Sports Drinks are a Hidden Cause of Cavities

Tooth Decay From Sugar in Beverages

During the summer it’s important to stay hydrated, but sports drinks can be a hidden cause of your child’s cavities. In a single 12 oz Gatorade (the smallest they make) there is 21 grams of sugar. To put that in perspective the American Heart Association only recommends that children should consume less than 25 grams of added sugars daily and should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to only 8oz WEEKLY.

Sports Drinks Do Cause Cavities

Sports drinks not only contain added sugar to cause cavities, but they are extremely acidic. Most sports drinks have a pH below 5.5 which is the threshold to cause not only cavities but erosion of enamel. sports drinks cause cavitiesThis is magnified during physical activity, as children dehydrate easily preventing the necessary buffering capacity and slowing the saliva flow to prevent cavities.

When are sports drinks needed?

For children the best answer is never. I know this is not feasible with most children, as its hard not to watch any sporting event and not see Bryce Harper or Serena Williams drinking Gatorade. But studies have shown that water is sufficient enough to hydrate active children. If desperate; try food coloring and water as an alternative.

For teenagers the best way to stay hydrated is hydrate before they start their activity. I understand that sometimes water does not suffice, so at the very least if gatorade or a sports drink is consumed it should be done before their sporting event, before and should be followed by water.

Treatment of White and Brown Spots

ICON resin infiltration is a new treatment aimed to improve the appearance of white spots (decalcifications) or white/yellow/brown developmental spots on smooth tooth surfaces. Treatment is completed without no injection or drilling.

Causes of Brown Spots on Teeth

Decalcifactions may  be  caused by the accumulation of plaque which could lead  to a cavity. Patients in orthodontic treatment are at a higher risk for decalcification, and white spots may appear around the brackets.

Other causes of white or brown spots include, high fluoride intake as a child, childhood illness or trauma to primary teeth that in-turn can leave white spots on adult teeth.

Treating Spots on Teeth Without Drilling

Traditionally these white spots would be treated by with composite filling material or porcelain veneers as an adult, which requires the drilling away of tooth structure.  ICON is a non-drilling conservative technique that we can preserve your child’s tooth structure and and allow the white spot to blend with the surrounding tooth, restoring a beautiful smile. 

The Importance of Dental X-rays

Kids Dental Xrays Are Important

Dental X-rays are a diagnostic tool used by dentists to diagnose oral diseases and monitor dentofacial development. We understand that because your child is being exposed to radiation that you may be hesitant to consent to treatment. At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we take every precaution when treating your kids with dental x-rays. With the use digital X-rays your child is exposure is reduced by 70% vs a traditional film radiograph. During each X-ray, every child wears a lead apron with thyroid collar to future reduce their exposure.

Are Digital X-Rays Harmful for Children?

How much radiation is in a typical digital X-ray

Radiation is measured in milligram or milliSievert (mSv). On average, we receive about 6.25mSv each year. Half of which is from natural background radiation and the other half is man made.

A single digital X-ray is .0001mSV which is equivalent to .1% of an annual radiation dosage. In comparison a 3 hour plane ride is .3mSV, a chest X-ray is anywhere from 10-40msv and a daily exposure is about 1mSv.

When do we take X-rays

At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale we adhere to the standards set by the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. We determine the need for digital dental sensors and radiographs based upon each child’s individual need. We typically prescribe bitewing X-rays, which diagnose decay between the teeth, soon after the primary teeth touch. Typically around the age of 3-4, but varies for each child. Depending on your child’s caries risk, X-rays are taken every 12-18 months until the permanent teeth erupt. This is because a cavity on a primary tooth can progress in less than 1 year.

X-rays are unfortunately a necessity in every dental practice. Without their use, pathology and oral disease can go undiagnosed and untreated. Taking digital X-rays when needed gives us the ability to keep your child healthy and allow us to make a complete diagnosis.

Silver Diamine Fluoride Treatments: Not Your Child’s Only Option

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has gained national attention over the past few years as an alternative to the treatment of tooth decay. Dental Caries (tooth decay) affects about one out of four children between the ages of 2-5. SDF is antimicrobial liquid that is brushed onto a cavitated tooth to stop the progression of the cavity. It is typically used in dental offices on children that can not tolerate dental treatment, those with special needs and in the elderly that do not have access to care. SDF has been used in Europe and Asia for decades. In the United States it is FDA approved to treat tooth sensitivity but is being used off-label to treat decay.

