Holiday Season is Here: Seven Tips for a Teeth Healthy Holiday

Holiday Season is Here: Seven Tips for a Teeth Healthy Holiday

Holiday Season is Here: Seven Tips for a Teeth Healthy Holiday

Halloween itself has come and gone, but probably not the enormous bag of candied goodies your kids have managed to acquire. And honestly, we’re just winding up to the most wonderful time of the year. Most wonderful for family fun and joyous feelings, but not the most wonderful time of the year for your teeth.

As the leaves on the trees turn and then fall, our holiday spirit lifts and typically with it, our sugar intake. This time of year doesn’t have to result in cavities, and no we’re aren’t suggesting you throw away their Halloween candy treasure trove. We don’t even mean you need to try the onerous task of enforcing your kids to abstain while they are surrounded with goodies everywhere they go. So, what are we recommending for you to do? Here, we’ve put together a list of seven things you can do to ensure your kids get through the glorious holiday season with their beautiful smiles healthy and happy.

Seven Tips for a Teeth Healthy Holiday Season

  1. Control the Halloween Treasure Trove 

Don’t just throw away all of their Halloween candy, instead take control of it. Place limits on how many pieces of their candy they can have per day. Caramels and marshmallows are particularly bad for your teeth as they really like to stick. If you can, sort through the candy and throw away pieces that aren’t their favorites, or any pieces that seem to be of lower quality.

  1. Enjoy Goodies in Moderation

Homemade pies, brownies and cookies are not only fun to eat, but they’re fun to make as well. Don’t give up this pleasurable activity, just enjoy it in moderation. Instead of your kids eating all the fresh baked cookies in one day, give them a couple, and save some for the next few days, and if you still have more, consider sharing with a neighbor or friend.

Alternatively, if the baking of the goodies isn’t something you or your family do, keep yourself in check when you’re at the stores. Don’t be drawn in to all the bright holiday packaging. Place limits on yourself for how much sugary desserts you buy.

  1. Play Around with Recipes

For those of you who do the baking, take a moment to consider your recipes. Many recipes have high levels of sugar. Perhaps you will find that those brownies are still sweet enough but with less sugar than the recipe calls for. Moreover, can you use a sugar alternative such as honey, applesauce, or mashed bananas?

The internet has revolutionized our lives in many ways, and one of those ways can be access to healthier baking recipes. You’ll be shocked to see how many sugar free or sugar alternative recipes there are out there in the internet universe that are absolutely delicious.

Play around with your own recipes, or try new ones. You just might find new favorites that are even healthier.

  1. Swap Out Candy for Fruit When You Can

Fruits have the benefit of being naturally sweet without the processed sugars of candy. Consider some of your Christmas or Thanksgiving traditions. For example: do you normally include candy in Christmas stockings or gifts? Do you leave out cookies for Santa to eat? Perhaps Santa will be tired of eating cookies in every single house, and would appreciate a sandwich or some fresh fruit for variety instead?

  1. Drink Lots of Water (with Fluoride)

With the influx of sweets and sugars in the form of food, it’s important not to forget about what your kids are drinking. Limit sodas, sport drinks, and juices as much as you can, and focus on water with fluoride. Bottled water is better than the juices or sodas but doesn’t have fluoride added. You want the water with fluoride because fluoride is an integral defense for dental health. Follow up snacking and sweets with a good drink of water. Water will help rinse out your mouth and remove the larger chunks of leftover sugary foods that get stuck in between teeth. Find some fun holiday-decorated refillable water bottles, or choose some that have your kids’ favorite character or superhero and keep those babies handy.

  1. Have Set Eating Times and Avoid Grazing

What do we mean by grazing? By grazing, we mean those days when you just casually snack here and there throughout the day. Holiday times are notorious for grazing because a lot of people and places have candy dishes just sitting out, and it’s so easy to snag a treat whenever you walk by. The problem with grazing is that it causes a continuous assault on your teeth of sugar and bacteria. Work on sticking with a schedule for meals and snacks, and put that candy bowl out of sight and out of mind. 

