pediatric dentist in san antonio

What to Look For in a Pediatric Dentist

Cute Smiles 4 Kids TX has had the pleasure of caring for San Antonio families for years. As one of San Antonio’s premier pediatric dentists, our patients receive gentle, compassionate care. Our doctors are up-to-date on the latest developments in pediatric dentistry and providing safe, quality care in a relaxed, kid-friendly environment is our top priority.

It is advised by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that children visit a dentist when their teeth start appearing, no later than their first birthday. We know it can be hard to choose a pediatric dentist for your child, so we’ve compiled a list of things to look for in a provider.

A Kid-Friendly Environment

Choose a pediatric dentist who takes the time to make their office a place that appeals to children. Bright, happy colors, cool books, and activities, and a staff that enjoys the company of children are all good things to look for.

A Pediatric Dentist & Staff That Gets Kids

A good pediatric dentistry team will make an effort to interact and engage your child on their level. Laughter really is the best medicine, so visits should be fun and friendly for your child. It’s also important for a dentist or assistant to explain things to your child as the cleaning or procedure progresses. Knowing what is happening and what to expect next during the appointment will help your child feel more at ease.

A Pediatric Dentist Has a Specialty

Typically, a pediatric dentist will have more schooling than the traditional 4 years of dental school. To focus on pediatrics, practitioners will need additional coursework to learn the unique needs of children as it pertains to their dental health.

Personalized Information

Your child’s dentist should be willing to spend the extra few minutes to answer your questions, so you are comfortable with your visit. The dentist should be prepared and capable of sharing information on a wide variety of topics ranging from diet and nutrition to fractured or knocked-out teeth.

If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in San Antonio, please reach out today to schedule a visit. We’d love to provide the best dental care to your family.


breastfeeding and tooth decay

Is Breastfeeding Linked to Tooth Decay?

When it comes to breastfeeding your child, you are likely thinking about all the positive side-effects that can come along with breastfeeding for you and your child. Not only is breastfeeding a great way to bond with baby, but it also helps establish gut health and can have a big impact on the immune system in infants. Recently though, you may have heard a rumor that breastfeeding can be linked to tooth decay for your child. This is a frightening statement for a lot of mothers who may now be concerned that breastfeeding can cause tooth decay in babies. If you are a mother who is about to start breastfeeding or is currently breastfeeding your child and want to find out more about this issue, continue reading this article. 

Why do people think breastfeeding and tooth decay are linked?

One of the main reasons that some people think breastfeeding can lead to tooth decay in children is because bottle-feeding a baby can actually lead to tooth decay if done wrong. Nighttime bottle-feeding a baby can lead to tooth decay since the liquid (milk or juice) starts to pool in the baby’s mouth as they are latched to the bottle. However, the same does not happen when a baby is breastfeeding, as the milk will only flow out while the baby is suckling. The pooling of liquids with overnight bottles can make plaque start to build up in the baby’s mouth. The bacteria present in the plaque is what usually leads to the breaking down of the child’s teeth in the future. 

So breastfeeding and tooth decay aren’t linked?

There has been a lot of research behind this issue and the short answer is no, breastfeeding does not cause nor is it linked to tooth decay. In fact, breastfeeding may help your child have stronger teeth in the future.

If you want to learn more about dental health for your kids, visit us at Cute Smiles 4 Kids today!

Will a Pacifier Impact My Baby’s Tooth Development?

Will a Pacifier Impact My Baby’s Tooth Development?

When it comes to pacifiers, they are usually a baby’s favorite object. As soon as a baby starts crying, many parent’s first instincts are to hand a pacifier to their baby to calm them down. But did you know that overusing a pacifier can cause dental and oral issues for your child? Pacifiers used on young babies can help reduce oral pain they may have and also reduces the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, parents should know that overusing any pacifier can cause future oral issues. If you are curious about how pacifiers can negatively affect your child’s oral health, continue reading.

How Exactly Can a Pacifier Cause Oral Issues With My Baby?

The mouth of a developing baby is something that needs special attention from the parents or caretakers. Like any other developing body part, if there is something in the way of its growth, it will adapt to a new shape so it can continue to grow. Overuse of a pacifier can cause a baby’s teeth and jaw to start growing misaligned. The same effects are known in children who have a thumb-sucking problem. Their teeth usually grow outward and the misaligned jaw can cause bite issues. 

What Should I Do About My Childs Use Of Pacifiers?

You should remember that pacifiers are still great to use for babies if you do it in moderation. A child, less than one-month-old should never be handed a pacifier as it may affect their eating habits. After the one month mark, it safe to start having them slowly start using the pacifier until it becomes a normal habit. By the age of two, your child should be weaned off of using a pacifier. This is where the problem can arise where they will start sucking their thumb since they have been weaned off of their pacifier. This may seem like a normal habit amongst children, but thumb-sucking can actually bring worse issues for your child than a pacifier. Not only is it dirty because you don’t know where your child’s hands have been, but thumb-sucking can be even harder to wean your child off of since their thumb is attached to their body. 


