Pediatric Dental Care 101: Teach Your Children to Love Their Teeth!

158879326Teeth need love too! Especially your child’s teeth. The healthy development and maintenance of your child’s first teeth are vitally important to their future health and well being. Primary teeth help children learn to speak clearly and chew naturally. Primary teeth also forge the path that adult teeth follow when they’re ready to erupt. Healthy dental care foundations laid early in life will lead your child to positive dental outcomes in the future. You should choose a family or pediatric dentistry with a friendly environment that focuses on your child’s growth, development, and oral health education. Prevention, in the form of regular dental checkups, will help you take charge of and protect your child’s dental health.

When Should Your Child Start Seeing a Pediatric Dentist?

Children should start having comprehensive dental exams twice a year, beginning around their first birthday.  Their very first visit will establish a positive outlook towards dental care and dental practitioners.

Does your child have a fear of the dentist?

To help a fearful child visit the dentist, talk with them about the visit. Discuss the positive aspects of good dental care, and remind them that going to the dentist is a privilege for big boys and girls. Try not to use words such as fear, needle, pull, drill, or pain. There are many online resources to help you find dental language that is pleasant and non-frightening to children. Try to reassure your child that dentists and dental office helpers will always be gentle and friendly.

Choose Pediatric Dental Care for a Lifetime of Healthy Smiles

Remember, regular pediatric dental visits give children a solid foundation for a healthy life, through adolescence and adulthood. You should look for an experienced and gentle pediatric dental practice in your area. Pediatric dentists have at least two extra years of specialty training following dental school to treat the special dental needs of children. Pediatric dentists can be the primary or specialty dental care providers for infants, children, and teens. Show your love this season, and make a dental checkup appointment for your child with a qualified pediatric dentist today.

Make Your New Year’s Resolution Count with Biannual Dental Checkups

1666691562014 is rapidly coming to a close, and New Year’s Day is just around the corner. People from all around the world are coming up with ideas for their New Year’s resolutions, hoping to make this the year they make great strides toward self-improvement and better health. As we all prepare to welcome 2015 in style, we’d like to take a few moments to suggest one resolution that is not only easy to keep but incredibly rewarding as well.

Dental Checkups for the Whole Family

Biannual checkups and cleanings are critical components of any oral hygiene regimen. They present you with the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have about your teeth and gums, as well as any other concerns you may have at the time. These simple visits also include a thorough exam and cleaning, two things your teeth desperately need to stay healthy for life.

Unfortunately, many people still believe that it’s fine to skip out on their routine checkups because they haven’t noticed any problems that warrant a dental visit. The problem with that line of thinking is that not every oral health concern presents with noticeable symptoms. The early stages of gum disease, for example, may be virtually undetectable. Small cavities – particularly those that form between the teeth – may be difficult to see or feel until they have progressed to a more advanced stage of decay. Even a root canal infection may slip under your radar without the practiced eyes of a dentist to spot the signs with a detailed x-ray.

The great news about dental checkups is that they are covered by most dental insurance plans; you may not have to pay a single penny to get your teeth cleaned by a dedicated professional!

Make the Smart Resolution Today!

While vowing to eat healthily, save money, and get in shape are all viable and popular resolutions, we suggest placing more emphasis on your oral health this year as well. Your mouth serves as a portal to the rest of your body, and the status of your teeth and gums can potentially affect your overall health. This New Year’s Eve, make the decision to treat your smile well with routine preventive visits at your local dental office. You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t Just Brush Your Teeth… Brush Your Teeth Correctly

brushingMost people know that good oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. And for most, those two times are usually in the morning—as you’re rushing to work or getting the kids off to school—and at night, when you’re fighting to keep your eyes open before falling into bed. Regardless of whether your day is beginning, ending or somewhere in between, proper brushing is worth the time and effort for good oral health.

First off all, did you know that proper brushing requires at least two minutes? Most adults spend a fraction of that time brushing their teeth every morning and night. Try looking at the clock when you start brushing, then brush normally and check the time when you’re finished. Chances are you didn’t spend enough time to thoroughly clean your teeth. To really do a good job and ensure better oral hygiene, spend two minutes brushing.

What is the Best Technique for Brushing Teeth?

When brushing your teeth, it’s important to hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gum line and sweep or roll the brush away from your gums. Don’t brush side to side, which can scrape your gums. And be sure to use short strokes as you brush away from your gums.

Start out cleaning the outer surface of your upper teeth and then your lower teeth. Continue by brushing the inner surface of upper and lower teeth. Then, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth, concentrating on your molars. Finally, be sure to brush your tongue, too.

Tools for Proper Brushing

Always choose a soft brush with round-ended bristles. Stiff bristles can hurt your gums. A powered toothbrush can be a good choice, too, especially if you have difficulty brushing because of limited manual dexterity. The type of toothpaste you choose is an individual matter. There are a variety of toothpastes to address a variety of concerns from teeth whitening and cavity prevention to eliminating tartar and reducing teeth sensitivity. Talk with your local dentist about which toothpaste is best for you.


Kiss Me, I’m Irish! Oral Health Tips for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day

shutterstock_113630209St. Patrick’s Day presents a great opportunity to celebrate with friends and family in true Irish fashion – with amazing food, freely flowing beverages, and festive clothing in every shade of green imaginable. As you gear up to join in on the merrymaking, keep these handy oral health and hygiene tips in mind for a truly happy holiday.

Everything in moderation. It’s entirely expected that millions will enjoy a couple of pints at their nearest pub or a few beers at home to celebrate St. Patty’s Day, but now is as good a time as ever to remember what alcohol can do to your oral health. Too much to drink can contribute to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Enjoy yourself, but not to excess!

Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water during the course of your holiday revelry to maintain your mouth’s healthy pH balance. This will also help your head and body feel better in the morning, so it’s worth remembering.

No matter how late you get home…Be sure to brush and floss as usual. The acid in beer, ale, and other alcoholic beverages can be severely damaging to tooth enamel. Just a few minutes of preventative maintenance to save your smile, and then you can climb into bed. Your teeth will thank you!

And of course, if you are lucky enough on St. Patty’s Day to receive a kiss (Irish or not), make sure to brush and/or use a good mouthwash after all of that delicious corned beef and cabbage! If you have any questions or concerns about your overall oral health, on St. Patrick’s Day or otherwise, contact your local dentist’s office today.

Eight Tips for Keeping Plaque in Check

general dentistryHave you ever noticed that your teeth feel a little…well, fuzzy at the end of the day? What you’re feeling isn’t fuzz, of course, but plaque. You may have heard your dentist talk about plaque before, but do you know what it is?

Plaque is a sticky biofilm made up of hundreds and hundreds of naturally-occurring bacteria. These bacteria feed on the food we put in our mouths, and they especially love foods high in sugar or other carbohydrates. As these bacteria feed on these particles, they create an acidic byproduct that damages tooth enamel, resulting in cavities.

So, given how destructive plaque, bacteria, and this acidic byproduct can be, you may be wondering what you can do to keep it in check. Below are eight tips for managing and getting rid of plaque.

Tip #1

Brush at least twice a day, but if possible, after every meal.

Tip #2

Floss at least once a day. Flossing will help you remove pieces of food or particle of plaque from beyond teeth, where they can contribute to decay.

Tip #3

Consider adding an antibacterial mouthwash to your at-home oral health regimen.  Reducing the amount of bacteria from your mouth will reduce your vulnerability to decay. A fluoride mouthwash can also help you strength your tooth enamel.

Tip #4

Chew sugarless gum after and in between meals. Gum helps remove particles of food from between teeth and stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes acid.

Tip #5

Reduce the amount of sweet or starchy foods you consume. Even a natural snack like raisins can be problematic.

Tip #6

Avoid smoking or any kind of tobacco use. Besides being bad for your health, smokers routinely have higher amounts of hardened plaque.

Tip #7

Make regular checkups and cleanings with your local dentist a priority. A cleaning by a professional hygienist will help you get rid of plaque in places that are hard to reach with normal brushing and flossing.

Tip #8

Dental sealants protect the chewing surfaces of teeth from bacteria and plaque with a thin layer of plastic. This effective option works especially well for back teeth and may help children who are more vulnerable to decay.

Do you have questions about plaque or how to prevent it? Has it been more than six months since your last checkup or cleaning? Call your local dentist today for an appointment.

Could Coconut Oil Save Your Smile?

big smileSome people love the taste of coconut, and coconut water has been a trendy drink in the last couple of years. But whether you love it on your German chocolate cake or can’t stand the stuff, recent research shows that coconut may have more than just taste benefits. Well, coconut oil, that is. According to a study from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland, coconut oil’s antibacterial properties could spell good news for your smile and help you avoid cavities.

A team of researchers is presenting the research at the Society for General Microbiology’s Autumn Conference this year. They looked at what effect coconut oil had on the mouth when it came into contact with certain enzymes used in the digestive process. The results showed that the coconut oil reduced the growth of several strains of the Streptococcus bacteria, including a strain involved in tooth decay.

Tooth decay happens when bacteria create acids that wear away tooth enamel. One strain of Streptococcus bacteria — Streptococcus mutans — is a major player in the production of these acids.

Research had previously shown that other foods, such as milk, could possibly be used to fight micro-organisms. Researchers will now work to discover more about the interaction between enzyme-modified coconut oil and bacteria. Research has also shown a possible positive effect of the coconut oil on yeast bacteria, which could make it a good treatment for thrush (oral yeast infection).

What does this research mean for your smile? Well, for now more research is needed. These are just preliminary findings. However, this could lead to the development of oral health products that use coconut oil to help fight cavities. And for folks who like coconut (or just like all-natural healthcare products), that sure does sound pretty sweet.

How to Keep Your Teeth Happy this Holiday Season

Stuffing, rolls, pies, cakes…the holidays are a time full of carbohydrate-rich, sugary foods. This can really do a number on your oral health, but there are some simple ways you can help combat cavities while still enjoying Grandma’s pumpkin pie (or pecan if that’s your preference!).9831704

If you can, eat those carb-heavy foods such as stuffing and rolls with a balanced meal consisting of some protein. This helps to counteract some of the acids produced when sugars and bacteria in the mouth come together.

Limit your consumption of sticky foods. These foods take longer to chew, meaning they stay in the mouth longer and increase cavity risk.

Carry a travel toothbrush with you to your Thanksgiving meal destination, even if you’re just going for the day. Can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating for some reason? Rinse your mouth out with water to remove as much debris and acid as possible.

And try not to graze so much. It’s easy to spend the entire day walking around a party eating snacks, but every time you pop something into your mouth, it creates acids. Spend some time NOT eating on Thanksgiving day to cut down on the buildup of cavity-causing agents.

By following these simple holiday dental care tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while still enjoying your Thanksgiving goodies. Happy holidays!

5 Tips for Tip-Top Teeth

child_brushingDental caries (cavities) is the most prevalent childhood disease, and 90% of adults have had a cavity. Gum disease is responsible for 70% of adult tooth loss. A few simple habits could help you reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease – and improve your potential for keeping natural teeth long into your golden years. Kids and adults alike can benefit from these 5 quick and easy oral health tips. Some you’ve known since kindergarten, while others may be news. Continue reading 5 Tips for Tip-Top Teeth