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When is it Time to Replace a Toothbrush?

For many people, changing toothbrushes is not a priority like it is to restock the fridge, buy new skincare products or empty the trash. It's something that only crosses our mind when the old toothbrush completely wears off. 

But that’s not how things should be! Good dental health starts with using a clean and relatively new toothbrush. You also need to brush at least twice a day. If you’re confused about what “relatively new” means, below is our informed analysis of how often you need to replace your toothbrush.

When to Change Your Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. The association based their advice on various studies that showed toothbrush bristles started degenerating after 3 months, which means they start becoming ineffective in getting rid of plaque and food particles in the teeth. 

Moreover, toothbrush bristles can attract and harbor germs and bacteria, which can threaten your dental health. This buildup, and the health issues it can cause, may prompt you to change your toothbrush even before the recommended time. For instance, you are advised to replace your toothbrush if you happen to get a sore throat or any other bacterial infection, even if you’ve only been using it for a week. This simple act helps to avoid re-infection.

What are the Medical Benefits of Braces?

In the last few years, braces have gone from being entirely worn by young kids and teenagers with highly misaligned teeth to being a universally popular solution for all forms of teeth misalignment, even among adults. Although the exact reasons for this increase in popularity and use are varied, there is no doubt that new research showing that braces have more benefits than previously thought had something to do with it. Below are some of these benefits:

Better Bites

The term bite typically describes the way the upper and lower teeth grasp foods as you chew. While their primary use is to correct misalignment, braces also enhance the strength and alignment of your bite, making it easy and comfortable for you to chew different types of foods.

Poor bites are normally caused by gaps in the mouth, either due to missing or crooked teeth, and can make the chewing experience extremely uncomfortable, as the jaws and gums have to do more than they’re used to. By realigning the crooked teeth, braces reduce pressure on the jaws, which not only strengthens the bite but also eliminates pain when chewing.

Increased Esteem

Apart from being a literal pain, crooked teeth can also be a big hit to one’s self-esteem, particularly when it comes to smiling. Often, people with such teeth will avoid talking in social settings and even sharing jokes with friends. Braces help correct most forms of poor alignment and if worn correctly, can improve one’s smile, which subsequently leads to increased confidence and willingness to smile in public.

Why Dental Fillings are Important

According to figures from the National Institute of Health, over 78% of people are likely to experience tooth decay before their 17th birthday. This can be attributed to poor oral hygiene and dental health. 

Failure to observe good oral health and hygiene practices increases the likelihood of losing the enamel, which is a thin and hard outer surface that protects the nerve endings from infection and injury 

When the enamel gets eroded by bacteria, your teeth become vulnerable to decay. The buildup of plaque can gradually eat away the surface of your teeth, thus causing cavities, which manifest as holes in the teeth. Unless this is remedied early, food particles and sugars can lodge inside these holes and create a conducive environment for bacteria, which will further damage your teeth. 

So, How do Dental Fillings Work?

Dental fillings are artificial materials used to fill up cavities in teeth to restore their health and function. Some of the commonly used materials for dental filling include porcelain, plastic, gold, composite resins, and silver amalgams. 

Before a dental filling procedure is done, your dentist has to conduct an assessment of your dental health to determine the extent of tooth decay. This helps them decide whether a dental filling is required. Once the assessment is complete, they will then get rid of any plaque, bacteria, and food debris from the affected teeth before performing the filling procedure. After the filling has been put in place, the dentist will then apply an adhesive to prevent it from coming out. 

How Oral Health Affects Your Heart Health

Did you know that your oral health is directly and closely related to your heart’s well-being?

If you didn’t, don’t feel bad about it as most people would never even imagine that the two are related. But yes, they are - and in a big way. New research from the American Heart Association shows that brushing your teeth at least twice a day significantly reduces your chances of developing heart diseases.

To come to that conclusion, the Association recruited 682 people and tracked their oral hygiene habits over several months. They found that participants who had stricter oral hygiene routines had very low chances of contracting cardiovascular diseases compared to those who had more lax regimens.

You’re probably wondering, how does oral hygiene intersect with heart health? Well, here’s how:

 

Poor Oral Hygiene Can Affect Your Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, a poor oral hygiene routine can make it worse and also affect your cardiovascular health. Past research shows that people who had hypertension were 20 percent less likely to attain a stable blood pressure reading if they also had gum disease and vice versa. Even more concerning, hypertensive patients were seen to be noticeably less responsive to medication if they had gum disease.

 

Foods that are Beneficial for Gums and Teeth

foods beneficial for teeth and gums

Proper oral hygiene can be a challenge, regardless of how much effort you put into it. Even if you brush and floss your teeth regularly and have frequent dental checkups, there is always a risk of developing an oral condition. 

