Teeth are Not Tools: Why You Shouldn’t Misuse Your Teeth

All of us know what it’s like to struggle with some kind of packaging, usually plastic, that we just can’t seem to get open. Without a knife or scissors handy, you may feel the temptation to just use your teeth. That temptation is all the more pronounced when you’re not thinking very clearly about oral health or the long-term effect misusing your teeth on objects can have.

 

The simple reality, though, is that your teeth aren’t tools, and using them as such can create long-term damage. As parents, it’s important to reiterate to your children that the teeth are there for chewing food, not for tearing off tags, opening packages, or carrying items around the house.

 

The Problem with Using Teeth as Tools

 

It may help to have some clarity on exactly what can happen when you use your teeth as tools, or when you allow your kids to do likewise.

 

The most obvious issue is that using your teeth as tools can damage them. Using teeth to open packaging is one of the leading causes of chipped teeth. In some cases, using teeth to open packaging can break the teeth, requiring them to be replaced with artificial teeth or potentially even dental implants. Misusing your teeth can also wear out tooth enamel, leading to your teeth becoming more sensitive and prone to harmful damage.

 

There are other oral health risks, too. For example, using the teeth to open packaging can cause cuts to the lips, gums, or inside of the mouth.

 

In some cases, using the teeth to open a package may even injure the jaw, causing ongoing pain or impeding proper functionality. Don’t forget that placing any non-food item in your mouth can potentially be a choking hazard, a risk that’s even more serious for kids.

 

The bottom line? Using the teeth as tools is tempting, but also very dangerous. Always take the extra step of seeking scissors, instead. Depending on their age, kids should be encouraged to do likewise, or to come to a grown-up for help.

 

Find a Pediatric Dentist Near Me

 

With any questions about ensuring proper oral health and hygiene for your kids, feel free to schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentistry team. Reach out to Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at your convenience.

How to Treat Your Child’s Tooth Pain

Test
We all know how uncomfortable it can be dealing with tooth pain, and it can be even more painful watching your child go through the experience.  

 

If a young one in your household is experiencing tooth pain, there are some home remedies you can try that may alleviate the pain until you can schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. 

 

Treating Tooth Pain

Losing a tooth naturally typically does not hurt, but it can be painful when the new tooth is growing in. Tooth pain can also be caused by decay, fillings, cracks and chips, and even sinus problems. 

 

Below are some ways to treat your child’s tooth pain until they can be seen by our team. 

 

Saltwater rinse

Salt water is a natural disinfectant that can help loosen food particles that may be stuck between teeth and causing pain. It can help heal oral wounds and reduce inflammation too! Mix a half teaspoon of table salt with warm water and have your child rinse their mouth just like they would with mouthwash. 

 

Cold compress

A cold compress causes blood vessels to constrict which can reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. Fill a plastic bag with ice and then wrap in a towel and hold it against the affected area in 20-minute intervals, repeated every few hours as needed. 

 

Vanilla extract

The alcohol in vanilla extract can bring immediate relief to a sore tooth. Just place a few drops of the extract on a cotton swab and apply gently to the affected area. And don’t worry, the alcohol is safe for treating tooth pain in children when used in moderation under adult supervision and is even great for teething babies

 

Garlic   

Garlic has been used as a tooth pain remedy for thousands of years. Crush a garlic clove into a paste and apply to the affected area or have your child chew on a fresh clove, careful not to overdo it on size.

 

See a Pediatric Dentist in Greenville, NC

If the pain persists, you may need to have your child see an emergency pediatric dentist. Schedule your appointment or contact us at (252) 291-4300. We offer same-day pediatric emergency care and can take the necessary steps to quickly diagnose the problem, administer the proper treatment, and alleviate your child’s pain.

How to Incentivize Teeth Cleaning | Greenville, NC

image for article titled Kids Dentist in Greenville, NC: How to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

There is no rule saying that brushing your teeth has to be a boring task. Continue reading to learn 4 ways you can make brushing fun for your kids. 

4 Fun Tooth Brushing Strategies

Incentivize Brushing

It’s no secret that kids thrive on positive reinforcement. More than likely, you have already incentivized other tasks or chores your child completes throughout the day with some sort of reward system, so why not integrate brushing into a reward system as well? 

When choosing a reward, try to avoid any sugary treats which would undermine the goal of brushing in the first place. Instead, think of something your child would be excited to work for such as stickers or extra screen time. Before you know it, brushing will become seamlessly ingrained into the daily routine. 

