Tips for Helping Your Child Stay Cavity Free

No child likes cavities, and getting a cavity filled has never been on their “favorite memory” list. Even though cavities are quite common in childhood, they are almost totally preventable! Here at Hines Little Smiles, we strive to make each visit pleasant, but working to prevent childhood cavities is definitely the best course of action for your child’s teeth. Here are some tips to keep your visits to our office simply about a check-up:

Build Strong Bones

Adding more dairy to young children’s’ diets help their bones become strong as they develop. Dairy also helps protect the enamel of young teeth by neutralizing acids that can cause damage. Choose simple and healthy dairy products to add to your meals, like milk and greek yogurt.

Start Early

Even though your baby may not have teeth, you can aid the teeth that will erupt by cleaning excess food off of the gums with a soft damp cloth.

Set a Good Example

When your child sees you care for your teeth, they’ll want to do the same “grown-up” thing. Brush and floss together, make a game of it, and keep it in the routine, even on busy nights. Helping them understand that oral hygiene is paramount to good health will help them their whole life.

Sugars and Starches

We don’t often think of sugar and starch doing the same thing, but when it comes to getting caught in the crevices of teeth, they act the same. Both will aid in the growth of bacteria and the formation of cavities, so try to avoid sugary treats and drinks, as well as foods high in starch.

It’s never too early…

…to find the right dentist. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to care for kids’ teeth, and we love what we do. We know it’s important to establish a relationship of trust with each child so that they feel safe and cared for at our office. Our doctors are experienced in caring for teeth in babies to adolescents, and we hope you’ll come experience how much fun the dentist’s office can be.
Schedule an appointment today to let us help your children learn to care for their teeth. Regular 6-month check-ups are a great way to keep cavities at bay!

Why See a Pediatric Dentist?

At Hines Little Smiles, we provide pediatric dentistry services, and we strive to create a fun, welcoming environment where children and families feel at ease. As your pediatric dentist in Columbus, we are committed to providing high-quality care and working with each child to help them have a healthy, happy smile.

There are many benefits for your children when they see a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry.

Our office is fun and colorful. We make sure to build a practice around kids and what they like. Our office is child-friendly. By taking your child to see a pediatric dentist, dental phobias are less likely to occur as the environment is created to be safe and comfortable for kids.

What’s different about a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are able to take care of the dental needs of infants, toddlers, elementary age children, and teenagers. Pediatric dentists take an extra two or three years of training after dental school. Along with dental training specifically about children’s oral health, pediatric dentists also study child psychology. This enables the professionals at our office to create an environment that is gentle and non-threatening for kids.

Pediatric dentistry is one of nine specialty areas that is recognized by the American Dental Association. Hines Little Smiles works with kids each day. This gives us the expertise to handle situations that arise when children become scared or have difficulties with dental procedures. We can provide individualized, specialized care as we are trained and experienced in working with children.

When should children start seeing a pediatric dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children go for their first appointment before they turn one, or about six months after their first primary tooth comes in. By taking your child in to the dentist at an early age, preventive care can begin. Also, children will become more accustomed to the dentist and be less stressed if they are use to regular appointments from such a young age.

Why should you take your child to see a pediatric dentist?

  • To ask questions about issues you’ve noticed with your child’s dental health.
  • To help foster a kid-centered, oral health routine at home.
  • To see if your child is at risk for cavities.
  • To receive preventive treatments such as fluoride.
  • To receive care and information on how your child’s teeth and jaw are growing.

Schedule an Appointment

Our staff is happy to help schedule an appointment time that works well with your schedule. Come see what sets our pediatric practice apart!

Halloween Candy & Cavities

Halloween Candy

Halloween trick-or-treating is a joy for many children, but it often comes with several concerns for parents. What type of candy are they going to come home with? Are they going to eat too much candy and cause irreparable damage to their teeth? Fortunately for parents our Pediatric dentist in Columbus has several ideas to keep cavities away after enjoying the candy.


Use Halloween and all the extra candy as one of those teaching moments for kids. Teach kids about the importance of brushing and flossing. Children need to learn about the amount of sugar in the candy and how it can lead to cavities and other problems for their oral health.

