Thursday, May 28, 2015

8 Ways Your Children Could be Wrecking Their Teeth

“Take care of your teeth, and they’ll last a lifetime.” Sometimes, though, our habits get the best of us – and our teeth – and those habits often begin wreaking havoc long before we know they’re harmful. As parents we have the ability to pass on a bit of that wisdom early in the game, so our kids don’t suffer the same consequences we may have experienced: broken, discolored or decayed teeth.  Here are some things (in no particular order) your kids are doing right now that just might cost them later in life. Educate away, parents!
  1. Chewing on anything other than food (this includes ice!): Kids can sometimes develop the habit of chewing on pencils, pens and pen caps while bored in school. As you might imagine, this is a wonderful way to go through writing utensils, and an equally quick way to break a tooth. Offer up some sugarless gum instead. Gum with xylitol in it is a great substitute because it actually helps teeth stay healthy.
  2. Constant snacking: Unshelled sunflower seeds are a favorite among athletes, primarily to avoid the communal draw of chewing tobacco. Despite the appeal, items like this salty, hard-shelled treat aren’t good for your kids’ teeth because they expose the mouth to pH-reducing food for hours at a time. What’s even worse is snacking on sweet or starchy foods like mints, candy, throat lozenges or pretzels. If your children love to snack, get them something that is low in sugar and starch -- like carrots, jerky or cheese.
  3. Guzzling Fruit Juice: We know it’s hard to believe, but fruit juice packs nearly as much sugar as soda. Have them stick with water (either carbonated or flat) and if they want a little bit of flavor, some lemon or lime juice can be added sparingly for a bit of liveliness.
  4. Drinking sports drinks instead of water for hydration: Athletes concerned about hydration and balancing the nutrient levels in their bodies can benefit from sports drinks. Most children, however, are consuming these drinks as common beverages, and more frequently than they should. Popular drinks in this category are high in acid, which literally eats away at tooth enamel, and can cause heartburn issues. Energy drinks fall into this category as well. Both aren’t good for teeth.
  5. Enjoy He-Man, She-Woman attempts at opening packages with their teeth: Just say no.
  6. Getting Pierced: Other than the fact that tongue and lip piercings can harbor bacteria that can turn to infection, those little shiny objects also beat the heck out of the inside of your child’s mouth. Piercings near the gumline wear away the gums and the enamel of the teeth nearby, and tongue piercings are often munched-on unwittingly, which can lead to chipped or broken teeth.  Piercings are indeed trendy these days, and scare-tactics aren’t likely to convince anyone to avoid one. However, a frank talk about the risks is wise.
  7. Too Cool For A Mouthguard: Mouthguards protect against the loss of teeth, damage to the jaw and even concussion. There’s really no excuse for not wearing one these days. Call your dentist today if you’ve got kids involved in organized or recreational sports that could involve an impact or fall. Both you and your child will thank us later.
  8. Excessive Bleachers: Not gymnasium bleachers, but teeth whitening, of course. When home whitening becomes excessive to the point where gum and tooth sensitivity doesn’t subside, you should consider the opinion of your dentist. Your children will likely bring this soreness up to you, so it helps to be aware of the connection.

Friday, January 30, 2015

February is National Children's Dental Health Month



Learn about our dental artwork contest...

Each February, dentists across the nation partner up to help promote awareness for oral health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages parents to help establish a dental home by 12 months of age. This helps allow pediatric dentists to provide preventative care, dietary counseling, and comprehensive assessment for oral disease and conditions. The big push here is prevention. To recognize February as National Children's Dental Health Month our office is holding a dental artwork contest. We want all of our patients to participate and help raise awareness. Post the artwork to our facebook page and encourage all of your friends and family to like it for a change to win. We will give away a grand prize, group prizes, and a chance to have your child's artwork decorate our office! The break down for the age group prizes are as follows: 6 and under, 7-12, and 13 and up. One grand prize winner with the most likes will win an IPad Mini. Winners will be selected by posting the artwork to our page and sharing it with your Facebook friends to acquire likes. The artwork with the most likes will be our grand prize winner! Best of luck to all of our patients from The Watertown Pediatric Dentistry Family!
Visit The American Dental Association for more information about the National Children's Dental Health Month Campaign !