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Dental Safety Tips for Your Children

A Common Bathroom Dental Product Can Be Dangerous, Even Deadly to Your Child

Beware, a danger could be lurking in your bathroom. Mouthwash can be hazardous to your small children. The majority of mouthwashes contain a large percentage of alcohol. Some are almost 30% alcohol. Children cannot tolerate alcohol well because of their small body size. Consequently, mouthwash ingested by small children can be dangerous and even lethal.

To be safe, keep mouthwashes out of the sight and reach of children who are often attracted by the colors and smells of these dental products.

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What Parents Should Know About Pacifiers

Pacifiers are a child's best friend comforting your child and providing him or her with a sense of security. There are, however, some things parents should know about pacifiers.

  • Constantly check the pacifier, especially the nipple end, to make sure that it has not become brittle. Brittle nipples can break, choking your child.

  • Reduce choking dangers by purchasing pacifiers made of one solid molded piece, instead of those composed of separate pieces fused together.

  • Never tie a pacifier around your child's neck. This can potentially strangle your child.

  • Always purchase pacifiers containing holes in the mouth guard section. These holes allow saliva to escape instead of getting caught between the pacifier and the baby's lips where it can cause skin rashes.

Concerns About Your Toothpaste?

Certain adult toothpastes can damage children's teeth.
Many toothpastes contain harsh abrasives to clean stains from teeth. The problems is that in addition to removing, these toothpastes can sometimes strip off tooth enamel. Tooth enamel, unfortunately, can never be replaced.
Adults and children especially, should use toothpastes that are minimally abrasive to protect tooth enamel. For children able to spit out toothpaste, we suggest Enamel Saver which is designed to be "mouth friendly. "

Fluoride, one of the most important dental advances of the century, incorporates itself into tooth enamel making it more resistant to cavities. As with other items good for the body such as calcium, iron, and vitamins, too much fluoride can be harmful.

The principle way in which children obtain too much fluoride is by swallowing fluoride toothpaste. While not harmful if it occurs occasionally, swallowing toothpaste over long periods of time can lead to fluorosis, a condition in which the tooth enamel becomes brittle and discolored.

Make sure your child spits out toothpaste after brushing. If your child is too young to do this (usually under six years of age), consider using a fluoride free toothpaste. Consult your pediatrician who can prescribe fluoride supplements replacing the necessary fluoride found in toothpaste.

Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

The common practice of putting babies to bed with a nighttime bottle can lead to a mouthful of cavities. Bacteria within the mouth feed on milk and other juices creating cavity causing acid. Protect your baby by providing only bedtime bottles containing water.

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Premature Births May Be Associated With Poor Dental Health

According to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina, gingivitis may be associated with preterm, low birth weight deliveries. Mothers with gingivitis may be six times more likely to give birth to preterm, low birth weight babies. Overall, maternal gingivitis could be responsible for over 18% of preterm, low birth weight cases.

While the mechanism for this is unknown, doctors hypothesize that bacteria responsible for gingivitis may gain access to the bloodstream from where they can affect the placenta or fetus. Alternatively, the body's own immune response to bacteria could induce premature delivery.

While more studies need to be completed to verify a causal relationship between maternal gingivitis and preterm deliveries, it may be a good idea for expectant mothers to see a dentist. The dentist can treat and reverse gingivitis potentially saving the future fetus from harm.