Choosing the Right Toothbrush For Your Children

 

Winnipeg Kids Dental Specialist

Susan

Teaching children to brush regularly is essential to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. But with so many toothbrush types on the market—disposable, battery-powered, electronic—how do you choose the one that is best for your child while meeting your budget considerations?

While it is important to select a toothbrush appropriate to your child’s age, size and special needs, your child should also like using the toothbrush. Children who like their toothbrush will be more likely to brush regularly and properly. If your child is old enough, let him or her help pick out a new toothbrush.

Your pediatric dentist and hygienist can advise you in this important choice. Here are some additional suggestions:

  • Select a toothbrush that has an American Dental Association Seal of Approval. This will ensure that the construction and materials of the toothbrush are appropriate for children.
  • Pick an age-appropriate toothbrush. Most children’s toothbrushes have the recommended age range printed on the box. If the brush head is too small or too large, it will not reach all areas of your child’s mouth. The handle should feel comfortable so that your child will be able to use it properly.
  • Choose soft bristles. A child’s teeth and gums are more sensitive than an adult’s, especially when the child is teething. A soft-bristled brush cleans teeth well without wearing away tooth enamel or gum tissue. The bristled end of the toothbrush should be small and round, so that the child will not be hurt if his or her hand slips while brushing.
  • Choose a special brush for braces. Children who wear braces may do better with special orthodontic toothbrushes that have bristles altered to reach hard-to-clean areas.
  • Disposable or battery powered? Both types can effectively keep teeth and gums healthy. The choice may depend on your child’s preferences and age, as well as the evaluation of your pediatric dentist.
  • Options and attractions. Child-friendly toothbrush designs make the brushing experience fun and may be more effective. Some brushes feature cartoon characters or a variety of colors. Several models play music or flash timed colored lights to let your child know how long to brush.

Whichever choice you make, be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush as recommended, usually every three months for the average disposable brush. Your pediatric dentist is your best resource in the choice and maintenance of the right toothbrush for your child’s oral health.

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

 

Is a Cavity Free Mouth Really Possible?

Wouldn’t it be nice if a magic shield could help protect your children from cavities? Well, think of your dentist as a magician: By using a process called sealants, she or he can help your kids avoid decay in the back molars, the teeth most prone to cavities in young mouths.

The back molars have a few things working against them. They are full of deep grooves, making it easy for food particles and germs to become trapped. They are also difficult to clean, particularly when you’re dealing with small mouths and the impatient little people attached to them. Dental sealants provide a protective coating, made out of a thin plastic substance that covers the grooves on the back teeth. Since food and bacteria can’t get through the plastic, the teeth are protected from decay.

Better still, sealants are virtually invisible, and quick and painless to apply. We clean the tooth using a special gel before painting on the sealant itself. Sometimes, a special light is used to harden the sealant. The process only takes a few minutes to complete, and the sealant can protect the teeth for up to 10 years.

Dentists recommend applying sealants as soon as the permanent molars erupt, before any decay occurs. That way the sealant will be most powerful during the prime cavity-prone years (ages six to 14 years). Sealants can be put on both permanent molars and pre-molars, and are often covered by dental insurance.

Keep in mind, though, that it is still important for children to maintain good oral hygiene. With good brushing, fluoride and regular dental care, sealants can be an almost magical way to keep your children’s mouths healthy and cavity-free!

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

 

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

The Link Between Solid Foods and Cavities in Kid’s Teeth

Dental problems such as cavities (also known as dental caries) can have a major impact on children. Pain and the effect on their appearance may not only leave children feeling bad but can also result in a lifelong fear of dentists. This leaves many parents wondering just how and when to start preventing cavities.

A recent study has shed some light on a factor you may not have considered: how you feed your child. While many parents may think cavity prevention starts only when their child has his or her first tooth, what and how you feed your baby appears to play a crucial role. Certain feeding practices can lead to severe early childhood caries. When that occurs, your child can suffer from

  • pain
  • chewing problems
  • speech difficulties
  • poor self-esteem

On top of that, it can be costly to treat severe early childhood caries. Just as your eating habits affect your likelihood of developing cavities, so too do your child’s feeding practices. Children who are breastfed seven or more times a day after they are 12 months old are thought to have a higher incidence of cavities.