Just because the overuse pacifiers can be bad for your child’s oral health, does not mean that you shouldn’t give or let your baby use a pacifier. Remember, pacifiers are great for other aspects of your child’s health and every doctor will recommend that you give your child a pacifier as they are growing. Just keep in mind that just like anything else, a pacifier needs to be used in moderation. If used in moderation, your child should not have any oral or dental issues as they continue to develop. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth or use of a pacifier for your baby, you can visit our site Cute Smiles For Kids, or schedule an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists to ensure your baby’s teeth are on the right track.

A sad tooth next to candy, learn to reverse tooth decay.

3 Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Have you ever had that painful feeling in your teeth and you realize that you may just happen to have a cavity? You start thinking about how expensive it might be to get a filling on your cavity or maybe you just don’t have the time to get a filling. There are a few actions you can take to prevent and potentially reverse tooth decay. Below are some tips that you can put in action in order to naturally prevent and reverse tooth decay.

pH Levels Matter in Preventing Tooth Decay

One of the first steps that you can take to reverse tooth decay is watching what you are eating and drinking. Drinks like coffee and soda contain imbalanced pH levels, therefore leaving the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive off of. A big step you can take if you are a daily coffee drinker is switching to green tea instead, as green tea contains polyphenol which acts as an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties that stop the growth of harmful bacteria and can overall improve your oral health. Also, don’t forget that water is always a good way to go if you are thirsty!

Utilize Vitamins and Supplements Help Tooth Decay

Another great way you can help prevent and reverse tooth decay is by taking the correct vitamins and supplements. Vitamins can help other areas of your body other than the immune system and bone health. In fact, certain nutrients and vitamins can help your body produce saliva which is great for keeping bacteria from staying in your mouth for too long. Vitamins that are great for oral health include Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Iron. And if you aren’t looking to start taking vitamins, certain foods can also help with oral health such as bananas, peas, whole-grain foods, and even seafood.

Eat Foods With Natural Probiotics

The tiny spaces between your teeth provide the perfect place for infectious bacteria to hide and hang out. Because of the fact that probiotics help offset the pH levels in your mouth, eating or drinking foods that are high in probiotics is one of the best things that you can do for your oral health. Foods like kimchee, kombucha, and sauerkraut are all high in probiotics and will make your mouth a healthier place.

Having A Clean Mouth Is Important

Now that you have these tips on how you can not only reverse your tooth decay, but also keep your mouth as healthy as it can be, you can go forward with your life knowing that you have the ability to reverse your own tooth decay without getting fillings. Although, while these tips are helpful, you should still do an annual checkup with the dentist just to make sure there isn’t any other oral related health issues that may be underlying.

Animated shark wearing sunglasses, shark teeth in kids

Shark Teeth in Kids: What You Need to Know

Shark teeth are a common issue in children, and one that often concerns parents and caregivers. Usually, shark teeth develop in children at around the age of 6 years old, but it is possible for them to develop as late as the age of 11 – 12 years old.  They are most common on the lower bottom teeth, but can also appear on the upper front teeth as well.

The Cause of Shark Teeth

The term “shark teeth” was a term developed by professionals in the dental industry to describe a child that has developed rows of teeth. This happens when the child develops their adult teeth before their baby teeth have fallen out, resulting in having multiple rows of teeth. There is no other underlying issue. 

Are There Any Treatments for Shark Teeth?

When it comes to shark teeth, tooth extraction is the only one way to treat it. Once the adult tooth fully grows into place, there is nothing to push or dissolve the root of the baby tooth. A dental surgeon will have to go and extract the baby tooth, so that the adult tooth can move into the right position. This could take weeks, sometimes even months. After extraction, the adult teeth may have further issues moving into their designated areas, warranting further treatment for tooth alignment. 


If your child has developed “Shark Teeth”, don’t worry. It is a common issue among children and teens throughout the world. Keeping up with your child’s dental visits is the best way you can keep up with any dental health issues. If you notice that your child is developing any extra teeth, or what appears to be rows of teeth, give us a call to seek dental assistance.

father and kid son brushing teeth in bathroom

How to Make Brushing Fun for Your Child!

Everyone knows that brushing your teeth is an important, daily activity that we all have to do. However, you can’t expect children to understand how important it is to have a clean set of pearly whites, so it is up to the parents to make brushing teeth a fun activity. Here are a few things you can do to help make the activity enjoyable for your kids.

