Posts for: August, 2015
When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.
“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.
Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”
Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.
Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.
Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.
“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”
It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!
If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”
There’s really no secret to keeping your child’s teeth healthy — good, daily hygiene habits, regular dental visits and early treatment for emerging problems. It’s a lot easier for those things to happen if your child feels comfortable with dental care and visiting the dentist. Sadly, that’s not always the case: many children develop an unhealthy fear of the dentist because the initial relationship may have been mishandled.
Here, then, are 3 tips that will help you foster a healthy relationship between your child and their dentist.
Visit the dentist before their first birthday. From a health standpoint, dental visits should begin soon after your child’s first teeth emerge (erupt) in the mouth. Visiting the dentist by their first birthday also improves the chances they’ll develop a sufficient level of comfort with the visits, more so than if you waited a year or two longer.
Choose your dentist with your child’s sense of security and comfort in mind. When you’re looking for a dentist to care for your child, think of it as looking for a “new member of the family.” It’s important to find an office environment that’s kid-friendly and staff members that work well with children. Some dentists specialize in pediatric dentistry and many general dentists have additional training in working with children. The key is a dental team that has a good, trust-building rapport with children.
Set an example, both in the home and at the dentist. Children learn quite a bit watching what their caregivers say and how they react in potentially stressful situations. If dental care is important to you personally, it’s more likely to become important to your child. And when you visit the dentist with your child, be sure to project calm and a sense that it’s routine — if you display tenseness or nervousness your child may take that as a sign that visiting the dentist is something to fear.
You want your child to learn that the dentist is their friend who’s there to help them. That lesson should begin early with the right dental team — and by making dental care a priority in your own life.
If you would like more information on dental care for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”
Say goodbye to minor imperfections with dental bonding.
From crunching down on ice to not wearing protective gear during a game, we gamble with our smiles. It’s not surprising when our teeth retaliate with chips and cracks. Luckily your Westminster, MD dentist Dr. Pari Moazed can often correct these small issues quickly and non-invasively with dental bonding.
What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding is a simple cosmetic procedure performed by your Westminster, MD dentist to conceal minor dental imperfections and improve your smile’s appearance. Dental bonding uses tooth-colored resin (the same material used in a dental filling) to cover over these imperfections without needing anesthesia or pain medication.
What can dental bonding fix?
Dental bonding is typically used to improve the look of your smile but it can be used to improve function as well (which is the case for a dental filling). To put it simply, dental bonding is an easy way to change your smile’s appearance without needing veneers or crowns. Our patients turn to dental bonding to fix a number of issues:
- To close up spaces between teeth
- To fill a decayed tooth
- To change the length or shape of a tooth
- To hide minor cracks or chips in a tooth
- To cover discolorations
- To cover an exposed tooth root
Sometimes dental bonding is also used in conjunction with tooth reshaping or recontouring, in which your Westminster, MD dentist uses a special instrument to remove small amounts of enamel to change the shape and size of a tooth.
What does the dental bonding procedure entail?
Unless you are having a cavity filled, this procedure is painless and will not require anesthesia. This is what makes dental bonding an appealing cosmetic treatment for many of our patients. We will first choose the proper resin shade to match your tooth and then apply the resin. This resin is easily moldable so we can shape it around the problem areas to create a healthier-looking tooth. One we have the desired shape we will harden the resin with a dental laser. Dental bonding takes anywhere from thirty minutes to one hour per tooth.
Is dental bonding right for me?
While dental bonding is wonderful procedure for most people, it’s not the best solution for everyone. Those with small dental flaws will be more likely to benefit from dental bonding than someone with more complicated or severe dental issues. Since this procedure is non-invasive, the results aren’t as significant as getting dental veneers or other dental work.
However, the only way to find out if dental bonding is right for your smile is to consult your Westminster, MD dentist. When you come into our office we will be able to examine your smile to tell you whether dental bonding is right for your needs. Call us today to schedule a consultation.