Healthy Halloween Treats To Try This Year

Healthy Halloween Treats To Try This Year

Halloween brings along ghosts, goblins and goodies. Unfortunately, the sugar in those treats isn’t so great for your child’s teeth. This is our list of the best and worst types of candy and some sugar-free substitutes to try this year.

Gummy Candy

These are some of the worst candies for your mouth because they stick to teeth and get stuck in hard to reach places. Because they are harder to remove, they have more time to cause cavities.

Sour Candy

Sour candies, especially when coated in sugar, are damaging to teeth. They also tend to be very acidic which can weaken the enamel of teeth and leave them more susceptible to cavities.

Sugar-Free Candy/Gum

Sugar-free candy avoids the harmful effects of sugar by using natural sugars that bacteria can’t use to produce plaque. On top of that, chewing gum can help dislodge particles stuck in teeth and also increases saliva which works to neutralize acid in the mouth.

Chocolate

Out of all types of candy, chocolate is one of the best. It washes off more easily than other candies, leaving teeth less likely to get cavities. If you are looking to be healthier, consider dark chocolate as it has less sugar than milk chocolate.

Glow Sticks

These are a great way for kids to have some fun and take their minds away from snacking. They will have so much fun lighting up the night that they will not even be worried about eating treats.

Small Toys

Give kids something special that will stand out against all the candy they receive. Toys such as bouncy balls, erasers, or stickers may seem like something small. However, these little toys can be prized possessions for children.

Remember, you can be mindful of your child’s health and still let them enjoy a fun occasion such as Halloween. Don’t forget to brush and floss on the big day.

Figuring Out Flossing: A Guide for Parents and Children

Figuring Out Flossing: A Guide for Parents and Children

Flossing is a necessary part of proper oral care, but many Americans either avoid it or aren’t doing it correctly. Whether you’re teaching your child flossing or just want some pointers yourself, this guide for you and your children can help ensure you’re properly cleaning between your teeth.

Correct Cleaning Takes the Right Tools

When cleaning between the teeth, make sure you’re using tools actually designed for flossing between teeth. This might seem obvious but studies have shown that Americans use anything from their fingernails to their silverware to clean between their teeth. Some even reported using crazy objects like pocket knives and wires! This is not only less effective for cleaning, but dangerous as well. Flossing with non-ADA approved objects can cause pain or damage the enamel and are often unsanitary, so make sure you and your children are only using ADA-accepted interdental cleaners.

Anytime is a Good Time

A question people often have about flossing is when exactly they should be flossing. In the morning? At night? After meals? The timing seems to be a real hangup for a lot of people. Well, the answer is very simple. As long as you’re flossing at least once a day, the timing isn’t important. The most important thing is that you’re actually flossing every day and doing so properly. Beyond that, you can adjust your flossing schedule to suit your needs. Many people choose to floss in the morning or at night to coincide with their daily toothbrushing, but the choice ultimately depends on choosing a time of day that you personally will be able to stick to.

Proper Form for Perfect Flossing

Now that you’re flossing, the next step is making sure you’re flossing correctly. When using standard dental floss, the first thing to do is take about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your middle or index fingers on both hands. Next, take an inch or two of the floss and bring it between the contact of two teeth. Then, glide the floss back and forth between your teeth, contouring it around each tooth with a C shape. Be gentle while doing this. There shouldn’t be any pain or bleeding, and if there is that’s probably a sign your flossing too hard. Finally, slide the floss up and down the tooth and under the gum line to ensure it’s reaching the whole tooth. Repeat this process for each tooth making sure to get out all the food particles and plaque.

When Should My Children Start Flossing?

When it comes to keeping your children’s teeth and mouth healthy there’s no such thing as too early. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, it’s important to make sure you are flossing between them. For younger children, flossing may be difficult. Most children will find it hard to properly floss until around age 10, so it may be beneficial for you to help them do a complete job.

Want to be sure your child’s teeth are clean? Proper flossing and in-home care is a must, but so is regular dentist check-ups! At The Children’s Dental Center, we make sure your child is getting the oral care they need in fun and friendly environment they’ll want to go to! Schedule your child’s next appointment today!

