Which Foods Are Good for Strengthening My Child’s Teeth?  

Since diet and teeth go hand in hand, a child’s oral health is directly affected by the foods and beverages that he or she consumes. Sugary foods and beverages feed the bacteria in the mouth that wreak havoc on the teeth and gums, while acidic foods and beverages weaken tooth enamel. Although, at some point, a child will consume these foods and beverages, in addition to biannual dental cleanings in Bellbrook, OH, parents can use other foods to help strengthen their child’s teeth.

5 Foods That Can Strengthen a Child’s Teeth

One of the best ways parents can help strengthen their child’s teeth is by incorporating foods beneficial to oral health into his or her diet.

1. Firm Raw Vegetables

Eating firm raw vegetables (e.g., celery, carrots) can help remove food debris and reduce the number of bacteria on the teeth. In addition, carrots cause an increase in saliva production, which reduces a child’s risk of developing cavities. Celery provides a substantial amount of the antioxidant vitamins C and A, both of which can improve gum health.

2. Apples

Although apples have a relatively high sugar content, apples also consist of water and fiber. While a child eats an apple, his or her mouth begins producing saliva, which helps rinse away the bacteria responsible for the development of cavities. In addition, the apple’s texture stimulates the child’s gums.

3. Avocados

The flesh of the avocado is loaded with prebiotic fiber, which feeds the probiotic bacteria in the mouth. The probiotic bacteria help oral health by reducing the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

4. Chicken Legs, Thighs and Wings

While many people think a skinless chicken breast is the healthiest piece of chicken, when it comes to the teeth, drumsticks, wings and thighs come out on top. These parts of the chicken are most beneficial because they contain high amounts of collagen, which is crucial for gum health. The benefits of collagen can also be obtained by making a stock or bone broth using drumsticks, wings and thighs.

5. Spinach

This vegetable is chock-full of vitamins and minerals that can improve a child’s dental health. Since most children are not in any rush to eat a bowl of Popeye’s favorite food, consider incorporating spinach into a child’s diet by adding it to pasta sauces and smoothies.

While these foods do strengthen the teeth, to ensure good oral health, daily brushing and flossing is still necessary. Furthermore, biannual cleanings remain a vital aspect of maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums.

If you are looking for an experienced dentist, and you reside in the Bellbrook, Ohio, area, contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. John Harmeyer or one of his experienced, caring and dedicated dental professionals. To book an appointment, please call (937) 848-7741 or request an appointment using our online form.

Bellbrook Family Dentistry’s address is 4291 Sugarcreek Drive in Bellbrook, Ohio.


What is Restorative Dentistry For Kids?

Does your child have missing or damaged teeth? Like many children with missing or damaged teeth, your child probably feels self-conscious about smiling. During school and sports activities, some children may even make fun of your child’s smile. As a result, your child may also suffer from low self-esteem. The good news is that restorative dentistry in Bellbrook, OH can drastically improve your child’s dental heath and smile. Check out these common restorative treatments for children.

Tooth Fillings

One of the most common types of restorative treatments for kids are tooth fillings. Since tooth fillings are a minimally invasive treatment, they are a great way to fix children’s cavities. Silver and white tooth fillings are usually available.

Dental Crowns

If your child has a permanent tooth with excessive decay or a fracture, there’s a chance that your Bellbrook, OH dentist may recommend a dental crown. Dental crowns are an effective and relatively quick restorative treatment because they can protect a decaying tooth from further damage. A dental crown can also retain the healthy structure of your child’s tooth and prevent it from having to be completely removed.

Dental Bonding

Children are unpredictable, and most of them will chip or crack a tooth at some point. Many dentists will use dental bonding to restore a child’s cracked tooth. Even if your child’s front tooth is chipped or broken, dental bonding can restore the tooth to its natural shape.


If your child has a baby tooth with severe decay, a dentist may suggest a pulpotomy procedure. The procedure can save your child’s decaying tooth by removing the damaged pulp. Keep in mind that whenever a decaying tooth is left untreated, severe infection can occur. In extreme cases, your child may even lose the tooth if it isn’t treated promptly.

Tooth Extractions

A tooth extraction may be necessary if your child has a permanent tooth with a big cavity or severe infection. A dentist may also remove a tooth due to overcrowding. A tooth extraction is a fairly straightforward procedure. After that, a permanent faux tooth will be installed to replace the missing tooth.

Ready to improve your child’s confidence with a beautiful, healthy smile? Contact our dental office soon to learn all about our excellent restorative treatments. We are always happy to answer any of your questions.

