Kids and Starbucks – Should Parents be Concerned?

As a parent, you have the world on your mind when it comes to raising your child. A healthy diet is one of the primary concerns of most parents, and can go a long way in helping children get healthy teeth. Unfortunately, some of your child’s favorite drinks at Starbucks are packed with sugar, and terrible for their teeth.

Sugar is the Enemy

Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes. Unfortunately, most of your kid’s favorite drinks from Starbucks are absolutely LOADED with sugar. 

Top 3 Worst Starbucks Drinks for Kids Teeth

The American Heart Association recommends children limit their daily sugar intake to less than 26 grams per day, and adults should have less than 36 grams per day. Unfortunately, most of the items on Starbucks’ menu far exceed 30 grams of sugar – even if the drink is a “small” (tall) on the menu.

1 – Any Frappuccino

One of the most popular drinks aimed at kids, Frappuccinos, are absolutely loaded with sugar – each of which contains AT LEAST 50 grams of sugar per drink. Frappuccinos come in a variety of flavors, but each of them contains far more sugar than your child needs to consume in one day.

2 – Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Another iced drink, the Iced White Chocolate Mocha contains 54 grams of sugar per drink, which is far too much sugar for one drink to contain. That’s because white chocolate is made with vanilla, and sweetened with sugar when it’s processed.

3 – Cinnamon Dolce Crème

Here’s an item from the kid’s menu that is terrible for teeth. The Cinnamon Dolce Crème doesn’t have caffeine, but it is loaded with sugar at 28 grams of sugar in a tall drink, and 37 grams in a grande.

Don’t be Fooled by the Kids Menu

Starbucks has a kid’s menu that features drinks with less sugar and caffeine than their other beverages. But, don’t be fooled: each drink contains at least 25 grams of sugar, and the steamed apple juice has a whopping 50 grams of sugar. If you choose to get your child a beverage from Starbucks, go with a hot, decaffeinated tea and a little bit of honey.

Visit Our Office

We suggest that your child avoids visiting Starbucks, and instead focuses on drinking more water and real fruit juices. Drinks from Starbucks are loaded with sugar that can cause cavities, and lead to other oral health issues.   

Visit our office for more information about a mouth-healthy diet that can help your child grow a healthy smile.

Is Chewing Ice Bad for Your Teeth?

It’s incredibly common for people to mindlessly chew ice. Unfortunately, chewing ice can cause a myriad of oral health issues, and even cost you an expensive trip to the dentist or orthodontist. Here’s some of the real damage caused by chewing ice.

Chewing Ice can:

Damage Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, yet chewing ice can still damage it. Tooth enamel is the first line of defense against cavities, and helps protect teeth from sugar and acid attacks. If tooth enamel is damaged by chewing ice, it can leave a tooth more vulnerable to acid attacks and tooth decay.

Destroy Oral Appliances

Oral appliances like braces and retainers play a vital role in developing healthy smiles that have proper tooth and bite alignment. Despite their sturdy construction, chewing ice can damage oral appliances. Those with braces risk dislodging wires or even damaging brackets, which can result in an expensive trip to the orthodontist. If your child has an oral appliance, it is important that you communicate to them the dangers of chewing ice. 

Crack or Chip Teeth

Teeth may seem tough and sturdy, but they aren’t designed to crunch very hard objects like ice. Chewing ice can easily lead to a cracked or chipped tooth, which requires an emergency dental visit to repair the broken tooth. If your child has a cracked tooth, then try to save the remnants of the tooth in a small bag of milk, and immediately schedule an appointment with our office. If you act in time, we might be able to repair a fractured tooth. 

Damage Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are one of the most common oral appliances used today. Fillings can be cracked or dislodged by chewing hard substances such as ice.  Losing a filling requires an immediate trip to the dentist for a repair.

Does Your Child Have a Damaged Tooth?

Chewing ice is often a reflexive, subconscious act that many kids don’t even notice. However, you should remind your children about the dangers of chewing ice and try to prevent the habit all together. Chewing ice can damage teeth and oral appliances, and lead to an emergency dental appointment. If your child has cracked or chipped a tooth, then immediately call our office to inquire about an emergency dental visit.

The New Mom’s Guide to Your Baby’s Mouth & Teeth

Being a new mom is a great challenge, and an amazing responsibility. As a new parent, you’re probably searching for the best ways to raise a happy, healthy child. One great way to improve your child’s overall health is by paying attention to their oral health at an early age. Here’s some do’s and don’ts for new moms, and how they can care for their child’s mouth.

