Thursday, June 20, 2019

Teaching Kids To Take Care Of Their Smiles

BEING A PARENT WITH small children can feel so hectic that there are probably days when it’s hard to find time to brush your own teeth, let alone theirs. That’s why we’re here to help you out with a few tips on how to help your kids develop great oral hygiene habits.

Make Healthy Baby Teeth A Priority

Just because your child’s baby teeth will be replaced with permanent teeth before long doesn’t mean it’s okay to slack off on taking good care of them. Baby teeth are crucial place-holders for adult teeth, and they allow your child to chew, speak, and smile freely. To keep them healthy, it’s important to aim for twice-daily brushing and daily flossing.

Start Building Life-Long Habits Early On

Teaching a young child important skills isn’t always easy. They have seemingly endless energy and very short attention spans, and a toothbrushing session won’t always go as planned. Here are a few things we recommend as you’re working on your child’s dental health skills:
  • Make brushing a priority. If you act like brushing your child’s teeth is an inconvenient chore, that’s how they’ll view their dental hygiene routine. Show them that this is an important, unskippable part of every morning and evening.
  • Brushing doesn’t have to happen in the bathroom. As long as you have a toothbrush, you can brush your child’s teeth anywhere. On a difficult day, brushing their teeth right where they are you could save both of you a lot of frustration.
  • Toothpaste isn’t as crucial as brushing. Whether you ran out of toothpaste, can’t find it, or your child has been using it to practice their finger-painting skills, it’s fine to brush without the toothpaste until you can get more.
  • Let them pick out their toothbrush. This will make feel more in control, and they’ll be happier to use it.
  • Brush in front of the mirror. When they start brushing their own teeth, they’ll do it in front of the mirror, so this is the best place for you to brush their teeth for them at first. It will help them feel involved.
  • Make it fun! The more you act like brushing is fun, the happier your child will be to cooperate. Keep up a good attitude about it and help them enjoy it by playing fun music to time their two minutes of brushing.

Take Advantage Of Our Expertise

We’d love to hear about your brushing routine with your child. Are our tips helping you out? Do you have your own strategy that’s working really well? Give us a call to let us know, or tell us about it at your child’s next appointment! And if you’re still having trouble helping your child learn how to brush, we can help with that too!

We love seeing your child’s healthy smile!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth The Healthy Way

EVERYONE LOVES A good sweet snack once in a while, but unfortunately, that includes the bacteria in our mouths. Those little germs’ favorite food in the world is sugary treats, and the more sugar they get, the more they put our teeth at risk of tooth decay. So how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without giving your harmful oral bacteria a treat? By snacking healthy!
 

A Few Healthy Treats To Enjoy

Sometimes it seems like the healthy snacks are the ones that take longer to make or cost more, but that isn’t always true! So before you reach for that jelly-filled doughnut or bowl of ice cream, take a look at some of these quick, affordable, tasty options that are better for your teeth:
  • Coconut whipped cream with strawberries. Coconuts are exceptional bacteria killers and they can also reduce the amount of plaque build up, and strawberries are great for scrubbing away plaque too! Coconut whipped cream is a great substitute for dairy whipped cream because it’s low in sugar and high in healthy fats.
  • Frozen dark chocolate bananas. This treat is great because bananas are full of important nutrients that help keep teeth and gums strong, and dark chocolate is good for your teeth too. (You could also switch things up and put the coconut whipped cream on the bananas and the dark chocolate on the strawberries!)
  • Fruit smoothies with yogurt and applesauce. Toss your favorite fruits in a blender, but instead of adding sugar or ice cream, use unsweetened applesauce and frozen yogurt for a refreshing smoothie that is low in sugar!
  • Yogurt and granola. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics. Crowd out that harmful bacteria in your mouth with the good bacteria in yogurt. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium for building strong teeth.
  • Fruit Bowls. You can never go wrong by throwing together a bowl of berries and sliced fruit. While fruit does contain natural sugar, eating it whole is much healthier than drinking fruit juice (which isn’t much better for your teeth than soda). The fiber in the whole fruit makes it harder for the sugar to reach your teeth (or your digestive system!), and you get all the great vitamins too!
Check out this video for a brownie recipe that leaves out the refined sugar!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq-8gOCdJGo

Want More Healthy Snack Ideas?

If you like these healthy treats and want more, we can help you find them! From sugar substitutes in baking to easy on-the-go snacks, we have you covered! And don’t forget to keep up your other good oral health habits, such as brushing twice daily for two minutes, flossing, and scheduling those regular dental appointments!

