Tag Archives: dental tips for parents

Affordable Dentistry During Inflation

The rising costs of everything have been eating away at the worth of my husband’s paycheck. He already works so hard so I can raise our four young children and I’m worried that we won’t be able to afford the dentist this entire year. Our dentist’s prices went up again this year. I don’t blame him. He’s dealing with inflation just like the rest of the country. But, I haven’t been able to afford their last appointment and I’m worried about the children’s teeth. Are there ways to find affordable dentistry in this climate?


Dear Gina,

Dollar sign hatching from an egg
There is a difference between affordable and cheep dentistry

I understand what you are going through. Everyone seems to be feeling this pinch, which is causing a vicious cycle of rising costs. I have some things that may help, even if it doesn’t solve all of your problems.

What You Can Do At Home

While most parents know and do the obvious things, such as brushing and flossing their children’s teeth daily, there are a couple of things that seem to surprise people. In case your pediatric dentist hasn’t told you about them, here they are:

First, limit snacks. Believe it or not, one of the best defenses against decay is actually saliva, which contains bacteria fighting minerals. However, the more your children snack, the less chance their saliva has to do its job. I know growing children are always hungry, but if you can limit them to one snack a day it will go a LONG way to fighting cavity causing bacteria. Plus, you will have the additional benefit of them actually being hungry enough to eat the food you lovingly prepare for them at their meals.

Second, know many juices contain citrus acid. This can eat away at their enamel. While some of those juices, like orange juice, can be healthy, you don’t want it to counteract what you’re trying to do for their teeth. One mistake people make is thinking brushing immediately after drinking something acidic will protect their teeth from the damage. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect. Instead, it grinds the acid into their teeth. If you’re going to give them a juice right before bedtime when they are going to brush, have them swish some water around their mouth first, to neutralize the acid.

Finding An Affordable Dentist

Don’t confuse cheap with affordable. If a dentist is significantly lower than all other dentists in their area, it is a red flag. They could be using poor quality fixtures to keep their profits up, or they are terrible dentists who have to keep their prices super low to draw in new patients.

Sometimes an area a dental office is in can keep prices higher. Rent for office space is different depending on the real estate location. Sometimes you can save some money from going to a dentist that is just outside of an expensive area. You can get high quality care with slightly lower prices because the dentist’s overhead is lower.

Do an internet search using the term “affordable dentist” and the area you are looking. Often dentists who strive to keep their prices down will have a web page devoted to how they strive to make things easier for families. Just be certain to check their reviews to make sure the quality of care is what you want for your children.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Five Years Old’s Teeth Rotting

I need some advice, My five year old daughter has some problems with her molars. Two of them have small cavities and two of them have lost about 30% of their structure. I want some advice of what to do about this before I take her to a pediatric dentist. Will they have to be removed? She’s awful young to have to lose teeth. She is saying that it hurts when she chews so I know I need to bring her in.


Dear Laurie,

young boy smiling with toothbrush

I love that you are trying to figure out the best thing for your daughter. At her age, all of her teeth are all baby teeth and she needs them for many years to come. It is important you get her to see a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. This is especially true for her back teeth. They need to stay in her mouth until she is about twelve years old.

The molars with the small cavities will definitely be able to be saved. The ones where you estimate there is 30% loss of structure, I hope can be saved with a dental crown.

If they cannot be saved, it will be imperative that your dentist place a space maintainer there. If the molars are just removed, the remainder of her teeth will drift into that open space. then, when her twelve year old molars try to come in, there will not be enough space. This will lead to crowding and expensive orthodontics.

The extent of her decay is a little unusual for her age. It may be time for a bit of tough love on your part. She can brush her teeth twice a day just like she is supposed to, but if she is a frequent snacker it will sabotage her oral health. This is because one of the biggest proponents of oral health is our saliva, which contains bacteria fighting minerals. If she is a frequent snacker or drinks a lot of juice, does not give her salvia enough time to do its job.

I would limit her to one or two snacks a day and make sure she is not drinking a lot of juice or sodas.

One other thing. I know you are trying to get all your ducks in a row before seeing the pediatric dentist, which is admirable, but don’t put it off. These cavities can easily turn into a tooth infection, which will be a dental emergency.

This blog is brought to you Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.
Click here to read our Dental tips for Parents.

Dental Flipper for a Toddler

My son, who is 3 years old fell and lost his two front teeth as a result. I spoke with my pediatric dentist about getting him a dental flipper and he refused. I looked online for the do it yourself kind, but they only make those for adults. What would you recommend for me to get him a flipper? I am worried about his teeth shifting.


Dear Morgan,

young boy smiling with toothbrush

I wish your pediatric dentist would have explained things rather than just refuse. Parents are always better off knowing the reasoning behind the recommendations and decisions their child’s caregiver is putting forth.

Reasons Children Can’t Have a Dental Flipper

You noticed that there were only DIY flippers for adults. That is because it is dangerous for children to use a Dental Flipper.

First, they are removable. Just as we are careful with the size of toys we let our children play with, we try to do the same thing with any type of removable device. Otherwise, it is a choking hazard.

Second, they are removable. No, I didn’t make a mistake typing that twice. It is a rare toddler or even older child who will keep in an orthotic device. It is much more likely it will be removed and lost in a short period of time.

Third, they stay in by clasping onto other teeth. Your son’s jaws and teeth are in a constant state of growth right now. This means he will outgrow the flipper quickly and often.

The Really Good News

I know you are worried about your son’s teeth shifting which can lead to overcrowding of his adult teeth. That shows you pay attention to your son’s dental health. The good news is, with his front teeth that won’t be an issue.

When we talk about the importance of tooth retention in children, it is with their baby molars. This is because the adult molars don’t come in until the child is around 12-years-old. In that amount of time and given the placement, the teeth will shift.

If it ever happens that a child of yours does need to have a molar removed, getting a space maintainer will be important.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Why dental sealants?

My dentist suggests I have dental sealants put on my daughter’s molars. She’s only 7. Do you know why he wants to do this?

Kasie Ann- Baton Rough, LA

Kasie Ann,

Often dentist’s recommend sealants once the child’s molars or pre-molars areĀ erupted. It is important your daughter keep those teeth because her adult molars won’t come in for many years and that space has to be maintained.

It is probable that your daughter has deep pits or grooves in those teeth that a tooth brush will not be able to get to, which will lead to tooth decay.

The sealants are a plastic material that is painted on the chewing surfaces on the teeth and then bonded on. This helps to keep bacteria from penetrating the grooves of the teeth and therefore preventing decay.

You may be interested in reading about dental tips for parents.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.