Oral Cancer Action Month: How to Protect You and Your Child From Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes several types of cancer that affect the structures in and around the mouth and oral cavity. November is Oral Cancer Action Month, and we like to use the opportunity to help educate patients and their parents about oral cancer risks and the things they can do to lower their own risk of developing this dangerous disease.

Oral Cancer Action Month: How to Protect You and Your Child From Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes several types of cancer that affect the structures in and around the mouth and oral cavity. November is Oral Cancer Action Month, and we like to use the opportunity to help educate patients and their parents about oral cancer risks and the things they can do to lower their own risk of developing this dangerous disease.
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6 Tips for Preventing Oral Cancer

1. Use Sun Protection

Although the sun doesn’t see the inside of your mouth too often, it can certainly affect the lips and lead to changes on the cellular level that can cause cancer of the lips. Wear wide-brimmed hats, stay in the shade, and use lip balms that contain SPF.

2. Don't Use Tobacco

Tobacco use of any kind (cigarettes, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and vaping) can greatly increase your risk of developing all types of oral cancer.

3. Avoid Second-Hand Smoke

Even if a person does not use tobacco products, any exposure (but especially regular exposure) to tobacco smoke can also increase a person’s risk for oral cancer and other types of cancer. Be sure to protect your children from taking in second-hand smoke.

4. Limit Alcohol Intake

Regular alcohol consumption or exposure can damage the tissue cells in and around your mouth, increasing your risk of oral cancer.

5. Use Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Alcohol in the form of wine, spirits, or beer isn’t the only type of alcohol that can increase the risk of cancer; alcohol contained in other products, such as mouthwash, can also increase a person’s risk. If you or your child uses mouthwash regularly, we strongly recommend using an alcohol-free formula.

6. Get Vaccinated for HPV

The human papilloma virus can greatly increase the risk of oral cancer and other types of cancer. We recommend talking with your child’s doctor about the appropriate age for vaccinating children against this common STI.
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Routine Oral Cancer Screening With Your Child's Dental Exam

Although the risk for oral cancer increases with age and more adult activities (such as alcohol consumption and tobacco use) children can still develop oral cancer, and that’s why every dental examination at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry includes a routine oral cancer screening. During this screening, we look over your child’s mouth and other oral structures to check for any abnormalities or changes that could indicate the need for further testing.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment for your child, we welcome you to contact our office today.

The 3 Worst Kinds of Candy for Your Teeth

Just the mention of Halloween and trick-or-treating is enough to send chills down any dentist’s spine. Why do we find Halloween so scary? The candy of course. Halloween candy is not only laden with sugar but it’s also enjoyed abundantly during the season, which means all of our teeth are at risk of tooth decay and their gums are in danger of periodontal disease.

The 3 Worst Kinds of Candy for Your Teeth

Just the mention of Halloween and trick-or-treating is enough to send chills down any dentist’s spine. Why do we find Halloween so scary? The candy of course. Halloween candy is not only laden with sugar but it’s also enjoyed abundantly during the season, which means all of our teeth are at risk of tooth decay and their gums are in danger of periodontal disease.

Some candy, however, is worse than others.
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Top 3 Types of Candy to Avoid This Halloween

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1. Sticky Candy

Any candy that is sticky (taffy, starbursts, skittles, gummies, or licorice) clings to the tooth enamel. This effectively leaves a feast of sugar for harmful bacteria right on the delicate surface of your teeth. As a result, bacteria proliferate and they produce copious amounts of acid that weaken your tooth enamel, leading to decay and cavities.

2. Hard Candy

When you finish eating a piece of candy, your body naturally produces saliva that helps to clean the teeth and remineralize your tooth enamel. The more time you spend eating candy, however, the more time the bacteria in your mouth are actively feasting and producing acid. So, hard candies, like lollipops, that you need to suck on for a long time to finish eating result in a longer period of exposure to acid. So, although they aren’t necessarily sticky, hard candies are one of the worst sweet treats you can eat because they extend the amount of time that your tooth enamel is getting weakened.