A study by the IADR and AADR found that over 50 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. This equals more than 67.4 million adults who are struggling with oral health problems. 

There are plenty of foods that are rich in medicinal properties, which can protect your teeth and gums from bacteria and dental diseases. It is therefore important to understand the benefits of different food types, including:  


Leafy Greens (Spinach and Kales) 

Including leafy greens in your diet can do a lot of good to your oral health. Spinach and kales are rich in vitamins and minerals that can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. In addition, leafy greens also contain calcium, which is crucial to keeping teeth healthy by strengthening the enamel and jawbone.


Green Tea

Taking a cup of green tea before going to bed can significantly reduce the risk of gum inflammation. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent inflammation, not only in the gums but also in other body organs. The antioxidant known as catechin is particularly beneficial when it comes to oral health because it specifically prevents oxidation caused by oral bacteria.

Does My Child Need Braces?

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Braces can help straighten and correct your child’s crooked or misaligned teeth. However, these orthodontic devices do not come cheaply. Besides, they are somewhat uncomfortable, especially during the initial weeks of wearing them. Your little one will have some adjusting to do before they can get used to them. Therefore, it is quite understandable if any parent would be reluctant about getting braces for their child.

If you need reassurances about getting braces for your kids, then here are a few signs to look out for:


Persistent Thumb Sucking

Kids have a tendency to suck their thumbs or fingers from the time they are babies. The habit is quite normal as it makes them feel secure when they are bored. Thumb sucking is also a self-soothing mechanism when they are idle or upset. 

Children who suck their thumbs stop doing so without intervention by the time they reach 8 years old or school-going age. Anything beyond that age means that your child is struggling with oral issues like gum discomfort. Without proper intervention, incessant thumb sucking can lead to serious dental problems, including root damage and teeth misalignment.

Braces can be a viable solution for any older child (8 years and above) struggling with gum discomfort and teeth misalignment. This treatment will help realign the teeth and make chewing more comfortable.

Common Problems With Metal Braces

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The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that more than 4 million Americans wear braces. Despite being around in various forms for more than a century, braces are still very popular, even with the introduction of modern teeth alignment technologies like Invisalign.

Nonetheless, not everyone who wears braces has a happy experience. Some people experience varying levels of discomfort in their mouth, which may be exacerbated when the braces loosen or break. And while most of the said issues are easily managed at home, others may need advanced medical assistance.

Below are 5 of the most common problems associated with wearing braces and how to deal with them:

Soreness

This commonly occurs in the first several days of getting the braces. It can be easily relieved at home by holding a piece of ice covered with a cloth against your cheeks for several intervals of 5-10 minutes. Another common remedy is rinsing your mouth with salty water. You can also seek over-the-counter pain medication.

Discoloration

Braces make it hard to fully get rid of stuck food bits from your mouth. Where the said food is acidic or has staining properties, the bits may end up discoloring the areas they stick to. Further, it is also quite common to find stain patches on the teeth under treatment after removing the braces. In both cases, the stains can only be removed by a teeth whitening procedure.

Reasons Why Your Kid's Permanent Teeth Aren't Coming In

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Parents are happy when their child is growing the healthy way. This includes the transition of losing baby teeth and the coming in of permanent teeth. Permanent teeth usually come in after a certain period. However, for some children, there are cases of the teeth taking longer to appear. This can leave you nervous as a parent. When this happens, there is no cause for alarm as it is normal. Instead, visit your family dentist to examine your child’s jaws. There are several reasons why the process takes longer. Here is a look at some possible causes.

Nutrition

Your child’s diet directly affects the speed of growth of permanent teeth. Nutrients like calcium found in milk, vegetables, and other meals that determine teeth development should be included in their food to help teeth push their way through gums. Also, avoid giving them foods high in sugar, like candy, which slows the growth of permanent teeth.

Genetics

It is common for children to have physical growth similar to that of their parents due to genetics. Coming in of teeth is no exception. If your child is taking longer to have permanent teeth, chances are that you also experienced the same delay. You can ask your relatives if this is the case. Also, if your child’s milk teeth took longer to come out, permanent teeth may also take longer.

Gender

Parents often compare their child’s growth to that of others. However, for most children, teeth development depends on their sex. Studies show that girls tend to develop milk teeth faster than boys. This means that their permanent teeth will come in earlier than those of their counterparts.

3 Reasons Why Your Teeth Are Discolored

Everyone desires to have white dazzling teeth. However, most of us do little to accomplish this. Proper dental care involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day (morning and evening), flossing every day, and using an antiseptic mouthwash. This is a small price to pay to avoid teeth discoloration. 

While tooth discoloration is majorly caused by improper tooth care, some of your daily habits may be more injurious to your teeth. 