Keep the Treats at Bay

Another thing you can do is help kids to reduce the amount of treats they consume. Set a rule on how many treats they should be able to eat in a day. Once they have reached a certain number of treats, have them put the treats away for the day. Another way to help with limiting the treats is to have a small jar for each child and place only the allotted number of treats in each jar, keeping the large amounts of treats from being eaten all at once.

Brush Away the Sweets

When you are dealing with candy, it’s natural for children to want to eat them day and night. Candy can leave behind too much sugar, which can be breeding grounds for bacteria and plaque. One way to help your child with the brushing problems is by letting them select their own toothbrush. You might even try getting a Halloween themed toothbrush to remind them to brush frequently when they are eating candy. If your child does indulge in some sweets, you need to make sure they understand how to brush and floss their teeth. Candy can easily become lodged between teeth, making it easy for bacteria to start eating away at the enamel of the teeth.

Healthy Snacks

Children learn by example. If you want to help your kids, teach them the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. When kids become used to eating carrots as a snack, they may not have a strong desire to indulge on candy as much. Another option is to replace their candy with healthier snacks they enjoy.

The truth is, when it comes to candy, kids are always excited. If you teach your child how to brush and floss daily, it will aid in limiting the risk of cavities and other oral health concerns. Visit your Pediatric dentist, Hines Little Smiles, in Columbus, OH by scheduling an appointment for your child.

Back To School Dental Tips

Back to School is great to start creating better dental habits
At Hines Little Smiles, we are committed to providing high-quality care to each and every one of our patients. We understand that children might get nervous when coming to the dentist, and we realize that providing dental care to children is different than providing dental care to adults. Kids need a little extra attention and assurance to be put at ease. We provide a comfortable, kid-friendly environment so you can trust your child is getting treated by a team that is committed to helping kids have a good dentist experience.

Back to school time is the perfect time to focus on helping kids make healthy, oral hygiene choices.

Now that school is back in session, it is a great time to think about health and establishing good habits for the school year. This includes getting back into a good oral hygiene routine. Teaching children to brush and floss each day before they go to school and to brush and floss before bed is a great habit to teach. This will help them establish and keep an oral hygiene regime as they grow older.

Also, back to school is a great time to think about scheduling an appointment for a check-up. Summertime is busy and full of many fun-filled activities. With school back in session and fall beginning, it’s a great time to come in and make sure your children’s teeth are still healthy after all of those summer treats.

We provide a kid-friendly, dentist office.

At Hines Little Smiles, we can provide check-ups, x-rays, fillings, and much more to children of all ages. It’s also a good idea to think about diet and how what your child eats can impact their oral hygiene. Making sure to pack healthy lunches with foods like carrots and not too many sweets can impact their oral health for the better. Thinking about packing lunches ahead of time as opposed to throwing together snacks last minute can lead to a better diet that has positive impacts on oral hygiene.

Now is a great time to schedule a back to school dentist appointment.

Hines Little Smiles provides pediatric dentistry services in Columbus, Ohio. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment. Our friendly, professional staff are also happy to answer any questions you might have about our practice and our dentists!

Healthy Snacks for Healthy Teeth

Healthy Snacks for Healthy Teeth from Hines Little Smiles in Columbus, OH
Dental care is important for your child’s overall health and wellness, which is why you might be concerned about packing tooth-friendly foods with their daily lunch. Although it might seem difficult to find foods that are just as healthy for their dental enamel and gums as they are for their body, the packing process doesn’t have to be intimidating—especially if you know what to look for. Here are a few great lunch ideas to protect your child’s dental health, along with some ideas for those after school snacks.   

Great Lunch Ideas

Whole Wheat Bread Sandwich with Lean Chicken

For a tasty meal that will fill up your child, pack a toasted whole wheat bread sandwich finished with mustard, mayonnaise, and lean chicken. Meals high in protein give your little one energy throughout the day, in addition to helping their body to rebuild cells and develop muscle. Additionally, whole grains act as a natural abrasive, rubbing away plaque and food particles.

Crisp Salads with Grilled Chicken

Salad is rich in Vitamin C, Calcium, folic acid, and Vitamin B, helping your child’s body to remineralize areas of dental enamel that have been damaged by bacterial acids. Adding protein like grilled chicken gives your child energy and helps their body to stay strong and healthy, and toppings like cheese, light dressings, and veggies help to keep the teeth clean and strong.