And don’t worry, we have sweet teeth too!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Taking Care Of Your Pet’s Teeth

IT’S EASY TO ASSUME that our pets don’t need dental care like we do. After all, wild animals can’t exactly brush their teeth, and that doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. However, it turns out that our pets’ teeth have a very different situation than the teeth of wild animals, and they do need our help to stay healthy.

Animal Teeth In The Wild

There are two main reasons wild animals don’t need dental care. The first is diet. Unlike us and our pets (particularly cats and dogs), wild animals don’t consume a lot of sugar or carbs, which is what feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Wild animals are more likely to wear their teeth down than they are to get cavities.
The second reason wild animals don’t seem to get tooth decay as often is that their teeth essentially outlive them. Their lifespans aren’t long enough for their teeth to rot before they die. If an animal’s teeth do rot, it won’t survive much longer in the wild, because unlike domesticated animals, it doesn’t have a friendly human to feed it after it can no longer eat its usual food.

What Dental Problems Are Pets At Risk For?

Our puppies and kitties might have teeth that look a lot different from ours, but they can get cavities and gum disease just like we can. In fact, a whopping 85 percent of dogs and cats get gum disease by age three.Keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty chewing, tooth loss, and bad breath, as well as loose teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, and loss of appetite.
In a way, dental problems are even more serious for our pets than they are for us. We can take care of our own teeth, and we can describe what our teeth and gums feel like to our dentists. Our pets can’t do any of that, so when a problem happens, it’s more likely to get worse.

Tips For Pet Dental Care

Don’t wait for your pet to start showing symptoms of dental problems to begin a dental hygiene routine for them. Whether you’re keeping their teeth healthy or helping fight back against existing problems, you’ll be making your furry friend’s life so much better. Here are a few things you can do:
  • Brush their teeth daily.
  • Only use veterinary toothpaste, if any. (Your toothpaste will make them sick.)
  • Give them vet-approved dental treats to help clean their teeth.
  • Get their teeth professionally cleaned! Some vets offer dental services, but if your vet doesn’t, they can probably recommend a veterinary dental specialist in the area.

Do It For Those Happy Doggy And Kitty Smiles!

As a pet owner, there’s nothing better than seeing them happy and full of life, and taking good care of their teeth is a great way to make that happen. If you have any questions about what to do for your pet’s teeth or if you’re having trouble getting them used to a dental hygiene routine, make use of resources like our practice and your veterinarian.

We look forward to seeing you at our practice!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Protecting Your Child’s Teeth From Injury

WE ALL REMEMBER WHAT it was like to be a kid. Running around, playing outside, discovering the world around us, and making great friends. We also remember the scraped knees and bumps and bruises that came along with all of that. As parents, we want our kids to have all the same great experiences we did, but hopefully without some of the injuries — particularly tooth injuries.
 

Tips For Tooth Safety

There are a few simple things we can do to keep our kids’ teeth safe, whether they’re at home or playing with friends.
  • The most common cause of tooth injuries in babies and toddlers is the bathtub. All that slippery porcelain makes it easy for them to fall and hurt their teeth. To minimize this risk, never leave a baby or toddler unattended in the bathtub.
  • Frisbees, balls, and other things meant for throwing can easily cause tooth injuries. Before your child goes out to play, talk to them about safety and stress the importance of not aiming for each other’s heads.
  • Playground equipment such as swings, a jungle gym, or monkey barsare not kind to teeth if a child falls on them face-first. Make sure your child knows to be careful before going on the playground.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes accidents happen even under careful adult supervision and when the children understand potential hazards and use caution. Don’t panic if your child loses or injures a tooth. If it’s an adult tooth or if it’s a baby tooth that wasn’t already loose, try to put it back in place, then come straight to the dentist. Reattachment isn’t always possible, but this will give it the best chance.
If you can’t easily put the tooth back in place, store it in a glass of milk to keep the root alive while you’re on your way to the dentist. The faster you get to us, the better chances the tooth will have of being saved. Make sure you don’t try to clean the tooth or put it in water, though, because this will kill the root!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KyR4ULIEQw


Keep Those Teeth Healthy

Another important way to protect your child’s teeth from injury is to keep them healthy with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, as well as regular dental appointments. Healthy teeth are stronger and more resistant to injury!

