Between early morning drop-offs & establishing homework schedules with your kids this fall, keeping their teeth healthy while they’re at school may not be your #1 priority. While it may seem like a mundane task, packing an apple instead of a fruit roll-up or cookies in their lunch can help boost your child’s oral and overall health in addition to keeping unwanted cavities and unexpected Boise dental bills at bay.
Boise dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker warns that too much sugar can cause bacteria in the mouth to generate acid which over time wears away enamel causing tooth decay (cavities). While kids love their sweets, moderation is important. Overconsumption can not only hurt their teeth but provides an addicting, temporary jolt for kids that is typically followed by a sugar “crash” leaving them hungry, and lethargic which isn’t how you want your kids to feel during afternoon classes.
Instead, your Boise dentist at Summit Dental recommends the following Boise dental recommendations to help keep smiles healthy before, during, and after school:
- After breakfast, or before leaving for school, have your child thoroughly brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste to remove the buildup of problem causing bacteria in their mouth accumulated overnight while sleeping. Brushing after breakfast (or any meal) not only removes leftover food particles but helps to eliminate bad breath (halitosis) as well.
- Fill your child’s lunchbox with healthy foods and snacks. Whole grain breads, lean meats, nuts, cheese, apples, or bite-sized carrots are not only healthy but help to clean the teeth and gums naturally. Remember that old saying “an apple a day helps to keep the doctor away”? The same goes with your Boise dentist.
- If their school allows it, send your child to school with a couple sticks of sugar-free gum to chew before and after lunch to help stimulate saliva to buffer acid and dislodge leftover food particles stuck in between teeth.
- Children with extensive Boise dental work such as braces or removable retainers should take care to brush their teeth and rinse any dental appliances after every meal in order to keep their teeth happy, and healthy.
In the end, make sure to schedule a Boise dental visit during the school year for a checkup & regular Boise teeth cleaning. Ask your Boise dentist about protecting your children’s teeth from cavities with options like sealants – a thin coating of translucent material that acts as a barrier to cavity-causing bacteria.
This autumn, families everywhere are falling back into the routine of going back to school. While we are all getting used to early morning drop-offs, and after-school homework schedules, what happens during school hours is usually out of our hands. Once the school bell rings, certain things are bound to happen, including the loss of a baby tooth.
If your child does in fact lose his or her first baby tooth at school, don’t worry! Most likely a celebration will be provided by the teacher and their classmates in light of reaching this mini-milestone as long as your child is prepared for the possibility.
Normally, most children lose their first baby tooth around the age of 5 or 6, but it can happen any time between the ages of 4-8 which leaves a high probability they might experience losing a baby tooth during class time.
Provide them with Boise dental information
Prepare your child for the possibility of losing a baby tooth by explaining why we lose our teeth and how it feels or what will happen so they’re not afraid or caught off guard. By now your child has most likely visited their Boise dentist for a Boise dental checkup or Boise teeth cleaning. If they don’t already know, start off by explaining to your child that we all develop two sets of teeth, our primary (baby) and secondary (permanent) teeth. Normally, permanent teeth will begin to grow in around the age of six (except for wisdom teeth) in a addition to their 12-year molars.
If they happen to lose a baby tooth while in school, have your child notify their teacher. Not only will a teacher provide comfort & a tissue, they might indulge your child by taking a photo while providing them with a prize, and tooth-shaped carrier or baggie to bring the tooth home.
Boise Dentist Reward Ideas
Next, don’t forget to have your child put their tooth under their pillow at night for the tooth fairy to find! Aside from money there are other fun ways to reward your child. In addition to a couple of quarters (or dollars), your Boise dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker would suggest leaving a fun, new toothbrush or other Boise dental care prize! In the end, make sure to care for your child’s overall dental health by establishing good brushing and flossing habits in addition to scheduling a Boise dental checkup every six months.
