What Are “Shark Teeth”?

What Are “Shark Teeth”?

Many children get excited about losing their baby teeth and growing in their permanent teeth.  Although everyone is different, this usually happens around 6 years of age.  Many times this process is straight forward, but complications can arise.  For instance, maybe a child’s tooth grows sideways, therefore affecting their surrounding teeth, as well as their bite.  Another possibility is that your child has “shark teeth.”


Shark teeth refers to when permanent teeth grow in behind their primary teeth.  This is called shark teeth because sharks also have several rows of teeth.  Usually, the permanent teeth cause the baby teeth to become loose; if it doesn’t, it grows in behind the baby tooth, which is called an ectopic eruption.  So, what can be done about shark teeth?


The good thing is that shark teeth aren’t dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable.  Ideally, your child can do small things to help their baby tooth come out.  This includes wiggling it a little each day, brushing their teeth more often, eating apples, or anything else that will encourage the tooth to fall out.  If that doesn’t work, the family dentist in Bloomfield NJ may suggest an extraction.  During a dental extraction, the dentist will numb the area and remove the tooth to give space to the permanent tooth.


If the baby tooth isn’t lost or extracted in a timely manner, the gums may attach to the permanent tooth and cause gingival recession, therefore causing your child to need a gum graft in the future.


If your child has one shark tooth, it’s possible that it will happen to the other teeth.  That’s why it’s important for your family dentist in Bloomfield NJ to monitor the growth of your child’s teeth.  If you need to set an appointment, call us at Sparkles Dentistry For Children.

Tips To Help Your Child Stop Biting Their Nails

Tips To Help Your Child Stop Biting Their Nails

All of us have bad habits, whether they started when we were children or as adults.  This is also true with children, which is why it’s important to correct their bad habits so that they don’t carry them into adulthood.  One of the common habits that children have is biting their nails, which is usually the result of being fidgety or anxious.  Not only is this bad for their nails, but it can also negatively impact their teeth.  This is because it can cause their teeth to chip or crack; it can also lead to malocclusions (problems with their bite).  For that reason, our family dentist in Clifton NJ has put together some tips to help your child quit biting their nails. 

Find a Substitute

If your child is having a hard time stopping this habit, it may be because they’re accustomed to chewing on something when they’re anxious.  Instead of their nails, try to replace them with a healthy snack, such as celery or carrots.  Just make sure the substitute isn’t a sugary snack.

Keep Their Nails Clean

You should try to cut their nails on a regular basis so that they don’t have anything to chew on.  In addition, cutting their nails and taking off cuticles helps reduce the bacteria in their nails, meaning they won’t be exposed to as much bacteria if they do continue the habit.

Encourage Them To Stop

Habits are hard to break, so try to remain positive during the transition.  It may help to come up with a code word or signal that reminds them to stop doing it.  This way, if they’re biting their nails without realizing it, you can use the signal to remind them without letting everyone in the room know.

Create a Reward System

Don’t forget to reward them for their progress!  This could be with stickers, a trip to the park, a manicure, or whatever works for the both of you.  This will motivate them to stop biting their nails.

Give Them Another Stress Release Alternative

Aside from healthy snacks, try to give them other ways to deal with their energy or feelings.  This includes stress balls, silly putty, getting extra exercise, and much more.

If your child is having trouble stopping this habit, you can ask our family dentist in Clifton NJ for more advice.

5 Things We Want You To Know

5 Things We Want You To Know

At Sparkles Dentistry For Children, we’re experts in children’s dentistry.  The advantage of your child going to a pediatric dentist in West Orange NJ is that pediatric dentists have education and special training in children’s teeth.  This not only includes dental services, but dealing with children as well.  This means we are all trained to make your child feel as comfortable as possible, while explaining complex topics in an easy-to-understand way.  With our experience, we have noticed that there are some recurring misunderstandings about maintaining your child’s oral health, which is why we’ve put together 5 things that we want you to know.

