6 Green Toothbrushes that Save Smiles and the Planet


Since most dental professionals recommend getting a new toothbrush every three or four months, the average person will go through several in just a few years. Finding an environmentally friendly toothbrush is one more important thing you can do to help the planet. The following are six types of green toothbrushes that are great for your teeth as well as the planet!

1. Biodegradable Toothbrushes

A biodegradable toothbrush will be able to naturally decompose. Some toothbrushes claim to be completely biodegradable while others feature parts of the brush, such as the bristles, as being biodegradable.

2. Wooden Toothbrushes

There are different types of wood that can be used for toothbrushes, including beechwood. Wooden toothbrushes are great options, especially if they are made from wood that is sustainably grown and harvested. Bamboo is a natural material that is currently popular for people who want an environmentally friendly toothbrush. Bamboo is technically not wood, but is considered plant-based. There are different bamboo species, so brushes can be made with this material without taking the type that pandas eat.

3.  Aluminum Toothbrushes

Aluminum toothbrushes are touted as basically lasting “forever.” These toothbrushes have an aluminum base with heads that are compostable. You can switch the heads regularly without any guilt. Users can count on reducing their footprint while still maintaining a high level of dental care.

4. Wind-up Toothbrushes

If you feel you just can’t give up your electric toothbrush but still want to be eco-friendly, there is an alternative. There’s currently a toothbrush on the market that doesn’t include any batteries or motors but still delivers a cleaning that rivals an electric toothbrush. It operates by using a wind-up process to convert energy. After it has been wound up, the toothbrush head will vibrate similarly to an electric brush.

5. Recycled Toothbrushes

You can also choose a toothbrush that’s made from a variety of recycled materials. Lots of different materials can be recycled, including wood and paper. While plastic is often seen as extremely detrimental to the environment, if it’s continually recycled, you might want to consider this option. There are companies that will send you a new toothbrush along with a stamped envelope so you can keep sending the old brushes to be recycled.

6. Neem Stick

If you want something that is completely compostable, you might want to try the neem stick. It’s also referred to as the chew stick. These brushes come from a neem tree which grows in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. You nibble the stick into a tip and then trim the tip each time before you brush.

When looking for an environmentally friendly toothbrush, make sure to do your research. There are plenty of options available to keep your teeth sparkling clean while also helping the environment!

Visit our blog for more pediatric oral health articles and tips.

Baby Tooth Arrival: What’s Normal & What’s Not

When your baby’s first teeth come in, the first thing you probably do is reach for the baby book. After all, this is a momentous occasion! Baby teeth are so cute — so tiny and white. But not every baby develops temporary teeth in the best way. Not only that, but diet can adversely affect baby teeth just as it affects permanent teeth. So with baby tooth arrival, what’s normal and what’s not?

How the Teeth Come In

  1. Between the ages of 5 months and 12 months, your child might have about four baby teeth that come in. The two front teeth on the top, and the two front bottom teeth is a common arrangement.
  2. Between the ages of 8 months and 13 months, your baby might have a total of six temporary teeth, with four at the middle top and two at the bottom.
  3. At 13 to 19 months of age, it’s typical for a baby to have a whopping 12 baby teeth. Commonly, these will include the front four on the bottom with two molars, one on each side. The pattern often repeats at the top.
  4. By the time your baby is between 16 months and 23 months, it’s normal for there to be about 16 temporary teeth. Note that at this time, solid foods are being eaten regularly, and no permanent teeth have yet arrived in the mouth.
  5. Between two years old and three and a half years old, your youngster could have a whopping 20 temporary teeth.
  6. Now, between six and seven years old is when the permanent teeth start to arrive. They’ll appear at the back of the mouth as molars. After this point, baby teeth are replaced by permanent teeth one at a time.

All these stages are what’s considered normal by the American Dental Association. Your child’s tooth development may differ slightly.

What Could be Cause for Alarm

Now, there are several things that can go wrong during any of these stages. Here are some things that are not considered normal and need to be seen by a pediatric dentist.