We love to see those healthy smiles!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The First Loose Tooth: A Rite Of Passage

DO YOU REMEMBER losing your first tooth? Maybe it happened later than for your classmates, or maybe you fell down on the playground and it came out before you knew it was loose. However it happens, losing that first tooth is a big deal for every kid. As parents, we want to make sure it’s a positive experience.
 

The Right Mindset Is Key

Even though losing our baby teeth is a perfectly normal part of growing up, it can be scary for a little kid, especially when it’s their first loose tooth and they aren’t used to the process yet. We can make it easier by helping them get in the right mindset: losing a tooth means they’re a big kid now! If you can help your child focus on how cool and impressive it is to lose a baby tooth, rather than how it might hurt a little bit, they’ll hopefully be less afraid and more excited.

How Parents Can Help With A Loose Tooth

Helping with a loose tooth isn’t just about mindset, it’s also about technique. Chasing your child around with pliers is not the best way to handle the situation, and neither is that old “I just want to feel it!” trick where you pull the tooth instead. A couple of good things to do are to encourage your child to gently wiggle the tooth on their own with a clean finger, their tongue, or a tissue. It’s also a good idea to let them set the pace and only help them pull the tooth if they ask you to.
Another way to make it fun is to think of an interesting way to pull the tooth!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az0l311rBok

Find Creative Ways To Reward Success

The Tooth Fairy is the standard way of giving a child a good incentive to take care of those loose teeth, but there’s no reason to reward them the same way everyone else does. Maybe your child would be more motivated by the promise of a trip to the ice cream shop or getting a new toy. Think of something your child would really appreciate.

Still Have Concerns? Bring Them To Us!

If your child is still afraid of losing a tooth after you’ve done everything you can to make it a fun and exciting rite of passage for them, then leave it to us! As a pediatric dental practice, we specialize in working with children. You can also bring them to us if their teeth aren’t becoming loose when they should or if a loose tooth doesn’t seem to want to come out.

We can’t wait to hear about your child’s loose tooth adventures!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

How To Help Your Teething Child

CUTTING NEW TEETH is never a comfortable experience. Maybe you remember what it was like to get your adult molars, but it’s particularly hard for babies and toddlers who don’t understand why their gums are so sore. It’s hard for parents too, but we’re here to give you the information you need so that you’ll know what to expect while those new teeth come in and how to help your child through it.
 

Teething Happens In Stages

The first stage of teething is called erupting, when the baby teeth begin moving from the jaw bones through the gum tissue. The second stage is called cutting, and this is when the teeth begin to break through the surface of the gums. Both of these stages are commonly painful for babies and toddlers, but they don’t know how to explain this to their parents, which is why they will often act tired, hungry, or picky about their food.

Recognize The Symptoms Of Teething

You can usually expect to see your baby’s first teeth when they’re between four and six months old. However, anything between three and fourteen months is normal, so don’t be too alarmed if your baby’s teeth are taking some extra time to appear. No two children are the same, but some of the most common symptoms of teething include:
  • Avoiding breastfeeding
  • Biting, chewing, and sucking on everything
  • Refusing to bite, chew, or suck on anything
  • Irritability
  • Rejecting foods they usually like
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive drooling
Symptoms that are not common in teething babies include diarrhea, a runny nose, and a fever. These are more likely the symptoms of a virus, and if they persist or get worse, it’s time to see the pediatrician.

Strategies For Soothing A Teething Child

As parents, there’s a lot we can do to help our little ones through the teething process. The first is to continue breastfeeding, if possible. One of the benefits of breast milk is that it reduces the pain of teething.Teething toys will be your child’s best friend. Being able to chew on things helps their teeth cut through the gums, so teething toys are essential.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pe3dLRgtzk


Choosing The Right Teething Toys

Before you go out and buy a bunch of teething toys, it’s important to know which ones to avoid. Make sure the toys you select are free of PVC, BPA, and phthalates (chemicals that make the toys last longer, but which can be harmful if consumed).
You also want to consider what the toy is made of. Is it solid all the way through, or does it have some kind of gel filling? If the latter, is it sturdy enough that your child won’t chew through it and cause it to leak? Can it be cooled in the fridge? Does it have a clip to fasten it to your child’s clothing? Will it be easy for them to handle?

Bring Us Any Concerns About Teething

If you’d like more information about teething, or if you’ve tried everything and it still doesn’t seem to be enough, we’d be happy to help! Schedule an appointment with us so that we can check that those teeth are coming in on schedule and give you advice on managing your child’s teething discomfort.

