Fun Foods That Are Great for Your Kid’s Teeth

Good nutrition is important to a child’s health, but that includes their teeth too! Kids are constantly growing and developing, and so are their teeth, which is why they require foods from each food group.

The question is, exactly what kinds of foods are best? Here are the foods that will help keep your child’s dental health in tip-top shape.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

For optimum health, it is suggested that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are included in every meal, but balance is key.

Normally, a child’s diet has a higher concentration of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contain starches and sugars. Some are harmful, and some are essential. The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits are more beneficial, while the starchy carbohydrates in pasta and bread can be more problematic if consumed in large quantities.

Dairy

If your child is not lactose intolerant, try adding some yogurt, cheese, and milk to the menu. Foods rich in calcium are believed to help tooth strength and brightness. These foods are also great for promoting strong bones, which is super important, especially when it comes to growing children.

Lean proteins and nuts

The phosphorus found in certain protein-rich foods can prove helpful in restoring minerals to your kid’s teeth, which in turn protects the enamel. Protein is also the building block of muscle, and who doesn’t want to have strong muscles? Remember, the heart is a muscle too!

Fruits low in acid

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that includes the dentist! The crunchiness of the fruit helps work your kid’s teeth as he or she chews, and the water content acts as a buffer that protects the teeth from acid. Chewing on fruits can also help work other food particles out from between teeth.

Water

Water is often overlooked, but it’s so important to your child’s health. No soda, energy drink, juice, or fortified water is better than plain old water. Most people do not get enough good, pure, wholesome water into their bodies to promote good health.

Water is a natural lubricant and cleanser. It is a necessary catalyst for the essential metabolism of the body, and it’s a cleansing agent that flushes waste and toxic materials from the cells in the body.

Water hydrates the body and is perhaps the best liquid to drink for maintaining a kid’s teeth. If your child enjoys soda, juice, or other drinks, try to limit their consumption and replace those sugary drinks with water instead.

There’s no substitute for regular brushing

All types of foods and snacks have the ability to cause dental cavities. Cookies, candy, pastries, and cake get the most attention when cavity-producing foods are discussed. Yet, fruits, milk, peanut butter, pretzels, chips, and juices can be equally detrimental. Regulating your child’s eating habits, along with promoting regular brushing habits, is the best way to support your child’s dental health.

Prevention is key

If no action is taken to maintain proper dental health, acid can attack the tooth enamel, allowing tooth decay to penetrate into the soft tissue inside the tooth. If the decay is not treated in its early stages, it will progress to the tooth pulp, a soft tissue containing nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels. Eventually, an abscess will begin to form at the root, and without endodontic (root canal) treatment, the tooth will be lost. Proper nutrition can spare your child the pain and agony of premature tooth loss and dental disease. Prevention is key.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental health, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a checkup for your child and answer any questions you may have about the best foods to feed your family for optimal dental health.

Operation Gratitude Sends Donated Halloween Candy to Our Troops!

Halloween is here again. Another opportunity has come to say a big thank you to our troops for their selfless service to our nation. As you look forward to wearing your specially crafted costume and collecting different kinds of candies from neighbors, family, and friends, we would like to take a  moment to let you in on a wonderful opportunity for you and your kids to donate your Halloween candy to our troops overseas through a charity known as Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization run by volunteers who assemble and send over 250,000 care packages to our troops overseas. They also send care packages to service member’s children who are left here at home, first responders, wounded heroes, veterans, as well as new recruits. Their  goal is to show support and boost the morale of those who do so much for all of us and our country. To date, Operation Gratitude has sent over 1.5 million care packages!

Send Halloween Candy and Other Gifts to Our Troops

You can send a wide variety of candy bars to show your appreciation to our troops. Unlike previous years, you don’t need to differentiate between chocolate and non-chocolate candy or spend time sorting various types of candy. The only types of candy Operation Gratitude cannot accept at this time are the powdery candy varieties like Pixy Stix because they make the packages very messy. In addition to candy, you may send toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, Beanie babies, handmade hats, scarves and paracord bracelets if you would like to add a little something special in addition to your Halloween candy.

