baby chewing on blanket

A new mom excitedly told a friend that she had scheduled her daughter’s first dental appointment. Her friend looked at her like she was crazy. “Your daughter is only 11 months old!” she exclaimed. “She doesn’t need to go to the dentist!” The young mom was confused. Had she acted prematurely? What is the best age for a first dental visit?

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we know that parents face conflicting advice on all sides. That’s why Dr. Matt and his Overland Park, KS, team provide parent education in a welcoming and non-judgmental environment. Not only can we help you determine the best age for a first dental visit; we will also explain what you and your child can expect when you come into the office. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment or to find out if your child is ready for the dentist.

When should you schedule the first visit?

Children should have their initial dental appointments around their first birthdays. Some children may need to come in sooner if they are early teethers. Dr. Matt recommends that children visit the dentist no more than six months after their first tooth erupts. 

If your child has not started teething by 12 months, there’s likely no reason to be alarmed. But you should still schedule an appointment so that your pediatric dentist can check your child’s dental development.

What can you expect at your child’s first visit?

For children under age 2, the first dental visit is usually quite brief. We focus on getting them acclimated to the office, monitoring dental development, and helping parents to establish good dental habits. Dr. Matt checks to make sure that teeth are coming in properly. He can even let you know if you can expect new teeth to emerge soon! 

If your child is older than 24 months, it’s certainly not too late to schedule a first dental visit. For older children, we will typically include a routine cleaning, x-rays, and any necessary restorative treatment.

Is early treatment really that important?

Absolutely! Children can easily develop cavities from a young age. In fact, according to the journal Pediatrics, dental costs before age 5 are 40% lower for children who have their first dental visit before age one.

Because we are so firmly committed to early preventive care, we even offer free exams and cleanings for children under the age of two. 

What should you do in between dental visits?

Of course, though dental visits are vital, they are not the only component of children’s oral health. To further protect your little one’s teeth, start brushing twice a day as soon as that first tooth appears. Flossing should begin as soon as there are two touching teeth. As your child gets older, help him to learn how to brush for himself, though you should continue to supervise dental hygiene until you are confident that your child has mastered the skill. 

And, of course, model good dental hygiene yourself and plan healthy, nutrient-dense meals for the family.

Schedule Your First Dental Visit Today

To make your child’s initial appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. 

Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

little girl holding donuts over her eyes

Most parents fondly remember smelling the back of their baby’s head and thinking nothing could come close to that sweet scent. So if your child starts having chronic bad breath, it can come as a bit of a shock! Isn’t bad breath something that tends to affect older individuals? Actually, children can struggle with bad breath (halitosis) just as much as adults. Fortunately, a kids’ dentist near you can help you prevent bad breath and treat any underlying issues that might be causing the odors. 

Dr. Matt and his Overland Park, KS, team exclusively treat children. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we are compassionate and non-judgemental. We know that parenting is a challenge, so one of our primary goals is to answer questions and to help you feel confident in your role as a mom or dad.

To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.

1. Insufficient Oral Hygiene

Plaque is a film of bacteria clinging to teeth, and the buildup of microbes can cause a lingering odor. Routine hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and biannual visits to the dentist, are essential at every age. 

2. Cavities and Other Dental Concerns

If your child has a cavity, it means that dental tissue is currently decaying, which can emit a bad odor. Similarly, dental infection can cause chronic bad breath. If your child has a crown or filling, it may have come loose, which means that bacteria can become trapped beneath the restoration. If you suspect any of these issues, be sure to visit a kids’ dentist near you. 

3. Your Child Is Sick

Just as dental infection can cause bad breath, so can other types of infections, particularly those affecting the throat and/or sinus passages. A sinus infection, tonsillitis, infected adenoids, and gastroesophageal reflux can all cause halitosis. These conditions typically cause other symptoms, so if you suspect your child is sick, be sure to contact your pediatrician.

4. An Odiferous Diet

If your child regularly consumes smelly foods like garlic and onions, this could be the cause of bad breath. These foods are particularly problematic because they are sulfurous. This means that molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream and released when your child exhales. So even a thorough brushing after a meal may not fix the problem. What will? Time. And if the problem is chronic, consider limiting those more pungent foods.

