National Dental Hygiene Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! We hope you are celebrating by brushing and flossing. Dental hygiene is the foundation of oral health. By brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, you are effectively removing the bio film that is made of bacteria that erodes enamel and causes decay. And don’t forget about flossing too! Gliding floss in between the contacts of teeth is the only way to remove bio film that is stuck between your teeth.

Dental hygienists take pride in promoting prevention and a healthy microbiome for your pearly whites. The role of a dental hygienist is to assess oral health, remove stain and polish teeth, and guide patients to a healthy mouth.

At The Children’s Dental Center, Lisa and Sue are our two awesome dental hygienists. Both Sue and Lisa hold Bachelor’s degrees in Dental Hygiene. Both Sue and Lisa are gentle, compassionate health professionals that have a true talent for caring for the pediatric population.

Give us a call at 908-526-1600 to schedule your appointment at The Children’s Dental Center.

Which toothpaste should I use?

Which toothpaste should I use?

There are so many options in the toothpaste aisle these days. Where do you start when it comes to selecting a toothpaste for your child? Regular visits to your Somerville pediatric dentist can help you make the decision. The right toothpaste can help keep your child’s smile healthy.

Toothpaste is an important part of oral health because it helps to remove bacteria and biofilm that causes decay and gingivitis. It also helps to keep your little one’s breath fresh. Fluoride is a naturally occurring miineral that is added to toothpaste to help heal, remineralize, and protect enamel. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that children should brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day to promote a cavity free smile.

Dr. Kane and the hygiene experts at The Children’s Dental Center in Somerville, New Jersey can help you select the right toothpaste for your child. Selecting the appropriate paste is dependent on several factors. If your child is unable to spit and may be at risk for swallowing paste, it is important to only use a smear layer to brush your child’s teeth. The smear layer can be compared to the size of a grain of rice. Once your child can control spitting, you can transition to an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste.

It’s also fun to have your child pick their own special toothpaste during your next shopping trip. This encourages your child to be excited about keeping their smile cavity free.

It is a good idea to call your local central New Jersy pediatric dentist to help you select a paste based on specific factors to your child. We are happy to help and serve Somerville, Bridgewater, Raritan, Branchburg, and Hillsborough neighborhoods.

Schedule an appointment in our Somerville pediatric dental office today. Smile proud!

Is An Electric Toothbrush Right For Your Child?

Is An Electric Toothbrush Right For Your Child?

You might be wondering if it’s time to upgrade your child to an electric toothbrush. While we recommend consulting with Dr. Kane before you make any major changes to your child’s routine, here’s some of our best advice.

Electric toothbrushes have been proven to make it easier for reluctant children to clean hard to reach areas, like their back molars and gums. This helps to prevent plaque from building up and optimizes your child’s oral health. Not to mention, the vibration of an electric toothbrush means your child has to use less force than when using a manual toothbrush.

The benefits don’t stop there. Children’s electric toothbrushes offer songs, lights and characters to make your kids excited about brushing. While these features are fun and interesting, their purpose is ultimately to teach your children how much time they should be spending on brushing. Your kids won’t even realize that they are learning and maintaining good oral hygiene while they are having a blast.

Age is key when determining if it’s time for an electric toothbrush. While there is no set age, it is best to wait until your child has at least 4 or 5 teeth before you consider an electric brush. Additionally, waiting until your child has the coordination to use a brush of this kind (with your help) is vital. When you decide to give your child an electric brush, introduce it as a special treat they get to use twice a day. You should continue to monitor their usage with it until around age 8.

As with any toothbrush, finding the perfect electric toothbrush isn’t easy. Make sure to select one specifically for a child as it will offer unique features such as easier to grip handles. Choosing the right size head so the toothbrush will fit properly in your child’s mouth is incredibly important. From there, choose a brush with soft bristles as they are more gentle on gums.

While electric toothbrushes are great, they can’t do all the work on their own. Teaching your child the proper techniques early will help prevent cavities. Help your child place the brush at a 45 degree angle facing the gums. Despite the movement of the brush, your child still needs to use short strokes to move the brush back and forth against the teeth and gums. Afterwards, rinse the brush thoroughly and store it upright.

At The Children’s Dental Center, we understand how important any decision is regarding your child’s oral health. If you have any additional comments or concerns, our expert team is more than happy to help. Contact us 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.