Another risky behavior is using a bottle for liquids other than milk. The number of meals and snacks can similarly put your child at a higher risk for cavities.

When it comes to feeding, what you do today can have consequences later for your child. We have information on how you can help prevent cavities in your child. Simple measures such as avoiding or reducing the consumption of foods high in sugar can help. Appropriate intervals between feedings can also make a difference.

Research shows it is critically important that you receive advice before your child transitions from an exclusive milk diet to solid foods.

 
We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

The Link Between Brushing Your Kids Teeth and Healthy Gums

It is important that you brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day—even better, after every meal, if you can. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to teeth. When bacteria in plaque come into contact with food, they produce acids. These acids lead to cavities.

Although brushing your teeth seems like a very easy thing everyone can do, you should teach your children the most effective way to brush by modeling your own behavior. Here are ten tips to accomplish this task:

  • Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on the bristles of a soft toothbrush.
  • Place the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45º angle to the gum line.
  • Move the brush across the teeth back and forth gently in short strokes, cleaning one tooth at a time, using a small, circular motion. Keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line. Avoid pressing so hard that the bristles lie flat against the teeth; only the tips of the toothbrush clean the teeth. Let the bristles reach into the spaces between the teeth.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all the teeth. Make sure the bristles get into the grooves and crevices.
  • Use the same small, circular motion to clean the backsides of the upper and lower teeth—the sides that face the tongue.
  • To clean the inner surface of the bottom front teeth, angle the head in an up-and-down position toward the bottom inside of the mouth and move the toothbrush in  several up-and-down strokes.
  • For the inside of the top front teeth, angle the brush in an up-and-down position with the tip of the head pointing toward the roof of the mouth. Move the toothbrush in  several up-and-down strokes.
  • Give your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back forward. Do not scrub. This helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath
  • After brushing your teeth for two to three minutes, rinse your mouth well with water.
  • In addition to brushing, it is important to floss teeth once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where the toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can harden into tartar, which must be removed with a professional cleaning. Antibacterial mouth rinses (there are fluoride mouth rinses, as well) can also reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

    Taking care of your teeth and gums on a regular daily basis will keep breath fresh and teeth clean, while holding cavity-causing bacteria at bay.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

Susan

 

7 Ways to Protect Your Children’s Teeth

Protecting your child’s teeth from an early age is the best way to minimize tooth- and mouth-related problems as your child grows. Use this seven-step plan to develop an oral hygiene strategy that works for you and your child:

1. See the dentist early. Ideally, your goal should be to take your child to see a dentist by her first birthday.

2. Start brushing with the first tooth. Although many parents may not feel a need to brush a baby’s first teeth, keeping even the earliest teeth clean and healthy is critical to good oral health later on.

3. Reconsider the bedtime bottle. Letting a child take a bottle of juice, formula or milk to bed is an invitation for decay development. If your child must have a bottle, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises filling it only with water.

4. Use sippy cups wisely. Sugary beverages + prolonged use of sippy cups = tooth decay. The AAP also recommends giving children no more than four ounces of 100% fruit juice per day and restricting sugary beverages to mealtimes only. Many pediatricians and pediatric dentists advise giving juice only as a treat.

5. Say “bye-bye” to the binky. Pacifiers may be appropriate for infants and until a child turns two, but after that, the pacifier should be avoided to avoid misalignment of the teeth and jaw, which can promote tooth decay and be costly to correct.

6. Keep an eye on medicines. Many pediatric medicines contain sugar and can promote the growth of bacteria, and prolonged use of antibiotics may cause a fungal infection called thrush. Children using medications to treat chronic conditions are at greater risk for tooth decay, so be sure to discuss these risks with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

7. Stay firm. Although children may complain about brushing and flossing, you’re not doing them any favors by allowing them to avoid good oral care. Get them involved by letting them choose, with your guidance, their own toothpaste or toothbrush, and reward efforts with stickers or other small tokens to keep them motivated.
We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.We care about your child’s dental health 12 months.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

kids dentist Winnipeg

 

Do Kids Need to Floss Their Baby Teeth

How old should your child be before you encourage him to floss? Four, perhaps? After the first permanent teeth begin to erupt? As adolescence begins?

