Good news for teeth: Soda consumption in the U.S. is falling. For the eighth-straight year soda consumption has decreased to its lowest level since 1987. Many school districts have banned sugary carbonated beverages from their cafeterias. Well-known politicians have attempted to limit access to large quantities of soda, and even the national “Let’s Move” campaign is urging kids to drink water instead of soda.
It can be difficult for all of us to do something that we’re simply not in the mood for. This is especially true for children, whether it’s bed-time or bath-time. Maintaining good oral hygiene can be a challenge as well, so here are a few tips for motivating your children to keep their teeth healthy:
Let kids pick their own toothbrush.
One of the easiest ways to make brushing fun is to indulge your kids with a themed toothbrush. You can find tooth brushing gear with everything from Sponge Bob to Finding Nemo and even comic book characters and superheroes. Always pick one with soft bristles and with a brush size that is appropriate for their mouth and age. Giving your child an opportunity to choose her own toothbrush empowers her to be an active part of maintaining positive dental habits.
Establishing a healthy starting point for your child’s oral care start earlier than you may realize. It’s amazing how quickly time passes and how fast children grow up. We’ve put together a few guidelines to encourage you to make good dental habits a priority and to begin caring for your child’s teeth as soon as possible.
Start before teeth arrive.
First teeth generally appear around 6 months. (Don’t worry if your child is sooner or later than this. All children are different.) Gently wiping the inside of your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after meals or during bath time will help to reduce bacteria and give emerging teeth a great start. It will also get you in the habit of caring for your child’s teeth until they are ready to take over themselves.
One of the most common dental complaints we hear involves sensitive teeth. People of all ages are affected. Whether it’s biting into a cold ice cream cone or drinking a hot beverage, the pain that can come from hypersensitivity can be more than an inconvenience.
Several things can cause sensitive teeth:
- Cracked or fractured teeth
- Missing or worn fillings
- Gum disease
Each of these needs to be treated by a dentist. Ignoring tooth sensitivity or expecting it to get better on its own can cause problems to compound and bring on even more pain. By far, the most common cause of tooth sensitivity is exposed dentin, the soft tissue just below the hard enamel that protects your teeth. Dentin can be exposed by one of the causes listed above, or simply because it has worn away as a result of abrasion.
The first line of protection for your child’s teeth is the enamel, which is the white, visible part of the tooth. It’s also hardest substance in the human body, and yet it takes a lot of abuse. Enamel can crack, chip and wear away. What steps can you take to protect your child’s enamel?
Use a soft toothbrush. While we may be tempted to use a toothbrush with hard bristles, thinking that a stiff bristle will be better and cleaning teeth, the best choice is one that provides more gentle care. Additionally, children often use more force than needed when brushing their teeth. This can be damaging to sensitive gum tissue and only serves to wear down precious enamel.
When we think of oral health, our focus tends to be on teeth. But that’s only half the story. Gum health is an integral part of dental and oral health and can also play a significant role in the overall health of your body. Taking care of your own gum health and helping guide your children in good oral habits can provide a lifetime of benefits. Here are four reasons your gums are so important.
The processed food industry has made the job of cutting out sugar even more difficult for consumers. Foods we wouldn’t necessarily consider full of sugar, even healthy foods, are often sugar bombs in disguise. Reducing the amount of sugar your family eats is not only a great idea for keeping mouths healthy, but it can also have tremendous benefits to overall health. Here are a few of the worst sneaky sugar offenders.
One of the more common questions we are asked on a regular basis concerns choosing the right toothpaste. There are so many choices that it can be difficult to find one that is best for your child’s oral health. Here are a few quick guidelines to make sure you find one that’s right:
1) Look for the ADA seal.
When trying to find the best toothpaste, it’s important to start with one that is recommended by the American Dental Association. Their seal of approval can be found on the box and tube and ensures that the toothpaste has been objectively evaluated for safety by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.
We often hear people downplay the importance of primary teeth (also called “baby” or “milk” teeth). The front 4 primary teeth generally last until 6-7 years of age, while the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13. People mistakenly believe that since these teeth are temporary, that they do not matter in the long run. This will often lead to the neglect of primary teeth and can cause permanent damage.
More teenagers have tried Electronic Cigarettes than adults, with statistics showing as many as 10% of high school students having tried the latest trend in smoking compared with only 2.7% of adults. E-cig use has exploded in the past few years, and many people claim to have stopped smoking traditional cigarettes because of them. While many users also believe e-cigarettes to be safer than regular cigarettes, no definitive studies have proven that they are a safe alternative.