5. An Object Is Stuck Where It Shouldn’t Be

If you’ve ruled out these other causes, check their nasal passages. As kids start to explore their world, they may stick objects up their nose. In fact, nasal foreign body insertion is most common among kids aged two to five and slightly more common among boys than girls

If you suspect that your child has an object lodged up his nose, be sure to visit your pediatrician. Trying to remove the object yourself may only push it further up and cause serious damage. 

Contact a Kids’ Dentist Near You to Treat Your Child’s Halitosis

Your child doesn’t have to live with embarrassing smelly breath. A kids’ dentist near you can provide appropriate care and offer tips for prevention. 

Contact us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

young boy sitting on a bridge smiling with his baby teeth showing

As a parent, you may have noticed that your child’s teeth are not coming in as straight as you had hoped. This common concern often leads to questions about why crooked teeth develop in children. A pediatric dentist near you can determine what’s causing this and how you can help your child’s smile develop properly. Call Dr. Matt today for a consultation!

In this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to crooked teeth in children and discuss what you can do to address this issue.

1. Genetics

One of the most significant factors influencing the alignment of your child’s teeth is genetics. The shape and size of their jaw, as well as the spacing and arrangement of their teeth, are largely determined by their genetic makeup. If either parent had crooked teeth or required orthodontic treatment, there is a higher likelihood that your child may inherit similar dental characteristics.

2. Early Oral Habits

Certain oral habits during childhood can contribute to the development of crooked teeth. These habits include thumb-sucking, prolonged pacifier use, and tongue-thrusting. These actions can place pressure on the developing teeth and disrupt their natural alignment.

3. Baby Teeth and Permanent Teeth

Crooked baby teeth do not necessarily indicate that your child will have crooked permanent teeth. Baby teeth can sometimes appear misaligned due to their smaller size and irregular spacing, which is normal during the early stages of dental development. However, monitoring your child’s dental development by visiting a dentist near you regularly is essential to determine if any intervention is needed when their permanent teeth start coming in.

4. Dental Crowding

Dental crowding occurs when there isn’t enough space in the jaw for all the teeth to align correctly. This can result in teeth overlapping or becoming misaligned as they emerge. Crowding can be influenced by genetic factors, jaw size, and the early loss of baby teeth. Orthodontic evaluation and intervention may be necessary to address crowding issues.

5. Early Loss of Baby Teeth

The premature loss of baby teeth can disrupt the natural sequence of permanent teeth coming in. If a baby tooth is lost too early due to decay or injury, adjacent teeth may shift into the empty space, causing misalignment. In such cases, space maintainers may be recommended by your dentist to prevent this shift and allow for proper alignment of permanent teeth.

6. Delayed Tooth Eruption

In some cases, delayed tooth eruption can contribute to crooked teeth. If certain teeth take longer to emerge than expected, neighboring teeth may start to shift, creating alignment issues. Regular dental check-ups can help identify any delays in tooth eruption and allow for timely intervention if necessary.

7. Inadequate Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene practices can lead to various dental problems, including crooked teeth. If your child doesn’t brush and floss regularly, they may be at risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental issues that can affect the alignment of their teeth. Encouraging good oral hygiene habits from a young age is crucial for preventing these problems.

8. Malocclusion

Malocclusion refers to a misalignment of the upper and lower jaws, which can result in crooked teeth. An underbite, overbite, or crossbite can all contribute to the improper positioning of teeth. Orthodontic treatment may be required to correct malocclusion and ensure proper dental alignment.

Contact A Pediatric Dentist Near You Today

The good news is that many alignment issues can be addressed with timely intervention and orthodontic treatment when necessary. Regular dental check-ups are essential to monitor your child’s dental development and address any concerns early on.

Call Smiles Dentistry for Kids today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule an initial consultation! 

teen girl wearing yellow shirt

Wisdom teeth extraction often seems like an unavoidable part of growing up. Much like going through puberty or graduating from high school, it will eventually be time for it, ready or not! But in truth, wisdom teeth do not always need to be extracted. It will depend on your child’s unique oral anatomy and the way that teeth are emerging in the mouth. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt offers conservative, personalized care. He closely monitors children’s dental development from a young age so he can quickly tell if wisdom teeth are likely to be problematic. At the same time, he will never recommend an extraction if it is not necessary. 

