Brush Your Kids’ Teeth When They Can’t Do It Themselves

Photo: Mouth Healthy Kids

According to Fox News, letting kids brush their own teeth before they’re ready is one of the biggest mistakes parents make in regards to their young children’s oral hygiene. Some kids may not be brushing properly, if at all. Check in and make sure they’re doing a thorough job, even if that means brushing their teeth for them! As you do, remember the following pointers:

  • Choose a small size toothbrush to help you maneuver in the back spaces of your child’s mouth. Scrub the molars well—this is where cavities tend to develop.
  • Brush for two minutes—sing a song to the end as you brush.
  • Brush twice a day, morning and night.
  • Buy a new toothbrush every three months. Let your child choose a design to help motivate them to brush.

How long does the responsibility of brushing fall on you? If your child is in elementary school, you may be off the hook. Let’s revisit our 7 signs that kids can brush their teeth on their own:

  1. Your child is between the ages of 6 to 9. The actual age varies for every child, but it’s typically within this range that they graduate from being supervised to handling the routine on their own. Reminders to brush, however, may still be called for.
  2. You have an expert with the laces. Brushing every angle of the teeth takes manual dexterity, which kids hone as they get older. Developing enough dexterity to tie their own shoes is a sign that they’re ready to do their own brushing, too. [Read more…]

What’s in Store for National Children’s Dental Health Month


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM).
All month long, dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators will come together to promote the benefits of good oral health. Each year, the theme for NCDHM changes. For 2017, the theme is “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile.” Here are just some of the reasons why tap water is best:

  • Soda contains caffeine, known to cause everything from jitters, upset stomach, and headaches to difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • A 12-ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. [Read more…]

Charcoal Whitening Trend May Be Unsafe, Dentists Warn

Thought of using charcoal to whiten your teeth? The idea is trending. YouTube user Mama Natural posted a video on using a charcoal product to whiten her teeth, and more than a million viewers tuned in to watch: Activated Charcoal—Weird Way to Whiten Teeth.

Using Nature’s Way activated charcoal that costs about $5 from health food stores, Mama Natural states that the charcoal absorbs bacteria, toxins, and staining on the teeth, even though using the black powder may seem counterintuitive at first. Recently, however, FoxNews published an article warning consumers against using charcoal as a whitening agent. [Read more…]

5 Ways to Wean the Baby from the Pacifier

Photo: Philipp Antar/CC by 2.0

Photo: Philipp Antar/CC by 2.0

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution for you: wean the little one from the pacifier. The sucking reflex is natural, but if your tot hasn’t weaned him/herself from the pacifier by 3 or 4 years old, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and get creative. Here are 5 ideas we’ve found from around the Web to help: [Read more…]

Stocking Stuffer: Electronic Toothbrushes

Photo: makelessnoise/CC BY 2.0

Photo: makelessnoise/CC BY 2.0

Looking for a thoughtful holiday present to give to friends and family this year? How about an electronic toothbrush? While it isn’t essential to use one in order to do a thorough job of brushing, electronic toothbrushes do have advantages that go beyond just vibrating. Here are some tips on brands and products to look for from a recent article by Digital Trends: [Read more…]

Seal of Approval for Dental Sealants

SmilingChildAlameda Pediatric Dentistry strongly encourages the application of dental sealants. A safe protective coating, sealants act as a physical barrier that blocks plaque from accumulating in hard-to-clean grooves and pits of molar teeth. Covered by most dental policies, sealants take just a few minutes to apply, and the process is completely painless.

This month, the Centers for Disease Control released a Vital Signs report that includes the following important findings on sealants: [Read more…]

Halloween Candy Survival Guide

halloween-fairyAll year long, kids look forward to the magic and fun of Halloween. Parents enjoy the costumes and trick-or-treating, too, but the thought of all that candy can be troublesome. Whether you raid the candy bags to the benefit of your coworkers, sell the candy at a buyback, or ration it in some other way, much of the sweets will end up with your kids. To help you sort through the Halloween bags with them, here’s a summary of MouthHealthy.org’s rundown of common candies:

Chocolate: Of all the Halloween candies your kids will receive, chocolate is best because it washes off teeth more easily. Choose dark chocolate when possible, as it has less sugar than milk chocolate. Chocolate can also be good for you. Read our article, A Delicious Secret, to find out more.

Sticky and Gummy Candies: “Be picky if it’s sticky,” MouthHealthy advises. We agree. Sticky and gummy candies are harder to remove and could result in cavity-causing bacteria staying on the kids’ teeth longer. [Read more…]

7 Personalized Halloween Treat Bags

Halloween treat bag ideas from AllYou.com.

Halloween treat bag ideas from AllYou.com.

Halloween is a fun time to get creative. If sewing a Halloween costume from scratch is too much, these personalized treat bags are a breeze to create and will give you a chance to get crafty with the kids. If you are throwing a party, these ideas can be customized to create unique party favors. Don’t be afraid to improvise and let your imagination take your treat bag to the next level. [Read more…]

Toss Homeopathic Teething Gels and Tablets for These Safe Home Remedies

baby-teeth-6485868Recently, the FDA released a warning against homeopathic teething tablets and gels. According to their September 30 report, these products, sold by the likes of CVS and Hyland’s, may cause a risk to infants and children. Seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, constipation, and other issues are some of the problems the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research have discovered. The FDA will continue investigating the issue and reporting on the results, but in the meantime, please toss any homeopathic teething tablets or gels you may have at home.

If your child is teething, there are many ways to soothe their discomfort without such over-the-counter remedies. Here are some that we recommend: [Read more…]

Turning on Cartoons Can Help Turn Off the Anxiety at the Dentist’s Office

Child at DentistKids love watching cartoons, and it turns out there’s a place where turning on the monitor can be especially comforting for them—the dentist’s office! According to a recent study of 56 randomly assigned children aged 7 to 9 years, kids who received dental treatment while watching cartoons showed less anxiety and more cooperation than those who received no distraction. The dental treatments conducted during the study included oral exams, injections with a local anesthetic, and tooth restoration. The findings, originally published in the journal Acta Odontologica Scandinavica, include the following: [Read more…]