Many people may have second thoughts about giving up on these habits, given the pleasure they get from them. Even so, it's a sure thing that your sacrifice will be rewarded with pearl whites and a radiant smile. Below are the three major causes of tooth discoloration:

Deficient oral hygiene

People with poor oral hygiene are at risk of having discolored teeth. Failure to brush your teeth as recommended - flossing every day, or wash your mouth properly -  makes you vulnerable to bacterial infection. Moreover, you risk getting other equally devastating effects such as bleeding gums, bad odor, and toothaches.

These effects can impact your life negatively. For instance, a bad odor can make you shy away from speaking with friends, family, and colleagues because of the shame it causes.  

Avoiding such a predicament is easy. All you have to do is adhere to the American Dental Health Guidelines, which recommends brushing at least twice a day, for not less than two minutes. If you find this unattainable, then try brushing at least once a day. Also, drink water regularly to curb bacteria build-up and to get rid of food particles from your teeth. 

Start The Year Right With a Dental Checkup

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It's a new year, and this is the best time to make fresh resolutions. Apart from the usual culprits like better eating habits and starting to workout, taking a dental checkup should not just be at the zenith of your list, but you should act on it. Shake off the dentophobia that has hindered you from getting a clean bill of dental health. 

Currently, various technological innovations have led to the development of better dental equipment, making the process more friendly. Today, you can have several teeth removed within a few hours without feeling any pain. You don't have to be afraid of dental checkups anymore; make an appointment and have your dental problems mitigated before they blow up.

In case you are still on the fence, here are some pointers to get you started on your dental journey:

Identify Your Problems

You may have had a toothache or some of your teeth felt loose. Try to remember where the pain emanated from and the location of the loose teeth before making a dental appointment. Don't disregard any problem, however insignificant it may seem. Also, ensure you disclose all your problems when you get to the dentist so as to have the maximum gain from the appointment.

Book An Appointment

Now that you’ve drawn up a list of your dental problems, you can make a dental appointment. Ensure you honor your appointment when the time comes. The benefits you'll accrue from it will be worth your time. Even if it happens that your troubles were not dental related, you'll gain valuable information on how to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

7 Ways To Reduce Braces Pain

Wearing braces is one of the most effective methods for treating crooked teeth. These dental devices work by realigning and straightening crowded teeth back to their rightful positions.

However, as much as braces can help bring back your once beautiful smile, wearing them can cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

You have to visit your local orthodontist regularly to adjust and tighten the braces accordingly to ensure that your teeth are repositioning to their rightful place. All these procedures can cause great discomfort and irritation for several days to weeks before you get used to them.

Here are a few tips on how to reduce braces pain and get used to your new orthodontic devices.

Take Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

You should expect to feel a bit of pain and discomfort after visiting your orthodontist. However, you can quickly arrest the situation by taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

The good thing about over-the-counter medications is that they are easily accessible and they do not require a prescription. However, you have to follow the right dosage as per instruction.

In some cases, you may need to take these pain relievers several times during the day since most of them only provide temporary relief.

Rub an Oral Anesthetic

One of the easiest ways to reduce braces pain is to apply an oral anesthetic like Anbesol or Orajel. Oral anesthetics have a numbing effect and they help desensitize the teeth thus ensuring you will not feel any pain or discomfort.

You can rub the anesthetic directly to problem areas using a cotton swab or your fingers. If you decide to use your fingers, make sure you clean them thoroughly with soap before application to prevent spreading bacteria to your teeth and gums.

6 Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids

Proper oral care for kids creates a lifetime solution to most recurring dental problems. Starting early also helps set good dental habits for your little ones from a tender age.

However, instilling these oral hygiene habits in your kids can sometimes be an overwhelming task. In any case, many parents do not know how to get kids to be enthusiastic about their dental hygiene. 

Thankfully, we are here to help. Our friendly and passionate kid’s dentist provides some useful tips and guidelines on how to start and maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine for your kids.

Visit a Professional Kid’s Dentist

As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. As soon as your child gets their first two teeth, you should start planning a visit to the dentist. The appointment should be scheduled six months after they get their first set of teeth or on their first birthday. 

This will enable the dentist to know what type of products to be used by the baby or if they have any underlying gum problems which can be taken care of at an early age hence prevent numerous future dental problems. Visiting a kid’s dentist can also help your child learn the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age.

Minimize Your Childs Fruit Juice Intake

Did you know that fruit juice contains a lot of artificial sugars that coat your teeth and act as a breeding ground for bacteria? 

Drinking fruit juice might seem like a better idea compared to soda or other fizzy drinks. However, juice contains sugars and sweeteners that could coat your child’s teeth and cause decay. With this in mind, you should cut your child’s intake of sugary beverages and fresh juice.

