3 Things to Do When Your Child Has a Toothache

Toothaches can be scary for kids and their parents. When your child has a toothache, taking action as soon as possible is important. Your child’s pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, can help.

At Big Grins, we offer emergency dental treatment, dental examinations, and treatments like tooth fillings to help our patients get the care they need. If your child has a toothache, we can help. Below are three things to do when your child has an aching tooth.

1. Talk to the Dentist

A toothache is a sign of a problem. It can happen when there’s a chip or crack in the tooth enamel, a cavity, or something as serious as an infection in the tooth.

The dentist should address all of these problems. If your child has a cavity, for example, they should get a filling as soon as possible before the decay worsens and the result is an infection.

This is why one of your first steps should be to call the dentist. Your child’s dentist can help you decide if your child has a dental emergency and, if so, what to do next.

2. Give Medications If Recommended

The dentist may recommend that your child take some over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen. Always follow doctor recommendations when giving your child medication, and follow doctor or manufacturer dosage instructions.

Note that if your child has a fever, this could result from an infection in the tooth. Acetaminophen will reduce the fever, but the infection remains. Keep an eye on your child and watch for changes.

3. Rinse With Salt Water

Rinsing with salt water can help alleviate a toothache while you’re waiting to bring your child to the dentist. Combine one cup of water with one tablespoon of salt. Stir, then have your child swish the water around their tooth. Do not have your child drink the saltwater.

Is your child having a dental emergency? Seek pediatric emergency dental care in Fort Collins, CO. Call Big Grins today to make your child’s next appointment with our dental professionals.

4 Reasons to Take Your Child A Pediatric Dentist

When you’re first looking for a dentist for your child, you’ll need to make a choice: should you bring your child to a pediatric dentist or take your child to a general dentist?

If you’ve never been to a pediatric dentist yourself, you may not know what difference it makes to bring your child to someone who specializes in pediatric dentistry. Below, we’ve listed the reasons for bringing your child to apediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO.

1. Pediatric Dentists Know How to Help Kids Relax in the Dental Chair

Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience for your child. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist is different because pediatric dentists understand how children react to stress and can help them manage their feelings.

Pediatric dentists have strategies to help children feel calm when they visit the dentist and can work with parents to make the visit as smooth as possible.

2. Pediatric Dentists Make Waiting More Fun

Waiting areas at normal dental offices have magazines and chairs, but not much for the kids. Bringing your child to a pediatric dentist is different. Pediatric dentists often have play areas where kids can enjoy themselves while waiting for their dental appointments.

This helps set your child up for a positive experience with the dentist and makes visiting the dentist more enjoyable for parents as well. When kids are happy, parents are happy.

3. Pediatric Dentists Have All the Tools Kids Need to Clean Teeth

Kids have small mouths and small teeth. When you take your child to a pediatric dentist, you can feel confident that the dentist will have many small tools for completing the work.

4. Pediatric Dentist Have Childhood Dental Problems

Kids are especially prone to certain dental problems, like cavities. Kids love candy, eat a lot of sugar, and don’t always brush their teeth as they should. Pediatric dentists have the expertise it takes to make your child’s visit to the dentist more efficient and can help your child overcome these common pediatric dental problems.

Want to bring your child to the pediatric dentist? Call the dental professionals at Big Grins to make your child’s nextdental appointment in Fort Collins, CO.

How to Shop for Your Child’s Toothbrush

Helping your child maintain clean, healthy teeth is important. One of the tools that you’ll need to keep your child’s teeth clean is a good toothbrush. The toothbrush you choose for your child will have an impact on how effective your child’s teeth-cleaning routine is and how healthy your child’s teeth are.

Your child’s dentist in Fort Collins, CO, can help you find a good toothbrush and may make some recommendations when you come in for a dental cleaning, but here are some suggestions to get you started.

Soft Bristle Brush

It’s tempting to choose a toothbrush with hard bristles to get those pearly whites extra clean, but your child only needs a soft bristle toothbrush to get the job done. Most toothbrushes naturally have soft bristles, but check the label to ensure that you’re buying the right thing.

Easy to Grip Handle

If your child is brushing their teeth on their own, it’s especially important to choose a toothbrush with a handle they can easily grip. Younger children may need a toothbrush with an extra thick handle and rubber grippers to keep their toothbrush in place. If you’re brushing your child’s teeth for them, this needs to be a handle that you are comfortable using yourself.

Head that Fits

Kids have small mouths, so they need kid-sized toothbrushes with a small head that’s easy to move inside the mouth. It’s natural to assume a bigger head is better for getting many teeth clean at once, but the bigger the head, the more cumbersome it can be inside the mouth.

