If you have children, chances are you’ve wondered if you are doing everything you should to protect your child’s teeth from bacteria and decay. You may have questions about when your child should first visit a dentist, when the right time is to begin brushing and flossing, and if there is anything else you can do to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
When habits are formed early, it is often easier to maintain those habits as we get older. As parents, it is important to begin thinking about oral health before your child’s first birthday, as many children develop cavities well before they turn five years old. Understanding how children get cavities and what you can do to prevent tooth decay can set your child up for better oral health as they grow older.
Early Stages of Dental Care
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit a dentist around their first birthday, or when teeth first begin to appear. Home care can begin even earlier to reduce bacteria growth and to promote healthy gums.
Before your child has teeth, you can use a soft washcloth to wipe their gums after feeding to combat bacteria. After teeth begin to arrive, you should begin brushing using an infant toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste. You should not use fluoridated toothpaste until your child is able to spit properly, usually at about age 2 or 3.
When Can My Child Brush Their Own Teeth?
Most children can begin brushing their own teeth with adult supervision when they are 2 or 3 years old. Once your child can spit properly, experiment with allowing them to do the brushing. Do not begin using fluoridated toothpaste until they learn to spit. Encourage healthy habits by brushing with your child, providing instruction and encouragement.
It may be a struggle to get some kids to brush twice a day. Seek ways to make brushing a fun, rewarding experience. Award gold stars, offer rewards or use music to make brushing more fun. You should supervise brushing until your child is older, and possibly perform a final brush until they get better about brushing all the surfaces of their teeth.
Flossing should begin whenever two teeth are touching. Brushing rarely gets all the food stuck between the teeth, especially the ones in the back of the mouth. Teach your child how to floss, or use special flossers or floss picks safe for use by kids. Flossing should be done daily.
Dental Sealants and Fluoride Usage
Dental sealants are often recommended for children, as sealants provide a barrier between your kids’ teeth and cavity causing bacteria. They are generally applied to teeth in the back of the mouth where most chewing takes place. The thin resin coating protects the teeth and allows them to get stronger as your child grows older.
Fluoride treatments can also be applied at the dentist to help teeth become stronger. Most municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride, and most toothpaste will contain a small amount of fluoride. Your dentist will be able to recommend additional fluoride supplements if necessary.
Establish Healthy Habits for Oral Health
It is important to encourage healthy habits early in life, as your child will continue these habits throughout life. Teach your child to brush and floss regularly, and work with your dentist to identify any other steps that may be necessary to promote healthy teeth and gums.
Visit the dentist regularly to check for early signs of tooth decay and to have sealants and fluoride treatments applied. Talk to your child’s dentist about any concerns or questions you may have about their oral health and dental care. More
Do you and your children know how to floss? For some parents this idea is laughable. You might think “I rarely remember to floss, how can I teach my children to floss?” When you visit the dentist, how to do you respond to the age old question, “are you flossing?” If your answer is no, then you will probably need some tips on how to teach your children to floss.
Opportunities Are Knockin’
The first step in teaching your kids how to floss is to show them that you are committed to flossing as well. This is a great time to not only help your children grow and improve, but you can improve yourself as well. The best practice is to floss with your children. You are making a lifestyle change for yourself and teaching your kids some valuable hygiene exercises!
Pick The Right Floss!
There is a wide variety of floss out on today’s market that will work for children. Some floss is even catered specifically to children and have fun texture and flavors. It is generally recommended that you use a soft floss to start out with.
Now, we need to learn how to properly hold dental floss to get the best results possible. You don’t want the floss to cut off circulation to your children’s fingers, but you also don’t want them to hold the floss too loosely. Make sure there is a good 12-18 inches of floss and that they know how to hold the floss properly.
Practice Makes Perfect!
On a daily basis show your children how to move the floss around in between their teeth. Make sure they aren’t making rough motions or they could cut their gums. Keep practicing and you and your children will be flossing pros in no time!
