As you probably know, October is Dental Hygiene Month! The purpose of this month is to raise awareness about the importance of good oral hygiene. In honor of this month, here are our favorite hygiene tips to keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright:
1) Are You Brushing Properly?
You should be brushing your mouth, not just your teeth, but you know that, right? Hopefully! When you brush, you should be hitting your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. All of these areas are prone to the buildup of bacteria and infection, and brushing them helps cut down on this risk.
Make sure your brush is at a 45-degree angle when brushing near the gum line. You should brush in a small circular motion. Be gentle and use a soft-bristled toothbrush: being too aggressive can cause issues for your gums!
2) Remember the Number “2”
What does “2” have to do with your dental health? Simple! Remember to brush your mouth twice a day for two minutes each time. Two minutes may be longer than you think, so set a timer on your phone to make sure you are hitting your target. When teaching your children good dental habits, invest in an hourglass or timer so that they have a visual illustration of how long two minutes actually is. Studies have shown that how long you brush is the most important part and that two minutes is the optimal amount of time!
3) Floss Floss Floss
Flossing is one of the main aspects of oral health care that often gets skipped over. This is unfortunate because flossing is important, if not crucial, for your teeth and gums. Dental floss can get the areas in between your teeth that brushing simply cannot do alone. Although it may be uncomfortable at first and your gums may feel tender, getting into the habit of flossing daily will pay off in the long run.
4) You Are What You Eat
There’s more to oral health than just brushing and flossing. In fact, your diet can greatly impact the appearance and health of your teeth. Drinks like wine and coffee can stain your teeth. Excessive sugary foods like candy and soda can be the beginning of cavity development. We know that some sugar is unavoidable, so rinse your mouth out with water if possible after ingesting sugary foods.
5) Invest in Fluoride Treatment
Many people know that fluoride is part of the dental cleaning process and that it is infused into our water supply, but aren’t entirely clear on what fluoride actually does. Fluoride helps to strengthen the surfaces of your teeth. It also helps prevent cavities from developing months after the treatment has been administered.
What’s the best form of dentistry? Preventative, of course! Good oral practices and care can prevent lots of pain, time, and money in the future. The better your dental habits are now, the better off you will be in the future. One way of keeping your mouth happy and healthy is by coming to the dentist regularly. When you come to see us, we will give you a thorough tooth cleaning and look for any signs of dental issues. By catching things early, we are able to treat you quickly and efficiently.
Dental Hygiene Month is a fun reminder to take care of your teeth and gums, but you should be practicing good oral habits every month! If you have any questions about your oral care or if you are due for a check-up, come see us. We, here at 5Points Advanced Dentistry, want to keep your dental health on track.
Have you ever wondered when you should take your child to the dentist for the first time? As a parent, you’ve probably heard contradictory pieces of advice on this topic. Should you wait until 2 or 3 years old? When the first baby tooth appears? Or maybe when all of their baby teeth have grown in? Your trusted dentist in Upper Arlington has the answers.
You may be surprised that The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that a child’s first visit should be when their first tooth grows in. For some babies that first tooth comes very early in life. Others may not start getting teeth until closer to the first birthday. All children should see a dentist by age 2. Introducing children to regular visits and proper dental care at an early age will start them on the road to a healthy smile that will last them a lifetime.
What to Expect
The first dental visit should be an adventure; one for the baby book. The purpose is to introduce a child to the office in a non-threatening way. Taking a ride in the chair and being allowed to explore and touch some of the instruments may be what most of the visit is dedicated to. Once your child is comfortable with the hygienist, Dr. Imm will take a quick peek in their mouth to check for gum health and any other problems that may affect their teeth, speech, or airway.
Dental Care for Growing Children
Dental care needs change with each stage of development.
2 to 3 Years
Toddlers should have a dental visit every 6 months beginning at 2 years old.
They should begin flossing between teeth when the two front teeth are touching each other.
They should be brushing teeth every day to prevent cavities. Research has shown that children who get cavities in baby teeth are more likely to get cavities in their permanent teeth.
The ADA recommends children three years of age and younger use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice for brushing in the morning and evening. Children 3 years old should use a pea-sized dot of toothpaste.
4 to 6 Years Most children will have the first set of dental X-rays taken around 5 or 6 years old when the permanent teeth begin to come in. There is no set age or recommendation. If there are specific conditions or concerns, such as cleft palate or if a child drinks out of a lot of sippy cups or bottles they may have X-rays taken at an earlier age.
Monitor brushing time to make sure the toothpaste is going down the drain and not down the throat. You may increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste used when your little one masters the art of spitting in the sink. Until then keep the amount to a minimum in case it is swallowed.
The newest research shows that this is the best time to start thinking about orthodontics. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends orthodontic intervention as soon as a skeletal problem is identified if it is not likely to self-correct. Most kids wait until their early teen years to get braces, but by then it may be too late for your child to keep all of his or her teeth.
6 to 12 Years The baby teeth start falling out around the age of 6. This is the age of prevention and the time to really start encouraging good oral hygiene.
Sealants to protect teeth, especially the molars, from decay are usually recommended between the ages of 7 and 9, and again when the 12-year molars erupt.
Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining dental health at all ages. It is especially important for children. What, when and how you feed your children is important to their overall physical growth and oral health. Diets that are good for the body are also good for the teeth.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar.
Discourage frequent snacking which leads to increased food residue and bacteria in the mouth.
Provide a balanced, healthy diet.
Use vitamin supplements as recommended by your pediatrician.
Serve plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Offer unsweetened, non-caffeinated beverages. Water is always a good choice.
Chewy and crunchy foods, such as nuts and steak, can aid in the development of the facial bones and encourage correct swallowing patterns. Introduce these foods as early as your child is able to chew them.
The Right Tools for the Job
If you have walked down any dental care aisle in any supermarket or drugstore you know how overwhelming and confusing it can be to choose the best product for your needs. For oral care in kids, it pays to make the right choice. Little things like choosing the right size toothbrush or the best toothpaste can make a difference in preventing cavities and maintaining oral health. The best advice anyone can give you is to avoid playing guessing games and just ask a professional.
Snoring and Your Child
Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that every child who snores be evaluated by a Sleep Physician? That’s right. Early snoring can be a sign of an obstructed airway, which can lead to several health problems and will ultimately affect how your child’s face grows and develops. Dr. Imm is very passionate about your and your child’s airway health, so don’t be surprised if he asks you about our child’s sleep, and maybe even refers you to an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT).
You want to make the right pediatric dental choices for your family. To do that you need to be informed. Ask questions and do research. Use the right products at the right age. Get the best care for your kids that you can. 5Points Advanced Dentistry is one of your most valuable resources. We are here to help children stay healthy and to teach them how to properly care for their teeth.