3. Sour Candy

Sour candies taste sour because they are highly acidic. They also contain a lot of sugar. This means you’re not only introducing sugar into your mouth that will fuel acid-producing bacteria, but you’re also introducing acid into your mouth. This causes two-fold tooth decay. Plus, many sour candies are also sticky or hard which further worsens the problem.

Schedule a Post-Halloween Dental Exam and Cleaning in Kenmore

Of course, you can still enjoy Halloween treats while caring for your teeth. Limit the amount of candy your child eats each day and the amount of time they spend eating it. Be sure to rinse with water immediately after and wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Then schedule a post-holiday dental exam and cleaning at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry.

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How to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth – 6 Simple Tips

As every parent knows, teaching your children about good oral hygiene habits and actually getting them to follow through and practice good oral hygiene are two separate challenges. If you’re struggling to get your children to brush their teeth every morning and night before bed, we encourage you to consider the following tips.

How to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth – 6 Simple Tips

As every parent knows, teaching your children about good oral hygiene habits and actually getting them to follow through and practice good oral hygiene are two separate challenges. If you’re struggling to get your children to brush their teeth every morning and night before bed, we encourage you to consider the following tips.
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6 Tips to Get Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

1. Do It at the Same Times Every Day

Always brushing and flossing at the same time every morning (after breakfast) or in the evening (after dinner or before bed) will help your children develop healthy habits and impulses.

2. Honor Healthy Habits – No Matter What

In order to develop healthy habits, it’s essential that you always honor them – even if it’s summer vacation, a holiday, or you’re away from home.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

If your child really struggles to participate in brushing and flossing, consider offering them a reward. You can use a sticker chart to add up to a reward or choose something simple that will help to motivate your child to take care of their teeth each day.

4. Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Involving your child in the process of shopping for a toothbrush and toothpaste can help get them excited about using the products they picked out at the store.

5. Make It Fun

Make brushing and flossing fun by setting a timer and challenging your child to see if they can brush their teeth for the full two minutes. You can also look up toothbrush videos online that play fun songs and help to entertain your child while they brush for two minutes.

6. Explain Why It's So Important

Respect your child’s intelligence – children are smart, after all – and take the time to explain why oral hygiene is so important for their health and wellbeing. If need be, put it into terms that they’ll better understand, like keeping their teeth healthy so they’ll always be able to chew their favorite foods.

Teach Even More Good Oral Hygiene Habits With Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings

At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stewart is an expert in pediatric dentistry and talks to children about the importance of practicing good oral hygiene. She can even help to teach your children the proper ways to brush and floss their teeth to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
To learn more about brushing your child’s teeth or to schedule an appointment, we welcome you to contact our pediatric dental clinic in Kenmore today.

Six-Year-Old Molars: What to Expect and How to Handle the Symptoms

From infancy through young adulthood, Dr. Stewart at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry is here to help guide you through all of your child’s oral health and oral development milestones, including getting through the eruption of your child’s six-year molars.

Six-Year-Old Molars: What to Expect and How to Handle the Symptoms

From infancy through young adulthood, children undergo countless changes as their bodies grow and develop. Several of these changes include oral health milestones, such as the six-year molars.

What Are Six-Year Molars?

The six-year molars are the first set of permanent teeth to erupt without replacing any primary (baby) teeth. For most children, the six-year molars are a big milestone and a new experience because they usually do not remember the process of having their baby teeth come in and erupt through the gum tissue.
For most children, this first set of permanent molars erupt around age six or seven, and this is why they are often called “six-year molars.” Some children’s six-year molars erupt before they’ve lost any baby teeth. Other children’s six-year molars come in after they’ve lost several baby teeth. It’s different for every child, and the exact timing is largely dictated by genetics.
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Six-Year Molars Symptoms

The eruption of a child’s six-year molars can result in some uncomfortable symptoms such as:
Symptoms typically last for about a week. You should also keep a close eye on your child for signs of infection, as this is a possible complication. Signs of infection include severe swelling, significant fever, and/or pus near the erupting tooth.

