Saturday, August 29, 2020

Children’s Oral Health: 3 Tips for Teaching Kids How to Floss

Kids say the darndest things. Everyday topics, like learning how to floss, can turn into a comedy show. Case in point: One night, as my husband flossed his teeth our daughter exclaimed, “Daddy, why are you removing your teeth?”

Lesson learned. Time to teach her how to floss.

Teaching a kid how to use dental floss is probably the last battle you want to take on at the end of a long day, especially when just brushing teeth can be a struggle. But flossing is an extremely important part of children’s oral health. Dental floss cleans 40% of tooth surfaces brushing can’t reach. Between the ages of two and four, when teeth in the mouth start touching, kids can and should be introduced to dental floss.

When it comes to teaching kids about oral health, creativity goes a long way. Here are my three favorite tips for teaching a child how to floss.

Kids Flossing Tip #1: Use Visuals

Dental floss doesn’t automatically make sense to kids. This is why visuals are a great tool for teaching kids how to floss.

To demonstrate the importance of flossing and good oral health, have your child watch as you dig your teeth into some chocolate. Next, floss your teeth to demonstrate how well dental floss removes leftover food particles. Once she is thoroughly intrigued, break out a dental flosser pick (little kids find these easier to handle) and try it out on her teeth.

Kids Flossing Tip #2: Give Rewards

As a parent, you know how well positive reinforcement works on kids. They love when something fun waits for them at the end of a task. Why not use this same idea for your children’s oral health? Create a chart and give your child a gold star each day she flosses. At the end of the week, reward her with a fun activity or a small toy. She’ll consider it a fun game, but you’ll know that, secretly, she is building solid habits and learning how to floss.

Kids Flossing Tip #3: Create Activities

This is one of my favorite oral health activities for kids of all ages! All you need is playdough, a large Duplo block, and some yarn. The block represents the teeth, the playdough represents food and gunk caught between teeth, and the yarn is the floss.

Use the yarn just like dental floss to show your kids how easily it removes food from teeth. This is a great visual, and kids love jamming the dough in the blocks. Plus, not only do you teach your child how to floss, but you’ve found a way to occupy her for a solid ten minutes — win, win.

Need More Help Teaching Your Kids How to Floss?

These tips are a good starting point, but always reach out to your dentist if you hit an impasse when teaching your child how to floss. Your dentist has even more tips and tricks to make dental floss fun for kids.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Regency Dental Testimonial Video

Open in the same location for over 25 years, we are dedicated to quality service in a home away from home atmosphere.

We strive to make each and every visit a pleasurable experience. Extra care is taken to ensure that the highest standards of disinfection and sterilization are adhered to. This gives all of our patients the confidence to know that they are the top priority and their well being is the most important concern.

Our ultimate mission is to assist in making a contribution to overall health by providing the highest quality dental care possible. You will not only be delighted with the quality of clinical care but also by the way in which you are treated as an individual.

We want this to be your happy dental home.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

How Do Braces Actually Work?

Misaligned teeth can put you at risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Braces shift teeth by applying pressure, which constricts blood flow to the surrounding tissue that holds those teeth in place. That, in turn, causes special immune cells called osteoclasts to rush in and dissolve part of the jawbone, creating a space for the tooth to slide over and relieve the pressure.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

What You Need to Know About Childhood Cavities

Did you know that more than 25% of children have at least one cavity by the age of 4? And according to the CDC, 1 in 5 children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decaying tooth. While these statistics make cavities and tooth decay the most common oral health issues for children in the country, you might be wondering, “Is there really much harm if baby teeth aren’t permanent?”

Unfortunately, if left untreated, childhood cavities can cause a number of other issues, both now and in the long term. These include pain and infection, difficulty eating, and irregular tooth development that can lead to misalignment, overbites, and speech problems.

But here’s the good news: by knowing the causes of cavities, practicing proper at-home care, and scheduling regular visits to the dentist, you can drastically reduce your child’s risk of developing a cavity.

Inadequate Brushing and Flossing

We’ve all heard about the importance of brushing twice and flossing at least once each day. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that caregivers first begin cleaning an infant’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush, a cloth and water, or a finger brush. Brushing should begin once the child’s first tooth appears while flossing should start as soon as they have two teeth that touch, usually between the ages of 2 and 6 years old.

These daily habits are especially important before bedtime to eliminate the bacteria that build up during the day.

Pro tip: It’s recommended that you oversee your child’s brushing and flossing until they reach around 10 years old and can demonstrate proper technique on their own.

Using the Wrong Amount or Type of Toothpaste

For infants without any teeth, using a soft-bristled infant toothbrush or finger brush, clean your baby’s gums using only water. For children under the age of 2 who have their first erupted tooth, the AAPD recommends a “smear” of toothpaste, roughly around the length of a grain of rice. This age group can either use a fluoride-free toothpaste, specifically made for children under two years old, or they can use a fluoride toothpaste.

A pea-sized amount is recommended for kids between the ages of 3 to 6 years old. The AAPD encourages the use of a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen enamel and inhibit the loss of minerals in the teeth, however, it is important to use the smallest suggested amount in order to ensure your child spits out the toothpaste and does not ingest it.

On the topic of fluoride, many counties have fluoride in their drinking water, whether it’s naturally occurring or manually added in, which has been shown to lower tooth decay rates by 25%, according to the ADA. If you live in an area where fluoride isn’t in the water, ask your dentist if fluoride supplements might be right for your child.

