Whether you’re looking for your child’s first dentist or wanting to find a new dentist for your child, it can be difficult to know where to begin your search. The dentist you currently visit might not be the best choice for your child. You might be looking for a dentistry that can accommodate your entire family. How do you find the right dentist that will meet your and your child’s dental needs?
Different dentists and dental offices will have a variety of specialties. To find the right dentist for your child, you’ll want to look for a dentistry that has experience with children. In your search, it might be a practical idea to switch to a family dentistry that can care for everyone in your household.
Look for a Family Dentistry
A family dentistry is equipped to handle the dental needs of the whole family, including your child. It will likely employ pediatric dentists who have undergone special training after dental school to specialize in kids teeth. Pediatric dentists not only have the skills to work on your child’s teeth, but they also understand kids’ behavior and how to work with children in a way that is educational and fun.
It’s hard enough to sell kids on why they should go to the dentist, but working with the right dentist for your child will help them develop the habit of attending regular dental visits. A pediatric dentist can show your child why dental hygiene is so important and make the process less scary and stressful — even entertaining!
A family dentistry will have all the necessary tools and experience to deal with dental problems children often have, and can create a safe and welcoming environment where your child can have a pain-free first experience.
Visit a Dentist for Your Child While They’re Young
It’s recommended that your child visit a dentist before their first birthday. Start bringing your child to the dentist regularly when they’re very young, and make it a part of your biannual routine to establish healthy habits early. If you wait too long, your child may already have some tooth decay. It will be hard for them to have a good first experience at the dentist if they’re starting off with an uncomfortable procedure.
How you talk about dental health and visits to the dentist will help your child have a good experience. Do you dread your dental cleanings? If they hear you grumbling about having to go to the dentist, it’s likely they won’t feel like going either. Your kids can pick up on a lot. Going to a dentist for kids should be a fun experience, and the way you talk about it will have a great impact on your child’s first impression.
Why Choose a Dentist for Kids
Finding the right dentist for your kids is important for their future. Your child’s dentist can teach them important lessons about preventative dental care — the most important part of dental health. A pediatric dentist knows how to get kids engaged with their health and demonstrate the importance of dental hygiene.
Family dentists practice a method of teaching that helps lower apprehension and makes kids feel safe and supported in the office. They explain what they’re doing, then show the child how it’s done before doing it. This gets kids involved in their own appointments. Feeling involved helps limit fear and puts their minds to work on other things.
How to Know You’ve Found the Right Dentist For Your Child
Before you commit to a dentist for your child, try a first visit consultation. This is a chance for you and your child to meet with your dentist and assess the environment to see if it’s a good fit for your family. You can see how your child responds to the office and the staff, and get them familiar with their dentist when there’s nothing at stake. This first visit also gives the dentist a chance to meet with your child, so they can anticipate their apprehensions before treatment and start building rapport.
Finding a great dentist for kids takes a bit of research, but it’s worth the effort. Your family dentistry could be with you for a long time, helping you care for your kids as they grow up. It’s important to find the right dentist for your child who will make them feel comfortable and help teach them healthy habits.
Whether you’re planning for the future, or looking to make a switch to a family dentistry who can accommodate you and your child, give Creason, Weber & Mountford a call! We perform pediatric dentistry daily, and we’d love to be your go-to dentistry for the whole family. Request an appointment today!
Tongue scraping is a dental hygiene technique that’s gaining popularity across social media channels. It claims extreme benefits such as defeating bad breath, eliminating bacterial buildup, preventing cavities and improving dental health. If you’ve heard mentions of it you might be wondering — what is tongue scraping exactly and is it worth the hype? We’ll discuss what tongue scraping is and what studies actually prove about the practice, whether you should stick to traditional routines or add something new to your brushing regiment.
What is tongue scraping?
Tongue scraping is a hygiene practice that involves using a rounded plastic or metal tool to remove extra food particles, dead cells, and bacteria from the surface of the tongue. It is intended to remove the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath.