Make It a Family Event

One reason your child may not enjoy brushing her teeth is because she has to step away from the fun to do something she sees as boring. Rather than sending her to the bathroom to brush her teeth alone, make it a family event. This will help you monitor and correct your children’s brushing techniques to promote better oral hygiene practices. Taking time to floss and brush your teeth as a family will also remove the distraction of wondering what they might be missing out on while brushing. 

Find an Inspiring Toothbrush

Toothbrushes come in all shapes and sizes. As long as a toothbrush covers all the basics, there’s no reason not to find a toothbrush that displays your child’s favorite movie character or plays their favorite song. Give your kids some ownership over their toothbrushes by allowing them to pick out a new toothbrush and age-appropriate toothpaste. 

Combine Brushing With a Favorite Song

Adding a song to the mix won’t just make brushing more enjoyable for your child, it will help them brush for the full 2 minutes that dentists recommend for brushing. Find a song that lasts approximately 2 minutes, or stop the song at approximately 2 minutes. Rather than becoming impatient with the task at hand, your child can focus on the tune of her favorite song. 

Find a Pediatric Dentist in Greenville, NC

Partner with a dentist who makes oral hygiene fun and relatable to your kids. Wilson Pediatric Dentistry is now accepting new patients for teeth cleaning in Greenville, NC. Schedule an appointment today.

The Importance of Fluoride in Pediatric Dentistry

The Importance of Fluoride in Pediatric Dentistry


You may recognize fluoride as an ingredient in your toothpaste or mouth rinse, but what exactly is fluoride and why is it so important for your child’s developing teeth? Continue reading to learn more.

The Connection Between Fluoride and Dental Hygiene

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral which is found in plants, water, soil, and even air. Fluoride is consumed naturally in our food and water and might often be prescribed as a supplement. In the body, fluoride acts as a strengthening agent and offers a variety of benefits to our bones and teeth which is why fluoride is a commonly used substance in pediatric dentistry.

How Fluoride Benefits Your Teeth

Throughout the day, we consume a variety of minerals such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium. These minerals are deposited onto the protective enamel layer of our teeth. Acid from sugars and plaque bacteria, however, will strip away these protective minerals. This process is known as demineralization and remineralization. If demineralization occurs faster than remineralization, then the enamel becomes weak which paves the way for cavities and tooth decay.

To strengthen and improve the health of enamel, fluoride treatments can be recommended or prescribed. These treatments help to rebuild weakened tooth enamel, prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria, and can even reverse the early signs of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments can include mouth rinses and specialized toothpastes. It is always recommended to speak with your child’s dentist before considering these treatments on your own.

The Importance of Fluoride for Children

While fluoride is important to people of all ages, it is especially important between the age of 6 months and 16 years. This is when the primary and permanent teeth come in and additional care should be taken to ensure these developing teeth are strong and healthy. Your dentist can recommend a specific oral hygiene routine to ensure your child’s teeth remain as healthy and as strong as possible.

Pediatric Dentistry Services in Wilson, NC

If you are looking for a dentist for your child, contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We are currently accepting new patients and look forward to helping you establish healthy routines for your child’s lifelong oral health. Give us a call to learn more or schedule your first appointment today.

How to Prepare Your Baby for Her First Dental Visit

How to Prepare Your Baby for Her First Dental Visit


As a new parent, you have so many doctor appointments and check-ups to remember that scheduling your baby’s first dental visit might be the furthest thing from your mind. So when should you take your baby to the dentist for the first time? Continue reading to learn more.

Your Baby’s First Dentist Appointment

When to Schedule

The moment your baby’s first tooth breaks the surface of her gums, she is susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. That’s why the general rule of thumb is that a baby’s first dentist appointment should be after her first tooth appears but no later than her first birthday.

Establishing dental hygiene habits early is the best way to avoid complications and cavities later in her life. This first appointment will serve as an opportunity to get the baby used to the idea of going to the dentist as well as offering a chance to share valuable information with you regarding oral health in her first years of life.

Things We’ll Discuss

Some of the things we’ll discuss in your baby’s first appointment will include topics such as healthy habits and diet. We’ll help guide you in teaching her how to brush her gums, even if her first teeth haven’t erupted yet. We will also talk about how giving her a bottle at night can lead to early tooth decay and other dietary subjects.

This is the perfect opportunity to bring questions about subjects such as teething, thumb sucking, and pacifiers. Subjects like these can feel overwhelming and we want to help you feel as informed and prepared as possible.

How to Prepare for Her First Visit

The best way to help your baby feel as comfortable as possible during her appointment is to eliminate the element of surprise. Explain who a dentist is and what she can expect when she arrives. Help her to practice opening and closing her mouth so she won’t be thrown off guard during her appointment.

