How Much Sugar is in These Popular Drinks?

Taking care of your child’s teeth is another aspect of the love you provide as a parent. However, with so many options available on store shelves, it’s not always easy to know what foods and drinks are harmful to children’s developing teeth. Here’s a look at several common types of beverages and how much sugar they contain. High sugar drinks could be contributing to the cavities your child’s dentist finds during periodic examinations.

Soft Drinks

Cola drinks have been a staple of American snacking for decades, but these drinks are high in sugar content. A 20-ounce soda contains 65 grams of sugar. That’s enough sugar to do significant damage to teeth, as well as create problems with weight and blood sugar levels.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinkshave become a popular option for active people. However, these drinks contain high amounts of sugar, about 21 grams in a 12-ounce glass, which can contribute to weight problems and tooth decay.

Fruit Juices

A 16-ounce glass of fruit juice such as apple or orange juice contains 48 to 52 grams of sugar. Although fruit juices have other nutritional benefits, the amount of sugar can be damaging to teeth if children drink it throughout the day.

Iced Tea Drinks

Commercially sold iced tea drinks contain up to 51 grams of sugar, which can damage teeth and create weight problems when consumed throughout the day. Depending on the flavorings added to the tea, the amount of sugar could be even higher. 


The amount of sugar in lemonades can vary widely. Homemade lemonade can be adjusted to provide less sugar and a more tart flavor. Commercially sold lemonade can have up to 67 grams of sugar, which can inhibit appetite, add empty calories and damage tooth enamel.


Milk is one of the less damaging beverages for children’s teeth, generally containing about 11 grams of sugar. For those who avoid dairy products, soy milk contains 8 grams of sugar, while almond milk contains about 7 grams of sugar.
When children ask for something to drink, the best beverage you can offer them is water, which is free of sugar and additives and helps to flush debris and bacteria from their teeth. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible! 

If you’re concerned your child might have a cavity or if it’s time to schedule his or her next cleaning, give Playtime Dental a call

How Do I Care for My Toddler’s Teeth?

Caring for toddler’s teeth can be a challenge. Although a toddler’s teeth are small, they are like the teeth of an adult and must be properly cared for in order to maintain good oral health and hygiene. These tips and guidelines will help you keep your toddler’s teeth and overall oral health in the best condition possible.

Create a Routine

Your child’s oral health starts with you. As a parent, you need to make sure you are doing your part in your child’s brushing and flossing routine because children do not develop adequate hand-eye coordination to do a good job brushing and flossing until about the ages of 8 to 10 years. The most important times a child should brush and floss his or her teeth are in the morning and before they go to bed. Creating a routine can be difficult but it’s not impossible. You will have to help your toddler each time.  It is best to let the child brush and floss first, so that way he or she gets to practice and can develop the needed hand-eye coordination to do a good job. The best way to teach your toddler how to brush his or her teeth is to lead by example. Brush your teeth the same time your toddler is brushing his or her teeth. 

Locate a Dental Office

Finding a dental office you are comfortable with is in the best interest of you and your child. A children’s dentist is the ideal dentist for your child. A general dentist can be used, but a kids’ dentist specializes in the comfort, care and health of children. When you are trying to find a dental office for your toddler, consider its location, how far it is from your home and the type of insurance that is accepted.

Schedule Regular Check-Ups

Scheduling regular check-ups is perfect preventative care for cavities, gum disease and other issues that can occur due to poor oral hygiene. By your toddler’s first birthday, your child should be seen by a kid-friendly dentist.

Ration the Juice

While it is okay to give your toddler juice, do not let them sip it for an extended period of time.  The time it takes them to drink the juice is more critical than the amount of juice they drink.  Juice can be given to your toddler each day but it is only recommended with meals.   Water or a sugar free beverage should be used for between meals or for sipping.

Teach Good Habits

Teaching your toddler good habits is the best way to prepare for the future. Teach them how to properly use a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, and tell them why it’s important to brush and floss their teeth at least twice each day.

Care and Prevention of Toothaches in Children

A child’s toothache can be caused by many different things but common causes of toothaches include tooth decay, dental trauma, loose teeth or erupting teeth and food wedged between the teeth. 

When Should You Contact Your Children’s Dentist?

You should contact a kids’ dentist when your child shows signs of pain. A few indications your child may need to be seen by the dentist include:

  • Swollen face
  • Acts or looks under the weather
  • Severe pain that has not subsided within an hour or two
  • Red or yellow lump present in the area of the gum line
  • Visible brown cavity or hole in the tooth

Caring for Toothaches at Home

Until your child is able to see the dentist, try some of these at home remedies to help relieve the pain:

  • Floss between your kids teeth to remove any impacted food
  • Give your child over-the-counter pain reliever to help dull the pain
  • If toothache is caused by an injury or trauma, apply a cold compress to the outside of your cheek.