Turkey Roll-Ups

To combine the taste of delicious meats with the health benefits of leafy greens, make turkey roll-ups to put in your child’s lunch. By scrunching up some lettuce and veggies, wrapping a slice of turkey around it, and securing the entire bundle with a thin slice of carrot, you can create a fun-to-eat lunch that is incredibly healthy for your child’s teeth.

Healthy Snack Ideas

Carrots and Celery

Carrots and celery are naturally fibrous, allowing them to act like a miniature toothbrush as your child munches away. Offer carrots and celery sticks after school, or keep some fresh sticks in a plastic bag for a quick snack on the go.


Eating apples has been shown to increase your saliva levels, while simultaneously scrubbing away plaque and food particles. Although apples are naturally sweet and refreshing, they are much lower in sugar than other fruits, helping to ward off dental decay.

Schedule A Dental Checkup Before School Starts

Is your child or teen due for a routine dental exam? Hines Little Smiles specializes in offering comprehensive dental checkups to kids of all ages, creating a warm and welcoming environment, and providing top-notch dental care. Schedule your child’s next exam with a pediatric dentist in Columbus today to help them to start the school year off right

Is It OK For Children To Use Teeth Whitening Toothpaste?

a little girl brushing her teeth

Have you ever wondered if it’s OK to use a teeth-whitening toothpaste on your child? It is effective and useful? And most importantly, is it safe? The first thing to check when using any toothpaste on a child is the label; make sure the toothpaste is age-appropriate (most will say they can be used on children aged two and up). Consider also that children’s teeth are not permanent, and whitening can be more of a concern as their permanent teeth erupt and their orthodontics have been taken care of.

Most dentists agree that regular toothpaste with whitening ingredients are okay for children to use, but only in small (pea-sized) amounts and when they learn to brush properly, i.e. not too hard! Additionally, whitening toothpaste will only help with surface stains, not deeper stains that come from injuries, medications, or foods. Sometimes too much fluoride can also cause dental fluorosis, so check with the dentist on the right toothpaste for your child.

You may also want to consider some of these tips to get your child to brush his or her teeth to keep them pearly white.

A fun toothbrush

Kids like superheroes, cartoons, and sparkly things in general, so if you let your child pick out a toothbrush he or she loves, perhaps it will get used a bit more!

A musical toothbrush

Yes, these are a thing. And very reasonably priced! When your child can activate fun tunes by brushing, who would say no to that? You may even want to get one for yourself.

An electric toothbrush

They do make kid-friendly versions of these, and while a pricier toothbrush may seem silly when your child is only learning to brush, electric toothbrushes are proven to keep teeth and gums healthier by applying a more appropriate amount of pressure and moving in the right direction.

Fun flavors of toothpaste

Even though the thought of brushing with bubble gum grosses a lot of adults out, it seems to be the flavor they pick at the ice cream store, so why not let them choose a toothpaste flavor, too?

The most important thing to remember when you have any questions about your child’s oral hygiene is to schedule an appointment with us. Our pediatric dentists at Hines Little Smiles are happy to help. As some of the best pediatric dentists in Columbus, Ohio; Dr. Hines, Dr Anderson, Dr. Vollmar, and Dr. pagé work hard to keep your kids happy with a healthy white smile!

The Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste

A toothbrush with toothpaste
Have you been looking for the right toothpaste for your child?  The best brand that will aid in maintaining healthy teeth and gums? How do you select the right toothpaste? At Hines Little Smiles, we want only the best for our patient’s oral health. This is why we have compiled this short little guide discussing some of the best known brand toothpastes and how they help with oral health.  Here are some things to consider when buying toothpaste:

  • Anti-cavity: Toothpaste with this feature contain fluoride. Fluoride is designed to prevent decay and improve the strength of the enamel of the teeth.
  • Tartar-control: Toothpaste with tartar-control will prevent the buildup and hardening of plaque.
  • Whitening: The whitening toothpaste is designed to remove stains from the surface of the tooth. Whitening toothpaste can aid in helping teeth to look whiter and not as yellow or brownish in color.  

Dr. Bronner’s All One Toothpaste

Organic toothpastes are created with several natural ingredients. Dr. Bronner’s All One Toothpaste is made with 70% organic ingredients. Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste does not include synthetic detergent foaming detergents. This toothpaste is designed to properly clean your teeth, gums, and mouth without causing burning pain that is common with other toothpastes. This can be a great option if your child has sensitive teeth. 

Happy Teeth Toothpaste

Another organic toothpaste made without fluoride is Happy Teeth toothpaste. This toothpaste is designed to clean your mouth to remove bacteria without leaving behind harmful agents that increase the likelihood of cavities and gum disease.

Crest Toothpaste

One of the most common brands of toothpaste on the market is Crest. Most types of Crest toothpastes on the market include fluoride, but there are some new organic toothpastes on the market that only use natural ingredients to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth. Crest does have multiple types of toothpaste targeted at different oral health needs from teeth whitening to gingivitis.

Colgate Toothpaste

In close competition with Crest is Colgate. Colgate brand toothpaste has been on the market since 1873 and remains a billion-dollar toothpaste brand. Colgate toothpaste has several versions available including toothpaste for sensitive teeth and others for teeth whitening. Colgate has also created all-natural toothpaste for individuals that do not want toothpaste with fluoride and other chemicals.  

Arm and Hammer Toothpaste

Using baking soda as one of the main ingredients, Arm and Hammer toothpaste is one of the leading brands for its multi-specialty toothpaste. The combination of baking soda and peroxide in the toothpaste aids in fighting bacteria that causes canker sores, gum disease, and a handful of other oral health issues.

We hope this small guide will help you find the right toothpaste for your child’s oral health needs. If you have more specific questions about toothpaste, or are looking for a Pediatric Dentist in Columbus, OH then contact us to schedule an appointment.

Oral Health Awareness Month at Hines Little Smiles

At Hines Little Smiles, our goal is to be one of the best pediatric dental offices in Columbus, OH. No matter the month or the season we want to make sure that our patients are aware of the best ways to keep their oral hygiene consistent and taken care of.

While we are concerned with our patients’ oral health care every day of the year, April is of particular note to us in the pediatric dentistry community as it is Oral Health Awareness Month. This makes April a great time for us at Hines Little Smiles to remind you of the importance of good oral health practices and how to make sure you are keeping yourself, and your children, safe and healthy.

Importance of Screenings

We pride ourselves on being there to educate the community on good oral health practices and how to incorporate smart choices into you and your families’ daily routines. Part of Oral Health Awareness Month is awareness and education about oral cancer. Oral cancer can be a dangerous disease that can cause serious harm and even death to individuals. But, luckily, it is a very preventable cancer.

The best way to prevent and treat oral cancer is by catching it early. This is done through regular visits to your dentist. Oral health care is particularly important to teach to children at a young age, so they can get in the habit of making oral health care a part of their lives.

We encourage children, teens, and adults to make a visit to the dentist once every six months. During these checkups and exams, the team at Hines Little Smiles will make sure oral hygiene is in order and screen for any bigger problems. Of course, it is important to incorporate daily routines that keep oral hygiene a regular part of your life. It’s also essential to teach your children these things.

Remember to:

  • Brush teeth twice daily.
  • Floss daily.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months.

Also, if you notice anything strange related to your child’s oral health or if they are complaining about pain, schedule an appointment with us to ensure that everything is in order.

As an engaged provider of pediatric dentistry in Columbus, Ohio, we are here to help our patients learn about the importance of oral health practices and help you get the best care possible for your family. We are friendly and professional and here to answer any questions you have about oral hygiene for your and your family.

The Top 5 Questions About Sedation Dentistry

All of us have underlying fears. Whether it is a fear of heights, or a fear of the dark, or another one of the most common fears, which is going to the dentist. For our children we know that is no different, especially if they have not gone to the dentist before. Dr. Hines and all of our staff want you and your children to feel at ease in our office, and if there is need for a procedure such as filling a cavity or dental sealants, or needing some crowns we offer sedation dentistry as an option for less stress and worry.

Look of a child sucking her thumb.

But of course we understand that you have questions about sedation dentistry and that is why we have compiled the top 5 questions typically asked below:

1. Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Absolutely! Under the care of our trained doctors and staff, sedation dentistry is both safe and effective. Our pediatric dentists have advanced medical education in the most innovative relaxation techniques and prioritize every patient’s care above anything else.

