Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Oral Health Tips for Kids, Part 2

How you care for your child’s teeth will affect their ability to learn and to grow up healthy. By encouraging good oral health habits in your family, you will keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong and give them a smile to treasure for a lifetime. Below are some tips to help keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Tips for choosing a toothbrush

Choosing a Toothbrush
There are so many toothbrushes available, the choice can be overwhelming for some parents. The following are recommendations to help you make the right choice:

• Choose the correct size, based on age (most toothbrush packages are now labeled for the appropriate age group)

• Choose a toothbrush with soft, round-tipped, nylon bristles. Medium or hard bristles can injure gums and wear down tooth enamel (this is true for adults as well).

• Replace your child’s toothbrush when the bristles look bent or worn, usually between two to four months of use, depending on the brand

• Let your child help them select their own toothbrush. Kids are more interested in brushing if they are involved in the process

Electric toothbrushes are popular with children and are very effective. Many of the electric tootbrushes also have a built-in timer function, to remind children to brush for two full minutes.

Wall of Toothpaste. in store

Choosing Toothpaste
Toothpaste is another important tool in fighting tooth decay.  Do you know how much (if any) to use?

Newborns without teeth should have their mouths wiped with a moist washcloth, after all meals.

Once the first tooth appears in the mouth, depending on your child’s cavity-risk, it can be appropriate to use a “smear” of children’s toothpaste containing fluoride, on the bristles of a wet toothbrush.

Usually around 2 years of age, children can begin using a pea size amount of children’s toothpaste.

Children should be taught at an early age how to spit out their toothpaste, in order to not swallow the contents.


Proper Techniques for You and Your Children
Adults should help brush their child’s teeth until the ages of 6 or 7, depending on the ability of the child to correctly use their toothbrush.

Try to place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the tooth and use a gentle scrubbing/circular motion technique.

Brush all surfaces of the teeth including the area near the gum line.

Apply gentle pressure while brushing.

Encourage your child to brush for at least 2 minutes, 2 times a day.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Oral Health Tips for Kids- Part 1:

Primary “Baby” Teeth
Did you know that baby teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they appear, usually around age 6 months. 

Infant tooth decay (aka baby bottle rot) most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth can be affected. In some cases, infants and toddlers experience decay so severe that their teeth cannot be saved and need to be removed.

Most children have a full set of 20 baby teeth by the time they are 3-years-old. As your child grows, their jaws will also grow, making room for their permanent teeth.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tips for Kids: National Children’s Dental Month

February is National Children's Dental Health Month. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.

The theme created for the 2016 American Dental Association campaign is “Sugar Wars.”  

Children are faced with a confusing array of food choices, from fresh produce to sugary and processed convenience meals and snacks foods. 

What children are eating today poses not only affects their oral health, also poses serious concerns regarding their overall health.

The following are some tips to help reduce a child's risk of tooth decay:

happy tooth illustration
Sugary foods and drinks should only be consumed with meals. This is because saliva production increases while eating and helps neutralize acid production and rinses food particles from the mouth.

happy tooth illustration
Limit snacks between meals. If children crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.  
happy tooth illustration
If your children chew gum, choose sugarless gum with xylitol or recaldent. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.

happy tooth illustration
Monitor beverage consumption. Instead of soft drinks, sports drinks or energy drinks, children should drink water or low-fat milk.

happy tooth illustration
Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. Parents should assist their children until the ages of 8-10, depending on the child’s ability to brush properly.

happy tooth illustration
Schedule regular dental visits.  Children should be seen every 6 months for check-ups to monitor the development of their teeth and for regular teeth cleanings.