Actually, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends flossing “as soon as there are two adjacent tooth surfaces that cannot be reached by a toothbrush”—or simply put, when two teeth touch—usually during toddlerhood.

Plaque, the film formed by bacteria attaching themselves to the tooth’s smooth surface, knows no lower age limit. At first, the plaque will be soft enough to be removed by a fingernail or toothbrush, but it begins to harden within 48 hours and at 10 days becomes tartar, a hard substance that is difficult to remove at home. Unremoved plaque between teeth raises the risk of inflamedswollen gums andgums that pull away from the teeth (gingivitis). In severe cases, untreated gingivitis can even affect the jawbone.

At age two, though, your child certainly won’t be thinking about the lifelong consequences of not flossing. All she needs to know is that it is something to do once a day, preferably at night, and that Mom or Dad will help until she is old enough to do it on her own.

Rather than use string floss, you may find it easier to manipulate a floss pick in your child’s small mouth. However, use whatever works best for you and your child. Once your child reaches an age when he has the appropriate manual dexterity, probably by age 10 or 11, he can begin to floss his teeth himself.

The teen years are a time when flossing becomes especially important. Teens who don’t eat as well as they should and get too little sleep will find their resistance to infection lowered—including gum infection. Girls, whose hormones make them more susceptible to gum sensitivity and disease anyway, may find that their gums hurt and even bleed in the days before their period begins. While flossing might be uncomfortable at those times, its importance doesn’t diminish.

Taking a few days off from flossing, for whatever reason, only allows the plaque to accumulate and harden, meaning even greater discomfort when flossing resumes. Starting your child on a schedule of regular flossing, even as early as toddlerhood and continuing through adolescence and beyond, can ensure a healthy mouth for a lifetime.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.We care about your child’s dental health 12 months.

For More Information Contact our Dental Office in Winnipeg -(204)201-0588

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

Even foods that have some nutrition can be detrimental to Children’s Dental Health

Winnipeg Kids Dentist

 

Most of us know that allowing children to snack on sugary foods all day long isn’t the best choice for their overall health. But when it comes to dental health, even foods that have some nutrition can be detrimental. Gummy candies and vitamins, dried fruit snacks and chewy protein bars may seem like smart snacking choices, but they can easily get stuck in between young teeth—and since children typically aren’t the best flossers, this can be a recipe for dental disaster.

Sugar doesn’t actually cause cavities; rather, the sugar acts as “food” for bacteria that cause decay. When carbohydrate-heavy foods become stuck to the teeth, they produce an acid that eats away at the enamel of your child’s pearly whites, allowing bacteria to make a nice, comfy home in the dentin, or center, of the tooth. Once the dentin begins to decay, cavities are the next step down the road to the dentist’s drill and fillings.

Interestingly, eating a massive amount of sugar in one sitting is less harmful than sucking on sugary candies or sipping juice all day long. This is because the more time the mouth spends in that sugary, acidic state, the longer the bacteria can do their dirty, decaying work. After eating a sugary snack, the negative effects can be mitigated if children rinse their mouths with water, brush their teeth or floss.

So while it might be a losing battle to try to remove all sugar and sticky carbohydrates from your children’s diets, you can teach them good dental habits such as

  • chewing sugarless gum with xylitol
  • carrying a toothbrush in their backpack to brush after meals and snacks
  • eating fresh fruit instead of fruit leather or juice
  • choosing chocolate—if you do allow candy—rather than gummy candy (just as it easily melts in your hand, chocolate can easily melt off your child’s back teeth)

And if all else fails, remind your children that swishing some water around in their mouths after snacks is a lot easier than getting a cavity filled!

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

 

 

Oral Healthcare when Your Child has Type 1 Diabetes

If your child or teen has type 1 diabetes mellitus, you, your child and your pediatric dentist must form a proactive team to ward off potential oral effects of the disease. Give the dentist all the information you can about your child’s diabetes and its management. Periodontal (gum) disease is a frequent complication of type 1 diabetes, but with the right efforts, its effects can often be minimized.

Experts suspect that diabetes makes it easier for bacteria to infect and inflame gums, and that the chemicals (cytokines) produced by the inflammation find their way into the blood of people with diabetes more easily. These cytokines, in turn, can lead to increased insulin resistance and glycemic levels that are more difficult to control.