Is your family in need of a dentist in Blackfoot? Call Dr. Dennis Hatch today! Dr. Dennis Hatch is a highly experienced dentist in Blackfoot who strives to educate patients about oral hygiene. The staff at Hatch Dentistry care about you and your children and will make sure that every visit to our dental office leads to a great experience! Call us know to schedule an appointment today!
We hardly need scientific evidence that whiter teeth make a person look more attractive and youthful, but a study conducted by a major manufacturer of oral-health products does just that. The study showed that whiter teeth can make a person look as much as five years younger and increase attractiveness by 20%.
Brightened smiles also seem to increase the perception that a person is more successful, more employable, and better educated. Nearly one-third of the men surveyed think that white teeth demonstrate wealth and status and double the perception that a person has received education at a private university. With all of this in mind professional tooth whitening may be as helpful in getting a job as in getting a date.
Are You Looking for Whiter Teeth?
Discolored teeth are a common cosmetic concern for people. It is actually the most common complaint people have about their smiles. Luckily, it is also one of the most treatable.
Teeth whitening is a common option, with both take-home and in-office teeth whitening available. Which is right for you depends on the nature of your stains, how white you want your teeth to get, and how quickly you need results. For people with stains that don’t respond to whitening, porcelain veneers are another way to achieve that white smile you’re looking for.
Teeth whitening is a great option for removing many types of stains, such as food and tobacco stains. However, there are other types of stains that can’t be removed with whitening because they’re inherent in the enamel. If you have thin enamel, very dark colored dentin, staining due to poor enamel formation or enamel defects, or a dead tooth that has turned dark, teeth whitening cannot help.
To learn more about your options for achieving that white smile you desire, please contact Dr. Dennis Hatch in his Blackfoot office today. More
We all know that pregnancy causes a lot of changes in a woman’s life. But did you know that pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting periodontal diseases? Pregnant women may experience a host of dental issues that often affect their way of life. But most women don’t take dental care during pregnancy seriously.
Hormonal changes that occur when a woman is pregnant can cause alterations in the mouth exposing the woman to common oral conditions like gingivitis. Oral health is often neglected when one is pregnant because even the appetite levels change and this greatly affects the oral health.
It’s very important for them to take oral hygiene seriously and even watch their diet. Some of these issues that manifest during pregnancy may escalate even after the baby is born if proper treatment is not administered. If left untreated, a condition like gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.
Another very common problem among pregnant mothers is bleeding gums. Because of the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, dental issues like these are bound to arise. Consider a dental checkup even before you plan on starting a family. You need to ensure that any dental problems are detected early and treated effectively before you get pregnant.
But in many cases, routine dental treatment can be administered to pregnant mothers safely. Instead of living with an untreated dental issue that causes pain and discomfort, you need to visit a dentist who will advise on the safest dental treatment.
Living with an untreated dental problem can also expose you to infections that need to be treated with medications. To avoid this, you need to start dental checkups immediately after knowing that you are pregnant.
Remember that oral health is a very integral part of prenatal care that you need to consider. If you have any questions please the office of Dr. Dennis Hatch. More
Professional tooth-whitening can totally change the appearance of your smile, making it look healthier and decades younger. Tooth-whitening is one of the most popular and highly sought after cosmetic dental treatments – a treatment that can revolutionize your smile and your self-confidence. Let’s take a look at some of the ins and outs of tooth-whitening.
It’s recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned before teeth whitening to ensure that you get the best possible results. Dental plaque and tartar don’t respond to bleaching. Whitening without removing plaque and tartar will leave you with a smile that is discolored and unhealthy. You’ll also want a thorough check-up at the time of treatment to determine the exact reason your teeth aren’t a healthy white color. If the problem is due to tooth decay, poor oral hygiene or even gum disease, your dentist will first recommend treatment before proceeding with any cosmetic teeth whitening. In most cases the cause behind tooth discoloration and staining is prolonged exposure to dark, tannin-rich foods and beverages, like coffee, tea and wine
In-Office vs. At-Home
When whitening your teeth, you’ve got two options: in-office-based teeth bleaching, or at-home care. There are pros and cons to each option. Before you try at-home tooth-bleaching kits, talk to your dentist. Not everyone will see good results. Tooth-whitening done by your dentist can get teeth brighter faster. The most dramatic results are generally three to eight shades brighter.