SDF Dental Treatments: What You Don’t Know

The misconception about SDF is that once it is placed there is no need for a filling. In reality, SDF is  only a temporary solution. It must be placed in at least two separate visits to arrest the decay and must be continuously monitored. Additionally, SDF is not recommended for every tooth with decay, and

Black Stains on your Child’s Teeth are Common with SDF Treatments 

Zirconia Crowns








At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, we do not find it necessary to use SDF unless it is medically necessary. Dr. Radin and myself are specially trained to treat your child and alleviate the anxiety you or your child may have regarding dental treatment. There are different options we can present to you and your child and none of which require general anesthesia.

We treat every child as if they were our own and look forward to you joining our extended family. If you have any questions our concerns, please schedule a consult with us.
Your child’s beautiful smile begins here.

What to do about loose baby teeth.

Children eventually get 20 primary teeth. 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom. These teeth hold the place for the permanent teeth and are replaced around the age of 6. Typically the lower incisors are the first teeth to become loose. As the permanent tooth begins to erupt the roots of the primary tooth resorb until the tooth is loose enough to fall out. Obviously this is an ideal situation and does not happen with every child. Some children are hesitant to remove the tooth due to pain or discomfort and sometimes the roots of the primary teeth do not resorb enough to become loose.

Loose Baby Teeth Tips

1. Keep the loose tooth clean- It maybe a difficult task as some children are very reluctant to brush in the area (so a parent may have to assist). Not brushing will lead to inflammation of the gum tissue and make the area more uncomfortable for your child.

2. Bleeding around the gum-line adjacent to the loose tooth is common.  Additionally, the loose tooth may have a pinkish-hue which is from the gum tissue showing through. But even if your brushing and the the gum still becomes irritated and swollen you can try placing listerine on a q-tip and swab the area before bedtime. 

3. Eat crunchy foods.  Have your child snack on apples as an example and make sure they are chewing on the side of the loose tooth. 

4. Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth (with clean hands) or with their tongue.

5. What about “Shark Teeth?”Sometimes the permanent incisors erupt while the primary teeth have yet to exfoliate. If it happens with the lower incisors, once the primary tooth exfoliates, the tongue will push the permanent incisors forward. However if it happens with the upper incisors, it can lead to a cross bite if the primary teeth are not removed quickly.

Pulling A Baby Tooth Without Pain

How to“wiggle” a tooth out at home.

1. Wash your hands.

2. Using tissue paper or gauze, check the mobility of the tooth

3. Twist the tooth rather than pull. The incisors are conical shaped so the motion is similar to replacing a lightbulb. Sometimes it helps to get a fingernail between the tooth and gum when removing the tooth.

4. Once the tooth is out fold a clean piece of gauze or tissue and have your child bite for a few minutes. Bleeding is a normal but should subside within a few minutes. 

5. Average tooth fairy payout is $4-5

If you have any questions, concerns, or need some assistance in the process please schedule an appointment with our office today, your child’s beautiful smile begins here!

Dental Tips for New Parents

     On January 28th my wife Abby and I welcomed our first child Noah. We learned quickly that being a new parent is a challenge and there are so many questions to be answered. At Growing Smiles in Floral Vale, we are here to help new parents create a healthy smile that will last a  lifetime.

Oral Health Care starts at birth. Dental caries in infants is a disease that is preventable. By minimizing your newborn’s exposure to the cavity causing bacteria Mutants Steptococci (MS) you can help prevent cavities before their first tooth erupts. Babies are not born with (MS), but transmission can occur soon after birth and is typically transferred (~70%) by their mother or primary caregiver.

Ways to prevent tooth decay before their first tooth erupts1. Clean your infant’s gums after feeding:

  1. Use a moistened washcloth wrapped around an index finger, or a very soft, baby toothbrush (with little pressure) to gently massage the gum tissue of your infant.
  2.   Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle, instead use a pacifier. Pacifiers have been shown to decrease the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and as long as your child is weaned by one there is little or no adverse effects to their developing dentition.
  3.  Avoid testing the temperature of the bottle with your mouth, or cleaning a pacifier or a bottle nipple by putting it in your mouth. These practices can help stop the transmission of of (MS).
  4.  Important for mothers or caregivers  to see their dentist regularly.  Those with poor oral health  are at greater risk for infecting their children with (MS) increasing their child’s carries risk at an early age.
  5.   Visit our office within 6 months of your child’s first tooth erupting. Providing the best dental care for your child is our top priority. Children that see the dentist by their first birthday have shown to have significantly less decay than those who are seen by  three. Establishing a dental home is important and we will create a personalized dental plan for you and your child.
  Schedule an appointment with our office today, your child’s beautiful smile begins here!
Pediatric Dentist in Yardley