Watching out for the health of your toddler’s teeth is a full-time job. The same recommended oral hygiene recommended by our Troy Dentist office for an adult applies to your toddler as well. Maintaining a routine of proper brushing and flossing after meals and before bedtime will provide a foundation for regular oral hygiene routines for the whole family. However, even though there are similarities, oral health care for your toddler also has some important differences.
As baby teeth are developing, permanent adult teeth are already forming in the jaw. Providing care for your toddler at this stage will go a long way towards developing healthy adult teeth. Also, teaching good dental habits at an early age can lay an important foundation for your child’s future oral health.
As a toddler, your child should already be receiving routine preventive dental care. The team at the Troy Dentist office can assess your child’s dental and skeletal development and discuss proper at-home oral health care routines. As a parent, there are things you should do as well between dental visits, to protect your toddler’s teeth:
- Enjoy healthy food choices. Choosing a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables to serve is good for the entire body, especially your toddler’s developing teeth.
- As toddlers grow and begin to gain some independence, they will enjoy feeding themselves. Remember that frequent exposure to sugary or even healthy fruit drinks can lead to tooth decay. Offer water instead and encouraging brushing between snacks whenever possible.
- Maintain a regular routine of brushing and flossing. Toddlers will enjoy the independence of brushing their own teeth at least once a day. If your child’s efforts are not perfect, that’s okay. Simply introducing the idea and maintaining a routine will send an important message to your child.
- Prevent your child from eating fluoridated toothpastes to prevent damage to the developing permanent teeth. Look for training toothpastes for children who have not yet learned to spit after brushing.
We want your child to develop a lifetime habit of good oral hygiene. The sooner your toddler becomes accustomed to regular visits to the dentist, the more likely they are to maintain this important routine as they get older.
I was asked recently why a patient should drive over an hour to come to our Troy dentist office for dental care. Of course I responded by listing my credentials, years of experience, my excellent staff, etc. This answer seemed to satisfy the patients concerns, but it made me question “why” even more.
I started my research by looking up several terms in the dictionary to be certain their meaning was what I was portraying in my office “Excellence in Dentistry.” According to the dictionary, Excellence in Dentistry means “being exceptionally good at fixing teeth.” Is that really all that means? I wasn’t satisfied, so I dug a little deeper and found that Excellence means the “the state or quality of excelling.” Quality is a standard of excellence. I then discovered that the “hidden” word in Excellence in Dentistry is “ART.” Excellence in the “ART” of Dentistry. Art means the quality, production or expression according to aesthetic principle to what is beautiful. My new meaning of Excellence in Dentistry is this:
Being exceptionally skilled at making teeth beautiful.
My next question regarded value, which means satisfaction. Are my patients satisfied in my skills to make their teeth beautiful? I can’t 100% answer that, but what can I tell you is my commitment to my patients:I will ALWAYS be honest.
I will ALWAYS stand behind my work.
I will ALWAYS provide you with the best dental care.
I will ALWAYS continue my education as well as team so that we are ALWAYS on the cutting
edge of technology.
I will ALWAYS continuously update / upgrade my equipment.
I will ALWAYS use the best quality laboratory support.
I will ALWAYS monitor the standard of care to my patients and I will NEVER lower my standards of quality.
I will ALWAYS listen to my patient’s needs.
For a lot of patients, flossing can be a scary, annoying and sometimes painful process. Our Troy dentists have found, in our almost 40 years of dentistry, the reason for this is that patients have not been taught the proper way to floss, nor the importance flossing has on your life.
Many cavities start in between your teeth. Brushing is not enough to remove all of the bacteria because a toothbrush cannot reach in between your teeth. Flossing is a necessity to remove the plaque and bacteria that often times start in these areas and ultimately can cause dental disease.
To floss properly, you need to pull out about 24 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving about a 5-inch span of floss between your fingers. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers. You should gently guide the floss between the teeth and pull it tightly into a C-shape around the side of the tooth and slide the floss under the gum line. You need to move the floss up and down several times to remove all of the food and the bacteria. You need to repeat the same process for each tooth, winding the floss as you go.
Flossing can be uncomfortable for some patients because they experience a lot of bleeding. When you brush your hair, your scalp shouldn’t bleed and neither should your gums. Swelling and bleeding of your gums is not normal and flossing will help to reduce this. If your gums are infected, they will bleed when you floss. You should expect this for around the first week and then the bleeding should stop, unless your gums need more attention.
Some patients complain that the floss will not fit properly in between certain teeth or that it is painful. When floss will not fit properly between your teeth, you need to let us know. There could be a problem starting that we need to address or it could be the way your teeth are shaped. Some patients need to use a floss pick or other types of flossing aids for certain teeth.
It is important to use easy glide floss because it makes the entire process easier and therefore more effective. It is also important to floss ALL of your teeth twice a day.
Our Troy dentists have some special tips regarding flossing. Ask about them when you come in for your next visit, or give our office a call to schedule a meeting with our dental team!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away … Flossing TWICE a day, keeps the DENTAL DRILL away!
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About Our Dentists
Our dentists are highly skilled and educated. They pursue continuing education with some of the leading dental clinicians in the world to enable them to provide exceptional care.