Posts for: December, 2016
When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.
“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.
Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”
Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.
Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.
“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”
It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!
If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
There are so many wonderful advantages to getting Invisalign treatment in Billerica.
Do you think you are too old for braces? Does the idea of wearing braces during your college or working years not sound appealing? Our Billerica, MA dentist, Dr. Kunio Chan, understands that as people get older it’s less and less likely that they will turn to traditional metal braces to finally achieve that straighter smile. Fortunately, we make it possible to still get the smile you want without other people seeing your braces.
No, this is not a dream. Invisalign is an orthodontic system that makes it possible to fix common dental issues without other people noticing. This series of clear aligners are custom made to fit your upper and/or lower teeth to shift them into the proper position over time. The most obvious benefit to choosing this type of treatment is that you can finally get a straighter smile without people noticing your clear, custom-fitted aligners.
Other benefits to getting Invisalign include:
They are removable: While our Billerica general dentist will tell you that the more often you wear your aligners the better, there are some instances where you can take them off. For instance, you can take them off right before you sit down to eat and also remove them prior to brushing and flossing. And if you have a big event coming up and you really don’t want to wear your aligners you can take them out. Just remember to put them back in as soon as possible.
It’s easy to clean your teeth: Even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves we can all imagine the challenges of trying to brush and floss around metal braces. It can be quite the exhausting chore. Fortunately, Invisalign makes it simple to clean your teeth. Just remove your aligners and you’re ready to go.
Just remember that you will also want to clean your aligners throughout the day. Rinse them out whenever you remove them and then put them in a retainer case to protect them. When you want to brush your aligners use a gentle, soft-bristled toothbrush with antibacterial soup. Don’t brush too hard or you could scratch your aligners.
Enjoy your favorite foods: With traditional braces you have to nix quite a few foods from your diet so you don’t damage your braces. This can be terribly disappointing, but just remove your Invisalign and enjoy anything your stomach is craving without worrying about your braces.
They fit into your lifestyle: As you may already be able to glean from the other benefits above, Invisalign can clearly fit into anyone’s lives without affecting much. Plus, you’ll only need to come in about every 4-6 weeks to see us for routine checkups throughout your treatment.
If you want to get Invisalign One Dental Care in Billerica, MA can make this dream a reality. We would be happy to schedule your consultation to make sure that Invisalign is indeed the right way to straighten your smile. Call us today!
The American marketplace usually offers us plenty of buying choices — sometimes it seems too many. A case in point: the toothpaste aisle at your local supermarket.
It can be a bit overwhelming with all the razzle-dazzle packaging and exciting claims of “Whiter Teeth!” or “Fresher Breath!” But toothpaste really isn't that complicated, if you keep in mind its primary goal: to help you with your toothbrush remove disease-causing plaque from teeth surfaces.
And the vast majority can, thanks to ingredients you'll find in just about every brand. All toothpastes, for example, contain some form of abrasive material that boosts the mechanical action of brushing to remove plaque. This isn't new: the ancient Egyptians used ox-hoof ashes, burnt eggshells and pumice as abrasives. Today you'll find hydrated silica (originating from sand), hydrated alumina or calcium carbonate as abrasives on the ingredient list.
You also need some form of detergent to help loosen and break down substances that won't dissolve in water. Toothpaste detergent is much milder than that which you use on your dishes. The most common is sodium lauryl sulfate, a foaming agent found in shampoo and other beauty products. It's been used safely for half a century in toothpaste, although it can irritate the inner linings of some people's mouths. If this is a problem for you, you should look for toothpaste with a different detergent.
There is also a myriad of other ingredients, including binders, humectants (which help the toothpaste retain moisture) and flavorings. You may also find bleaching agents that help brighten your teeth, although they may not be strong enough to remove deep staining, something we would need to help you with.
And let's not forget one other frequent ingredient: fluoride. This natural chemical strengthens enamel and helps fight tooth decay as part of a disease prevention strategy. It's perhaps the most valuable ingredient you'll find in toothpaste, so make sure it's in your chosen brand.
If you want to simplify your decision, choose toothpaste with the seal of acceptance from the American Dental Association. The seal indicates the claims of the toothpaste manufacturer have been independently verified. You can trust those brands to help keep your teeth clean and free from disease. In the end, that's really what you want from your toothpaste.
If you would like more information on the right toothpaste for you, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Toothpaste: What's in it?”