TOP TIPS FOR HEALTHY LITTLE SMILESTooth decay is the single most common chronic infectious disease affecting U.S. children.1. When the first tooth erupts, at about 6 months, clean your baby's teeth with a clean soft cloth or a baby's toothbrush and a tiny drop (about the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste.2. At about age 2, start brushing your child's teeth with a pea size drop of fluoride toothpaste. 3. As your child gets older, let them brush themselves, but until about age 6, put the toothpaste on the toothbrush for them.4. Until about age 6, you will need to help them brush - try brushing their teeth first and then letting them finish.Your Child's First Dental VisitThe ideal time for your child's first visit to the dentist is about six months after the first tooth erupts, usually before your child's first birthday. Your dentist will demonstrate how to clean your child's teeth properly, and provide information on feeding practices for good dental care. The pediatric dentist will look for potential problems, and check overall oral growth and development. Your child's teeth, jaw, bite, gums and oral tissues will be examined, and proper home-cleaning procedures will be demonstrated. Your child's medical history will be carefully reviewed by the pediatric dentist and preventive measures for dental disease will be discussed, including fluoride.
HEALTHY LITTLE SMILES START HEREDuring pregnancy, hormonal changes may make your gums more susceptible to bacteria, and remember - you're really brushing for two. Here are some fundamentals to remember during pregnancy to protect your oral health and give your baby the best chance at a healthy smile.Oral Health During PregnancyWhen you are pregnant, what you eat is important. Eating right will help you and your growing baby stay healthy. Follow your doctor's advice for eating the right foods and taking vitamins. Schedule a complete dental checkup before you become pregnant or early in your pregnancy, especially during your second trimester, and early in the third trimester. Experts suggest pregnant woman defer elective dental care during the first eight weeks of pregnancy and during late pregnancy. Expectant mothers are advised to be concerned about periodontitis, as with other infections.
SCARED CHILD? SHOW THEM SOME SMILES!It's very important to take your child to the dentist regularly. But going to the dentist can be scary for young children. In fact, as many as one in five children exhibit anxiety about visiting the dentist. The secret is to help them understand what to expect, and to help them understand why it's so important to get good care from their dentist.Prepare Your Child For a Positive Visit to the Dentist:1. Find a dentist you trust, with an office you are comfortable in, and who will answer all of your questions.2. Tell the dentist ahead of time if your child may be anxious and ask what steps the office takes to lessen children's anxiety.3. Find out the office policy on parents in the treatment room..4. Ask if they show movies or offer headphones for music or if they let you bring your own with your child's favorite songs.5. Set a good example for taking care of your teeth and help your child with theirs.
PROTECTING YOUR ATHLETE'S SMILEThe mouth is a frequently injured area of the body during contact sports. Research has shown that most mouth injuries occur when athletes are not wearing a mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard can help prevent broken teeth, cuts on the lips and tongue and jaw injuries.What Makes a Good Mouthguard?Mouthguards protect teeth from trauma or loss and reduce the risk for jaw fractures. They also minimize lacerated and bruised lips and cheeks by keeping these soft tissue areas away from the teeth, and this is especially true for children with braces. An effective mouthguard should remain in place during the activity while not interfering with speech or breathing. It should provide maximum protection and be comfortable to wear. Wearing a mouthguard is highly recommended for all those participating in boxing, basketball, baseball, field hockey, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, soccer, wrestling, water polo and rugby. Participants in recreational activities such as skateboarding and bicycling should also wear mouthguards, especially in competition.Which Mouthguard is Right for Your Athlete?Stock/Ready-made - Available in various sizes and shapes, but cannot be adjusted to fit your mouth. Often, they are loose and bulky and may interfere with speaking or breathing.Mouth-formed/Boil & Bite - These plastic mouthguard shells are boiled in water for a few seconds, cooled under tap water and molded directly in the mouth. Compared to custom-made guards, the fit is not as accurate, and it may not last as long.Custom-made - This type is highly recommended and the most effective. Dentists make them at their office or order them from a laboratory from a cast of your teeth. Young athletes are more likely to wear a mouthguard that fits comfortably, stays in place and allows for better breathing.
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