Don’t Ignore Cleaning Your Baby’s Mouth  

Unfortunately, many people think that oral care begins when the first tooth emerges, but that’s far from the case. Don’t ignore cleaning your child’s mouth, or they could develop oral health issues, and dental problems.

Do Clean Their Gums Regularly 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents begin cleaning their baby’s mouth from day one. New moms can use an infant toothbrush or a soft cloth soaked in cool, clean water to clean their baby’s gums after nursing. Parents should clean their infant’s gums daily, and after each meal they have. 

Don’t Send Your Baby to Bed with a Bottle

Many parents send their baby to bed with a bottle to calm them down, and help get them to sleep. Unfortunately, this exposes their teeth to sugar for a long period of time, and can lead to early childhood cavities. This is often called “baby bottle tooth decay,” and it is easily preventable: simply don’t send your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Do Let Them Have a Drink Before Bed

If your child is thirsty, then absolutely give them something to drink before bed, just make sure that it’s water, or watered down juice. If they must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it up with water so that they still have something to comfort them while they sleep.

Don’t Put Off Seeing a Pediatric Dentist

We understand that the life of a new parent is busy and often chaotic, but don’t put off a visit to the pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra schooling, and are specifically trained to care for children’s teeth. After their first visit, the AAPD suggests parents take their children to the pediatric dentist every 6 months.

Do Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents take their infants to the pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges – which is around the six-month mark.

We love serving families, and helping guide them to oral health success – and we’d be happy to see you! Call our office to schedule a stress-free first visit, and get your child a leg-up on their oral health today. 

The New Mom’s Guide to Your Baby’s Mouth & Teeth

Being a new mom is a great challenge, and an amazing responsibility. As a new parent, you’re probably searching for the best ways to raise a happy, healthy child. One great way to improve your child’s overall health is by paying attention to their oral health at an early age. Here’s some do’s and don’ts for new moms, and how they can care for their child’s mouth.

Don’t Ignore Cleaning Your Baby’s Mouth  

Unfortunately, many people think that oral care begins when the first tooth emerges, but that’s far from the case. Don’t ignore cleaning your child’s mouth, or they could develop oral health issues, and dental problems.

Do Clean Their Gums Regularly 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents begin cleaning their baby’s mouth from day one. New moms can use an infant toothbrush or a soft cloth soaked in cool, clean water to clean their baby’s gums after nursing. Parents should clean their infant’s gums daily, and after each meal they have. 

Don’t Send Your Baby to Bed with a Bottle

Many parents send their baby to bed with a bottle to calm them down, and help get them to sleep. Unfortunately, this exposes their teeth to sugar for a long period of time, and can lead to early childhood cavities. This is often called “baby bottle tooth decay,” and it is easily preventable: simply don’t send your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Do Let Them Have a Drink Before Bed

If your child is thirsty, then absolutely give them something to drink before bed, just make sure that it’s water, or watered down juice. If they must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it up with water so that they still have something to comfort them while they sleep.

Don’t Put Off Seeing a Pediatric Dentist

We understand that the life of a new parent is busy and often chaotic, but don’t put off a visit to the pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra schooling, and are specifically trained to care for children’s teeth. After their first visit, the AAPD suggests parents take their children to the pediatric dentist every 6 months.

Do Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents take their infants to the pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges – which is around the six-month mark.

We love serving families, and helping guide them to oral health success – and we’d be happy to see you! Call our office to schedule a stress-free first visit, and get your child a leg-up on their oral health today. 

The New Mom’s Guide to Your Baby’s Mouth & Teeth

Being a new mom is a great challenge, and an amazing responsibility. As a new parent, you’re probably searching for the best ways to raise a happy, healthy child. One great way to improve your child’s overall health is by paying attention to their oral health at an early age. Here’s some do’s and don’ts for new moms, and how they can care for their child’s mouth.

Don’t Ignore Cleaning Your Baby’s Mouth  

Unfortunately, many people think that oral care begins when the first tooth emerges, but that’s far from the case. Don’t ignore cleaning your child’s mouth, or they could develop oral health issues, and dental problems.

Do Clean Their Gums Regularly 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents begin cleaning their baby’s mouth from day one. New moms can use an infant toothbrush or a soft cloth soaked in cool, clean water to clean their baby’s gums after nursing. Parents should clean their infant’s gums daily, and after each meal they have. 

Don’t Send Your Baby to Bed with a Bottle

Many parents send their baby to bed with a bottle to calm them down, and help get them to sleep. Unfortunately, this exposes their teeth to sugar for a long period of time, and can lead to early childhood cavities. This is often called “baby bottle tooth decay,” and it is easily preventable: simply don’t send your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.