  1. Brush and Floss Routinely

You knew we would end with this one, didn’t you? However, many times you’ve heard us say it in the office, this list wouldn’t be complete without it being stated again. Holidays often mean late nights, and tired kids when you get home. Don’t, no matter how tempting, skip the brushing and flossing routine for your kids. They’re teeth are running a gamut during the holidays and it’s your job (and your kids’ job) to give them a good brushing at least twice a day, and a good flossing. We’ll even go so far to suggest that during this time of year, you bump up the number of times they’re brushing. If you can get them to brush their teeth sometime during the day, on a day when there’s been a lot of grazing (hello, Thanksgiving anyone?) their teeth will be grateful.

If you’re concerned that your kid might already have a cavity, or they’re simply due for a cleaning and checkup, give us a call! We’re here for you during the holidays and happy to see the kids of our communities and hear about their holiday plans.

My Child Chipped a Tooth: What Should I Do?

My Child Chipped a Tooth: What Should I Do?

My Child Chipped a Tooth: Now What?

Are you wondering if a chipped tooth or a knocked-out tooth is a dental emergency? The answer is an unequivocal yes. This might not be something that you see every day, and yet it is surprisingly common, that a child will chip their tooth or even have a tooth knocked out.

The steps you need to take in these circumstances to save the tooth are not complicated. They are however, vital to the life of the tooth. You’ll need to react quickly, and appropriately so as to save the tooth.

In this post, we’ll take you through the steps you need to take for each scenario. Then we’ll explain the possible outcomes so you have an understanding of what you can expect.

What to Do if Your Child Chips a Tooth

  1. Locate the tooth fragment and store it in milk.
  2. Call the pediatric dentist office near you to get your child in as soon as possible.

Do not rinse or store the tooth fragment in water.

What to Expect if Your Child Chips a Tooth

Your pediatric dentist might be able to glue the tooth fragment back to where it belongs.

If not, a tooth colored filling may be used to fix the shape of the broken tooth instead. If it is a back tooth that is broken or chipped, it is possible that a crown will be used to cover and reseal the molar.

What to Do if Your Child Knocks a Tooth Out

For this scenario, it is important to first assess whether the knocked-out tooth is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth.

If it is a baby tooth that is knocked out:

  1. Locate the knocked-out tooth and pick it up by the crown of the tooth, avoid touching the root.
  2. If the baby tooth is dirty, rinse gently with milk or with contact lens saline solution.
  3. Store by submerging the tooth in milk, or your child’s saliva.
  4. Call the pediatric dentist office near you to get your child in as soon as possible.

Do not rinse the tooth with water.

Do not allow the tooth to dry out.

Do not attempt to reinsert the baby tooth. If you attempt to reinsert the baby tooth, it could damage the permanent tooth underneath the now vacated socket. Alternatively, it could attach itself to the socket which may cause problems in the future when the permanent tooth underneath is ready to erupt.

If it is a permanent tooth that is knocked out:

  1. Locate the knocked-out tooth.
  2. Pick it up by the crown of the tooth and be careful to avoid touching the root of it.
  3. If the tooth is dirty, gently rinse it with either milk or contact lens saline solution.
  4. While holding the crown of the tooth, have your child open their mouth and with a light but firm pressure re-insert the tooth to its proper place.
  5. They can hold the re-inserted tooth into place by biting down on a clean washcloth or handkerchief.
  6. Call the pediatric dentist office near you immediately to get your child in the dentist’s chair.

If your child won’t allow you to reinsert the knocked-out tooth, then submerge and store it in milk until you can get into your pediatric dentist.

If the knocked-out tooth is broken or chipped, submerge and store all found pieces in milk.

The sooner the permanent tooth can be re-inserted to the socket, it increases the chances that the tooth will embed itself again to the gum.