Pain Relief for Six-Year-Old Molars

To help manage your child’s symptoms:
If you notice any signs of infection or if your child’s symptoms are severe, we strongly recommend scheduling a dental appointment or an examination with your child’s pediatrician.
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Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry: Guiding You Through All of Your Child's Dental Milestones

From infancy through young adulthood, Dr. Stewart is here to help guide you through all of your child’s oral health and oral development milestones, including getting through the eruption of your child’s six-year molars. To learn more or schedule a checkup for your child, we welcome you to contact our pediatric dental clinic in Kenmore.

Does Your Child Have Shark Teeth? What This Means for Their Oral Health

Most often, shark teeth resolve themselves on their own. Typically, the baby teeth start to become loose shortly after the ectopic eruption of the adult teeth, and they fall out on their own.

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Does Your Child Have Shark Teeth? What This Means for Their Oral Health

All humans have two sets of teeth. The first (primary, deciduous, or baby) teeth erupt during the first few years of life. These teeth are then replaced throughout early childhood with permanent (adult) teeth.

What Are Shark Teeth?

Normally, when a child’s permanent teeth start to come in, they dissolve the roots of the baby teeth as they push their way up through the gum tissue. This leads to the primary teeth becoming loose, falling out, and subsequent visits from the tooth fairy.

Sometimes, however, this part of the process doesn’t happen. The roots of the primary teeth remain intact, the baby teeth don’t fall out, and the adult teeth erupt in a second row of teeth behind the original arch of primary teeth. When this happens, the second row of teeth is often referred to as “shark teeth” referencing the several rows of teeth that sharks have inside their mouths. Dentists, on the other hand, call this phenomenon “ectopic eruption.”

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Are Shark Teeth a Cause for Concern?

Most often, shark teeth resolve themselves on their own. Typically, the baby teeth start to become loose shortly after the ectopic eruption of the adult teeth, and they fall out on their own. Even though the adult tooth is slightly out of alignment with the rest of the arch of teeth, the tongue will typically push the tooth into proper placement with some time.

What Happens If the Shark Teeth Situation Doesn't Resolve on Its Own

If the baby teeth do not come out on their own, and the permanent tooth has almost fully erupted (i.e. it is the same height as the baby tooth), then the baby teeth might need to be extracted because once the permanent tooth has fully erupted and developed it won’t move into proper alignment quite as easily.
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Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Guiding Through Your Child's Healthy Oral Development

Dr. Stewart at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry is always here to help you through the ups, downs, and double rows of teeth of your child’s oral development. We recommend bringing your child in to see the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. However, if you ever have any questions or concerns in between your child’s appointments, we always welcome you to call our office for advice or to find out if your child needs to see the dentist sooner than his or her next scheduled examination.

Why Choose a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist?

When you take your child to the doctor, you most likely don’t visit your doctor and, instead, see a pediatrician who specializes in the clinical examination, diagnosis, and treatment of infants and children. In dentistry, there are also providers who specialize in the care of young patients. They are called pediatric dentists, and in order to become a pediatric dentist, one must hold a special certification.

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Why Choose a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist?

When you take your child to the doctor, you most likely don’t visit your doctor and, instead, see a pediatrician who specializes in the clinical examination, diagnosis, and treatment of infants and children. In dentistry, there are also providers who specialize in the care of young patients. They are called pediatric dentists, and in order to become a pediatric dentist, one must hold a special certification.

What Is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist?

A board-certified pediatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in providing dental care to infants, toddlers, children, teens, and patients with special needs. A dentist must undergo a rigorous process of additional education and training, in addition to passing a set of qualifying and oral clinical examinations before they can become certified in pediatric dentistry by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD).
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The Benefits of Choosing a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

Many general dentists offer family dentistry and treat patients of all ages. While it might be convenient to visit one dental office for all of your family’s care, choosing a board-certified pediatric dentist for your children offers many benefits.
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Accustomed to Treating Children of All Ages

Children’s dental care needs differ greatly from those of adults. Pediatric dentists are familiar with treating children of all ages – from infancy through young adulthood. This means they are familiar with children’s needs, fears, and insecurities at the dental office during all stages of life. We’re experts at meeting your children where they are, helping them create healthy oral hygiene habits, and adjusting their care as their needs shift throughout development.