To learn more about wisdom teeth extraction and to find out if it is right for your child, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are sometimes called the “third molars.” They usually come in between 17 and 25, the age when young adults are supposed to gain in wisdom and maturity. (A thought that may elicit a few eye rolls from parents we know!) 

Anthropologists speculate that, at one time, the third molars were necessary for humankind’s survival, allowing us to chew the more primitive food we needed to survive. As our diet changed, our jaws also evolved. They became smaller, meaning that many people now do not have sufficient room for their wisdom teeth.

When Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out 

Wisdom teeth only need to be extracted when they don’t have room to come in properly. They may crowd the nearby teeth, leading to misalignment and an increased risk for dental decay. 

The third molars could also become impacted, or trapped beneath a layer of bone or gum tissue. Though they sometimes cause no symptoms, impacted teeth can result in inflammation, pain, and gum disease. In about 80% of young adults, at least one of the four wisdom teeth does not erupt all the way.

Earlier Extraction Is Better

Experts recommend that teens and young adults have their wisdom teeth removed early, typically no later than age 26. This will help to prevent wisdom-tooth related problems. Moreover, since bones tend to harden with age, early extraction will be easier with a faster recovery. 

What to Expect from Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The process for wisdom teeth extraction will largely depend on whether a tooth has come in all the way. If it has, extraction simply involves loosening the tooth by gently rocking it back and forth. The dentist can then quickly and easily lift it from the jaw. 

If a tooth is impacted, on the other hand, surgical extraction is necessary. An oral surgeon will need to remove the obstructing bone or gum tissue before taking out the tooth itself. 

In either case – simple or surgical extraction – patients will receive local anesthesia. An oral surgeon may also provide sedation for a surgical procedure.

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids Today

To learn more about wisdom teeth and teen dental health, contact Dr. Matt and his team. Reach us online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990.

cheese and crackers snack cups

With school back in session, you’re trying to get into the routine of a new year. One challenge is packing a healthy lunch that your kid will actually eat! Fortunately, foods that will give your child lasting energy for the school day are beneficial for nearly every aspect of their health, including their dental wellness. In this post, your pediatric dentist gives some lunch box suggestions for every palate. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and his team offer complete dental services for children of all ages. We are committed to laying a foundation for lifelong oral health, not only through preventive care and treatment, but also through patient and parent education. 

To learn more about the connection between diet and dental health, or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist, contact our office today.

For the Kid Who Wants a Classic Lunch

Maybe your child is a bit of a picky eater, or maybe he wants a lunch that just won’t “stand out.” Either way, a classic peanut butter sandwich can be both nutritious and good for his teeth! The polyunsaturated fats in peanut butter are known to be anti-inflammatory and, according to one study, may actually help to prevent gum disease.

To maximize the benefits of peanut butter, choose varieties with no added sugar, and serve peanut butter on whole grain bread. Avoid jelly, which is essentially pure sugar. Instead serve peanut butter solo or add some slices of fruit.

For the Sophisticated Palate

If you’ve got an older child or one who just has mature tastes, pack a yummy spinach salad, loaded up with all the goodies. Like all leafy greens, spinach is high in calcium, which helps to strengthen bones and teeth. It also has plenty of folic acid and B vitamins to help combat gum disease. 

On top of the greens, try some grilled or smoked salmon, which, like peanut butter, is high in polyunsaturated fats. Add some shiitake mushrooms, high in lentinan, which can help prevent cavities. 

For the Snacker

If your child tends to graze throughout the day, packing a good lunch can be especially challenging. Fortunately, although you can’t change the school schedule, your pediatric dentist can still recommend a nutritious meal that will appeal to your little one. Try a kid-friendly charcuterie board. Cheese is not only high in teeth-strengthening calcium. It can also help to prevent demineralization and stimulate saliva flow. Pair the cheese with some whole-grain crackers. Finally, add fiber-rich apple slices and carrot sticks. With their crunchy texture, both can help to remove food particles from teeth.

And for Everyone…

Of course, all kids need a drink in their lunch and, no matter what their palate, this one’s a no-brainer. As any pediatric dentist will tell you, avoid juice boxes in favor of water. Although juice might seem a healthy choice, it is full of sugar, which will linger on teeth for the rest of the school day. In contrast, water helps to flush away bacteria and food particles to combat tooth decay and gum disease. 