An essential element that goes along with rooting for your child during their next soccer, football or basketball game this fall is protecting their smile. Any Boise dentist will tell you that sports-related injuries to the mouth are just as common as a suffering from a sprained ankle among young athletes.
Mouthguards are designed to protect your childs teeth and gums from major Boise dental injuries. If your child loves to participate in his or her favorite after-school sports, it’s important that a mouthguard is worn in order to preserve the integrity of their teeth.
Types of Mouthguards
There are three basic types of mouthguards your child can wear in order to protect their smile: the pre-made, the “boil-and-bite, or a Boise dental, custom-made mouthguard. Available at your local drug store, sporting goods, or super store, make sure to pick one that is tear-resistant, well fitted, and comfortable for your child to wear. It is just as imperative for those who wear braces or a retainer to wear a mouthguard as well. Surprisingly inexpensive, mouthguards are a great way to prevent major Boise dental expenses should a sports related injury happen.
Caring for your Child’s Mouthguard
Similar to any oral hygiene or Boise dental appliance, its important to care for and clean your child’s mouthguard in order to keep them safe and healthy while maintaining its integrity.
- Make sure to store the mouthguard in a protective case – Don’t let it get tossed onto the floor of your car after practice only to have them put it back in their mouth covered in germs & debri.
- Have your child clean their mouthguard after each use as they would their own teeth with a gentle scrub from their toothbrush with toothpaste before rinsing, and drying.
- Replace the mouthguard at the beginning of every new sports season in addition to it becoming worn or no longer fitting properly.
- Store the mouthguard at room temperature. Hot cars or window sills can easily cause the mouthguard to melt and lose its protective form.
- Dont let your child chew or cut any piece off the mouthguard.
- For children who wear retainers, a retainer should be removed before wearing a mouthguard. If your child wears braces, your Boise dentist can help design a specialized mouthguard to fit and protect their smile.
Keep in mind that no matter how hard we try to protect our children, accidents do happen. In case of a dental emergency, contact your Boise Dentist, Dr. Robert Studebaker ASAP. We can provide you with over-the-phone recommendations as well as scheduling an appointment depending on the severity of your childs Boise dental emergency for their best smile restoration.
4 Things to Do After a Dentist Visit
So you got a few hours off from work for your Boise dentist visit, and you want to wait for the anesthetic to wear off a little more before you head back to the office. Here are some things you can do after your visit!
1. Get Some Ice Cream
Image via Flickr by nan palmero
Just north of our office is the amazing Goody’s Soda Fountain, where you can get old-fashioned homemade ice cream and sundaes. If you are more of the frozen yogurt type, head to Blue Cow just southeast of us. Looking for more desserts? Check out this article for more of our favorite dessert places.
2. Go to the Park
If you’ve got kids with you, walk across the bridge over the Boise River to Ann Morrison Park. Bring a picnic blanket and lay out in the sun if you are tired, and let your kids run around the grassy areas. You can also follow the Boise River just a little bit south to the Julia Davis Park, which has beautiful gardens, a playground, and a duck pond.
3. Go to a Movie
If you don’t want to lounge on the couch at home, you can relax and watch the latest releases at the Regal Boise Downtown Stadium. More of an indie moviegoer? The Flicks is located just on the edge of Julia Davis Park. Watch a movie on one of its four screens, or rent an indie movie to take home.
4. Visit a Museum
If you are feeling energetic and curious, take advantage of your time off and visit one of the many museums in the downtown area. Within the Julia Davis Park, there are three museums: the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Black History Museum, and the Boise Art Museum. Go just two blocks north, and you’ll find yourself at the Basque Museum.
Where would you go if you had some free time after a dentist visit?
