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In-Between Brushing: Keeping a Clean & Healthy Mouth Throughout the Day

Brushing your teeth is part of everyday life, whether you’re a fan of the task or not. That’s why knowing tips on how to get through your day with a clean mouth can do more than give you a healthy smile. The American Dental Association (ADA), recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. There are benefits to brushing twice a day, and consequences if you don’t. 

What Happens to Your Teeth During the Day

During the day, plaque, which contains bacteria, builds up on your teeth. This can lead to tarter, a hard substance that makes teeth challenging to clean and causes inflammation of your gums. Eventually, you can develop cavities and gum disease if these issues aren’t dealt with, which is why brushing is so important to begin with. When you brush, you’re removing a significant portion of the plaque build-up as well as any food that’s been left behind. While brushing does help, there are other things you can do to ensure your mouth stays clean throughout the day when you don’t have a toothbrush handy.

Eat and Drink with Your Teeth in Mind

Certain food and drink can be problematic for the health of your teeth, especially the enamel. Whether it’s staining, weakening, bacteria-causing, or another issue, knowing some potential culprits can make that in-between brushing time less stressful on your teeth. 

  • Sugary food and drinks give the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth something to feed on, creating acids that break down the enamel of your teeth and lead to cavities. 
  • While eating citrus fruits seems healthy, acidic foods erode enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Coffee, tea, and wine stain your teeth, causing a cosmetic issue for most people.
  • Sticky foods stay on your teeth longer, causing more damage long term.
  • Crunchy chips and other starchy foods can get stuck between teeth easily, and trapped starchy food leads to decay.
  • Alcohol and even caffeinated drinks can dry out your mouth. The less saliva you produce, the more tooth decay you’re at risk of having.

Fight Back Against a Dirty Mouth

Besides knowing what food and drink can be harmful to your teeth, it’s also good to know how you can fight back against a dirty mouth. Things like flossing daily, using mouthwash, replacing your toothbrush often, and seeing your dentist are all important, but what else can you do? Here are some top tips to keep that mouth clean in-between brushings. 

  • Drink plenty of water. Water, like saliva, washes away some of the bad guys. You can also rinse your mouth with water after a meal. 
  • Avoid frequent snacking, especially on the items mentioned above that are known to cause issues.
  • The ADA recommends chewing sugarless gum in-between meals to help loosen and remove some of the trapped gunk. 
  • Don’t brush right after eating anything that weakens your enamel, like acidic food or drink. Brushing too soon could remove enamel that’s been weakened.
  • Use a straw for drinks, especially ones that stain your teeth. It’ll save you some staining, as well as keep more sugars off your teeth.

Clean Mouth, Happy Mouth

When you take advantage of these tips in addition to brushing your teeth as recommended, you’re saving your smile. You’re freshening your breath, preventing gum disease, removing stains, and saving money by reducing dental bills. There are so many benefits to keeping your mouth clean and healthy throughout the day, so it makes sense to take the extra steps to do so.

Your Child’s Dental Health Starts at Infancy

Teeth are essential to our health, but did you know that baby teeth are also necessary? Many people fail to keep up with their child’s dental health, in part because of misunderstandings surrounding the function of baby teeth. 

Additionally, when it comes to protecting baby teeth, diet is a huge factor, especially since toothpaste shouldn’t be used on infants. That means limiting the amount of sugar in your child’s diet is essential to protecting their teeth.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Your child’s teeth are important to their health, and caring for them starts before they even form. Baby teeth help your baby eat, form sounds and words, and are a placeholder for where the permanent teeth will reside. 

But tooth decay is the most chronic infectious disease in childhood, and decay doesn’t know to stop at the baby tooth. It can spread down into the adult tooth, too. Bearing this in mind, baby teeth should be taken care of until they’re gone.

What Dentists Recommend

Dentists agree that you should begin regular dental care by your child’s first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests the following timeline to help create good oral habits in infancy:

  • Birth to 6 months old: Establish regular feeding habits; use water and a soft cloth to clean your baby’s mouth after feedings.
  • 6 to 12 months old: Once your child’s first tooth comes in, make your first pediatric dentist appointment; brush any teeth after feedings using a small, soft-bristled brush but we advise against using toothpaste at this age. 
  • 1 to 3 years old: Continue visiting your dentist as often as they recommend, which is generally every six months; once your child learns to spit, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, brushing at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time

Tips for Parents

There are some things you can do, starting with your infant, that will help your child get used to daily oral health practices.

  • Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle as soon as possible
  • Have your child drink from a cup as soon as possible
  • Use fluoridated water or talk to your dentist about fluoride supplements
  • Don’t share utensils or use your saliva to clean pacifiers – doing so can spread bacteria that causes tooth decay
  • Invest in products that help your child learn to accept a toothbrush in their mouth

Things that Help & Harm 

Some things can harm the development of growing teeth, such as sleeping with a bottle, drinking or eating too much sugar, and thumb-sucking or using a pacifier. While it is okay to do the latter, the habit should not continue after age five so that permanent teeth are not affected.

Some products are helpful for developing teeth, many of which are great for infants and toddlers. Dental wipes are an alternative to a washcloth. Silicone finger brushes with nubs can be a good transition between a washcloth and a toothbrush. Toothbrush teethers and other teething toys can mimic toothbrushes while helping with teething. 

Why it all Matters

With so many issues that can be caused by neglecting your child’s dental health, taking action now can help set up proper oral care habits and prevent infection, disease, or other teeth problems. Knowing that it starts from birth and how important baby teeth are makes a difference in the action steps parents may choose to take. So even though these cute baby teeth eventually fall out, they matter, and so does taking care of them.

Back to School: Mouth Healthy Food & Dental Tips for Kids

Back to school time is the perfect opportunity to get into a better routine, whether it’s bedtime or brushing or what they eat. From a dental perspective, here are three things that would make your dentist happy to know you and your child are doing.

Create a Daily Brushing Routine

Did you know that children that have poor dental health tend to miss more school and get lower grades than their peers? Cavities can be prevented, and there are several things you can do to establish good oral health, like teaching your child good oral hygiene. Here’s what your child needs to do to keep their mouth in tip-top shape. 

  • Brush teeth twice a day for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Choose a toothbrush that is soft with a smaller head and bristles so that it fits comfortably in their mouth.
  • Your child only needs a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, and they shouldn’t swallow their toothpaste. 
  • Begin flossing when your child is ready. Try floss picks since they can be easier to hold. 
  • After the age of six, consider using a fluoride rinse. This can help prevent cavities.

Make it Fun

There are many ways to make brushing fun for your child. The American Dental Association (ADA) has a video showing more about cleaning your child’s teeth that is helpful, but here are a few ways to encourage your child.

  • Let your child choose their toothbrush and toothpaste. 
  • Use a timer to help track the two minutes of brushing.
  • Use a rewards system to further encourage your child.
  • Limit sugary foods and aim for healthy lunches and snacks.
  • Explain the benefits of brushing, as well as what happens if they don’t take good care of their teeth.

Dentist Approved Snacks and Lunches

Your child’s diet also plays a key role in their dental health, so it’s important to help your child make good choices. The more frequently your child is exposed to sugary foods, the greater the chance they’ll develop cavities. Tooth-healthy foods are foods rich in calcium, vitamins C and D, and folic acid. 

Tips for Choosing Food

  • Real fruit: go for the real deal, not fruit snacks, juice, or even applesauce. Choose bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, and other real fruit options.
  • Go plain: drink plain milk instead of sugary flavored milk. Or go for water, but skip the soda or juice.
  • Add color: add veggies to your lunch, which are a good source of vitamins and minerals. The more colorful, the better, as it’s more appealing to kids. Things like steamed broccoli, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, baby carrots, or slices of bell peppers work well.
  • Choose the right crunch: some crunchy starches like chips aren’t great for your teeth because they break down into sticky sugar. Instead, try seeds or nuts. 

Putting it all Together

Here are some ways you can put these ideas together for snacks or lunches:

  • Rainbow Salad: Fill a Tupperware dish with salad and top it with sunflower seeds, nuts, colorful vegetables or fruits, cheese, and some bites of chicken.
  • Cottage Cheese or Yogurt with Fruit: Both come in portable containers and can be topped with berries.
  • Sandwich and Fruit: Whole grain bread with chicken or turkey and some low-fat cheese makes a great sandwich option. Then, add in some crunchy fruits.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs with Chicken and Veggies: Eggs are a filling option, and add in some diced chicken and colorful veggies for a winning combo.
  • Hummus with Fruit and Veggies: This is a great way to get them to eat their fruits and vegetables. From cucumber slices to apples to carrots and more, anything goes with hummus.

