Vampires, monsters, and zombies… Oh my! But what’s scarier than even the creepiest ghouls and goblins? Tooth decay! Okay – so a mouth full of cavities probably isn’t going to be the top costume for Halloween this year, but it is true that the effects sugar can have lifelong effects. And that is pretty scary.
Sugary Treat Reminders
Of course, candy and sugary treats are a huge part of Halloween (and a lot of the upcoming holidays too). That’s why it’s important to know how to take care of your kids’ teeth when they are allowed to have sweets that can wreak havoc on their teeth. And, it’s probably not a bad idea to have some candy alternatives ready too!
The first and most important thing to remember is to always brush and floss right after eating sugary treats – and that doesn’t just mean candy. Sodas, sports drinks, various crackers and other foods that you might not even think of can have a lot of sugar too. Make sure to check labels so that you know when your kiddos are eating something that can leave sugar on their teeth that can lead to decay.
When it comes to candy, chocolate is probably going to be your best bet because it is soft and washes off of the teeth more easily. Sticky and gummy candies are tough because they leave residue on the teeth that can be hard to get off. And the same goes for hard candies that can stick to teeth and also potentially cause teeth to break.
Halloween Treat Alternatives
Another great Halloween idea is bottled water. Not only does it give the teeth a quick rinse if snacking happens while away from your toothbrush, but trick-or-treating can be hard work and water keeps little bodies hydrated.
Some great snack alternatives to candy or sweets are sugar-free gum, cheese sticks, popcorn, sugar-free applesauce, and pretzels. And don’t forget that trinkets can be treats too! Fun pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks and more are always welcome additions to any Halloween bag. If you want to hand out tooth-friendly treats this year, you don’t have to hand out toothbrushes! You can get creative with all kinds of fun toys and doodads for your own kiddos and the ones in your neighborhood too.
October kicks off the holiday seasons that we all love so much. From Halloween to Valentine’s Day, it’s important this time of year to remember to practice good oral health to keep your little one’s mouths healthy. Tooth decay is scary all year long, but good choices and healthy habits are just as effective against cavities as garlic is to vampires.
The health and safety of children is the top priority at Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry. As parents, our team understands the hesitation to expose your kids to any potential, unnecessary harm. A large percentage of dental health for kids is preventative, meaning we want to do all we can to prevent a problem from occurring instead of treating it when it does. X-rays, or radiographs, are the best way for our doctors to detect a potential issue ahead of time and treat it before it is a problem.
What Do X-Rays Do?
X-rays take a picture of the teeth and jaw bones in your child’s mouth. From that photo, we are able to see concerns like cavities and other problems like an abscess (infection), cysts, or tumors. The radiographs also allow us to see bone development issues like extra and/or missing teeth, and ideas of possible problems with permanent teeth.
The Importance of X-Rays
With the information we get from x-rays, our team can diagnose and treat any concerns at an early stage. This means less pain, time and money than what it would be if caught at a later stage of development. For example, x-rays help us see cavities while they are in the outer layers of teeth. We can then treat the cavity before it has entered the inside of the tooth where it would cause pain.
Even though baby teeth will fall out, it is very important to take care of them because the enamel of baby teeth is much thinner than permanent teeth. For this same reason, children need x-rays more often than adults. Children’s mouths change and grow so rapidly so we want to make sure we monitor those changes frequently.
X-Rays in Our Office
Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry follows the guidelines set from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry regarding the type of x-rays we take and how often they are taken. We understand that there are many concerns with x-rays due to radiation exposure. Radiation exists naturally in our world and we are exposed to small doses almost daily. Our team is trained on how to quickly and safely administer the radiographs for minimal exposure. Our doctors will only recommend x-rays if we feel the benefits are greater than the risks.
Download our Radiograph Policy by clicking HERE to read more or sign.
Types of X-Rays
There are several types of x-rays each with a specific purpose. Read below for more information about each one we offer.
Bitewing x-rays allow us to see in between the teeth closely to check for tooth decay and check the status and quality of existing treatment. These x-rays are taken 1x/year unless there are area of decay that are being monitored or a child is considered high risk.
Images of the top front and/or bottom front primary teeth to identify decay, infection, trauma, extra and/or missing teeth.
PA x-rays show all the root and bone surrounding the tooth. PAs can show infections, trauma, or how the permanent tooth is developing in that specific area.
Image of the entire mouth including all teeth (including those that are not erupted yet), the upper and lower jaws, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), nasal area, and sinuses. Taken at specific phases to monitor growth and development, identify extra and missing teeth, impacted teeth, as well as cysts and tumors. Taken when first adult teeth come in and every 3-5 years after that.