What to Expect if Your Child Knocks a Tooth Out

If the knocked-out tooth has not been reinserted, the pediatric dentist will assess the socket, and the tooth itself to determine if reinsertion of the tooth is appropriate.

If you were able to re-insert the tooth yourself, then the pediatric dentist will take an X-ray to examine and confirm that it’s in the proper position. Once the tooth is in the proper position, they will need to do a splint to ensure the tooth remains in place long enough to re-embed itself. 

What if You Can’t Find the Knocked-Out Tooth?

If you can’t locate the tooth that was knocked out, there are still measures your pediatric dentist can take. 

If the lost tooth was a baby tooth, your child’s dentist may determine to simply leave the gap alone and let the permanent tooth erupt in its own time.

If the lost tooth was a permanent tooth, there are four options available:

  1. Bridge – A bridge is when a false tooth is anchored into place by using sealant to attach it to the teeth on either side of it.
  2. Implant – An implant is when a screw is put into the jaw bone and then a false tooth is created from a mold.
  3. Denture – A denture is a false tooth that can be removed and cleaned.
  4. Leave the gap – This option may be the least popular, but it should be noted. 

All four options have varying costs and consequences. You would need to speak honestly with your pediatric dentist about the decision while you consider your child’s age, your financial situation, and your appearance preferences.

Potential Complications and Risks

No matter how straightforward the steps you need to take may seem, when a tooth is chipped, broken, or knocked out, there are potential risks and complications. 

If the nerve inside the tooth is injured or exposed it can be very painful. This may require a root canal. We place a lot of importance on submerging and storing broken or knocked out teeth in milk because as a tooth begins to die, it turns a black color. Restoring a tooth to its original color can be challenging if not impossible.

These kinds of dental emergencies commonly happen during sports activities. We recommend a mouth guard to protect your child’s smile. For more information about mouth guards, read our in-depth post, “Why Your Kids Should Use a Mouth Guard“.

Contact Utah Pediatric Dentists for Your Dental Emergencies

Utah Pediatric Dentists serve the Salt Lake City community at four convenient locations. If you have a dental emergency, one of our offices is sure to be near you. Dental emergencies for kids can be scary and painful. Our offices are comfortable and inviting to kids of all ages and we are fully equipped for in office sedation when appropriate.

If you have a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to Find the Best Kids Dentist Near Me

How to Find the Best Kids Dentist Near Me

It’s important that you find a pediatric dentist for the oral and dental care of your kids.

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to interact with infants, kids, teens, and youths with special needs, and to provide services specific to the size, shape, and issues that are special to kids. A pediatric dentist completes an additional two years of education and training to make them uniquely qualified to take care of your kids’ dental health.

That information is helpful perhaps in understanding why you need a pediatric dentist for your kids, but it still begs two important questions: Firstly, “How Do I Find a Kids Dentist Near Me?” and secondly, “What Do I Look for in a Good Pediatric Dentist?”

We’ve put together some tips to help you answer both those questions. Without further ado, here you go!

Tips to Find the Best Kids Dentist Near You

  1. Talk to Your Dentist

Hopefully as a busy adult you have still managed to keep up with your own positive dental habits including a biannual checkup and cleaning with your chosen dentist. If you feel good about the culture, environment, and capability of your own dentist, ask if they know of any pediatric dentists in the area that they know professionally. Pediatric dentists are often connected to the communities and therefore also other dental professionals.

  1. Ask Your Friends and/or Neighbors

Your friends and neighbors who have kids may have already done the legwork in finding a pediatric dentist that their kids feel comfortable with. See what they have to say, and ask more than one. Maybe there will be a pediatric dentist or two who pop up more often in your friends’ referrals than not.

  1. Search it Online

Type the words “pediatric dentist near me” into your browser. If your browser is set to know your location, the search results will give you a list of pediatric dentists on a map so you can see how many there are and how near or far. 

Alternatively, you can visit and adjust your search radius for how far you are willing to travel.

