In honor of February serving as National Children’s Dental Health month, we wanted to provide parents with some tips on how they can help ensure their children have healthy teeth. Helping kids develop good dental care habits early is important in order to maintain that dental health throughout their lives.
Here are 7 simple steps parents can follow to help their kid’s smile shine.
Like adults, children should brush twice daily for two to three minutes, ideally early in the morning and before going to bed. Schedule your child’s nighttime brushing before they get too tired. If your child usually nods off at 9:00, have them do their nightly brushing/flossing at 8:15 or 8:30. Children are always more cooperative before the Sandman comes knocking.
Flossing should begin when two teeth touch each other. Have your dentist show you the right flossing technique and schedule.
Plan to help your children until they start first grade. Experts note that children often don’t have the fine motor skills to brush until about age 6 and they can’t floss capably until around age 10.
Learn what motivates your child. Younger children may gladly brush for gold stars on a chart or stickers of their favorite TV characters. Remember though, offering treats like cookies or candy would be counterproductive.
5. Establish Habits
Involve your child with their dental habits in an age-appropriate manner. For instance, a younger child may want to pick their own toothpaste from options you approve. Same with toothbrushes. You may offer them a choice of toothbrushes that are decorated with their favorite cartoon character, are brightly colored or has their favorite color.
Ask your dentist how early your child can begin using mouthwash. As a rule, rinsing isn’t advised until the child knows to spit the mouth rinse out.
7. Set the Example
Set a good example yourself by brushing daily and flossing regularly.
Just in case you missed it, Dr. Jan Linhart was mentioned in Saturday’s New York Post Page 6 Sightings section. The mention featured Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, who was spotted leaving Dr. Linhart’s office after an appointment.
Dr. Linhart is the official dentist of the Miss Universe organization and also serves a variety of other celebrity clients. Check it out below.
Remember to enter the Pearly Whites contest on the Dr. Jan Linhart Facebook page. All you have to do to enter is Like the Dr. Ja Linhart Facebook page and then upload a picture of you flashing your smile onto the wall. All submissions will be reviewed and the winner will be selected by the Dr. Linhart staff.
So enter now for your chance to win!
Also, remember to follow us on twitter @drjanlinhart for office updates, promotions, and general dental care tips!
The Peter Figoski Scholarship Fund was created to help support the four daughters of Peter Figoski, one of New York’s police officers who was killed in the line of duty. The fund was created to honor and remember Peter for his selflessness in protecting the city of New York.
Please help us reach our pledge of $1000 by sharing this story with all of your friends and family.
Yes, flossing is an essential part of proper daily oral hygiene. Although studies have not necessarily shown flossing to decrease cavities, it has been shown to help prevent periodontal disease!
Gingivitis is the initial presentation of periodontal infection, and signs of gingivitis include bleeding gums, inflamed gums, and red gums. Gingivitis is easily reversible by proper brushing techniques and flossing daily. After a week of good home care, all signs of gingivitis will disappear.
Periodontal disease, on the other hand, is a more severe infection of the gums and can lead to bone loss around teeth. This bone loss can result in the loss of teeth! Although periodontal disease can be diagnosed ewrly and halted, its destruction cannot be reversed. The best way to prevent periodontal disease is by visiting your dentist regularly, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily.
So YES, you should floss….but only if you want to keep your teeth!
Humans have 20 baby teeth followed by 32 permanent teeth, USUALLY!
The most commonly absent of the 32 adult teeth are the 2 maxillary (top) 3rd molars (aka Wisdom teeth). The second most commonly absent are 2 mandibular (bottom) 3rd molars (the other Wisdom teeth).
Some say that because 3rd molars are not useful to the adult dentition, and are often problematic (causing infection, pain, etc.), that humans are evolving beyond wisdom teeth and that is why either 1, 2, 3, or all 4 are sometimes absent.
I don’t know if a person should want all 4 present, and thus have wisdom, or have all 4 absent, and thus be evolved…
Just thought that would interest you.
How to Brush Your Teeth
Angle the soft bristles of your brush towards the gums as to remove as much plaque as possible. Don’t scrub, this can damage the enamel and cause your gums to recede.
Remember, 2 minutes of brushing twice a day = a healthy smile!
Recently there was a long cover article in the New York Times regarding the overuse of Conebeam CT scans in dentistry. This article brought up some of the negatives of these types of scans, primarily the amount of radiation associated with them. However, there are uses for these machines in dentistry, and when used appropriately, they provide diagnostic and planning information that cannot otherwise be obtained.