Scheduling an Appointment

Your child’s toothache may require a dental visit to repair any damages and put preventive care into perspective. An appointment should be scheduled if the toothache does not go away within a 24-hour time frame. Most toothache causes can be treated in a timely manner and resolved permanently as long as the proper preventative measures are followed. After the appointment, make sure you help keep your child’s teeth in top-of-the-line condition by teaching them proper oral health habits. Depending upon your child’s oral health, your child may require more frequent visits to the dentist until all issues and concerns have been resolved.

Parents Play a Role in Kids’ Dentist Appointments and Experience

When heading to your kids’ dentist appointment, do you dread the process? Are you worried about the fit your child will have once he or she knows where you are headed? Don’t be. As a parent, you play a big role in your children’s perception of dental visits. In short, you can create a more positive experience for not only you but your child as well with a few simple steps.

1. Start dental care early.

Your child should start seeing the dentist as early as their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday. The earlier you introduce your child to the process of visiting the dentist, and making it a part of their regular routine, the better. As a result the child begins to get used to the process and knows it is nothing to fear. 

2. Be your child’s role model.

Don’t speak negatively about going to the dentist. Show your child that the process is a good thing with ample health benefits.

3. Decide if it should be a big deal.

For young children, reading a few books about going to the dentist, talking about it and making it a big deal is an excellent way to create positivity around this experience. Or if your child isn’t likely to benefit from that, make it “not a big deal” but a routine process.

4. Teach your child the importance of dental care.

Good oral hygiene starts at home with brushing and flossing. At the same time, discuss the benefits of going to the dentist with your child. The dentist will check your child’s teeth, clean them and make sure they are in tip-top shape! Be sure your child understands all of these benefits.

5. Do it together.

Don’t expect your children, even those in middle school, to be able and willing to go on their own into the dental office. Be supportive. Keep conversations light and fun. When your child is around be sure to interact with the dentist, so that the dentist becomes more of a friend than a doctor.

All of these steps can help to improve your child’s perception of going to the dentist. By establishing a strong connection to going to the dentist at a young age, you can help steer your child on the right path to good oral health. Be sure to act as a role model for your child’s opinions and perception of dental care.

How to wean your child from the pacifier

For years, pacifiers have been used to help soothe and calm fussy babies. According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), both pacifier and finger sucking are considered normal behavior in infants and toddlers. Pacifiers are used to provide comfort and security to children during the early stages of development. It is important that you wean your child off of the pacifier at the right age to avoid certain types of dental related issues. When weaning your child from the pacifier, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

Give and Take

Weaning your child from his or her pacifier can be done cold turkey or gradually. However, you can’t remove the pacifier from the equation in one fell swoop and expect a smooth transition. One great thing to do is to replace it with some type of transitional object.

It helps if you can identify the primary reason why your child is hesitant to give up the pacifier in the first place. If that child uses the pacifier as a rudimentary form of stress relief, consider replacing it with a teddy bear or stuffed animal of some sort that your child likes. The stuffed animal can accomplish the same thing and in certain cases can be more effective.

Positive Reinforcement

Another great way to wean your child from his or her pacifier is through the age-old art of positive reinforcement. Allow the child to make the decision him or herself, but with a bit of a catch. Maybe for voluntarily giving up the pacifier, he or she can be rewarded with a fun activity or even a delicious treat.

Get the Timing Just Right

Another key to weaning your child off the pacifier is to make sure the timing is right. Remember, pacifiers are used to provide comfort and security so prior to weaning, make sure your child is not going to encounter a stressful situation where comfort may be needed.  If you’re in the process of moving, for example, such a major life change may make the weaning process difficult. The same can be true of the first day of school and other important life events.

Kid’s Tooth Decay: Development and Prevention

When you become a parent, worry becomes a normal part of life. Whether it’s sending the kids off to school or worrying about the latest virus in the media, every parent manages their fear of the unknown daily. One area where parents should not worry is their children’s teeth. Teaching your young ones to make good choices about food and proper oral care goes a long way toward creating a healthy, happy human being.

Tooth decay remains a significant problem in dental care. Any kid’s dentist will tell you that it is imperative to educate yourself and your young ones about making good choices. Tooth decay begins when food containing lots of sugar and starch (foods that make up a significant portion of the American diet today) is used by bacteria in our mouth to create acids. These acids begin to slowly eat away the enamel that makes up our teeth. The loss of minerals in teeth due to these acids (demineralization) will cause tooth decay over time as teeth begin to weaken and decay.

