Teaching Kids How to Floss

One of the most important tips we’ll hear at the dentist office is that flossing is critical to oral health. Starting this task early on is a great tool for kids to protect their teeth and promote healthy habits.

Understanding proper technique and teaching them to your children is critical. Here are some tips on how to floss properly and how you can incorporate these actions into your child’s daily oral care routine.

More Than String Pulling

The basic concept of flossing one’s teeth is to use dental floss and pull the string in between the teeth to free-up and remove any possible debris. However, this is not totally how to floss one’s teeth. While the up and down action will help with cleaning out in between the teeth, flossing to keep the gums safe is also a very important part of this action. Once floss is in between teeth and has reached the top of the gum, the string should be pulled in a “C” shape around the upper part of the tooth where it meets the gums. This will eliminate bacteria sitting at the gumline that brushing teeth alone is unable to do.

Pain Means Wrong Technique

Flossing the teeth should never be a painful experience. It’s important to be gentle and show children that no harm will be done when they are wiggling the string through their teeth or pulling it out. Unless there is a loose tooth already present in their mouth, there will only be plaque removal happening. Bleeding is common for those with plaque buildup on their teeth who have not flossed in a while but should be monitored in case too much pressure is being applied.

Practice Makes Perfect

As your child gets a feel for this new part of their routine and proper technique, have them practice with you using your hand or a model replica of teeth. Guide them if they are pulling too hard with the string so they are aware of the proper pressure to use. Be sure to also sit with them and check as they floss to see that the floss is, in fact, getting under the gum line and is removing any bacteria and debris.

At CT Pediatric Dentistry we believe that it’s very important for children to grow up understanding the importance of oral health and our goal is to provide a positive dental experience at every visit.  Contact us today to book an appointment at one of our convenient Connecticut locations.

Kids & Gum Health: What You Need to Know

Understanding the importance of oral health from a young age is critical. It is the responsibility of parents to help guide children in developing key habits in life to promote clean teeth and healthy gums. Everything from brushing and flossing to avoiding overconsumption of sugary foods and even regular visits to the dentist is all critical in ensuring they have a great dental future ahead.

Focusing on gum health is one thing that isn’t talked about as often, but it’s certainly critical. Here are some key points to consider:

Gum Pocket Depth

One of the main causes of gum disease in children involves the pulling away of the gums from the teeth and allowing room for bacteria to thrive. By measuring pocket depth in your child’s gums you can take preventative actions to curb gum issues before they occur. Talk to your dentist about performing this test.

Gum Disease in Children

We typically hear about gum disease in adults after years of improper care for the teeth but it’s also a common issue among children. The disease can be passed on from the mother through saliva so it’s important to keep their mouths clean and free of possible bacteria contamination. It can also begin to occur in the early stages of gingivitis at this age which can be seen in bleeding gums while brushing.

Importance of Flossing

Flossing is a skill children pick up over time. It’s also a critical factor in keeping the gums free from bacteria and debris that is left behind even after brushing. Teach your child the proper way to floss and make it a point to stand with them while they’re doing their oral hygiene to ensure its done right.

One of the best ways to diagnose and treat problems before they become severe is to see a dentist for regular check-ups. In addition to cleaning the teeth and removing harmful calculus buildup from the teeth, they will perform x-rays and other necessary checks to ensure your child’s oral health is intact.

At CT Pediatric Dentistry we’re focused on providing care to young children and work to gain their comfort and trust and show them that going to the dentist isn’t painful or worrisome.

With offices in Windham, West Hartford, and Unionville, Connecticut we’re here to give your children everything they need for a healthy oral future.

Schedule a visit today!

Taking Care of Your Child’s Wiggly Tooth

At about age 5-6 years old you will begin to notice your child’s baby teeth becoming loose and eventually falling to make room for new, adult teeth. While the time frame for this to begin can vary, over the following years you will be dealing with a number of wiggly, loose and fallen teeth. Here are some tips on how to best care for your child’s wiggly tooth.

Leave it Be

It can be difficult to tell children to not touch an area as their naturally curious minds will want to likely do it anyways. It’s even harder when that something is what they are feeling inside their mouth every time their tongue brushes against it or they are eating. Loose teeth have a very weird sensation as they sway and tug but the best thing to do is to leave the tooth be and let it fall out on its own.