A Toothbrush Your Child Likes

It’s important to choose a toothbrush your child likes to use and is excited to see in the bathroom. Some child-sized toothbrushes come with cartoon characters on them to help motivate children to brush their teeth.

One of the best ways to ensure that your child will enjoy brushing their teeth is to let them pick the toothbrush they want to use. Give your child a vote when you go to the store. They may want a toothbrush of a specific brand or color.

Ask Questions At the Next Dentist Appointment

Have questions about picking a toothbrush for your child? Talk to your dentist at Big Grins the next time you bring your child to the dentist for a tooth cleaning in Fort Collins, CO. Call today to make an appointment.

5 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth This Holiday Season

The holidays are a magical time for children, but they can be a bad time for teeth! Children eat a lot of sweets at this time of year, and that’s not great for your child’s oral hygiene. As your child’s pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, we have some suggestions for ways that you can help your child avoid cavities and dental problems at this time of year.

1. Buy Sugarless When You Can

Whether you’re stocking the candy bowl with treats or stuffing your child’s stocking with candies, this is a time of year when parents give kids a lot of candy! Sugarless candy options are available and can do less damage than sugary candies. Look for sugarless candies in online markets and specialty stores.

2. Monitor Tooth Brushing

At the end of a long day spent with family and friends, it’s easy for tired kids to forget to brush their teeth at bedtime. If your child brushes their own teeth, take time to remind them to do a good job. If you brush your child’s teeth for them, do an extra good job to get rid of the cookies and sweets they’ve been eating.

3. Give Them Crunchy Veggies and Fruit

When you show up at family functions, your kids probably head straight for the cookie tray. If there’s a veggie and fruit tray as well, prepare your child a tray for fruit and veggies first. Crunchy fruits and veggies are good for your child’s teeth because chewing helps stimulate gums and saliva production, which can help keep your child’s teeth clean.

4. Know the Symptoms of a Dental Problem

Watch your child for signs of a dental problem, like a toothache or bad breath that doesn’t go away (even after they’ve brushed). If you notice any dental issues, make an appointment with your child’s dentist.

5. Make a Dental Cleaning Appointment

Once the holidays are over, bring your child for a pediatric dental checkup in Fort Collins, CO. Taking your child to the dentist can help clean up any plaque and tartar from holiday treats. Call your child’s dentist at Big Grins to make their next appointment.

Ways to Help Your Child When They Have a Toothache

A toothache can be a scary experience for a child. No doubt you want to relieve your child’s pain if you can. Knowing what to do when your child has a toothache can help you take care of your child and their oral health.

As your child’s dentist in Fort Collins, CO, we’re happy to help you find the solution to your child’s painful problem. If your child has a toothache, bring them to the dentist as soon as possible for an exam and cavity filling. Below are some things you can do to help your child before their appointment.

Bite Down on Clove Oil

Clove oil is an antibacterial product that has been known to act as a pain reliever for toothaches. Unfortunately, clove oil can have side effects if eaten. It’s not considered a product that your child should eat.

To use clove oil for your child’s toothache, mix the clove oil with an oil that’s considered food-safe. Next, dip a cotton swab into the mixture, then give the swab to your child. Have your child bite down on the swab. Tell your child not to swallow the oil; they should spit it out when they’re done. If your child isn’t old enough to spit the oil out, then this is not a good option for them.

Swish With Warm Saltwater Rinse

Saltwater can help relieve a toothache while also reducing the swelling in your child’s mouth. Make a warm saltwater rinse by mixing a teaspoon of table salt into a cup of warm water.

Tell your child to swish the water around in their mouth and then spit it out. Your child can do this many times, but instruct them not to swallow the water. Like clove oil, this is only appropriate if your child is old enough to swish and spit instead of swallowing the water.

Hold A Cold Compress

Wrap a bag of ice in a towel and have your child hold the bag to their cheek, on the side where they’re experiencing the pain. Have them hold the compress there for about 20 minutes at a time, or less if they become uncomfortable.

Visit the Dentist

A toothache is a dental emergency in Fort Collins, CO. At Big Grins, we can help. If your child’s tooth hurts, call today to make an emergency appointment.

Five Things to Know About Your Child’s First Trip to the Dentist

Visiting the pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO can be an exciting experience for a little one! If you’re a new parent who has never taken heir dentist for the first time, you may have questions about the experience as well. Here’s what to know about your child’s first trip to the dentist.

1. Your child’s first visit should happen by the time they turn one.

Experts recommend that children go see the dentist within six months of their first teeth erupting, or by the time they turn one (which ever comes first). If your child is already one year old and hasn’t yet been to the dentist, it’s time. Make the first appointment as soon as possible.