 

Healthy Habits, Healthy Teeth: 5 Important Oral Hygiene Behaviors to Teach your Children

Healthy Habits, Healthy Teeth: 5 Important Oral Hygiene Behaviors to Teach your Children

When your children first start brushing and cleaning their own teeth, it’s important to make sure they learn the correct methods early. Here are the 5 most important hygiene habits to teach your kids.

Timing is Important: Teach 2×2

To make sure your child is taking care of their teeth properly, they need to be brushing enough to ensure their mouth is getting the cleaning it needs. Two times a day is usually enough to make sure your child’s mouth is staying clean. And while brushing often is necessary, don’t forget that to make sure they’re brushing for enough each time as well. Experts have determined that it takes at least two minutes to effectively clean the whole mouth when brushing.

Cleaning Correctly

On the topic of cleaning teeth properly, teaching your children the proper method to brush is equally as crucial as teaching them to brush enough. Have them hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and brush with circular strokes on the front and back of teeth. Then, use sweeping, side-to-side strokes to clean across the chewing surface (the top) of the teeth. Be sure that they brush each tooth in this way each time they brush.

Don’t Forget the Tongue!

Now we’ve made sure the teeth are clean, but they aren’t the only thing in your child’s mouth that needs brushing. The tongue gets bacteria build up the same as teeth, so it needs to be brushed similarly as well. Have your child brush their tongue both from front to back and side to side once all the teeth are clean. Many people neglect to brush their tongue since it’s at no risk of cavities. However, tongue bacteria can lead to bad breath and is generally bad to keep in the mouth for oral health reasons, so make sure your child understands how important proper tongue brushing is.

Add Flossing Into the Equation

Flossing regularly is just as necessary as brushing regularly for good dental hygiene. Brushing alone isn’t enough to completely get rid of the particles and bacteria between teeth which lead to the formation of plaque. Cleaning this out means flossing between each tooth at least once a day. There are still so many people who omit flossing from their daily cleaning, so make sure your children practice and understand the importance of flossing daily.

Establish a Routine

For creating dental hygiene habits like these into your child’s routine, make them a part of their daily schedule. No matter what the activity is, doing it at the same time everyday enforces the behavior and makes people more likely to continue the activity as a daily occurrence. Have set times for your children to clean their mouth, such as brushing first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. Before long, they might even start doing this without prompting!

Proper habits like these are needed to keep your children’s teeth healthy. Make sure your child visits the dentist regularly for a proper evaluation to make sure your child stays cavity free.  At The Children’s Dental Center, we’re committed to the health and hygiene of your children’s teeth and mouth. Contact us today!

5 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

5 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

If you’re tired of struggling to get your kids to brush twice a day, there’s a solution! If you want your child to brush their teeth more, the best thing to do is make brushing fun! Here are our tips to make brushing more enjoyable for your kids.

1. Make it a Game

What better way is there to turn brushing into a fun time than to make it part of playtime? Have your children approach brushing like a game rather than a chore. Put on some music and dance while you brush. Make up a story or adventure for your child to turn brushing their teeth into an exciting adventure. Explore your creativity.

2. Try Some Digital Encouragement

If you’re having trouble coming up with a brush-time activity, there’s no need to worry. There’s a wealth of resources online to help make brushing fun. Apps like BrushDJ and Toothsavers encourage brushing through music and interactive games to play while brushing. Alternatively, there are a number of online videos you can play for your children while they brush, such as the ones on our own website.

3. Make it a Family Activity

An easy strategy that can make your children want to brush their teeth is by brushing with them. Brush your teeth with your kids morning and night, and make sure to look excited and happy to be doing it. After all, your kids look up to you, so if they see mom and dad brushing, they’ll likely want to emulate you by doing the same especially if you make it look fun!

4. Give Them More Choice

Time for some shopping! Go to the store with the kids and have them pick out what they want to brush with. Get a toothbrush with their favorite characters on it, let them pick out a flavor of toothpaste they like and make it completely up to them (within reason of course). Giving your kids a little bit of decison making authority like this goes a long way towards getting them to enjoy brushing. Plus, if they picked out the brushing tools themselves, it’s much more likely that they’ll want to use them.