Lessen Bleeding & Pain

The best way to prevent excessive bleeding from a lost tooth is to not force, pull or try to yank it. Not only will this create more bleeding, it could even lead to infection. If there is more than normal bleeding that will not stop, be sure to check in with a medical professional. Teeth that fall out naturally will also have no pain after they’ve fallen. If there is some discomfort you can numb the area with an ice pack or provide some children’s Tylenol.

Check in with Pediatric Dentist

If your child hasn’t been to their regular dental check-ups it’s a good idea to schedule a visit. As adult teeth begin to grow in you’ll want to ensure they are growing in well and that your child’s oral health is in order. A dentist can also help with loose teeth from other instances such as a ball hit, or other accident. In these cases you’ll want an x-ray to ensure the tooth doesn’t need to be extracted.

At CT Pediatric Dentistry your child’s well-being is our first priority. Using kid-friendly methods, we work to reach young children and provide them with everything they need for a healthy oral future.

Schedule a visit for your child.

Baby Teething: Facts, Fiction and Tips

Baby teething is a topic most parents are interested in learning about and concerned with when their newborn makes their way to this critical phase in their development. It’s not only a time of tears and comforting a cranky baby, it’s also an important part of your child’s future oral health.

Here are some tips about baby teething to survive the rough times and to dispel potentially harmful myths when it comes to soothing your child.

Signs Your Child is starting to Teeth

While there isn’t a set time for all babies to start getting teeth erupting through their gums, once your child is past the 6 month age, it’s time to start looking for signs. From their first central incisor at 6 months, to their canine teeth as late as 22 months, there is a lot for babies to endure. They’ll likely express that discomfort to you through cries, turning down their bottle, drooling and even pulling on their ears.

Once you start to notice these signs, you may begin to feel around in their mouth and find teeth emerging as confirmation that the teething phase has begun.

What to Stay Away From

For years parents would look for natural and at-home remedies to ease their baby’s fussiness. From old tricks like rubbing whiskey on their gums (please do not ever do this!) to the use of numbing creams in hopes your child will forget about the discomfort. Research has shown that not only are many of these methods ineffective, they can also pose health, choking and other risks to your child.

Ideas for Soothing a Teething Baby

Not all hope is lost however. You can still help ease your child’s teething issues with teething toys they bite down on or even by massaging their gums with a clean wet cloth. Breast feeding and allowing the baby to put a cold spoon in their mouth can also ease the pain.

At CT Pediatric Dentistry we’re committed to helping children have a healthy and successful oral future. We use kid-friendly techniques and establish a good accord with kids from their very first visit so they can see sitting with the dentist is anything but scary.

Schedule an appointment for your child.



Does Prolonged Baby Bottle Use Harm Baby’s Teeth?

Caring for our children’s teeth begins as early as their infant years. We’ve been told to keep their gums clean from milk and formula residue to stop cavities and even warned about passing dental carries between mother and child. But there are also concerns around the appearance of teeth and whether or not prolonged bottle use could result in crooked or other appearance issues with kids teeth.

In this blog we’ll take a closer look at when a good time to stop using a bottle is and tips on how to ween your baby away.

The Importance of Milk for Babies

Milk and formula play a vital role in our infant’s development especially in their first year of life. The vitamins in milk provide adequate nutrition for growing bodies and help strengthen their bones, teeth and other features. However, longer than usual use of a bottle can cause issues with tooth alignment as well as other permanent changes to the shape of the mouth that you should be aware of.

Problems with Prolonged Bottle Feeding

In addition to possible alignment issues, there is also what’s known as, “baby bottle tooth decay” this is when cavities start cropping up in your child’s mouth even before they are consuming snacks and other culprits. The issue has been linked to sugars in drinks they have in their mouths – especially when keeping a bottle in your child’s mouth after they have fallen asleep.

When to Stop Bottle Feeding

It is recommended that children fully stop use of a bottle and other sucking mechanisms such a pacifiers and their thumbs between the ages of 1 to 2 years old. After that, the risks increase to more permanent changes in the mouth.

How to Ween Your Baby Off

After your child’s one year check-up, you can start working on different strategies to ween them off of the bottle. Providing an age appropriate “sippy” style cup and allowing your child to learn this new method of drinking fluid is one way to start. Each child’s level of comfort with drinking from a cup will vary. Cold turkey or gradual, it’s important to be patient even if tantrums are involved to ensure the best oral future for your child.

Schedule your child’s first dental visit with CT Pediatric Dentistry. Our locations have caring and inviting environments that help kids feel confident about sitting in the dentist chair.

12 Sep 2016 04:27 PM