Contact Your Pediatric Dentist Today

For more dietary guidance or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist, contact our office. Reach out online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990.

little girl covering her face on black background

For children, the world is big and brand new. They are still learning how to navigate their day-to-day lives. So when a new experience – like a dental visit – comes along, it can be frightening. The unfamiliar people, sights, sounds, and smells can be intimidating, even for children who have been to the dentist before. But as a parent, this can be exasperating and leave you wondering: How do you make your child less scared at the dentist?

As with all things related to kids, compassion and understanding are key. You can prepare your child in advance, at the same time showing them that you understand their concerns and that you don’t judge them in any way. Of course, it’s always important to choose the right dentist. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt is devoted specifically to pediatric dentistry. He and his Overland Park, KS, team know how to put little ones at ease and make their dental visits an enjoyable experience. 

Contact us to set up an appointment. 

Talk about What to Expect

Among children, fear of the dentist is very common. In fact, 8% of surveyed 9-year-olds report dental anxiety. Fortunately, good preparation can significantly reduce anxiety. 

Before visiting the dentist, discuss what will happen. If your child is old enough to remember their previous appointments, have them describe what happened with as much detail as possible. Encourage them to remember any fears they may have had and what they did to work through them. 

Especially for younger children, who may not remember their last dental appointments, it may be helpful to play pretend. Use a doll while you or your child pretend to be a dentist. Then have your child play the role of the dentist while you pretend to be the patient!

Read Books about Visiting the Dentist 

There are lots of kids’ books about dentists. Choose a variety of books that discuss what to expect at the dentist, as well as the importance of good dental health. Just be sure to vet the books before reading them to your child. Some books could actually instill more fear, depending on your child’s personality. You know your child best!

Let Them Accompany You to the Dentist 

If they are old enough to sit through it, allow your child to come with you to your own dental appointment. That way, they can see what will happen and learn that everyone needs dental care. 

Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Though there are many great dentists out there, pediatric dentists are specially trained in the treatment of children. Not only do they possess clinical knowledge of children’s dental needs; they also have the energy and flexibility necessary to treat children

Dr. Matt has a great rapport with kids and truly loves working with them. He understands how to help frightened children. With their fun-loving and gentle demeanor, he and his team have their young patients laughing and smiling in no time!

Learn More about How You Can Make Your Child Less Scared at the Dentist 

To learn more tips for dental anxiety or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990. 

little girl with missing front teeth

There are few things cuter than that gap-toothed grin when your child has started to lose his first few teeth. But if this is your oldest or your only child, you likely have lots of questions about baby tooth loss. Among the most pressing: when can you expect it to start? Will your child’s kindergarten photo capture that endearing transition? 

Dr. Matt knows that being a parent can be overwhelming. That’s why all of us at Smiles Dentistry for Kids are committed to helping you in your job as a mom or dad. When you visit our office in Overland Park, KS, you can always ask questions. And we promise to give you the best advice for your little one’s dental health.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

Why do we have two sets of teeth anyway?

Baby teeth are obviously smaller than permanent teeth. If adult teeth came in first, there wouldn’t be enough room since children’s jaws are still growing. Baby teeth allow children to eat and speak properly, and they ensure proper jaw development. At the same time, they save space for those larger adult teeth, which are still developing under the gums.

When do kids start losing their baby teeth?

Children typically start losing their teeth when they are 5 or 6. But some kids could start around age 4, while others may not get a visit from the tooth fairy until they are closer to 7.

Kids will continue to lose teeth until all their permanent teeth have come in, which is usually between ages 10 and 12.

Which teeth will come out first?

Baby teeth usually fall out in about the same order that they came in. So the two bottom front teeth, or lower central incisors, are usually the first to go. The two top front teeth are next. The lateral incisors come third, followed by the first molars, canines, and, finally, second molars. 

How long will it take for a new tooth to come in?

This really varies from child to child. Sometimes, the new tooth will appear quickly. Other times, it could take up to six months for the permanent tooth to fill in the gap. 

Some kids actually get their permanent teeth before they lose their baby teeth. This phenomenon is known as “shark teeth.” Although it might be disconcerting to see two teeth back-to-back,  it’s usually not anything to worry about. However, if your child’s baby teeth haven’t started to loosen a few weeks after the second set of teeth have erupted, be sure to give our office a call. Dr. Matt may need to remove the baby teeth so the new permanent teeth don’t become crowded.