Do Let Them Have a Drink Before Bed

If your child is thirsty, then absolutely give them something to drink before bed, just make sure that it’s water, or watered down juice. If they must have a bottle to go to sleep, fill it up with water so that they still have something to comfort them while they sleep.

Don’t Put Off Seeing a Pediatric Dentist

We understand that the life of a new parent is busy and often chaotic, but don’t put off a visit to the pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of extra schooling, and are specifically trained to care for children’s teeth. After their first visit, the AAPD suggests parents take their children to the pediatric dentist every 6 months.

Do Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents take their infants to the pediatric dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges – which is around the six-month mark.

We love serving families, and helping guide them to oral health success – and we’d be happy to see you! Call our office to schedule a stress-free first visit, and get your child a leg-up on their oral health today. 

Sneaky Tooth Killers Your Kids Should Avoid

Most parents know the importance of a proper oral health routine, and regular visits to the pediatric dentist. But, there are some silent tooth killers that parents need to recognize and avoid, to get their children a healthier smile. 

Chewing Ice

Ice can be an awesome accompaniment to any drink, but to the surprise of many parents, it can also do quite a bit of damage to teeth. Beware that your children do not chew on ice – which can crack or chip their teeth. Additionally, continual ice-chewing can destroy tooth enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. 

Dried Fruit

Fruit is fantastic for someone’s overall wellness and health, but it can be packaged in a way that damages teeth. Dried fruit is one way fruit can do a lot of damage to teeth. Fruit that has been dried and preservecontains very little water or fiber – two things that help make fruit healthy. Additionally, dried fruit is very sticky, and can stick onto teeth long after the snack has ended. This causes an acid attack on tooth enamel, and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. 

Fruit Preserved in Jam

Again – fruit can be an amazing snack if it served in its original form. Fruit packed in syrup is loaded with extra sugar, and without the bulk of healthy, toothcleaning fiber content. It may be packaged to easily enjoy, but avoid fruit that is packed in sugar or preserved in jam. Your child doesn’t need the excessive amount of sugar, and they’d be much better off with an apple, or banana or apricot in its original form. 

Sweet Drinks

Beverages are an oft-overlooked source of health issues, and many popular drinks like juice, soda and sports drinks are packed with added sugar. These beverages are easy for children to enjoy because of their sweet taste, but the added sugar can cause a full-on acid attack on tooth enamel, and leave teeth susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.  

Instead of serving your child sugary beverages, have your child stick to drinking water, which is far healthier for teeth. Water naturally rinses teeth free of harmful food debris, and stimulates saliva production – which is the body’s natural way of removing food debris and keeping teeth clean.

Bread and Starch

Starches like bread and chips are western diet mainstays, but they can do a lot of damage to teeth. When starch enters the mouth, saliva breaks it down to sugar. After being chewed, starches like bread can become sticky and adhere to tooth surfaces, and lodged in the cracks between teeth. Now, this sticky, sugary substance can cause acid damage to tooth enamel, and leave teeth vulnerable to cavities.

If your child does consume starches, be sure that they thoroughly rinse their mouth out with water after their meal to wash away the sticky, sugary substance that can destroy tooth enamel.

Visit Our Office 

Tooth decay is painful and can affect the overall health of developing mouths, which is why early treatment is the best way to handle cavities. Routine checkups every six months are the best way to stay on top of your child’s oral health. 

Schedule an appointment with our office today to check your children’s oral health, and to begin them down the path to a healthier smile.

4 Steps to Keep Kids Cavity-Free in 2018

2017 is almost over and the holiday season is underway. As families visit relatives near or far, oral health is probably the last thing on the minds of many parents. But, you can use the holiday down time to make a few changes in your child’s routine to get them a healthier smile in 2018.

1 – Brush Twice Per day, Floss Everyday 

 

The best way to keep your children out of the dentist’s chair is by preventing oral issues before they arise. The strongest tactic in any oral health routine is maintaining a positive oral health routine. You can help your child establish a mouth-healthy routine right now by having them brush their teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day, making sure to floss the tough-to-reach areas of their teeth.

This rule applies to people of all ages. By brushing twice per day for two minutes, and flossing once per day, you can go a long way in preventing cavities and keep tooth enamel strong.

2 – Drink More Water

Water is one the absolute healthiest things for teeth. Water helps keep the whole mouth clean by washing away food debris that can harm enamel, and by stimulating saliva production. In fact, saliva is 99% water, so drinking water is crucial for keeping teeth clean.