A key strategy, then, is to keep these inflammatory bacteria in the mouth to an absolute minimum. To accomplish this, your child needs to do the following:

  • Have his or her teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Brush twice daily with a toothpaste designated as “antibacterial” by the American Dental Association.
  • Treat “dry mouth” as effectively as possible. Harmful bacteria grow better when there is less saliva and the saliva that is present contains excess glucose.
  • If periodontal symptoms such as bad breath, gum swelling, redness, bleeding and sensitivity develop between cleanings, bring your child in to see us.
  • If your child needs nonemergency dental work, be sure it is performed during a time when his or her blood sugar is well controlled.

The better your child’s glucose levels are managed, the better his or her oral health—and, of course, overall health—is likely to be. Follow the dentist’s recommendations as closely as possible.

Type 1 diabetes is a challenge for both child and parents. But taking ownership of self-management techniques—from as young an age as possible—is a time-tested way to keep at least some of its potential effects at bay. This includes acquiring good oral health habits and being attuned to any changes to the mouth and teeth that need to be treated by your dentist.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

Winnnipeg Kids Dentist Dr M Vodrey

Is Mouthwash Really Necessary for my Child?

It can be hard enough getting children to brush and floss their teeth; is it really necessary to add mouthwash to the mix? According to the American Dental Association, mouthwash can help prevent gingivitis, combat bacteria in the mouth and, if the mouthwash contains fluoride, reduce cavities. And for children who are not always the most diligent brushers, this extra step can actually do a lot of good. Remember that mouthwash is not a substitute for routine brushing and flossing.

After the age of six, most children can begin to incorporate mouthwash into their oral health routine. Younger children are not adept at the swish-and-spit process and may swallow too much of the fluid. Always instruct children younger than 12 years of age in good rinsing habits. Supervise as necessary to minimize swallowing. You can show your child how to use the mouthwash by using it yourself. When your child uses mouthwash, start by diluting it with water to make it less potent until he or she gets the hang of spitting it all out.

It is important to choose a mouthwash that your child will actually want to use as well as one that is safe for children. Most children’s mouthwashes contain fluoride to give young teeth an extra boost. Some brands have special dyes that show your child the location of bacteria and food in the mouth; they may find this feature intriguing. Child-friendly mouthwashes also contain less alcohol and come in fun flavors like bubble gum or grape. For those who prefer natural options, there are products on the market that use naturally derived ingredients, such as xylitol, baking soda and essential oils.

Mouthwashes marketed to adults can be used, as well, but these are best used by teens. Young children often end up swallowing more mouthwash than they should, and adult mouthwashes may contain higher levels of ingredients that are harmful if ingested in large amounts.

Before using a new mouthwash, always check with us to make sure that it is safe for children—and happy swishing!

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

kids dentist Winnipeg

Gloria

The Link between Oral Health and Good Grades

Did you know that your children’s oral health can have a significant impact on their school attendance and performance? Studies show that 51 million school-hours are lost in the United States each year due to oral problems. All those absences lead to lower grade point averages for children with poor oral health. Yet even when present in class, these children may be in pain and unable to focus on schoolwork.

Dental problems can interfere with a child’s ability to eat, speak, socialize and sleep, all of which may affect school performance and can have long-term consequences. Fortunately, most childhood dental problems can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups during which problems can be detected and treated before they become serious.

Some parents may think there is no reason to take a child to the dentist unless he or she complains of pain. But by that time, decay and infection could already have caused your child to miss school or perform poorly. In fact, research proves that, unlike absences caused by dental pain or infection, absences for routine dental care are not associated with poorer school performance.

On your own, you can protect your child’s oral health by making sure your child

  • engages in a daily brushing and flossing regimen
  • follows a healthy diet
  • avoids sugary treats and frequent snacking, both of which can lead to tooth decay

Fluoride is one of the best preventive measures against childhood cavities. Most communities supply fluoridated drinking water. Check with our office; if your community does not fluoridate its water, ask us for advice about fluoride toothpaste and other options.

Good oral health goes hand-in-hand with better school performance and better career opportunities in adulthood. Taking an active role in your child’s oral health will enhance your child’s chances of success in school.

 

 

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

 

Winnipeg Kids Dentist