5. Reward Good Brushing

A tried and true method for getting kids to brush is motivating them with little rewards. It could be just what they need to look forward to brushing. Make a chart and have your child pick out a sticker to put on it, or maybe let them pick out a bedtime story. Even just simple praise for having a healthy and clean mouth can work wonders.

Getting your children to brush more often, and above all, wanting to brush, goes a long way towards a lifetime of good oral hygiene, but remember not to neglect dentist visits! At The Children’s Dental Center, we strive to keep your children happy and their mouths healthy. Don’t wait, schedule their next appointment today!

These Unexpected Foods Might be Giving your Kids Cavities

These Unexpected Foods Might be Giving your Kids Cavities

Everyone knows that candy and soda are bad for teeth, but there’s more to protecting your kids’ teeth than just cutting out the sweets. Take a look at why these four foods are more harmful to your children’s teeth than you might realize.

Dried Fruit & Fruit Juices

Fruit is an important part of any balanced diet, but some of the ways your children can get their daily source of fruit might be harder on their teeth than others. Dried fruit is sticky and stays on the teeth longer.  This, combined with the sugar found in fruit, makes it the perfect food source for cavity-causing bacteria. Fruit Juice, on the other hand, provides its own hazard for teeth. The sugars and acids in fruit juice are often very concentrated meaning there will be more cavity-causing variables to eat away at their teeth.

Acidic/Citrusy Foods

And speaking of acid, foods with a high acidity should be limited. Too much acid exposure can lead to tooth decay.  Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are some of the biggest culprits, but people often overlook this because of the vitamins they also provide.

Potato Chips

Ok, so nobody thinks potato chips are healthy, but the harm they can do to your children’s teeth often goes unnoticed. Potato chips can mean trouble because they’re loaded with starch. This starch can get stuck in and between your teeth. These starches break down into sugar in your mouth, and feed the bad bacteria if they aren’t cleaned out quickly and thoroughly.

Bread

It might be hard to believe, but bread can be surprisingly harmful to your kids’ teeth. White bread can damage teeth in a way very similar to potato chips. It’s loaded with refined, starchy carbohydrates which turn into a paste as you chew. That paste sticks your teeth and turns into simple sugars which feed the bacteria known to cause tooth decay.

If your child eats or enjoys these foods, you don’t have to cut them out of their diet entirely. It’s ok to have some of these foods especially since some of them have health benefits. Make sure your child eats them in moderation and cleans their teeth well afterward. And don’t forget to ensure your child’s oral hygiene is getting the care it needs by setting up an appointment at The Children’s Dental Center today!

Defeat Dental Distress: Helping Your Child Overcome Fears of The Dentist

Defeat Dental Distress: Helping Your Child Overcome Fears of The Dentist

For some children, the dentist can be a scary place, but it shouldn’t be! See how you can help prevent and alleviate anxiety for your little one.

As we know, going to the dentist is an extremely important part of keeping kids healthy, so why do children and even parents seem to dread visiting the dentist? Follow these helpful hints to ensure your next dental experience is a positive one.

Start visits early. It is recommended to see the dentist by your child’s first birthday. It is important to focus on prevention rather than treatment, so the sooner your child gets started, the better. Not to mention, starting early makes seeing the dentist a more routine and positive experience for your young one.

Paint the dentist as a friendly, helpful figure. If you have your own apprehensions about the dentist, avoid sharing them with your children. Prepare your child by reading books or by watching fun, informative videos online. Encourage your children that the dentist will give them a powerful smile they will want to show off to everyone.

Be careful with your words. Use positive phrases to make the visit seem like a fun time instead of a scary one. Avoid using words like “shot” or “hurt” and replace them with more kid-friendly words. For a list of suggestions, click here.

Emphasize the positive. Positive reinforcement in the form of compliments or small prizes like stickers can go a long way in motivating your child while at the dentist. Here at The Children’s Dental Center, your child will visit our Treasure Chest and will pick out a special prize that will leave them looking forward to their next visit.

Highlight the importance of oral hygiene. Teach your child that visiting the dentist is not a choice, it is a necessity. If your child wants to have strong teeth to eat with, they need to come to the dentist. It also helps to mention that going to the dentist will keep their smile shiny and bright for years to come.