Another benefit of water is that it contains zero calories and no sugar – a common culprit in sodas and sports drinks that causes cavities. One way to superpower your child to oral health happiness is by eliminating sugary drinks all together in favor of water.

3 – Enjoy a Healthier Diet


The food that you (and your family) eat absolutely effects your overall oral health. It’s important, then, that you help your kids achieve oral health success by providing them with mouth-healthy meal options. Try adding foods that clean as they are consumed. Carrots, apples, and celery are all high-fiber foods that clean teeth as they are consumed. The fibrous content actually helps scrub away plaque buildup, and strengthens tooth enamel, which is the first line of defense against cavities.

4 – Schedule an Appointment with Our Office

The holidays are a great time to get an oral health checkup in our office, and get a fresh start on oral health success in the New Year. An oral health checkup it the best way to get a clear understanding of the specific issues (or non-issues) present in your child’s oral health. We will evaluate the state of your child’s oral health, and provide actionable advice that will improve their oral health, and give them a healthy leg-up on cavities in 2018.  

Just How Long Have Humans Chewed Gum?

Did you know that humans have used animal hair to make toothbrushes, or that we’ve crushed shells to use as toothpaste? Over the years, humanity has had its ups and downs when discovering and designing medical technologies – especially oral careBut what about chewing gum? How long have we chewed gum, and has it ever helped clean teeth throughout history? 

Neolithic Tree Gum


Did you know that chewing gum has existed in some form or another since the Neolithic period? In fact, 6,000 year old chewing gum has been found with teeth marks in it, made from birch bark tar. Tree bark is a very popular source of gum, and many cultures derived gum from trees. 

Greece

The ancient Greeks didn’t invent gum, nor were they the first to chew it. However, they are one of the most well known historical cultures to be documented first chewing gum en masse. The ancient Greeks chewed the resin contained in the bark of the mastic tree. Grecian women would chew the bark to clean their teeth and freshen their breath. Mastic gum actually has antiseptic properties, and was believed by the Greeks to contribute to better oral health.  

Central America

The Ancient Mayans of Central America are credited with creating an intricate calendar, developing basic astronomy, and writing in their own hieroglyphs. The Mayans were way ahead of their time in terms of trade, technology and architecture, but they were also very studious farmers, which led them to the sapodilla tree. The Mayans would boil the sap of the sapodilla tree and use it for glue, and in religious ceremonies. Sometimes, the boiled sap was given to children to chew and called “cha.”  

Gum Today 

Gum had a major advancement in the 1848, when American businessman John B. Curtis saw a market opportunity for chewing gum. Curtis began making gum out of the resin of the spruce tree – a popular form of gum among Native Americans of the time. Curtis called his gum “State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum.” For the first few years of his new business, selling gum was hard. However, Curtis saw a major uptick in sales when he started rolling his gum sugar, and he began expanding his operations. In fact, Curtis’ business – Curtis & Son – is credited with inventing the machinery responsible for mass-producing gum.  

Can Gum Clean Teeth? Some Can…

Most chewing gum can’t claim to help clean your teeth, but gum sweetened with xylitol can. That’s because xylitol helps stimulate saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth. The mouth fights cavities by producing saliva to wash away food debris, and restore its proper Ph balance. Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health. Increased saliva can help prevent bad breath by eliminating dry mouth, and prevent prolonged exposure to acid and sugar caused by food debris. 

Chewing Xylitol gum is not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, but it is a good tool for cleaning your teeth on the go!  

Visit Our Office

Chewing gum won’t clean your children’s teeth or magically get rid of cavities. If your child complains of sensitive teeth, or tender gums, then visit our office so that we can evaluate their oral health. We’ll help them get a healthy, and give you practical oral healthcare tips that you can use at home.

Everything Parents Need to Know about the 4 Layers of Teeth

Teeth are a lot of fun to learn about, and understanding teeth can help children enjoy going to the pediatric dentist! Did you know that teeth are composed of four primary layers? Each layer plays a pivotal role in supporting a strong smile and a healthy mouth. Try reading this article with your child, and teaching them about the four fun layers of the teeth! 

Enamel 

Enamel is the outer most layer of the tooth that protects teeth from the elements that cause cavities. It is the hardest surface in the human body and the first line of defense against cavities. It is the visual surface of the tooth, and usually stops around the gum line. Think of enamel as a barrier that shields your teeth from harm.  

Dentin 

The layer directly beneath enamel is dentin, which is made up of microscopic tubes! 

