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Archive for December, 2017

Good or Bad? Are Fluoride Toothpaste & Treatments to Strengthen Tooth Enamel Safe for Babies & Toddlers?

Smile Reef

Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. As dental providers and parents, we want to do everything we can to avoid the little ones from getting cavities. Fluoride is one of the key ingredients to minimize cavities and strengthen teeth. Understanding the structure of teeth can help you get a better grasp on how fluoride is beneficial. We at Smile Reef would like to take an opportunity to discuss the importance of fluoride.

Tooth Enamel Definition

Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel protects teeth from the constant impact of daily use as enamel is the teeth’s outer layer. The enamel is strong and serves as a barrier to keep the nerves from feeling any kind of pressure when the kids eat foods, especially crunchy apples and carrots. In a nutshell, the enamel is the exterior casing of the tooth. Unfortunately, enamel is not invincible; over time it can wear away or even break apart and sustain damage.

What Causes Weak Tooth Enamel?

Children that eat a lot of sugar and drink soda regularly along with poor oral hygiene habits can experience a loss in enamel. As the enamel wears, the tooth will start to decay from the bacteria that settle on teeth and secrete an acid that attacks the tooth itself. The acid produced from the bacteria eats the enamel. As the enamel is weakened the acid will then start to deteriorate the tooth at a faster rate. A naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel is fluoride. With the increased strength of the enamel, the acid cannot penetrate through it so easily, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are ideally recommended on an annual basis with your dentist, but children who are genetically prone to tooth decay may need more frequent fluoride treatments. The long-term oral health and longevity of children’s teeth can be better improved with stronger teeth.

Fluoride Treatments Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Fluoride treatments are especially simple and does not cause any discomfort for your child. The dentist will generally apply the fluoride directly to their teeth and after a short time, the fluoride will begin to strengthen the enamel; from there the fluoride is thoroughly removed. The fluoride does not cause any kind of irritation and has distinct smells or tastes. More often than not, the kids do not notice they are even getting a treatment and fewer ever complain about the treatment. The fluoride treatment is one of the most simplistic and beneficial treatments your kids will experience. It is recommended by experts that kids should visit their pediatric dentist once a quarter for those with extreme cases where kids are experiencing significant dental decay. But the average is fluoride treatments once or twice year. The frequency is really dictated by the child’s individual health of their teeth.

Enamel Hardening Toothpaste

To help ensure your children are getting fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel, experts encourage parents to have the kids brush their teeth a fluoride enriched toothpaste. Doing so will further strengthen their teeth and augment the treatments performed by the dentist.

Pediatric Dentistry

If your child or children are due for their dental visit, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef today and during their routine exam we can discuss fluoride treatment and optimal ways you can incorporate it for your child’s oral hygiene routine.

brushing teeth blog

Teaching Tooth Brushing & Dental Floss Oral Care Techniques to Preschoolers & Toddlers

Smile Reef

As your toddler begins to grow and develop the motor functions to start brushing and flossing their own teeth, parents will need to guide them and make sure they brush and floss their teeth properly. There is more than just giving them a toothbrush and telling them to scrub their teeth. To insure your toddler learns proper oral health and care, Smile Reef will share all of the highlights of brushing and flossing teeth that you should teach to your toddler.

How to Teach Preschoolers & Toddlers to Brush & Floss Their Teeth

How Long Should Kids Brush Your Teeth For? – When beginning to teach your toddler how to brush, let them know they should take their time and thoroughly clean their teeth. On average, it should take about two minutes to brush teeth. Turn on a song that the toddler can brush their teeth to so they learn not to rush the process.
Correct Tooth Brushing Techniques – When you begin teaching your toddlers how to brush their teeth, make sure to share that every tooth needs to be cleaned. It also helps for your toddler to brush more effectively if they hold their toothbrush on a 45-degree angle starting at the gum line. Also teach how to use a curricular motion on the sides of the teeth and a sweeping motion on the tops or bottom. Don’t forget to remind them to brush their tongue and the roof of their mouth.
How to Floss Teeth – Daily flossing is essential to oral health. It helps remove plaque and trapped particles from in between the teeth. Once your toddler’s teeth make contact with each other will be the time flossing is needed. It is recommended using flossing string versus the picks for a more thorough flossing. Show your toddler to use a length of floss around 18 inches and how to wrap the floss around their index finger on each hand. Make sure they don’t wind it too tight and make their fingers turn purple. Show how to go in between each tooth. Make sure they curve around each tooth with a c-cup shape. As they use a section of floss tell them to use clean or unused areas for the next tooth.

Additional Tooth Brushing Tips

Make sure to change your child’s toothbrush every three months. An often found bacterium develops leading to infection and other oral health concerns. Also the bristles get worn down and are no longer effective. When shopping for a new toothbrush, allow your child to pick their own toothbrush to encourage interest. Also make sure it is designed for children. Use flavored toothpaste. Regular toothpaste is a bit distasteful for children and could lead to discouragement. Oral health is an important step for a toddler to learn. It is recommended that until your child is seven years old, you help them brush their teeth. You may even need to assist them to ensure they properly clean and care for their teeth.

Pediatric Dental Care

To maintain your child’s oral hygiene make sure they learn proper oral care. Additionally it is wise to have your child’s teeth development monitored. Make sure to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist about every six months. If your child is ready for their check up, contact Smile Reef and schedule your appointment today.

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