How to Protect Your Little One’s Teeth this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of great fun – but they can also be hard on teeth! Kids can be especially vulnerable to dental problems around the holidays, because of the temptation to eat sweets and candy. You can protect your child’s teeth this holiday season. By making an appointment with the dentist in Bellbrook OH, and by taking the following precautions, you can ensure that your child has good oral hygiene once the holidays are over. Here’s what you need to know.

Keep up With Their Oral Hygiene Routine

Do you ever forget to have your child brush their teeth at night? Ever send them to bed without telling them to brush and floss? This is not the time of year to let that happen! While it’s never a good idea to let ordinary oral hygiene routines slide, it’s an even bigger problem at the holidays. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every night before bedtime, so that you and your child will remember tooth brushing every evening.

Limit their Intake of Sugar

Don’t give your child uncontrolled access to cookies, cakes and sugar around the holidays. When your child asks if they can have holiday cookies, tell them how many they may take. If your child is given chocolates or candies by a relative, tell your child what times of day are acceptable for eating these candies. Avoid giving your child candies in their stocking, since they’re probably getting candies in many other places at this time of year.

Have Them Drink Water

Encourage your child to drink water with snacks, after snacks, and after meals. Drinking water helps wash away the bacteria and bits of food left in your child’s mouth, and that can help keep your child’s mouth clean. Want to make drinking water more fun? Give them a cute sippy cup they love, or a special water bottle that’s all theirs.

Schedule a Dental Checkup

Schedule a dental check up in Bellbrook OH immediately following the holidays. During your child’s checkup, the dentist will get rid of any plaque that may have built up on your child’s teeth during the holidays. The dentist will also let you know if your child needs a filling or if they need to make changes to their oral hygiene routine.

Call today to make an appointment.

Your Little One Has a Hard Time Brushing Their Teeth? 4 Tips

It’s so important for children to learn to brush their teeth well. Unfortunately, many small children don’t have the coordination to brush their teeth thoroughly and properly.

Many kids also struggle to brush their teeth for long enough – they just don’t have the patience! As a parent, there are many things you can do to help your little one learn to brush their teeth. Here’s what we suggest.

1. Sing a Song to Show How Long

It’s normal for small children who brush their own teeth to lose interest in brushing their teeth before their teeth are fully clean. Tooth brushing should last about two minutes.

To show your child how long they should be brushing their teeth, find a song your child enjoys that lasts two minutes. Play that song on your phone or stereo every time your child brushes their teeth. Tell them tooth brushing is finished when the song ends.

2. Ask Them to Practice In Front Of You

Ask your child to show you how they brush their teeth. When they practice tooth brushing in front of you, your child will automatically show you what needs to be improved about their process.

Take the time to correct any problems that you’re noticing with your child’s tooth brushing – whether they’re not getting in the back of their mouth, or they’re just not spending enough time in one spot.

3. Have the Dentist Show Your Child

Your child’s dentist can also show your child how to brush their teeth. Ask your child’s dentist in Bellbrook OH to show your child the best way to brush their teeth. Get instruction from your dentist every time you go.

4. Take a “Turn” Brushing Their Teeth

Your child may insist on brushing their own teeth, but until your child is about 7 or 8 years old, you should be brushing their teeth at least once per day. This is because many children lack the manual dexterity to brush their own teeth until they’re at least 7 or 8. So if your child wants to brush their own teeth, let them take a turn – then take a turn yourself.

Make An Appointment for A Checkup

Take your child for a dental checkup in Bellbrook OH to get more advice about toothbrushing. Call Bellbrook Family Dentistry today to make an appointment.

My Child Chipped Their Tooth on the Playground: Now What?

If your child is like other young children, running around on a playground is one of life’s great pleasures. However, if while playing your child chips one of their teeth, you may be in a panic as to what to do next. Fortunately, your dentist in Bellbrook, OH sees this type of problem on a regular basis, and now have many options available to them regarding treatment. As a result, it is likely your child’s tooth can be restored to look as if nothing ever happened.

Contact Your Dentist

Of course, you should immediately contact your pediatric dentist in Bellbrook, OH after the accident, tell them what happened, and make arrangements for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, you can use an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling, and also give your child an OTC pain medication should they be experiencing discomfort.

Locate the Tooth Fragment

If you can, locate the tooth fragment and bring it with you to the dentist. Also, put the fragment in a Ziploc bag filled with some water. If the fragment can be kept in good condition, the dentist may be able to reattach it directly to the part of the tooth from which it was broken.

Filled Like a Cavity

If you can’t locate the tooth fragment, don’t worry. Instead, your dentist can solve the problem just as if they were filling a cavity. Using a tooth-colored resin and adhesive, your child’s dentist can shape and polish the remaining tooth and resin so that it appears as if the tooth was never injured. This is a form of cosmetic dentistry in Bellbrook, OH that will ensure your child’s smile looks great.

