Archive for July 2015

When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist?

When Should I Take My Child to the Dentist?

First Visit

Dental health for your child is a big concern for many parents. You understand the need for proactive care, but are not sure when is the right time. There are a couple of standards to remember: the first visit should be by the first birthday, or within six months of the first tooth’s appearance. Keep in mind that you can begin imparting good dental habits even earlier, by mimicking the brushing of teeth, and actually brushing of the teeth as soon as they appear. If your child’s teeth appear and they look unhealthy in any way, be sure to make an appointment sooner rather than later. It is never too early to be proactive about your child’s dental health.

How to Brush

The teaching of basic brushing techniques should begin as early as possible. Use a small dollop of toothpaste up to the age of six, and then increase the amount. One of the most important points to get across is that it should not be rushed. Show through demonstration and with your own habits that everyone should brush their teeth for at least two minutes at a time. How can you do this? Find a 2 minute song that your child loves, and make it the “Teeth Time” song.

Be thorough. Brush every tooth, every time. Pay attention to each tooth. Make sure you don’t forget the gums, tongue and roof! Every part of the mouth deserves some brushing. For the teeth, brush the base and sides, and across the top or bottom, hitting every crevice.

When to Start Flossing

While one tooth does not require floss, be sure to begin flossing as soon as it is necessary. When is this? Pay attention and notice when teeth are close enough together that the toothbrush cannot thoroughly clean in between each one. Once that happens, gather plenty of floss, and begin to gently move it in between the teeth that the bristles of your toothbrush do not reach.

How Can a Dentist Help?

A dental practice that has a focus in Family Dentistry, like Dr. Louis K. Cheung, DDS, is ideal for teaching your children the best dental habits. Starting at a young age is key. If you are not sure how to teach your child these skills, do not worry. Make an appointment today, and Dr. Cheung will gladly help you both navigate the waters of great dental habits!

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What Can I Eat for Whiter Teeth?

What Can I Eat for Whiter Teeth?

We all know the standard answers for what we should avoid if we want white teeth: coffee, wine, anything extra sugary. But if you want to make the most of your pearly whites, dental health is key. Keep your brushing and flossing up. But we’ve got to eat, right? We have some good food suggestions for you to have whiter teeth:

Dairy

Milk and cheese have vitamins that enhance your dental health, such as calcium and protein. Certain foods increase your saliva production, which is what cleans your teeth and removes food particles: these are some of those foods.

Strawberries

These big red berries that are reminiscent of Summer have something called malic acid inside of them. This acid is an enzyme that can whiten your teeth. While some may recommend that you crush some and spread the paste on your teeth, biting into a big, juicy strawberry sounds much more delicious.

Strawberries for Whiter Teeth

Nuts

Not only are almonds a healthy snack, but the ridged edges of nuts rub against your teeth as you chew. This motion helps remove plaque and other stain-causing substances, so munch away on a handful of nuts for whiter teeth.

Carrots

These crunchy orange vegetables are known primarily for their positive benefits for your eyesight, but they are a multitalented snack! Every crunch you take removes some plaque, and increases your production of saliva. Carrots also kill bad breath bacteria, so there’s no reason to not add them to your snack list.

Apples

Speaking of that crunch, any crunchy fruit or veggie is likely going to be better for your teeth. Apples, for example, increase saliva production with the water inside of them, and their crisp skin glides along your teeth, cleaning them naturally of stain-inducing germs.

Citrus

While, yes, too much acid is not good for your teeth, citrus fruit increases saliva in your mouth and washes away those bad germs, giving you fresher breath as well.

Chocolate

Cocoa is a good fighter against inflammation of the gums and erosion of the teeth—two things that cause teeth to be less than blindingly white. While it is better to stick to darker chocolate, which is lower in sugar, cocoa in food seems to have a positive (or at least less harmful) effect on tooth color.

Chocolate for Whiter Teeth

Baking Soda

While you wouldn’t want to eat straight baking soda, brushing with it from time to time is good for your teeth (that is why you find it as an active ingredient in so many toothpastes).

There you have it! Want whiter teeth? Add these foods to your diet and you’ll be well on your way. In addition to these diet changes, be sure to regularly brush and floss, and call a Kirkland dentist, such as Dr. Louis K. Cheung, for regular dental cleanings.

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