Kids Brushing, Tips and Tricks to Win Over Any Kid

Kids Brushing, Tips and Tricks to Win Over Any Kid

Kids brushing, get your compliance winners

Anyone with kids of any age knows that strategies to encourage proper brushing are vital. Starting at an early age parents work to evoke life long hygiene habits for their kids. Teeth brushing is no exception.

Children are not alone in the practice to be good tooth brushers. Even as the “responsible adult” we need a “carrot” to prevail in our endeavors at the end of a long day. Remembering that time spent developing good habits will reap rewards for both you and the child.

Songs, games, charts, rewards, fun timers, even apps for tablets and phones come into play when teaching good habits. Many good examples exist on the internet. A quick search will bring a plethora of choices to your finger tips. Switching these and fine tuning them as needed to get the desired result may be a solution to waining interest.

Perfect Habits, Perfect Brushing, Perfect Smiles

Teaching kids, when they are young to develop good brushing habits is time well invested. Removing the biofilm–daily–on teeth and oral surfaces. Doing so leads to a lifetime of benefits, dental health being at the top of that list.

Forming positive habits can be a very natural, easy process with young children. Starting from the time they are infants, small children want to emulate their parents and those around them, therefore make brushing a family social event. Mom’s and dad’s who brush with their little ones around are sending a positive message that brushing is fun and easy.

Self Esteem Years Down the Road

Studies show people form an opinion about who you are in a matter of minutes. One of the key factors in that judgment happens to be your smile.  What a valuable gift to help teach your children a lifelong, healthy habit that will continue to benefit them in a multitude of ways. Daily brushing ultimately reduces the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and improves long term overall health . It will, in turn ultimately reduce long-range cost associated with dental care. Plus healthy, clean teeth just look really great!

Copy-Cats

Mother and daughter baby girl brushing their teeth together

Mother and daughter baby girl brushing their teeth together

For infants and children under two or three, simply let them mirror your behavior while brushing by providing an infant type of soft and safe toothbrushthere are numerous options–no toothpaste is required but if you do use one make sure to use one with no fluoride that is safe for infants and children.

Incentives

Children between three and four who are still working on good brushing habits still benefit from seeing you carry out your daily brushing but they are also easily influenced with a little incentivizing. Consider an extra story at night when they brush on their own. Even simple sticker charts for a week to five days in a row with a small prize at the end. Some ideas that might work in your family could be a sticker collection to add to, matchbox cars, hair ties or clips, special socks with favorite cartoon character, coloring pages or books, small puzzles, even a picking out a balloon when age appropriate and supervision are possible, maybe three minutes of screen time per brush works for your family. Find what works and fits into your family’s routine and natural routines.

Mother And Daughter Putting Star On Reward Chart

Mother And Daughter Putting Star On Reward Chart

Children bigger and older start having more dexterity and can do most of their brushing unassisted while younger kids may need you to follow behind them.  Older kids can also be taught to run their tongue on the surface of teeth to check for spots they missed. Clean teeth should feel slick and smooth with no rough areas.  By kindergarten children can be well on their way to initiating brushing all on their own. Keeping a brushing chart can help with stickers or a pen to add stars or checks when kids complete their morning and nighttime brushing. Though incentives can be helpful, by this age kids are also able to grasp concepts about their health and getting rid of germs that make cavities. Incentives, if needed, may only need implementing for good check-ups.

Keep a Running List of Ideas

These are just ideas intended to help increase brushing compliance in the entire household. Perhaps you will find that it’s helpful to change things up and stay creative. Perhaps you’ve found something useful here or you’re inspired or re-inspired with another tactic to help get brushing to be your kids new favorite habit. It’s worth the effort and the dividend will payout over an entire lifetime.

Twice yearly check-ups go hand in hand with perfect brushing habits and will help keep everyone in the family on track and ready to address problem areas often before decay encroaches. Give us a call today for questions or appointments.

Reach us at:   Marilyn K. Jones DDS      *      Houston’s Biological Dentist *      Address: 800 Bering Dr. Suite 204    *    Phone: (713)785-7767     *     Email: mjones@hal-pc.org

 

 

Ten Things To Rev Up Your Good Oral Health

Good Oral Health: Ten Ways To Ensure The Strongest Teeth

“The baby boomers will be the first U.S. generation to age while maintaining their natural dentition.”

So often the health of our teeth is taken for granted. Advances in dentistry, prevention, and health care have greatly improved good oral health of millions of Americans to a point where an entire generation of baby boomers are about to set a new bench mark. More of us are keeping our natural teeth or the majority of our natural teeth through our entire life.