2. You’ll learn how to care for your child’s teeth.

During your child’s first visit to the dentist, you’ll learn to care for your child’s teeth. The dentist will give you a tutorial on how to brush their teeth and how to identify problems with their tooth enamel.

3. You’ll get answers to your questions.

During your visit to the dentist, you’ll get answers to questions that you might have about how to care for your child’s teeth. Write your questions down before the appointment, so you won’t forget them when you go in for the visit.

4. It won’t take long.

Your appointment shouldn’t take long. Visits with little ones have to be fast because of their short attention spans. Most little ones don’t need long visits anyway, so you’ll be able to get your appointment finished relatively quickly.

5. Your dentist will use strategies to make your child comfortable.

Some kids feel uncomfortable when they visit the dentist. When you bring your child to Big Grins, your child’s dentist will use strategies to help your child feel more comfortable during their time in our office. You’ll be present with your child as well, so you can help them stay happy throughout their visit.

Want to know more about your child’s first dental appointment in Fort Collins, CO? Call Big Grins. We’re experts in pediatric patients, so we’ll be happy to answer your questions about your child’s first trip to the dentist.

Baby’s First Trip to the Dentist: What to Expect

You should schedule your infant’s first dental visit soon after their first birthday or after the eruption of their first tooth, whichever comes first. It’s important to begin caring for your baby’s teeth right away because it helps establish good oral hygiene habits and strong teeth and gums. Your pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, will be happy to guide you through your child’s first dental appointment and what to expect.

An Infant Dental Visit May Last Up to 45 Minutes

This first visit is used to help familiarize your child with the dentist, but it also helps give the dentist insight into your baby’s dental health. At this time, they’ll perform a routine infant dental exam, which usually means looking at their teeth, gums, and oral tissue. They may examine your baby’s bite and check for issues such as tongue-tie or lip-tie. They’ll take a complete medical history and may ask about any genetic dental conditions that run in your family.

The Pediatric Dentist Probably Won’t Take X-Rays

At this initial dental visit, X-rays usually aren’t required. However, if your dentist finds a problem that could cause future orthodontic issues, they may decide to take an X-ray. Fortunately, dental X-rays for children are much safer than they used to be. They use a minute, harmless dose of radiation, and your child will wear a protective apron during the procedure.

Your Child’s Dentist Will Talk to You, Too

Your first trip to the pediatric dentist will be educational for you, too. Dentists take this opportunity to educate first-time parents on topics such as cleaning infant gums, putting babies to bed with a bottle, and how long to use a pacifier. These can all impact a child’s oral health and the appearance of their smile as they age. For this reason, your child’s dentist will want to make sure you understand the best way to care for your baby’s teeth and gums until they’re old enough to begin brushing and flossing themselves.

If you’re in need of pediatric dentistry in Fort Collins, CO, we invite you to call Big Grins today. At Big Grins, we specialize in setting families at ease. Call today to schedule your baby’s first dental visit with our friendly and experienced team member.



Child sucking finger

Dental Problems That Are a Result of Thumb Sucking

Has your pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO told you that your child’s thumb-sucking could result in dental problems? If so, you are probably concerned and want to learn more. About 60-80 percent of children suck their thumbs during infancy. However, thumb sucking should significantly decrease after six months of age. But some kids don’t stop and that’s when it can turn into a dental problem.

Dental Problems That Are a Result of Thumb Sucking

Here are just some of the dental problems that are a result of thumb-sucking. This information will help you understand why it’s so important that you do all you can to break your child’s thumb-sucking habit.

  • Misaligned Teeth

Thumb sucking can cause the improper alignment of your child’s teeth. This is the most serious problem caused by thumb sucking because it results in the incorrect positioning of your child’s teeth when their jaws are closed.

  • Open Bite

Thumb sucking can also lead to your child developing an open bite. This is when the top and bottom front teeth have grown outward, causing the teeth not to touch, even when your child’s mouth is closed.

  • Overbite

An overbite happens when your child’s upper front teeth have grown outward. This is when the top of your child’s teeth covers their bottom teeth when their mouth is closed. An overbite can affect the shape of your child’s face and sometimes even their smile. Additionally, an overbite can sometimes be so severe that it will take extensive orthodontic treatments to fix it.

  • Speech Impediments

Thumb sucking can undermine the proper development of your child’s palate, jaw, and teeth. And sometimes, even with the proper dental care, your child’s speech might not fully correct those impediments. This is because the thumb sucking will have changed the shape of your child’s teeth in relation to their tongue. This could leave your child with lifelong communication problems.