Experienced in Accommodating Children With Special Needs

In addition to treating children of all ages, we also often see patients who have special needs. We are comfortable meeting their needs, adjusting care as necessary, and helping to make them comfortable in our office.

Our Office Is Designed for Children

Our office is also designed to be a fun, comfortable, and welcoming environment for children.

Dr. Stewart Welcomes You to Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry

At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stewart is a highly experienced board-certified pediatric dentist who provides exceptional, comprehensive dental care to infants, toddlers, children, teens, and patients with special needs. To learn more about our services and how they’re tailored specifically to meet children’s needs as they grow and develop, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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Why Choose Pediatric Dentistry for Your Child?

Many general and family dentists accept patients of all ages (or at least children after they reach a certain age). While it can be more convenient to bring your whole family to a single dentist’s office, we highly recommend that children visit a pediatric dentist who specializes in oral healthcare specifically for children.

Why Choose Pediatric Dentistry for Your Child?

Many general and family dentists accept patients of all ages (or at least children after they reach a certain age). While it can be more convenient to bring your whole family to a single dentist’s office, we highly recommend that children visit a pediatric dentist who specializes in oral healthcare specifically for children.
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5 Reasons to Choose a Pediatric Dentist for Your Child

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1. We're Experts

After completing their regular course of dental school, pediatric dentists undergo two to three additional years of education and training. As a result, we are experts in oral healthcare and development in young patients of all ages – from infancy through the teenage years.

2. Children Have Different Needs and Risks at Different Ages

All throughout a child’s growth and development their oral health needs and risks change, as they grow and mature. Pediatric dentists are trained and experienced in examining, working with, diagnosing, and treating children through every stage of their development.

3. Our Hygienists Are Specially Trained

In addition to pediatric dentists being specially trained, our hygienists are too! Dental hygienists who work with pediatric dentists are highly experienced in working with smaller tools that are specially designed to clean smaller teeth.

4. Our Offices Are Kid-Friendly

Pediatric dentists also have everything in their offices tailored and designed to meet the unique needs of children and their parents. As a result, visiting our office feels more like going somewhere fun than a doctor’s visit. Our office is designed to help put children at ease and create positive experiences and associations with visiting the dentist.

5. We Can Help With Developmental Issues

We are specially trained and equipped to recognize and diagnose oral health problems in children before they even arise. As a result, we can provide your child with preventative treatments, such as interception orthodontics, that are designed to save them from needing more expansive and complex treatment as they grow and develop.
Additionally, we can provide parents with assistance throughout every stage of their child’s life, whether you’re struggling to help your infant break their pacifier habit or teaching your child how to floss their own teeth.
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Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist in Kenmore

At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, our pediatric dentist Dr. Stewart is highly experienced in working with patients of all ages and young patients with special needs. We’re here to accommodate your child and create positive experiences that help them establish a strong foundation for future oral health. To schedule an appointment, please contact our office in Kenmore today.

Kids Dental FAQs

Navigating your child’s dental care journey from infancy through young adulthood can be a challenge. At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, we are always here to provide you with guidance and answer your questions, and we welcome you to contact us anytime.

Navigating your child’s dental care journey from infancy through young adulthood can be a challenge. At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, we are always here to provide you with guidance and answer your questions, and we welcome you to contact us anytime. For your convenience, we’ve put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about children’s dental care below.

Kids Dental FAQs

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When Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?

Infants should have their first dental examination around the time of their first birthday or when their first tooth comes in – whichever happens first.

How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?

Children should typically visit the dentist at least once every six months for a regular checkup and professional cleaning. This ensures any new issues are addressed early while they are still easy to treat and also ensure we’re able to detect any developmental concerns while intervention is still possible.

How Does a Pediatric Dentist Differ From a Family Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are board-certified specialists in dental care for children. They complete regular dental school and then continue their education with several additional years of specialized training.
In addition to having exceptional training and experience in treating young patients, pediatric dentists also usually have office environments that are designed specifically to cater to children and patients with special needs. We specialize in creating positive experiences at the dental office to help children develop healthy dental care habits.