We’re here to help your children start their oral health journey right!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

What You Need To Know About Crossbites

Typically, when a parent brings a Young child to the dentist, the last discussion they're expecting to have is one centered on braces and orthodontic appliances. Yet, even at ages three and four, a talk about braces, sagittal expander's, and retainers can indeed be front and center when a child is diagnosed with a crossbite. The question then is what to do about it, how soon should intervention take place, and what the complications are that can arise if nothing is done at all. Lets get some answers.


What Exactly Is a Crossbite?

Imagine for a moment you're sitting in front of a nice soup bowl with a wide flat brim, and inside that bowl is hearty chowder you'd like to keep warm until you're ready to devour it. So, you grab another bowl designed exactly like the first, and hover it upside-down over the bowl containing the soup. As you slowly lower it, you try to line up the brims so when they rest together they form a nice even seal. Unfortunately, given the soup is hot, you don't quite get the brims to line up perfectly, and the edge of the top bowl ends up resting it slightly to the left of the lip on the bottom bowl. The way these tow bowls now rest unevenly atop one another is exactly what you would see in a person with a crossbite.  A crossbite can affect several teeth, or a single tooth, and can occur on either one side of the mouth or both. Simply put, if any one tooth (or several teeth) lies nearer the tongue or cheek instead of coming together evenly, you're likely dealing with a crossbite.


So, What To Do About It And When?

The dental community is split on when to initiate treatment for a crossbite, with some suggest-ing treatment should begin as soon as it is noticed (sometimes as early as age three), while others suggest parents should wait until a child’s sixth year molars have arrived.  Despite the difference of opinion as to when treatment should begin, dentists and orthodontist are in agreement that the condition cannot be left untreated. Doing so presents a host of complica-tions for the child later in life including gum and tooth wear, uneven jaw development that can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and facial asymmetry – something no parent or child wants.


What Does Crossbite Treatment Look Like?

Crossbite treatment generally involves adjusting the spread of a child’s teeth with dental appliances so the bite pattern matches evenly on all sides. Depending on the type of crossbite a child has, this can be done with dental expanders that resemble orthodontic retainers, and include a screw that is tightened nightly to “spread” a child’s bite to the prescribed width. Additionally, dental facemasks, braces and clear aligners may be used – particularly when a single tooth is out of alignment.
Crossbites are generally regarded as genetic in nature, and they’re not overly common. It is, however, a condition that needs to be treated before permanent damage to a child’s facial and oral development occurs. So, if you find yourself at the other end of a discussion about having your little one wear a dental expander, be sure you listen and get however many opinions regarding that advice as you require. Your child, and your wallet, will thank you long into the future.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Why, When, How and Where of Tongue Scraping

Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said!
Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us?Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at [Enter your practice phone number here].
Make room for good bacteria: see our article here on probiotics for your mouth.
Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center!
Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works?

WHERE do I buy one?

Your first choice is, believe it or not, your dentist.
They may even have a sample they could provide to you at no cost.
Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can also be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Kissing and Cavities


WE HOPE ALL OF our patients are excited for Valentine’s Day! We also hope the topic we’re about to discuss won’t spoil the romantic mood, but we need to talk about what kissing does to oral bacteria.
 
The Bacteria in Our Mouths
Our mouths are home to many species of microscopic organisms. Most of them are harmless, and some are even beneficial, but some cause tooth decay and gum disease. The worst offenders are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis.
Streptococcus mutans eats the leftover sugars and starches that stick to our teeth after we eat, and then it excretes enamel-eroding acid. Porphyromonas gingivalis is strongly linked to advanced gum disease or periodontitis.
Managing Our Oral Bacteria
As bacteria reproduce very quickly, a good oral hygiene routine is essential for keeping the harmful bacteria populations under control. In a healthy, clean mouth, there might be anywhere from a thousand to a hundred thousand bacteria on each tooth surface, but a mouth that doesn’t get cleaned often can have as many as a hundred million to a billion bacteria per tooth. So, don’t skip your twice-daily brushing and daily flossing!
So, What Does This Have To Do With Kissing?
On average, an individual will have between 34 and 72 different types of oral bacteria. Once we get a strain of bacteria in our mouths, it probably isn’t going away. The trouble is that each person has different bacteria, so kissing or even sharing drinks with someone could introduce new strains of bacteria to our mouths.
This is more dangerous for children than adults. Young children don’t have as many types of oral bacteria as adults yet, and their immune systems aren’t used to dealing with them. Too many kisses from Mom and Dad can leave them more vulnerable to developing cavities.
The best way to avoid sharing your oral bacteria with your child is to keep those kisses to the cheek, don’t share your spoon or fork with them, and make sure they always have their own drink instead of giving them sips from yours.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjOry6t4v4

Catch Feelings, Not Cavities

As long as you’re taking good care of your oral health and hygiene, you don’t need to worry as much about spreading dangerous, cavity-causing germs with your kisses, but even then, avoid doing things that could spread oral bacteria to small children. If you follow these tips and keep up with your regular dental appointments, you’ll be free to enjoy the feelings of Valentine’s Day!