The Bottom Line

No matter what you decide to feed your child or how you go about teaching them how to brush, the important thing is that you’re aware of how to give them the best start at oral health. Remember to visit your dentist regularly so they can handle any problems that come up, and your child will be on the road to a healthy back-to-school mouth.

Are You Using the Right Toothbrush?

If you’re one of those shoppers that stands in the toothbrush aisle looking at all the options, unsure what to buy, you’re not alone. With so many choices out there, it’s bound to be confusing. Here are some pointers on choosing the right toothbrush for you.

Types of Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes range from cheap to pricey, have hard or soft bristles, come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, and some even do the work for you. So what’s the real deal?

Bristle Firmness

Most dentists agree that toothbrushes with soft bristles are the best ones for your teeth. That’s because the harder the bristle, the more damage they can do to your teeth and gums. This is especially true if you’re a vigorous brusher or have sensitive teeth. But soft-bristled brushes effectively remove plaque and debris from your teeth without harming them, and they’re ideal for children as well. 

Bristle Shape

The shape of the bristles doesn’t matter as much, but you do want to be careful with brushes that have overly pointed bristles. Look for ones with rounded tips. And it doesn’t matter if you have a toothbrush that claims to clean better because it has multi-angled bristles versus flat ones, because research shows that’s not true.

Brush Size

Smaller toothbrush heads are better because they can reach more places inside your mouth, like back teeth. A general rule of thumb is that your toothbrush should only cover two teeth at a time at most and should fit comfortably in your hand.

Brush Type

In the past Consumer Reports made no real distinction between electric and standard toothbrushes. However, an analysis by research organization Cochrane found that “powered toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than manual toothbrushing in the short and long term.”

In addition to the study, here’s when an electric toothbrush may be the better option for you:

  1. You tend to brush hard. They’ll do the work for you, meaning lighter pressure which will reduce the chance of damage to your teeth or gums. 
  2. You need extra help. Those with arthritis or harder to brush teeth could benefit from a brush that does most of the work.
  3. You don’t brush for two minutes. Electric brushes have auto-shutoff, meaning they know when two minutes is up.

What Really Matters

The bottom line when choosing a toothbrush comes down to a few key things:

  • Selecting a brush that works for your lifestyle
  • Choosing a brush that doesn’t make your teeth hurt or your gums bleed
  • Looking for the American Dental Associations (ADA) seal of approval, which means that it meets the standards for both cleaning your teeth properly and doing so safely

It’s also important to remember that no matter what type of toothbrush you choose that you follow your dentist’s recommendations regarding brushing:

  • Brush every day, twice a day, for two minutes each time
  • Replace your toothbrush when the bristles start to wear down or about every three months
  • Be sure to floss daily
  • Choose a non-abrasive toothpaste that has the ADA seal of approval

If you have any questions, feel free to ask Dr. Balog and the team during your next appointment.

Teeth Whitening Options: Pastes, Rinses, Over-the-Counter, Professional-Grade & In-Office Applications

Teeth Whitening Options

There are many practical and safe methods you can use for teeth whitening to improve your smile, but which is the best option for you? While you explore the various methods, some have quicker results while some are less expensive but require more effort and time. Here’s an overview of the various options.

Teeth Whitening Tooth Pastes & Rinses

There are a number of oral hygiene products that can remove stains and improve the white appearance of your teeth. Most toothpastes have an abrasive ingredient to brush stains, and additional ingredients such as peroxide, baking soda, or sodium tripolyphosphate, which dissolve stains.

Tooth whitening rinses will also freshen your breath while reducing dental plaque and gum disease apart from whitening your teeth. While these products can prevent and remove surface stains, they will not truly whiten your teeth or change their color as much as the professional whitening treatments.

We have our favorite brands and for recommendations on tooth pastes and rinses, contact us.

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits

You can get over-the-counter teeth whitening kits in various forms such as liquids, strips, gels, and tray-based teeth whitening methods. Most of these products have hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the bleaching ingredients. While these products can provide better results due to high concentrations of bleaching agents, they can increase your gum or tooth sensitivity.