Package the Candy in a Nice Box or Carton

Using a box that is not larger than 24” x 24” x 20”, package your candy neatly and send it to Operation Gratitude. To keep loose candy safe in transit, line the boxes with big bags or put the candy in Ziploc bags. In each box, add a completed donation form, which you can download from their website. This form will give the volunteers details about the total number of packages, the total weight of candy and the toothbrushes you are sending, and make it easy for them to send an acknowledgment to you after they receive your package. You may also include letters or cards for our troops in your package.

Send Your Package Early

Send your package as soon as possible. Make sure it gets to the Operation Gratitude volunteers on or before November 15th so it can be included in the annual care packages that they will send to our troops this year. Consider the number of days it will take for your candy to arrive at their office and send it early to avoid delays. The best time to send your package is immediately after you gather the candy. Put together all the packaging materials now so you can send the candy to them before the deadline runs out. They don’t want any of the candy you send to get wasted.

Ship it or Bring it to Their Office

Ship your candy boxes to their address at:

Operation Gratitude

21100 Lassen Street,

Chatsworth, CA 91311,

(818) 469-0448

Please don’t ship candy boxes to any other address apart from this one. To confirm that your package was delivered to their office even before receiving a notice of acknowledgment from us, you can use the tracking facility offered by your shipping agent. For those who live close to their address in California, you may bring your gifts in person while their volunteers are on duty. You may also send your package through a dentist, school, business or club in your community that collects candy on behalf of Operation Gratitude.

Now, that you’ve all the information required to package and send your Halloween treat to show gratitude to our troops, make sure you prepare to get as much candy as possible during the event and follow the steps required to package them and ship them out. They will deliver your candy as promised.

Follow Operation Gratitude on Social Media

To receive current updates on all of our activities at Operation Gratitude, you can check out their official Facebook page and Halloween Candy Give back page if you have not done so before. Here you will find insightful tips, news updates and other information that will be useful to you.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

 

What You Don’t Know About Gummy Vitamins Can Hurt You

With modern day parenting, it’s hard to ensure that your children get a healthy, nutritious meal. Parents are super busy with work, chores, errands and caring for the kids, making it almost impossible to have a home cooked meal most nights of the week. As a result, parents sometimes rely on prepackaged foods or fast food, which is not always a healthy option. The kids don’t seem to mind, but you know they could be eating better.

As a parent you are left wondering, how do I give my children the nutrients they need when I am unable to cook a healthy and nutritious meal for them? Many parents have opted to give their children supplements such as vitamins. Since most children do not like swallowing tablets, the most common children’s vitamins are gummy vitamins. Unfortunately, they have a number of drawbacks. These vitamins may give your children the nutrients they are lacking from their diet but they are not the best option for good oral health.

High Sugar Content

Gummy vitamins are packed with more sugar than chewable vitamins or even the multivitamin you swallow. Compared to standard multivitamins, gummy vitamins have 7 times more sugar. It’s no secret that the sweetness and flavoring are meant to make them palatable. If your goal is to have your kids eat sugar-free or low sugar foods, then this definitely not the best option for you.

Today’s children tend to lead more sedentary lives than previous generations. With the dawn of the internet and video games, kids just aren’t getting outside and exercising like they used to. With childhood obesity on the rise, parents need to be more mindful than ever about the amount of sugar and calories their child’s diet contains. Sugary gummy vitamins are some of the worst offenders.

The Sticky Truth

Though gummy vitamins have a higher sugar content compared to other vitamins, it’s not as high as most of the gummy snacks children normally eat. This might tempt some parents to dismiss the sugar content in gummy vitamins and keep buying them out of sheer convenience. Before you do that, here’s something else you need to know.

Gummy vitamins have a sticky consistency which makes them stick in teeth longer than standard chewable vitamins. It can stick for a whole day and could possibly cause cavities. The sugar sits between the child’s teeth till the child brushes their teeth. Even then, it’s impossible to know if your child has sufficiently removed all of the sticky matter from their teeth. If this happens for weeks or even months, it can lead to cavities.

Healthier, Better Alternatives

Although vitamins are a good supplement for children and adults, gummy vitamins are not the best choice. If you need chewable vitamins, choose powdery instead of sticky ones. Once your children are comfortable with swallowing pills, switch to supplements they can easily swallow and save yourself from the constant worry about them getting cavities. Your children may not like the less sugary chewable vitamin tablets, but you need to remember that it is a much healthier choice. A small amount of drinking water is enough to remove the powder left in your child’s mouth after chewing the pill. To create a routine, give the children the chewable vitamin at the same time every day.