  1. Take Time to Read Reviews

While I recommend that you do more than read reviews in order to make an informed decision, they still serve an important part of the process. You can find reviews on google, and yelp. Take the time to read more than just the bad ones. You can also learn from the responses: if the pediatric dentist responds, in what manner they respond etc.

  1. Visit a Few Pediatric Dentist Offices

You should do this whether you have a list of four offices or only one. Pop in to the dentist office or offices that you are considering. Have a quick look around, what does the waiting room or play area look like. It doesn’t necessarily matter how big the area is, but is it clean? Are the toys that are available broken? How do the staff members interact with the children and parents? How is the atmosphere? Does it feel warm and welcoming? How does the receptionist respond to your entry? Are you greeted? Are you made to feel welcome?

  1. Check out their Website

Usually, a website will have an “About Us” page. Take a look and see if the website can give you an idea of what the office looks like if you haven’t already visited it. Some websites will include information about their pediatric dentists, a biography of sorts. The website can be particularly important if you have a child with a specific dental concern. Not all pediatric dentists are trained and equipped to handle in-office sedation services for example. The website is a quick way to see if they can perform the services you require.

What to Look for in a Good Pediatric Dentist

  1. Credentials

 You want to be sure the pediatric dentist you are considering has the appropriate credentials. Pediatric dentists do an extra two years of specialized training and education to earn the special credential of pediatric dentist.

  1. Office Atmosphere

This is where the office visit comes in and knowing the personality of your own child. Is the atmosphere friendly and welcoming? Does it feel chaotic? Is it clean? Do the staff seem comfortable and competent? How do the staff interact with the children and the parents waiting?

  1. Patient Responses

Take a moment to notice the kids and their parents who are walking back to the waiting room, or exiting the building. What is their demeanor?

  1. Prevention Focused

Browsing through their website and asking questions should give you an idea about this one. Prevention is a key building block to dental health in children. Find a pediatric dentist who cares about prevention, this can be observed by looking at the services they provide. Routine cleanings are a more obvious part of prevention. However, dental sealants, and fluoride varnishes are also prevention focused services. Additionally, a pediatric dentist who can perform in-office sedation services is important, particularly if you have a child who has exhibited some dental anxiety.

We hope this has helped you feel informed and ready to make a choice to ensure quality dental care for your kids. Our pediatric dentists are highly trained, and integrated members of their communities. Our practice provides dental care for children in the Salt Lake City, and undoubtedly one of our four locations is near you

For the month of October, we are offering our patients, old and new, a promotion to prioritize clean teeth in our communities. Schedule a cleaning in one of our four office locations and in return you’ll walk away with a $25 gift card. Our offer is only good for appointments to the end of October, so don’t wait too long to get your appointment scheduled. Call us today, and reserve your child’s spot in October! 

Keep Those Teeth Healthy

Keep Those Teeth Healthy

The pandemic has changed our lives in a myriad of ways. Some big changes were temporary, like the stay home orders and closing down of schools, businesses and healthcare facilities except for emergency situations (like our own). Other changes are smaller and more lasting such as social distancing, wearing masks, and the caution we now have as we engage with our communities in sports and social activities. Through it all unless you had a dental emergency, it is highly possible that your kids’ dental health took a back seat in your priorities. But let’s get it back on track as your family gets back into the swing of school and finding a new normal. Keep those teeth healthy with the following tips:

1. Schedule a Cleaning

Dental cleanings weren’t considered part of the emergency health services during the quarantine lockdown, but we’ve been open for business again as of April 27, and are here to check your children’s teeth for cavities or other potential issues and give them a good cleaning. Some experts are worried about a second wave of COVID 19 as our communities go back to school, so don’t wait to get that routine visit taken care of, contact us today!

We have four locations in the Salt Lake City area, so call the one nearest you if you’ve never been, or your favorite if you’re already a patient of ours. We are always accepting new patients so we can find a time and day of the week that works well for you. For some tips about scheduling the checkup so your little one can be at their best, check out our post “10 Tips to Ensure a Positive Experience at the Dentist for Your Kids”. We’ve simplified the paperwork process for you a bit; you can fill out our easy New Patient Form online.

