Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Toothbrush Adaptations

Suffering from arthritis or have noticed a loss in your grip?

Taking care of your teeth is made easier when you add extra mass and sometimes extra length to the handle of your toothbrush.

This can be done with many house hold items such as:

  • Toothbrush attached to hand by a rubber band - Attach the brush to the hand with a wide rubber band. Make sure the band isn't to tight.
Toothbrush Attached to Hand by Elastic or Rubber Band

  • Tennis ball on the handle of the toothbrush - Cut a small slit into a tennis ball and slide it onto the handle of the toothbrush.

    Tennis ball on the Handle of a Toothbrush
  • Toothbrush with a bicycle grip as a handle - Slide a bicycle grip onto the handle.
Toothbrush with a Bicycle Grip as a Handle
  • Power toothbrush - Power toothbrush already comes with a thick handle.
Illustration of a power toothbrush

Regardless of your choice remember to change your toothbrush every three to four months!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Braces - The Backpack Necessities

School is almost out for the summer!

Is your child heading off to summer camp or out doing some fun summer activities? Do they wear braces? If  the answer is yes, you may want to pack these few necessities into a backpack or something that your child will have with them all day.
  1. Orthopicks
  2. Colgate wisps
  3. Orthodontic rubber bands (if needed) 
  4. Mini toothbrush and toothpaste
  5. Orthodontic wax
  6. Compact mirror
  7. Floss Threaders
  8. Retainer case
Having the essentials to keeping the mouth healthy and pain free during these activities  will keep your child happy and free of painful distractions.

Monday, May 18, 2015

What is Plaque?

You hear about it when you go into the dentist. Plaque! Do you know what it is? If not here is an explanation!

Plaque is a complex biological soil that can lead to dental problems like tartar, gum trouble and tooth decay. It's a soft, sticky bacterial coating that is constantly forming on your teeth-every day. When plaque comes into contact with the sugars and starches in the foods you eat, it produces acids that can cause cavities.

The best way to avoid problems often associated with plaque is by making regular visits to your dentist. See your dentist at least once every 6 months for a complete checkup and a thorough cleaning.

Toothbrushing is the most effective way to remove plaque at home. It is recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal, and especially before you go to bed at night. Also try and replace your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months -using an old or worn toothbrush is less effective. It is also recommended that you use dental floss to remove additional plaque below the gum line and between teeth areas where a brush cannot reach. A pre-brushing rinse might help to loosen and detach plaque for easier removal during brushing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tooth-Brushing Tips For Toddlers

Teaching your toddler to take care of their teeth is just one way you can show your child how to take responsibility of their body. This can be challenging because kids are motivated by fun things not health necessities.

Here are a few tricks to help guide you through the "learning to brush stage":
  • Let them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste: If you let kids pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste it will be easier to get them motivated to brush. Thankfully kids brushes come in all sorts of designs, colors and even movie characters.
  • Play copy cat: Kids love to copy their parents so brush together looking in the mirror. have them copy you as you brush. Remember they wont do a thorough job, buts a great start.
  • Make it fun: Have a race to see who can brush the longest and keep score!
  • Sing: "the toothbrush in the mouth goes round and round" can be a very helpful because singing increase the fun level.
If you want to end the resistance to brush, you need to make this a routine everyday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Oral Piercing: Body Art, Or A Dangerous Fad?

What is up with the quest for the ultimate in self expression? One has to wonder what the young people of today are thinking...body art has become "the in thing"  and the more creative, the better.  Bigger tattoos to be had with bolder statements to be made, tongue tattoos, tongue piercing, jeweled adornments to the upper and lower lip...even having jewels affixed to front teeth!  The problem is they just don't understand that most of it is permanent! Sure, you can remove a piercing, but the hole doesn't close up fast, leaving room for infection to creep in...eeew! Or, try having a tattoo removed from your tongue. Yeah....it doesn't come off in one shot like it went on. I'm not even certain a tongue tattoo can be removed!

These practices are cause for huge concern with those of us in the dental industry, particularly with regard to tongue art!  We've seen it all,  but the problem is getting the message across to the young crowd.  Now, when it comes to young people, one can imagine their reasons for wanting these things...  "it makes you look cool, it's an extreme experience, the whole "forbidden fruit" thing (they know their parents won't like it)"... now if only we could get them to listen to the other side of the argument. Asking them "how do you think you will like that when you're 40 or 50" doesn't work...they simply cannot imagine themselves at that age. The other question, " do you expect someone to hire you looking like that?" will only generate an eye roll, because frankly, they don't care!  But, a picture, well that's worth a thousand words.  If you're a parent and you are trying to deter your teen or (they're getting even younger now) tween from getting a tongue piercing or a tongue tattoo, scan the Internet for stories and pictures of infections caused by these practices and show them to your child.  If that doesn't do it, nothing will! In the meantime, I have included a link with a pretty good story.

Here is a link to an article that contains a story of a girl who had her tongue pierced and nearly died....

Parents, never give up!  Keep trying to discourage your kids from this dangerous fad!

All the while, keep smiling!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How To Brush Your Cat's Teeth

Dental health is just as important to our pets as it is to us. Keeping their dental health in check will allow them to live a healthier, happier and longer life!

If your four-legged companion is a cat, you know by know they are much harder to train than a dog. Training your cat to allow you to brush their teeth will take time and patience.

Brushing is recommend once a day but I'm sure you don't want to fight every day with your furry friend. If you have just started brushing your cats teeth,  take it slow, brush once a week and gradually increase the brushing to a couple times a week/every day.

When brushing your cats teeth you will want to use a small children's toothbrush or an infant finger brush and should always be done with a toothpaste made for animals - you can find this toothpaste at any animal store such as petsmart or petco.

Here are steps to train your cat to allow your to brush their teeth:
  • Choose a calm, quite place.
  • Hold your cat on your lap and gently rub your finger over the cats teeth.
  • Once your cat accepts this, transition to a soft cloth, then to a toothbrush.
  • Finally, apply a small amount of pet toothpaste onto the toothbrush before brushing.
  • End each session with something positive wither its a favorite treat, wet food or lots of play time!
*Remember its best to start training while they are a kitten, but this can be taught to older cats. This will also take patience and consistency.