4 Reasons to Keep Your Kid's Teeth Healthy

Sticking to a regular brushing routine can be quite challenging when your child starts teething. This is largely due to the fact that their teeth are too few and also because your toddler might jerk around during brushing. Nevertheless, many dentists recommend that parents instill healthy brushing habits in their kids as soon as they get their first teeth. Keeping your child’s teeth healthy and strong from an early age sets a firm foundation for a healthy and happier life. There are a number of benefits that you and your child can enjoy by keeping their teeth clean and healthy.  Let us now briefly go over a few of these.

Provides a Foundation for Good Oral Hygiene Practices into Adulthood

As we mentioned at the outset, any good dentist will recommend that you start brushing your kid’s mouth as soon as they start teething. The reason for this is that breast milk and formula (which are what your toddler consumers in their early years) contain lactose sugars just like other ordinary foods. While these sugars are not too concentrated, they can still promote the growth and reproduction of bacteria, which can lead to gum problems if left to accumulate. It is therefore vital that you always wipe your baby’s gums with a soft and warm piece of cloth to get rid of food particles. 

Once the milk teeth emerge, you can start brushing your kid’s teeth at least twice a day, and you should teach them how to do it the right way. If these healthy oral hygiene habits are inculcated early, your child will continue doing them as they grow older.

Sensitive Teeth vs Cavity: How to Tell

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Tooth sensitivity and cavities are commonly confused for each other and not for nothing. They both cause pain when the affected teeth comes in contact with hot and cold substances, and are interrelated in that untreated cavities are the main cause of sensitivity. 

Still, the two are completely distinct conditions, each with its own set of symptoms, definitions, and consequences. Through this article, we will compare and contrast the two across a number of parameters. 



Definitions

Tooth sensitivity is by definition not a tangible dental condition, but a feeling. It's basically the sharp pain or discomfort you feel when you put hot or cold substances in your mouth. This pain or discomfort may also occur when you eat acidic and sugary foods or inhale cold air into your mouth.

A cavity, on the other hand, is a visible hole, or crack on the tooth that runs from the nerve-less enamel to the sensitive inner pulp. Like with sensitivity, there is increased hypersensitivity in the cavity holes when exposed to extreme stimuli such as hot and cold temperatures.



Symptoms

Teeth sensitivity is primarily characterized by a temporary pain that goes away as soon as you stop consuming the problematic foods. This pain may also show up when brushing or flossing teeth due to exposure to toothpaste and cold air. Sensitive teeth are, however, normal-looking and are in fact very smooth on the edges.

On their part, cavities cause perennial pain that may sometimes come up even when you're not brushing or eating anything. Teeth with cavities also have visible holes, as previously mentioned, and may also have some visible black stains on the outer surface. But unlike with tooth sensitivity, cavity pain is permanent and only goes away when treated.

Can Kids Brush Their Teeth Too Much or Too Often?

Having to remind your kid to brush their teeth is a routine that many parents have to experience every morning. Then again, while most kids don’t remember or don’t like brushing their teeth, some overdo it by brushing too much or too often.

Brushing of teeth several times might seem like a good step for your child’s dental health. However, nothing could be further from the truth. As harmless as it might appear to be, too much brushing is actually risky for developing teeth.



So what is the Proper Way to Brush Teeth?

Kid’s dentists recommend the following healthy oral care protocols:

Brush two times a day – The recommended frequency of brushing of teeth for both adults and children is twice every day after meals. Ideally, you should encourage your child to brush their teeth in the morning after breakfast and at night just before bedtime.

Use slow, deliberate strokes – Brushing of teeth is a carefully calculated technique that requires one to brush the fronts, tops, backs, and tongue using slow and deliberate movements.

Brush uninterrupted for two straight minutes – For whatever reasons, we are often in a hurry to brush our teeth. However, the recommended timeframe for each brushing session is 2 minutes straight. Ensure your child brushes their teeth for exactly 2 minutes to avoid over-brushing or under brushing.

Invest in the right kid’s toothbrush – The type of toothbrush your child uses has a bearing on their oral health. You should buy the right toothbrush tailored for kids. Ideally, it should have soft bristles to prevent hurting the gums and causing bleeding. Then again, remember to replace the brush preferably every three months.

How to Fix A Kid's Yellow Teeth

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One of the most annoying behaviors in kids is their aversion to brushing their teeth, whether due to not liking it or from forgetfulness. And the consequences of that can be far-reaching. 

Teeth yellowing, in particular, is one of the most devastating effects of poor dental hygiene and can have long-term effects on both the child's esteem and dental structure. While reversing yellow discoloration is doable, it can be a hectic process if many teeth are affected and thus it makes more sense to prevent than to fix it.

