Monday, July 6, 2020

Kid-Tested, Dentist-Approved: 6 Teeth Cleaning Tips from Dentist Parents


As a parent, you may have more in common with your dentist than you think. Many moms and dads—even dentists—struggle to keep their children’s mouths and teeth clean. ADA dentist Dr. Gene Romo is a father of four – ages 13, 10, 8 and 2. “As you can imagine, there can be a wide range of behavior on who wants to brush and who doesn’t in our house,” he says. “I’m not just a dentist, I’m their dad, so making sure they’re establishing good habits early on is important to me.”

To keep your family’s smiles strong, try some of tricks of the trade from dentist moms and dads:

Establish a Fun Family Routine

In Dr. Romo’s house, there’s one rule everyone follows: “You have to brush before bed, and you can’t leave the house in the morning until you brush,” he says. “The most important thing is to make sure your family is brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day.”

Young kids love to imitate their parents, so take the opportunity to lead by example. “One thing I did with all my kids was play a game with them, kind of like monkey-see, monkey-do. We all have our toothbrushes, and they follow what I do,” he says. “When I open my mouth, they open their mouths. When I start brushing my front teeth, they start brushing their front teeth – and so on all the way until it’s time to rinse and spit. It’s just a fun way to teach them how to brush properly, and we get to spend a little time together, too.”

Making brushing a family affair also helps you keep an eye out for healthy habits. “Some kids want to do everything themselves, even toothpaste, so you can watch to make sure they’re not using more than they should – a rice-sized smear for kids 2 and under and a drop the size of a pea for kids 3 and up,” he says. “You can also do a quick final check for any leftover food when brush time is done.”

Try a New Angle

When her daughter was only 6 months old, ADA dentist Dr. Ruchi Sahota asked her husband to hold her while she brushed or brushed when her daughter was laying down. “You can see their teeth from front to back the best at that time,” she says.

If your child is old enough to stand and wants to brush in the bathroom, ADA dentist Dr. Richard Price suggests a different method. “Stand behind your child and have him or her look up at you,” he says. “This causes the mouth to hang open and allows you to help them brush more easily.”

Bigger Kids, Bigger Challenges

Checking up on your child’s daily dental hygiene habits doesn’t end as they get older. It’s more challenging when they get their driver’s license and head off to college, says ADA dentist Dr. Maria Lopez Howell. “The new drivers can drive through any fast food spot for the kinds of food and beverages that they can’t find in a health-minded home,” she says. “The new college student is up late either studying or socializing. They don’t have a nightly routine, so they may be more likely to fall asleep without brushing.”

While your children are still at home, check in on their brushing and talk to them about healthy eating, especially when it comes to sugary drinks or beverages that are acidic. After they leave the nest, encourage good dental habits through care packages with toothbrushes, toothpaste or interdental cleaners like floss with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. And when they’re home on break, make sure they get to the dentist for regular checkups! Or if school break is too hectic– you can find a dentist near campus to make sure they are able to keep up with their regular visits.

Play Detective…

As your children get older, they’re probably taking care of their teeth away from your watchful eye. Dr. Romo asks his older children if they’ve brushed, but if he thinks he needs to check up on them, he will check to see if their toothbrushes are wet. “There have been times that toothbrush was bone dry,” he says. “Then I’ll go back to them and say, ‘OK, it’s time to do it together.’”

If you think your child has caught on and is just running their toothbrush under water, go one step further. “I’ll say, ‘Let me smell your breath so I can smell the toothpaste,’” he says. “It all goes back to establishing that routine and holding your child accountable.”

…And Save the Evidence

It could be as simple as a piece of used floss. It sounds gross, but this tactic has actually helped Dr. Lopez Howell encourage teens to maintain good dental habits throughout high school and college.

To remind them about the importance of flossing, Dr. Lopez Howell will ask her teenage patients to floss their teeth and then have them smell the actual floss. If the floss smells bad, she reminds them that their mouth must smell the same way. “It’s an ‘ah-ha’ moment,” Dr. Lopez Howell explains. “They do not want to have bad breath, especially once they see how removing the smelly plaque might improve their social life!”

Above All, Don’t Give Up

If getting your child to just stand at the sink for two minutes feels like its own accomplishment (much less brush), you’re not alone. “It was so difficult to help my daughter to brush her teeth because she resisted big time,” says ADA dentist Dr. Alice Boghosian. Just remember to keep your cool and remain persistent.

