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Tips on Teaching Your Kids Good Dental Habits

Teaching your kids healthy dental habits is an important part of parenting. You want to put your children on the right path to good oral health, and instilling daily dental habits is one of the best ways to do this. At West Meade Dental, we are often asked by parents for tips on how to teach their kids these essential habits as some parents find this task to be challenging. We would like to share some of these tips that we found from the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL) to help you teach your kids good dental habits.

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Do Not Make Brushing Your Teeth Seem Like a Chore.

The last thing you want to do is make your children feel like they are being forced to brush their teeth. A good way to get your children in the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day is to lead by example. Let your kids see you brush your teeth every morning and night, and get them to brush along with you. Until your kids reach the age of six or seven, they will need your assistance with brushing. You can make this even more fun for your kids by letting them help you brush your teeth as well.

Buy Fun Toothbrushes and Flavored Toothpaste.

Get your kids toothbrushes in their favorite colors or ones that feature their favorite cartoon characters. Present these brushes as a gift to create excitement for your children. Also, when buying kids’ toothpaste, bring your children to the store with you and allow them to pick out their favorite flavors. Always try to involve your kids in decision-making process when buying dental supplies.

Get Creative with a Song or a Story About Good Dental Habits.

Making these dental habits a fun thing to do is essential when teaching your kids these habits. If your kids like to sing, make up a song about brushing their teeth with them to sing whenever they brush. If they have a favorite song, let them listen to this song as they brush. You can even tell them they need to brush during the chorus of the song. Creating a story time during teeth brushing is another fun way to instill this habit. Try telling a story that incorporates mythical characters. For example, the knight can be the toothbrush who battles goblins (plaque) in the dragon’s cave, or your child’s mouth. If you do not feel that creative, you can always tell your kids their favorite stories as they are brushing their teeth as well.

Set Specific Times for Brushing Teeth.

Of course, you should have your kids brush your teeth in the morning and at night before going to bed, but you should also get them in the habit of brushing their teeth immediately after eating candy and other sugary foods and drinking sodas and other sugar-filled drinks.

If you would like to know more tips on teaching your kids healthy dental habits, contact West Meade Dental. Our staff is happy to help you with this important task.

Bad Habits that Affect Oral Health

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day  can affect your oral health. Here's what you should know:

You might not know it, but a lot of the things you do each day can affect your oral health. Here’s what you should know:

We worry about keeping our teeth bright and shiny, but what about their actual health? There are many habits that we do in our daily life that could be weakening our teeth. It is critical for your overall well-being that you address these issues. Also, make sure you are having your checkups. To schedule call the professionals at West Meade Dental.

How do you drink your drink?

Believe it or not, the way you drink your drink can affect your teeth. It is actually better to drink your drinks through a straw so it has less exposure to your teeth. Also, sipping them throughout the day only makes the sugar and acids more exposed to the teeth. And what do you do with the ice afterwards? Most people will chew their ice after they finish their drink. However, this should be avoided as it puts strain on the teeth and could cause fractures.

Teeth are bones, not tools!

Many people will use their teeth when they do not have another object around. Aside from this just being unsanitary, you can chip or fracture your tooth. Next time try using scissors, nail clippers, or pliers.

Hey you! Stop grinding your teeth!

Almost as annoying as smacking your gum, grinding your teeth cannot only put stress on your teeth, but the others around you. This is usually a nervous habit that is triggered by some sort of anxiety. If you grind your teeth at night, you should look into getting a mouth guard to wear while you sleep.

What are you using to brush your teeth and how well are you doing it?

Many think that a brush with harder bristles is the way to go. This can instead cause more sensitivity to the teeth, especially when roots begin to show. Every individual is different, so ask your dentist what type of brush will be best for you. Also, you want to make sure that you are brushing and flossing properly. You should be brushing at least twice a day and changing out your toothbrush in no longer than four months. For more information on proper brushing from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, click here.

Toothbrush: A Dental Care Innovation

Imagine what life would be like without this to brighten our smiles and keep our mouths healthy?

Imagine what life would be like without this to brighten our smiles and keep our mouths healthy?

Arguably, no dental innovation has had a more far-reaching impact than the toothbrush. The toothbrush is an essential tool that is used for the care of our teeth. Have you ever missed brushing your teeth for one day? Have you ever considered what it would be like without the toothbrush? Like many common household items, we give little thought about the origins or the trials and tribulations these products went through to arrive in the form we see in store’s today. The toothbrush is certainly no exception.

The Origins of the Toothbrush

Unlike the majority of other common household items, there is no single person credited as being the sole inventor of the toothbrush. It would seem as though the toothbrush actually evolved over time and mainly out of necessity. Traces of the first toothbrush have been dated back to the Egyptians and Babylonians, making the toothbrush one of the oldest devices still used by man. This particular version was nothing more than a stick, upon which the individual would chew until the fibers of the wood formed a brush; the sticks were believed to have healing and antiseptic qualities.

The Bristles Make All the Difference

The Chinese are credited with inventing the first bristle toothbrush, similar to the type used today. They took the hairs of Siberian wild boar and manipulated them onto bamboo sticks, one of the most common plants from that region. The sticks were then used just like a modern manual toothbrush to clean the teeth. The biggest drawback to the boar hairs was the fact that it was extremely rough on the gums. Once this iteration of the toothbrush made its way to Europe, some people began to use hair from the backs of horses, as it was much gentler on the gums.

Bristles Come Full Circle

Animal hair bristles remained in use until 1937, when Wallace Carothers created nylon in the DuPont laboratories. One year later, the first nylon toothbrush — the Miracle-Tuft Toothbrush — was created. After World War II, Americans began to become more concerned about oral hygiene. Brushing teeth regularly became popular in the U.S. after soldiers returned home and brought with them their strict habits of brushing their teeth. This influence prompted the development of more advanced toothbrushes and helped bring oral hygiene into the mainstream.

Over the centuries, the toothbrush has seen many changes in designs and materials used. The brands, styles and colors of toothbrushes are virtually endless. Now the toothbrush is a scientific instrument, which comes in diverse colors, shapes and sizes. It’s a tool with modern ergonomic designs and safe hygienic materials. The toothbrush has stood the test of time, thus earning the title of being the cornerstone of proper oral hygiene.

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