6 Pediatric Dentist-Approved Snacks to Pack in Your Kids’ Lunchboxes

With school back in session, you may be adding lunchbox snacks to your grocery list again to stock the pantry. 

Buying smart snacks that are not only good for your kids’ teeth, but also high in calcium and fluoride can go a long way in saving you and your kids from a trip to see about a cavity. 

Wilson Pediatric Dentistry Recommends Teeth-Healthy Snack Choices

Throughout the crackers, cookies, and snacks aisle you’ll notice much of the prepackaged foods are high in processed sugars and additives. Many ingredients hide behind unrecognizable names for a reason. 

A great way to avoid these poor ingredients is to try sticking with unprocessed whole foods. If what you’re looking at is packaged in an aisle, chances are it’s been heavily processed, and these kinds of snacks can corrode enamel, cause bacteria growth, accelerate the build-up of tartar and plaque, and cause cavities. 

A majority of the popular food brands are guilty of packing their snacks with high sugar content to appeal to your young ones’ tastes, but their teeth end up suffering for it. The good news is that there are plenty of tasty, teeth-friendly snacks that kids love.

6 Pediatric Dentist-Approved Tasty Snacks:

High fiber fresh fruits

  • Bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, etc.
    1. Note that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are high in citric acid which can erode tooth enamel, so moderation is key
  • Fruits add a component of sweetness to your kids’ lunchbox and are packed with vitamins

Raw vegetables

  • Cucumbers, celery, baby carrots, and broccoli paired with ranch or hummus
  • Crisp veggies help scrape away any build-up on your children’s teeth

Yogurt, milk, cheese

  • High in calcium and Vitamin D, these foods are usually a hit with the little ones, but be careful to avoid yogurt brands that are packed with sugar
    1. Go for low-sugar options whenever possible

Nuts, seeds, and nut butters

  • Apple slices and celery stalks with peanut butter are lunchbox favorites and pediatric dentist-approved!
  • Low sodium or unsalted nuts can be a great source of protein and provide a healthier alternative to chips and other common junk foods

Naturally-flavored carbonated drinks

  • These are healthier alternatives to fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks

Eggs

  • Eggs are rich in protein, calcium, and Vitamin D and don’t contain as many calories or as much fat found in meats.

Beware of snacks that sound healthy but are not. For example, Goldfish crackers are a popular salty snack, but contain white flour that gets stuck under the gumline and between teeth which causes tooth decay. Another sneaky snack is dried or gummy fruit candies. Companies are known to add extra sugar to these treats which also becomes easily lodged between your children’s teeth. A good habit to form is researching snacks you’re interested in before buying, and always practicing moderation.

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Wilson Pediatric Dentistry

While parents can do their part to help their little ones avoid a trip to the dentist, sometimes it’s unavoidable. If your child needs a cavity treatment, teeth cleaning, or early orthodontic care, Dr. Jasmine Elmore and her team are ready to serve you. Call us at 252-291-4300 or schedule your appointment here today.

5 Misconceptions About Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing our teeth is essential for maintaining oral health. This is true for both adults and children. Unfortunately, there are plenty of harmful misconceptions regarding the practice of tooth-brushing. Let’s debunk these misunderstandings below to help you and your family form healthy, lasting habits.

 

  • If I brush my teeth regularly, I don’t have to worry about flossing.

 

This is simply not true. Even if you’re a pro at brushing your teeth, the truth is, a toothbrush can’t reach the spaces between your teeth where bits of food and other debris build up. This leads to plaque formation. Coupled with professional cleaning, flossing is an essential step in preventing and removing plaque.

 

  • The harder I brush my teeth, the cleaner they’ll be when I’m done.

 

Brushing your teeth too hard or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can actually wear away the natural protective enamel lining your teeth. Try not to apply too much pressure and make sure to regularly replace your toothbrush since the bristles will grow harder with continued use.

 

  • If I brush my teeth thoroughly before seeing a dentist, they won’t know I don’t brush often enough.

 

Not brushing your teeth regularly enough causes tartar and plaque buildup in those sensitive, hard-to-reach places. Your dentist will be able to see this even if you can’t, and the buildup may also lead to inflammation in your gums causing them to bleed when you brush or when your dentist cleans your teeth.

 

  • If I don’t eat a lot of sugar, I don’t need to worry about brushing my teeth.

 

Although sugar is one of the main culprits behind cavity formation and tooth decay, many sugar-free foods and beverages are known to wear away your teeth and/or lead to bad breath. Brushing is your first defense for preventing both. Learn more about our cavity treatments and other services here.

