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What Parents Can Do for Better Dental Health of Toddlers & Infants

toddler teethThe dental health of your infant and toddler can set the stage to achieving healthy, permanent teeth when they become teenagers and eventually adults later in life. According to life smiles family dentistry, good dental health this early can help in assisting normal speech development as well as for developing healthy eating habits.  The fact that your young ones cannot brush their teeth yet or monitor for cavities, the responsibility rests on you as a parent to help assist them achieve good oral hygiene.

Professional Dental Care

Your young ones should get their first dental consult by the time they reach the age of one year.  The early visit to the dentist will help familiarize your kid with the dental health professional as well as determine early if there are any problems in tooth or jaw development.  The dentist will also inform you regarding correct dental care as well as offer suggestions on what you can do at home in order to prevent future problems.

Home Dental Care

When you notice the first tooth eruption through your infant’s sensitive gums, you can begin regular home brushing.  Begin with wetting a soft baby-friendly toothbrush or a clean washcloth with plain water and then slowly rub the tiny teeth clean after feedings.  You can use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste after your toddler’s second birthday.  Check for the presence of any brown or white spots which can be signs of early tooth decay and bring your child to the dentist for proper attention.

It is not recommended to put your baby to bed with a bottle of milk in his mouth because the milk can easily pool in the oral cavity and can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also you need to limit the intake of sugary food and drinks. Do not allow your child to consume sugary beverages out of a sippy cup for a prolonged period because of the each sip brings more sugar to come into contact with the teeth’s surface. Establish a regular brushing routine each morning and evening so that it becomes part of your child’s routine day-to-day activity.




How to Instill Healthy Eating Habits to Your Kids

Kids do not come with an instruction manual when it comes to how to raise them to eat healthy.  As parents it is our duty to instill healthy habits to our kids so they can bring these into adulthood.  Here is a guide on how to instill healthy eating habits to your kids.

You Control the Supply Lines

You determine which food to purchase and when to serve them. While kids may pester you to buy junk food and other unhealthy stuff, you as the adult should ensure that what you stock in your home is healthy.  Kids won’t go hungry as they will eat whatever is available in the fridge or in the cupboard.  Don’t deprive them of absolutely getting rid of every junk food. Eat is ok to let them indulge once in a while so they do not feel deprived.

Kids Need to Have a Say

You need to get your kids involved when it comes to eating healthy food. Schedule regular meals and snack times and from the selections that you offer, let them choose what to eat and how much of it they prefer. While this may seem that you are giving too much freedom, allowing them a say in the matter will get them to be more cooperative in achieving healthy eating goals.

Don’t Impose a Clean Plate Policy

Let your kids stop eating when they feel that they had enough.  Many of us grew up with the clean-plate rule, so we know that approach does not help kids listen to their bodies when they feel full already. If kids notice and respond to feelings of fullness they are less likely to overeat plain and simple.

Start Them Early

kid eating vegetablesPreferences to certain food items are developed early in life so there is a golden opportunity for parents to show kids a lot of variety.  Likes and dislikes form in infancy so you need to serve new food on different occasions to determine a child’s liking. Do not force your kids to eat food they do not want. If they are wary about certain foods, offer a few bites only. With bigger kids, ask them to try one bite.



Achieve Healthy Living by Getting Your Child into Sports

Obesity is an overwhelming problem that has reached global proportions. Poor lifestyle choices, overuse of the internet and video games, smoking, eating junk food and more are just some of the reasons for this global pandemic.  Parents becoming couch potatoes produce overweight or obese kids as there is no one to show them the right way to live healthy.  If you want your kids to become fit and healthy, get them into sports by getting yourself into one yourself.

Talk To Your Child

Before you pick up a basketball or a soccer ball talk to your child first about what his or her likes and dislikes with regard to sporting activities. If he answers “nothing,” you need to provide him with ideas and options that he may not have thought about like trying out for the neighborhood soccer team if he shows an inclination to that sport.

Be the Number 1 Cheerleader

Offer constant and unconditional support in all of his or her athletic activities and not just the ones that he is good at. Offer realistic verbal praise and encouragement.

Encourage Good Sportsmanship

kids into sportsTalk to your child the value of sportsmanlike conduct.  Point out that it is ok to lose as long as you gave it your best shot.  Talk to him about the value of respecting his teammates and how they support one another in order to achieve a goal.  Concentrate on your kid’s active participation and not on her victories or instances when he won over another kid.  Encourage him to enjoy the game rather than simply on winning it.

Be Active in Sports Yourself

How can you convince your child to take up baseball or soccer if you yourself play those games only in front of the computer screen or on TV? Show a good example to your child by leading an active lifestyle yourself.  Kids are smart and they won’t take you seriously if they know you yourself do not practice what you preach.





