Roughly 1 in 5 children have an untreated decayed tooth. This can lead to painful gum infections and more. For this reason and more, teaching children good oral health habits is essential. However, when it comes to brushing teeth, children tend not to be so compliant.
In this article, we offer our top teeth brushing tips to make dental care fun for children. Instead of a chore, you can make tooth brushing a fun activity. Continue reading to find out how to get your kids to enjoy brushing their teeth.
Get Started Early
One of our top teeth brushing tips is to get children started with good dental care habits as early as possible. For a lot of parents, this is something they do naturally, but it’s important to be as intentional about it as possible.
The earlier they start on tooth brushing, the better their teeth will be if they stick with good habits. It also develops into a natural habit instead of a chore to be questioned.
Set a Good Example
Children like to mimic adults, especially their parents, when they’re little. Setting a good example for your children is one of the easiest ways to ensure good tooth brushing habits. Plus, it’s beneficial to your own oral health.
Consider making brushing teeth a family event and have everyone brush their teeth at the same time. When children see that everyone needs to do it, they are less likely to question it and just follow suit.
Stick to a Schedule
Children thrive when they have a set schedule they can depend on. This applies to everything from bedtime to mealtime to tooth brushing. Setting a schedule helps them to know what exactly is expected of them.
When setting a schedule for brushing teeth, it’s essential to stick with the schedule. If you tell your child their teeth brushing time is 7pm, do your best to avoid letting the time pass to 7:30pm or 8pm. This gives children the impression that rules are flexible.
Give Tooth Brushing a Story
While education may not be very exciting for children, it’s important that they understand why it’s so important. That being said, education doesn’t have to be boring at all. The key is to get creative with a fun story.
The possibilities of building a fun toothbrushing story are endless and just depend on your child. Try tailoring the story to something they like, such as likening plaque to a supervillain and their toothbrush and toothpaste as the superhero and sidekick.
Offer Them More Role Models
Giving your children more role models to look up to can be helpful when trying to instill good oral health habits. With children’s shows and movies attempting to emphasize healthy lifestyles, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
When they see their favorite characters, friends, or family members talking about the importance of good dental care, it further solidifies it as an important habit. It can also make them proud to do what their role model does.
Let Them Choose Their Products
Branding for children’s products is effective at catching their interest, and children’s toothbrushing supplies are no exception. Letting them pick out their own products offers a chance for a fun bonding activity.
Plus, it’s also a great way to get them excited about brushing their teeth. They’ll be so excited to use their new toothbrush and toothpaste with their favorite cartoon character that you may not even have to ask them to use them.
Set Brushing Teeth to Music
Another one of our favorite teeth brushing tips involves music. If your children enjoy music, consider employing it as part of their routine. You can get creative with how you employ it as long as it creates a fun atmosphere.
Consider playing a song to announce when it’s time for your children to brush their teeth or a short song that plays while they brush. Once the song is finished, they can be done brushing and move on to the next part of their routine.
If you’re having difficulty establishing a routine or your children aren’t getting invested in the toothbrushing process, consider using the rewards system. This can be as simple or involved as you want it to be.
For example, you can create a reward chart for them. Every time they brush their teeth, give them a sticker or a mark. Once they’ve reached a certain number of marks, they get some sort of reward for their good work.
Choose the Right Dentist for Kids
A big part of making brushing teeth fun for kids is choosing the right dentist for kids. The dentist can be a scary place for children, which is why the right dental care facility is so important. Not all children’s dentists are equal.
When searching for a dentist for kids, look at reviews to get feedback from other parents. You want to work with a dentist that is patient with children and can make them laugh so they don’t feel so afraid of the different treatments they need.
Make Brushing Teeth Fun
Use the above teeth brushing tips to start making brushing teeth fun for your children. Just because the act of teeth brushing may not be exciting in itself, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make it that way.
Don’t underestimate the value of working with a great dentist for kids. They can vastly improve your children’s view of dental care. It can help turn the dentist’s office from a scary place to visit to something they enjoy.
Get your child started with a great dentist for kids by booking an appointment with us today!
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.