Proper Tooth Care

Choosing the right vitamin is the first step towards proper dental care. You should also find a good dentist, like Dr. Mott,  and have your children get a check-up once in every 6 months. Ensure that your children floss and brush their teeth twice daily. They should brush their top teeth for a minute and the same should follow for the bottom.

If you absolutely can’t do away with gummies, then ensure that you give your children their vitamin just before they brush their teeth. Avoiding the negative side of these vitamins will go a long way in keeping your family’s smiles bright.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

 

Bossier Dentistry: 6 Tips To Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Kid’s Dental Gadgets

Taking care of your kids’ dental needs isn’t terribly difficult. It’s just another routine to add to the schedule. However, it is terribly important. Any dentist will tell you that starting early and teaching your children healthy habits will ensure their lifelong dental health.

It is normal for toddlers to be hyped and challenging about night-time rituals, but this not an excuse for bad oral hygiene. Promoting dental health should always start early so that future problems can be averted.

Start As Soon As They’re Born

Even your tiny baby isn’t safe from harmful bacteria. At the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby will already have 20 primary teeth, and bacteria can’t wait to get at them. They’re inside the jaw, and that’s why you can’t see them. But, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

You don’t have to brush your baby’s teeth. Just run a damp washcloth over their gums after feeding. Once you start to see visible teeth, you can start brushing, but use an extra-soft toothbrush that’s meant for babies.

Caring For Your Toddler’s Teeth

It’s a well-known fact that most toddlers don’t like to sit still while Mommy or Daddy sticks a toothbrush in their mouth. Your toddler will have their “baby teeth,” and even though they’re going to fall out, proper dental care is essential. Whenever possible, brush them lightly with water only before they go to sleep. A deep brushing isn’t necessary, but make sure to pick out any leftover food.

For toddlers, what they eat is more important than regular brushing. Keep them away from sugary foods that’ll damage teeth and gums. Make sure they get plenty of calcium, especially from milk. This is what they need to grow strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime of great smiles.

Great Kid’s Dental Gadgets

There are a number of kid’s dental gadgets that help make brushing fun. Some of our favorites are Spinbrush Tooth Tunes, Crayola’s Timer Lite Toothbrush, the Brush DJ app, and the Twooth Timer. If your child is a challenge at brushing time, these may be a huge help.

First Visit To The Dentist

At age 2, it’s time for the first visit to the dentist. It can be a harrowing experience for the younger children, but you can turn it into a little adventure. One thing you can do to prepare your child for the dentist is to take them along when Mommy or Daddy goes. This way, they can watch what happens and see that it’s not so bad. Just don’t scream in agony or anything like that!

Usually, with young kids, dentists will show them all the fun little gadgets they have. They pay “take them for rides in the chair,” or start off by making a game out of counting teeth. Your dentist is used to having small children, and they’ll know how to set them at ease.

Get Into Regular Check-Ups

Once your child has seen the dentist for the first time, it’s time to start regular check-ups. It’s critical to monitor child’s brushing at young ages, to make sure that they develop good brushing habits. Regular visits not only clean your kids’ teeth and look for potential problems, but they also help in educating your children about brushing and caring for their teeth. Teaching them to take it seriously is half the battle.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

summer

Should Your Kids Get Braces During the Summer?

Many parents and their children feel that summer is the best time to get orthodontic work done. Some kids complain that they do not like being trammeled with getting braces in the middle of a semester. Not only can wearing braces lead to self-consciousness as they interact with their classmates, the effort required for cleaning and maintaining braces throughout the day can also seem like a little too much for a newbie during a long day at school.

Obviously, as a parent, it is important to reassure your child that wearing braces is nothing to worry or be self-conscious about, and that your kids look just as awesome as they always did when they are wearing their braces. However, parents may have other concerns about kids getting braces during the school year. For example, they may worry that orthodontist appointments take their kids out of school unnecessarily and thus prevent them from learning as effectively as possible.

Should your kids get braces during the summer?