How to Prevent Your Kid's Teeth from Turning Yellow

It may sound paradoxical, but the cheapest and most effective treatment of yellow teeth is avoiding yellow teeth in the first place. And it doesn't involve anything complicated - adoption of and strict adherence to proper dental hygiene is all that's needed to keep your child's pearly whites clean and gleaming white for a lifetime. To that end, the 3 most effective ways of preventing yellow teeth are:

Regular Brushing

Dentists recommend brushing after every meal for maximum cleanliness, but that's clearly not possible for school-going kids. In that case, brushing twice a day, at the very least, should be the rule. Ideally, you should make sure your kid brushes their teeth both after breakfast and dinner. That helps remove stuck food particles and kill the harmful bacteria that may have hid in the teeth or gums, both of which prevent the development of plaque.

Stick to The 2 by 2 Rule

It is recommended that everyone, both kids and adults, brush their teeth twice a day with each session lasting two full minutes. This is known as the 2 by 2 Rule, and is informed by the fact that a complete and thorough cleaning of all teeth and gums takes approximately 2 minutes.

Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Eat Healthy

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Teaching your kids to eat healthy is one of the best things a parent can ever do for their child. After all, you want your kids to grow and fulfill their dreams, and they can only do so if they are of good health.

However, some of the healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables do not have the ideal taste at least according to your child. For this reason, you might have a hard time trying to encourage your child to eat healthy.

Fortunately, we have several foolproof strategies you could use to teach your child to adopt healthy eating habits. Other than talking to a kid’s dentist, here are a few tips on how to go about it.



Lead by Example

Kids are very observant and they usually follow what their parents do. With this in mind, you can easily sway your kids to love eating healthy foods early by practicing what you preach. Your kids are more likely to embrace healthy eating if you lead by example.



Organize Family Dinners

Understandably, your busy work schedule might not allow you to spend more time with your family as you wish. However, you should take it upon yourself to spare some time for family dinners. Eating dinner as a family allows you to incorporate all the healthy foods on the menu for everyone to enjoy.



Let the Kids Have a Say

From buying groceries to planning the menu to preparing the food, getting your kids involved in every step can go a long way to help them develop an interest in eating healthy meals. By inviting them to assist in the kitchen, you will be able to teach them the importance of embracing healthy eating habits.

What to do for a Child with Swollen Gums

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Many people mistakenly think that dental health only deals with teeth. What they do not know is that gums have the same importance as teeth.

If your child has swollen gums, they are bound to experience pain, especially when chewing food. This underlines the importance of visiting a dentist regularly.

What Causes Swollen Gums?

The primary reason behind swollen gums in children is the presence of bacteria in the mouth. The best way to fight this bacteria and prevent this condition is to floss and brush your teeth regularly.

Among kids, bacteria starts developing in the mouth as soon as they grow their first tooth. This is why it is important to maintain oral hygiene. If you are a first-time parent, make sure that you book an appointment with your dentist within the first six months of teething.

Besides poor oral hygiene, there are other reasons behind swollen gums in children. First, a poor diet can lead to dental complications such as swollen gums. The solution to this problem is giving a balanced diet to your kids.

Another thing that causes the swelling of gums is gum disease. When you fail to treat oral bacteria, it may damage your gums and jaws. The aftereffect of this is pain and swollen gums. There are two types of gum disease – gingivitis, which is mild, and periodontitis, which is severe.

Lastly, having a dry mouth can lead to swollen gums. This is because saliva prevents the development of bacteria in the mouth. When you lack it, bacteria thrive. Some of the reasons behind a dry mouth include dehydration, some drugs, and other underlying conditions.

Can Kids Get Straight Teeth Without Braces

Braces in children are such a common sight in developed countries that they've turned into a cultural item; much like watching Disney. While some parents are known to have their kids braced up for aesthetic reasons, majority of the kids who don braces do so under the direction and guidance of their dentists. Well, actually, it's not dentists who prescribe and fit braces but orthodontists, who are essentially the masters of teeth alignment procedures.

If you've ever worn braces, you will admit that although there's some pain in the initial days, the long term benefits are quite satisfactory. Talking of the pain, there are indeed some children whose bodies are just resistant to braces, which results in recurring pain and discomfort whenever they have braces on. For such children, braces end up being a problem instead of a solution.

So what should you do in such a case? Can the bad teeth just straighten themselves as the kid gets older?

Answer: No, Teeth Can't Straighten Themselves Without Treatment

The worst thing you can do is to give up on your child's dental condition after you realize braces won't work. See, it is by good reason that teeth alignment procedures are mostly done on kids. For one, their dental structures are still developing and are thus likely to respond much better to corrective procedures. If you leave it too late, the problems continue to entrench themselves, making them harder to treat.