It’s Teamwork

Instead of telling children to brush their teeth and explaining how important it is, the better way to go about it is to show them how you do it. Kids love to join in all the things their parents do. Watching dad shave or playing with mom’s makeup are all exciting stuff for young minds, and there is no reason why brushing can’t be just as exciting.

Children Love to Teach

Imagine being a child who has to listen to the instructions of adults all day long. It can be really tiring sometimes. That’s why kids love to role-play as adults and give instructions to others whenever they can, even if it means giving instructions to their toys.

You can use this to make your child understand the importance of brushing. Ask the kids to teach their toys how to brush. They will not only take on this task more seriously but also brush their own teeth with diligence because now they have to live up to a standard in order to be the authority.

Personalize Their Toothbrush

For adults, a toothbrush is just a tool, but for children it can be an extension of their personalities. Find out what your kid likes and then customize the products based on those interests and passions. It can be as simple as having them choose the shape and color of their toothbrushes, such as a yellow giraffe or a blue teddy bear. There are also plenty of products that are based on popular characters and items from animations and films that your kids can pick from.

Make It an Experience

Plenty of videos online show parents adding music and dance to their morning routines with their kids. Try playing your children’s favorite songs while brushing every morning. If you start the day with singing and dancing, it will be an experience that your children will not only love but also look forward to.

Support and Encouragement

Sometimes all children really need is a little support and encouragement. Simple words such as “good job” or “well done” will go a long way in building the child’s confidence and skills to make brushing an important part of their daily life. You can also use a high five after brushing to make it feel like you’ve accomplished something together.
If words don’t do the trick, you can use physical rewards to encourage the child. Track if your kid has brushed their teeth everyday and by the end of the month, you can mark the accomplishment with a small toy or a gift.

a skeleton displaying teeth, crossbite

What Is a Crossbite?

Every time you close your mouth, what should normally happen is for the teeth of the upper jaw to close over the top of the lower teeth. When there is misalignment between the upper and lower teeth, this could be a crossbite. 

What Is a Crossbite?

Some people have their upper teeth inside of their lower teeth. This misalignment is called a crossbite and can happen for just one tooth or a group of teeth. A trained orthodontist will be able to easily assess the problem and offer solutions.

What Causes a Crossbite?

There are many reasons why crossbites can occur. Some of these are natural while others are a result of human action. Genetics always play a role in teeth formation. Some children experience delayed loss of baby teeth, which can cause misalignment, or permanent teeth may erupt in an abnormal way. The habit of thumb sucking can also lead to a crossbite.

Types of Crossbite

There are different ways for a crossbite to occur. This classification is purely based on the position and direction of the misalignment.

Anterior Crossbite

When the upper front teeth sit behind the lower teeth, it is called an anterior crossbite. This can happen if the lower teeth are crowded and push forward, if the upper jaw is not wide enough, if thumb sucking in childhood has caused the upper jaw to become too narrow, or if the patient has had a cleft lip surgery.

Posterior Crossbite

A posterior crossbite is just like anterior crossbite but it happens at the back of the mouth. This form of misalignment is comparatively easy to treat if caught early.

Buccal Crossbite

When upper teeth develop and move toward the cheek and create a misalignment, it is called a buccal crossbite. The misalignment will expose the biting surface of the teeth, which you can feel with your tongue when you close your mouth.

Lingual Crossbite

When upper teeth develop inward towards the tongue, it results in a lingual crossbite. In this case, you will also be able to feel the surface of the biting area of the misaligned teeth with your tongue when your mouth is closed.

Unilateral and Bilateral Crossbite

A crossbite is also classified based on whether or not it affects both sides of the mouth. If it impacts only one side, it is called a unilateral crossbite and if it affects both sides of the mouth, it is called a bilateral crossbite. 

Single Tooth and Segmental

When just one tooth is misaligned, it is called a single tooth crossbite. When a segment of the jaw, i.e., a group of two to three teeth, is misaligned rather than all the teeth, it is called a segmental crossbite.

How to Fix a Crossbite

Braces is the most common way of treating crossbites. It can be used to put teeth in proper alignment and even help widen the upper jaw. If you don’t like the look of metal on your teeth, there are other options, such as invisible aligner braces and clear braces.


Girl brushing teeth

Toddler Dental Tips: 10 Tips for Keeping Your Tot’s Teeth Healthy

Keeping your child’s teeth healthy is a full-time job that starts very early. The work begins even before you see the pearly whites emerge. Here are 10 toddler dental tips that should come in handy.

  1. Start Brushing Early

Your baby’s teeth should start emerging by 6 months to 1 year. You can start by very gently brushing the gums without toothpaste. A soft washcloth should be enough to start. There are plenty of baby toothbrushes available in the market for you to choose from when you start seeing the teeth emerge.