Look for books or videos that can help explain her first visit to the dentist. Overall, let her see that you are excited and ready for the appointment, and she will follow your lead.

Schedule an Appointment in Greenville, NC

It’s not too early to schedule your baby’s first appointment at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Our team specializes in providing excellent oral health care while making our younger patients feel as comfortable as possible. Give us a call or schedule your appointment today.

Pediatric Dentistry: How to Avoid Cavities

cavity-treatment

Teaching a child to brush and floss at a very young age is the best way to instill healthy oral hygiene habits as the child grows. Continue reading to learn how you can explain cavities and healthy hygiene practices to your child. 

How to Explain Cavities to Your Child

What Is a Cavity?

There is a bacteria in your mouth that has a funny name. It’s called a streptococci mutant. This bacteria likes to live on your teeth and loves to eat sugar. Whenever you eat sweet or sugary foods, the bacteria will eat the sugar and make an acid on your teeth. When you don’t brush or floss the sugar or acid off of your teeth, the acid will begin to erode or eat away at the surface of your teeth. Over time, this erosion will create a hole in your tooth called a cavity. Cavities can be very painful and if you don’t take care of them quickly, they can grow until the whole tooth is damaged. A damaged tooth can make it difficult to eat your favorite foods and may even need to be removed.

How Can I Protect My Teeth?

You can protect your teeth from cavities by brushing your teeth in the morning after you wake up and again right before you go to sleep at night. Your toothbrush will remove sugar from the surface of your teeth, but it can’t reach the sugar or bacteria that likes to hide between your teeth. This is why it is so important to floss every day to make sure the bacteria can’t hide and create a cavity between your teeth. Every six months, you should go to the dentist for a cleaning so that she can look for any cavities that might be hiding.

What Happens If I Get a Cavity?

If the dentist finds a cavity in your mouth, she will need to drill away the damaged part of your tooth. But don’t worry, the dentist will give you some medicine first so that you will be comfortable. Once the damaged part of your tooth is removed, the dentist will use a special material to fill the hole in and make it look good as new. This material is called a filling which will harden to protect your tooth from any more damage. 

Schedule Your Next Appointment in Greenville, NC

If you are looking for a dentist for your child, come to Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We offer a variety of services including pediatric cavity treatment in Greenville, NC. Our staff is highly qualified to put your child at ease and provide whatever dental services he may require. Schedule an appointment today.

What Is Dental Disking Teeth Correction?

dental-disking-picture

 

Dental disking is when thin layers of tooth enamel are shaved off to ensure there is room for a tooth to come in straight. Either one tooth or teeth on both sides of the area are shaved off during this pediatric dentistry procedure.

The CDC recommends parents bring their children to a pediatric dentist by the time your kid is 1 year old, and dental disking is one of the many ways to set your child up for success with a focus on oral health. 

By why should you consider dental disking for your child? Read the top 4 reasons below.

4 Reasons You Should Consider Dental Disking For Your Child

Potentially avoid future orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic work can be expensive. Avoid these costly treatments by doing what you can to ensure your child’s permanent teeth come in straight. When the tooth erupts, it’s important that there’s enough space for it. Dental disking is a great procedure for helping with this.

Potentially avoid future tooth decay and cavity treatments

If a child’s teeth come in crooked or misaligned, this can lead to overcrowding in the mouth. Since the teeth are so close together, decay often builds up on and around them. This can lead to a child needing more cavity fillings in the future. Thus, dental disking can often prevent this future stress and costs.

It’s a pain-free procedure

Dental disking only affects the enamel of the tooth. As this is the surface level of the tooth, the shaving process is most often pain-free. That being said, it’s always important that you choose a dentist who has experience working with children and keeping them calm throughout the procedure.

It can often be covered by insurance

While this depends on your insurance plan, pediatric dentistry procedures can often be covered by insurance. We recommend checking with your provider before you schedule an appointment.

Schedule a Pediatric Dentistry Appointment Near Greenville, NC

Learn about the disking teeth correction services available at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry, located conveniently near Greenville, Rocky Mount and Knightdale, North Carolina. We also offer teeth alignment and teeth straightening procedures.

Follow up this article by exploring these other two pediatric dentistry resources below:

5 Teeth Cleaning Practices to Teach Your Child

teeth-cleaning-tips-for-kids

A lifetime of healthy smiles begins with learning good dental habits at a young age. A pediatric dentist will be able to give your child’s teeth a professional cleaning, but there are some tips that every parent should share with their child about taking care of their own teeth in between visits to the dentist.

Below are five of the best teeth cleaning practices to teach your child. 

