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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!


Dental Care While Pregnant

January 23, 2011

YOUR ORAL HEALTH IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT when you’re pregnant. Not only are there links between gum disease and premature/smaller babies, but pregnant women often have other oral health issues of their own during those important nine months.

Because of the radical hormone changes, the reaction of your gums (and the potential for gingivitis) is exaggerated. This causes many pregnant women to experience heightened issues with gingivitis and gum problems. In addition, gums can be more easily irritated, causing inflammation and/or bleeding.

Remember… although hormones change the outcome and increase the potential for problems, plaque is still the underlying cause of most gingivitis problems. That means continuing your careful oral care and maintenance can significantly reduce potential problems—and constant attention better insures a healthy mouth during your pregnancy.

So, what can you do to keep your oral care, and your baby’s health, the best all throughout pregnancy? One thing Lake Oconee Dental recommends is probably exactly what your doctor has been advising you about—eat healthy! Consuming foods high in sugar can cause plaque and gingivitis for anybody, but the effects can easily be exaggerated during pregnancy.

Because gingivitis and gum problems can be accelerated during pregnancy, it’s also important to keep your scheduled dental checkups to be sure problems don’t arise. The very best time for these appointments is during your fourth thru sixth months of pregnancy. This window is an important time in the baby’s development—and because of added stress during the last trimester, it’s suggested that dental appointments be done before then.

Everyone wants to stay healthy during their pregnancy to help ensure their baby’s health. Let us know if you have any concerns about your health during any part of your pregnancy. If you’d like to schedule a check-up let us know that you’re pregnant when you contact us so we can best assist you. Be comfortable in knowing that your oral health and your baby’s health are in the best hands.

And, as always, thanks for being our valued patient! Remember that we are always available to be part of any discussion you have about your oral health, that’s one of the reasons we have our Facebook and Twitterpages.

Lake Oconee: Some Flossing Facts

January 4, 2011

FLOSSING IS JUST AS EASY AS BRUSHING YOUR TEETH, RIGHT? So why is it that some of us seem to have such a hard time doing it every day? We often get questions about recommendations for floss types: waxed or unwaxed, flattened or round. There are flavors to choose and ways to hold the string.

For all the options and decisions to be made about a flossing purchase, here’s the most important thing to remember: the type of floss isn’t nearly as important as the amount you’re flossing. So, just as we recommend to our patients, there are so many options mostly because everyone has different teeth. The thickness of floss that works for you can depend on the spacing of your teeth. Of course, just like toothpaste flavors, floss comes in a variety to make flossing more enjoyable. Whatever method, flavor, or thickness you prefer is the one you should use so that flossing comfortable and most helpful to you.

We understand that flossing sometimes gets second place to good brushing habits, but it shouldn’t! Flossing removes bacteria between your teeth that if left alone will harden to become plaque, then tartar. Tartar buildup can only be removed through a professional cleaning, and if not removed can cause gum swelling or bleeding, commonly called gingivitis, a first symptom of gum disease.Thanks to our friends at Howcast, here’s a short video for you to be sure you have your technique together:What’s the rule of thumb for flossing? The ADA recommends flossing once a day as part of your oral routine. Because flossing helps clean where your toothbrush can’t reach, it can be helpful to floss first so that the fluoride from your toothpaste can get to all areas.

We typically recommend flossing at night for a clean mouth before bed. Some of our patients prefer a flossing wand because it seems to give them a perfect amount of tension. So pick a flavor, set a routine and get flossing… Keep those teeth healthy and clean!

And by the way, don’t forget to join our newFacebook Site, and follow us on Twitter for fast and simple ways to contact us or ask questions you may have. And even with our new website tools, don’t ever hesitate to give us a phone call for anything you may need! 706.453.1333