Your Dentist Can Help Stop Your Child’s Thumb Sucking

Your dentist will be able to help you with your child’s thumb-sucking issues. They will diagnose any existing problems during a pediatric dental exam in Fort Collins, CO, and give you the needed course of action to correct the problem. Your dentist might begin by placing a palatal crib appliance in your child’s mouth. This will usually stop thumb-sucking immediately. But if it doesn’t, your dentist will advise you as to your next course of action.

Do You Need a Pediatric Dentist in Fort Collins, CO?

If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, please Contact Big Grins today. We have been practicing since 1998 and have an excellent team with a lot of patience. Additionally, we know exactly how to help children feel comfortable and at ease during what they see as a fearful experience.


How to Talk to Your Child About Cavities

As a loving parent in Fort Collins, CO, you want your child to have the best start in life, including in regard to oral health. Since children are so prone to cavities, your Fort Collins pediatric dentist is offering some help for parents about how to talk to children about cavities.

The Problem With Discussing Cavities

Cavities are, by and large, an abstract concept as far as kids are concerned. Youngsters have a hard time grasping abstract ideas; sometimes adults do, too! But if you can take the abstract idea of cavities and bring it into the “real world,” your child will be more likely to get the idea.

Use a Model

One idea is to use a tray of ice cubes. The larger the ice cube, the easier it will be to work with, so the larger ice cube trays work best. Ask your child to imagine that each ice cube is a tooth. Now, fill a glass measuring cup with warm water (safely out of your child’s reach), and slowly pour a slim stream of water onto one ice cube. The water represents bacteria. Your child can observe how the hot water makes the ice cube melt. You can explain how this is similar to how bacteria eats away at a tooth. If you don’t like this model idea, try to come up with something similar that works with your household.

Don’t Make Them Over-Fearful

Some kids may get frightened at the idea that something they eat is going to make holes in their teeth. You don’t want to make your child hyper-aware of what they eat. Just explain that too much of anything is not good, including water. Teach moderation. A sliver of birthday cake and a scoop of ice cream is not going to make teeth rot. Instead, explain how their diet should not consist of excess sugar.

Compare Washing and Brushing

Reinforce the fact that brushing teeth is a way of washing teeth of bad bacteria that can make cavities. Explain that there are all kinds of bacteria, but some bacteria enjoy eating sugar, just like your child does. So that certain bacteria needs to be “washed” away by brushing teeth.

Finally, bring your child in for pediatric dental cleanings in Fort Collins, CO on a regular basis. We have a variety of dental tools and models to help explain cavities to your youngster. Contact us today to book your child’s next appointment.

Is Laughing Gas Safe For Children?

Laughing gas has a reputation as a kind of drug that makes a person laugh while getting their teeth worked on. Unfortunately, this common term, “laughing gas” gives people the wrong impression.

What is Laughing Gas?

Laughing gas is a colloquialism for nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is used as an anesthetic in medicine and especially in dentistry. Specifically, it’s classified as being a “dissociative anesthetic” because it causes a disassociation that helps patients not feel anxious about the treatment they’re undergoing.

How is Laughing Gas Used in Pediatric Dentistry?

Laughing gas in Fort Collins, CO is offered to young patients with permission from parents. It’s dosed in very, very small amounts because that’s all it takes to help a child relax for things like cavity fillings, and other things that may make them feel afraid.

When your child has laughing gas, they simply relax and feel better. The nitrous oxide doesn’t make them unconscious; it merely takes the edge off a tiny little bit so your child feels calm. In some cases, the nitrous oxide dulls the pain, too, so the whole treatment is more pleasant.

Things to Know About Laughing Gas For Children

  • Laughing gas doesn’t “knock a child unconscious.” If a child closes their eyes, it’s simply because they feel comfortable and relaxed.
  • Your child is awake and aware under laughing gas.
  • There are no needles involved with laughing gas. It’s administered through a small little nose mask.
  • No one turns their back on a child during dental treatment. Unlike with adult dentistry, your child is never left alone, especially when laughing gas is used. Someone is always right by their side. In some cases, if you want to stay with your child during treatment, that’s possible, too.
  • Laughing gas for children has been approved, and is in use around the world. There are no known side effects or issues.

Benefits of Laughing Gas

The benefits of laughing gas for children include less anxiety around dental visits. This can help create an environment where your child is happy to go and cooperate with important dental care. In turn, that can lead to a lifetime of good dental habits.

When you visit your pediatric dentist in Fort Collins, CO, ask about nitrous oxide to learn more. Book your child’s next appointment today.