Brush and Floss Every Day

Everyone is told that they should do this, but not everyone does this.  All of us, including children, should floss and brush our teeth at least twice a day for two minutes.  One of the problems that children usually have is that they don’t brush their teeth for long enough.  This could be because they get bored, try to rush through it, or just stop too early on accident.  To resolve this, there are toothbrushes with songs that last two minutes, or they can also use a timer.

Lead By Example

Children are very influenced by what they’re exposed to.  If they see their older siblings or parents not maintaining their oral health, there’s a good chance that they won’t be motivated to either.  

Use Flouride When Necessary

Fluoride helps teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to acid, therefore helping to prevent cavities.  Many times, pediatric dentists in West Orange NJ will use flouride on your child’s teeth, but you can also purchase toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride.  Be careful, though, because too much fluoride can cause fluorosis (permanent discoloration of teeth).

Mouth Guards Should Be Used In Contact Sports

Many times, children and adults don’t wear mouthguards when they play sports.  This can have consequences, however, as contact sports can cause facial and dental trauma.

Go To Your Dentist Every 6 Months

When your child goes to the dentist, the dentist will deep clean their teeth.  By removing built-up plaque, they prevent tooth decay, as well as other complications.  Your child’s dentist can also monitor how your child’s teeth are growing and if they see any tooth decay forming, which is easier to treat early-on.

Dentists Vs. Pediatric Dentists

Dentists Vs. Pediatric Dentists

We’re all familiar with the job of a dentist and how important it is to have regular checkups with them.  For those of us that have kids, we should aim to continue this routine of maintaining their oral hygiene.  When we’re searching for the right dentist, of course we want to choose the best option for our children.  After your search, you’ll probably find that pediatric dentists in West Orange NJ are more suitable for treating kids than regular dentists, but why?


To understand the difference, let’s discuss the difference in education between the two.  To start, dentists have 4 years of undergraduate education and then 4 years of dental school.  Family dentists in Bloomfield NJ, on the other hand, have a different background.  Although they have to obtain their DMD or DDS degree just like regular dentists, they also have to take a post-graduate pediatric residency program, which usually takes around 2 to 3 years.  During this extra training, they’ll focus on topics such as pediatric sedation, children’s orthodontics, child development, and more.


Many people also ask what age their child should stop going to the family dentist in Bloomfield NJ.  Usually, we treat our patients from birth through their young childhood.  It depends on what your child is comfortable with, but usually our patients change dentists around the age of 18.


Although dentists and pediatric dentists in West Orange NJ both have extensive experience, pediatric dentists are more qualified to treat children.  Not only are they well-trained in treatments, but in working with children as well.  At Sparkles Dentistry for Children, we try to make the environment in our office as comfortable as possible for your child.  This can be seen through our decorations, accommodations, and our friendly staff.


If you have any questions over our services, feel free to contact us at Sparkles.  Our staff will gladly answer any of your questions and set up your next check-up.

Reasons Your Child May Need An X-Ray

Reasons Your Child May Need An X-Ray

When you take your child to the family dentist in Clifton NJ, you’ll hope that it’s for a routine check-up.  During this check-up, the dentist will deep clean your child’s teeth to remove built-up plaque.  Sometimes, however, the family dentist in Bloomfield NJ notices something out of the regular.  When this happens, they may recommend an X-ray of their mouth.  Here are some of the reasons for needing an X-ray.


Reasons for an X-Ray

  1. Tooth Decay – This is one of the most common reasons for X-rays in children.  Although tooth decay can be seen on the surface of their teeth, X-rays help us identify how much of the decay has spread within the tooth.
  2. Misalignment – Misaligned teeth can grow in that way, or they can also form as a result of childhood habits.  This can cause problems with chewing, speaking, and breathing, as well as increase the risk of tooth decay.
  3. Extra Teeth – X-rays can detect extra teeth that haven’t broken through the gums yet.  This extra tooth can cause issues in the future, so the family dentist in Clifton NJ will discuss a treatment plan with you, if necessary.
  4. Impacted Teeth – Impacted teeth are teeth that have been blocked from breaking through the gums.  Since the X-ray shows the entire tooth, it can find dental problems below the gum line as well. 
  5. Other reasons include: infections, cysts, tumors, missing teeth, bone injuries, and bone disease.