We love all our patients!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Kids, Teens, And Gum Disease

YOU MIGHT THINK that gum disease is a dental health problem that only adults have to deal with. Unfortunately, teenagers and children are also at risk of developing gingivitis and more severe forms of periodontal disease.
 

Causes Of Gum Disease

The causes of gum disease are different for teenagers than for younger children. The flood of hormones from puberty can increase blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive. This is more of a problem for girls than for boys, but more than half of teens have some form of gum disease.
For younger children, the main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth and harden into tartar, the gums become vulnerable to irritation and inflammation.

Signs Parents Can Watch For

Children don’t always recognize when something is wrong, so they may not come to you with a detailed description of their gum disease symptoms. However, because gum disease worsens over time, we shouldn’t wait for them to notice a problem anyway. Here are a few signs of gum disease that you can be on the watch for:
  • constant bad breath that does not improve with brushing and flossing
  • swollen and unusually red gums
  • bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
  • gum recession

Gum Disease Prevention And Treatment

If your child doesn’t have gum disease, wonderful! However, there are still important steps you can take to keep their gums healthy. The most essential is to encourage good dental hygiene habits. Set an example by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and make sure they’re following that example. Regular dental checkups are also critical for detecting problems early and giving your child professional cleanings to keep their dental health on track.
It is always better to prevent a dental health problem before it can develop, but if your child does have gum disease, you can still fight back by persevering with those good oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqsOcfTJacA

Together, We Can Keep Those Gums Healthy!

Childhood is an important time for oral health, because it’s when we learn the habits that will determine how healthy our teeth and gums will be for the rest of our lives. When parents and dentists work together to give kids a headstart on their oral health, they won’t just help them defeat gum disease; they’ll give them all the tools they need to enjoy lifelong healthy smiles!

We look forward to seeing your child again soon!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Train Your Child To Be A Flossing Ninja

BEING A GOOD NINJA isn’t just about mastering the nunchaku and learning to move about completely undetected; it’s also about keeping one’s teeth and gums healthy and strong. One of our greatest weapons against gum disease and tooth decay is a good flossing habit.

The Importance Of Flossing To The Path Of The Ninja

You might wonder why it’s so important for a young ninja-in-training to floss. If baby teeth are only temporary, then why does it matter to keep them healthy, and does flossing really make a difference? While it is true that baby teeth will soon be replaced by adult teeth, it is still critical to keep them healthy and strong so that the adult teeth can come in where they should. A toothbrush isn’t enough to keep them clean, which is where flossing comes in.

When To Begin Flossing Training

It takes time for all shinobi to develop good dexterity and hand-eye coordination, so we recommend that you start flossing for them around age two and a half. If you make it into a daily habit, they will be ready to learn how to floss on their own by about age five. The most important thing is consistency. They will be much more likely to maintain a good flossing habit on their own if they are already used to it being a part of their day.

The Way Of The Flossing Master

Here are a few tips to help parents pass on the noble technique of flossing to children who are ready to learn, because what is second-nature to an adult may not be so easy for a child:
  • Explain the importance of flossing. If they understand why it matters, they will be more motivated to do it.
  • Emphasize that flossing is a Big Kid skill. Like learning to tie their shoes and ride a bike without training wheels, they’ll be eager to prove how grown up they are by flossing their own teeth.
  • Use flossers or floss picks if traditional floss is too tricky.
  • If you’re sticking with traditional floss, show them how to pull out the right amount (a foot and a half) and loosely wrap it around their middle fingers, leaving just an inch or two to slide between the teeth.
  • Show them how to effectively clean by using a back-and-forth motionwithout snapping their gums. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C-shape to make it more gentle.
  • Teach them how to move down the strand so they use clean floss on each tooth. We want to get rid of the plaque, not move it around!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ozFU7-sTA

Seek Wisdom From Your Dentist

Teaching your child good dental hygiene habits is as much about giving them the right perspective as it is about the proper technique. Ideally, they’ll see tasks like brushing and flossing as quick and easy ways to keep their teeth feeling great, rather than unpleasant chores. If you need help or advice on how to convince your young ninja that dental hygiene matters, we are always happy to provide a demonstration at our practice!