Many people have added tongue scraping as an extra step in their dental hygiene routine, others do it after meals instead of brushing, and still others say it improves the appearance of their tongue — but is it actually working? And could it be a replacement for other forms of cleaning?
What Dentists Say About Tongue Scraping
Dentists say that while tongue scraping probably won’t have adverse effects on your health, most studies show inconclusive or insignificant results of regular tongue scraping for reducing odor or bacteria. There isn’t a clear trend that demonstrates incorporating daily tongue scraping will lower your chance of getting a cavity or that it removes particles responsible for bad breath.
Dentists agree that a greater focus on cleaning all areas of the mouth is beneficial for your health and that taking good care of your tongue is important. For tongue scraping to really remove enough particles it would have to be performed many times per day, but should never replace regular brushing and flossing.
Still, since there are few side effects, dentists don’t discourage patients from trying it out and seeing if it works for them. If you do experiment with tongue scraping, take care to sanitize the scraper before and after use and make sure there are no sharp points that could cut or abrase the tongue. Of course, remember to keep up with your regular dental hygiene routine.
What You Need to Defeat Bad Breath
While some claim tongue scraping to be an excellent way to get rid of odorous or unwanted particles, there are more effective methods for keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
Twice Daily Brushing
Regular and thorough brushing of all teeth is the first defense against bacteria and tooth decay. You should brush at least twice per day for a minimum of two minutes. Use a toothbrush that allows you to reach all areas of the teeth, carefully around the gums, and even over the surface of your tongue.
Flossing is a great way to get at particles that hide between teeth. You should floss daily, but it’s easier to make it a second step to brushing in the morning and evening. Flossing removes dangerous plaque before it turns into tartar and can help keep your teeth cavity-free. If you don’t want to use floss, there are alternative methods like using a water flosser which can be gentler on sensitive gums while also easier to navigate around permanent retainers or braces.
Drinking recommended amounts of water throughout the day can also relieve bad breath. Regular intake of fluids is not only good for the rest of your body but is also excellent for dental hygiene. Drinking water pushes food particles out of the mouth and cleanses the tongue’s surface. It works to maintain a balance of healthy bacteria in the mouth while driving out the bad.
Of course, the best way to make sure your mouth is as healthy as it can be is by visiting your dentist regularly. Your dentist can remove dangerous plaque buildup and tartar before it threatens your teeth and gums with cavities or disease. Cleanings and annual fluoride treatments defeat lingering bacteria that brushing and flossing didn’t remove. If you’re concerned that an underlying issue might be causing a persistent problem with bad breath, your dentist will be able to help investigate and provide solutions.
While tongue scraping won’t necessarily give you better breath, a regular dental checkup will! Give us a call at (616) 842-0822 or schedule your next appointment online with Creason, Weber & Mountford today to make sure your dental health is in check.
A teething baby can be a terror: screaming, crying, irritable, and gnawing on anything he or she can find. Like all growing pains, you can’t make the teething process completely pain-free for your baby (or yourself), but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort of teething. Here are a few simple at-home remedies you can employ to soothe your teething child:
Mothers have been using this method since refrigeration became a thing, and for good reason: it works. Place a damp washcloth in the freezer for a little while—not until it’s frozen solid, just until it’s cold and slightly stiff—then give it to baby to chew on. This kills two birds with one stone because, teething babies like to chew on things and the cold helps reduce swelling and pain. You can also try freezable teething toys, as well.
In addition to using frozen toys and washcloths, you can also ice the gums directly for short period of time. Just like for other injuries, icing the area can reduce swelling and pain.
Baby Orajel™, benzocaine, and other oral numbing agents numb the gums, which reduces pain. Ensure that if you use these products, that they are specifically formulated for infants, as the adult versions of these products may be too strong for babies.
