February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association (ADA) established National Children’s Dental Health Month over thirty years ago to promote the benefits starting young to achieve good oral health.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the country.  Tooth decay affects more children than asthma or hay fever. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of children will have some tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. The good news for parents is that tooth decay is preventable!

The following recommendations will get your child off to a great start with good dental health.

  • Brush and floss twice each day

The best weapons available to a parent are a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. The ADA recommends that parents teach their children to brush for two minutes two times a day—morning and evening at bedtime. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach your child to avoid swallowing toothpaste.  Parents should provide help and supervision until a child is about seven or eight years old.

  • Limit sugary treats and drinks

This includes avoiding juice between meals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends limiting juice to four to six ounces per day. Parents can also replace sugary treats with healthy snacks such as cheese, yogurt, and fruit.

  • Schedule a dental checkup

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first visit to the dentist when the child turns one year of age. First birthday equals first checkup.  However, if a parent detects discoloration or staining, they should schedule an appointment right away.

  • Make sure your water has fluoride

Fluoride helps teeth resist acid attacks by strengthening tooth enamel. If your local water supply does not have fluoride, talk to your dentist about fluoride drops or tablets.

National Children’s Dental Health Month is a good reminder that it’s never too early to start your child on the path of good dental health. Habits developed early tend to become lifelong habits.

Dental Awareness Month

Join us for a FREE day of dental health education in Lubbock

Join our Lubbock, Texas location in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month this Saturday at the Barnes and Noble book fair.

Kid’s Dentistree and Braces Braces Braces will host the Youth Tooth Bookfair on Saturday from 11AM-1PM. See flyer for details.

So Many Brands, So Little Time!

Since Crest toothpaste became the first toothpaste to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval in 1960, more than 400 toothpastes have shown up on retail store shelves.  Every brand offers multiple sizes, flavors, and specialties. Buying a simple tube of toothpaste is not so simple.

Toothpaste is a daily essential, or should be, in every household. Toothpaste improves the cleaning power of your toothbrush by helping to remove plaque, the film of bacteria on teeth and gums that contributes to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Most toothpaste contains detergents that cause a foaming action to remove food particles.  Some add abrasives to help remove stains or flavoring to improve taste.  Beyond that there are baking soda toothpaste, natural toothpaste, gels, desensitizing toothpaste, breath-freshening toothpaste, and many more. With so many choices, what’s a shopper to do?

  • Look for fluoride

The fluoride in toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel which helps prevent tooth decay.  Fluoride also works to remineralize teeth worn by acid.

  • Look for the ADA Seal

The American Dental Association evaluates toothpastes for safety and effectiveness. All toothpastes with the ADA Seal contain fluoride.

  • Evaluate special claims

Many manufacturers have specialty products in their line that make certain claims. You should know that whitening toothpaste doesn’t really whiten teeth but contains abrasives or chemicals to remove tooth stains.  Tartar control toothpaste doesn’t remove existing tartar; only a dentist can do that. Instead, the product helps prevent tartar from accumulating.

  • Consult your dentist

 

Based on the results of your dental exam, your dentist can determine if a special product is necessary. If there are no specific concerns, most dentists advise their patients to choose a brand they like because they will be more likely to use it regularly. Also, check with your orthodontist before making a selection. Some orthodontists advise patients who wear braces to avoid certain toothpastes, such as those containing a whitening agent.

close up of boy in sports jersey with mouthguard

Why We Love Mouthguards (And You Should Too!)

As parents, we’re always concerned with keeping our children safe. When it comes to sports, one of the best ways to protect your child’s teeth–and their brain–is a mouthguard.  Whether you’re preparing your kids for soccer, football, basketball, hockey or any other sport, don’t forget one of the best ways you can protect their dental health and reduce concussion risk.

What makes a mouthguard so important?

1. Sports-related dental injuries affect a lot of people.

Naturally, no one wants their child to be injured in any way while playing sports, but, unfortunately, dental injuries happen more frequently than you might think. From the American Dental Assistants Association’s Sports-Related Dental Injuries and Sports Dentistry educational materials (emphasis ours):

“Approximately 20 million children participate in various sports programs in the United States and another 80 million are involved in unsupervised recreational sports. In addition, 15 million Americans suffer dental injuries and 5 million teeth are lost annually in sports-related injuries. During a single athletic season, athletes have a 1 in 10 chance of suffering a facial or dental injury. In fact, the lifetime risk of such an injury is estimated to be about 45% according to the National Youth Sports Foundation.”

2. Mouthguards are effective in preventing dental injuries.

There are a few types of dental injuries. Teeth can become chipped, broken, loose, or lost altogether. Dealing with a dental trauma can be hard for anyone, especially kids. Your teeth affect how you smile, how you eat, and how you speak. Treatment for dental injuries can also be costly. A mouthguard helps by protecting your teeth and decreases risk of all of these types of injuries. In fact, studies have found that mouthguards are not just one way to prevent sports-related dental injuries, they are the most effective way.

3. Mouthguards are available for a range of prices.

There are three kinds of mouthguards:

  • Ready-Made: These mouthguards can be found in many grocery and drug stores and are ready to wear out of the box. They are the least expensive option, and while they do work for some, they don’t often fit very well, and as a result can be uncomfortable and make speaking difficult.
  • Boil-and-Bite: Also available in drugstores and grocery stores, as well as sporting goods stores, boil-and-bite mouthguards are a way to get a better fit while still being relatively inexpensive. Before initial use, you soften the guard material by boiling, and then “bite” into it, allowing the material to mold around your teeth and gums.
  • Custom-Made: A custom-made mouthguard is made just for you by your family dentist. For many people, this option offers the best and most comfortable fit. When your dentist makes your mouthguard, s/he can also tailor it to the needs of the individual athlete and their sport. These are also the most expensive mouthguards, but are a worthwhile investment for active kids (and adults).

If your child needs a mouthguard for the fall sports season, just get in touch with us! We’re here to help.

Request an Appointment

Request an appointment








Yes No
Phone Email