Many patients ask when their child should begin seeing a dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children see a dentist by 1 year of age, or, when the first tooth erupts, unless of course, they have risk factors for having problems with their teeth.

At SofTouch Dental™, we start talking about dental hygiene from infancy when we discuss fluoride and encourage parents to use tap water when making formula (most cities have fluoride added to their water, but you should check),or, to dilute juice (if they give their baby any juice at all).

When baby’s first teeth come in, parents can wipe them off with a soft washcloth. Never leave a bottle in a baby’s crib,or, nurse a child throughout the night, as this may lead to early cavities in the first teeth.

We recommend getting a child a toothbrush at 12-15 months and letting the toddler begin brushing his/her own teeth by mimicking the parents or siblings. Dab on a smidgen of toothpaste with fluoride, but don’t let your child just “eat” big globs of toothpaste because they like it. Too much fluoride can also be a problem. (You can buy fluoride-free toothpaste if you are concerned.)

Pediatric dentists encourage parents to floss their children’s teeth in the early years. Many dentists will do what’s called a “lap visit” for the first few appointments, during which they let the mother or father hold a 1- or 2-year-old and the dentist gets the child comfortable by opening his/her mouth or having the child look at the dental instruments. For most kids, their first cleaning is done at their 3-year-old visit. Dental checkups are then scheduled every 6 months.

Due to good dental hygiene, many of my patients are cavity free even as they enter their teen years!

Come visit us so we can help you achieve a healthy happy smile … the smile of your dreams! We are proud to be your dentist 63031.

Soft Touch Dental
1005 Dunn Road Florissant MO 63031
(314) 838-9454

If you struggle with this age old question, hopefully these few words will help you finally decide if you should have your teeth whitened or not.

First off, if cost is your first concern, it should be your last; there are a myriad ways to either work out payment plans or get dental insurance (topics for another article). Your first concern should be your health; there are a few studies pondering if teeth whitening is safe (MailOnline, for example, points to a new law being look at in the UK). For the most part, the many studies that have been done on teeth whitening indicate most all kinds of whitening treatments are safe and pose no risk to your teeth (even the home whitening kinds). Of course you should be careful with how much whitening you do (sensitivity could become an issue) and which type.

There are some different whitening strategies: Discovery Fit and Health gives some home remedies that help whiten your teeth.  My favorite one? Chewing on some celery.  This goes right along with munching on fruits and vegetables. And of course you could do the ol’ rub baking soda to buff stains away. Keep in mind however, that if you want your smile to be as bright as Mother Nature intended, you will need to see your dentist.

There are a lot of over-the-counter choices available as well. Results from whitening strips can last for up to 4 months (according to WebMD). But, remember these contain a peroxide-based gel, which can be dangerous if a baby or child were to swallow them. There are also (thanks to WebMD again) tray-based tooth whiteners. These involve a tray that is worn for a period of time, depending on the desired results.

In conclusion, if you are a do-it-yourself type of person, whitening your teeth is more than likely something you can do. If, on the other hand you’re like me and prefer to have the experts take care of what they have become experts at, go ahead and make that dental appointment; it will be the quickest, most effective, safest, and done-the-best-way, to get your teeth whitened.

Whatever you decide to do, before embarking on any whitening treatments, be sure to seek the advice of your neighborhood dentist. They are the professionals, and, fully understand the various treatments available for this very visible and affordable cosmetic change to your smile.


Soft Touch Dental
1005 Dunn Road Florissant MO 63031
(314) 838-9454

teethThe definition of plaque is really very interesting as described by Wikipedia:

Dental plaque is a biofilm, usually a pale yellow that develops naturally on the teeth. Like any biofilm, dental plaque is formed by colonizing bacteria . . . It has been speculated that plaque forms part of the defense systems of the host by helping to prevent colonization of microorganisms that may be pathogenic.

It is not a huge leap to compare plaque to the Great Wall of China. The building of plaque never ceases and the Great Wall took centuries to build and it’s still not complete. The Great Wall was built to keep attackers out while at the same time keeping people in. The Great Wall of China can be seen from space; if you have a lot of plaque build-up, it can be seen pretty easily, too.

If we heed only Wikipedia’s definition above, one might wonder what is so bad about plaque.  The above definition is only a partial one and there are many more resources available online or at your local dental office that will point out the drawbacks of plaque. While building up its defenses the same material that protects erodes the enamel of the teeth.  Of course the erosion does not take place over night. And, neither will the “take down.”

Like the Great Wall, plaque is very formidable. Both will never be totally deconstructed however, the Great Wall is maintained and cleaned for its millions of visitors. Plaque helps protect against billions of visitors, too  (microorganisms). However, if you do not keep the plaque at bay (it occurs naturally, and can not be cleaned 100% away) it will destroy your teeth.

So, get into see your dentist, help them help you control plaque. Ask your dentist if the recommended twice-yearly cleaning is all you need, or, if there are other issues to deal with like periodontal disease or gingivitis.  Remember your dentist is the expert and they love helping people get the oral care they should have; it’s what they do!


Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Rob Boudon

It’s time for our candy corn contest! Get an extra entry for every appointment. Guesses can be submitted online (on our Facebook post). Share the post on Facebook for an extra entry! Winner will be announced on Facebook and will win a $25 gift card!

candy corn contest

Tooth decay, gum disease, and injury can all lead to missing teeth. Dentures return your smile and your confidence…

Soft Touch Dental
1005 Dunn Road Florissant MO 63031
(314) 838-9454

Who doesn’t love candy at Halloween? If your kids are like mine, they’re going to come home from trick-or-treating with tons of candy. Sugary candy can lead to tooth decay, but following these simple steps can help you and your children have a fun Halloween without the nightmare of harming their teeth in the process.

  1. Don’t let your kids gorge on Halloween candy all night. Teaching your kids moderation on Halloween is important.
  2. Monitor that your children are brushing their teeth two-to-three times-a-day.
  3. Make sure that your children use an age-appropriate fluoridated mouthwash every evening.
  4. Have extra disposable dental flosses laying all over the house. You’d be amazed at what kids will do when their bored.
  5. Avoid or limit candy such as caramels, candy corn, jelly beans, and taffy. These particular candies are extra sticky, making it hard for saliva to wash away the sugar. And they can damage sealants.
  6. Give your kids sugar free gum to chew. Not only does sugar-free gum help prevent cavities, it also helps neutralize the effects of sugar from the candy. Therefore, it combats the bacteria in plaque that causes cavities.

Halloween is a fun holiday and you shouldn’t have to worry about things like tooth decay. By practicing good oral hygiene and using moderation, your kids can have a fun and safe Halloween and still enjoy the candy!