Teach Them Young | San Antonio Dentist

Boy brushing his teeth

We are born with a clean slate and our instincts aren’t all that great, but they are enough to get us by with the help of an adult. As we grow, we are taught things that will help us get by in life on our own. Along the way, we also pick up habits, both good and bad. The good ones keep us safe, successful and healthy – the others do the opposite. As parents, it is important that we start our children off successful when it comes to forming good habits.

It is a common misconception that a child’s teeth aren’t all that important because they fall out to make way for their permanent ones. Because of this thought process, children aren’t always taught about dental hygiene. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge leads to tooth decay and more dental visits. Thankfully, there is something we can do to prevent our child’s oral health from declining to that state – teach them young.

In 2013, there was a study done in Scotland that wanted to prove that implementing a nursery tooth brushing program nationwide would reveal a reduction of tooth decay in five-year olds. Each health service administrative board area would distribute a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, then supervise the toddler’s teeth brushing practices to teach them proper technique. Once taught, the children would continue the practice at home and over the next twelve years, their dental health would be monitored. Those that were taught in nursery school had a decrease in dental decay from 3.06 to 2.07 once they reached ages 10-12, thus proving that the earlier they are taught to take care of their teeth, the healthier their mouths will be.

Because baby teeth are only temporary, they aren’t as strong as our permanent ones turn out to be. This makes them more susceptible to developing tooth decay. If they aren’t looked after daily, the more frequent (and painful) the tooth decay will be, making this habit a top priority. Once they understand the basics, it is now imperative to keep them motivated enough to continue the process to form a habit. Consistency is key.

A study was done in Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil in order to prove that it takes more than just the basics to develop a habit. 26 kindergarteners were selected and the presentation was broken up into three stages – zero knowledge, a motivational presentation once basic knowledge was given, and a thirty-day check-up to see if anything stuck. As they learned more about their dental health, they more they would make better choices when it came to their teeth.

It is never too young to teach our little ones about the importance of maintaining a good dental routine. In fact, these studies that have proven that stressing these good dental habits at an early age can not only set the stage for the rest of their lives, but will also decrease the chances of developing tooth decay.

For more information regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

How Do I Protect My Child’s Teeth from Halloween? | Snohomish Dentist

Children In Halloween Costumes Trick Or TreatingIt’s October…that one month of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But this is the month that holds something special that even Santa can do – bring them Halloween. It’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. Lots and lots of candy given freely by just saying those three magic words: trick or treat. No need to be good in order to dodge the coal in the stocking. In fact, the ‘trick’ in trick or treat almost praises naughty imp behavior if candy isn’t received. But as your children are scouring the neighborhood for larger haul than the year before, you will need to ask yourself – how can I monitor my child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of the year?

Here are some oral hygiene tips to keep in mind as your little monsters return with their stash:

Limit the intake. Halloween has to be the coolest time of year for your child’s imagination. For one day, they have the freedom to munch on candy while “fighting crime” dressed as a superhero. Tiny humans live for this day. Depriving them of what some would call a major part of the holiday will not only make your child upset, but won’t make life in your place very peaceful for a minute. So instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, unleashing the cavities while you aren’t looking.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Of course, the main defense against Halloween candy-driven cavities is good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. In case you aren’t sure if your child is brushing thoroughly enough, there are various disclosing products you can give your child to find out if their doing a good job brushing by coloring areas in their teeth that have plaque buildup. If they are fully against brushing, let them pick out their own dental stuff. Kids are often swayed by doing grown up things. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

For more information regarding cavity prevention during Halloween, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.