Children’s Dental Health Month talk!

February is an important month because it’s Children’s Dental Health Month! Dr. Wells has been posting videos on our Instagram story of all the things you need to know about your child’s dental health! 

A question we received numerous times was “what do I use to brush my baby’s teeth/gums with?

For the gums I recommend using a wet rag instead the finger toothbrush but that works as well! You can also use just water until multiple teeth start to come in! Once your child starts getting teeth you should start using a small, soft bristle toothbrush. As far as toothpaste – for children under 3 smear a amount smaller than a grain of rice. For children 3 and older you can start with a pea size amount. Keep using small amounts of toothpaste until they know how to spit. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended as soon as teeth appear.

 

Toothbrushes – 

Here are toothbrushes I would recommend!

 

 

 

  1. Bigger doesn’t mean better when picking out a toothbrush size
  2. Electric is always better – they remove more plaque

 

Flossing –

As soon as your child’s teeth start touching = FLOSS!

Most of their cavities start between the teeth so it is crucial to start flossing as soon as they begin to touch. Floss picks work best for younger kids.

 

Age of brushing on your own –

Here are 3 things you should look for when deciding if your child is ready to brush on their own.

  • Responsibility
  • Dexterity
  • Ability to spit on their own

I like to say when your child can write in cursive they can brush on their own! Now days cursive isn’t taught like it used to be so my suggested age would be 6-8 years old but every child is of course different.

One thing you can purchase to check behind your child’s brushing is disclosing tablets. Disclosing tablets stain the plaque a color and parents can make sure they remove all the color to evaluate their brushing!

 

Teething –

Teething can start as early as 3-6 months and the top or bottom teeth are usually the first to come in. Every child is different! Teething lasts usually up to 3 years. Teething is the pressure of the tooth against the gum and usually causes fussiness, irritability, drooling, and they chew on everything – these are completely normal symptoms.

Here are a few things I recommend for teething –

-Teething ring – do not freeze the liquid ones!

-Cold spoon

-Wet or frozen rag

-Sophie the Giraffe

-Banana brush

-Most babies personal favorite, their fingers!

-Ibuprofen and Tylenol are good relievers for 6+ months

-No benzocaine or topical products under 2 years

-No teething necklaces due to the choking hazard

 


Make brushing with your child F U N!

 

Teeth brushing with a toddler can be a job itself!

Is your toddler simply sucking the toothpaste from his brush? Or fighting you for a simple brush? Looking for ways to get it right? Well, we want to make brushing a fun activity for your toddler!

As parents it is crucial that you take good care of the baby teeth and teach your child good oral care habits.  We suggest you start getting your child familiar with brushing as soon as they appear!

 

–          Use small circular motions and make sure you brush at the gums.

–          Begin with the teeth at the back and move towards the front.  Before increasing the amount of toothpaste, teach them to spit.  This can be difficult, and watching you is the easiest way.  But be patient, it doesn’t happen the first try!

–          You need to be careful of their diet and ensure he is not taking too much of sugary foods. Sweetened drinks and sweet snacks in between can completely ruin the teeth.

–           Always brush after the last bottle or sippy cup.  Never send your child to bed with anything but water.  Make sure you always take the bottle away after each feed to limit exposure.

–       As your child is learning to brush, you can let them brush first and then you brush after.  You should always help them brush until they can write their name in cursive!

 

 

If you can make brushing part of your routine, your toddler will soon realize they are missing out on something important and will join you! Letting your toddler watch you brush your teeth can make them realize they want to do it to! Offer repeated reminders that he should brush in the morning and before going to bed.

 

Some tips to making brushing fun!

–          You can buy colorful brushes and even character themed.

–          You can sing a song while brushing, this will make them feel brushing is a game.

 

Here is a daily brushing chart for them to mark off as they go!


How your diet can effect your oral health

New Year, New You… right?

Well what you might not know is how your diet could effect your oral health!

Every new year we have the idea of getting healthier in some form and we usually start with the diet! While you might see positive results on the outside, your mouth tells a different story.

Dentist should advise patients to be aware of their oral health conditions and talk with their dentist to choose a diet that wont negatively effect their oral health or specific dental issues. For those who have periodontics, should be sure their diet includes some form of calcium. Vegan and nondairy diets are not the best for individuals with periodontitis unless you are supplementing calcium from another source.

 

Popularized juice diets or cleanses often have 3-7 days of consuming only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and limiting or eliminating solid foods. These liquid diets have been shown to be detrimental to your oral health. Physical chewing and breathing are necessary for good oral health. Your jaw is a mechanical joint that needs to chew! Even though fruits and vegetables have healthy acids which is only when consumed whole, rather than concentrated juice. The acid in fruit and vegetables tends to be high and can cause severe damage to your tooth enamel. Another popular weight loss method that has serious negative effects on both oral and overall health is protein or meal replacement shakes. Protein powders and supplements help build muscle but have a ton of sugar. Instead of protein shakes you can use a collagen supplement, which provides a precursor for your gums.

 

No matter which diet patients choose, they should always consult with healthcare providers. Diets have a huge impact on the body but your mouth is the first sign of what is happening consistently. Our oral health should be considered as part of the body!