whites sparkling.

When Should My Kids Start Brushing Their Teeth?

Dental health for kids begins before your baby’s first tooth appears. Just because you can’t see that first tooth, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Teeth begin to form during the second trimester of your pregnancy. When your baby is born, he has 20 primary teeth, some are fully developed, in the jaw.

Caring for those little chompers:

  • Before your baby starts teething, clear away any harmful bacteria by running a damp, clean washcloth over the gums.
  • Once that first tooth comes through, brush it with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste that carries the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of acceptance.
  • You can begin flossing, once your baby’s teeth touch.
  • Teach your child how to spit while brushing around the age of 2. Avoid giving him water to swish and spit, since it might make swallowing toothpaste more likely.
  • Kiddos should only use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, starting at 3 years old.
  • Children younger than 8 are more likely to swallow toothpaste, so make it a habit to always supervise them while brushing.

Even babies can develop tooth decay. Here are some feeding tips to avoid:

  • Avoid putting a baby to sleep with a bottle. The sugars from juice or milk can harm their teeth, as they remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, eating away at the enamel. This can create a condition known as bottle mouth. Pitted or discolored front teeth are common signs of bottle mouth.
  • Sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be just as damaging to young teeth.
  • As young as 6 months, babies are encouraged to switch from a bottle to a sippy cup (with a hard spout or straw).
  • At 12 months, they’ll have the coordination and motor skills to use the cup on their own.

Related Article: If You Sip & Snack All Day, You’ll Risk Tooth Decay

When Should Kids See a Dentist?

“Happy Birthday to You!!” The ADA recommends that little ones see a dentist by their first birthday. (Yep, dental health for kids starts early!) During this first visit, your dentist will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and do a modified exam while your baby sits on your lap.

These visits can help find problems early and help kids get used to visiting your dentist, so they’ll have less fear about dental visits as they get older.

If your child seems to be at risk for cavities or other problems, the dentist may start applying topical fluoride even before all teeth come in (this also can be done in the pediatrician’s office). Fluoride hardens the tooth enamel, helping to ward off the most common childhood oral disease — dental cavities.

Dental Health for Kids: How Can We Prevent Cavities?

Cavities happen when bacteria and food left on the teeth after eating are not brushed away. Acid collects on a tooth, softening its enamel until a hole — or cavity — forms.

Here’s how to keep cavities away:

  • Oral habits start early. Teach your kids to brush at least twice a day (with fluoride toothpaste) and to floss regularly.
  • Avoid certain foods or limit them. Sugary foods, including juices and candy (especially gummy sticky candy, fruit “roll-ups” or gummy vitamins). They can erode enamel and cause cavities. If your kiddos eat these foods, have them brush their teeth or rinse their mouth after eating to wash away the sugar and bacteria.
  • As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, your dentist can help prevent decay by applying a thin layer of sealant to the back teeth. This is where most chewing is done, and this protective coating keeps bacteria from settling into the crevices of the molars that are difficult to reach.

Dental Health for Kids: What Dental Problems Can Happen?

  • Your kids might be at higher risk for tooth decay or gum disease if it’s something you deal with too. Truth be told, sometimes even the best brushing and flossing habits can’t prevent a cavity.
  • Call your dentist if your child complains of tooth pain, it could be a sign of a cavity that needs treatment.
  • Good dental hygiene and regular checkups can keep your dental health for kids in check.
  • Avoid serious dental injuries by encouraging your kids to use a mouthguard during sports; accidents can happen and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Related Article: What to look for in a family dentist in San Antonio, TX

Dental Health for Kids: As They Grow

As our littles grow, schedule routine dental checkups at GPS Dental, typically twice a year. Don’t forget to limit sugary foods, encourage regular brushing and flossing, and work with your Dr. Skrobanek and his expert team. These simple dental health for kids tips will help your littles form healthy habits and continue a lifetime of healthy smiles.

 

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers family dentistry for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.