..and we might be just a little excited! In support of the American Dental Association, we’re happy to be celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month awareness throughout the month of February. What first was observed in 1949 as a day devoted to children’s dental health, the initiative now marks forty years strong while celebrating as a month-long, nationwide health observance reinforcing the importance of good pediatric oral healthcare.
Our First Impressions care teams are focusing this year’s effort on offering approachable pediatric dental healthcare conversations: stepping outside the box of canned dental advice, and instead providing realistic tips and tricks to caregivers seeking recommendations for improved at-home brushing routines. We hope that by sharing some of our tips and tricks with you all month long, healthy habits (and stress-free routines!) can be put into practice far beyond the reach of February.
You’re not alone! Even as pediatric dentists with years of practice, we still have brushing battles with our little ones at home. Here are three common issues we see, and how to maneuver for a good brushing in each situation. Try out these tips tonight, and let us know if they worked for you!
…And that’s ok (whew!) Statistics show nearly half of all children will have some type of tooth injury during their childhood, despite our best efforts to keep them safe.
So what do we do when this happens? Here are a few at-home guidelines to follow:
-> If tooth injury: identify if fractured (check for any signs of pink nerve showing), displaced (can your child still bite down normally?) or knocked out entirely. Give us a call if you see worrisome conditions.
-> If gum or soft tissue injury: apply pressure to the area that is bleeding and use a cold compress.
MONITOR: for all injuries, you want to keep an eye out for any swelling of the gums, continued pain, fever, or change in the color of the tooth.
**Please consider, every accident and child will be different! While we consider these general steps to follow, we want you to always use your best judgment and instinct when it comes to taking the best care of your child. And remember, First Impressions staff is on-call to answer emergency questions and treat injuries, whether or not you’re an existing patient of ours!
Maybe you just can’t get your child to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. Or you’re convinced there’s no maneuver sufficient enough to help you hit that two-minute brushing benchmark. As parents ourselves, we understand your struggle! So we wanted to share some of our go-to maneuvers we use with our own kids at home.
Let us know if you try one of these tricks, and which works best for you!
-Sit with your child on the floor, laying them down on their back with head resting on your lap.
-Use your non-brushing hand to cradle their head still while you brush from behind.
–Bonus stabilization: rest your legs over your child’s legs and arms to keep them from wiggling or reaching around.
-Sit cross-legged with your child on the floor, placing them in an upright, seated position on one leg of your lap and pointing their legs inward.
-Hug their body close to yours, wrapping their inner-arm behind your back and holding their head still with your non-brushing hand.
–Bonus stabilization: rest your free leg over the top of theirs to keep them still.
-Sit with your child on the floor, resting them in the crook of your non-brushing arm and wrapping their inner-arm around your back.
–Using your non-brushing hand, hold their free arm still.
–Bonus stabilization: as you sit cross-legged, rest your leg on top of theirs.
Being a new parent is hard enough without the added complexity of teething toddlers. Aka: added fussiness, loss in appetite, and poor sleep (for all involved).
So what do we look out for, and what can we do to help?
Once the teeth are through, start your brushing regime with a soft bristle toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste.
Friendly reminders to all parents: