Posts for: May, 2019
It's no secret that kids and adults have different priorities: your duty is to raise a happy, healthy child, but your little one's priority may be to simply have fun. When it comes to brushing teeth, it can be hard to combine a healthy habit with having fun. You might fear it can't be done, but with a little creativity, brushing time can be a great experience for both of you!
MAKE IT A PARTY. Brushing time doesn't have to be a chore when you throw a little party! Get Mom and Dad together so that the whole family can brush their teeth at the same time. Let you child choose a song to dance to while you all brush for the recommended two minutes. Your son or daughter may actually grow to love this silly routine, especially when their parents are clearly dedicated to brushing their own teeth as well.
BIG KID DECISIONS. Kids love the responsibility of making "big kid" decisions. Keep a variety of toothbrushes, colors of floss, and toothpaste flavors on hand so that they can choose something "new" each time that they brush, just like when they visit our dental office. Not only can this help them grow more comfortable with the idea of seeing the dentist, but they'll love having the responsibilty of picking what would be fun at brushing time.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. It's true that the only way to get better at something is to practice, practice, and practice. Have your child practice brushing on his or her favorite stuffed animal, and use that opportunity to teach your kiddo how to hold the toothbrush and use circular cleaning motions. Showing how you brush your own teeth can also be worthwhile.
THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT. Did you know that there are lots of fun apps that encourage good brushing habits among children? Brands like Oral-B and Aquafresh have free apps that you can download onto your phone. The child gets to select a character, scenery, and a song that he or she would love to accompany the task of brushing. If you have a daughter, she might even like to use a Tooth Fairy Timer, which allows her to pick her very own fairy as her brushing buddy.
One of the most enjoyable parts of looking at family pictures is finding resemblances. You have your father's brown eyes and your grandmother's curly hair. You have your aunt's basketball height and your cousin's freckles. But some similarities might not be so appealing, like a family tendency toward gum disease!
Studies have now shown that periodontal disease appears to have some kind of genetic componet, especially for serious diseases and those that appear early in the patient's life. Aggressive periodontitis, for example, a relatively uncommon disease which causes rapid bone loss around certain teeth, is often more common among members of the same family. Other studies suggest that there might be a genetic link between our immune response and the development of chronic periodontitis. So far, however, the link between genetics and gum disease is still under investigation.
We do know that environmental factors are an important trigger for gum disease. Failure to brush and floss, smoking, diet, stress, medical conditions such as diabetes--all can influence the health of our gums. The best way to overcome these factors is your own proactive approach! Thorough brushing and flossing, regular checkups and cleanings, proper nutrition, and avoiding smoking are all time-tested ways to keep your gums and teeth healthy. If you have a medical condition, proper treatment and medication will also help protect your oral health.