Monthly Archives: April 2016

Dental Care Tips for Your Kid

Tooth decay and painful cavities are commonly seen amongst kids. Most of the preschoolers get their milk teeth filled with dental cement to close cavities and prevent further decay. The lack of awareness about oral hygiene is the primary reason for deteriorating oral health and the rising cost of dental bills. Laying down strict rules about dental care for your kids will go a long way in ensuring stronger teeth and gums in the future. Proper brushing, regular flossing and timely visits to the dentist are all that it takes to maintain your oral health.

Dental Care Tips and Tricks for Kids

Right Toothbrush
For as long as possible, stick to using baby toothbrush. It is extremely soft on the gums and focuses on small areas, thus cleaning them properly. A baby toothbrush protects tender gums, massages them and its easygoing bristles seem encouraging. Additionally, the cartoon characters and the fancy accessories that come along with the toothbrush will keep your child engaged in the activity for a while.

Brushing
Explaining the importance of brushing teeth is one way of coaxing your child into good oral habits. Narrating fictional stories about tooth decay, role play and giving an incentive for proper brushing are a few more tips, which would promise to get your child into a regular and a proper brushing regime. It is crucial that your child learns to brush slowly and in circular motions. Brushing vigorously can lead to receding gums and weak teeth over a period of time.

Tasty Toothpaste
The first thing kids do when they learn to brush their teeth is taste the toothpaste. Some toothpastes may seem a little spicy, while a few may seem extremely powdery. Don’t let the taste of the toothpaste be a deterrent for brushing teeth. There is a range of toothpastes for kids available at most of the supermarkets. Go toothpaste shopping with your child and let him/her pick his/her favorite flavors. Ice cream, chocolate and bubble gum are some of the favorite flavors amongst kids. A tasty toothpaste is an excellent motivating tool to make your child follow important oral care habits.

Fuss Over Flossing
The habit of regular flossing is the most difficult one to get into. Children not only take time to learn the technique, but also often complain about floss hurting the gums. Child-friendly floss meant for tender gums and small teeth is easy to use and does not hurt the gums. Till your child turns 9, you will have to supervise flossing. Mindless flossing races with your child to see who finishes flossing first, is a great motivational tip. Timely visits to the dentist will help you understand whether your child is regularly flossing or shamming the task.

Prevention is always better than cure. Taking precautionary measures such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing every day, rinsing your mouth after every meal, using a mouthwash and avoiding excess of sugar are few more preventive dental care tips for children. These tips will definitely help your child understand the importance of maintaining oral hygiene. Learning the necessity of maintaining healthy teeth at a young age, can reap huge benefits in the future.

Best Tips On Choosing An Ideal Dental Health Plan

A dental health plan is one of the many wellness-related things which are worth investing on these days. The challenge in getting one arises when differences in coverage happen. Since the premiums that come with them are costly, one must ensure that he is investing on the right service provider whose ultimate goal is to provide clients the best service. How can you go about that? Here are some insights which might help.

Ask For Referrals – Talk to your relatives and friends. Ask about their current provider. Are they satisfied with the packages? Do they immediately get what they need? If they are able to rate their provider satisfactorily, you may choose the same organization to deal with. Your dentist would be another qualified person to ask. He may be able to give you the names of the best providers as shared by his other clients.

Inquire About Customer Service – It is often inconvenient for a patient to take full advantage of his dental health plan when the provider is not cooperative. Here is a common scenario which is a pain in the neck for most patients. It is often difficult to make claims but the provider is quick at disputing charges. Additionally, contact numbers for customer service are often busy and so relating to one’s concerns to any representative becomes impossible.

Learn The Coverage In Details – Dental health services for students are definitely different from those for adults or the elderly. Before paying for anything, contemplate on the kind of plan that will suit your needs. There are specific and unique procedures which you might need but others patients don’t. Also, inquire whether you can have your personal dentist attend to you and perform the procedures stated in your plan. Some providers only have a list of specialists whom the plan holders can consult. It is still best to stay with the dentist who has known your dental history through the years.