2. Start Brushing Your Babies’ Teeth

If you’ve brought a new little one into the world this year, congratulations! What a story for them you will have when they get older, about the era in which they were born. You might believe that since they don’t have teeth you don’t need to worry about brushing just yet. But on the contrary, brushing should begin before their first tooth erupts. For more information about when you should start dental visits for your baby, we’ve written a post just for that topic, “At What Age Should You Take Your Child to the Dentist?”

Did you know that your baby is born with their teeth already forming (some already fully formed) in the jaw? Before any teeth have erupted, get them accustomed to the sensation of having something rub/brush along their gum line. For this, simply use a wet wash cloth (wet with only water) and rub gently to remove any bacteria that may be lying in wait.

Once a tooth or teeth have erupted, you’ll need to switch to an infant toothbrush. At this stage, you can begin to use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste, no more than the size of a grain of rice. If you are wondering why the toothpaste should be a fluoride toothpaste, read our post “Why is Fluoride Important to My Child’s Dental Health?”

Start flossing once they have any two teeth that are side by side. Introducing floss at a young age will not only help them to adjust to it, but as they get older and flossing becomes even more important, it will already be part of their routine.

Once your little one turns two, begin the process of teaching them to spit out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it. This is not an easy task and won’t happen overnight, but avoid the misstep of offering a cup of water to swish it around before spitting. Often that tends to increase the likelihood that they will swallow. Some kids might think spitting is fun, and that can be challenging from an appropriate behavior standpoint but you could use that to your advantage when it comes to brushing teeth. Suggest to your kids that when brushing teeth, it is appropriate to spit.

It is important that you start brushing early because babies can get tooth decay. There are sugars in formula and milk, and even if you are committed to only breastfeeding, bacteria can still find its way into your baby’s mouth.

3. Make Food and Snack Decisions that Help Prevent Cavities

Some days it seems that your kids never stop snacking. Perhaps that was especially true when they were home all day with you and couldn’t go anywhere. If you can, schedule eating times so that their teeth aren’t continually assaulted by food and sugars and bacteria all day long. Be mindful about the types of foods they are snacking on. Can you remove or limit sugary juices and sodas? Do you have healthy snack foods stocked in your pantry and refrigerator for easy access and little preparation? We explored the topic of health snacking in depth in our post, “Do-eats and Don’t-eats for Kids to Promote Healthy Teeth”. Additionally, if you are looking for ways you can encourage your kids to eat healthier foods, check out our tips, “To Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy – Try these 7 Magic Tricks”.

4. Routine Brushing and Flossing

We saved the best for last. We’ve said it before, and you’ll hear us say it again and again. Routine brushing and flossing is a necessary and perhaps the most important part of keeping your children’s teeth healthy. Make it routine in the morning and at night before bed, for two minutes. Let them pick out their own toothbrush (age appropriate), play a tooth brushing song while they do it, or count to 20 for each side top and bottom and front top and bottom.

We hope this helps your family get back on track with keeping teeth clean and having healthy smiles. We look forward to seeing your families again, and meeting new families as the school year begins!

Dental Care Tips for Healthy Smiles While Having Summer Fun

Dental Care Tips for Healthy Smiles While Having Summer Fun

August is arguably the best month of the summer. Your family has already settled into full swing summer mode, in fact anticipation for what the school year will look like is probably on everyone’s mind. You may be packing in some final road trips or getaways and special activities before school starts back up. This August will surely be unforgettable, as COVID-19 has certainly made our summer experiences unique. 

However, that doesn’t mean you haven’t found ways to have summer fun. Summer fun can have an impact on your kids’ smiles if you aren’t careful. Nevertheless, there are some concrete things that you can do to keep those smiles healthy. Here we’ve put together some strategies for making sure your kids’ dental health (and yours!) are still a priority.