 

  • Chewing-gum and mints are good replacements for teeth-brushing

 

This is false. While chewing-gums and mints are often used to keep your breath fresh, they do nothing to remove debris from between your teeth or to help prevent decay. What provides real, lasting help is proper oral hygiene. Regular brushing is essential in preventing bad breath and for maintaining a healthy, bright smile.

Avoiding these 5 misconceptions about dental care makes all the difference. Now you may help your family start forming those healthy teeth care habits that dentists love. For more information and to get your children started off on the right foot with their dental health, please contact us or schedule your appointment online.

How to Find the Right Dentist for Your Child

Finding a dentist you like can be hard enough for an adult. So its understandable that many parents are particular about finding just the right dentist for their child. Establishing a positive dental experience at a young age is important and can set a child on a path to a lifetime of healthy smiles. 

 

Below are five tips for finding the right dentist for your child so that both of you can be comfortable and confident in the care they receive. 

Finding the Ideal Dentist for Your Child

1. Find a pediatric dentist

There are dentists who treat children, and then there are pediatric dentists. Pediatric dentists have specialized training in working with the small and delicate mouths of children, dealing with their behaviors and fears and creating a positive experience. Look for pediatric dentists near you when searching for a dentist for your child. 

2. Look for a fun environment

A dentist’s office can be a scary place for a child, but it doesn’t have to be. When looking for a dentist for your child, visit the office in person to see the inside. Kid-friendly offices are generally decorated with bright colors and playful designs that can have a positive psychological effect on a nervous youngster. 

3. Ask about their approach

Some dentists take more of a reactive approach. But young teeth and gums need a more proactive approach that uses sealants, fluoride treatments and other preventive measures to stop tooth decay and gum disease before it happens and keep your child’s oral health on the right path. Call any prospective dentist and ask about their preventive services for children. 

4.  See if they teach good dental habits

A children’s trip to the dentist should be more than just an appointment to have their teeth cleaned. They should also leave with some knowledge and advice about how to properly care for their teeth. When trying to find the right dentist for your child, look for one who provides education in addition to service. 

5. Find one that has options for anxious children

If your child is especially nervous or anxious, some dentists offer the use of nitrous oxide or anesthesia in dosages that are safe for young patients. While this may not be for everyone, it’s something to consider for more serious dental work or particularly scared children. 

Find the Right Dentist for Your Child at Wilson Pediatric

If you’re looking for dentists in Wilson, NC, you’ll find the perfect one for your child right here at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Jasmine Elmore is a pediatric dentist who takes a preventive and educational approach to dentistry in a fun and kid-friendly setting. We also provide nitrous oxide and anesthesia for children who may be especially sensitive or have high anxiety about the dentist. 

 

Contact us with any questions about our practice or visit us on Wooten Blvd in Wilson, NC, to learn more about how we may be the right dentist for your child.

Pediatric Teeth Cleaning and Cavity Fillings | Greenville, NC

In the seemingly endless cycle of preparing meals and snacks for your little ones, you may be tempted to grab whatever is most convenient in order to preserve time and energy. When it comes to the foods that your toddler or child likely prefers at this age, many of those go-to meals and snacks could be unexpectedly causing tooth decay. Continue reading to learn more.

Surprising Foods Which Lead to Tooth Decay

Simple Carbs

Pastas, cereals, rice, crackers, and breads all have two things in common. The first is that they are likely some of your child’s favorite foods. The second is that these are all simple carbs. 

Simple carbs usually make up the white or yellow foods in your child’s diet. The structure of the grains are so simple that they begin to break down into basic sugars immediately upon entering the mouth. These sugars have a tendency of sticking to the teeth which can quickly lead to tooth decay. 

Swap out your child’s favorite simple carbs with more complex options such as brown rice, and whole grain pasta, cereals, and breads. 

Sticky Foods

Are you even a parent if you don’t have a half dozen bags of fruit snacks hidden away in your car or purse? These fruit snacks are a favorite treat for kids and they are considered a healthy alternative to other gummies. The problem with fruit snacks is that they are still very high in sugar and will adhere themselves to your child’s teeth for longer periods of time. 

The same problem arises with dried fruits. Raisins, dried apricots, dried mango, and dates will glue themselves to your child’s teeth well after snack time is over. 

Juices

Juice is one of the most common culprits of early tooth decay. Juices are packed with sugar, and when children are young, they are usually consumed through a sippy cup. 

