Monthly Archives: August 2017

Many new parents are often unsure about proper oral care for their children.  One of our missions is to educate parents about the oral hygiene needs of babies, toddlers and young children and how oral care should evolve as a child grows. The dentists and hygienists at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph are all experts in the oral care of babies and children.

At all routine visits, they educate parents and caregivers on the age specific oral care needs of their children.  Dental care for children is ultimately about teaching them to develop good oral care habits they can carry with them as they grow older. Following proper oral care, guidelines are important in avoiding tooth decay.  In the US, it’s estimated that more than 25% of children get a cavity as early as 4 years old.

So what do you need to know about dental care for your children? Here are some helpful facts and suggestions:

1. Dental care should start even before your baby has teeth. You should run a clean damp washcloth over your baby’s gums after feeding in order to get rid of harmful bacteria.

2. Brushing should begin with the eruption of the very first teeth. A specially size toothbrush designed for infants should be used along with a baby fluoride toothpaste with the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of acceptance.

3. In order to minimize the amount of fluoride toothpaste, your baby will swallow, only use an amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a grain of rice.

4. Flossing should also start when your child has 2 teeth touching each other. With flossing, you can clean the areas in between them that the toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

5. Kids should learn to spit while brushing around the time they’re 2 years old. Don’t give them water to swish and spit, as they’re just more likely to swallow the water along with the toothpaste instead.

6. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should schedule a visit to a dentist when your child turns 1 year old.  In support of this recommendation, Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph offers free exams for children under the age of two.

7. Good dental care also involves proper feeding habits. Always avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth. While it may be an easy way to get babies relaxed for sleeping afterward, the natural sugars in breast milk, formula and cow’s milk can cause tooth decay if allowed to linger for hours on teeth and gums.

8. Sucking on a bottle all day can also harm the teeth. Once children reach the age of one, switch them from a bottle to a sippy cup with a hard spout or straw. At 12 months children should be old enough to learn to drink from a cup on their own.

With the start of a new school year right around the corner, many parents are looking for healthy snack options that taste great. The good news is that grocery stores now have more creative and healthy options for your kids than ever before.

ProSnaxAs you navigate the supermarket aisles for healthy back-to-school snacks youshould be looking for foods that are less than 10 grams of sugar per serving and contain less than 20% of saturated fat and sodium per serving. According to a dietician I consulted, the closer you can get those numbers to 5% per serving for both saturated fat and sodium, the better.

On a recent trip to the grocery store this mom found pre-packaged healthy snacks, consisting of sliced apples, mild cheddar cheese and pretzels. Other pre-packaged containers had apples and peanut butter, carrots and dressing, or mini containers of hummus and pretzels. All easy to grab from the fridge and pack on a busy morning, and all great options for a lunch box or after school snack.

Love GrownsIn the cereal aisle healthy snack options can be found with Junkless granola bars, a healthy chewy granola bar option which comes in flavors like Strawberry or Chocolate Chip. Another healthy option are Love Grown’s Blueberry Vanilla Polar Puffs and Fruity Sea Stars cereals, throw them in a baggy and your kids will think they’re eating the sugar laden commercial brands but you’ll know they’re getting a much healthier version to snack on.

Healthy Snacks for KidsSome healthier salty snack options include Barbara’s Cheese puffs come in individually packaged snack sizes and I Heart Keenwah, cheese puffs, baked with keenwah hidden inside.

The dairy aisle also holds lots of healthy snack options. Siggi’s is a kid-friendly yogurt brand that comes in a tube or a shake. Individually wrapped servings of cheese also now come in varieties from Gouda to Havarti, guaranteed to provide enough cheese options to take your kids through the entire school year.

Kids Organic SnacksStay away from dried fruits such as raisins which tend to stick to teeth. Instead opt for individual cups of fruit with no added sugar. Other great fruity options include Shine’s organic blends of pureed fruits in a pouch. Flavors such as Banana Pumpkin Coconut Blackberry Vanilla Passion Flower Chia are sure to appeal to kid friendly taste buds. Also look for shelf stable GoGo Squeeze yogurt in lots of fun flavors.

As you can see, the new school year holds lots of promise for healthy snack options. As you’re shopping for school supplies, try out some new snack ideas as well. If you have any questions regarding healthy snack foods, feel free to give us a call and while you’re getting your kids ready for a great school year, don’t forget to also schedule their back-to-school dental check-ups at Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph 973-989-7970.

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