Why It's Important For Kids to Brush Their Teeth Before Bed

teeth brushing tips for kids

Raising a toddler is like a full-time job with no off days. You have to be constantly on the watch, directing, and observing what and how they eat, learn and even their micro behaviors. In the midst of all the running and shouting (and laughter), you may forget to maintain your child's bedtime dental health routine.

Of course, they may remember to brush their teeth by themselves, but most of the times, they may be too lazy to do so, or too distracted to remember their routine.
As such, you should assume the responsibility of making sure that your kid brushes their teeth every evening before bed. And no, it's not just for routine purposes. Daily dental care for toddlers and kids, in general, has a lot of benefits, including:

Preventing Food Particles from Accumulating in The Mouth

Assuming that your child spends all their days in school, it means that by dinner time, they will have taken lunch, and probably a couple of snacks. These meals may leave small particles between the teeth and gums, and over time, they can accumulate and cause cavities and inflammation. Brushing before bed effectively removes all the day's food particles, and remnant bacteria, from the teeth and gums.

Mitigating the Effects of Low Saliva Production at Night

Apart from aiding in digestion, saliva has also been proven to be an antibacterial agent. During the day, the mouth produces adequate saliva to protect the teeth from bacterial infections, and that's why we can get away without brushing.

What to Expect for a Child’s Tooth Filling

Learning that your child has a tooth cavity can come as a total surprise to you as a parent. This is especially true if you've been making sure they brush and floss their teeth regularly. 

However, cavities in children are actually far more common than you may think. As a matter of fact, studies by the World Health Organization have revealed that between 60 to 90 percent of children are affected by cavities around the world. 

If you have just discovered that your child has a cavity, you’ll need to schedule a visit to the dentist to arrange for a tooth filling. It is worth noting that kids are naturally afraid of dentists. You should, therefore, strive to create a comfortable and safe environment in order to alleviate your child's fears. Here are some of the tips that can help you prepare your child for their tooth filling procedure. 

Reinforce a Positive Attitude

When preparing your child for a dental visit, it is crucial to maintain a positive attitude. This is mainly because children tend to absorb the emotions of their parents. Consequently, panicking in front of your child can make them uneasy and scared of going to the dentist. 

You should, therefore, maintain a sense of calm, and avoid using language that may paint a scary picture in your child's mind. Remember, the goal here is to make them comfortable enough so that they don't experience anxiety during the procedure.

Consult with your Dentist Beforehand

How to Handle Your Kids Teeth Falling Out

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A kid’s baby/milk teeth will usually fall out when he or she is 6 to 7 years old. After all, development is a natural part of life that every child must pass through. Nevertheless, the experience can be traumatic for any child, despite the fact that the process entails little to no pain.

If you are a parent to a kid whose teeth are about to fall out, you could be a little bit concerned about how to handle the situation and when to call a kid’s dentist. In this explainer, you are going to learn:

  • When to expect your kid’s teeth to fall out

  • How to prepare your child for their teeth to fall out

  • What to do when the teeth fall out

Here are a few tips on how to handle your kid’s teeth falling out.

Don’t fret if your kid is “behind schedule”

Expect your kids to start losing their baby teeth when they are around six or seven years old. However, some children tend to experience delays, especially if it took a while before they got their first teeth. The first to go is normally the central incisors followed by the lateral incisors. 

If you are concerned that your child is still holding on to their baby teeth, be sure to check with the kid’s dentist during the semi-annual cleaning and exam. With that said, you do not have to panic if your child’s baby teeth are still intact.

Allow nature to take its course

Some parents may be tempted to force the teeth of their child, especially if they feel the child is behind schedule. However, this is a huge mistake. Forcing a tooth out could cause serious harm to your child’s dental health. 

Should You Teach Children To Use Mouthwash? 

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If you are like most people, you probably love the minty fresh feeling that comes from using a mouthwash. Apart from keeping your mouth fresh, mouthwash also helps remove any missed food particles when brushing your teeth. However, just because you use mouthwash, does it mean that your child can use it as well? 

Well, many parents often make the mistake of introducing mouthwash to their kids if they struggle with bad breath. They usually overlook the possibility that the problem could be a result of poor oral hygiene. So, before you teach your child how to use mouthwash, you need to ensure that they are already practicing good oral hygiene. 

Here is a simple checklist of good dental habits that will help you determine whether your child is ready to begin using a mouthwash: 

Are they Brushing Regularly?

Dentists usually recommend brushing teeth at least twice a day for two minutes per session. 



Are they Applying the Right Brushing Technique?

Some children tend to brush only the front teeth and ignore the ones further back in the mouth. This is a wrong method of brushing and can lead to dental problems such as cavities and plaque build-up. 