  • A baby tooth falls out prematurely — before it’s time for a new one to grow in. See the dentist for troubleshooting.
  • The baby teeth start growing dark or turning black. This is a sign of tooth decay.
  • The baby teeth do not appear on schedule. Visit the dentist to address concerns.
  • The baby teeth come in crooked. Consult with your pediatric dentist for monitoring the progression.
  • The baby teeth fall out but no permanent teeth make an appearance. This calls for a visit to the dentist to see if there are underlying causes.
  • The baby teeth fail to make an appearance by age one. Again, the pediatric dentist needs to be seen to diagnose the problem.

This should give you a good idea of what is to be expected with your baby’s tooth development, and what the problem signs to look for. Remember, it’s important to bring your baby in for a dental checkup even before baby teeth make an appearance. Just as with adults, gum health plays an important role in overall dental health.

Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry specializes in children’s dentistry. Whether your child simply needs a regular cleaning, or if you’re concerned about possible dental problems down the road, we’re here to help. We invite you to schedule an initial consultation with our dental team today!

Kids: Common Dental Problems

A lucky kid will never have a cavity, but cavities aren’t the only dental problems kiddos can be forced to endure. There are plenty of dental health problems little ones face, even before they’ve lost their baby teeth. Of course, it’s important to set the stage with positive habits before those permanent teeth grow in; otherwise, your child could face an uphill battle in terms of lifelong dental issues.

To help you along the way, here are some of the most common children’s dental problems we see at Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry (and what you can do to prevent them):

Tooth Decay

It’s important not to fall into the mindset that baby teeth fall out anyway. After all, the habits your child picks up in his early years will likely dictate the way he cares for his teeth as he grows older.

Tooth decay occurs when the gums and teeth are exposed to large amounts of sugars, starches and acids (think candy, cookies and soft drinks). The longer these materials sit in your kid’s mouth, the more likely they are to adhere to the surface of the enamel and gum line, causing plaque buildup that can eat away at the protective exterior structure of the tooth.

To Prevent This Problem: Ensure your child brushes after every snack and meal. Regular brushing sends the bad sugars away so your child’s teeth have a clean landscape that’s free and clear of sugary debris.

Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay

Children who suck on their baby bottles or pacifiers for extended periods of time are inviting sugars to stick to their tooth enamel. The bacteria on bottle nipples, pacifiers and sippy cups — when combined with the bacteria that’s naturally produced by the mouth — can cause serious tooth decay.

To Prevent This Problem: Feed your baby when she’s hungry, and take away the bottle as soon as she’s finished or fallen asleep. Don’t let her carry around bottles filled with sugary substances she can suck on; instead, fill before-bed bottles with water.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

It’s never too early to teach your child how to properly care for his oral health. Bacteria on the tongue, teeth and gums is the number-one reason people have bad breath.

To Prevent This Problem: Instill a regimen of clean breath from infancy. When your child is a baby, you can wipe his gums with a clean cloth to remove bad bacteria. As he gets older, make toothbrushing a fun experience by incorporating songs or dances, and be sure to adhere to a regular schedule.


It’s natural for babies to suck their thumbs. But as they grow, kids often need help breaking the habit. Thumb-sucking can lead to problems with tooth alignment, which can ultimately result in expensive orthodontia. Children who suck their thumbs past the age of five may experience misalignment of the jaws or inordinate formation of the roof of the mouth, which can cause speech impediments.

To Prevent This Problem: Use positive reinforcement while your child is awake to remove the comfort of the thumb-sucking habit. While she’s sleeping, simply remove her thumb from her mouth gently. Eventually, your kiddo should learn to cope without her thumb or fingers.


Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry specializes in children’s dentistry. Whether your child simply needs a regular cleaning, or if you’re concerned about habits that could lead to dental problems down the road, we’re here to help. We invite you to schedule an initial consultation with our dental team today!


Thumbsucking and Teeth: How to Help Your Child Stop Sucking Their Thumb

Thumbsucking may have been a convenient self-soothing technique when your child was a baby, but now that he or she is getting older, it’s time to kick the habit. Constant pressure against the teeth can affect the way they grow, resulting in a large orthodontics bill down the road.

Surprisingly, the old advice of putting mittens on the child’s hands or slathering the thumb with something that has a bad taste is no longer the best practice. Taking away your child’s comfort item like this can be harmful to her emotional health. Instead, you want to encourage her to drop the habit by teaching alternative ways to find comfort.

