Now that we are full swing in the new year, it is time to take a moment to think about improving the health of you and your family. After all, we are trying to make our children as comfortable as possible during this time, so we may become a bit lax when it comes to our dental health. And let’s face it, you aren’t the biggest fan of visiting the dentist, so you may not enforce appointments while they still have their baby teeth. But the best time to start taking care of your child’s teeth is the moment that your child is born. Because even without teeth, bacteria can build up and cause damage as teeth begin to develop. So, let’s talk dental health tips for your tiny humans:
Before the first tooth breaks, wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding. Once they begin to come in, it’s time to start brushing twice a day. Use a soft children’s toothbrush and minimal to non-fluoride toothpaste until they reach preschool-age, when the amount of toothpaste increases to the size of a pea.
Good habits start at home, so why not make this a family affair? We all need to take care of our teeth if we want to keep them – start by teaching your family good dental hygiene habits. Everyone needs to be involved get the habit to stick.
When it comes to dental visits, parents should take their children in for an appointment as soon as their first tooth pops out, but no longer than the child’s first birthday. Your dentist will look for any early signs and symptoms of problems.
When we don’t get enough quality sleep, it can begin to develop into other health issues because our bodies rest and heal in order to continue running at peak levels. So, if you are waking up with headaches or jaw pains, it is time to make a dental appointment to find out why. Likely, you have developed a sleep issue like bruxism, or teeth grinding. If this is the case, you will be advised to use a night guard while you sleep. This little gadget will keep your teeth from wearing down and causing more issues. But if you feel that the night guard isn’t making enough of a difference, there are other alternative treatment options that you can inquire to your dentist about, such as:
Teeth straightening. Maloclussions, or teeth that are out of alignment causing an overbite or underbite has been known to contribute to bruxism. Wearing braces can help in such cases.
Proper stress management. Bruxism is also likely to be caused by anxiety, so you may want to try out certain methods of relaxation such as meditation. Professional counselling, in severe cases, may also be necessary and useful.
Dietary changes. Stimulants, such as caffeine, have been known to cause teeth grinding, so your dentist might recommend avoiding such beverages. You may also be asked to stay off antidepressants, as they may make bruxism symptoms worse. This is a great time to remind you that during your initial consultation about bruxism, that you be honest with your dentist, especially when it comes to medication, so you can be told if it’s bad for you or be suggested an alternative.
Now that we are smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, it is a good time to refresh on some dental tips to keep your smile healthy. After all, this may be a different type of holiday season, but that doesn’t mean we need to change all of our favorite things that this time of year brings:
We all know holidays are jam-packed with loads of foods, but there are many ways you can damage your teeth if you overindulge in certain things. Candy canes, for example, are a classic holiday treat. But they are also a hard sugary candy, and that can damage your teeth if you aren’t careful. Stockings also tend to be filled with sugary sweets. Why not try to limit the treats in exchange for other options? Or better yet, gift them a new toothbrush! When it comes to snacks and meals, there are lots of options to keeping your diet and mouth healthy. Indulge in more fruits and veggies than cakes and cookies when grazing the snack table. They are not only filled with great vitamins, but chomping on them produces saliva, ideal for washing away harmful bacteria. Other holiday staples are cheese and turkey, and both of those are the perfect options as they contain lots of proteins and calcium to strengthen your teeth.
When it comes to holiday beverages, keep things simple. If you are a wine drinker, white wine won’t stain your teeth like red. If soda is the option, try to limit these super sugary drinks, or opt for fizzy water.
After all the festivities are done, make sure you practice proper dental hygiene. In fact, hum a holiday tune while you brush!
Schedule your appointment today. Call Dr. Katia Doumit in Ottawa, Ontario at 613-232-8000 or visit www.lesplanadedental.com.
Dr. Doumit proudly serves Ottawa and all surrounding areas.
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