Know The Policies – Perhaps, you are choosing in between two providers that you are eyeing on. Know the exact things that are covered, the payments due and the mode of payments available. Costly premiums should at least provide you with competitive services. Be sure to understand clearly the policies as they are explained by the agents. This helps you avoid too much expectations which are not stated in the policy. This also helps you not to oversee every benefit that is there for you to take advantage of. Free teeth cleanings in one year is an example of this.

Take A Second Look At Medical Or Insurance Plans -If you already have any of the two, ask your provider whether dental benefits may be included in them. This is, of course, in exchange of increased premiums to pay. While a separate dental health plan is very helpful, this idea can help you save on the monthly expenses you are dealing with. Also, it is more convenient to pay attention to and update just one plan than having multiple plans.

 

Choosing a Right Toothbrush for Kids

It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But, the teeth required to eat that apple must be healthy. To maintain healthy teeth one needs to brush them daily. Even slightest ignorance can cause several oral problems. Unlike adults, kids neither understand the need, nor do they know how to take care of their teeth. If they are aware, then there are n number of reasons not to do it. It is solely the responsibility of the parents to encourage them till they learn to do it on their own. Usually, baby teeth are lost around the age of 7-8 years. Until then they help the child speak, eat and smile. According to dental experts, every phase of childhood should have an appropriate toothbrush. It should suit the child in all respects. It should be comfortable, as well as attractive. The following paragraph offers various ways of choosing a right toothbrush for a kid.

An Ideal Toothbrush for Kids

When you visit a chemist for a toothbrush, he will show you various types that will stagger you. There are long-necked, angle necked or thick-necked brushes with soft bristles to massage the gums, or hard bristles to clean the plaque. However, a toothbrush for your kid should have an elongated handle that will help the child to hold it and move it around comfortably. Groves on the thick handle naturally lend a better grip. It should be fascinating so that the kid likes to use it. Following are some important characteristics to be taken into consideration while choosing a toothbrush.

Shape and Style
The shape of the toothbrush’s handle should allow the child proper grip over it. You should avoid choosing ones that do not have an easy grip. The style of the brush should attract the child. There are various toothbrushes available in market having shapes of different animals. You can also try to choose a toothbrush that has pictures of your kid’s favorite cartoon characters. Also, you can buy toothbrushes that have lights flashing for a minute or so, which will make child’s brushing longer and full of fun. For toddlers, look for a toothbrush with long handle which will allow you to brush your child’s teeth.

Bristles
A toothbrush should have soft bristles because a kid’s teeth and gums are in a growing stage. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles will only harm causing pain and sometimes result in bleeding gums. You also need to make sure that the bristles are tiny so that they can help massage your kid’s teeth and gums.

Head
A toothbrush should have a round head as it does not hurt the teeth as well as cheek on the inside. Ideally the head should be according to the size of the child’s mouth rather than age so that it can easily be put into his/her mouth and moved about. So age categories mentioned on the packaging must be considered as guidelines and not the only criterion for selection.

Electric Toothbrushes

There are a variety of toothbrushes available today, one of them being electric toothbrushes. They have a timer fixed in them. Normally, the timer is set for 3 minutes which allows for longer and complete brushing of teeth. There are either audible or tactile signals that indicate the time has expired and completion of the task. Some of them have an option of setting the speed for brushing either to a high or a low level. Higher level of brushing is effective in most cases. The lower level is usually recommended for beginners because their oral tissues need time to get used to powerful brushing action of higher level. Electric toothbrushes have the facility of replacing heads because the bristles of these brushes also wear out like other toothbrushes.

Some versions of these toothbrushes have characteristics of neat and whitening modes. The later one works on yellowing and plaque formation which results in clean teeth. These brushes are a bit costly than the regular toothbrushes. An electric toothbrush is a rechargeable device. This a safe device as it does not have to be plugged in while in use or recharging, rather, there are batteries inside it which gets recharged through the case without any direct connection. This charging is done through induction. The prices of electric toothbrushes vary according to their functional quality and starts from $14. The higher end versions of this product are available in the range of $100-$179.

Where to Get Best Toothbrushes?

