Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Keeping Your Baby’s Smile Healthy Throughout the Year

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

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The beginning of 2014 didn’t just mark a fresh start for you, it was one for your youngster as well. As a number of studies have indicated, taking care of teeth and gums starts at a young age. The health of primary (baby) teeth often dictates the future health of adult teeth. That means for your little bundle of joy, it’s best to know what to do to keep them nothing but smiles.

Cleanings at home
Many parents don’t realize that oral hygiene for babies starts as soon as they’re born. Even if they don’t have teeth yet, parents should use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe their gums clean after each feeding. Once their teeth appear, toddlers should be taught to hold a toothbrush, but brush for them twice a day with water – no toothpaste is needed. Keep an eye out for long-lasting bad breath, as it could signal an underlying condition.

Visit the dentist by age 1
Similar to the daily cleanings, a staggering 97 percent of parents were unaware that infants should visit a dentist during their first year of life, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPA). Bring your child to the dental office when he or she is between 3 and 9 months, which is typically when the first tooth erupts. If you want to set a date, AAPA recommends that a child should have their first appointment within six months of developing their first tooth.

This is important for several reasons. First, it helps familiarize your child with the dentist and dental office environment. It can also be helpful for a parent to learn new tips. Although you’ve been brushing and flossing your entire life, keeping your infant’s mouth clean demands a different set of skills. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to give you a demonstration. Practicing good oral health for kids starts with parents. Lastly, it kickstarts the habit of visiting the dentist every six months.

Nutrition
What you feed your baby can be just as crucial as dental visits. It’s important not to send children to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. Both beverages contain sugar that can wear away teeth when left for long periods of time, such as during nap times or overnight. Plus, you don’t want to add to their morning breath!

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Educating Parents to Improve Kids’ Oral Health

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

tooth-decay-bad-breathTo improve children’s oral health and keep them active in the classroom, education for parents may be the first step. From the early 1970s to the 1990s, the amount of cavities in the baby teeth of children ages 2 to 11 declined, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. However, in their latest study, that trend flipped. A small yet significant rise in tooth decay showed that 42 percent of kids have some form of cavity or dental caries. That’s about 21 million American children.

Education starts at home, where parents are lifelong teachers. Since day one, we learn from what our parents do, how they treat others and how they take care of themselves. You are your kids’ learning models. The attitudes you maintain about oral health inspire theirs and can steer them to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Even if your kid seems to rebel against you sometimes, little Johnny or Sara will take after you more than you realize.

After all, tooth decay in primary teeth has hefty implications on dental health later in life.

“We do know from a number of studies that when children have tooth decay in their baby teeth, they tend to have decay later in their adult teeth,” lead researcher Bruce Dye of the National Center of Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told ABC News.

Encourage your children to eat nutritious meals and avoid frequent snacking. If you pack his or her lunch for school, make sure to throw in an apple, banana or some other fruit. Teach them from a young age to develop good habits for flossing and brushing. Dentists recommend that adults and kids floss once a day. Interestingly enough, it has been shown that flossing before brushing is more likely to develop into a habit. Why? Often after we finish with the toothbrush we feel like our mouths are sufficiently clean, so we postpone using the thread until tomorrow … or sometimes next month. Always floss before brushing!

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Ad Council Campaign Successful in First Year

Friday, October 11th, 2013

dental hygiene productsOne year ago, the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives announced a campaign to encourage parents to promote good oral hygiene habits in their children. The Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign received more than $33 million in free ad time and space donations from TV, print, outdoor and digital media outlets. The widespread publicity of the campaign urged parents to encourage their children to brush twice a day for two minutes to avoid tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.

The motto, “2min2x,” is used to encourage kids to take precautionary efforts to avoid painful procedures in the future. Preventative measures, like brushing every day, using alcohol-free mouthwash and flossing, can even make it easier for kids to go to the dentist, as they won’t have to fear cavity treatments.

According to the Ad Council study conducted one year after the start of the campaign, more than 50 percent of parents said they had heard or seen the PSAs.

The survey noted a significant increase in the number of parents who reported that their child brushes at least twice a day, compared with prior to the start of the campaign. Specifically, the study showed that 55 percent of English speaking parents, up from 48 percent; and 77 percent of Spanish speaking parents, up from 69 percent, reported better routines since 2012.