This is a cavity detection device that floods the tooth with light to show where a cavity is present and how it is progressing. This option may be recommended by your provider when monitoring minimal lesions to limit use of traditional x-rays or when a child is x-ray averse.
Did you know that a baby should see a dentist by age one? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) all recommend that children see a dentist by their first birthday. Even though babies may not have all of their teeth yet, seeing a pediatric dentist is beneficial. This allows a baby’s jaw and tooth development to be checked and any potential issues to be caught early on.
Why See a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist has additional training and education to specifically work with kids. Baby teeth are different than permanent teeth. Our pediatric dentists specialize in treating kids similar to a pediatrician in the medical field. Pediatric dentists also take courses on working with kids who have special needs.
Dr. Angie Sage is passionate about preventative care and teaching kids (and their parents) how to best take care of their teeth so that they do not have more serious issues later in life. This process begins at a child’s first appointment. Studies have shown that kids who wait to see a dentist until after age one are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits. In addition, a year one exam could even save you money!
Infant Lap Exams
You might be wondering how we will check a baby’s teeth, since babies are not always cooperative. We perform what we call, an infant lap exam, where a parent holds the baby facing them and lays them down in their lap. Sitting knee to knee, one of our doctors will quickly check their mouth and teeth while they lay down in the parent’s lap. This is safe, fast, and effective!
If you have a baby approaching age one that has not had a dental exam, give us a call today. The Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry team is excited to welcome you to the family!
Looking for a kids dentist in San Antonio? Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry offers dental care for children. Dr. Angie Sage and Dr. Kathryn Walker provide preventive and restorative dentistry for infants, toddlers, adolescents, and teens. In addition, we offer conscious sedation, and hospital dentistry. Furthermore, we are passionate about educating children on the importance of oral health.
Kids Dentist in San Antonio
First, we love hearing from our patients! Second, your reviews mean the world to us and we appreciate your time. In today’s digital age, an online review is a huge compliment! This gives us more online exposure and experiences for potential new patients to read about. For instance, check out some of the patient reviews that have been made on our Google, Yelp, and Facebook pages.
Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry Reviews
Here are some of our amazing patient reviews! We love being a kids dentist in San Antonio and enjoy sharing smiles across our community. Thank you to our patients who have taken the time to write a review about us!
- “Dr. Sage is wonderful with our kids and family. The clinic was kind and cautious and considerate of all the current guidelines and and made us feel safe. Thank you!” ~Melissa L.
- “Very helpful and patient staff. I like how they greet you with a smile as you’re walking in, and as you leave. The lobby, play area, and restrooms are amazingly clean and very well maintained.” ~Kai E.
- “This was our daughter’s first dentist visit and it could not have been any more wonderful. The office was very nice and super kid friendly. The staff was phenomenal and I am really happy we found such a great place to take our daughter.” ~Christine C.
In conclusion, we appreciate our patients and all they do to help other families find a home here with us. If you are looking for a kids dentist in the area, give us a call!
We are proud to be your pediatric dentist in Alamo Heights! Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry understands the importance of providing a safe and trusting environment for your kids. Our doctors are passionate about educating children on their dental health to avoid potential issues. We truly love our jobs and our patients!
Alamo Heights Smiles
In addition to our patient families, Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry also values our community. Your referral is the biggest compliment that you can give us, and we appreciate you helping us spread little smiles all over San Antonio. Whether you share your experience via word of mouth or by an online review, we thank you! Leaving us a review on Facebook or Google is a tremendous help.
Refer a Friend Program
Want a chance to win a super sweet prize in our monthly drawings? If you are a patient of ours, we invite you to participate in our “refer a friend” program. We have made it easy to share a smile with your friends.
How does it work? It’s easy!
- First, ask us for some Refer a Friend cards from the Alamo Heights Pediatric Dentistry office.
- Write your name in the blank space on the back.
- Next, give the cards to friends that you want to refer to our office. They can call to schedule or request an appointment online.
- When they come in for their first appointment, make sure they bring the referral card with your name on it.
- Your name will be entered for that month’s drawing!
The monthly prize will vary from month to month, but we promise it will be worth it! There is no limit to the number of times you can be entered into the drawing, so hand out as many cards as you would like. Good luck!
We have answers! Simply call us at (210) 822-8381 and one of our team members is ready to help. If you run out of referral cards, let us know! We are excited to provide you with more.