Young children and adolescents are especially susceptible to these dangers due to their diet. Schools, fast food restaurants, and the snack aisle contain lots of opportunities to choose foods that could cause tooth decay. Sugar laden foods, fruit juices, and snacks all begin problems that your kid’s dentist finally sees during a visit to the office. Small choices every day about what we eat influences dental hygiene, good or bad.

Creating good dental hygiene habits in your children is especially important. Habits start early and can make the difference between strong teeth and tooth decay. Childhood tooth decay, also known as pediatric dental disease, remains the #1 chronic childhood illness. Early tooth decay often leads to greater problems such as pain and infections in the teeth and mouth. If tooth decay remains untreated, greater problems often occur as well. Difficulty eating or speaking due to pain may lead to malnourishment.

Making good choices about what your children are eating is the first and most important step in creating good, lifelong habits where food choices and tooth care are concerned. Any kid’s dentist will share their experiences with the problems created by our diet and what is in our food. Foods that fight tooth decay and promote dental health are especially important.

Calcium rich foods, such as milk and other dairy products, help build tooth and general bone strength. Fiber rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, help create natural defenses for our teeth. Whole grains, with their high amount of iron and B vitamins, help promote healthy gums. Combining these foods in your child’s diet will help ensure that every visit to your kid’s dentist is as pleasant as possible. Coupling good food choices with the recommended regimen of flossing, brushing, and regular visits to the dentist will ensure your young one’s teeth are healthy and strong.

Taking care of your young and growing child is a big responsibility. A multitude of things exist to protect children from in this day and age. How to properly care for teeth shouldn’t be a large source of worry. Consult your kid’s dentist to talk about what you can do to help ensure that your young ones grow up with healthy teeth. They will thank you for it years later when the good practices you taught remain with them as adults.

Caring for Baby Teeth: What You Need to Know

Teething is a difficult process for babies as well as for parents. When you have a baby who is teething, you want to make sure you know what needs to be done throughout the process to help with the overall development of your child’s teeth.

Signs that your baby is teething

There’s likely going to be some fussiness from your baby as he or she starts to teeth because of what’s going on. You may notice that your child is drooling more, becoming more irritable, or not sleeping normally. You can provide comfort with a cool spoon or a clean, cool teething ring.
When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
Even before a tooth breaks through the gums, there are things that you can be doing. Your baby’s mouth and gums can be cleaned with a soft cloth or an infant toothbrush. This helps to remove plaque and prepare your baby for the brushing that will come.
As soon as the teeth have broken through, you should brush twice a day. The brush and the toothpaste should be designed especially for infants.
If your baby sleeps with a bottle, we recommend making sure that there is only water or a sugar free beverage inside it. Milk, juice or anything that has sugar can create bacterial acid and which breaks down tooth enamel, leading to cavities.
When should I take my child to the dentist?
The moment that you notice the first tooth, you should schedule a dental visit. This can help to prevent any cavities from forming down the road. You can learn about how to introduce fluoride, which can slow the process of cavities that have started, and sometimes stop the process, as well as to prevent tooth decay.
How to choose a kids’ dentist
When choosing a dentist, make sure you choose one that loves kids. There’s a big difference in the approaches of general dentists who enjoy children versus those who don’t. Many people in the world fear the dentist all because of an unsatisfactory first dental visit. At Playtime Dental, we make sure that it’s a positive experience for kids from day one.
Kids should enjoy going to the dentist. Playtime Dental fosters a nurturing environment where kids are going to learn that going to the dentist can actually be fun, especially when they remember to brush and floss daily. We cater to families and accept various HMO insurance plans for your convenience.

Remember this formula: One plus one = Zero. One baby tooth + one dental visit = Zero cavities for your kids! Make an appointment to learn more about baby teething and get your child’s teeth taken care of today. 