The proper way to brush

It seems like a no-brainer, but many children — and even adults — don’t brush their teeth correctly. Teach your children the proper way to brush their teeth, and continue to help them until they are at least coordinated enough to tie their own shoes. 

Flossing

Your child has probably heard of “the floss” dance move. But how much do they know about “flossing” the dental move? Once your child’s teeth begin to fit closely together, it’s time to add flossing to their routine. Start by flossing their teeth for them until they get the hang of it themselves. 

Using mouthwash

Once your child is around six years old, they can begin to use mouthwash under your supervision. Practice with water first to make sure they know how to swish it around without swallowing. 

Eating a healthy diet

A poor diet is not just unhealthy for a young body. It can also wreak havoc on a child’s teeth. Teach your children about how sugar causes cavities, and monitor what they eat.

Drinking only water at night

Kids often only associate food with cavities. So after they brush their teeth for the night, they can still have some juice or soda to drink, right? Not exactly. Sugary beverages can be just as harmful to teeth as food. Once they have brushed up for the night, only water is allowed.

Schedule a Cleaning for Your Child Near Greenville, NC

Schedule a dental cleaning for your child at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Our team has years of training and experience working with young children and can help you and your child instill the proper teeth cleaning practices that will set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Come see us in Wilson, North Carolina, today. 

How to Avoid a Cavity This Halloween

pediatric-dentistry

Each Halloween, the streets are full of costumed kids trick-or-treating. And not long after, it’s the dentist’s door that receives a knock. 

Halloween means bags full of sugary sweets, but it doesn’t have to mean a mouth full of cavities. Follow the tips below to learn how your child can avoid a cavity this Halloween while still enjoying everything the holiday has to offer. 

Eat Halloween candy with meals 

Saliva is a natural defender against the sugary food particles and bacteria that lead to cavities. Saliva production heightens during meal time. Have your children indulge in some Halloween candy only after eating a regular meal to ensure they’re eating it with a healthy amount of saliva to help cancel out some of the effects. 

Avoid long-lasting candy 

Hard candy that stays in your mouth for an extended period of time brings about an increased risk of cavities due to longer exposure. Instead, stick with candy that is simply chewed and swallowed in order to limit the amount of time that it’s actually in the mouth. 

Avoid sticky candy

The residue from sticky candy like taffy, gummies, and caramel clings to the teeth long after you’ve swallowed and takes longer to wash away by saliva or brushing. Have your children avoid the types of candy that are especially sticky. 

Ration it out 

Instead of letting your child binge-eat on Halloween candy, allow them just a couple pieces per day so as to not overwhelm their teeth with sugar. Better yet, allow them to pick out a specified number of pieces and then donate the rest. 

There are many organizations that collect Halloween candy and donate it to overseas troops or underprivileged kids. There are even candy buyback programs where kids can trade candy for cash. 

Replace sugary drinks with water 

Set a compromise with your kids this Halloween: They can eat candy if they give up the sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and artificial juice. Sugary drinks combined with candy will only increase the risk of a cavity, and drinking water (especially water that contains flouride) is a great way of washing out harmful bacteria from the mouth. 

Schedule a Post-Halloween Cleaning

One final way to help your children avoid cavities this Halloween is to schedule a post-Halloween cleaning. A professional cleaning can rinse away all the cavity-causing bacteria that everyday brushing and flossing often can’t. 

Follow the tips above, and schedule an appointment today to keep your child from having a scary looking smile this Halloween. 

 

Prepare your Child for a Cavity Filling With These 5 Tips

Child getting cavity filled

Having a cavity filled can be a scary experience for an adult, let alone a small child. But with the right guidance, your little one can leave the dentist showing off their new smile.

Below are five tips to help prepare your child for a cavity filling.

How to Prepare Your Child For a Cavity Filling

Downplay it

By now you’ve probably figured out that children take a lot of their emotional cues from you. When you play something up as really fun and exciting — like their first day of school — it can be infectious to them. So when it comes to their first cavity filling, downplay it in front of them and act like it’s no big deal.

Mind your words

Your child may ask you some questions about what will happen at the appointment and if it will hurt. Explain what a cavity is, but avoid using words like “drill,” “needle,” “poke,” or anything else that can sound scary to a young one. You can even use a phrase like “sugar spot” or “candy bugs” instead of saying “cavity.”

Talk about your cavity fillings

If you had any cavities filled during childhood or as an adult, tell your child about it. If mom or dad has done it, it can’t be all that bad, right? If you have any current fillings, you can even let them look inside your mouth to see how “cool” they look.

Don’t frame it as punishment

Of course, you want your kids to understand the importance of taking care of their teeth. But be careful not to frame a cavity filling as “punishment” for them not brushing well enough. Explain how sugary foods can affect your teeth and how a cavity happens. If a child thinks they are being punished, it can affect the way they feel about dentists going forward. Emphasize that the dentist is there to help them, not punish them.