Clove oil or clove tea
Clove oil works as an anesthetic, much like over-the-counter oral numbing products. Apply diluted (it’s highly concentrated and strong, otherwise) clove oil directly to baby’s gums for teething relief. Clove tea is also a soothing agent that you can apply to the baby’s gums, or give to the baby by soaking a washcloth in the tea and letting the baby chew on it.
Another soother. Brew some chamomile—ensure that it’s caffeine-free, though—and either give it to baby in the form of a soaked washcloth to suck on or gnaw, or rub it onto the gums gently with your finger.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a variety of toys designed specifically for teething babies to chew on. That way, they’re not chewing on things they shouldn’t be, like dog toys and old shoes (if this isn’t your first kid, you know, it happens).
If baby won’t stop chewing on your hair or trying to eat your necklace, try teething jewelry. There are jewelry options with silicone and wooden beads that are safe for children to chew on—and some of them are even cute!
If you’ve got questions about your baby’s new teeth, or it’s time for your baby’s first checkup, set up an appointment with Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry!
If you’re like most of us, you probably set a few New Year’s resolutions every year aimed at making yourself the best and healthiest you can be. If you’ve set a resolution this year to actually start flossing every day (instead of just lying when your dentist asks if you’ve been flossing…), here’s how you can keep that resolution.
Remind yourself of your why
It’s nearly impossible to stick to a goal if you don’t have a compelling reason to do so. That’s why you need to remind yourself of why you’re doing this: to improve your dental health. Skipping flossing can put you at risk for cavities between your teeth and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums that can be the first stage of gum disease.) Flossing removes plaque buildup and bacteria from between the teeth and gums to prevent these issues.
Make it a habit
We all know that bad habits are hard to break, but so are good ones! Make flossing a part of your regular morning or evening routine. Set your floss or flossers right next to your toothbrush as a visual reminder that you need to floss after brushing your teeth. You can also set an alarm or reminder on your phone.
Don’t have an all-or-nothing mindset
If you forget to floss one day, that doesn’t mean your resolution is wrecked or you’ve failed. Just get back on the horse the next day. No one is perfect, and if you expect yourself never to mess up, you’re destined to fail. If you forget to floss one day, it’s not the end of the world. Remember, flossing 90 percent of the time is better than never!
Make it easy for yourself
If you really hate flossing, it’s never going to be fun, but you can make things easy for yourself. Humans tend toward the path of least resistance, so make it easy to floss. Keep your house stocked with floss or flossers so that you never run out and use that as an excuse to give up. If you really hate using traditional floss, buy flossers or interdental cleaners to use instead.
Do it with a buddy
Accountability is super important when it comes to keeping resolutions. If you can, find someone to do your flossing goal with you. That way, you can keep each other on track and encourage each other. While a flossing buddy doesn’t have the same ring to it as workout buddy, it’s still a useful strategy. Even if you can’t find someone else to commit to the same goal, just telling another person about your flossing goal can help you keep it.
Flossing is critical to dental health, and setting a New Year’s resolution to floss daily is a great way to improve your dental health in the new year. Follow the tips above to ensure you’re successful in your goal.
Another way to keep up your oral health this year is by getting regular dental checkups. If it’s time you had a checkup, call Drs. Creason, Weber, Mountford & Ruszkowski Family Dentistry today!
Cavity is a scary word. Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told to brush our teeth and lay off the sweets or we’d get cavities. Whether or not our parents’ scare tactics worked, even now, cavities and tooth decay can be a painful and pesky problem. How do we prevent them? Here are the five worst habits we have when it comes to cavities:
- Eating Lots of Sweets
Sugar can be devastating to your teeth. This is because the bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and, as a byproduct, produces acid. This acid dissolves tooth enamel, which weakens the tooth and can lead to cavities and tooth decay. It follows that eating lots of sweet, sugary candies and other sweet things can result in cavities and enamel erosion (and remember, enamel never grows back).