Too Many Sugary or Starchy Foods and Drinks

Diet plays a huge role in the health of your child’s smile -- bacteria feeds on the simple sugars and starches in sweet treats and other highly processed foods. Focus on feeding your children fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting snacks such as cookies, candy, soda, and chips.

If your child uses a bottle or sippy cup at bedtime, opt to fill it with water instead of sugary juice or formula.

Irregular Trips to the Dentist

It should come as no surprise that regular trips to the dentist are incredibly important for your child’s dental health. The first visit should come after the first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday. Regular follow up exam should be scheduled every 6 months. These preventative visits will help eliminate the buildup of plaque and tartar that lead to cavities and the need for extensive treatments later on.

Symptoms of Childhood Cavities

As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to stay on top of your child’s teeth so that if problems do arise, they can be addressed as early as possible. While signs of cavities may be different depending on the child, there are some common symptoms to look for:

  • Pain around the tooth and gums when eating or brushing;
  • A new or increased sensitivity to hot or cold food or drinks;
  • Consistent bad breath;
  • Visible white spots on the teeth;
  • Holes or discoloration (Cavities in their early stages will often appear as white spots, then become a light brown color as they progress. More serious cavities may turn a dark brown or even black);

If your child is showing any of the following, you should schedule a visit with their dentist as soon as possible.

Treatment Options for Your Child’s Baby Teeth

If your child does end up getting a cavity, your dentist will typically recommend what’s called a direct restoration. Done in a single visit to your dentist’s office, this involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and replacing it with a filling.

When decay is left untreated for an extensive amount of time, your child’s treatment might progress to require the need for a crown, root canal therapy, or even premature loss of primary tooth with an extraction.

When the permanent molar teeth begin to come in, your child’s dentist might recommend preventing cavities with the placement of sealants on the surface of the molars.

Sealants block bacteria from getting into the deep grooves that toothbrush bristles can’t reach, thereby helping to protect your child from cavities. It’s an easy and painless procedure that takes only a few minutes per tooth, can last for up to 10 years, and is covered for children under most Delta Dental® of Washington plans.

Remember that good dental hygiene takes a combination of proper at-home care, regular visits to the dentist, and addressing issues early. By instilling these habits in your child early, you can help them have a healthy and beautiful smile for a lifetime.

Article Source:

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Terrible Things That Happen When You Grind Your Teeth Too Much

Grinding your teeth is a bad habit. But it could be worse than you think. You could be a chronic grinder and not even know it. Here’s what happens when you grind your teeth too much. And how to stop it.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Saliva: It's More Important Than You Think

Andrew Greenberger, DMD, a participating Delta Dental dentist, explains the vital role saliva plays in oral health, the causes of dry mouth, and tips on what you can do to ease dry mouth symptoms.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

ADA Science Inside: What Causes Bad Breath?

If you’ve ever worried about how your breath smells, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath (also called halitosis) at some point in their lives. Find out what causes bad breath, how to fight it and when it might be a symptom of a more serious health problem.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Why Dental Sealants for Kids

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the US. In Washington State, nearly 40% of kindergartners and 58% of third graders have cavities. This might sound dire, but it doesn’t have to be: cavities are preventable.

In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, dental sealants are another important measure for protecting kids’ teeth against decay. But despite their importance, many parents don’t know much about dental sealants — how they work, whether they are safe, and what they do to protect kids’ teeth.

So, what exactly are dental sealants, and why do kids need them?

Why Kids Need Dental Sealants

Early cavity prevention is extremely important. Cavities in baby teeth lead to cavities in permanent teeth, and to a lifetime of oral health problems. Preventing cavities before they start sets kids up for success — which is where dental sealants come in.

Cavities don’t happen overnight — they are more like a slow erosion. The bacteria in our mouths feeds off sugar in foods we eat. This process leaves behind nasty acids, which weaken our enamel little by little. A dental sealant is a protective coating placed on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth, or molars. Sealants fill the deep grooves that are hard for kids to properly clean when brushing.

In this way, dental sealants are like little tooth-sized levies — one more barrier protecting our children’s teeth against the slow erosion caused by bacteria and acids.

When Should Kids Get Dental Sealants?

The ADA recommends dental sealants for kids ages 5 to 14. Ask your dentist about dental sealants for your child as soon as their first permanent molars come in, between the ages of 5 and 7. Another set of dental sealants can be applied when kids get their second set of permanent molars, usually between age 11 and 14.

Dental sealants are also a good preventive measure for any teenager particularly prone to cavities.

Are Sealants Covered by Dental Benefits?

Dental sealants are considered a preventive benefit, just like regular exams and fluoride treatments. Most plans cover preventive services and dental sealants at 100%, so your child gets all their protective sealants at little or no out-of-pocket cost.

Article Source:

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Why Do We Have Such Crooked Teeth?

A lot of humans need or want braces to fix their crooked teeth, but why do you never see a dog walking down the street with headgear? Our ancient ancestors and mac and cheese may be to blame! 

*Correction: Even though hyraxes look similar to rodents, they're actually in the order Hyracoidea, not Rodentia! They're more closely related to elephants and manatees than to mice and guinea pigs.*

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Best Way to Whiten Teeth

Do teeth-whitening products work? Are whiter teeth actually healthier? Dr. Ada Cooper explains everything you need to know about teeth whitening.