With Fall décor officially over and every store moving full-steam ahead with Christmas deals and decorations, our Boise dentists wanted to offer some dental care tips for holiday vacations. After all, staying as a guest in someone else’s home can wreck your regular routine, including your dental care regimen. Here are some things you can do to keep your teeth happy and healthy through the New Year:
Address Dental Issues for Pain before the Holidays
Our Boise dentists know that you don’t want to be spending any time at our dental office during your holiday week. We’d rather be with our families, too! So don’t put off a cavity filling, root canal, or dental crown until after the New Year. If you get the work done before your trip, you can work with the Boise dentists who know you and your specific needs. You can be comfortable in the office, and you know what you expect as far as payment goes. If you wait until the pain is unbearable during your guests’ stay or your vacation away, you have to visit a dentist you don’t know and who may or may not be covered under your insurance, and you have to either pay for a temporary fix or for an expensive procedure with a dentist you aren’t familiar with. Not to mention that you had to take precious time out of your relaxing holiday.
Have an Emergency Dentist Plan
Ask our Boise dentists if and when they are heading out of Boise for Christmas or New Year’s so that you know when you need to get your appointment in. For the days when our office dentists are gone, you should already have the name and number of the emergency dental office you’ll call. You don’t want to waste precious vacation days trying to find a dentist while in terrible amounts of pain!
Keep Up with the Portable Toothbrush
One of our previous articles suggested bringing a portable toothbrush to Thanksgiving dinner so you can brush whenever you remember to. The same idea applies to a vacation, when your routine is all mixed up. By keeping some disposable brushes in your car, purse, pocket, or bag, you can keep up with brushing whenever you remember – whether you are out shopping, on the road, or getting ready for an evening out. The pre-pasted brushes don’t even need water. Simply unwrap, use, and throw away.
Take Some Time to Relax
Family is great, but they can also cause plenty of stress. The amount of Christmas programs, dinners, guests, and food to attend, entertain, or prepare is enough to cause anxiety attacks. They are also why many people end up making last-minute dentist appointments during the holidays due to teeth grinding or clenching. This can cause headaches, jaw pain, or even chipped teeth. They can also irritate existing problems or dental work. So save yourself and your teeth from pain by finding moments to yourself to unwind. It’s good for your teeth!
With these tips, we at Summit Dental hope you have a relaxing vacation that is full of only good surprises and experiences.
As a day that centers around an hours-long meal of iconic and sugary foods (marshmallow sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, and cranberries, for example), Thanksgiving offers plenty of opportunity for tooth decay. If you want to make sure you teeth stay healthy for Christmas, take a look at our tips for Thanksgiving Day:
Rinse with Water.
Sugary treats like candy and desserts (and even sweet fruit) provide plenty of nutrients for the bacteria in your mouth, building up plaque. The acids in these foods can stay in your mouth for 20 minutes or more, so rinse with water as soon as you are done eating, or even in between dishes.
Take a Portable Toothbrush.
Many portable toothbrushes are no longer than the palm of your hand, making them incredible easy to place in a pocket or purse. Colgate Wisps don’t even need water to use. Coming pre-pasted, these brushes also have a pick on the end of the handle so you can floss. By brushing as soon as you are done eating and before a food coma sets in, you can protect your teeth from bacteria and plaque.
Brush When You Remember.
A portable brush means you can brush whenever, not just when you get home, tired and ready to fall asleep. Even if you know you will have a few drinks or snacks later, brush when you think about it so that you can’t forget. You can always brush again later!
Eat Dessert Close to the Main Course.
Try to eat your desserts close to your meal, as your mouth produces more saliva then and can better clean and protect your teeth from sugary foods. If that is not an option, try chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol afterwards. The gum will help your mouth produce more saliva while the xylitol sweetener may even encourage enamel growth.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family while also protecting your teeth with these great dental care tips for a holiday meal. Happy Thanksgiving from our Boise dentists and the rest of the Summit Dental office staff and team!
We’ve been wondering what your favorite things about Summit Dental are, so we thought we’d share a few more of ours as well. Here are three of our hygienists’ and office staff’s favorite things about working at Summit Dental Group.
