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Our Thoughts On Caring For Your Children’s Teeth

May 10, 2011

EVERY PARENT KNOWS THAT TAKING CARE OF THE SMALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY IS A FULL-TIME JOB. Along with diaper changes, bath time, and medical checkups, parents also need to take care of their children’s teeth. But what are the best ways to go about caring for teeth (and baby gums!) during those early years? Here are some of Dr. Bradley’s thoughts on the matter…

Birth To 18 Months: No Toothpaste Required!

AtLake Oconee Dentistrywe believe, like most dentists, that oral care is important to everyone—no matter what their age. Our doctorsrecommend that you begin cleaning your children’s teeth as soon as the teeth begin to come in. For babies younger than 18 months, the best way approach is to use a wet cloth or gauze—without toothpaste. Gently rub their teeth and gums with a cloth over your fingertip. This, along with nursing and/or drinking water, is all the oral hygiene that your child needs at the infant stage. Once your child has more of a “full set” of teeth, your can use a small, soft toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth with water.

When To Start Toothpaste? 18 MonthsIn general, children should not use toothpaste until they are at least 18 months old—and when you do start using toothpaste, make sure it is a safe “children’s toothpaste” made especially for young ones. Young children have different dental needs than grown-ups—and children’s toothpaste is made for this purpose.

What To Look For In A Children’s Toothpaste:

  • SAFE TO SWALLOW: Most young children tend to swallow while brushing, rather than spitting out the toothpaste—so we recommend that your children’s toothpaste is formulated with this in mind.
  • USE ONLY A PEA-SIZED AMOUNT: Don’t use too much toothpaste—just squeeze a small, pea-size (or smaller) amount onto the toothbrush. Your child doesn’t need much toothpaste to be effective, and you don’t want your child to swallow too much toothpaste.
  • CONSIDER LOW-FLUORIDE CHILDREN’S TOOTHPASTE: Fluoride is an important element of keeping teeth healthy and strong, but too much fluoride can be harmful for young children. Several varieties of children’s toothpaste have lower amounts of fluoride or are fluoride-free.
  • FUN FLAVORS: Try some different flavors of toothpaste and see what your child likes. Some children—especially at the toddler stage—are very picky about flavors and might be reluctant to use a certain flavor of toothpaste. So be prepared to buy a few different varieties of children’s toothpaste and see which one is your child’s favorite.

When can my child use adult toothpaste?

At our practice, we typically recommend switching to adult toothpaste with fluoride when your child is able to spit out most of their toothpaste after brushing. This usually happens around age 4-6. However, they should still only be using a “pea-size” amount.

REMEMBER: Brushing your child’s teeth is part of parenting, and you need to start at a young age. By taking the time each day—before bedtime and in the morning—to clean your child’s teeth with a specially formulated children’s toothpaste, you will be helping to create a lifetime of healthy dental habits and happy smiles!Don’t forget to come in for regular checkups and cleanings so that your children’s teeth stay healthy and strong! Set up an appointment with us through our contact page or by calling our practice at (706) 453-1333.

And please join us on our Facebook Pageand Twitter Account. It’s a great way to keep up with everything going on in our practice and we would love to stay connected with you there!


Keep Cavities Away

February 12, 2011

OK, OK… THE TOPIC OF “DENTAL SEALANTS” IS ABOUT AS EXCITING AS IT SOUNDS—but don’t let the boring name fool you! In some cases, this simple and quick procedure is one of the easiest things we can do for you to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Drs. Bradley and Boswell all agree that sealants are a great preventive step for most children. The reason is that children’s teeth have small depressions and grooves, making it harder to properly clean them using brushing alone. Sealants can create protection in these areas, keeping plaque from forming in the small crevices. Even though it’s ideal to get sealants as a child, there are times when adults can be good candidates too.

Sealants are applied during a very short visit to our Lake Oconee office. Typically we start by cleaning your teeth to prep them. After they are ready, the sealing solution is painted directly onto the tooth surface. A curing light is used to quickly harden the sealant. After the sealant is hardened from the light, teeth are ready to go. There is no need to wait for eating or drinking. Routine dental checkups allow us to keep tabs on your sealants, making sure they’re always in good condition.

Dental sealants can last up to 10 years, making one application last from childhood. With such a simple procedure that give such great preventive benefits, it is an easy application for any child. To see if it’s the right time to get sealants for your children or yourself, just ask us using our contact form. Many insurance companies even cover the cost. Or, you can always leave us a message on our Facebook wall with your questions, or give us a call here at our Greensboro, Georgia office at 706.453.1333.