Are they Brushing their Tongue?

Sometimes issues such as bad breath may arise due to failure to brush the tongue. You should, therefore, teach your child how to use the back of their brush for cleaning their tongue



Are they Flossing their Teeth?

Flossing is one of the most important oral care practices. It helps remove food particles that get stuck in between teeth or gums. By flossing regularly, you can avoid problems such as cavities and bad breath. 

What Every Parent Needs To Know About Permanent Teeth

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Nothing is as cute as the missing front teeth of a child. The huge gap between the teeth is indicative of a major milestone that every child must pass through as they grow. This change in a child’s dental formula shows that he or she is ready to develop permanent teeth that will last for their lives.

So what should you expect with the next teething phase? Well, let’s find out more!

How many teeth do we have?

Primary teeth or milk teeth refer to the first teeth that erupt through the gums when a baby is about 6 months to 3 years old. The teeth begin to develop inside the gums even before the baby is born, but they erupt a few months or years after birth.

Primary teeth are divided into two parts; 10 teeth on top, and 10 at the bottom. As soon as your child reaches 5 years or 6 years old, the milk teeth will start to fall off as permanent teeth begin to form. Your child will then end up with 16 teeth on top and 16 on the bottom to form thirty two teeth in total.

When do permanent teeth come in?

Permanent teeth typically erupt in the same manner as primary teeth, but at different ages. The first to erupt are the lower central incisors (front bottom teeth), followed by the front top teeth before the back molars begin to pop out.

In most cases, the first teeth to come out are usually replacements of the first primary teeth to fall out. However, dental damage caused by poor oral hygiene, medical conditions or accidents to the face, jaw or mouth may rearrange the order in which the permanent teeth will start to erupt.

What To Know Before Getting Braces

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Remember when you were in high school, and the "cool" kids were always making fun of the kids who had braces? Remember when everyone thought braces were awkward and childish? If you do remember all that, first of all, congratulations on reaching old age! Secondly, how about we tell you that these days, braces are the opposite of awkward and 'uncool'?

Well, due to modern technology, braces now consist of fun band colors, creative hashtags, and all sorts of dynamic designs. They almost look nothing like the bland, mechanical contraptions of yesteryears.

Whether you are an adult or a kid and desire to, or rather, have to wear braces in the near future, here's what you need to know about them:

They Improve More Than Just The Smile

While they're primarily for straightening the teeth, modern braces correct teeth and jaw alignment issues, and also improve the bite.



Get Your Dentals Sorted First

If you have pending teeth cleaning, or any other dental treatment, it is advisable to first have it done before getting braced up. This is because some dental treatments, such as removal of wisdom teeth, are known to interfere with orthodontic treatments.



Adjust Your Diet Accordingly

A few months before you get your braces, you need to considerably limit, or completely stop consumption of certain "high-risk" foods such as sugary and sticky foods like gummy bears. Particularly, avoid foods that require yanking or biting into, like corn on the cob and sugarcane, as they can disorient the teeth alignment and strength.

What Your Tongue Can Tell You about Your Health

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For most people, the tongue is just a body part that helps in tasting food. Due to this reason, the tongue is often taken for granted, and less attention is paid to its health.

The truth of the matter, however, is that the tongue is a vital organ that can reveal a lot of information about an individual’s overall health. As a matter of fact, most dentists probe a patient’s tongue during dental check-ups to determine the state of the oral, as well as the general body health. It is therefore essential to be able to pick up the clues and decipher any information that the tongue is sending you.


Here are some of the facts that your tongue might be sending you about your health:



White coating on the Tongue

A healthy tongue is supposed to be bright pink in colour. If you notice that your tongue has a white coating, this could be a tell-tale sign that you have an oral yeast infection inside the mouth cavity. Your tongue may also have a white coating due to poor oral hygiene.

It is therefore important to schedule a dental check-up if you notice a white coating on your tongue, even if you brush regularly. This will allow you to get to the root of the problem, and seek effective remedies.

Tongue being too Red

An overly red tongue usually signals Kawasaki disease, which is caused by vitamin deficiency. The condition can be remedied easily at home by adding more vitamins in your diet.

Recognizing and Treating Gingivitis

If your gums are swollen, painful and irritated, and assume a darker shade of red, then you may be having periodontal disease (gum disease).

Gum disease occurs in two sequential stages: Gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is exemplified by mild to moderate inflammation and irritation of the gums. If not detected and treated early enough, gingivitis develops into periodontitis - a more serious and painful condition. In a worst-case scenario, periodontitis destroys the entire jaw bone.

So What Causes Gingivitis? 

