Proper dental hygiene is best learned at a young age, when habits learned are most likely to last a lifetime. Additionally, early education on what dentists do and preparation for a child’s first dentist visit can reduce a patient’s anxiety over an entire lifetime of dental visits. Children’s books on oral hygiene and dentists serve as wonderful teaching resources.
Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire uses numerous animal characters to encourage youngsters to brush and floss regularly. Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller teaches children all about their teeth and mouths, including what different parts are for and how to properly care for them. For discussions on losing baby teeth, some recommendations include Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate, The Night Before the Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing, and Dear Tooth Fairy by Alan Durant. Finally, to prepare children for their first dental visit, the books A Visit to the Dentist by Eleanor Fremont and The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain both educate children and help to calm their fears.
About the Author: Katalina Ramirez, DDS, specializes in pediatric dentistry at her facility in Redwood Shores, California. She has regularly visited classrooms to educate children on proper dental care.
When infants first grow teeth they are not used to having them cleaned. Many dental professionals recommend using a washcloth and running it along the teeth until enough emerge for brushing. Dentists vary on when to begin brushing. When parents feel unsure about how to approach this process, it helps to consult a pediatric dentist. He or she can describe the options as well as the pros and cons.
The following list describes some tips for effective tooth care for young people:
1. Children should begin using a new toothbrush every quarter of the year. Do not utilize a toothbrush that someone else has previously brushed with.
2. Parents, discuss your child’s fluoride needs with a pediatric dentist. He or she can advise regarding the best sources of fluoride and when to begin using fluoridated toothpaste.
3. Parents, start flossing children’s teeth as soon as two teeth appear next to each other. Initially, using floss picks serves as a good alternative to traditional floss.
4. Parents, talk about dental sealants with your child’s dentist. Understand the positive and negative aspects of these, including how they can reduce risk of cavities.
About the author: Based in Redwood Shores, California, Dr. Katalina Ramirez treats numerous children through her pediatric dentistry practice. Previously, she taught dental students at the University of Minnesota and the University of the Pacific. Dr. Katalina Ramirez engages patients with stuffed animals and entertains them with televisions in the examination suites.
Children require different and sometimes more extensive dental care than typical adults need. According to WebMD, more than 40 percent of youths develop symptoms of tooth decay by the time they enter kindergarten. However, parents can improve their children’s dental hygiene through a variety of methods.
Parents should take their new baby to the dentist before he reaches his first birthday. Early trips to a dental professional can reduce dental care costs in the future. In addition to protecting the teeth a youth already has, a dentist can also provide knowledge about proper brushing and flossing techniques. Although infants will lose their baby teeth, instilling in them the right methods of tooth maintenance from a young age will serve them as they grow older. Other tips include getting rid of the pacifier by their second or third year and offering the baby water instead of milk or juice before bedtime because sugars from milk and juices can attach to the teeth and cause decay.
About the Author:
For nearly a decade, pediatric dentist Dr. Katalina Ramirez, DDS, has treated patients in California. Operating out of her Redwood Shores private practice, Dr. Ramirez serves young patients, helping them establish good dental habits from an early age.
Regular brushing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to remove plaque from your child’s teeth. Katalina Ramirez, DDS, offers these tips for getting young children to brush their teeth regularly and with good form.
Have Fun: A parent’s attitude toward brushing can have a huge impact on how youngsters see it as well. So, when parents approach brushing in a fun and lively manner, children may tend to adopt that attitude as well, not seeing it as a chore they have to wince through.
Children Mimic: Very young children may not have the dexterity to brush effectively, but they can try their best to mimic what they see. Let them watch mommy and daddy brush their teeth, as they do their best to brush theirs as well.
Make It Easy: Be sure your child’s toothbrush is small and easy to handle with very soft bristles for fragile gums. Also, use a very small amount of toothpaste to avoid foam and make it easier to brush.
Katalina Ramirez, DDS, is a specialist in pediatric dentistry and a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She maintains offices in her pediatric private practice in Redwood Shores, California.
Have you ever meant to ask your child’s dentist a question, but then forgotten about it? Have you needed advice on oral hygiene issues at night or on a weekend, when the dental office is closed? The cavity rate in pediatric dental patients has been on the rise in recent years, due in part to the fact that parents often lack information on how to protect their children’s teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has launched a new website to provide parents with up-to-date information on dental health and hygiene. The site, mychildrenshealth.org, includes brochures, news and analysis, and a ‘find a dentist’ tool. Parents with concerns about everything from tooth-friendly snacks to proper brushing techniques can find expert advice on this user-friendly site.
While dentists are happy to answer questions in person, the AAPD’s new site will help improve the flow of information and help protect children’s teeth.
About the Author:
Katalina Ramirez, DDS, MS, practices pediatric dentistry in Redwood Shores, California.