As Medical studies have born-out, good oral health is directly linked to good overall health. It stands to reason that our general health benefits from paying close attention to, and taking adequate care of our teeth.

Your Count Down To Stronger, Healthier Teeth and Tip-Top Oral Health

  1. Brush daily. Brushing your teeth, tongue and the roof of your mouth is paramount. For the best brushing spend 2 to 3 minutes on the entire mouth. Use a tooth brush that is less than 3 months old. Older toothbrushes have straight, un-freyed, and are clean from debris. Always try to brush two times a day and rinse mouth after meals and in between brushing.
  2. Flossing daily. Flossing has been hotly contested recently but dentist still maintain that, done properly, it is one of the most effective ways to clean between teeth and at the gum-line.  Floss should be about 12-15 inches long and a new section of floss should be used as you proceed to the next tooth. Floss should remain taught and attention to an even, gentle sawing motion down from the top to gum-line. It’s important to not “saw” or slam into the gum and soft tissues but to purposefully clean between the teeth.
  3. Clean your tongue every morning.There are various tools that can be used to “tongue scrape” or wipe off the excess film that collects in the crevices of the back of the tongue.
  4. Look at the overall picture. Teeth need to be straight. Crowed teeth provide more hiding places for bacterial colonies that lead to bad breath and plaque build up.
  5. Stop using tobacco. Smoking and oral tobacco both significantly contribute to staining. Worst of all they cause oral cancer and other maladies that contribute to periodontal disease and tooth loss.
  6. Drink more. Water that is. Drinking water flushes the mouth, helps keep it clean and you hydrated. Being hydrated ensures good saliva production, in-turn protecting teeth.  That means drinking less coffee, soda, juices and alcohol. Coffee and soda have sulfurs and contain may also contain sugars both of which contribute to weaker teeth, cavities and staining.
  7. Eat a variety of colorful and nutrient dense foods. Certain foods actually help remineralize teeth. calcium dense foods, nuts, cheeses, leafy greens, crunchy fruits and vegetables all contribute to stronger enamel, stronger gums, and better oral health.
  8. Don’t’ skip the dentist. Every visit that the dentist finds that everything in your mouth is healthy potentially pushes off a visit that could have been a problem visit.  Regular check-ups and cleanings are the key to cheaper visits and healthier teeth.
  9. If you see something or feel something, say something. The minute something feels wrong inside your mouth, call your dentist. Chances are that things won’t get better, and they are more likely to get worse, eventually.Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night reduces inflammation and improves overall health, improving oral health and reducing gum disease
  10. Get enough sleep! As crazy as that sounds, sleeping is just as important as brushing! Studies have linked lack of sleep to increased risk of periodontal disease.  Conversely the same studies concluded that increasing sleep to a healthy amount of sleep drastically improved cases of existing periodontal disease. Sleep 7 to 8 hours every night, after you brush and floss your teeth.

We all want to have a great smile and healthy teeth. Good oral hygiene leads to good oral health, but there is more to strong teeth and a lasting smile. Addressing all the things that affect your oral health will help you avoid future problems like gum disease, bad breath, infection, bone loss, tooth loss, even whole health issues like heart disease, strokes and more are tied to good oral health.

Call us today and let us help you improve your health.

What about those Bi-Annual Dental Check-ups

What about those Bi-Annual Dental Check-ups

Dental check-ups and modern dental history

Just a few decades ago dentist did little preventative work. Most dentist visits were set up to fix an often painful problem. People went to their local dentist because something was hurting or broken or both. Having bad breath was almost the norm. Fifty years ago, as toothpaste was becoming a commercially competitive product and as science was isolating ways to prevent cavities, dentist began recommending more and more preventative care. It’s working too.

Five decades ago adults, on average, experienced twice as many permanent teeth lost over a lifetime as they do now. Cavity incident keeps seeing lower and lower numbers. Dentist and dental hygienist prevent and help reverse more cases of gum disease and decay than ever before.

How frequent do check-ups really need to be?

Every patient and every mouth is different. On average most people benefit from a twice a year check-up with their dentist. Due to genetics and biology, some patients need to be seen slightly less and some slightly more. In the occasional patient there are circumstances that predicate a increased schedule of visits. You may even need appointments as frequently as every three to four months. Higher risk patients include those who;

  • Smoke
  • Pregnant women
  • Diabetics
  • People with current gum disease
  • People with a weak immune response to bacterial infection
  • People who tend to get cavities or build up plaque

How to determine the right frequency of visits for you

First, discuss your oral health with your dentist, ensure you’ve established a good at home hygiene regimen. Keep in mind that during a lifetime your dental needs may change, times of stress or illness for example. Then, if you have no cavities, no symptoms of gum disease and are experiencing no other dental issues for a significant  period of you time, your dentist may start extending the time between your dental visits.

Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Dental Restorations: Bridges -vs- Implants

Conventional bridges -vs- dental implants

Why dental implants are better than conventional bridges

Patients are increasingly opting for dental implants over conventional prostheses such as dentures or permanent bridges. Implants offer a number of reasons, both physically and aesthetically, they are superior to older restoration options. Since implants sit securely in the jaw bone, and not glued to adjoining teeth, they offer superior durability and look completely natural at the same time.

Three major categories of restorations still compete with implant option for tooth replacement:

Bonded dental bridge

Bonded dental bridges use the teeth adjacent to the empty space to help support the missing tooth by using a very thin piece of metal or tooth-colored material to overlay and bond to the back of the adjacent teeth. A tooth replacement is set between these two bonded pieces in order to fill in the empty space. Failure rate is about 25 percent after just five years of use.

Cantilevered dental bridge

A cantilevered restoration uses the closest tooth next to the empty space to support the missing tooth using the either the back of the neighboring tooth or a full crown to help support the missing tooth. Success rate is higher than with a bonded bridge depending on how much pressure the actual replacement endures due to grinding and normal wear.

Conventional dental bridge

This type of restoration uses crowns on the teeth next to the empty space that are hooked together to help support the missing tooth. Unfortunately conventional dental bridges predictably fail at a range from 20 percent over 3 years to 3 percent over 23 years.

Compare to the (ceramic) Dental implant

A dental implant is created from a high performance material (zirconium oxide) that is inserted into the bone to act like a natural tooth-root. Due to its nonmetallic construction the ceramic dental implant does not interfere with the body’s immune or meridian systems and therefore does not create a potential for rejection. Once anchored into the jaw, the implant integrates directly into the bone to give firm support to the artificial replacement that it is built to hold and should last the lifetime of a patient.

Routine maintenance of a dental implant is exactly the same as a person would follow for normal teeth.

Healthy patients prefer implants

Patients who prefer dental implants say that they are more comfortable and provide a more secure fit than fixed bridges or removable dentures. Dentures tend to make a person feel and look older. They can cause embarrassment in social situations when they slip and click, and hamper the everyday pleasure of eating comfortably.

Reasons to consider a ceramic dental implant:

• preserves healthy natural surrounding teeth

• looks and feels like natural teeth

• enhances a sense of self-confidence when eating, talking and smiling

• no gooey denture adhesives to deal with

• no embarrassingly loose dentures

• improves quality of speech

• perfectly natural comfort and fit

Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If more than a few of the teeth are missing, implants in supporting a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without concern for decay. If all or most of the teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to fix in place a full-mouth fixture.

Considering the overall advantages patients can expect to benefit from as a result of choosing a dental implant, they are better able to enjoy a healthier lifestyle without the restrictions many denture wearers face. Ultimately, not worrying about dentures becoming loose or falling out when speaking or eating offers a freedom that simply makes sense. The more secure foundation offered by a dental implant improves biting pressure, making it possible to enjoy the foods that a patient probably would not be able to using a dental prosthetic. With improved chewing ability it is more likely for a person to have a better diet and therefore improved overall healthfulness.

Key to Keeping Healthy Teeth

Key to Keeping Healthy Teeth

Great Tips For Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

As soon as we can hold a toothbrush we are taught that we need to brush, floss, and use mouthwash to make sure to keep our teeth healthy. These three basic things are so common that we tend do them automatically and without thought. Not paying attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it will eventually lead to our teeth not looking the way they used to. Eventually that can lead to the last that thing that you want from your teeth; a yellow, dirty or discolored smile. The culmination of these symptoms, a potential cavity, gum disease or worse. The last type of disease that you want in your mouth, periodontal disease, can easily follow. Keeping your teeth healthy is something that should be taken seriously and not fooled around with.