What happens if a child loses a baby tooth prematurely?

Premature baby tooth loss may affect up to 40% of children. When baby teeth come out too soon, it can cause orthodontic problems with the adult teeth. In these cases, Dr. Matt will likely suggest a spacer to help maintain proper dental alignment.

Learn More from Your Pediatric Dentist 

To learn more about tooth loss or other pediatric dental concerns, contact our Overland Park, KS, office today. Reach us online or give us a call at (913) 685-9990.

two little girls smiling and hugging each other on the beach

It may be the height of summer, but the new school year is coming up fast! The comparatively leisurely days of vacation will give way to the packed schedule of the academic year. That’s why the summer is the perfect time to adopt healthy dental habits. And finding a great dentist in Overland Park can help your family’s teeth stay healthy whatever the time of year!

Dr. Matt and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids are committed to helping your kids enjoy a lifetime of oral health. From education to cleanings, extractions to restorative care, we are ready to provide gentle, compassionate treatment. By focusing exclusively on pediatric dentistry, we know how to reach kids and convince them of the importance of good oral health. 

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt, contact our office today.

1. Daily Brushing and Flossing

When he’s rushing out the door to catch the bus, tooth brushing is likely the last thing on your child’s mind. During the summer, help your kids stick to the schedule by brushing their teeth before breakfast. Plus, brushing first thing can actually help to protect teeth from the acids in their first meal of the day.

2. Drinking More Water

In addition to keeping your body functioning at its best, water helps to flush away bacteria, acids, and food particles. Of course, milk is also important, especially for young children. But soda and juice should be an occasional treat, rather than a daily staple.

3. Eating a Nutritious Diet

Summer is the ideal season to amp up your family’s eating habits. Fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak, farmer’s markets are packed with seasonal goodies, and there is time for your kids to take an active role in meal planning and prep. 

Although it’s important to limit sugars, a healthy diet is not about denying your kids treats. Rather, incorporating a variety of foods will ensure that they are getting the proper nutrients to nourish their growing bodies and strengthen their tooth enamel. 

4. Quitting Nail Biting, Pencil Chewing, Etc.

Using teeth to bite anything other than food can cause dental misalignment and chipped teeth. And it can increase the risk of infection and illness as bacteria pass from the hands to the mouth. 

Studies suggest that more than 80% of nail biters also struggle with a psychiatric condition, such as ADHD or obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. Matt can work with you and your child’s healthcare team to help stop this habit. 

5. Wearing a Sports Mouthguard

If your child is planning to play any contact sports in the fall, it’s important to get fitted for a mouthguard now. According to the American Dental Association,athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are more than two times as likely to suffer an oral injury.

Be sure to visit a dentist for your child’s mouthguard. Prefabricated appliances are less effective and could even inhibit breathing and athletic performance. 

Contact Your Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park

As you get ready to go back to school, don’t forget to schedule your child’s exams and cleanings. Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call (913) 685-9990 to schedule an appointment.

little boy with blonde hair sticking our his tongue to lick something off his fingers

Sometimes it seems like children are constantly getting sick. But if your child suddenly develops a sore in or around his mouth, it can set your alarm bells ringing. It can also be very unpleasant, especially for small children. Fortunately, your children’s dentist is here to answer your questions and set your mind at ease.

As a father himself, Dr. Matt knows that being a parent comes with a lot of worry. That’s why he and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, prioritize parent education. Whether your child has recurring cold sores or a toothache, he is always happy to explain the causes and your treatment options.

Still have questions or looking to schedule an appointment? Contact us today!

What is a cold sore?

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are quite common in children. They are the result of the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Children can be infected by the virus and then not manifest symptoms until another factor causes it to awaken. That’s why fever blisters often appear during times of stress, cold weather, or another illness.

Are cold sores contagious?

HSV-2 is highly contagious! If you or someone in your family has a cold sore, it’s important to avoid kissing, sharing utensils, and using the same towels until the blister has gone away. 

Is there a treatment for cold sores?

Cold compresses and acetaminophen can help to minimize pain, and, in some cases, your children’s dentist may prescribe antiviral medications. 

What is a canker sore?

