National Children’s Dental Health Month, Part 2

February 28, 2014





To bring Dental Health Month to a close, we’ll talk about a few emergency tooth topics for your older child.


My child sucks their thumb, what do I do??

  • Infant and young children find sucking to be soothing and will often put their finger, thumb, pacifier, or other object in their mouth.  It’s a primitive reflex, even seen in some species of monkey!
  • Most children stop by age 4 years, when they still have their baby teeth.
  • If it still continues when they have their permanent teeth, then it becomes a problem, not only for their teeth but also it’s an infection risk, with their thumbs being covered in bacteria, and their friends may begin to tease them.
  • The American Dental Association recommends:
    • Praise children for not sucking, instead of scolding them when they do.
    • If a child is sucking its thumb when feeling insecure or needing comfort, focus instead on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
    • If a child is sucking on its thumb because of boredom, try getting the child’s attention with a fun activity.
    • Involve older children in the selection of a means to cease thumb sucking.
    • The pediatric dentist can offer encouragement to a child and explain what could happen to its teeth if it does not stop sucking.
    • Only if these tips are ineffective, remind the child of its habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock/glove on the hand at night.

My child got hit in the face and their tooth is knocked out, now what?

  • First, find the tooth! Handle it carefully; try not to touch the root.
  • If it’s clean, place it back in the socket.  Have your child bite on a piece of gauze to keep it in place.
  • Rinse it with water if it’s dirty, but no soap, no scrubbing, and no drying!  If it cannot go back into the socket, place it in milk or, if your child is old enough not to swallow it, between their cheek and gums.  Do not place in tap water!
  • Then call your dentist right away!  Most teeth can be saved if seen, ideally, in less than 30 minutes.

What if my child chips their tooth?

  • Rinse their mouth with warm water- cold water will feel worse on any exposed root!
  • Put a cold compress against the chipped area or on the face to help with swelling and pain.
  • Then call your dentist!

For more information about dental emergencies, click here:


National Children’s Dental Health Month, Part 1

February 10, 2014

2977_smiling_superhero_tooth_with_toothbrushWhat do you think of when you hear February?  Blizzards?  Valentine’s Day?  Groundhog day?  Chocolate candy?  It’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month!

 As a pediatrician, we’re often the first one to look in your child’s mouth and take a look at erupting teeth, besides you! 



Here are a few tooth concerns for the younger child; we’ll talk about older children in the next blog! 

 When do teeth appear? 

  • Typically around 6 months, although that’s an average, so there is quite a range for the first one to poke through, usually from 6-10 months of age. 

 When do I need to start brushing?

  • You can start cleaning your baby’s gums when they’re newborns with a clean, damp washcloth or gauze.  Once a tooth is showing, you can start using a child-sized toothbrush and water or fluoride-free toothpaste.

 When can I switch to toothpaste with fluoride?

  • Once your child can spit!  Usually around age 2 years.  Use a pea-sized amount on their toothbrush and make sure to brush twice a day. You can let your child brush their teeth themselves first, but always make sure you finish the job to get into all those nooks and crannies!

 When do I start flossing?

  • When you see two teeth that touch!  Then there’s a pocked between them for food particles and decay to occur. 

 What can I do about teething?

  • During the first few years of your child’s life, they will have teeth erupting; ultimately 20 baby teeth will push through those sensitive gums, usually before the age of 3 years.  It’s normal for your child to be grumpy, sleepless, lose their appetite and be covered in drool!  But it’s not normal to have fever, diarrhea, or runny nose with teething- those are more likely illnesses.   For pain, you can try a frozen washcloth or teething ring or even a frozen bagel for your child to chew on. 

 When do I see the dentist for the first visit?

  • Most family dentists will start seeing children at age 3 years.  Some pediatric dentists will start at age 1 year, or younger if there are concerns.  Your pediatrician is a good resource for keeping an eye on your child’s teeth when they are young and can recommend a good provider for your children’s dental health.

 What happens at the first visit?

  • The dentist will look at your child’s teeth- checking for injuries, decay, and other problems.  Your child’s teeth will be cleaned and counted.  Pacifier use and thumb sucking will be discussed too.

 When do baby teeth start to fall out?

  • Here’s a nice diagram (click on it to enlarge):



 We’ll talk more about dental concerns for your older child- injuries, sealants, wisdom teeth, etc., in the next installment!


October 14, 2013

Boy drinking glass of water


What’s so important about fluoride? 

In honor of National Dental Hygienist month, and with Halloween approaching, I thought a tooth topic was appropriate!



What is fluoride?

It’s a mineral that naturally exists in water sources. It helps protect teeth from the acid made from sugars in our diet and the bacteria that live in our mouths. Fluoride is incorporated into developing teeth- both permanent and baby teeth, to strengthen the enamel or the protective layer.  It also helps reverse tooth decay produced by the acid eating away at the enamel on our teeth.

How does my child get fluoride?

It’s in controlled amounts in city water and is often in well water, although the well water should be tested periodically to make sure the level is safe and not too high or low.  If you only use bottled, unfluoridated, water, your child may need a supplement, which comes as drops or a tablet.  It’s also in toothpaste, many foods and drinks.

How much dose my child need?

Optimal levels in drinking water are monitored by your water authority.  Recommended levels are between 0.7-1.2 ppm (parts per million).  The Monroe County Water Authority prints an annual report, for 2012 the concentration was 0.2-1.3 ppm, which meets the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards.

Children less than 6 months old do not need a supplement.  Between 6 months and 16 years, a supplement is recommended if you live in a nonfluoridated area or drink nonfluoridated bottled water.

Can my child have too much fluoride?

Yes, too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, which in mild cases causes white streaks or spots on the teeth, in more severe cases causes permanent discoloration of the teeth.  Too much fluoride can be seen in children taking a fluoride supplement, drinking fluorinated water and having unsupervised access to toothpaste or mouth rinse also with fluoride.

When is the risk of fluorosis over?

Once your child’s permanent teeth come in, around the age of 8 years.

When can my child start using toothpaste with fluoride?

Under the age of 2 years, they can do a tiny “smear” of toothpaste twice a day.  Ages 2-5 years can use a “pea-sized” amount.  After age 5, they usually are able to brush and spit out the excess toothpaste and can use a larger amount, about the size of a kidney bean.  Always supervise your child while they are brushing their teeth and “inspect” their teeth, getting those back ones!, until they around ~7-8 years old and can reliably brush well.

When can my child start going to the dentist?

Usually between ages 1-3 years, depending on where you live and when the local dentists start seeing young children.  If you have a family history of early cavities, it’s wise to call and see if your dentist will see your child when they are young- especially if you notice any discoloration or sensitivity with chewing. Until then, your pediatrician will check out your children’s teeth, as part of their wellness exam.  Another good reason to practice having your child say “ah”!

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

New Families

We are accepting new patients! Please call to schedule a "meet and greet" visit to look around the office and ask any questions you have.

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