“Eventually, brushing became a pleasure,” Dr. Boghosian says. She advises parents to set a good example by brushing with their children. “Once your child is brushing on their own, they will feel a sense of accomplishment – and you will too!”

Article Source: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/tips-for-parents?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhtopstories&utm_content=parent-tips

Friday, July 3, 2020

Your Teeth Are Strong—But They're Not Invincible


Your teeth can bite with 200 pounds of force, but they’re not strong enough to stop cavities on their own.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What Does Fluoride Do?


Fluoride is commonly used in dental care products and also added to public water supplies. Learn more about what fluoride does to improve your oral health.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

How to Ease Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist


It can be hard to get children to cooperate. Often, “Eat your vegetables, Timmy” is followed by a “No!” and stalks of broccoli flying past your head.

The same can be true of visiting the dentist, especially if your child experiences anxiety in the dental office. But good oral habits begin at young age. So, it’s important to get your kids comfortable with their dental provider and regular checkups and cleanings – especially in the COVID era.

Now that dental offices are reopening, it’s a good time to learn a few tips and tricks you can use to help ease your child’s fear.

KISS: Keep It Simple, Silly

Be as honest and open as possible with your child before their appointment, but for the technical stuff it’s better to let the dentist do the explaining.

Dental professionals are trained to describe procedures in simple, non-threatening ways and are e equipped to answer your child’s questions. And if your child does start to get nervous, they’ll know the best ways to tackle fear in the moment.

In fact, there’s a whole slew of dentists who cater exclusively to children and specialize in getting kids acquainted and comfortable with regular dental visits!

Give Them a Heads Up

Children thrive on predictability – from daily schedules to bed times, they like to know what to expect and when.

So, make sure to tell your child in advance that they have a dental appointment. It gives them time to mentally prepare by expressing their fears and asking questions. And gives you ample time to help them through their dental anxiety.

Bribery is a No-Go

When it comes to getting Timmy to eat his broccoli, the promise of ice cream or cookies might do the trick. But when it comes to preparing your child for their dental visit, experts say it’s best to avoid the sugary treats all together.

Dentists emphasize clean, healthy teeth by avoiding sweets that can cause cavities, so offering a lollipop if they behave sends the wrong message. If you promise your little one candy to keep them from crying or fussing, they’ll wonder what there is to fuss or cry about in the first place. And this can generate more fear leading up to the visit.

Some dentists do give out small treats -- like stickers or toys – as a reward for good behavior. It’s best to keep these incentives as reinforcement for good behavior. It leaves your child with a positive impression about the entire visit.

Talk to Them About Good Oral Hygiene

Just like regular checkups at a doctor’s office, cleanings and routine dental visits are key to maintaining good overall health.

Start by telling your child that the dentist helps keep teeth healthy so that he or she may eat well and grow big and strong. As they get older, explain that taking care of your oral health means a bright and beautiful smile for years to come. If you need some help with this, check out our Tooth Fairy Experience. There’s lots of resources that help make oral health fun for youngsters.

Start ‘Em Young

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first dental visit no later than his/her first birthday.

Why? Well not only does this get them accustomed to visiting the dentist on a regular basis, but it provides them with what experts call a “dental home.”

This “dental home” will be where you child becomes accustomed to getting all of their needs – from periodic preventative visits to emergencies – taken care of. The more familiar they are with the dentist and the dentist’s office, the less likely they are to experience dental anxiety.

Article Source: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/blog/entry/2020/05/How-to-Ease-Your-Childs-Fear-of-the-Dentist

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What Too Much Flavored Water Does To Your Teeth


If you're a fan of drinking flavored water, you might want to make sure you're drinking it in moderation. It's a common notion that flavored water is healthy, but due to acids in the drink, you could be damaging your tooth enamel beyond repair.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

10 Things You Didn't Know About Teeth


Here are 10 interesting facts about teeth, human and otherwise.

Other than when it’s time to brush or fix them, you may not think much about teeth. Well, they’re actually pretty fascinating.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Health Hack: Improving Oral Health


In this week's 'Health Hack' Jane Monzures is bringing you some great tips to help you improve the health of your mouth!