Keep up the great work training a new generation of flossing ninjas!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

When Your Child Has A Toothache…

A TOOTHACHE IS never fun to deal with for anyone, and they can happen for a variety of reasons. Do you know what to do if your child has one, especially if it happens over the holidays or at the beginning of the weekend and you can’t get quick access to professional dental care?
 

Toothache Causes

The most common reason a tooth might initially feel painful is tooth decay, but it isn’t the only reason. Tooth pain can also be the result of pulp inflammation, an dental abscess, a cracked tooth, or even gum disease. Impacted teeth (teeth that are blocked from coming in where they should by bone, gum tissue, or other teeth) can also be painful.
Tooth sensitivity can lead to discomfort as well, and sometimes the cause of a toothache is merely a sinus infection or congestion. For children, it could be as simple as teething discomfort or a sore loose tooth, in which case it’s usually just a normal part of development.

Reducing Dental Pain Before The Appointment

The best thing to do when your child has a toothache is to come see us right away. If for some reason that isn’t possible, there are a few things you can do to manage your child’s dental pain in the meantime.
  • Have them rinse and spit with warm saltwater to reduce inflammation
  • Apply a cold compress to their cheek near the sore area
  • Give them anti-inflammatory medication
  • Use an over-the-counter topical medication meant for children
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-MjUan_gZU
 

Preventing Future Toothaches

If your child has had or currently has a toothache, you probably want it to be their last. Obviously some of the causes can’t be prevented, such as sinus infections, teething, sore loose teeth, and a tooth being damaged in an accident, but there’s a lot you can do to protect their teeth from the aches and pains that come from poor dental health.
Teaching them to brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, encouraging them to floss daily, and scheduling regular dental appointments for them will keep their teeth healthy. You can also help their teeth out by cutting down on sugary foods and drinks they consume.

Bring That Tooth Pain To Us As Soon As You Can

Pain is the body’s alert system to let us know when there’s a problem, and it’s important not to ignore it. No matter what you think might be causing your child’s toothache, schedule an appointment with us to get it taken care of before the underlying problem has a chance to get worse. We’ll be able to take a look and get their tooth the treatment it needs!

Let’s fight that toothache together!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sleep Apnea And Your Child’s Dental Health

UP TO 20 PERCENT of habitually snoring children have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that results in brief but repeated interruptions to normal breathing during sleep. Not only is this a potentially life-threatening disorder, but it also has a significant impact on oral health.

The Three Types Of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can occur in three different ways. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the result of a blockage in the airway, typically the tongue collapsing against the soft palate, which in turn collapses against the back of the throat, closing off the airway. This is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to signal the muscles of the respiratory system to keep breathing. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of the first two types.
Each time breath is interrupted, the brain causes the person with sleep apnea to wake up. It happens so quickly that they usually don’t remember it, but the interruptions severely impact the overall quality of sleep, as they can happen as often as hundreds of times in a single night.

What Does Sleep Apnea Have To Do With Teeth?

In addition to leaving your child with all the usual symptoms of sleep deprivation, such as exhaustion, difficulty concentrating at school, irritability, and hyperactivity, sleep apnea has a number of effects on oral health. There is a significant association between OSA and moderate to severe periodontitis (gum disease), but the most common dental health complications are temporomandibular joint disorders(TMJ or TMD).
Studies have shown that the jaw reflexively clenches to prevent the airway from becoming blocked when the throat relaxes during a sleep apnea episode. TMD leads to other problems like worn, cracked, or broken teeth, pain when chewing, chronic headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

How The Dentist Can Help

The dental effects of sleep apnea are so common that the dentist might be the first one to spot the signs and diagnose the disorder. This is just one way your child’s regular dental appointments will benefit their overall health. If they are diagnosed with sleep apnea, common treatment options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and nighttime dental devices that push the tongue or the lower jaw forward.

Healthier Sleep For Healthier Smiles

If your child has been experiencing any of the symptoms described above, there’s no reason for them to continue living with interrupted sleep and the health and cognitive problems that come with sleep apnea. Give us a call or drop by our practice today to schedule an appointment so that we can see if sleep apnea is the cause and get your child on the path to more restful sleep and better oral health.

Wishing all our patients a good night’s sleep!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.