Dental Health Questions Answered… and a Giveaway!

We mamas are always trying to wrap our brains around dental health. When should our little ones see the dentist for the first time? What is the best way to instill good dental habits?

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Gerry Curatola, D.D.S., about some of the most common dental health questions. Take a look!

When do you recommend taking your child to the dentist for the first time?

Children can have developmental issues very early on. Sometimes waiting until a child is two to three years old before seeing a dentist can delay much needed early intervention. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends a first dental appointment at one year old.

Do you have any ideas/tips to help little ones that might be nervous about going to the dentist?

I have three tips help you set the stage for a lifetime of positive oral health habits:

  • Model positive behavior. Small children pick up on parental complaints about the dentist, so try not to voice anxieties or dental aches and pains.
  • Show them what it’s all about. Bring your child along with you to the dentist and demonstrate that it is nothing to fear. Have them watch you or an older sibling get a cleaning and it will get them excited to have the same experience.
  • Make it a celebration. At my office we decorate with balloons, and give a small toy at the end of the appointment to make sure the child has a positive first experience.

What brand of toothbrush and toothpaste do you recommend for infants and toddlers?

A little known fact is that there is enough chemical fluoride in a standard tube of toothpaste that, if ingested, can be fatal to children under the age of five. I recommend using an SLS-free and fluoride-free natural toothpaste, such as Revitin, which is also nutritionally based, safe to swallow and nourishes teeth and gums.

This toothpaste should be paired with a pediatric-sized, soft bristle toothbrush, the smaller the better.

And even more important than the actual toothbrush is how you store it. A bathroom can be a bacterial minefield and an unprotected toothbrush can be a receptacle for a variety of harmful germs. Wrapping a toothbrush in a tissue or covering it with a plastic cap can trap moisture in — and where there’s moisture, there’s bacteria.

The IntelliDent Toothbrush Shield is the only product on the market that’s made of non-woven material to create a barrier that protects, while wicking away moisture. In fact, in laboratory testing it was proven 99.9% effective in protecting against airborne and surface bacteria.

My toddler still sucks his thumb and/or uses a pacifier! Can this have an impact on their tooth development, and what can I do to break them of their habits?

While thumb-sucking is a common and useful soothing habit for young children, prolonged thumb-sucking can negatively affect the eruption of teeth, resulting in the extensive orthodontic treatment in the future. As each child’s personality is very different, you’ll have to experiment with the right way to break their individual habit. In the meantime, look for ergonomically designed pacifiers, such as the Hevea brand, which are made to aid in proper dental arch form and proper alignment of teeth.

How often should I brush my child’s teeth?

I recommend that you brush your child’s teeth twice per day. Dedicate one of those periods to be done with parental guidance (i.e. you are in charge) and the other with parental supervision (i.e. your child is in charge). Children love to model adult behavior, so allowing them to do it themselves makes it a special activity to look forward to and have a little fun.

Thank you to Dr. Gerry for taking the time to answer our questions. We love to hear stories of your child’s first trip to the dentist. Let us know how it went or if you haven’t gone yet, how are you preparing your child for it? Comment below!

Dr. Gerry’s response to the third question made me go check out my very small bathroom. I realized that my toothbrush is about two feet from our toilet. Gross. Especially since when a toilet flushes, mist (the mist can contain E. coli and many other harmful bacteria) from the toilet bowl escapes and can settle right on a toothbrush head!

If the thought of bacteria on your toothbrush makes you squirm, then you’re in luck! One Mama Say What?! reader will win a ONE YEAR supply of IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields! Each toothbrush shield can be used on your toothbrush for seven days before having to be changed.

Must complete first two entries in order to win. Must be 18 years of age or older. May reside in the U.S. or Canada. Contest begins on Wednesday, November 20th and ends on Tuesday, November 26th at 11:59 PST. Enter below and good luck!
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One Response to Dental Health Questions Answered… and a Giveaway!

  1. Pingback: Year Supply of IntelliDent Toothbrush Shields Giveaway - Giveaway Promote

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