  1. Clean Between Teeth

The moment the teeth start to touch, you should clean in between them because food particles can get stuck there and cause infections. You have to brush twice a day when your tot starts growing teeth; you can also use a floss to help clean difficult-to-reach places.

  1. Stop the Spread of Bacteria

Many parents have the habit of feeding toddlers from their spoons and forks. What they don’t realize is that bacteria travels through saliva. Keep your utensils separate.

  1. Control Diet for Healthy Teeth

Sugary drinks are one of the main reasons for tooth decay in toddlers. Even juice can lead to cavities if given in excess. Parents should limit the sugary drinks they give their toddlers.

  1. Visit the Dentist

Dental visits are not only for times when you face problems. You should visit the dentist regularly in order to prevent problems from occurring, and thus save money in the long run. Take your child for a visit before their first birthday or as soon as their first teeth appear.

  1. Avoid Baby Bottle Decay

One of the tricks parents use to get their child to take a nap is to give the baby a bottle filled with juice, milk or some sugary drink. These liquids tend to stick to the teeth and increase the chances of cavities that can lead to baby bottle decay. If you have to give the bottle to your baby, just fill it with water.

  1. Teach Good Habits

Good dental habits form very early in a child’s life. It is important to make the child understand the importance of brushing and having good oral hygiene. Make sure to brush both in the morning and again before going to bed.

  1. Use Fluoride Water to Fight Cavity

Water is perhaps the best weapon in the fight against cavities, especially if it has fluoride in it. Giving your baby water instead of sugary drinks is also a healthy option because water doesn’t have many calories.

  1. Utilize Sealants as an Extra Step

Sealants are barriers that help prevent the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth. You can use it as an extra step to help protect from cavities.

  1. Pay Attention to Children’s Medication

Some medications for children tend to have sugar. The different flavors of the medicine are intended to make it easy for the child to drink it. However, these sugars can cause cavities if they stick to the teeth. 

If you’re looking for a good pediatric dentist in the Arizona area, Cute Smiles 4 Kids and Orthodontics has a team of experts who can give your child high-quality care.

Why Your Child May Need an Emergency Dentist

emergency-dentist20156At some point in their juvenescence, your child may need an emergency dentist. When people hear the term emergency dentist, their minds tend to automatically think about adult procedures like dental implants. For children, this treatment is unnecessary and unadvised, but that does not mean your child should not see an emergency dentist in Texas for a number of other ailments. Be prepared to help your child in a time of need by bringing them to our office. For some examples of how we can help your children, read below.

Rambunctious children are commonly involved in accidents that can chip or crack their developing teeth. You should take these injuries seriously as they can make your child’s tooth more vulnerable to bacteria or infection. Our office can provide you with an emergency dentist that can evaluate your child’s injury and determine what form of correction will protect the tooth from further damage or potential decay. It will also be helpful if you find the broken tooth piece and keep it moist until you can visit our office as one of our dentists can reattach the piece to the open area.

If the piece of the chipped tooth cannot be found or reattached, a dentist in our office can provide tooth-colored bonding or a crown to protect the vulnerable tooth. Our bonding is natural looking and resilient to staining and damage. If the chip is too large to be filled in by our quality bonding techniques, we can provide your child’s tooth with a protective crown that will look attractive and will serve as protection against any future harm.

Another common accident that children face is inadvertently biting their cheeks or tongue. While these types of incidents are common and, in most cases, not too serious, at times your child might need sutures. Sutures provided by an emergency dentist can prevent infection and developmental issues in your child’s tongue or cheeks. To alleviate discomfort and swelling for easier suture application, apply a cold press to the injured area until you get to our office.

With these sort of problems and many other dental conundrums that your child may face, our treatments will be smooth and comfortable so you child will not endure anxiety or worry when visiting our office. Additionally, we will provide adequate sedation and other analgesics to ensure your child does not experience any discomfort during treatment. Your child will feel safe and secure when visiting an emergency dentist.

We know your child’s health and oral care are top priorities to you. They are also a top priority for us. We will take all your child’s emergency dental needs seriously and provide your child with supportive and excellent dental care to ensure the further development of a healthy smile. Visit our emergency dentist office today so we can fix your children’s teeth during these imperative years.  If you have an emergency, we are happy to help you as well.

Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution for Improved Health

sedation-dentistry201512As a pediatric dentist office, we offer sedation dentistry so our young patients can receive the dental care they need. We have found that most parents have wonderful intentions toward their children and their health. They want them to have a beautiful smile of healthy teeth, just like they want their children to be physically healthy. The challenge is that many young children do not like to visit a medical office because it makes them nervous or they have a hard time sitting still during the appointment. This can cause parents to become discouraged and understandably so.
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