As summer winds down and you start thinking about back to school season, you probably have a lot on your do-to list—registering your child for classes, shopping for school supplies and new clothes, and scheduling a tour of your child’s new school are just the tip of the iceberg. In all the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to make oral health a priority. Here’s how to get your kid’s smile ready for back to school.
Buy a New Toothbrush
If the bristles of your toothbrush are frayed, they can’t do their job properly. Make sure everyone in your family replaces their toothbrush every three months. If you notice the bristles fraying sooner than this, don’t hesitate to replace your toothbrush sooner.
When shopping for replacements, look for soft-bristled toothbrushes to prevent wearing down your tooth enamel or irritating your gums. If it’s in the budget, consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush for a deeper clean every time you brush.
Reassess Your Oral Care Routine
Are you taking the best possible care of your teeth? Good oral hygiene involves the following:
- Brush for two minutes morning and night.
- Reach all the surfaces of your teeth when you brush.
- Floss gently between each tooth once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth and stimulate your gums.
- Remember to floss behind your back molars, too.
- Rinse with mouthwash or use a water flosser if desired.
To make oral care fun for kids, try playing music, using a sticker calendar, or buying a character toothbrush.
Plan Healthy Lunches and After-School Snacks
The food you eat has a significant impact on your oral health. Crunchy fruits, vegetables, and nuts are like natural toothbrushes, scrubbing away plaque as you chew. Then, low-fat cheese and milk contain calcium to promote strong teeth and neutralize the acids in your mouth. Finally, water rinses away food particles and discourages bad breath. These are far better options than starchy crackers and chips, chewy candy and granola bars, or sugary juices and sodas.
Wear a Mouthguard
If your child has signed up to play football, hockey, wrestling, or another contact sport, make sure to have him or her fitted with a protective mouthguard. This simple device can help prevent painful injuries such as chipped or cracked teeth, knocked-out teeth, and bit lips.
Schedule a Dentist Appointment
Start the school year right with a trip to the dentist! A professional cleaning will help your child smile with confidence for school pictures. Other preventative measures such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments are effective ways of stopping cavities before they start. Then, a dental exam can catch problems in their early stages so treatment can begin before they get any worse.
Our dentist is Hazlet is ready to help you and your child get your smiles ready for back to school! If you have any questions, or you’re ready to schedule an appointment, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental at (732) 264-4477 today.
When you think about maintaining a healthy smile, you probably picture straight, white teeth. However, the gums surrounding your teeth are just as important. If you don’t take proper care of them, you could develop gingivitis. This is the first stage of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Learn the symptoms and causes of gingivitis and how you can avoid developing this gum problem.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
Healthy gums are pale pink, feel firm to the touch, and fit tightly around the teeth. You might have gingivitis if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Dark red gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Lingering bad breath
- Receding gums or pockets around the teeth
- Gums that feel sore or tender
We recommend seeing a dentist as soon as you notice symptoms of gingivitis. The faster you seek care, the better chances you have of reversing the damage and preventing it from progressing to periodontitis. Once the disease reaches this stage, it cannot be undone, only maintained.
What Causes Gingivitis?
Poor oral hygiene is the primary reason behind gingivitis. Here’s what happens when you don’t take good care of your teeth and gums:
- Plaque forms on your teeth. This clear, sticky film is left behind when starches and sugars in your food interact with the bacteria in your mouth.
- Plaque hardens into tartar. If not removed daily, plaque hardens along the gum line into a substance called tartar, or calculus. This attracts and shields bacteria, which quickly multiply and irritate your gums. While plaque can be swept away by brushing and flossing, tartar removal requires professional cleaning.
- Your gums become inflamed. The longer plaque and tartar linger, the more irritation they cause. Over time, your gums become swollen and infected. You now have gingivitis, and your condition is likely to progress if left untreated.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. It has even been linked to other health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, bacterial pneumonia, and complications during pregnancy. Keep your gums healthy and prevent gingivitis with these tips:
- Practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
- Visit the dentist regularly. Professional cleanings help keep gum inflammation at bay, and checkups reveal any problems you didn’t know about.
- Maintain good health practices. Eating healthy food and managing your blood sugar if you have diabetes is important for promoting gum health.
Treat Gingivitis at Our Dentist Office in Hazlet
If you notice symptoms of gingivitis, don’t ignore them! Prompt treatment is vital to get your gums healthy again and prevent the disease from progressing. Glenwood Premier Dental treats gingivitis and periodontal disease with effective therapies and oral hygiene tips. For answers to your remaining questions, or to schedule your next appointment, please contact our Hazlet dentist office at (732) 264-4477 today.