- Eating Sticky Foods
Eating foods that can stick to your teeth, just like eating sugary foods (and let’s be honest, those categories often overlap), can cause cavities. Your mouth bacteria will devour the food particles stuck to your teeth, then release the acid byproduct directly onto your teeth, where it can do the most damage. Additionally, sticky foods are harder to brush, floss, and otherwise remove from your teeth, making them even more likely to stick around in your mouth, even after brushing, causing further decay.
- Eating Between Meals
Snacking isn’t all bad, and there is a lot of evidence to suggest that snacking can be good for your metabolism. It can be bad for your mouth, though, if you’re not careful. Most people brush their teeth after meals and before going to bed, but you’re less likely to brush your teeth after a snack. This can leave food residue (like sugar) in your mouth for long periods of time, providing food for bacteria to feast on, then secrete enamel-destroying acids.
- Drinking Sugary Beverages
We all know that sugary treats can cause cavities, but so can sugary drinks like sodas and juice. These beverages can be even worse for your teeth than candies and desserts because you’re even less likely to brush your teeth after downing a can of cola or a juice box than after eating a sweet with a meal.
- Drinking Bottled Water
Water, bottled or not, is nearly always a better health choice than juice, alcohol, or soda, but not all water is created equal. The truth is that many bottled waters lack the fluoride that is added to municipal water sources. As you know, fluoride is used to protect your teeth – it helps remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel, which is what protects teeth from decay. Drinking only bottled water could leave your teeth without enough exposure to fluoride to stop decay.
Each of these five habits could lead to or contribute to the formation of cavities in your teeth and, combined, could be a recipe for a whole mouthful of cavities and tooth problems. To reduce your risk of cavities, eat a sensible diet, with limited sugary foods and drinks; drink water, but not only fluoride-less bottled waters; and brush your teeth after eating to prevent food from sticking to teeth and fueling decay-causing bacteria. These things, in addition to regular dental cleanings, can help keep your teeth strong and cavity-free.
If you think you might have a cavity, call our office today! We’ll schedule an appointment and get your cavity taken care of before it gets any worse.
Oral health is an oft-neglected component of well-being, but a crucial one. When it comes to kids, who are growing, developing, and not too concerned with health and wellness, it’s important for parents to set them up for success. One major component of dental health is strong teeth, and there are plenty of foods that kids can eat to support strong and healthy teeth; maybe even some they like!
Try not to groan when your kids ask for mac and cheese…again. Unless your children are lactose intolerant or dairy-free for another reason, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt can help support strong teeth. They contain calcium, an important mineral for bone strength.
If your children are dairy-free, almonds are an excellent alternative source of calcium. Bonus: almonds are high in protein and low in sugar, and they make plenty of palatable milk substitutes from them.
Think spinach, kale, and the like. Just don’t ask us how to get your kids to eat them. Dark leafy greens are another food high in calcium, and they’re also high in folic acid, which is good for gums.
Meat, eggs, and fish
All of these options–in addition to high protein content, which is necessary for a strong body–are high in phosphorous, which helps keep tooth enamel strong. Bring on the fish sticks.
Water is obviously healthy, but if your water has added fluoride, it can help strengthen teeth. If your water doesn’t (e.g., you have a well instead of city water), you can purchase bottled waters that have added fluoride. Additionally, other beverages and foods which are made or prepared with fluoridated water may retain some of that fluoride and the associated tooth-strengthening benefits.
Grains get a bad rap these days, but when it comes to strong teeth, they can be a boon. Many breads and other grain products are made using fortified flours, which have added vitamins and minerals, including the all-important calcium. Good thing PB&J sandwiches will always be in style.
A diet rich in nutrients and minerals is essential to raise strong and healthy kids, with strong and healthy teeth. Childhood is a foundation for the rest of a child’s life, especially when it comes to health, and dental health is a part of that. Incorporating some of the foods listed above can help fortify your children’s’ diets, and their teeth.
Have your kids gotten cavities anyway? Set them up with an appointment at Creason, Weber & Mountford Family Dentistry.