X-rays may seem intimidating, but they’re necessary to make a treatment plan.  They also help the family dentist in Bloomfield NJ identify problems early-on, which can prevent complications.

Tips To Pulling Your Child’s Loose Tooth

Tips To Pulling Your Child’s Loose Tooth

Children usually start losing their teeth around the age of 6.  During this time, you may be wondering what role you should be playing during the process.  Are you supposed to let the teeth fall out naturally?  Pull them out?  We’ve all seen the clip of the kid tying his tooth to a door and pulling his loose tooth out, but we don’t necessarily recommend that route.  In general, we suggest letting the teeth come out naturally, but sometimes they need a little help.  Sometimes it’s as easy as having them eat an apple or brushing their teeth to loosen the tooth.  If you’re tempted to pull the tooth out yourself, though, you should follow these steps.  (Related topics: family dentist in Bloomfield NJ, family dentist Clifton NJ)


How To Pull A Loose Tooth 

  1. Your hands and nails contain a lot of bacteria, so make sure to wash your hands beforehand.  Next, use a clean tissue to wiggle the tooth back and forth.  If the tooth is ready to come out, you shouldn’t have to use a lot of force.
  2. Once you pull it out, apply pressure to the area with a clean gauze if there’s any blood.  The blood should stop after a couple of minutes.
  3. After that, examine the area to make sure it was a clean process.  If there are any fragments of tooth stuck, you should call your family dentist in Montclair NJ.
  4. If you and your child believe in the tooth fairy, don’t forget to tell your child to leave the tooth under their pillow!


This may be a little uncomfortable for your child, but they shouldn’t experience any excessive pain.  If they do, it may mean that they have an infection.  If this happens, schedule an appointment with your family dentist in Montclair NJ as soon as possible.

The Importance of a Healthy Diet

The Importance of a Healthy Diet

As adults, most of us have probably fallen off the healthy path at least once, and it may work for our lifestyles.  That being said, our diets affect our lives more than we think.  This is especially true when it comes to children.  What may work for a grown adult, may not be the best idea for a child that’s going through their growing years.  For this reason, we want to discuss why a healthy diet is so important for your child.


To start, a healthy diet can help prevent chronic disease, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes.  Studies have shown that around 40% of all Americans suffer from at least one of these chronic illnesses.  It’s better to teach your child at a young age how to maintain a healthy lifestyle; that way they’ll reduce their chances of getting one of these diseases.


In addition, their diet has a huge impact on their oral health.  Let’s first talk about crunchy food.  Although crunchy food is everywhere, it’s important to be cautious of what food they’re eating.  If they’re constantly chewing on ice, popcorn, and hard candy, they’re at risk of cracking their teeth.  Additionally, if their diet is filled with sugary food, it can cause tooth decay.  If your child gets tooth decay, the family dentist in Montclair NJ will need to treat it.  If it’s left untreated for too long, gum disease can lead to serious problems.  This includes stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and more.

As you can see, a healthy diet is super important.  The other advantages include stabilized energy, improved mood,and maintaining a healthy weight.  At Sparkles Dentistry for Children, our family dentist in Montclair NJ wants your children to maintain a healthy diet.  If you have any questions or want advice on how to do so, don’t hesitate to ask.

Advantages of Braces

Advantages of Braces

After your child goes through the process of growing in their baby teeth, losing them, and then getting their permanent teeth, you may be happy when it’s finally over.  When they have their permanent teeth, you need to continue the same hygiene process that you were doing before.  The last thing you want them to do is get tooth decay on their new teeth.  Although this may be the end of the process for some, many people choose to continue the process by getting braces.  If you’re unsure if your child should get braces, you should consider the many advantages that they bring. 