Start a Conversation

If your child is old enough for you to worry about how thumbsucking could hurt her teeth, your child is old enough for you to talk about why it shouldn’t be done. Don’t shame your child for sucking her thumb, but explain your worries in terms she’ll understand. Older children might change their behavior after learning more about the consequences.

Build Awareness

Many children suck their thumbs out of habit. They don’t even realize that they’re doing it. When you catch your child sucking his thumb, ask him whether or not he knows that he’s sucking his thumb. As your child becomes more aware of the habit, he may be able to control it with ease.

Recognize and Remove the Triggers

Most likely, your child turns to thumbsucking at certain times. It might be when she’s nervous or scared. It could just be when she’s tired or bored. You can help her stop sucking her thumb if you proactively avoid these triggers. For instance, if she’s always sucking her thumb while watching TV, you might give her a little toy to fidget with.

Offer Alternatives

Kids use thumbsucking as a type of coping strategy. Instead of taking their strategy away, give them some new ones to use. If your child only sucks his thumb at night, a teddy bear could be a good alternative. If he sucks his thumb when he’s feeling shy, show him how he can take deep breaths or squeeze his thumb instead. Simple changes can make a big difference.

Reward Your Child

Let her know that stopping thumbsucking is a step toward being a “big kid.” Praise her when you notice that she didn’t suck her thumb at a time when she normally would have. Use a sticker chart or other motivational tool to help her get excited about giving it up.

Foster good teeth habits with your child from the start. Call us today to set up a dental appointment for your child.

Teeth Grinding in Children: Is It Normal?

It’s not at all uncommon for children to grind their teeth, particularly during the night. Upwards of 20% of children have the habit at some point in their childhood. Parents may notice their kids making grinding noises or movements when sleeping. Dentists call this bruxism.

It can become a dental concern if your child doesn’t outgrow it and it wears too much on the enamel of permanent teeth.

The Nightly Grind: It’s Often a Passing Phase

Some children have misaligned baby teeth that cause them to press against their bite. Once the permanent teeth grow in, the issue may gradually disappear.

In young children, it’s a good idea to tell your pediatrician about bruxism in case it’s related to any condition that could be causing your child discomfort. Sometimes, a child with bruxism is processing anxiety or responding to medications. Kids do experience anxiety; we all likely remember our own. A warm bath, a bedtime story, a recording of rain or waves, or comforting bedtime music can all go a long way to reduce stress. Some children want to read a bit when going to sleep; others are helped by a nightlight.

Grinding the teeth for too long can cause earaches, headaches or jaw problems, so it’s vital to take note and seek the underlying reasons, even if it does not become a dental issue. And if your child complains about jaw pain or pain when chewing, let your dentist know.

Kids at the Dentist: It’s Good to Be Seen

It makes perfect sense to make a dental appointment and diagnose the problem your child is experiencing. Your dentist can examine your child’s mouth and teeth and check for underlying concerns. And there are ways to make your child more comfortable, and to offer your child brushing or relaxation tips that support overall health.

Some kids need to follow the lead of hockey players and get their own custom mouthguards to wear during sleep. Today’s mouthguards are flexible and comfortable. They stop grinding and the aches that can follow.

Parents should know that all children, from babyhood through adolescence, have an ever-changing and diverse set of mental and physical needs. Regular dental checkups and the early adoption of good oral hygiene practices are good for your child’s overall health. Learning about good dental care now will serve your child well over a lifetime.

Positive Connections with Dental Care Help Create Self-Confidence

At Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry, we strive to ensure that your child’s dental visits are comfortable and educational. Our office plays an important role in creating positive associations with good oral health for your child and reducing potential future anxiety about going to the dentist. We take that seriously, and we have fun, too.

If you’re concerned about teeth grinding or any other issues involving your child’s teeth, you’re invited to make an appointment with us at your convenience. To start dental care for your child in a kid-friendly office, or to schedule a checkup, call us at 281-292-4242.

All About Xylitol

Lately xylitol has been getting a bad rap — it can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts — but it has many medical uses for humans that are extremely important, and it prevents tooth decay. Xylitol is a natural sweetener, not artificial like aspartame and sucralose. Let’s take a look at xylitol, what it’s used for, and some of its benefits.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural alcohol, derived from plant material. It is extracted from birch bark or corn cobs and is found in many fruits and vegetables, including:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Raspberries

Xylitol goes by other names, including:

  • Birch bark extract
  • Birch sugar
  • Meso-xylitol
  • Xilitol
  • Xylit
  • Xylite

Xylitol contains a bit less than half the calories of sugar, making it attractive for people trying to improve their diets.