Healthy Choices Parents Make for Their Kids

active parents with kidsThere are a myriad of things that can influence a child such as friends teachers, things they see on TV or the internet. As parents, it is our responsibility to shape our kids so that they make the right choices especially when it comes to their health. Here are some healthy choices parents can make for the benefit of their kids.

Be a Role Model

Kids look up to their parents more than you know.  What you do in front of them play a tremendous impact on their behavior.  It is important that you become a role model for your children.  For example, if you want your kids to begin eating healthier food items, you need to do so yourself.  Eat healthy family meals together.  Go out for a walk. Enjoy the outdoors instead of spending it in front of the television set or the computer. Do not smoke in front of your kids and if possible quit the habit for their sake.  Do not let them see you drink alcohol either.

Make Healthy Choices Easy

Place nutritious food items where it is easy to see and then get rid of junk food and other empty calorie food items.  Keep balls and other sports gear handy and schedule internet and video games so that your kids do not spend the whole day becoming a couch potato.

Keep It Fun

Take your kids to the park or go to a zoo or on a nature trail together. Encourage participation of your kids when preparing healthy meals.

Limit Screen Time

More often than not busy parents tend to forget that their kids are spending way too much time in front of the television set.  To prevent this, do not put a TV in their room and then avoid snacks and meals yourself in front of the TV so they do not emulate that practice.

It Begins with You

Remember, the change you want in your kids begin with changing the way you look at things and changing your lifestyle habits to reflect healthier choices.   While it may not be easy to get rid of each and every unhealthy habit, you need to take the extra mile to show your kids that you are with them in helping achieve better health.



Tips to Achieve Whiter Teeth

We all know that discolored teeth can really hamper your smile and can lead to some embarrassing situations.  Drinking too much coffee, cigarettes, medications to name a few are just some of the usual suspects.  It is a good thing that you can whiten your teeth easily if you know the right way to go about it.  Here are some helpful teeth whitening tips for you to checkout.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

electric toothbrushIf you want to achieve whiter teeth at home you may want to toss out your old manual brush in favor of an electric one. Electric toothbrushes work better and are more efficient when it comes to cleaning hard to reach places in your mouth and can provide you with a deeper clean and a much more amazing smile at that.

Whitening Toothpaste

Use an over the counter whitening toothpaste. Make sure that it contains bleaching ingredients to get the best results.  Brush once every morning when you wake up and after each meal. Brush duration should at least be a couple of minutes per session. It is also recommended to floss regularly in order to remove stains between the teeth as well.  To get better results, consider adding baking soda with your toothpaste when brushing.  Make sure to immediately wash your mouth afterwards to prevent your gums from becoming tender as a result.

Natural Method

You may also want to consider a natural means of whitening teeth with the use of strawberries. All you need to do is crush some into a pulp and then mix with a half teaspoon of baking soda until they have completely mixed together. Apply the concoction to your teeth for at least a five minutes and then rinse off properly. Do this only once a week.

Visit a Dentist

While all of the procedures above can help improve the color of your teeth, nothing beats a visit to the dentist in order to achieve the best results.  Teeth whitening procedures are considered “lunch time” procedures because you could be in and out of the dentist’s office in as quickly as an hour with satisfying results.



What You Need to Know about Teeth Whitening

teeth whiteningA good first impression is one of the benefits that a flawless smile provides.  However, many people lose confidence and the ability to make a good an impression on others because they suffer from stained teeth.  Whitening also known as teeth bleaching is a cosmetic dental procedure that can vastly improve the appearance of stained teeth by removing the stains and bringing back confidence and self-esteem.  Here are some of the facts you need to know about the procedure.

Causes of Discolored Teeth

Teeth can become discolored due to several factors such as genetics, age, drugs, injuries and lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking too much coffee.  There are some teeth that feature a gray undertone while others tend to be more yellow.  Different tones respond to different products better than others.

Whitening versus Bleaching

The US FDA has stern standards with regards to the use of the terms whitening and bleaching when it comes to products for teeth.  The term bleaching is used when products for teeth are made whiter than their original color.  Whitening is used to refer to the stain removal, debris and dirt.  As a rule, any kind of toothpaste may be considered a teeth whitener due to the simple fact that it removes stuff out. A lot of companies refer to the term whitening when referring to products that both have hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide due to the notion that the term whitening has a much more commercial appeal.  If you want to whiten your teeth, look for a toothpaste that feature bleaching agents as part of the ingredients.

Dental Bleaching

Dental bleaching is usually done at the dentist’s clinic or given a take home kit to use.  Cosmetic dentists use higher concentrations of bleaching agents and can bring about a much more noticeable color change than your usual run-off-the-mill whitening products.  To have teeth whitened at the dentist may cost you somewhere between six to seven hundred dollars depending on the extent of the procedure.  Take home dental kits may take longer to work but are considered more effective compared to the products usually bought at the store.  There are some that you can apply for half an hour to one hour at a time and some that you need to leave overnight.