Advantages of braces

  • Improved ability to chew food – Braces align the jaws and teeth, making it easier to chew food.  When the food is chewed better, it also improves digestion.
  • Reduce the need of speech therapy – Sometimes speech problems are caused by misalignment.  This means that braces may actually help your child’s speech to improve.
  • Easier to keep clean – By eliminating the gaps and straightening out any crooked parts, it makes them easier to floss and brush.
  • Reduces cavities – Since they’re easier to clean, it helps to reduce cavities.  This is one of the best advantages to braces, because tooth decay can lead to other health problems as well.
  • Reduce grinding of teeth – Since braces improve jaw placement and overcrowding of teeth, your child is less likely to grind their teeth after they have braces.
  • Beautiful smile – We can’t forget this one!  Your child may not necessarily care about what their smile looks like at a young age, but they’ll thank you later.  Having a beautiful smile will make them feel proud of their teeth, while also improving their confidence.

Our family dentist in Clifton NJ recommends that everyone considers getting braces.  If you want to speak to our family dentist in Clifton NJ about your options, don’t forget to book an appointment.

What is Speech Therapy?

What is Speech Therapy?

The purpose of children seeing their family dentist in Bloomfield NJ is that the dentist will remove any built-up plaque, which is important in preventing tooth decay.  They also check the progress of your children’s teeth, which is especially critical when they’re losing and growing new teeth.  Another important reason that children have to visit their family dentist in Bloomfield NJ is so that they can evaluate their oral muscles.  If they have any problems with these muscles, they may have to go to speech therapy.


Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders.  Speech therapy consists of two factors.  The first one focuses on coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences.  During this phase, the child works on articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation.  The second phase of this process is concerned with understanding and expressing language.


Aside from verbal communication, there may be other reasons why your child may need speech therapy.  This includes swallowing disorders, in which the child has trouble swallowing.  When this happens, a professional will investigate why this is happening.  Some of the reasons include: problems with prenatal development of the structure in their mouth and throat, dental problems (such as an overbite), cleft lip, and oral sensitivity, to name a few.


It’s crucial that your child’s oral muscles are functioning as they should.  If not, they may face communication problems, swallowing disorders, or even breathing problems.  At Sparkles Dentistry for Children, we will happily make a referral to a Speech and Language Pathologist if your child needs an evaluation of their oral muscles.  If they require an evaluation of their  developmental needs, we also have a speech and language pathologist available.

Fun Toothbrush Ideas

Fun Toothbrush Ideas

As a parent, you should be concerned about helping your child have good hygiene; more specifically, good oral hygiene.  When they’re babies, the responsibility will be in your hands to brush and floss their teeth.  When they get a little older, however, they’ll take over the responsibility.  Although we can explain to our children how important it is to their health to brush their teeth, they may not truly understand how important it really is.

That being said, having good health may not motivate them to brush their teeth.  They may not even understand or want to do it themselves.  That’s why it’s good to give them motives to do so, such as choosing a super cool toothbrush that they’re excited to use.  Here are some of the toothbrushes that they can choose from.  (Related topics: family dentist Clifton NJ, family dentist Bloomfield NJ)


Different Types of Toothbrushes

  • Superheroes – There’s an abundance of kids toothbrushes with the most popular superheroes.
  • Movie Characters – You can easily find toothbrushes with the characters of newly released animated movies. When Frozen was released, for example, there were Elsa toothbrushes in every store.
  • Favorite Color – Some kids may not be interested in any characters, but just want a toothbrush in their favorite color.
  • Singing Toothbrush – Some toothbrushes have a button that will sing while your kid brushes their teeth. Not only is this fun for them, but the song lasts for 2 minutes.  This indicates to them when they can stop brushing their teeth.


These are just a couple of ideas, but let your child have fun with it!  If they don’t find the perfect one at the store, you can always look online for more options.  Our family dentist in Montclair NJ recommends making small changes like this to encourage your children to brush their teeth.  For more tips, call us to schedule an appointment with our family dentist in Montclair NJ.