Monthly Archives: October 2017

One of the best ways to help children embrace dental care, whether at home or at our office, is to help them realize how fun it can be. It’s not enough to convince children that brushing and flossing are necessary. It’s equally important that children enjoy themselves. With this mindset, they can practice good oral hygiene on their own without your constant guidance.

Some of the parents and guardians of our young patients ask us how to make dental care fun for children. So we’re going to share some tips here:

1. Let them help choose their own toothbrushes and toothpastes. Children feel much better about activities in which they have a say. Limit the choices to toothbrushes with soft bristles, and to toothpastes that come with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.

2. Brush your teeth together with your child. Children tend to mimic, so they can brush their teeth properly just by copying you. And don’t forget to brush your tongue.

3. Make brushing fun. Smile a lot, or make funny faces. You can even have your own song for tooth brushing.

4. Watch lots of videos about cleaning and caring for the teeth. Some of them even feature songs that are just long enough to last an entire tooth-brushing session (about 2 minutes). You can find many of these videos online, and you can play them on your tablet by the sink as the two of you brush your teeth together.

5. You can also use a special timer when brushing your teeth so you can make sure you brush for 2 minutes. Timers using sand tend to fascinate children, or you can get special apps with bright colors and sound effects.

6. You can also implement a reward system so your child will continue to brush regularly. You can place a poster that shows the number of times they brush their teeth by adding a sticker each time they brush. The stickers can be dental care related, with images of teeth, toothbrushes, or even healthy snacks.

 

Children need to develop good oral care habits so they’ll maintain those habits into adulthood.

Between the costumes and the candy, Halloween ranks as one of the absolute best days of the year for kids. With a little bit of care and planning parents can be more comfortable that this day of fun won’t lead to a mouth full of cavities down the road.

With Halloween candy there certainly are some that are worse for your kid’s teeth than others. So that you can purchase your candy with some insight this year, below are some examples of the many varieties of candy and the pros and cons of each.

Chocolate

Chocolate by itself is one of the better candy options. It melts and is more easily washed off of teeth. Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate because it has less sugar. Chocolate becomes a less optimal option when mixed with sticky fillings.

Sticky/Gummy Candies

These types of candies represent some of the worst options for your child’s teeth. They have a very high sugar content and because they are sticky they are harder to remove from your child’s teeth and therefore give cavity-causing bacteria more time to do their job.

Sour Candy

The acids used to create sour flavors also work to erode teeth. That coupled with the high sugar content which is used to balance the tartness in the candy is a bad combination for teeth.

Hard Candy

Hard Candies have two issues working against them. Because they are hard they tend to linger in your child’s mouth coating every tooth in a sugary saliva mixture. Because they are so hard there is also a tendency to want to chew these types of candies and sometimes they can actually break teeth.

Gum

Chewing gum can be one of the best options for Halloween candy if you choose carefully. It stimulates the production of saliva, which helps clear away food, and reduces the levels of acid in your mouth that cause tooth decay. When choosing a gum look for one that contains a sugar replacement instead of natural sugar.

Regardless of what kind of candy you wind up purchasing, your kids will undoubtedly come home with way more candy than they can, or should, eat. With this in mind, Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph will be collecting your wrapped surplus candy to be donated to the Ronald McDonald house. The kids staying at the Ronald McDonald house are all fighting difficult medical situations and are unable to go trick-or-treating at home this year. Your candy will brighten these kids day and are sure to bring lots of smiles.

We also are requesting you have your kids make cards of support to donate along with your candy. We will be accepting candy and cards in our office through 5pm on November 10th. Happy Halloween!

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