What About Large Chips?

If your child chipped a large portion of their tooth, tooth bonding in Long Beach, CA with a resin may not be a viable solution to the problem. Instead, your dentist will instead look to use a veneer, especially if it was a front tooth that was chipped. By covering the chipped tooth with a veneer, your child can once again have a tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a normal tooth.

When these unexpected situations develop, it is best to not panic. By keeping your wits about you, locating the tooth fragment, and getting in touch with your dentist Bellbrook, OH right away, your child’s chipped tooth can be taken care of in a manner that will be much easier than you ever imagined.

4 Ways to Encourage Good Dental Hygiene in Toddlers

Some researchers suggest that as much as 60 percent of children have experienced some form of tooth decay by the time they are five years old. The fact is, the time nestled between infancy and post-toddler can be an eventual period in a child’s life. And, getting a rambunctious toddler on board with brushing can be tough.

First, be sure your child has a good pediatric dentist in Centerville. Then consider these ideas to help make brushing less problematic for a toddler.

1. Make Brushing Fun

Brushing may start out intriguing, but that initial curiosity about learning a new skill can quickly fade. Your goal is to keep brushing as fun as possible. This may mean making a game out of those two minutes of brushing, playing a favorite song every morning and night during brushing time, or even creating a sticker chart.

2. Lead By Example

Toddlers do model after the adults in their life. If you’re brushing every day, your toddler may naturally want to follow suit. Make a point to invite your little one into the bathroom with you when it’s time for you to brush and floss yourself.

3. Involve Favorite Characters

Many recognizable characters have videos out there to watch or books to read about brushing your teeth. These can be super helpful if your toddler is struggling. For example, check out the Brushy Brushy Song from Elmo.

4. Use the Right Products

Kid-friendly products are a must if you want a toddler to get interested in brushing and flossing. Thankfully, you have a ton of ADA-approved products that are perfect for the purpose, such as:

  • Toothbrushes that play a tune
  • Fun-shaped flossers
  • Toothpaste that sparkles, changes colors or offers fun flavors
  • Mouthwash that makes tooth stains a funky color before brushing them away

Work with a Pediatric Dentist in Centerville, OH

Toddlerhood can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a stressful time for your youngster’s oral health. If you are struggling to get your child to brush their teeth, be sure you work with a pediatric dentist in Centerville, OH to take other measures. Reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry to schedule your toddler’s appointment today.

The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Pediatric Dentistry

As a parent, you probably have questions about when your child should visit the dentist for the first time. This question along with a myriad of other important issues regarding your child’s teeth. Therefore, we are going to answer many of those questions here.

At what age should a child first visit the dentist?

A child’s first visit to the dentist should occur around his or her first birthday.

When do a child’s first teeth erupt?

A child’s teeth will begin erupting around six and 12 months of age.

What to do when your child’s first teeth arrive.

A child’s gums will be tender and sore when they begin to erupt. You can help soothe the discomfort by gently rubbing them with your finger or a cool wet cloth. Teething rings help with the discomfort as well.

At what age do a child’s baby teeth shed and their permanent teeth begin erupting?

A child’s teeth will begin coming out throughout his or her childhood. The permanent teeth will begin erupting around the age of six and will continue to formulate until they are 21 years old. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth if you include the wisdom teeth.

What to watch out for once your child’s teeth begin erupting.

When your child’s teeth begin coming in, you should examine them every two weeks looking for lines and/or discoloration. These are signs of tooth decay from not brushing and too many sugary foods, liquids, etc. that can affect your child’s new teeth.

How to prevent tooth decay from setting in?

To help avoid tooth decay, it’s best to brush your child’s teeth about four times each day—after breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before he or she goes to bed.

How much toothpaste should be used on a child’s baby teeth?

You and then your child should begin brushing his or her teeth as the first tooth begins to erupt. A small amount of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice should be used until the child turns three years of age. After the age of three, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used.

How often should a child visit the dentist?

Children should visit the dentist every six months for a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning. In addition, fluoride treatments twice a year and tooth sealants in conjunction with teeth cleaning are also recommended to help keep your child’s teeth sealed and strong.

What’s Next?

If you live in or around Centerville, OH, or Beavercreek, OH, and have pediatric dental questions or would like to schedule an appointment for your child, please Contact Bellbrook Family Dentistry today. We look forward to serving you.


Choosing a Pediatric Dentist for a Child with Special Needs: Tips for Parents

Children with special needs can be much more likely to have issues with their oral health. Whether it is due to deformities of the teeth and gums or the inability to properly handle oral care, any issue is something to be mindful of as a parent to prevent future problems. With that in mind, finding the best pediatric dentist for your child with special needs or certain disabilities is imperative. Here are a few tips to help you find the best dentist for your child.

