3 Risks of Gummy Vitamins

Soft and chewy gummy vitamins are becoming more popular, especially with kids, but a new Parents.com article warns parents that these colorful vitamins have a downside. Parents recently interviewed pediatrician Natalie Muth, MD, RDN, coauthor of The Picky Eater Project, who shared the following three pitfalls: [Read more…]

Bubble Tea Is as Unhealthy as Soda

Photo: Abi Porter/CC by 2.0

Also known as boba tea, bubble tea is an Asian drink that consists of tea mixed with fruit, flavored syrups, or milk accompanied with tapioca pearls. Originally a beverage of Taiwan, it’s become quite popular for both adults and children in the U.S. in the last decade. However, experts have been sounding the warning bells, stating that boba tea can be just as unhealthy as soda. Here are some stats:

  • KABC reports that a 12-ounce serving of boba tea contains almost 90 grams of sugar. That’s more than double a 12-ounce can of Coca Cola, which contains 39 grams of sugar.
  • The Asian and Pacific Islander Obesity Prevention Alliance launched the “Rethink Your Asian Drink” campaign, stating that boba tea has more sugar than a Snickers bar. The coalition has also reported a 68 percent increase in diabetes in Asian and Pacific Islanders in L.A. County between 1997 and 2011. [Read more…]

UK Study Shows Rise in Baby Teeth Extractions

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

According to new research, more children are having to get their baby teeth removed, before the teeth can fall out naturally. The research, conducted by the UK’s Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS), part of the Royal College of Surgeons, came up with the following findings, as reported by The Telegraph :

  • There were 9,206 tooth extractions performed on children aged four and under in 2015-16, an increase of 24 percent since 2006-07.
  • Of the 84,086 tooth extractions on four-year-olds and under between 2006-07 and 2015-16, 47 were performed on babies under the age of one. [Read more…]

Brush Your Kids’ Teeth When They Can’t Do It Themselves

Photo: Mouth Healthy Kids

According to Fox News, letting kids brush their own teeth before they’re ready is one of the biggest mistakes parents make in regards to their young children’s oral hygiene. Some kids may not be brushing properly, if at all. Check in and make sure they’re doing a thorough job, even if that means brushing their teeth for them! As you do, remember the following pointers:

  • Choose a small size toothbrush to help you maneuver in the back spaces of your child’s mouth. Scrub the molars well—this is where cavities tend to develop.
  • Brush for two minutes—sing a song to the end as you brush.
  • Brush twice a day, morning and night.
  • Buy a new toothbrush every three months. Let your child choose a design to help motivate them to brush.

How long does the responsibility of brushing fall on you? If your child is in elementary school, you may be off the hook. Let’s revisit our 7 signs that kids can brush their teeth on their own:

  1. Your child is between the ages of 6 to 9. The actual age varies for every child, but it’s typically within this range that they graduate from being supervised to handling the routine on their own. Reminders to brush, however, may still be called for.
  2. You have an expert with the laces. Brushing every angle of the teeth takes manual dexterity, which kids hone as they get older. Developing enough dexterity to tie their own shoes is a sign that they’re ready to do their own brushing, too. [Read more…]

What’s in Store for National Children’s Dental Health Month


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
All month long, dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators will come together to promote the benefits of good oral health. Each year, the theme for NCDHM changes. For 2017, the theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” Here are just some of the reasons why tap water is best:

  • Soda contains caffeine, known to cause everything from jitters, upset stomach, and headaches to difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • A 12-ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Care for Your Teeth When Pregnant

It’s a new year, and for those who are pregnant, a time to prepare for new life. Taking good care of your baby begins with you during this important stage. When you’re expecting, even your teeth could use some TLC. Here are five ways to care for your teeth when pregnant:

  1. Switch to a softer toothbrush. This will help you to apply gentle pressure to your gums. According to BabyCenter, “about half of moms-to-be have swollen, red, tendergums that bleed when flossed or brushed.” This is due to pregnancy gingivitis, or mild inflammation of the gums during pregnancy. Rising hormone levels can be partly to blame for your gums’ sensitivity to bacteria in plaque. This leads us to the next point…
  2. Take good care of your gums. Did you know that periodontal disease during pregnancy is linked to premature birth and low birth weight? Along with periodontal disease, the March of Dimes cites gingivitis and tooth decay as conditions that pregnant women are more susceptible to. We’ve got a secret weapon for your gums—floss! [Read more…]

Charcoal Whitening Trend May Be Unsafe, Dentists Warn

Thought of using charcoal to whiten your teeth? The idea is trending. YouTube user Mama Natural posted a video on using a charcoal product to whiten her teeth, and more than a million viewers tuned in to watch: Activated Charcoal—Weird Way to Whiten Teeth.

Using Nature’s Way activated charcoal that costs about $5 from health food stores, Mama Natural states that the charcoal absorbs bacteria, toxins, and staining on the teeth, even though using the black powder may seem counterintuitive at first. Recently, however, FoxNews published an article warning consumers against using charcoal as a whitening agent. [Read more…]

Stocking Stuffer: Electronic Toothbrushes

Photo: makelessnoise/CC BY 2.0

Photo: makelessnoise/CC BY 2.0

Looking for a thoughtful holiday present to give to friends and family this year? How about an electronic toothbrush? While it isn’t essential to use one in order to do a thorough job of brushing, electronic toothbrushes do have advantages that go beyond just vibrating. Here are some tips on brands and products to look for from a recent article by Digital Trends: [Read more…]

Seal of Approval for Dental Sealants

SmilingChildAlameda Pediatric Dentistry strongly encourages the application of dental sealants. A safe protective coating, sealants act as a physical barrier that blocks plaque from accumulating in hard-to-clean grooves and pits of molar teeth. Covered by most dental policies, sealants take just a few minutes to apply, and the process is completely painless.

This month, the Centers for Disease Control released a Vital Signs report that includes the following important findings on sealants: [Read more…]

Halloween Candy Survival Guide

halloween-fairyAll year long, kids look forward to the magic and fun of Halloween. Parents enjoy the costumes and trick-or-treating, too, but the thought of all that candy can be troublesome. Whether you raid the candy bags to the benefit of your coworkers, sell the candy at a buyback, or ration it in some other way, much of the sweets will end up with your kids. To help you sort through the Halloween bags with them, here’s a summary of MouthHealthy.org’s rundown of common candies:

Chocolate: Of all the Halloween candies your kids will receive, chocolate is best because it washes off teeth more easily. Choose dark chocolate when possible, as it has less sugar than milk chocolate. Chocolate can also be good for you. Read our article, A Delicious Secret, to find out more.

Sticky and Gummy Candies: “Be picky if it’s sticky,” MouthHealthy advises. We agree. Sticky and gummy candies are harder to remove and could result in cavity-causing bacteria staying on the kids’ teeth longer. [Read more…]