Preventative Dental Care for Children and Why It Matters

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According to the Center for Disease Control, about 40 percent of children will suffer from tooth decay by the time they hit Kindergarten. Along with being one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the U.S., it’s also one of the most preventable. As soon as a child’s first tooth appears, they’re able to have a check up at the dentist. Simple preventative care will help stop cavities, offer knowledge to parents, and give the child an introduction to oral health and all that it entails. In addition to early check-ups for children, it’s important to implement good oral health habits while they’re young. The best way to get your little one to brush nightly is to make it fun! A few simple ideas can change the way your children look at brushing, and make the whole process easy and enjoyable. Here are a few clever ideas to get you started.
Make Up a Song
Sometimes all it takes to make toothbrush time interesting is a song. Come up with a song that your child can sing along to and get them in the mood for something fun. They may enjoy singing along with you so much that they’ll want to hear it even when it’s not time to brush their teeth. This gives them a bit of control over their oral health. Whenever they want to sing the song, it’s their idea to brush. You can make up a song yourself, or look online for some catchy tunes that you and your child can sing together like this one below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA0yON5bdAU
Give Them Fun Toothbrush Options
These days, there are so many options for cool toothbrushes you can treat them like toys for your kids. Find toothbrushes featuring their favorite characters or cartoons, and have a variety of them that they can choose from. Giving them options, much like singing, gives them a bit of control over the situation, making them more likely to enjoy the process. Ask them which toothbrush they want to use, let them pick it out and make it a fun little activity for them. Kids will usually get attached to one particular brush for a while which makes buying new ones for them a nice treat.
Brush Teeth Together
The best part about brushing is that it’s a routine that can be shared in a positive way. Toddlers and small children love mimicking the grown up things you do; so sometimes simply brushing with them is enough to get them in the mood. Explaining that it’s what “big kids” and adults do gives them some incentive. You can even make it a game, instructing them to pretend like they’re a mirror while you brush your own teeth. A little challenge and a lot of patience can make brushing together a fun and exciting part of the day.
It’s important to always be gentle and patient with your little ones when dealing with brushing. The way you handle the situation can affect their attitude towards oral health for years to come, so taking it seriously and implementing fun methods is your best bet. As with anything, some children may be frightened or uncomfortable with brushing, in which case a trip to the dentist for some advice and inspiration may be a good idea. Once you have a good, solid routine in place, brushing with your child can be memorable, enjoyable and will give them the gift of a confident smile for years to come!

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The Importance of Dental Hygiene and Back to School

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importanceAh, the hustle and bustle of going back to school!

As we head back into school mode, there are lots of things on the “to-do” list to get done before the first day rolls around.  Every student should be equipped with these essentials:

  • Backpack
  • Notebooks
  • Markers, pens, pencils
  • Dental cleaning

Dental cleaning?!?  Yes!  Healthy teeth, gums and proper dental hygiene are as crucial as everything else on the list in preparation for the coming school year.

Studies have shown dental related issues are a main reason that children miss school. If you maintain and stay on top of your oral health care you are setting yourself up for future success! There is no age limit when it comes to having a healthy mouth and smile.*

As your first day of school swiftly approaches, no matter what grade you are going into, first impressions are always looming in the back of your mind.  And first impressions are huge!  No one needs to have a big chunk of cereal in their teeth or stinky breath on their first day back. Your buddies will never let you live it down. When your teeth are well taken care of, brushed, flossed, with clean fresh breath, you are well on your way to a GREAT first impression!

A friendly smile says a lot about a person.  When you have a clean, attractive smile you’ll exude confidence. When you are feeling confident, you promote a positive sense of self which can help spark a conversation or attract another person’s attention.  You’ll have a lunch buddy in no time!

Not to mention, those school pictures that wind up being permanent fixtures in the yearbook (and on your fridge at home). With a dashing smile, you will have no regrets when you look back years later and think, “Man!  That is one good looking smile!”

If you are due for a dental cleaning and polish, now is the perfect time to go in for an appointment!  This goes above and beyond your daily standard brushing and flossing.  A good dental cleaning will remove all of the plaque or tartar buildup that may have accumulated over the past few months.  Any sort of gingivitis will be examined and taken care of. A nice polishing of your teeth will finish up your look.  Afterwards, your teeth will feel AMAZING!  Your teeth will literally be squeaky clean!  There is no better feeling than a smooth fresh tooth surface.

We all get those first-day jitters when going back to school.  It’s completely natural.  But when your alarm clock goes off the morning of your first day back, you eat your breakfast, gather your belongings, and you brush and floss your teeth, you will have one less thing to worry about before you get to class!

So just remember, before you walk out the door for your first day of school, make sure that you have spent at least two minutes brushing those pearly whites, flossed each and every tooth, and maybe even given a quick once over with some mouth rinse.  You are bound to have a great first day back with smiles all around!

*Source:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21330579

Dr. Doug Takeuchi

189 North Bascom Avenue, Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95128
USA

Phone: 408-295-5651