Nowadays, there are a variety of toothbrushes available at the chemists and druggists. Also, there are several websites that advertise best toothbrushes for kids. Interestingly, along with the regular toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes are also available. Generally, the best age for your kid to start using an electric toothbrush is 8 because, by this time children are able to handle things more independently. But, it is most important to consult your dentist before choosing an electric toothbrush.

Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums

How true! Most of us dread sitting in a dentist’s chair and have a drill thrust inside our mouths. So why not take good care of your gums and teeth by brushing regularly, and more importantly, avoiding that unpleasant trip to the dentist? It is extremely important to maintain dental hygiene. If you do not take proper care, not only are you at a risk of developing bad breath and gum and tooth infections, but the bacteria that can cause these problems can also cause digestive problems, and respiratory and heart diseases.
Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing
There are two very important things that you should do as part of your basic dental care.
Brush at least twice a day, and preferably after every meal. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is an important ingredient and it helps prevent cavities and gingivitis. Toothpaste contains abrasives. These ingredients help to get rid of plaque, a clear, transparent film-like substance that’s full of bacteria and sticks to the teeth and gums. Plaque that is not removed, hardens and forms tartar, which needs to be removed by a dentist. People with sensitive teeth may be advised to use a specific toothpaste by their dentist. Use a soft-bristled brush. Brush for 2-3 minutes and also clean your tongue and the roof of your mouth. Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Flossing removes the tiny food particles that are stuck between your teeth, which brushing cannot. Hold the floss in a C-shaped curve, slide in between the teeth, and move it back and forth. Be careful not to floss vigorously or you may harm your gums. Floss at least once a day. Rinse your mouth using antimicrobial and fluoride mouthwash twice a day. It helps to prevent tooth decay, buildup of plaque and gingivitis.

Eating Right
What you eat plays a major role in oral hygiene. It’s common knowledge that sugar causes tooth decay. Sugary foods lead to a buildup of acids inside the mouth, and these acids are slow to dissolve. Thus they remain in the mouth longer, and constant exposure to these acids can wear away tooth enamel, damaging the teeth. Eating sugary foods as part of a meal may be less harmful since saliva production is increased which helps in washing away the acids. The solution is to avoid eating too much sugar and if you do, make sure you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth immediately afterwards. Candies, mints, cakes, pies, and cough drops are all high in sugar content and their consumption should be minimized. If you like sweetened cereal, never eat it dry, always add milk. Similarly highly acidic food items, especially citrus fruits, should ideally be consumed as part of a meal so the harmful effect of acids is reduced.

Here is what you should eat – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products. These things are an essential part of your diet. Foods rich in calcium and phosphorus are beneficial to teeth. They help to deposit minerals on the tooth enamel (which otherwise get worn away when you eat sugary or acidic foods). Examples include chicken, fish, meat, cheese, sesame seeds, milk, yogurt, and nuts. Take a break between snacks and meals. Eat crunchy fruits, celery, carrots, etc., as they increase the production and flow of saliva, which washes away food particles and keeps the mouth clean.

Other Things to Keep in Mind
  • A regular visit to the dentist is a must. Make an appointment with your dentist every six months for professional dental cleaning. If you notice swollen and bleeding gums, or have constant toothaches, do not delay seeing the dentist. Timely and corrective action against these problems can save you from serious ailments in the near future.
  • Dental care for children from an early age is vital for maintaining healthy teeth. Take your child to a dentist when he turns one so the doctor can assess his dental health and suggest any remedial steps, if need be. Never let your kid fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice in the mouth. These liquids can pool in the mouth and the sugar in them can be a major cause of tooth decay.
  • Quit smoking. Use of tobacco products should be strictly avoided. Not only do they stain the teeth, but their consumption is an open invitation to mouth and throat cancer.
  • Chewing on hard objects like pens can damage the teeth.

It is a well-known fact that maintaining oral hygiene plays an integral role in the overall health of an individual. Poor oral health means having other health problems too. Start and end your day by brushing your teeth. Take good care of your teeth and gums, and you will not have to think twice before showing off your pearly whites, and that’s a huge confidence booster, leading to a fulfilling social life as well.