Bring comfort items

On the day of the appointment, let your child wear whatever they want (within reason of course). Allow them to bring their favorite stuffed animal or toy. Have their favorite TV show cued up on your smartphone or tablet with some headphones so they can watch in the waiting room and take their mind off the appointment. Do anything you can to set a positive tone.

Schedule Your Child’s Appointment in Wilson, NC

Now that your child is properly prepared for their cavity filling, the next step is to schedule their appointment at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. A pediatric dentist has additional training, experience, and skills specific to treating young patients and can be a better option than a general dentist in this regard.

Make an appointment for a gentle cavity filling treatment today and let us a bring a smile to your child’s face.

  

Learn 4 Tips to Care for Your Child’s Teeth in the New Year

As the year winds down and the holidays are upon us, it’s a great time to think about your child’s teeth. With the focus on get-togethers, presents, and family time, it can be easy to overlook dental health. That’s why we’re happy to offer four helpful tips for starting — or revisiting — good dental habits as we head into the new year.

Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth

Chit chat about the chompers

If your child has been to the dentist before or will be going for the first time, having an open talk about what to expect is a great way to prepare them for the visit. Presenting everything in a positive light will help alleviate any concerns your child might have. You can even read a story of someone having a good dental visit.

When you arrive at the office, allow the dentist to lead the conversation with your child to build a relationship. You can also ask your child questions like, “What color toothbrush do you like?” to give them some control over the appointment.

After the visit, you can discuss any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking, crowded teeth, losing teeth, and more.

Make healthy choices

When healthy food and drink choices are made, your child’s teeth will benefit. Adding foods that clean while being consumed, such as carrots, apples, and celery, helps scrub away plaque buildup and strengthens the tooth enamel.

Explain to your child that when sugary foods and drinks are consumed, the sugar can cause decay if left on the teeth and that having strong teeth allows us to enjoy the foods we love.

Be a role model

It’s important to brush at least twice a day and floss regularly to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Help your child build healthy brushing and flossing habits by performing the tasks right along with them. This way you’ll be able to show them the correct way to brush and floss and treat it as a daily routine, rather than a chore.

Make and keep appointments

By making and keeping appointments to see your pediatric dentist twice a year, you’ll establish good dental habits with your child. Your child will also receive frequent cleanings and exams, which will allow the dentist to keep you aware of any issues that could arise in the future.

Care for Your Child’s Teeth at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

When your child is due for teeth cleaning, contact us at (252) 291-4300 or schedule an appointment online.

5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pediatric Dentist

A pediatric dentist talking to a child patient.

Taking a child to the dentist for the first time can be just as nerve-racking for the parent as it is for the child. That’s why choosing the right pediatric dentist is so important.

Below are five questions to ask when choosing a pediatric dentist so that you may know what to expect at your kid’s first dentist appointment.   

Ask Your Pediatric Dentist These Questions

What should I expect out of my child’s first visit?

A child’s first visit to the dentist can set the tone for years to come. A negative experience can set them up with a fear of the dentist that can prove detrimental to their oral — and emotional — health. Consider the following:

  • What kind of measures will be taken to ease your child’s fears?
  • Are you allowed to hold your child during the examination?
  • How intrusive is the first exam?  

Are your staff members pediatrics?

There are pediatric dentists, and then there are simply general dentists that treat children. The difference is that pediatric dentists have undergone years of additional training to learn how to administer care to the small, delicate, and sensitive mouths of children who may be frightened, shy or unable to remain still throughout the process.

What type of insurance do you take?

Of course, you’ll want to choose a pediatric dentist that accepts your insurance. And don’t hesitate to ask about payment plans or other pricing structures that can make things more affordable for your budget.  

Do you offer sedation?

Sedation or anesthesia are ways to help an anxious patient relax while proper treatment is administered proper treatment. They also alleviate any discomfort that the patient may feel. Not all pediatric dentists offer these options, and even if you don’t think you would choose it for your child, it never hurts to know if it’s available if needed.

What about sealants?

Dental sealants are thin layers of plastic that are applied to the surfaces of teeth and offer protection against the harmful bacteria in food that causes cavities. When choosing a pediatric dentist, ask if they offer this preventive measure as an option.

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, consider Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Everything from our welcoming lobby to our friendly staff creates a relaxing atmosphere for young new patients. Our team will develop a dental health plan specific to your child’s needs that will set them up for a lifetime of smiles. Drop in to see our facility, meet our staff, and ask any questions about our practice.