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Good dental habits begin at an early age

Help older kids brush up on oral health

(NC)— Did you know that an estimated 57% of kids aged 6 to 11 years-old  have cavities? That number increases to 59% for teens, but with good oral care, specialists tell us that all children can grow up cavity-free. The habits you help them develop now will last a lifetime, so take a look at these helpful tips:

12-24 Months: Begin regular dental visits by age one. Teach a toddler about dental hygiene when the first teeth come through. Children should get used to holding a toothbrush and should watch others as they brush. Let them practice brushing, but continue brushing their teeth for them. Begin flossing when most of the baby teeth are in.

2-5 Years: Teach young children to use no more than a pea-size amount of toothpaste and make sure they do not eat it. Continue to brush and floss their teeth for them. Avoid sugary sweet treats.

6 + Years: Encourage children to begin flossing. Your dental hygienist will demonstrate proper technique. Continue to supervise brushing and flossing. The surface of your child’s permanent molars may be sealed with a light coating to prevent cavities in the deep fissure and grooves of the teeth. Keep a record of any accidents or falls that could affect the placement or condition of permanent teeth.

More information about oral care is available online at www.cdha.ca.

How to care for your child’s teeth

Healthy smiles for babies and toddlers

baby toddler dental health pic

(NC)—We don’t usually associate cavities or gum disease with infants but in fact, oral diseases begin very early. For example, early childhood caries (cavities) is a form of severe tooth decay in the primary (baby) teeth of children from birth to age 3, and it affects more than 10 per cent of preschool-aged children in Canada. Baby’s first teeth are crucial to healthy adult teeth, and early childhood cavities can lead to much bigger oral health issues later in life.

Reduce the risk and follow these simple care tips with your little one:

• Be a good role model. Keep your own teeth and gums healthy.

• Wipe baby’s mouth and gums with a clean, wet cloth or piece of gauze after feeding.

• Gently clean newly erupted teeth with a small, soft toothbrush.

• Avoid fruit punches and other sweetened drinks in baby bottles, especially before bed.

• Reduce the frequency of nighttime feedings.

• Use only pacifiers with an orthodontic design, and don’t dip it in sugary substances.

•  Avoid transfer of your saliva onto items used by baby, including bottles, cups, pacifiers. Bacteria spreads.

• Rinse baby’s mouth with clear water immediately after any liquid medication is given.

• Check for early warning signs by lifting up baby’s top lip. White, chalky teeth or brown or black stained teeth indicate a problem. Contact your dental professional immediately.

• Gradually introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to the diet. These foods, which require chewing, stimulate saliva flow and help to neutralize acids.

• Begin regular dental visits by age one.

More tips and information about oral health care is available online at www.cdha.ca.

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Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Week 2012!

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi

 

This year I was able to get out and celebrate National Dental Hygiene Week within the community of Kensington. I had the pleasure of visiting with 4 different West Hillhurst Preschool Classes and boy was it fun! Teeth were counted in English and en francais; we learnt how to brush teeth and gums using Doogan Dog as a trusty but sneezy model,: kids listened with wide eyes and open ears during story time and explanations about what sugar bugs did in their mouth! What an attentive, and happy go lucky audience.

Dental Hygiene Week is a time when Canada recognizes the initiatives of this profession and how it impacts Canadians. It is both a good time and bad time to be a hygienist in 2012; good because of the changes made to the Health Professions Act that gave Canadians more direct access to dental hygiene care and bad because of economic changes that affected  the landscape of once plentiful jobs for us hygienists.

If there is one thing that has not changed, it is the constant need for access to preventive oral health care in this country. I would like to personally thank every hygienist I know who has been instrumental in spearheading these legislative changes that would affect how healthy Canadians mouths could be.  You pioneers and trailblazers are amazing individuals! This is a great time to be a hygienist and it is only going to get better. Lots of faith, hope, and love.

Rocell

 

Can Tea Help Prevent Cavities?

Image from the Fairmont Hotel Banff Springs on Highnoon Tea

This weekend I had my first experience of High Noon Tea! And I must say, where have I been all this time?

The dainty tea sandwiches; the scones with clotted cream, preserves and butter; the petit fours, all placed strategically on a tiered tower that you almost don’t want to eat because it looks so exquisite. And of course, the highlight, The Tea! If you have never had High Noon Tea I insist you try the one at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff. The view in Rundle Lounge  where High Noon Tea is served is glorious on a sunny day with a bosom friend. Thanks very much A for introducing me!

Ah, but such a rich diet of fermentable carbohydrates will be a feast for those pesky streptococcus mutans who desperately want to lace your teeth with a bath of acid. In a nutshell bacteria metabolize sugars found in your diet and poop out acids that cause tooth decay!

But do not fret, there is tea to save the day! Yes it’s known to have anticariogenic properties; it helps to reduce the risk of cavities! Righto!

Apparently the polyphenols and catechins present in tea help to decrease biofilm from forming. Hence tea, has the potential to be an antibacterial. But what tea to choose; fermented or non fermented; black tea or green tea; Kyoto cherry blossom tea or Iranian green tea? There is an in vitro study from Spring 2011 that can be found on Pubmed that explains all of this in great detail for those with inquiring minds. In general, there is evidence showing tea as cavity fighter, but it seems there needs to be more studies completed to identify which types of tea leaves give the most therapeutic effects.

For the record, I chose the Kyoto cherry blossom green tea. Divine.