At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides), while in-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide. Generally, the longer you keep a stronger solution on your teeth, the whiter your teeth become. But you will want to be careful. The higher the percentage of peroxide in the whitening solution, the shorter it should be applied to the teeth. Keeping the gel on longer will dehydrate the tooth and increase tooth sensitivity.
Tooth bleaching can make teeth temporarily sensitive and is sometimes uncomfortable for people who already have sensitive teeth. When used incorrectly, home kits can also lead to burned, even temporarily bleached gums.
Tooth-whitening works best for people with yellow teeth and is less effective for people with brown teeth. If your teeth are gray or purple, tooth bleaching probably won’t work at all. Bleaching will not whiten porcelain crowns or composite tooth-colored bondings.
Talk to your dentist before you use an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit, to be sure tooth-whitening is worth your time and money. The staff at Dennis Hatch, DDS is happy to answer your questions concerning teeth whitening in Blackfoot.
Choosing a good family dentist is not always easy. Your dental health is an important part of your overall health, and you need to see someone who is experienced, stays up-to-date on new techniques or procedures, and who is convenient for you to visit in Blackfoot. Cost and insurance coverage are also deciding factors. Take the time to do a little research, learn about the dentists in your area, and select someone who will meet your needs. The office of Dr. Dennis Hatch is happy to help answers questions you may have. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a family dentist in Blackfoot.
The first place many people look when choosing a new dentist is a list of providers covered by their dental insurance. Make sure you understand your dental coverage, and verify with the dentist’s office that they do accept your insurance plan.
Ask about accepted payments and if payment plans are available. Costs for certain procedures can vary greatly between different practices in the same community. You may want to get an estimate of out-of-pocket costs for common procedures like a filling or root canal.
Some dentists will offer a discount if payment is made at the time of service, so be sure to ask about any additional ways to lower your costs. If you do not have insurance, you may still qualify for a dental discount plan or a payment plan.
Location and Office Hours
It’s important to choose a dentist whose office is close to your home or work and who is available at times that are convenient for you. It is not uncommon for dentists to have several offices to serve a wider area, so be sure to confirm their hours of operation before scheduling an appointment.
Be sure to inquire about emergency care and whether the dentist is available outside of regular office hours to treat emergencies. You’ll also want to know if they offer most major dental procedures, or if you would be referred to another office for more serious procedures.
Experience and Qualifications
Dental offices should be forthcoming when answering questions pertaining to the dentist’s training and experience. Find out where they obtained their education and how long they have been practicing. Also check to see if they belong to any trade associations, and if they receive continuing education.
Use your own judgment when evaluating the experience and education of a dentist for your family. Consider your own personal preferences and decide if you’d rather see someone with years of experience and who has an established practice in your community or someone who has less experience but more recent education.
You can also check with your state licensing board to verify that the dentist is licensed to practice in your state and whether any disciplinary actions have been made against them.
Ask Friends and Family for Referrals
Asking your friends, family or coworkers about their dentist can provide valuable insight that can help you make your decision. Ask them what they like about their dentist, how they started seeing him or her, and if they’ve ever had any problems with scheduling, visits or billing.
Of all the research you can do, getting an honest opinion from someone you trust is often the most insightful. Many times your friends or family will have had experiences with other dentists as well, so be sure to ask if you have someone in mind.
Making the Final Decision
As you can see, several factors should be considered when deciding which dentist you should see. Rank your priorities and try to focus on the items that are the most important to you personally. Find a dentist that you like and can trust, and that you can openly discuss any concerns you may have about your dental health. More