October 2, 2014
Getting your kids to brush their teeth, yet alone like it, can be tricky. We have some tips that might help you to get your kids brushing and like it!!
Dr. Tillman recommends that you choose a small, child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush. Soaking the brush in warm water for a few minutes before brushing can soften the bristles even more. Use a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Monkey See Monkey Do: Modeling good behavior is one of the best ways to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth instead of thinking it’s a chore. When you brush your teeth, be happy that you’re doing it. If Mom and Dad make it look like fun, the kids will want to do it too. Let them copy you. Buy them the same color toothbrush as you have, or try an electric one, which may be more entertaining for them. Let them try brushing your teeth and then you can brush theirs to make sure they’re actually clean.
Give them a good story: Talk about why we need to brush – how the sugar bugs make holes in our teeth if we don’t brush them away. Sometimes kids need a reason or a good story to get on board.
Make bubbles: Encourage them to create lots of bubbles – that means they’re brushing well. You could hold a bubble-making contest with your kids to see who can create the most bubbles.
Make sure to bring your kids in for their routine check ups and cleanings and our hygienists can help encourage the kids with good brushing habits!
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August 29, 2014
My Baby is Getting Teeth!!
Knowing what to do when those first teeth start poking through is the first step. Caring for your little one’s teeth is critical to ensuring their overall health and instilling good habits. With that in mind, we thought we’d share some tips on pediatric oral hygiene.
Don’t wait to start cleaning. A clean damp washcloth does wonders for the gums. As soon as that first tooth pokes through, begin twice daily brushing.
Get that baby to the dentist! It should happen sooner than you might think. Dr. Tillman recommends that the first visit
occur by the age of 1 or 2 years old, but no later than 3. The first visit is really more of a meet and greet. Dr Tillman wants to make your child feel comfortable with someone else looking in their mouth. This will pave the road for future “happy visits”. They will get to sit in the BIG CHAIR with Mom or Dad and they will get to meet our hygienist and Dr. Tillman. We will do as much of an
examination as they will sit through. Ideally Dr. Tillman wants to take a look in their mouth, checking their gum tissue and counting teeth. As your child grows Dr. Tillman will do more and more at each visit until they are ready for their full blow cleaning every 6 months.
Using the correct items:
- Toothpaste – until age 3, you should only be using a small dab (grain of rice size) of fluoride toothpaste. From about ages 3 to 6 that can increase to the size of a pea. If your child is not able to effectively spit, have them tilt their mouth so the paste dribbles out into the sink so that they won’t swallow it.
- Soft bristled toothbrush –Dr. Tillman recommends using something very soft and age/size appropriate – children’s brushes are sold with recommended age ranges listed, so they should be easy to find.
- Floss – you should begin flossing for your little one as soon as they have two teeth that touch. Doing this as a family can
encourage good habits for both you and your baby.
- Rinses – If you are uncertain that your little one can rinse and spit without swallowing, we suggest avoiding rinses. Typically around age 6/7 they will have this skill down. At this point Dr. Tillman recommends using a fluoride rinse twice a day under close adult supervision.
Make it FUN!! Usually singing 2 rounds of “Happy Birthday” is the approximate amount of time your little one should be brushing. KEEP THEM EXCITED!! Once your child is a little older, let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. This can motivate them to use the items that they have selected. Just be sure to double check their work and help them get to the areas they might have missed.
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July 11, 2014
- Teeth start to form even before birth. Milk teeth, or baby teeth, start to form when a baby is in the womb, but teeth don’t begin to show until a child is between six and twelve months old.
- No two people have the same set of teeth—your teeth are as unique as your fingerprint, so be proud of your unique set of teeth.
- Say Cheese! The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese is healthy or your teeth – it reduces the pH level in plaque and re-mineralizes the enamel.
- The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough saliva to fill 2 swimming pools!
- Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.
- Many diseases are linked to your oral health, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
- The plaque found in your teeth is home to more than 300 different species of bacteria. Listerine, anyone?
- In Medieval Germany, the only cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.
- The average woman smiles about 62 times per day! A man? Only 8.
- 50% of people surveyed say that a person’s smile is the first physical trait they notice.
- U.S. and Japanese studies have found that black or green tea has antibacterial powers that help prevent cavities and gum disease.
- In Vermont, it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of their husband.
- On September 20th, China celebrates “Love your Teeth Day” – a national holiday promoting oral awareness among its 1.2 billion people.
- A long time ago, humans utilized charcoal or ground up chalk, ashes, lemon juice, and honey-tobacco mixture to clean their teeth. It was only around a hundred years ago that the toothpaste was invented.
- In the 1800s, people who had false teeth in England ate in their bedrooms before gatherings and events at the dinner table. This unique Victorian tradition protected them against the embarrassment of having their teeth ‘fall off’ while dining.
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June 18, 2014
What are sealants?
Dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth — usually the back teeth (the premolars and molars). The sealant quickly bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, forming a protective shield over the enamel of each tooth.
Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always get into all the nooks and crannies of the back teeth to remove the food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas from tooth decay by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Who Should Get Sealants?
Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.
Typically, children should get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. In this way, the sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.
In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth, such as when a child’s baby teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep these teeth healthy so they are not lost too early.
How Are Sealants Applied?
Applying sealant is a simple and painless process. It takes only a few minutes for your dentist or hygienist to apply the sealant to seal each tooth. The application steps are as follows:
- First the teeth that are to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned.
- Each tooth is then dried, and cotton or another absorbent material is put around the tooth to keep it dry.
- An acid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth to roughen them up, which helps the sealant bond to the teeth.
- The teeth are then rinsed and dried.
- Sealant is then painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens. Sometimes a special curing light is used to help the sealant harden.
How Long Do Sealants Last?
Sealants can protect teeth from decay for up to 10 years, but they need to be checked for chipping or wearing at regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can replace sealants as necessary.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Sealants?
Many insurance companies cover the cost of sealants. Check with our office so we can verify if your insurance will cover the cost of sealants.
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