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April 1, 2024

April is National Facial Protection Month 

Be Prepared for the Spring Season! 

Mouthguards are one of the least expensive pieces of protective gear available, but one of the most important to protect your teeth and jaw from injury.  

Prevention is the first step: 

Always wear a mouthguard for any activity where there is a risk of fall or collision with a ball, another player or object. 

Preformed mouth guards are available in sporting goods stores or a customized mouth guard can be made by a pediatric dentist. 

What to do if an dental emergency happens? 


  1. Contact your pediatric dentist as soon as possible. A quick response can lesson discomfort and prevent infection 

  1. Rinse with water and apply a cold compress 

  1. Do NOT nut the baby tooth back in the mouth, it could potentially damage the developing permanent tooth 


  1. Find the tooth and rinse it gently with milk. DO NOT use soap or water 

  1. Place the tooth back in the socket and hold it in place with a wash cloth. If this is not possible, put tooth in a clean cup with cold milk or the child’s saliva. Do not put tooth in water 

  1. Go to the pediatric dentist office immediately 


  1. Call you pediatric dentist immediately. Acting quickly can help save the tooth, prevent infection and reduce the need for more involved dental treatment. 

  1. Rinse the mouth with water and apply a cold compress 


March 1, 2024

Foods to Embrace and Avoid for Cavity Prevention

Maintaining a healthy smile involves more than just brushing and flossing – your diet plays a significant role too. The foods you choose can either contribute to the well-being of your teeth or pave the way for dental cavities.

Foods to Embrace:

  1. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables:
    • -Apples, carrots, and celery act as "natural toothbrushes," stimulating saliva production and helping to clean teeth.
  2. Dairy Products:
    • -Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in minerals that strengthen tooth enamel. Additionally, dairy products stimulate saliva production, which aids in neutralizing acids and protecting teeth.
  3. Leafy Greens:
    • -Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are high in calcium and folic acid, promoting enamel health and reducing the risk of cavities.
  4. Nuts and Seeds:
    • -Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds provide a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which contribute to strong teeth.
  5. Green Tea:
    • -Green tea contains antioxidants that can help fight bacteria and reduce the risk of cavities. It also has compounds that may inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Foods to Avoid:

  1. Sugary Snacks:
    • -Candy and sugary snacks are a haven for cavity-causing bacteria. The sugars in these treats feed the bacteria, leading to the production of acids that erode tooth enamel.
  2. Sticky Foods:
    • -Sticky candies, dried fruits, and chewy snacks stick to the grooves of teeth and in between teeth, making it difficult for saliva to naturally wash away food. This prolonged exposure to sugars can increase the risk of cavities.
  3. Acidic Beverages:
    • -Sodas, juices, and energy drinks are not only high in sugar but also tend to be acidic. The acidity can weaken tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to cavities.
  4. Processed Carbohydrates:
    • -Foods like white bread, crackers, and chips can break down into sugars that fuel the bacteria that cause cavities. Choose whole grains whenever possible.

Making smart choices about the foods you eat directly impact your dental health. By choosing tooth-friendly foods and limiting cavity-promoting culprits, you'll be taking proactive steps to safeguard your smile. Remember: a balanced diet, coupled with good oral hygiene practices, is the key to preventing dental cavities and maintaining a beautiful, healthy smile.

January 15, 2024

When should my child see the orthodontist?

According to the American Association of Orthodontists, all children should see an orthodontist by age 7. The first visit can identify certain conditions, that if treated early, can prevent more complicated problems from developing as the patient grows. Early detection can help make treatment time shorter and simpler. The orthodontist is specifically looking for conditions such as:

  1. Underbite/Crossbite: the lower jaw or teeth are positioned in front of the upper jaw or teeth when the bite is closed.
  2. Overbite: the upper jaw does not relate properly to the lower jaw.
  3. Open bite: the upper and lower front teeth don’t touch each other when the back teeth are in contact. Alternately, you can have an open bite when the back teeth don’t touch when the front teeth are touching. 
  4. Spacing problems: Severe crowding or misplaced teeth can prevent normal growth and development of the bite.

Some of the problems are easy to see, while others may need a closer look. The orthodontist will be able to let parents know when the right time to start treatment will be for their child.

You are never too old to start orthodontics. We see many parents who start orthodontics as adults, either because they never had them as a child, or they did not wear retainers as recommended.