Uses for and Benefits of Xylitol

Sugar-Free Foods

Xylitol is found in diabetic chocolate and desserts. It’s similar to sugar in appearance (granular) so it’s great for baked goods. Xylitol has a minty taste and can be used as a substitute for brown sugar with 1 or 2 tablespoons of molasses in the same amounts — what could be easier than that?

Chewing Gum

Xylitol’s minty taste perfectly pairs with spearmint, wintermint and peppermint gums. It also helps gum companies achieve the flexible, chewable, gummy texture that consumers love best. Keep in mind that gums containing xylitol may also contain other types of sweeteners, including artificial and man-made sweeteners.

Dental Health

Since xylitol is not sugar, it doesn’t behave the same as sugar in the mouth, and it’s considered healthier for people’s teeth and mouths. Xylitol does not convert into acids like sugar, and it reduces the bacteria in saliva that cause tooth decay. It may also prevent dry mouth.

Diabetic Diets

Xylitol, unlike sugar, does not raise blood glucose or insulin levels and has only 40% of the calories that sugar does. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, so it’s also used for weight control and for people who want to decrease sugar in their diets. Xylitol provides the same sweet taste as sugar, so diabetic foods can be satisfying for people with diabetes. It contains 75% fewer carbohydrates than sugar, and no protein, fat, vitamins or minerals at all. Xylitol’s glycemic index (GI) is 7 compared to sugar’s, which is 84. Despite this, xylitol is not sugar-free and may affect blood sugar in some people with diabetes.

Preventing Ear Infections

Xylitol is used to reduce the frequency of ear infections, which can often happen when a person becomes sick or has allergies and fluid is trapped in the middle ear. Infections can also occur in children who swim frequently. Ear infections can cause severe pain in the form of earaches, a high fever, swelling behind the ear, and — in severe cases — thick, yellow fluid flowing out of the ears. Although you should always keep xylitol away from your dog, it has many uses and benefits that make it a great alternative for sugary foods, baking, and dental health.

For more information on kids dental health visit www.twkidsdentist.com or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Vitamins & Minerals Kids Need for Healthy Teeth

There’s much more to oral health than simply brushing and flossing. In fact, the food you eat plays a large role in getting a healthy mouth. Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals that contribute to optimum oral health.

Vitamin A 

Known for its role in healthy vision, vitamin A is also essential for optimum oral health in children. It promotes the flow of saliva, which naturally rinses teeth of sugars and acids and also prevents dryness. It also maintains the quality of the mucous that protects kids’ gums and cheeks, reducing the risk of infection. Foods rich in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, winter squash and fish.


Calcium’s role in maintaining strong bones and joints carries over to teeth. Found in dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt as well as tofu, sardines, spinach and sesame seeds, calcium is one of the most prominent minerals in the body and a vital contributor to healthy teeth in children.

Vitamin C 

A premier antioxidant, vitamin C promotes immune health and aids a variety of the body’s repair processes. In the context of oral health, it helps heal gums and reduce gum inflammation. The body synthesizes vitamin C to produce collagen, which speeds healing. Kids can enjoy vitamin C in fruits such as oranges, kiwis and strawberries, and in vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers and cauliflower.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is to calcium like Robin is to Batman. Without it, calcium’s healthy properties are limited. Vitamin D signals the intestines to absorb calcium, promoting healthy bones and teeth in children. Denser teeth are more resistant to fractures, reducing unexpected trips to the dentist. Sun exposure for as little as 15 minutes a day provides kids with all the vitamin D they need. Dietary sources of vitamin D include eggs, fortified milk and cereals, and seafood such as fish and shrimp.


In addition to promoting healthy blood flow, magnesium also helps the body absorb calcium, which kids need to develop strong teeth and healthy enamel. Magnesium is abundant in nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, spinach and other leafy greens.


