Quick Tips for Busy Parents
Whitening toothpastes have polishing agents in addition to the mild abrasives that help remove surface stains from teeth. Teeth that have surface stains are cleaned and whitened by whitening toothpastes; however, deeper stains won’t be touched. If your teeth have deeper, darker stains due to injury or certain medications, a more thorough brightening treatment, such as bleaching or microabrasion, will be required. If you choose to use a whitening toothpaste, make sure the toothpaste contains fluoride as well as whitening agents.
Teen Pediatric Dentistry
Just because your teenager isn’t a child anymore, doesn’t mean she should stop seeing herpediatric dentist. Dentistry to meet the special needs of teens and adolescents is an important part of the specialized training for pediatric dentists. Growing doesn’t stop at childhood – teens experience important growth in their faces and jaws. Teens are also getting the last of their permanent teeth, and teeth that have just come through the gums are especially vulnerable to decay. Additionally, teenagers start becoming responsible for their own diet and nutrition choices, and it’s important that those choices are come from a solid foundation of dental health.
Your Child and Cheese
Did you know recent research shows cheese is one of the healthiest snacks for your child’s teeth? In addition to providing large amounts of much-needed calcium, cheese also does its part to fight cavities. Cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, and Monterey jack all stimulate the body’s salivary glands to clear the mouth of debris and protect teeth from acids that weaken them. This means cheese disrupts the development of cavities, especially when eaten as a snack or at the end of a meal. Calcium and phosphorous found in cheese reduce or prevent decreases in the plaque’s ph level and work to re-mineralize the enamel of your child’s teeth.
Sealants Can Seal the Deal for Healthy Teeth
“Sealant” refers to a clear or shaded plastic material placed in the pits and grooves of children’s teeth to prevent decay. The pediatric dentist applies this invisible protector by drying and conditioning the teeth, painting on the sealant and then allowing it to harden.
The AAPD recommends sealants as an effective method for cavity prevention, especially for those children with a history of tooth decay. In addition, sealants are one of the most cost-effective means of preventing cavities – they cost less than half of what one filling costs!
Brush Up on Tooth-brushing
Tooth-brushing is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. But which type of toothbrush should your child use?
Manual or powered, both can assist with keeping your child’s smile cavity-free. When choosing a manual toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one specifically designed for children’s smaller hands and mouths. Look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush. Be sure to brush your preschooler’s teeth and supervise the brushing and flossing of school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
The AAPD recommends using only soft-bristled toothbrushes. Also, remember to throw out a toothbrush after 3 months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm the gums and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.
Start Off The School Year Right!
Students miss more than 51 million school hours per year* because of dental problems or related conditions. Dental pain can distract students, cause their schoolwork to suffer or even lead to school absences. Children and adolescents with healthy teeth have better attendance, are more attentive in class and tend to participate more fully in school-related activities.
To start the school year off on the right tooth, and prevent oral-health-related absences, teach your student to floss once a day and brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Beware of frequent snacking, as repeated exposure to sugary or starchy snacks can increase the risk for cavities. And most important, visit your pediatric dentist twice a year. Your pediatric dentist provides an ongoing oral health assessment and can help your student prevent cavities and school absences.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.