The average digital panoramic radiograph in a dental office exposes the patient to about 8-15 μSieverts (μS) of radiation < a dental conebeam CT is anywhere from 10-100 μS, depending on the size of the scan area and location < a cross-America flight exposes a person to ~60 μS < a medical CT ~2000 μS < annual background radiation ~2500μS. Therefore, the amount of radiation actually received by patients during a conebeam CT scan is minimal when compared to the amount of background radiation a person gets in a year, ~50/2500 μS = 2%.
Conebeam CT scans give 3-dimensional images of hard structures in the head and neck region. That means they can let you see every aspect of the jaw, teeth, joint, skull, etc. You can see the distance of structures from one another, and the location of abnormalities. In dentistry, these scans are particularly useful in Implant dentistry. A conventional dental x-ray, whether a periapical (small) film or a panoramic (large) film, only give the dentist a 2-D picture of a structure. However in order to place an implant in the best location in bone, sometimes the third dimension is required in order to avoid missing the bone, hitting nerves, or severing arteries. Conebeam scans also are useful in endodontics (root canal therapy), orthodontics (tooth movement), and of course general dentistry. 3D images which allow cross-sectional viewing in dentistry are extremely useful tools that will allow dentists to be more precise in their procedures.
The only true con of these machines is the radiation. As discussed above, there is a significant dose delivered, however it is minimal in comparison to other medical scans and even normal activities like flying. The primary concern demonstrated in the NYT article about conebeams is their overuse. While these devices do have a great role, they should be used only when necessary. Not all implants require scans, most orthodontics and endodontics do not require them either. Therefore it is extremely important for dentists to properly diagnose when a conebeam CT is necessary for a patient.
Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT
Dr. Jan Linhart is proud to announce that he has recently added the Kodak 9000 3D Conebeam CT to his office. We chose the Kodak machine because it allows us to take a scan of a small area, thus giving it the lowest patient radiation dose of any conebeam on the market. In addition, the Kodak unit allows us to take independent digital panoramic x-rays without delivering the radiation dose of a conebeam. This is a unique feature that many other machines lack.
Dr. Linhart, as well as the specialists in our office including Dr. Roger Bronstein (periodontist), have been trained to identify exactly when a conebeam CT is necessary, and will only take scans when indicated! We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments regarding this new addition to our office. I can be reached directly at Zachary@drlinhart.com
Finally, for the 4th installment of the tooth whitening section, let’s talk a bit about whitening toothpastes.
Most whitening pastes act by mechanical means. They use an abrasive agent, usually silica, to scratch the stains off the surface of the teeth, revealing the whiter enamel underneath the stains. This mechanical removal of stains is effective, however continued use of these pastes, or over use, can cause significant abrasion and harm to the teeth. Other whitening toothpastes use chemicals to help whiten the teeth. These pastes usually resort to the tried-and-tested peroxide route. Whether it be hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, urea peroxide, they all create a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth moderately without removing any of the tooth structure. Which mechanism of tooth whitening toothpaste is right for you? Well that is for you to decide. However none of these toothpastes will be nearly as effective as an in-office whitening session with take home trays. Stay tuned for more articles soon, and I welcome any questions.
What’s Right for You?
Most whitening pastes act by mechanical means. They use an abrasive agent, usually silica, to scratch the stains off the surface of the teeth, revealing the whiter enamel underneath the stains. This mechanical removal of stains is effective, however continued use of these pastes, or over use, can cause significant abrasion and harm to the teeth.
Other whitening toothpastes use chemicals to help whiten the teeth. These pastes usually resort to the tried-and-tested peroxide route. Whether it be hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, urea peroxide, they all create a chemical reaction that whitens the teeth moderately without removing any of the tooth structure.
Which mechanism of tooth whitening toothpaste is right for you? Well that is for you to decide. However none of these toothpastes will be nearly as effective as an in-office whitening session with take home trays.
Stay tuned for more articles soon, and I welcome any questions.
Many major companies that you have all heard of, Colgate, Crest, etc, are now selling whitening products that you can easily purchase at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
These include non-custom trays with whitening gel, whitening strips, or whitening pastes that can be applied to the teeth in accordance with the instructions in order to whiten.
Because of the wide variety of products in this category, it is impossible to accurately review them all. But in general, these products are a large step below in-office and custom tray whitening. Usually the levels of whitening gel are significantly decreased, tooth contact is decreased, and overall effectiveness is thus diminished.
That is not to say that you should never use these products. In the case of a quick touch up, nothing major, just to get your teeth to that sparkling white again after one too man cups of coffee that day, these products may be exactly what you need.
However in the case where your teeth have been tarnished by years of wear and tear, coffee, wine, and other stainers, in office teeth whitening or long-term custom tray whitening are certainly superior to these over-the-counter products.