Water Only in Sippy Cups

Raising healthy kids these days is difficult, especially in a day and age when soft drinks, fast food, and fatty foods are the most common fare.  A few different ways exist to help get your kids off to a great start in both oral and overall health. One way is to put only water in sippy cups instead of juice. Switching to water in sippy cups with meals is the best way to ensure that baby teeth are healthy.
Though sippy cups are often filled with juice and sugary drinks, water is a great choice. Not only is water a better source of constant hydration, but it also protects the teeth from being continually coated in sugar and acid found in fruit juices. Fruit juice is high in natural sugar, which is just as hard on teeth as the refined sugars we use in baking.  Most children prefer sugary drinks due to the yummy flavors.  But when given nothing but water, it is far more likely that they will develop a taste for water and possibly a taste for healthier choices. Some parents claim that their children will not drink water. However, children are incredibly adaptive and when given water instead of sugary drinks, they will often choose what is easiest. Children are very versatile and will often drink whatever a parent gives them.  You may have a bit of fighting at first if your children are used to sugary drinks in their sippy cups.
Although switching their drinks to water is a great way to prevent cavities in baby teeth and adult teeth that are forming, dentist visits are still necessary for children. When it comes to the dental health of children, general dentist visits may be helpful but it is always better to go to a kids’ dentist. Visiting a kids’ dentist has a few different benefits. The first is that they know how to work with children. Dealing with children is different than dealing with adults. An experienced kids’ dentist will be practiced in a kid-friendly approach. The second is that little mouths and baby teeth require slightly different care than adult teeth. A kids’ dentist, like a pediatrician, is accustomed to these differences.

Yearly cleanings and checkups can help prevent any damage that may occur from improper care. Making sure that baby teeth are brushed, kept clean, and maintained is the best way to insure that the health of the growing adult teeth is as good as possible. In order for adult teeth to remain healthy as they grow, it is important that baby teeth are cared for properly. Switching children to water instead of juice or sugary drinks can help maintain the health of baby teeth to ensure that adult teeth get a healthy start.

Oral Health Checklist for Teens

As your child ages, especially during his or her teenage years, it will be your job to hand over the responsibility of taking care of your child’s teeth. This means it will be your child who has to make sure his or her teeth are brushed after every meal. Although there is quite a bit involved in properly taking care of one’s mouth, your teenager should not feel overwhelmed with dental hygiene. To make sure your child is doing all that he or she can, make sure you hang up an oral health checklist in your child’s bathroom as well as regularly visiting a kids’ dentist. The checklist should outline the following tips and it should be written as if it is talking directly to your teen.

·         Skip the chips and chocolate and eat an apple. Eating unhealthy foods is not only bad for your teeth, but it can be detrimental to your overall health.  Childhood obesity and diabetes are becoming more prevalent, so make sure you’re making healthy food choices.
·         Please buckle up in the car. Not only will wearing a seat belt help protect your mouth, it can also save your life if you’re in an accident.
·         Brush and floss after every meal.  Also consider chewing sugarless gum after each meal; this will help make your breath fresh, and it also helps to prevent tooth decay.  Did you know Xylitol, a sugar alcohol used in sugarless gum, actually kills the bacteria that cause decay! 
·         Do you have a game tonight? If so, make sure you pack your mouth guard, and more importantly, make sure you wear it during your game. You don’t want your permanent teeth getting knocked out do you? Wearing a mouth guard is one of the best things you can do to protect your teeth while playing sports.

·         Forget about getting your tongue pierced. You might think it looks cool, but as you age, you may come to realize it was just a phase you were going through.   Oral piercings can damage the teeth.  To have the best dental hygiene possible, you should skip over the oral piercings.

First Visit to Dentist Can Be Fun and Educational, Encourage Good Habits

Whether they arrive early or late in your baby’s mouth, the appearance of baby’s first teeth are a cause for celebration. Despite “teething trauma,” those tiny pearly whites represent a milestone of development, and mark the beginning of a lifetime of varied dental concerns.
Generally relaxed parental attitudes surrounding the initial 20 “baby teeth” can progress through many stages: Brushing and flossing, dealing with the tooth fairy, first “fears,” dental caries, straightening, whitening, wisdom teeth, loss of teeth, possible jaw or gum problems.
Encourage Good Habits
The fact that human beings receive two full sets of teeth does not make it any easier. What many people do not realize is that by the time those first infant teeth appear, somewhere between four and 16 weeks, the “buds” have been developing in the jaw for almost a year. Tooth buds begin to form within six weeks of conception.
Even though it is sometimes said that primary teeth are simply “place-savers,” for a permanent set of ivories, a kids dentist will tell you that it’s never too early to encourage good habits. From the time a child can hold a toothbrush — and even before — it’s wise to establish brushing routines, encourage proper nutrition and limit sweets.
Keep It Friendly and Fun
An early visit to a dentist who specializes in comfortable examinations, preventive care and education concerning health of the teeth and mouth will prepare a child for a lifetime of smiles. Beginning at about age six, the loss and replacement of those first baby teeth signals an ongoing process that will last into early adulthood.
In many cases today, the last four teeth to make their appearance, the so-called “wisdom teeth” at the far ends of the jawbone, will also be the first teeth to be lost. For reasons not fully understood, modern jaws are often not large enough to accommodate these large molars.

Playtime Dental is committed to providing complete children dental care, with the goal of helping you keep the smile on your child’s face through an entire lifetime. Call for an appointment today!