If you choose to use liquids and gels, you will need to brush them directly onto the surface of your teeth. You will also need to apply the liquid or the gel twice daily and let it set for up to 30 minutes every time. You will notice the results within a few days, with more significant results within about 14 days.

Another available over-the-counter whitening product is the nearly invisible tooth whitening strips. You will need to coat them with a whitening gel and mold them onto your teeth for up to 30 minutes, twice daily. The results are likely to be similar to the whitening gels, with initial evidence within a few days and considerably whiter teeth within 14 days.

Professional-Grade Teeth Whitening Kits

There are some professional grade whitening options available only for purchase from your dentist. These often are more powerful than over-the-counter but your dentist will explain the application method and you can often still apply them yourself at home.

In some cases, your dentist will need to create customized whitening trays for you to use these professional grade products. Similar to over-the-counter products, you will likely need to apply a peroxide rich gel in the trays.

We offer a professional grade teeth whitening product called Opalescence. Contact us for more info.

In-office Teeth Whitening Options

The in-office teeth whitening options are typically the quickest path to a whiter smile but you will need to schedule an in-office appointment. Dentists utilize different methods, but typically the process involves applying peroxide agents to your teeth either directly or in trays. The whitening process is accelerated by using a laser or a light source.

The great advantage you will get with in-office teeth whitening is the instant result and you can improve your smile up to five shades or more rather quickly. In some cases, you may experience some temporary tooth sensitivity.

If you want to know more about professional teeth whitening options customized for your individual needs, contact our Monroe, MI dental office for a consultation.  

Do You Need a Root Canal? Here’s How to Tell

Tooth pain can vary from slightly uncomfortable to excruciating. Whatever your level of pain, it is critical to work with your dentist to diagnose the issue(s) quickly and address it. No matter how you feel about dental checkups, it is critical to make your dental health and comfort a priority.

In some cases, a root canal may be exactly what you need to address the pain. Here’s what you need to know about root canals, when you might need one, preventative tips and what a root canal procedure is like. 

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a procedure that works to save a tooth that is infected or decayed beyond repair.  The pulp, or inside of the tooth where the nerves and tissue reside, usually gets to this point due to trauma or decay.

Your dentist will remove the pulp and then seal the tooth to prevent any further deterioration. This also minimizes risk for potential infection, although you may be placed on antibiotics as a precaution. It’s also a more cost effective and cosmetically appealing option than removing the tooth altogether. 

How to Know if You Need a Root Canal

Many tooth issues don’t get addressed until it’s too late and by the time you know something is wrong, you’re looking at a procedure to fix it. Regular check-ups are critical, but here are a few signs it’s time to call your dentist:

  • You have a cracked or chipped tooth.
  • You’re extra sensitive to hot and cold.
  • You experience abnormal pain while eating.
  • Your gums are tender, swollen, or appear darker than usual.
  • Your tooth is darkened beyond normal yellowing.

Tips for Preventing a Root Canal

There are ways to keep your teeth healthy in an effort to prevent the need for a root canal. While these don’t guarantee that you’ll never need a root canal, they are the first step in prevention. 

  • Brush at least twice daily.
  • Floss so you aren’t leaving potential decay in the perfect hiding place to cause trouble.
  • Use toothpaste or mouth rinse with fluoride to help strengthen teeth.
  • Wear a mouth guard at night if you’re a teeth grinder or during the day if you play sports.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to catch problems before they start.
  • Keep your diet healthy and limit sugary food and drinks and hard candies. 

What to Expect During a Root Canal

Root canals are not as scary as they sound. The most painful part is the time leading up to your procedure when the decay is still present. You can generally expect two office visits to complete the process. Here’s how the procedure will go and what to expect:

  • Your dentist will take x-rays to get a better look at the decaying tooth.
  • Then the area around your tooth will be numbed.
  • Protective latex will be put on your tooth to keep it protected during the procedure.
  • An opening at the top of your tooth will be created to remove the pulp inside. 
  • The inside of the tooth and root area will be cleaned thoroughly and filled with sealant. 
  • A temporary filling will be placed on the tooth until a permanent one can be made.
  • You may be sensitive in the area for a few days, and you may be placed on antibiotics as a precaution to clear up any residual infection.

