Children's oral health differs from that of adults in a variety of ways. It's essential to understand what your child will need from you when it comes to his or her oral health in those first few years. In home dental care begins when your baby starts to show signs of developing the first tooth. Most children should have their first general dentist appointment by age four. This initial appointment with your little one is designed to get him or her accustomed to our office. Take a look at what will be completed during their first dental exam.
- Check for decay and gum disease
- Examine the development of their bite
- Clean their teeth
- Apply Fluoride if the child is old enough
- Review current pediatric home care recommendations
- Answer any parental questions or concerns
Remember, creating healthy, life-time oral health habits with your child early on is crucial. We are here to guide you through this process and make sure your child is healthy and happy.
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.
A solid oral health routine begins with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Without a consistent oral health regimen, you may begin to experience tooth decay and bacterial infections. Since some patients inquire about different mouthwash options, a few considerations are listed below in today's BLOG that should help you decided upon which oral rinse that would be best for you.
GUM HEALTH. Antiseptic mouthwashes reduce large amounts of bacteria on and near the gum line and generally help to decrease your chances of developing gingiviits. The key ingredients of antiseptic mouthwashes are antibacterial and antimicrobial items. Antiseptic mouthwash is a preferable option if you are concerned about the general gum health of your mouth.
FLUORIDE. This is a great tool for preventive tooth decay treatment. It prevents tooth deay and is great for oral health in general because it kills germs that can live in your mouth. Fluoride also builds stronger teeth.
BAD BREATH. Fluoride mouthwash can be used to fight any bad breath issues you may be facing. It's designed to combat any bacteria that might be building up in your mouth. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate bad breath, but some are specifically designed to address this difficult problem.
CONSIDERATIONS. When you are trying to decide which mouthwash to pick, call our office. If you experience a burning sensation in the soft tissues of your mouth, be sure to discontinue use immediately. Avoid letting children under age six use a mouth rinse, and be sure to keep all mouthwashes out of the reach of children, because they contain alcohol and other substances that could be harmful.
Now that you are working hard to improve your dental health and appearance with your braces, it might seem like a logical time to whiten your teeth as well. But should you go ahead with home kits or a professional whitening? The answer might be yes, but not quite yet!
The easiest way to whiten teeth is regular use of a whitening toothpaste. But these do not make a major difference in tooth color and may also contain abrasives which can damage ceramic brackets and make them more likely to stain. Also, any part of your tooth that is covered by a bracket will not be affected by the whitening paste.
WHITENING STRIPS AND TRAYS
Whiteners can be applied at home with strips or tray kits. Strips are coated with a whitening gel and then pressed around your teeth. Tray kits provide a mouthguard-like appliance, which is filled with a whitening gel. But neither strips or tray solutions will whiten any area that is covered by brackets.
A dental professional can whiten your teeth in office for the best possible results. The most effective treatments for your unique teeth are combined with protective care of your gums and mouth. Again, this procedure is best accompolished after all of the braces have been removed at the end of your orthodontic therapy.
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