There are three key reasons why the summer time is often the best time for your kids to get their braces fitted. The three points below suggest that summer is the smart choice as it fits better with your children’s comfort, their ability to keep their teeth and braces clean, and their schedules.

1. Keeping things comfortable

Braces are designed to be totally comfortable once your child has settled into wearing them. However, for the first few days of wearing braces, your kids may find that they experience some initial discomfort and particularly that their mouth aches a little. Relieving this discomfort will be much easier when they can simply relax at home with an ice pack rather than having to concentrate on their school work at the same time. In addition, if your kids mouths are aching due to the use of braces, it is best for them to eat soft foods such as soups and smoothies rather than crunchy apples or things like breadsticks or hard candy bars. However, these soft foods may not be readily available in the school lunchroom.

2. Keeping the braces clean

Cleaning teeth with braces on involves a little more work than cleaning teeth without braces. Your kids will need to come to grips with brushing not only the teeth but the braces themselves several times a day – their orthodontist will be able to show them how to do this. It is especially important to clean braces after meals, as food can get caught in them. Thoroughly cleaning braces is much easier at home, when your kids have more spare time and are not rushing from class to class during the day.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

3. Keeping up with their classwork

Getting braces fitted usually takes a series of orthodontic appointments: an initial consultation, the actual installation of the braces and then a visit to check that everything is going smoothly. That is three afternoons out of school – more if your appointments are at an awkward time or if your orthodontist lives far away. Thus, having braces fitted during the summer will provide the minimum amount of disruption to your child’s learning.

If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not your child needs braces, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you as well.

kids

5 Secrets For Getting Your Kids To Brush And Floss

There can be no denying that kids are wired to hate all the important stuff that ought to be done so as to keep them healthy. From scrubbing behind their ears to eating their vegetables, kids generally aren’t conscientious when it gets to maintaining proper personal health and hygiene.

The same goes to tooth brushing and dental hygiene. If you have an ongoing struggle with getting your kids to brush their teeth, you aren’t alone. Nearly every parent experiences the same thing as well. However, there are actually some simple things you can do to help your kids develop good dental habits without it turning into an episode of WWF. Below are 5 simple tips you can use to effortlessly get your little ones to brush and floss.

Make It Fun

Competition is a great motivator, particularly for kids. While the issue of dental decay might not prompt your kids to brush and floss properly, encouraging them to do it together with you can make the whole process of brushing and flossing quite fun. For instance, you can come up with a game revolving around your family’s oral hygiene routine so as to boost their interest in brushing and flossing.

Get an Electric Toothbrush

Kids are well-known for having little patience for both hassle and tedium. In most cases, they don’t really feel like doing something no matter how important it is unless chicken nuggets or Spongebob are involved. This is normally because they think that the task entails a bit of work on their part and that they may not receive a reward from doing it. An electric toothbrush can help reduce the frustration that comes with using an ordinary toothbrush. Better still, an electric toothbrush can make the brushing process quite enjoyable for kids. They are actually many adults out there who really enjoy using an electric toothbrush as well.

Explain it in Their Language

Gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal disease don’t actually make sense to kids at all. In fact, they tend to think that such things are only important to Mommy and Daddy, instead of seeing them as their personal top priorities. To solve this issue, you can ask a dental professional to help you with explaining the effects of improper oral hygiene in a manner that your little ones will be able to understand clearly. For instance, you can explain to them how cavities can make their teeth hurt so that they can take action and start brushing and flossing their teeth.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Let Your Little Ones Pick Out Floss, Paste, and Other Supplies

Kids find small stuff exciting. Small experiences such as getting new toys with your little ones, going shopping with them or going somewhere fun with them can have a huge impact on their minds. As a parent, you can use this to your advantage by letting your kids pick out their own toothbrush, floss and paste. This can make them feel excited and independent about the purchase, hence encouraging them to brush and floss later on.

Do It Together

This might sound pretty simple, but it is by far the most important thing you can do to get your kids to brush and floss properly. While brushing with your kids, you don’t only get them to emulate your hygiene habits, but it will most importantly help them see brushing and flossing as an important task that can help keep their teeth healthy.

With these 5 simple ways to get your kids to brush and floss, you will definitely have a much easier time getting your little ones to start brushing and flossing their teeth regularly without a hassle.