1. Does the dentist have experience with children with special needs?

Not all dentists have experience treating children with special needs. And, even if a dentist does have experience with special needs children, they may not have experience with children that have the same issues as your child. Pediatric dentists never mind discussing with parents their prior experience to make sure they are the best provider for dental treatment.

2. Does your child need a specific type of service offering for adequate dental care?

Children with special needs often need highly specific types of treatment when it comes to dental care. For example, some children may need regular cleanings done under light anesthesia. Discuss any specific needs your child may have with the dental staff to make sure the practice can cater to your child’s needs.

3. Does the office atmosphere suit your child and their needs?

All dental offices can have a different atmosphere to offer. Some practices offer more practical designs while others have more child-friendly features. However, a child with special needs may have specific needs where the environment is concerned. For example, an autistic child with sensory problems may be extremely uncomfortable in a noisy environment. Check with any dentist you are considering and perhaps even plan to stop by for a visit to check out the atmosphere.

Find the Best Bellbrook Pediatric Dentist to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

Children with special needs bring so much joy to our lives with their unique personalities and gifts. Make sure you keep your child’s smile as healthy as possible with regular oral health care. Reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry in Bellbrook, OH to schedule an appointment or discuss the needs of your child.


3 Reasons Children Can Be More Prone to Cavities Than Adults

About 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 will have issues with dental caries (cavities) in their primary teeth. Here is a look at why some kids can be more prone to cavities than adults.

Children are not as attentive when brushing and flossing their teeth.

Naturally, kids often need a little more encouragement to brush their teeth because they don’t typically understand the importance of oral care. Children should be brushing for about two minutes when they pick up their toothbrush. You can invest in all kinds of neat toothbrushes with timers that play music for two minutes or stand and monitor with a timer yourself. Just the same, they may be brushing for two minutes and still not getting every tooth good enough. This is why it is a good idea to consider something like dental sealants to protect the enamel of hard-to-reach teeth from decay.

Children don’t always make the best nutrition choices.

Whether you have a picky eater or a sweet eater that is always reaching for snacks, pretty much every parent will deal with the odd nutritive choices of children at some point. Kids are not always great about taking in what their bodies need to stay healthy and strong, which can have a direct effect on the health of their smile. Helping your child make good nutrition choices is something that can be an ongoing thing, but it is well worth it.

Children can have problems due to misaligned teeth.

When teeth show up in a baby’s mouth, they are not always nicely aligned. In fact, overcrowding can be a big issue, especially when those adult teeth start to move in and baby teeth are in the way. All of this crowding can make it a little harder o get everything with just brushing and flossing alone. Routine visits for cleanings at the dentist and proper orthodontic care can make a big difference.

Protect Your Child’s Smile with the Help of a Bellbrook Family Dentist

The smile of a child is precious, and, as a parent, protecting that smile is likely a top priority. If you are on the lookout for a good dentist in Bellbrook, OH that can treat every member of the family, contact us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment. We offer special perks for little ones, including the Cavity Free Club and special prizes, to keep kids interested in having a healthy smile.


Dental Sealants for Children: A Guide for Parents

Dental sealants are an excellent way to deter decay for children who can be most prone to cavities and areas of decay. As a parent who wants only the best for your child’s smile, you may be interested in dental sealants but also have a few concerns. Here is a look at just a few of the typical concerns parents have about dental sealants for pediatric patients.

Why are sealants a good idea for children?

Children experience cavities or decay much more commonly than adults. About 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 will have some level of decay in their mouths. The cause of this can be something as simple as not brushing properly or enough or eating a poor diet. Dental sealants can be placed on either baby teeth or permanent teeth to protect the tooth from decay during the years children are not as vigilant about their oral health habits.

Is the material used safe for your child?

The dental sealant is a fluid plastic resin material that is painted on the surface of the tooth enamel with a small brush. The sealant is then cured using a small UV light. While the products used can vary, all are FDA approved and considered safe for use for the purpose.

How long will the dental sealants last?

Dental sealants can actually last for several years after application. However, the sealants can also wear away at different rates depending on several factors, such as the age of the child, the foods they eat, and how well they brush their teeth. Your dentist will discuss the approximate life span of the sealants and let you know when they have started to wear away.

Talk to a Pediatric Dentist in Bellbrook for Information 

Making decisions about oral health care for your child should always be a guided effort. A good pediatric dentist can help you understand specific treatments and preventative measures like dental sealants for children. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry in Bellbrook, OH.