As mentioned earlier, the leading cause of gingivitis is poor or improper dental care and hygiene. For instance, if you don't brush your teeth regularly, there will be an accumulation of bacteria, mucus and food particles (plaque) on your teeth, which causes decay over time. Additionally, unchecked plaque buildup eventually develops into tartar, which being a heavier compound, sticks to the base of the teeth, hence accelerating the onset of gingivitis. 

Other key causes of gingivitis include tobacco use, untreated diabetes, and hormonal changes during pregnancy. Further, brushing or flossing aggressively may injure your gums, resulting in gingivitis. You can also develop gingivitis from:

  • Medications such as Dilantin and some contraceptive pills 

  • Poorly aligned teeth 

  • Improperly fitted braces and dentures 

  • A genetic predisposition to gum disease from your family roots


Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis

The following are the signs and symptoms that symbolize gingivitis:

  • Pain when chewing food

Choosing the Right Toothbrush – Electric Vs. Manual

The essence of brushing your teeth is to remove plaque and prevent cavities. Nevertheless, choosing the right toothbrush is pivotal to good dental care. On the face of it, you need to invest in a comfortable toothbrush that can clean your teeth effectively. You can choose to stick to the good, old-fashioned manual toothbrush or try out the new electric brushes available in the market today.

So how do manual toothbrushes stack up against electric versions? Let’s find out.


Benefits of a manual toothbrush

Manual toothbrushes have an excellent record. In any case, people have been using this type of toothbrush for centuries, without any complaints. Here are more benefits associated with the manual version.

  • Readily available: Manual toothbrushes are inexpensive and readily available. You can easily find one in your local store or chemist at pocket-friendly prices. Moreover, dentists usually give them away to their clients after a checkup.
  • Easily portable: Comparatively, manual toothbrushes are more comfortable to carry when traveling. For this reason, you do not have to worry about your dental hygiene when you are away on vacation.
  • Less stressful on gums: A manual toothbrush allows you to feel and control how much pressure you are putting on your teeth and gums.
  • Ideal for kids: Manual toothbrushes are ideal for teaching kids how to brush and clean their teeth. Furthermore, they are safe and effective in handling the tender teeth of a child.


Are electric toothbrushes any better?

Are Lingual Braces For You?

A less well-known choice for fixing misaligned teeth is lingual braces. They have some advantages over the more popular options providing a better cosmetic solution for patients. They do have some disadvantages as well, though, and we take a look at the considerations which need to be be made before choosing lingual braces.


Lingual Braces. What are they?

With lingual braces you will still have wires and brackets in your mouth as you would expect, the big difference is that these wires can't be seen. Whereas normally, you would expect to see braces attached to the front of the teeth, lingual braces are hidden because they are fitted to the other side of the teeth.


How are Lingual Braces Fitted?

As you might imagine, fitting braces to the backs of teeth is a more difficult job for the orthodontist. There is less room to fit the braces and the placement is more awkward. To overcome these difficulties and provide a better fit, an impression is taken to create customized brackets, perfect for each individual's mouth.

The brackets are attached to the backs of the teeth at the same time, with the use of a tray to cement them in place. Normal braces don't require this level of customization, with standard brackets used and cemented to the teeth one at a time.


The Advantages of Lingual Braces

One of the main downsides to traditional braces is their visual appearance. The lingual option gives all the benefits of the more traditional design but without changing the appearance of the patient's smile.

If when the braces are removed there are any discolored marks left on the tooth enamel, they won't be seen anyway. Also, because the braces are customized to the patient's mouth they will often be more comfortable than braces fixed to the outside of the teeth.

Are Braces Worth the Cost?

Braces are not only a great way to get an aligned smile that looks great, but help you promote good oral health for the rest of your life.

You may have perceived braces as being for only aesthetic purposes, but that could not be further from the truth! Whether you're a young child, pre-teen, teen, or adult, you can benefit from making an appointment to see if you need braces.

Not everyone does end up needing braces, so it's not a big deal to get a consultation and find out what's going on. Often times your dentist will be able to confirm whether braces are needed or will point it out during a routine dental check up.

Braces are absolutely worth the cost because they are going to give you a fantastic smile and make flossing and general oral care easier and more effective. Crowded teeth and more can often require further treatment in order to make sure that the teeth are aligned or are placed more closely to where they need to be.

Confidence and more can be yours through braces, but the health benefits cannot be stressed enough. They are practical and while you may have to purchase an electric toothbrush in order to try and keep food particles out of your brackets (or can go with something more transparent like Invisalign braces if you're older and want to avoid this type of thing), it's well worth it in the end.

Avoiding getting braces could mean that you have difficulty speaking or eating food, a higher chance of getting cavities or dental decay, inability to clean surfaces, jaw misalignment, bite issues, pain, and more. So if you are recommended braces, it is worth checking out.

 

Cost Factors of Braces

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