Electric toothbrushes might seem like a bit of a fad, at first. After all, why spend more for a fancy electronic gizmo-gadget when you can accomplish the same thing with a good ol’ traditional toothbrush. While it is true that you can get the same results with an old school toothbrush, and that you certainly don’t need an electric toothbrush to have healthy, clean teeth, there are still certain benefits that make it easier with one. This is especially true for kids, who sometimes need all the help they can get when it comes to brushing their teeth! Here are some of the benefits of having your kids start using an electric toothbrush… (more…)
The adage “you are what you eat” can be especially true when it comes to tooth health. Your teeth and mouth are the first defense of your body when it comes to eating. And unlike the rest of your body, your teeth don’t bounce back when they’re damaged by a harmful diet. That’s why, in order to keep a healthy mouth for life, it’s important to teach your children about healthy eating early on. A healthy diet won’t guarantee a cavity-free mouth, but it will certainly help!
Here are a few of our favorite kid-friendly treats that also provide great nutrients and benefits for your teeth.
Ants on a Log
This snack is a classic for a reason. Crisp, fresh celery creates the perfect counterpoint to creamy peanut butter, and the raisins add a dash of sweetness. The celery is also great for your child’s teeth because it helps to scrub all the nooks and crannies of the mouth, and the juice revitalizes and freshens.
- Chop celery into sticks, keeping the curve of the celery stalk intact.
- Spread peanut butter onto the half-pipe of the celery stick.
- Dot the peanut butter with raisins, which now resemble a line of ants.
Fruit is always delicious, but sometimes it doesn’t feel very exciting to kids. Counter that by arraying fruit pieces onto exciting and colorful kebabs. You can even top the stick with fruit in the shape of a star in order to make it look like a magic wand. This snack can benefit your child’s oral health because of the antioxidants packed into most fruit, which help prevent gum disease. Opt for little mandarin orange slices, pineapple, and strawberries, which are packed with Vitamin C. Blueberries and grapes are also full of antioxidants, and look great on a wand.
- Get large wooden skewers.
- Chop fruit into bite-sized pieces.
- Have your child join you in arranging the fruit on the stick.
- Eat now or refrigerate for later.
This gourmet classic can also be a lot of fun for kids. Cheese has calcium that helps to strengthen tooth enamel. Expand cheese plate with whole grain crackers, and add fibrous apples for a tooth-scrubbing effect. While many adult plates feature exotic cheese, you don’t need to get fancy. Pepperjack, mozzarella, and maybe even some cream cheese will do the trick.
- Simply divide a few different kinds of cheese into slices and cubes.
- Arrange the plate with some crackers and fruit.
Green Smoothie Popsicle
Leafy greens like spinach and kale are essential for oral health (and overall health). They’re full of folic acid and calcium, both of which support bone development and tooth health. However, getting kids to eat leafy greens is usually a struggle. Unless, that is, you’ve mastered the green smoothie popsicle!
- Blend together a handful of fresh spinach, some frozen banana and mango, and some milk. If your child doesn’t handle dairy well, try out coconut milk or rice milk instead.
- You can try a lot of variations on the recipe and combination. But often, while the greens will color the popsicles, the sweet fruity tastes will dominate the flavor.
- Pour the smoothie into popsicle trays and freeze!
Is your child anxious about their first or next dentist visit? Anxiety for new experiences is normal, especially for children. Here are some tips we have to help allay their fears and help get them on the path to developing a healthy (and happy) relationship with dental hygiene.
- Regular Visits: Hold on, don’t roll your eyes yet. There are many benefits to making sure that your child follows a regular dental check-up schedule. First and foremost, this is the best way to ensure your child’s dental health. Secondly, regular exposure, especially at a pediatric dentist, will acclimate your child to the dental office environment in a comfortable way. Lastly, as children grow up used to following a regular dental check-up schedule, the habit is more likely to carry over into their adult life.
- Start Simple: Studies show that adults can transfer anxiety about the dentist and other similar types of institutions without even realizing it. For your child’s early dental visits, answer their questions, but try to keep it simple. Sometimes, the anxiety that children feel can build when having too many things to think about, or they sense that dental hygiene is something their parents aren’t comfortable with. Here at The Kids’ Dentist, our entire office atmosphere has been devoted to helping children feel at ease. Our staff will work with you to nurture a happy association with dental hygiene in your child.
- Focus on Health:Focusing on the positive benefits of good dental hygiene can make the less pleasant aspects of dental treatments seem less important. Everyone experiences some level of discomfort at the dentist, whether they don’t like sitting still, or the taste of florides. However, reducing the significance of this discomfort can help everyone have a better time at the dentist— even adults. Using phrases like “strong teeth” and “healthy gums” can go a long way in reducing the impact of “bad tastes”, “shots”, or other discomforts that a child may be sensitive to.
- Don’t Bribe or Bargain:Anxiety for new experiences is normal. This is especially true for first dental visits. Unfortunately, in some circles, dental visits have developed a bad rap and it’s often the case that children get exposed to some negative commentary. Realistically, there isn’t a way to eliminate all anxiety. However, it is also important not to use techniques like bribery or bargaining. The act of offering children a reward for not crying or fussing can be detrimental for a number of reasons. One thing it can do is trigger the fear it was supposed to remedy. A child might think that if you are offering them something to not cry, then there is something to cry about. Showing patience and a positive attitude can often instill more confidence in a child than bribing would without the high potential for backfire.
- Have A Fun Pretend Visit: Have a pretend visit to the dentist where you and your child take turns looking at each other’s teeth. If you’ll be coming by our office, you can give them a virtual tour of our offices, which have lots of fun activities for kids. Get them ready for a fun day at the beach shack, or an underwater adventure. Our specially trained staff will help take care of the rest!
- Be Calm Always and Firm When Necessary: A child’s dental anxiety, no matter how severe, will only get worse if the adults around them are anxious as well. If a child is acting particularly anxious or difficult, show appropriate firmness without losing your cool. Being calm without being in control can also make a child feel anxious. Instead, show authority in a calm, collected manner and reassure your child that the task at hand is under control.
- Show Positive Reinforcement After Each Visit: Positive reinforcement is different than bribing. It isn’t something a child expects as a reward and it shows your child that they are doing something good for themselves. Showing positive reinforcement after each dental visit can help instill in your child a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that they have made a good decision for their own personal health.