5 Ways To Get Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth

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Getting your kids to brush can be like pulling teeth (see what I did there?). A friend of mine with 3 kids, all under the age of 8 told me she has to use “white lies” to encourage them to brush. These white lies range from telling one child that moss will grow on their teeth, to telling another that, “teeth trolls with hammers will break up your teeth if you don’t brush them out of there.”

So, besides telling white lies to get kids to brush, here are 5 other ways to help get those kids brushing and help you avoid pulling teeth… figuratively and literally.dad-and-son-brushing

1. Brush your teeth at the same time   

You are your child’s greatest teacher. Watching you brush your teeth with them will help set them up for a lifetime of good oral habits.

  1. Make brushing a game

There are tons of games online as well as apps for your mobile devices that make brushing fun for kids. You can find a bunch of games by clicking here.

3. Let your kids watch a video

Use two-minute videos to help encourage you kids to brush for the proper amount of time. You want them to brush twice a day for two minutes each time. You can find two-minute videos for kids here.

4. Let your kids choose their toothpaste

There are many different kids of toothpaste made for little ones. They range in flavor from bubble gum to strawberry smash and feature characters like Disney Princesses, Transformers and Dora the Explorer. Getting kid excited about what toothpaste they use will make the nighttime chore all the more easier.

5. Let your kids choose their toothbrush

Now you still want to have them use an ADA approved toothbrush but still, there are tons of color and characters to choose from that will make brushing fun for youngsters.

Whichever way you use to get your kids to brush remember to encourage them to use the correct technique, which is a circular motion (not up and down) for two minutes each time. Do that twice a day and visit your dentist twice a year and your kids smile will be beaming bright.

Portrait of family enjoying piggyback ride

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Which comes first, the floss or the brush?

floss brush

Should I brush first or floss first?” This question is asked everyday in every dental practice. If you are asking this, congratulations! You’ve already won. Because more than likely, you are doing both, which is what really counts. But what is the optimal sequence to get the best out of your daily smile chores – Brushing first or flossing first?

The arguments:

Brush First

Brushing first breaks up plaque on the teeth. Flossing afterwards will help remove this plaque while getting residual fluoride, left over from brushing, into the spaces between the teeth that brushing alone can’t reach.

Floss First

Flossing first will break up food particles in your teeth that can then be brush away. Fluoride can then reach the areas of your teeth that were previously blocked. Plus, flossing first gets it out of the way. Most people have been raised with the “Brush your teeth, then go to bed” mentality. Meaning, brushing your teeth is the last thing you do before you go to sleep. Flossing before brushing will keep you from skipping this important procedure.

Conclusion:

It’s a bit of a “chicken or the egg” conundrum. Most dentists agree: it really doesn’t matter which comes first. So see what best fits you and your lifestyle. Try flossing first for one week, then try brushing first for one week. See what feels best for you, your schedule and your teeth. As long as you are doing both, you’ll get good results. Mix in a couple of visits to your dentist each year and your smile will thank you!

Five Tips To Getting Over Your Fear Of The Dentist

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Is there any profession that brings out peoples fear more than the dentist? There is a reason “Little Shop of Horrors” casts a dentist as the main villain (Steve Martin is excellent in the movie, btw).

Steve Martin LSH Dentist

These fears can be brought on by different issues ranging from childhood experiences, to a lack of control while sitting in the dentists chair. Whatever the issue might be, here are some tips to help you overcome your fears and help your smile become the brightest it can be.

  1. Find a dentist you trust

Overcoming a fear of the dentist all starts with trust. Ask friends and family if they have a dentist they like. If you can’t find a recommendation from someone, try DentistUSA.com. Once you find your dentist…

  1. Explain your fears

This information will help your dentist determine the best course of action to help you manage your fears, will build a trusting relationship and help you feel more in-control when in the dentist’s chair.

  1. Deep breathing

There are many breathing exercises that can help relax you. If those don’t help, you might ask you dentist about…

  1. Additional medication to help relax

Many dentists recommend nitrous oxide, sedation or anti-anxiety medication for nervous patients. Talk to your dentist about these options to see if it might help.

  1. Visit your dentist regularly

The more you go, the more you’ll get used to the sites and sounds. Just regular check ups and cleanings will also help prevent issues that might lead to other, more painful procedures, which could cause more anxiety.