Follow these simple tips for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile:

  • Brushing: We know that we all have to brush twice a day, but how you brush makes a difference. Always take time when brushing your teeth;
    • Rushing is just as bad as not having brushed at all. Likewise trying to multitasking often defeats the purpose, being distracted can lead to not brushing all quadrants of the mouth evenly.
    • Use bristles that are comfortable for your teeth and gums. Use the proper motion of actually brushing on your teeth by going forwards and backwards while not forgetting to brush the insides of your teeth as well.
  • Flossing: Flossing, while often overlooked as vital, plays an important role in dislodging debris between teeth and removing bacterial colonies in tight spaces. People tend to dismiss flossing from their teeth cleaning routine because, in reality flossing helps reach the spot in between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot. Flossing helps remove all the plaque in between the teeth and the surrounding gum lining. Make sure to floss daily to ensure your teeth stay as healthy as possible.
  • Mouthwash: Though not as important as the other two methods to keep a set of healthy teeth, mouth washing ranks as one of the easiest ways to add one more safety net for your teeth. People that regularly use mouthwash are much less likely to get gingivitis and excessive plaque. On average, mouth washing twice a day gives the most benefits. Using mouthwash recommended by your dentist will also provide you with a wash ph balanced, and free of chemicals or sugar that may not be beneficial. Some mouthwash also promote slippery saliva, in turn protecting teeth from bacteria further.

Having experience in the dental field and knowing the importance of having clean, healthy teeth is what Dr. Marilyn K Jones has been about even since getting handed her dental degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Jones, a great student of health throughout her life, and knows what is needed to keep a person healthy and their teeth happy.

Call our office now at (713) 785-7767 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to meeting you and earning your trust.

Children; First Dentist Visits

Children; First Dentist Visits

The First Year

By twelve months old your child can have as few as one or two teeth or as many as twelve teeth. In the time between two and three years of age kids get their full set of baby teeth with molars appearing last and the front middle teeth usually emerging first. Often the exact moment a child’s first dental visit is recommended can seem arbitrary. Some recommendations call for a dental visit at age one and some recommend as soon as teeth first appear. With such a wide range it may be hard to decide how urgent that first dental check up should be.

First Impressions and a Positive Experience

A good rule of thumb is to start regular check-ups with the dentist after the first tooth has erupted, or by the age of one at the latest. Very young children become accustomed to visiting various places and can quickly build a positive impression of the dentist office when they have several quick, easy and positive visits. Learning to sit in the dental chair, open up and say, “ah” and having fingers and tools in their mouth can seem strange for a little one. A small child with a few positive past experiences will be much more inclined to trust the dentist if and when a bigger issue should arise.

Quick and Invaluable

A first visit to the dentist can be a very brief visit or last up to thirty minutes. The dentist will check bite alignment, teeth, and soft tissues. Since decay can start as soon as teeth erupt, the dentist will also thoroughly check teeth for signs of decay, and go over at home care with you and your child, and if indicated they may perform a gentle cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, any stains and quickly polish teeth.

Questions and History

If you have any questions or concerns there will be time to discuss these things as well. Questions you have may range from fluoride use, number of times and length of time to brush, appropriate tooth brushes, or discussing previous bumps and tumbles that may leave teeth chipped or injured, mentioning those events can help your dentist evaluate potential future issues.

Best Times To Set Up Appointments

Earlier in the day many children will have a much higher tolerance for new experiences and new people. A goodnights rest, and a nice breakfast will set the stage for successful dental visit and exam. Bringing a favorite toy, book, or blanket can also be helpful in building confidence while visiting a new place like the dentist office.
Finally

First time dental check-ups are ice-breakers. They set young children up for positive experiences when visiting the dentist in the future. Being extra patient and calm go a long way in sending the message that there is nothing to be worried about or afraid of. Talk to your little one in the days leading up to your appointment. Telling small children how dentists help keep our teeth healthy and strong also relays a comforting, reassuring message.

If your child is already older than one and has not yet been to a dentist or more than six months have passed, this is a good review, now is the perfect time to get that appointment booked.

Does your Biological Practice accept insurance?

 

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What if I have Insurance?

We do accept a number of different insurance plans at our practice. The truth is that dental insurance coverage is rare today for many people and insurance coverage for procedures varies greatly from company to company. More importantly, we cannot guarantee that your procedure will be covered by your insurance. It’s important to understand exactly what your individual insurance carrier will cover for you.

How do I find out if you accept my insurance?

You can call us at (713) 785-7767 to find out whether or not your insurance plan is one we accept. Since we are one of the only Biological Dentistry Practices that DO accept insurance chances are good we can bill your insurance directly.

How do I know what is covered on my plan?

The best way to find out what is covered on your insurance plan is to call your insurance carrier. Most of the time this is a fairly simple phone call and the representative can answer your questions about what your plan covers. Keep in mind that your procedure might not be fully covered. Most insurance companies use a formula to determine what percentage of a procedure they will cover so it is important to find out what your insurance covers as well as how much they cover.

What do I do next?

Call us (713) 785-7767 and find out if your insurance is a plan we accept. Making an appointment is easy and remember we are one of the only Biological practices that accepts insurance so if you have an insurance plan that includes dental insurance call us today (713) 785-7767.