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Teen Habits and their Effect on Oral Hygiene

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

1184390_72579423Parents strive to teach their children good habits at a young age with the hope that they will continue a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. But once kids hit their teenage years, rebellion takes over and those productive manners may go out the window. Keeping up with good oral health habits as an adolescent can ensure that the gums, teeth and mouth are in top condition for a lifetime. Here are a few things to consider in order to maintain those pearly whites and fresh breath:

Gum

For many teenagers, chewing gum is routine. From the classroom to going out with friends, teenagers have a strange tendency to always be chomping down. While some gum can actually improve breath and help avoid dry mouth, typical packs from the super market are loaded with sugar. Instead of picking up a stick of gum with a layer of “fruit,” try sugarless gum made with the natural sweetener xylitol after meals. Consider having this all-natural gum around the house so your teenager won’t be tempted to pick up a sugar-loaded pack.

Piercings

Body piercings have become much more acceptable in modern society, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences that come along with them. Tongue and lip piercings can cause teeth to chip and gums to recede. In addition, these piercings can be prone to infection, which causes bad breath and creates other issues throughout the entire mouth. Encourage children to avoid this type of body art.

Soda/sports drinks

Teenagers can sometimes down soda like it is water! There are countless harmful side effects to drinking these carbonated beverages, and they can wreak havoc on the entire mouth. Not only is one can filled with 38 grams of sugar or more, its sticky, syrupy texture lingers on the teeth, gums and tongue for much too long. Drinking just one bottle of soda pop a day can increase the amount of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, cause bad breath, promote tooth decay and dry out the mouth. Unfortunately, sports drinks are not much better. Kids who play sports in school tend to carry along one of these beverages after or during a meet or game, but they are often loaded with a similar amount of sugar as soda. Instead, encourage teenagers to drink plenty of water, or even coconut water. Coconut water is all-natural and rehydrates better than typical sports drinks.

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Canker sores in children can be a pain

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Child brushing teethGetting canker sores is a real pain in the butt! And for little kids, they can be painful – making drinking, eating and even brushing teeth a difficult task. One in five people get these uncomfortable mouth ulcers, which can occur inside the mouth, cheeks, lips, throat or even on the tongue. Although these can often be confused with cold sores, they aren’t contagious and usually go away overtime. Here are some ways to avoid these uncomfortable sores or prevent them from coming back.

If you have canker sores, chances are your child will too – they have a 90 percent chance! While luckily they aren’t harmful, no one is really sure where they come from. However, one’s diet is likely to exacerbate the occurrence of them. Children are often very difficult eaters, so getting them to eat food that will prevent canker sores can pose a challenge. These often show up because our diets lack enough vitamin B12, folic acid and iron, and if your child has food allergies, they are even more likely to pop up.

Canker sores can also be caused by minor trauma in the mouth such as a cut in the mouth. So if a child accidentally bites the side of their mouth, it could turn into a canker sore later.

What is a canker sore?

Canker sores come in three different varieties, although the most common is minor. If you notice a small, red spot that can reach up to an inch in diameter – but is commonly much smaller – this is a canker sore! It will feel tingly or burn a little, and over time it will swell up, burst and leave a “open” wound. This can get really sensitive especially when eating citrus or hot foods. Often times it takes about two weeks for a canker sore to heal completely, but it usually will only be bothersome for the first three to four days.

Prevention

If your child is prone to canker sores, you may want to switch their toothpaste to something without sodium laurel sulfate. This is the detergent in toothpaste that makes it foam up, but it actually isn’t good for us. It tends to cause dry mouth, so eliminating this detergent from your child’s regular routine could help with problems later in life. Dry mouth may seem minor, but it can lead to bad breath and other oral health issues later in life.

It is important to make sure your child is practicing good oral hygiene everyday. Some children loathe the time they have to spend in the bathroom brushing and flossing, but getting them used to the habit at a young age will help them greatly later in life. Parents can brush their teeth at the same time as children so they are brushing and flossing for the correct amount of time, and they’ll have a good influence to look up to.

When your child has a canker sore, using a cotton swab with peroxide on it can help kill bacteria and encourage a faster healing process. You can also try a rinse mixture by combining 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 2 ounces of water, or 4 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda. If your child doesn’t like the taste – who could blame them – you can also use a wet black tea bag. Tea contains tannins that will relieve the pain in the sore.

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