While getting a root canal doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend your day, it’s important to take control of your oral health by being informed. Knowing what to look for and how to tell if you need one helps prevent further damage. If you have questions about your dental health, tooth pain or root canals, contact us today.

Here’s What You Should Do If Your Tooth Gets Knocked Out

It might make you cringe thinking about having a tooth knocked out, but your response to something like this could be the difference between salvaging the tooth and requiring significant dental work. The good news is that a tooth that has been knocked out of the socket can often be successfully replaced if you take the right action as soon as possible.

A tooth can be knocked out of the socket in many ways, typically from some sort of trauma or blow to the mouth. We see this most often with people who play contact sports. Preventing these kinds of incidents is key, which is why we recommend athletes wear mouthguards.

If you find yourself or a loved one in this situation where a tooth has been knocked out, it is important to remain calm in order to address the issue effectively. In addition to immediately scheduling an emergency appoint with your dentist, here are some questions to ask yourself and how to respond:

Is the socket bleeding?

If so, it’s important to stop the bleeding by folding up a clean cloth of some kind, holding it over the socket and biting down. Maintain this pressure by keeping jaws firmly clenched.

Where is the tooth?

It is important to locate the tooth itself. In some cases the tooth may be swallowed and if you can’t locate the tooth you’ll need an x-ray to determine if it was swallowed. If you have the tooth you can hold it by the crown and firmly press it back into the socket. Bite down on a cloth of some kind to keep the tooth in place.

What if the tooth doesn’t go back in?

If the tooth isn’t staying in when you put it back into the socket, keep the tooth in your mouth to prevent the root from drying out. Keep it there until you are able to meet with a dentist who can put the tooth back into place.

Is it a baby tooth?

If it is, it is typically recommended that baby teeth not be put back into the socket. The reason for this is to prevent and/or pinpoint an infection of the adult tooth as a result of the baby tooth being knocked out. You’ll need to schedule an appointment ASAP in order to make sure no tooth fragments are still in the gums.

These are just a few tips, but you will most definitely need to schedule an emergency visit with your dentist to make sure there was no serious damage to your mouth as a result of the tooth being knocked out. While these tips give you ways to assess the situation, you will most definitely need a professional opinion as soon as possible.

If you’ve had a tooth knocked out and weren’t able to replace it, contact us today to explore options for replacing the tooth.

Study: Dental Sealants Reduce Risk of Cavities by 80% on Molars

You may already have dental sealants on your teeth or perhaps are considering getting them as a result of tooth decay and cavities. Clinical studies show that sealants are extremely effective at preventing cavities, especially for kids who are still developing and/or those who are exposed to more risk factors for cavities.

According to the American Dental Association, sealants are extremely safe and reduce the risk of cavities on permanent molars by about 80%. These are pretty staggering numbers, and the ADA goes on to explain that sealants are safe for those that get them.

But what exactly are sealants and how can you tell if you need them?

Sealants are made of a very thin plastic solution that is painted on to the teeth and is usually applied to the molars and premolars. They are extremely effective at preventing cavities and tooth decay by acting as a barrier that protects your tooth enamel from plaque and acids.

In many cases a sealant application can last for many years before another application is required. We often recommend cavity-prone children between the ages of 6 and 14 receive sealant applications, but adults with decaying teeth or those with fillings can also benefit from the protection offered by dental sealants.

The process of applying dental sealants is a relatively straightforward, simple procedure. Here’s how it’s done:

  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned to prepare for application
  • The teeth are then dried in order to improve the bond of the sealant solution with the teeth.
  • A solution is applied to the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • The sealant solution is painted onto the teeth.
  • The solution bonds directly to the teeth and quickly hardens.

Of course, dental sealants do not substitute regular preventative maintenance of our teeth like brushing, flossing and regular dental visits. The solution simply adds another layer of defense against plaque causing foods and drinks that can lead to tooth decay.

As mentioned earlier, children are prime candidates for dental sealants and many insurance providers cover this procedure for those under 18. But some adults with fillings or decaying teeth may also be candidates for dental sealants and should discuss the procedure with a dentist.

If you have any questions are want to make an appointment to discuss dental sealants for you or your children, contact us today.

7 Risk Factors that Increase Your Chances of Getting Cavities

Cavity Risk Factors - Kids brushing teeth

Cavities are small openings that develop from permanently damaged areas on the hard surface of your teeth. Also called caries, cavities are the result of decaying teeth and are one of the most common dental health issues in the world. If untreated, they can lead to infection, pain and even the loss of teeth.