Canker sores are small ulcers inside the mouth, particularly on the lips, cheeks, or under the tongue. They are usually small and white with a red, inflamed ring. They may appear on their own, or they could develop in clusters. Canker sores usually go away in one to two weeks. They are quite common and affect an estimated 10% of the population.

The cause of canker sores is unknown. In some cases, they can appear as a result of food allergies or a diet low in folic acid. Stress and hormonal changes can also bring about canker sores, but the exact correlation between these events is unknown.

Are canker sores contagious?

No. You cannot pass on canker sores. However, they tend to run in families, so if you suffer from recurring mouth ulcers, there is a greater likelihood that your child will, too.

Is there a treatment for canker sores?

There is no cure for canker sores, but, again, acetaminophen can keep inflammation under control. Dr. Matt may also prescribe a topical numbing medication if pain is particularly bad.

When should I be concerned?

In general, you shouldn’t! 

However, if a baby under six months of age gets a cold sore, you should seek emergency medical treatment.

You should also contact your children’s dentist if cold or canker sores last more than two weeks. If your child has recurring canker sore outbreaks, your dentist or pediatrician may recommend testing to see if there is a dietary cause.

Contact Your Children’s Dentist 

To learn more about children’s oral health or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. 

Reach us via our website or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Afro-American little girl with headphones chewing bubblegum in park

One of the most common questions we encounter from parents is, “Does xylitol prevent cavities?” With the rising concern about dental health and the desire to protect our children’s smiles, it’s essential to explore the potential benefits of xylitol in cavity prevention. 

In this blog, our pediatric dentist in Overland Park, Dr. Matt, delves into the world of xylitol and examines its effectiveness in warding off those pesky cavities.

What is xylitol? 

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in various fruits and vegetables. It is widely used as a sugar substitute in sugar-free gum, candies, mints, and oral care products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Unlike regular sugar, xylitol does not contribute to tooth decay. In fact, it has been hailed as a promising tool in the fight against cavities.

How does xylitol work?

The main reason xylitol is considered beneficial for dental health is its impact on bacteria. When we consume foods or drinks containing regular sugar, the bad bacteria in our mouths feed on these sugars and produce acids that attack tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. 

Xylitol, on the other hand, cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria, preventing them from producing harmful acids. Additionally, xylitol has been found to inhibit the growth and adherence of bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of dental plaque formation.

What does the science say? 

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of xylitol on cavity prevention, particularly in children. A systematic review published in the International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry in 2021 analyzed the findings of multiple studies and concluded that the use of xylitol, particularly in gum or lozenge form, can significantly reduce the occurrence of dental caries in children. 

However, it’s important to note that xylitol is not a magical cure-all. It should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits.

Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park Explains How to Include Xylitol as Part of a Preventive Regimen

To fully harness the potential benefits of xylitol, it is crucial to incorporate it into a comprehensive preventive dental care regimen. 

Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Choose xylitol-containing products: 

Look for sugar-free gum, candies, or mints sweetened with xylitol. Check the label to ensure the product contains a sufficient amount of xylitol for it to be effective.

2. Timing and frequency: 

For maximum benefit, encourage your child to chew xylitol gum or consume xylitol products after meals or snacks. This helps stimulate saliva flow, which aids in neutralizing acids and remineralizing teeth.

3. Oral hygiene practices: 

Emphasize the importance of regular brushing and flossing, as well as using fluoride toothpaste. Xylitol should complement these practices, not replace them.

4. Professional guidance: 

Consult your pediatric dentist in Overland Park for personalized advice on incorporating xylitol into your child’s dental care routine. They can recommend specific products and provide guidance on dosage and frequency.

Learn More from Our Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park

While xylitol cannot single-handedly prevent cavities, it does offer a valuable tool in our arsenal against dental decay. Its ability to reduce harmful bacteria, inhibit plaque formation, and promote saliva production makes it a promising addition to a comprehensive oral hygiene routine. 

Xylitol should always be used in combination with regular dental care practices. Remember, prevention is the key to maintaining a healthy smile for your child, so encourage good oral hygiene habits and schedule an appointment with our pediatric dentist in Overland Park today! 

Call (913) 685-9990 to make an appointment. 

We are excited to welcome Dr Tara Craven to the Smiles Dentistry for Kids team!Learn More