Commerce Park Children’s Dentistry and Orthodontics has offices in Bridgeport, Shelton, Westport and has been providing cares to the surrounding communities for over 30 years.  Dr. Ritter and her staff are welcoming and friendly. We take the time to get to know our families and develop a plan that is customized to our patient’s needs. Call our office to request a complimentary orthodontic consultation today. Check out our blog or website to learn more.  


December 15, 2023


X-rays and Dentistry


How often should a child have dental x-rays? 

Every child is different, and therefore the need for dental x-rays is different for every child. X-rays are taken after reviewing your child’s medical history and a clinical exam is completed. We practice according to the guidelines put forth by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), which provides recommendations on based on factors such as cavity risk, age, and clinical findings. Children typically need x-rays more often than adults because their mouths are growing and changing rapidly. Children are also at a higher risk for decay as compared to adults. Children at high risk for cavities may need x-rays to check for cavities every six months per the AAPD guidelines, whereas children at lower risk may need x-rays less frequently. 

Why should an x-ray be taken if my child has never had a cavity before? 

X-rays allow us to diagnose and treat conditions that we can’t see during a clinical exam. Once teeth are touching, the molars for example, x-rays let us see if there are cavities between the teeth at the contact points. Cavities that are detected early are typically easier and more affordable to treat. X-rays are also crucial for dentists to assess the condition and position of permanent developing teeth, detect bone diseases, and evaluate teeth after injuries.   

How safe are dental x-rays? 

Pediatric dentists are particularly careful at mitigating radiation risks to our young patients. Newer digital technology allows for an extremely small amount of radiation to be used. Two bitewing radiographs (the type of x-ray we take to check for cavities between the back teeth) have less radiation than you would receive from a flight from New York to LA! Dental x-rays are a much smaller risk than untreated dental problems.  


October 16, 2023

October is National Orthodontic Health Month.

A month with cooler temperatures, pumpkin spice everything, and of course, Halloween! With Halloween comes lots of fun, sweet treats, which could prove disastrous for our patient with braces. That is why it is a perfect time to review some helpful tips on how to embrace the holiday worry-free.

Can I still eat Halloween candy?

YES! Enjoying candy while wearing braces is still an option. It is best to avoid damaging your braces by staying away from certain candy items. Broken brackets will require additional trips to the orthodontist for unwanted repairs that can extend your time in treatment.

Keep it simple, avoid hard and sticky items:

- Caramels, Taffy, Jellybeans, Bubblegum, Skittles, Starbursts, Tootsie Rolls

- Hard Candy, Suckers, Licorice

- Popcorn and Nuts

Additionally, avoid sugary drinks like soda, sweet tea, energy, and sports drinks. These drinks have added sugar, which causes decalcification (white marks) on teeth. Decalcification is permanent and can progress to a cavity. The best defense is to prevent these white spots in the first place.

You are probably wondering what you can eat or drink? The answer is quite a lot. Enjoy candy that is soft and melts in your mouth. These tend to be less risky and help to keep your braces intact.

Good options include:

- Chocolate (without caramel or nuts), marshmallows, peanut butter cups and soft cookies.

Eating Halloween candy in excess can cause more than a bad stomachache. Any type of sugary snacks can accumulate around braces and lead to cavities or gum disease (gingivitis).

Checklist for success:

- Brush for two minutes, two times a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and decrease the risk for cavities.

- Switch to an electric toothbrush, which has been shown to remove more plaque than manual toothbrushes.

- Floss at least once a day

- Rinse with a mouthwash containing fluoride to strengthen the enamel and decrease the bacteria in the mouth.

- If you have too much candy, our office does a Candy Buy Back where you can earn money for your surplus candy, thereby protecting that healthy, beautiful smile.


September 12, 2023

Silver Diamine Fluoride 101


What is Silver Diamine Fluoride? 

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is a treatment that your pediatric dentist may recommend to treat cavities. It is a colorless liquid made up of fluoride and silver ions. 

Why would a dentist recommend SDF for my child? SDF is a great tool in our toolbox for treating a variety of patients. Some children may not be able to cooperate for a filling, so SDF can be a great tool to buy time until the child is older or more cooperative. Smaller cavities on baby teeth may never need to be filled if SDF effectively arrests tooth decay. It can also reduce tooth sensitivity, which can be helpful with certain tooth conditions.

How does S