Iron is one of the primary building blocks of red blood cells, which are vital for a variety of bodily functions, including tooth development in children. Iron deficiency can hamper oral health, so make sure your kids are getting enough of this vital nutrient. Iron can be found in legumes, sesame seeds, spinach and red meats.


A core component in toothpaste, fluoride promotes healthy enamel, which is a tooth’s natural defense against bacteria and cavities. Consult your child’s dentist about fluoride products and supplements. Many cities and bottled-water companies also use fluoride to treat drinking water.


Found naturally in healthy saliva, zinc is a key defender against cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. Zinc deficiency can give rise to tooth and gum decay, gum disease and cavities. Foods rich in zinc include red meat, pumpkin and sesame seeds, oysters, cashews, squash, legumes and mushrooms.

Proper nutrition can go a long way in maintaining healthy teeth in children. Team up with your child in adopting a balanced diet to enjoy healthy teeth and gums and fewer visits to the dentist.

Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry has a team of caring dentists and staff who serve the dental health needs of every patient. Our continuing child dental healthcare services range from checkups, cleanings and sealants to limited orthodontic treatments in a kid-friendly office for maximum comfort. For quality kids’ dental health services delivered with care, contact us at 281-292-4242.

New Spring Office Opening in September

Dr. Scott Andersen and Dr. Tab Imdacha are excited to announce the opening of an additional pediatric dental office in September at the Legends Professional Plaza in Spring, TX. (30014 Aldine Westfield, Suite 101 Spring, Texas 77373)

Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry will serve our patients with the same high levels of patient care, professionalism, and kid-friendly environment as it has done for over 20 years in The Woodlands area. Our new location will address the need for high level pediatric dental care in our growing community, and looks forward to serving the Spring area for many years to come.

Here is a list of New Office FAQs and additional information that may answer some questions that you have regarding the new office and what it means for our current patients.

We are excited for the future of Woodlands Pediatric Dentistry!

When Should Kids Lose Their First Tooth?

“Mom, I have a loose tooth!” Where has the time gone? It probably seems like just yesterday your child’s very first tooth poked through and you were so excited about the big milestone. But those cute little baby teeth must fall out in order for permanent teeth to grow in. While your child may be excited to feel a tooth wiggling, you may be wondering if it’s normal for her to have a loose tooth at this age. 

When Do Children Lose Their First Tooth?

Usually kids lose their first baby tooth when they around six years old. However, every child is different, and kids can lose that first tooth as early as four years old or as late as eight years old. Usually, the younger your child was when she got her first tooth, the younger she may be when they fall out. However, if your child has a loose tooth early, or if you’re worried that she hasn’t lost a tooth yet, it’s always a great idea to head to the dentist for a checkup just to make sure everything is okay. 

The First Teeth In are Usually the First to Go 

Do you remember which teeth erupted first? In most cases, children get their lower middle teeth (the lower center incisors) first. Next, they usually get their top middle teeth. Teeth will fall out in roughly the same order that they came in, with the bottom and upper front teeth going first. 

Your child’s tooth normally won’t get loose until the permanent tooth below is pushing it up. However, it is possible for your child to lose a baby tooth before its replacement is ready to come in. This can happen as a result of dental disease or an accident. If this occurs, your dentist may decide to put in a placeholder for that adult tooth to emerge when it’s ready. 

What to Do About a Loose Tooth

Once you or your child notices a loose tooth, you can encourage her to wiggle it gently. However, it’s important to avoid yanking it out before it’s ready, since this can make the broken root more susceptible to an infection. In most cases, that tooth will come out with very little pain or bleeding. If your child’s tooth refuses to come out, then you may want to see the dentist. 

Brand New Teeth and a Great Time to Reinforce Dental Hygiene Habits

After your child loses a baby tooth, the new permanent tooth should begin growing in. You may notice that these teeth look bigger — that’s because they are. As your child loses baby teeth and begins to get permanent teeth, it’s a perfect time to reinforce good dental hygiene habits. Remind her to brush for two minutes at least twice daily. Help with daily flossing. Have her to use a kid-friendly mouthwash regularly as well.

It’s also important to make sure you’re scheduling regular dental cleanings and checkups for your child. Her permanent teeth need to last a lifetime, so make sure you get on the right track now with good dental hygiene and routine dental visits for optimal oral health. 

For more information visit our website, or contact us today at 281-292-4242.