It is a sensitive layer that surrounds pulp, and plays a pivotal role in communicating sensations from the surface of your teeth to the nerves inside your teeth. Without dentin, our teeth wouldn’t feel the difference between ice cream and hot soup!

Cementum 

Cementum is layer between the root of teeth and gums. It is primarily beneath the gum line, and helps anchor teeth to the bones in the jaw. Cementum is really cool because it can actually repair itself! Think of Cementum as the foundation of a home that keeps the house (tooth) grounded and secure. 

Pulp 

Dental pulp is the living tissue at the core of teeth, and acts as an alarm bell that sends signals sent from the dentin to the brain. Pulp is soft and contains a large network of nerves and blood vessels. It is the most sensitive and important part of teeth, and can be very sensitive if it is ever exposed. 

Protect Your Child’s Teeth

If enamel is damaged then the different layers of teeth are exposed to increasing harm. You can help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy by having them brush twice per day for two minutes at a time. Additionally, they should floss once per day, and try to drink more water – which helps produce saliva and naturally clean teeth.  

If your child suffers from tooth sensitivity, or complains of gum pain, then visit our office. Dental cavities are the most prevalent –and preventable – disease that affects children. Visit our office so that we can evaluate your child’s oral health, and outline a plan to help them achieve optimal oral health.

Limit These Thanksgiving Foods for the Sake of Your Teeth

Thanksgiving is here, and with it comes a swath of seasonal treats that are usually enjoyed just once a year. Besides visiting family, Thanksgiving is a time for eating, and eating well. As your family enjoys this time together, keep your eyes out for a few Thanksgiving dishes that can harm your teeth, and turn your relaxing time off into a real tooth-ache.  

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a Thanksgiving staple in many households, and seldom appears on dinner tables outside of turkey day. Despite its tart deliciousness, cranberry sauce is packed with sugar and offers little nutritional value at all. In fact, one of the most popular choices for cranberry sauce –canned cranberry sauce – has 121 grams of sugar per can, and no protein or fiber at all. All of that sugar provides nourishment and energy to bad oral bacteria that cause cavities.  

As an alternative, try finding a recipe that calls for fresh cranberries, so that you can control the amount of sugar your family consumes this holiday season. 

Stuffing

Stuffing is another Thanksgiving classic that can really harm teeth. That’s because most stuffing recipes revolve around bread. Starches like bread provide cavity-causing bacteria the energy they need to chip away at tooth enamel. Additionally, starches can be very sticky and stay on teeth long after a meal has finished, and cause further damage. The high amount of starch sadly makes stuffing unhealthy for teeth. Combined with the fact that stuffing is full of carbohydrates and lacks dense nutritional value, and you begin running out of reasons to eat it. 

Try getting your stuffing fix by making a tooth-healthy breadless stuffing that uses beans instead of bread as a base! Beans are full of protein and fiber, which makes it a much healthier replacement for bread in stuffing recipes.  

Fruit Cake

A seasonal favorite that appears on tables between Thanksgiving and Christmas, fruitcake sounds like it would be a healthy treat, the word “fruit” is right in the name after all! Unfortunately, fruitcake is full dried fruit, which can really damage teeth. Dried fruit contains much higher levels of sugar than their natural counterparts, and none of the water that helps make fruit so healthy. Dried fruit is also very sticky, and can stay on teeth longer after a meal in done. The sugar and the sticky consistency make fruitcake a no-no for healthy teeth. If you are looking for an alternative, you can make a fresh fruit crumble, which has much less sugar and isn’t nearly as sticky.  

Sweet Potato Casserole


Sweet potatoes can be a dental super food that provide valuable vitamins for tooth and gum health, but when prepared improperly, anything can be unhealthy. This is the case for sweet potato casserole, a dish that packs an unhealthy punch to teeth. Most sweet potato casseroles are made to be sweet dishes, rather than savory, and feature a layer of melted marshmallows on top. Because of this, they are loaded with added sugar, which hurts their nutritional value. Marshmallows are particularly bad for teeth, since they are packed with sugar and incredibly sticky – two components that can lead to tooth decay and cavities. 

If you really want sweet potato casserole this Thanksgiving, try making a more savory recipe that doesn’t add sugar or marshmallows. Sweet potatoes can be great for oral health, when they’re not drenched in sugar. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Whatever you decide to make your family for Thanksgiving dinner, we hope that you have a happy and wonderful holiday. Remind your family to brush twice per day for two minutes per session, and floss once per day to help keep cavities at bay this holiday season.