When Is It Safe to Use Toothpaste on My Child?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using toothpaste containing fluoride on children as soon as their first tooth comes in. If your child is too young to spit out their toothpaste, then using only a rice-sized amount is safe.

Schedule an Appointment With Our Pediatric Dentist in Kenmor

To ensure your child receives the specialized dental care they need while they develop and grow, we recommend establishing their dental care with a pediatric dentist. At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Stewart is a board-certified pediatric dentist who is highly experienced in providing comprehensive dental care to children of all ages, in addition to working with a friendly, gentle touch that helps children relax in the dental chair for a positive experience and association with dental care.
To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment for your child, we welcome you to contact our office today.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

Good oral health starts during infancy before any of a child’s teeth have even erupted. Read on to learn about some of the basics of caring for your child’s teeth as they grow and develop.

How to Care for Your Child's Teeth

Good oral health starts during infancy before any of a child’s teeth have even erupted. Read on to learn about some of the basics of caring for your child’s teeth as they grow and develop.

How to Care for Your Child's Teeth, Starting at Birth

Although they have not yet erupted, infants already have a full set of deciduous (also called primary or baby teeth) when they are born, and your child’s oral care will begin right away with an examination in the doctor’s office to ensure they are able to nurse or eat from a bottle comfortably and efficiently.

Visiting the Dentist and Preventing Cavities

The American Dental Association recommends that children visit a dentist starting around their first birthday or when they get their first tooth, whichever happens first. Children should then continue to visit a pediatric dentist about once every six months to monitor their development, help them establish healthy oral hygiene habits, and for professional cavity prevention with fluoride and dental sealants on molars.
To learn more about caring for your child’s teeth at any age or for help educating your child on proper oral hygiene habits, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stewart at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry.
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How to Tell If My Child Needs Braces

Young children can be screened to determine if they’ll need braces. If so, interceptive treatments for young children can encourage healthy development, avoiding the need for braces altogether. If, however, you find yourself wondering about your child’s development, the following signs would indicate that they might need braces.

How to Tell If My Child Needs Braces

Young children can be screened to determine if they’ll need braces. If so, interceptive treatments for young children can encourage healthy development, avoiding the need for braces altogether. If, however, you find yourself wondering about your child’s development, the following signs would indicate that they might need braces.

5 Signs Your Child Might Need Braces

1. Early or Late Loss of Baby Teeth

When a child loses their baby teeth before their permanent teeth have finished developing, neighboring baby teeth can shift into the position where the permanent teeth need to erupt, causing issues.

Losing baby teeth too late can also result in permanent teeth erupting in the wrong positions. 

 

2. Misaligned Jaw Position

Overbite, underbite, and crossbite occur when the top and bottom jaws do not match up properly. Jaw alignment issues can make chewing difficult, create irregular patterns of wear on the teeth, result in soft tissue injuries, and cause significant jaw pain and posture problems. 

 

3. Prolonged Thumb Sucking 

Children who suck their thumbs past the age of 4 tend to need braces because the suction results in top teeth that protrude outward and crowded bottom teeth. 

 

4. Crowded Teeth

Crowded teeth are difficult to clean properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. They can also cause bite problems and cosmetic concerns. 

 

5. Breathing Through the Mouth

Breathing through the mouth can affect the way a child’s jaw and facial bone structure develops, resulting in a smaller, narrower jawbone that can result in crowded teeth and the need for correction with braces.

Interceptive Orthodontics for Children in Kenmore

At Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Laura specializes in interceptive orthodontics for children. While older children between ages 9 and 14 might need braces, interceptive orthodontics can address some issues with spacing, alignment, and occlusion by helping to guide the proper development of a younger child’s jaw.

 

As a result, your child’s jawbone can develop properly, allowing enough space to prevent crowding and encouraging the proper alignment and bite of their teeth. This can prevent the need for braces later on. 

 

To learn more about helping your child’s teeth and jawbone develop properly to prevent alignment issues later in life and the complications of crooked, crowded teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Laura at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry today.