The naturally high sugar content of juice sipped from a cup which encourages the drink to slowly pool into the mouth will expose the teeth to the damaging effects of sugar for a longer period of time. 

Limit the amount of juice your child drinks and try to dilute the juice with water to minimize the sugar intake. Also, encourage your child to drink her juice through a straw instead of a sippy cup since this encourages her to quickly swallow the drink. 

Cavity Fillings in Greenville, NC

Even when taking every precaution, it is still necessary to have your child’s teeth checked routinely for early signs of tooth decay. Wilson Pediatric Dentistry offers a variety of services including pediatric teeth cleanings and cavity fillings in Greenville, NC. Schedule your next appointment today. 

Losing Baby Teeth: What to Tell Your Child

Losing Baby Teeth: What to Tell Your ChildIf your child is around six years old, it may be time to have a conversation about losing her baby teeth. Suddenly finding that her tooth is loose could be a very confusing or even frightening experience. Continue reading for some tips to help you navigate this conversation. 

How to Talk To Your Child About Losing Her Baby Teeth

Look for teachable moments

For most kids, the idea of losing baby teeth is not altogether foreign. Chances are, they’ve seen plenty of older kids with missing teeth so use this as a conversation starter. Rather than forcing the conversation on your child seemingly out of the blue, look for encounters your child may have with older peers and point out when the older child has a missing or loose tooth. 

 

This will not only demystify the experience but will help your child to realize that this is a common thing that happens to their peers, too. 

Have some fun with it

Add a little magic to the experience by bringing the tradition of the tooth fairy into your home. The excitement of the tooth fairy could very easily overshadow any anxiety your child may experience about losing her teeth. Even if your child seems disinterested in the fairy herself, nearly all children can get excited about finding a little money under the pillow the next morning. 

Be transparent about the process

It’s important to warm the child up to the idea of a tooth extraction. Explain that when the tooth decides it’s ready to come out, it will first become a little loose. Over time, the tooth should be able to wiggle back and forth with very little pressure. If the child feels any pain when wiggling the tooth, reassure her that the tooth will eventually fall out when it’s ready so there is no need to hurry it or rush it along. 

 

Another important reminder for your child is that a little blood along the gum is perfectly normal after the tooth is pulled. The bleeding should stop in just a few minutes, but if unexpected, the bleeding could scare the child and cause unnecessary anxiety. 

Schedule a Teeth Cleaning in Greenville, NC

Another way to prepare your child to lose her baby teeth is to schedule regular cleanings at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We will partner with you in helping your child develop lifelong habits that will promote healthy dental hygiene practices. We offer pediatric dental services such as teeth cleaning in Greenville, North Carolina

 

Contact us today to schedule your appointment

Teeth Cleaning Health Resolutions for Your Kids

Teeth Cleaning Health Resolutions for Your KidsThe start of a new year is the perfect time to consider what went well in the previous year and what changes you’d like to implement in the coming year. As you start to consider resolutions for your family, why not make your child’s dental health a priority this year? 

New Year’s Dental Resolutions for Your Kids

Decide On Your Resolutions Together

There’s something about resolutions that make usually mundane tasks seem more exciting — especially for kids. What are some resolutions you and your kids can write together that would make their oral hygiene routine more enjoyable to them? 

 

Start by creating a list of good oral hygiene practices to choose from. This can be an excellent learning experience for your kids and may shed light on some problem areas you can help them address together. Some of the items on this list could include: 

  • Eating less sugar
  • Regular teeth cleanings
  • Flossing daily
  • Drinking less soda
  • Using a fluoride rinse 

 

Don’t overwhelm your kids with an endless list of resolutions. Pick three to five of your top priorities and focus on those. Make sure these resolutions are measurable and quantifiable so you can easily monitor your family’s progress throughout the year. 

Implement a Reward System

Depending on the age of your child, a reward system might be an effective way to measure and celebrate progress throughout the year. To ensure you don’t undo all of your hard work, opt for a reward system that is free from sugary treats. For younger children, consider a sticker chart. For older kids, maybe a fun experience after completing a number of resolutions would be enough to entice them to take more ownership over their oral hygiene practices. 

Find a Pediatric Dentist in Greenville, NC

The most effective way to improve the health of your child’s teeth is to partner with a pediatric dentist who will help you navigate your child’s oral health while creating a warm, child-friendly environment. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist, we are accepting new patients at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. We provide pediatric dental treatments near Greenville, North Carolina

 

Make your first New Year’s resolution to 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.