2. What Types of Sedation Dentistry is Available?
Hines Little Smiles offers all forms of sedation dentistry. The treatments below are listed in order of increasing strength and potency:
Inhalation Sedation – Nitrous Oxide or “laughing gas,” is a sweet tasting gas that the is received through an inhaler placed over the nose. Simply breathe in, and the medication takes effect.
Oral Sedation – In this method, patients take a small pill by mouth before they come to the office for their appointment, and another small dose once they arrive.
IM Sedation – Intramuscular sedation (IM) is a technique where the relaxant medications are given through an injection to the muscle of the upper arm or thigh.
IV Sedation – With this treatment, sedative medications are given to our patients intravenously. You won’t be completely asleep, but you most likely won’t remember your dental treatment because you’ll be so relaxed.

3. How Long Will It Last?
The length of the effects of the medication will differ depending on the sedation method used:
Inhalation Sedation – Nitrous oxide wears off within a few minutes after the gas has stopped being used. Patients can return to school without any “dizzy” effect.
Oral Sedation – The medication effect will linger for a few hours after the treatment is over. You should schedule an appointment for your child in the afternoon and take half a day off of school.
IM Sedation – This can last – at most – up to 24 hours. Monitor your child after their dental work has completed, Keep an eye on them while the sedative wears off.
IV Sedation – Intravenous sedation will wear off within a day at most. You’ll also need to arrange for someone to keep an eye on your child as they rest at home after their procedure.

4. What Does Being Sedated Feel Like?
Most patients report being happy and relaxed. Some state they feel a warm, slightly euphoric feeling, and many say they don’t remember having their dental treatment because they are so at ease. It’s also very common to fall asleep while under sedation.

5. Will I Be Aware and In Control?
For many patients with dental anxiety, being in control of their environment is crucial. With inhalation, oral, and IM sedation, you will be completely relaxed, yet able to respond to requests and you’ll be in control.
There are different levels of sedation with IV treatment. With moderate sedation, you’ll be relaxed yet aware, but with deep sedation, you’ll be completely “under.” Either way, our staff will keep your child safe and sound.

We hope this gives you the additional information you are looking for, and brings you more at ease. If of course you have any other additional questions please do give us a call. We are happy to answer any other questions you have, and can help you schedule an appointment for your child.

Valentine’s Candy and Healthy Smiles

Keeping your child's teeth healthy this Valentine's DayValentine’s Day is here once again with its celebration of love, friendship, and chocolate. If your kids are still in elementary school, chances are they will come home with nearly as much sweets as they did last Halloween. They might also have an exciting class party that will include cookies, candies, and more sugary treats. This extra sugar can lead to cavities and other oral health problems.

It is important to teach your kids proper brushing and flossing habits so that they can prevent cavities regardless of the additional sugar. Here are some tips and tricks that you can teach your children to help them properly brush their teeth and to make tooth brushing more fun.

  • Brush your teeth for two whole minutes. It may be helpful to download a tooth brushing app that will keep track of the time for you.
  • Teach your kids to brush their teeth twice a day and after eating.
  • Remember to brush the tongue, too.
  • If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar free gum to help loosen food particles.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day, or anytime you feel you have something stuck between your teeth.
  • Only use floss to remove food particles from your teeth—do not use toothpicks, hair, string, fingernails, etc.
  • Tooth brushing should never be a race. It is more important to thoroughly brush your teeth than to beat a sibling or a parent.
  • Healthy dental habits are just like eating healthy or exercising regularly. It is important to follow them from an early age!
  • Turn brushing into a game by letting your child take turns brushing your teeth or the teeth of a beloved stuff animal or doll as well as their own.
  • Go to the store together and pick a toothbrush with their favorite character.
  • Find a kid friendly toothpaste that is a flavor your kids enjoy, so they will be more likely to brush their teeth.

If you would prefer to have a dental health professional teach your child how to brush your teeth, set up an appointment with Dr. Hines today. During your scheduled appointment with your Columbus pediatric dentist, we will review proper brushing and flossing techniques for healthy teeth at any time during the year but especially around Valentine’s Day.