The chocolate drawer. One of our office’s longest traditions, the chocolate drawer is a place for everybody to grab their favorite piece of candy. It is full of any and every kind of chocolate, from Twix to Milky Way to Hersey chocolate bars. We all take turns filling the drawer as well so it always has a good stock, just what we need if we’re having a rough day or need a late afternoon pick-me-up. We can’t quite remember how it started besides the fact that we have an office full of women, so of course chocolate is a great idea!
Office field-trips. These trips are a great time for us to hang out and relax together while creating a solid team environment. They may be as simple as a few rounds of Frisbee golf, or we might make a longer day out of it by floating on the river. One year we even rented a bus and went down to Jackpot to check out the concerts and casinos! Made to bring us together as a team, these fieldtrips include some of our favorite memories of Summit Dental.
The Summit gang. Of course the staff and team at Summit are what make working at this dental office such a great experience. We get along so well together and have such a great work atmosphere. You’ve already heard some of our favorite places to get together for lunch or drinks so you know what a great time we can have! In addition to going out together after work or during lunch, we also like to throw together a girls’ getaway where we go out for dinner or try a new project. Some of our favorite times include going to a ceramics place to paint pottery, or heading to Need to Bead for some creativity.
With something like a chocolate drawer, you have to know that Summit Dental Group is a great place to work with an environment that is hard to beat, whether for us or for you as our patients. Of course, something like a chocolate drawer or office fieldtrip is just the cherry on top of a great working environment, made possible by our amazing team of dentists and staff!
Wondering how to take care of your kids’ teeth? Here are some guidelines for giving your kids the best dental care from age zero to eighteen.
A baby’s teeth start to come in anywhere from six to fifteen months, so its best to start wiping her gums at an early age. It can be hard to tell when teeth are beginning to come through, and it is best to get into the daily habit of brushing teeth sooner rather than later. Simply place some wet gauze or a wet washcloth over your index finger and rub it gently over her gums at bath time.
Once your child’s teeth have come in, you can begin to use a tiny amount of toothpaste on a baby toothbrush. When using so little toothpaste, you don’t need to worry about rinsing, so just focus on brushing the inside and outside of your baby’s teeth, in addition to brushing her tongue.
You can usually start teaching kids brush their own teeth when they are about six years old. Kids love to copy their parents, so brushing your teeth together can be a great way to get your children in the habit. Remember that it is best to brush lightly for a long time instead of really hard for a short period of time. To help your kids do a thorough job, you can teach them a song to go along with brushing that you can sing for them, or which they can sing in their head. Make sure your kids are brushing more than the front of their teeth as well.
You may also start flossing your kids’ teeth around this time, or teaching them to floss themselves. It is best that they be flossing every night, but make sure that they are at least flossing twice a week. Since they may not be as coordinated as you are, you can help supervise so that they do the best job and are not uncomfortable (for instance, many kids wrap the floss too tightly around their fingers and find it uncomfortable).
Keep your kids’ teeth looking their best by not only regularly brushing but also limiting sugary snacks or drinks, or at least having kids rinse or brush after eating.
During the teenage years, you’ll find that braces require more care due to the many nooks and crannies the braces create. Make sure you brush your gums and teeth as you normally would, but then also pay special attention to the braces, adding more pressure to the brush so that the bristles go between the brackets. It is best to spend at least a few seconds on each tooth, so an electric toothbrush may be easier.
Flossing is equally important with braces as bacteria and food particles can get stuck between the teeth. Thread the floss under the main wire and then move it up and down around each tooth. If you were given a permanent retainer on the top or bottom of your front teeth, you may want to use a disposable flossing threader which will allow you to floss this area easily as well.
Dental care is an important part of good health in children and adults. Keep your family healthy and cavity free by teaching them how to brush and floss from their toddler years to high school and beyond. Of course, we’d love to talk with you about how we can help keep your family’s teeth looking healthy. Leave us a comment, or call us at our Boise office!