The truth is anyone with teeth has the potential for getting cavities. Regular brushing, flossing and preventative dental checkups can help prevent cavities, but it’s important to understand the other factors that can cause them. Here are seven factors that can increase the likelihood of getting cavities.

Location of Teeth

Molars and premolars (your back teeth) are the most susceptible to getting cavities. This is because they have many grooves where plaque can collect and are more difficult to clean than front teeth.

Diet

Certain foods and drinks are harder to remove from your teeth because they cling to the surface for a longer period of time. Sugary drinks and hard candies are a few examples but even milk and ice cream can be difficult to remove from your teeth.

Snacking

Frequent snacking or drinking of sugary drinks simply acts as more fuel for the buildup of plaque which is the primary cause of cavities.

Before Bed Eating

If you eat or drink before bed and don’t brush, the food particles will remain on your teeth for the duration of the night and accelerate the plaque buildup, especially in children.

Poor Brushing Technique

The reason it is recommend you brush twice a day is because the tooth decay process can begin right when plaque forms. It is imperative to brush your teeth soon after eating and drinking.

Limited Fluoride

Fluoride and fluoride treatments are one of the best ways to fight against tooth decay. Often added to public water supplies and found in most toothpastes, fluoride helps protect teeth.

Dry Mouth

If you suffer from dry mouth, your chances for cavities are much greater. That’s because saliva can help to counteract acids that come from bacteria. Some medications can increase dry mouth symptoms and result in accelerated tooth decay that lead to cavities.

While other risk factors exist, these are some of the primary ones that precede cavities. In addition to brushing, flossing and dental checkups, you can counter these factors in a variety of ways. From dental sealants, to increasing the amount of water you drink, talk to your dentist to learn all the ways you can prevent cavities from forming.

If you have untreated cavities or haven’t been to the dentist recently, make an appointment today.

5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day

When it comes to the health of our children, part of the role of being a parent is encouraging a healthy lifestyle. From the foods we eat to the amount of exercise we get, the habits that are formed at a young age can stick with children throughout their entire life.

Children’s dentistry is extremely important to the overall health of your child. Beyond regular dental checkups with a dentist, many other activities can impact your child’s dental health. Along with monitoring their diet by limiting sugary foods and drinks that result in cavities, daily brushing and regular flossing must also be part of the strategy.

But it isn’t always easy to get kids on board. Here are some tips for getting your kids to brush every day.

1. Soft bristle toothbrushes make a great teething toy for babies.

While it isn’t recommended to begin brushing your child’s teeth with toothpaste until around two years old, a soft bristle toothbrush can offer your little one some relief when teeth come through while also cleaning existing teeth. Like anything that goes into your child’s mouth, always monitor your baby when the toothbrush is being chewed on.

2. Show them that you do it.

Kids learn by example, so make sure that you’re practicing what you preach. The best way to teach your children how to brush and when to brush is to be there to show them what you do every day. If you’re not a twice daily brusher, having children is a great reason to become one! Now not only are you teaching your kids how to brush, but you’re making your own dental care a priority as well.

3. Make brushing part of the morning and bedtime routines.

When getting the child ready for the day and when it’s time for bed, make brushing their teeth a regular part of the process. The trick is to be consistent on when this happens each day and always be present to help them brush when they are just getting started.

4. Let them pick their own toothbrush.

There are a number of toothbrush brands that have superheroes printed on them, or have interesting shapes and even some that play music. The more your child likes the toothbrush, the more they will want to “play” with it. This will help make the process feel less like a choir and more like playtime.

5. Make it fun.

Every parent knows that it takes some creativity and persuasion to get kids to do what’s best for their health. Try to make brushing teeth a fun and playful event in the day. Make them laugh by letting the foam from the toothpaste spill all over your mouth and encourage them to do the same. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but whatever you can do to make brushing fun will help solidify it into their daily lives.

Those are just a few ideas but whatever creative ways you can think of to get your child to brush is great. The only thing we recommend is that they brush twice a day, for at least two minutes each time using a gentle circular motion an all areas of the teeth.

For any questions about children’s dentistry or to make an appointment for your child, contact us today.