  1. Hydrate with Water

This heat won’t keep kids inside all the time, and why should it when there’s so many fun water activities in our communities and the gorgeous Salt Lake? Summer drinks like sugary lemonades, slushes, and ice cream shakes are totally normal treats to cut the heat and feel refreshed but your body needs water and your teeth do as well.

Aside from the obvious hydrating benefits water has on the body, it is a valiant defender for our teeth and gums. Water helps wash away bacteria, food debris stuck between teeth, syrupy sugars, and acids from citrus drinks. Moreover, water with fluoride is even better. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that fluoride prevents tooth decay by 25% in adults and children. Prepackaged water bottles typically do not have fluoride added, so we recommend carrying around your child’s favorite water bottle and refilling it instead. 

If you’re interested in more information about fluoride and why we offer fluoride treatments in our offices, read our post, “Why is Fluoride Important to My Child’s Dental Health?”


  1. Teeth Are Not Tools

So technically speaking, you can say teeth are tools; for eating. However, they are very much NOT tools for anything else. Definitely do not use them to hold something when your hands are full. And most assuredly, do not use teeth to open packaging, bottles, or soda cans. If you see your child or teen using their teeth in any of these ways, gently discourage the habit.

Why? Well a surprising number of dental emergencies involving chipped teeth, cracked teeth, or shifting teeth are a result of using teeth as tools. Protect the teeth and keep them on the sidelines when they aren’t working as intended; chewing food.

  1. Vitamin D is Good for Your Gums and Teeth

You might know there’s a relationship between vitamin D and the sun, but did you know that the vitamin D doesn’t actually come from the sun, but your own body? Exposure to the sun actually triggers your body to produce vitamin D itself. Research has shown that vitamin D plays a considerable role in both regulating calcium and aiding with calcium absorption in your body. Calcium is part of what makes the enamel on your teeth so strong and able to protect the teeth. Moreover, vitamin D works to lessen inflammation of the gums and fight infections. Gingivitis can expose the roots of teeth and in some cases even spread the infection to the roots causing teeth to loosen. Moreover, gum disease is unpleasant, sometimes painful, and related to heart health. Thusly, vitamin D is a very good friend for maintaining healthy gums.


  1. Don’t Forget Sun Protection for Your Lips

Just about everyone has forgotten a patch on their back that resulted in a splotchy sunburn or had a red, peeling, tender nose. Nevertheless, it is widely known and accepted that sunblock is important to protect your kids and yourself when you’ll be out under the hot summer sun. One widely overlooked spot though, is the lips. You can find a non-color chapstick with sunblock SPF in just about any store. Lips can sunburn and blister which is painful and can make eating and drinking awkward. So, keep those healthy smiles safe from the sun.


  1. Schedule a Cleaning

August is a good time to schedule a dental checkup and teeth cleaning. School hasn’t started up just yet and so you won’t have to worry about missed classes. Sometimes your child knows something is wrong in their mouth while yet other times they truly don’t. Get in to see us so that if there are any issues that require more treatment than a routine cleaning we will have time to do them before the school year starts.


  1. Keep Your Routines

It may be difficult to keep up the routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once daily, especially if you’re staying up late or traveling. Don’t start the slippery slope slide of skipping a brushing “just this once”. There are enough sugars and acids in their diets (no matter how health conscious your family is) that missing a brushing actually is harmful. Additionally, kids thrive on routines. Keeping to the brushing and flossing routines in spite of otherwise unusual or special activities and events will help them see that dental health is a priority, always.


We are the Utah Pediatric Dentists and we are committed to seeing health smiles in the children and teenagers of our communities. You can find us at one of our four locations in the Salt Lake City area. Bountiful, Taylorsville, Stansbury Park, or Herriman; each office is dedicated to making your child’s trip to the dentist a positive experience. Call us today to schedule an appointment. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while because of the pandemic, take a few minutes to read our post, “Utah Pediatric Dentistry Offices Are Open Again!” where you’ll find information about some of the changes we made upon reopening in May to make visiting our offices a safe event.