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Cavity Prevention Oral Care Toothbrushing

Four tips to Keep Your kids Cavity Free

Four Tips To Keep Your Cavities Free

As top pediatric dentists serving children in Denver and the Highlands, Dr.  Nichols and Dr. Snavely care tremendously for the dental health of the children they serve. It may surprise you to learn that the most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control had concluded that one in every five children in the US has an untreated cavity. That’s shocking – even to us! What’s even more surprising is that nearly 100% of those cavities are preventable. Here are four quick tips that your child can follow to stay cavity free:

Start brushing for two minutes, twice every day

Regular brushing is the single greatest factor in determining whether your child will have cavities. Unfortunately skipping brushing is all too easy – whether that be in a rushed morning before school, or late at night when your child is tired and forgets. Consider using a chart to track and reward regular brushing, along with small gifts like stickers given at specific milestones. You might also consider using an app to time brushing or watching one of the many videos on YouTube designed to time tooth brushing at exactly 2 minutes.

Start flossing regulary

Did you know that brushing alone leaves nearly 1/3 of tooth surfaces untouched?  Flossing is the best way to reach those hard to get to areas of the mouth. Children should begin flossing as soon as two teeth meet side-by-side. Parents can help and should continue to floss for their children until they’re old enough and have the dexterity required.

Skip plastic bottles and drink fluoridated tap water

Statistics show that kids are drinking more water, which is great!  However, one of the greatest advances in oral health is public fluoridated water supplied and unfortunately most bottled water doesn’t contain it.  Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven to dramatically reduce cavities. It’s been safely added to New York water supplies since 1065! This year, commit to saving a plastic bottle and getting fluoride through tap water.

Schedule an appointment

Is it time to catch up on an appointment?  We would love to see you at Tennyson Pediatric Dentistry.  Dr. Nichols and Dr. Snavely, along with our incredible team would love to sit down with you and your child to discuss ways to prevent cavities and continue a lifetime of positive oral health. Request an appointment today!

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Cavity Prevention Food and Drink Oral Care

Is Sparkling Water Good For Your Teeth?

 

Is Sparkling Water Good For Your Teeth?

It’s no secret that families consume too much sugar, nearly 3 lbs of added sugar for each American every week. And it makes sense that nearly of quarter of that sugar comes from sugary beverages like soda. That’s why the recent popularity of fizzy, zero-calorie beverages is encouraging…especially to those of us at Tennyson Pediatric Dentistry. Brands like La Croix, Spindrift and Bubly have started to replace popular sodas as the drinks of choice for adults, teens and even children. It’s difficult to go anywhere in Austin without seeing someone drinking one of these. But is carbonated water good for your teeth?

Enamel: Your first line of defense.

Your tooth’s enamel is the hardest substance in your body. However, it’s not impenetrable and needs to be protected, which is one of the primary duties of saliva. Your saliva contains a tooth-healthy mix of calcium and phosphate and is normally at a pH of around 7 This provides just the right balance to keep enamel strong.
Introducing sparkling water.

Sparkling water is made by adding carbon dioxide. This creates carbonic acid with a pH that typically ranges from 3-4. Carbonic acid is what gives these drinks their “bite” and creates a pleasant taste on the tongue. Unfortunately, when your mouth pH drops below 5.5, calcium and phosphate begin to go the opposite direction to regain balance – out of tooth enamel and back into saliva. This is demineralization.

How demineralization harms enamel.

When tooth strengthening minerals begin to exit your enamel, small pores are created and enamel begins to dissolve. While these pores can still be “plugged” with more calcium or even fluoride (that’s how toothpaste protects your teeth), a constant bathing of carbonic acid means that your mouth can’t keep up. Simply put, too many fizzy drinks weaken your teeth.

Bad for teeth?

While replacing sweetened beverages with plain sparking water is certainly better for your teeth and overall health, it’s not without its drawbacks. It’s best to stick with still water whenever possible and save the fizz for a special treat.

Have more questions about how you can care for your child’s teeth? We would love to talk! Parents of children in Denver and the Highland’s area are encouraged to schedule an appointment for your child at Tennyson Pediatric Dentistry by calling 303-423-4383.

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Cavity Prevention Oral Care Toothbrushing

Quick Tips to Encourage Reluctant Brushers

Toothbrushing is often not the most fun activity for children. And you may have struggled in encouraging your kids to develop healthy dental habits. Here’s how parents can encourage their children to brush by making toothbrushing fun!

Brush Together

One great way to making brushing fun for young brushers is by brushing with them. This helps you get into a fun routine with your child and have a bit more time together and allows you to give them specific brushing tips, as well as keep an eye on how long they’re brushing.

Find Fun Brushing Videos

For children, it can be tough to brush for two minutes at a time. This is because it’s difficult to keep young children still and focused on brushing their teeth for two minutes. You can help your child have more fun while they brush by letting them brush while watching a tooth brushing video. These educational videos help guide children through brushing their teeth, and each lasts at least two minutes. We suggest finding one that you deem appropriate for your child, and one that they will enjoy watching.

Try an Electric Toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is an appealing option for children just beginning to brush since they require less dexterity and physical motion to operate. Additionally, most electric toothbrushes feature brushing timers to ensure that they brush for two minutes at a time. We suggest looking for an electric toothbrush specifically made for children that is easy for them to hold and has a head that fits in their mouth comfortably.

Care for Teeth the Right Way

The American Dental Association advises that everyone brushes their teeth twice per day, for two minutes at a time. The time limit helps ensure that all of the bad bacteria is scrubbed off of teeth, which prevents plaque buildup and cavities. Make sure your child brushes their entire tooth surface, including the backside of teeth – which is often neglected.

Brushing isn’t all your child needs to do to maintain a healthy mouth, flossing is also very important. Debris left in between teeth can cause plaque buildup and cavities, which is why it’s important that your child flosses once per day, and cleans below the gumline.

We Help Make Brushing Fun

Our office serves patients of all ages, and our team understands the unique challenges of caring for children. If you have a reluctant toothbrusher, visit Tennyson Pediatric Dentistry in Denver, Colorado.  We can show your child how fun toothbrushing can be, and how important it is for a healthy life.