Going to the dentist doesn’t need to be a scary or complicated process. While these steps seem simple, they can make a large impact on your child’s attitude towards the dentist. By following these tips, you will help your little one build enough confidence to last for a lifetime of checkups.

The Importance of the ADA Seal of Acceptance

The Importance of the ADA Seal of Acceptance

You’ve probably seen the ADA Seal of Acceptance when shopping for toothpaste or mouthwash, but what exactly does it mean? Find out about how dental care products receive this seal and why you should look for it before you buy.

With so many dental products to choose from, how do you know what is best? Well, let’s start with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The American Dental Association is the oldest and largest dental organization in the world. They created the Seal of Acceptance in hopes of helping consumers choose effective products. Currently, consumers can choose from over 200 products that carry the seal. Each product has been scientifically tested by experts to prove its safety and effectiveness.

While many dental products apply for the seal, not all of them are eligible. Products with the seal often have to meet additional requirements aside from what is required by law. Clinical and/or laboratory studies must prove certain conditions are met. If at any point, the product does not meet the expectations, it cannot qualify for acceptance. If the product does meet the qualifications, it is awarded the seal for 5 years. Any changes the product undergoes within the next 5 years must be approved by the ADA in order to maintain the seal.

Not only does the ADA have strict guidelines about the products themselves, but also the packaging they come in. The ADA requires that all claims made on the packaging are accurate, which they will verify. On top of that, products with the seal must adhere to the ADA’s advertising and marketing standards. Needless to say, you can guarantee a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance is safe, reliable, and high quality.

It is important to note that the seal is not just found on toothpaste and toothbrushes. The seal can be found on a number of items including select whitening products, chewing gum, water flossers, and more. Therefore, it is important to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance for all of your oral hygiene needs.

Does this mean products without the seal are not effective? There’s no simple answer to this. Products without the seal may be good, but they may not be. There is no assurance that these products can do everything they claim to. This is a risk many consumers are unwilling to take when there are plenty of products that have the seal and are backed by science.

Put an end to walking up and down the aisle confused about which dental care products to choose. Make the right choice and purchase products that boast the ADA Seal of Acceptance. By doing so, you will have peace of mind that you are making the best decisions for your health.

Chew on This: How Gum Can Help Your Teeth

Chew on This: How Gum Can Help Your Teeth

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy chewing some gum now and again. After all, it tastes great and helps give you nice fresh breath. Gum is good for more than just your breath, it can support a healthier mouth. Some brands of gum have even had their oral health benefits recognized by the American Dental Association. What are the ways that gum can help improve your oral health? Let’s find out!

To most, gum is seen as little more than candy and for some gums, that’s absolutely true. That’s why it’s important to first specify the gums we’re talking about here are sugar-free. The high sugar content gums are obviously not great for your teeth. So make sure you’re looking for gum that is sugar-free and approved by the ADA (look for the ADA seal).

So what exactly is this gum doing for your teeth? First off, the physical act itself of chewing gum helps protect your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth. For this reason, chewing gum for around 20 minutes following a meal has been proven to help in the prevention of cavities. This is because the extra saliva your mouth is producing helps wash off the acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. In addition, the calcium and phosphate contained in the saliva support strong tooth enamel.

Even the sweeteners in sugar-free gum can help keep your teeth strong and cavity free. Xylitol, in particular, has been proven to have a host of benefits for your teeth’s health. Xylitol gum has been shown to have an enamel strengthening effect similar to fluoride, the mineral found in most toothpaste and mouthwashes. And the xylitol itself protects your teeth against bacteria as well as it has antibacterial effects. Xylitol stops bacteria from attaching to your teeth, inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, and slowing their ability to create cavities.

Having a piece of gum after dinner doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush before bed, but another cavity fighter in your mouth is always a plus! So if you’re looking for an easy (and tasty) way to help keep your teeth healthy and strong, grab a pack of your favorite gum and start chewing, your mouth will thank you. (Just make sure it is sugar-free!)

Resources:

http://www.ada.org/en/member-center/oral-health-topics/chewing-gum
https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/basics/nutrition-and-oral-health/three-benefits-of-sugar-free-gum-0214
https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/gum-chewing.html