Toothbrush 101: When to Replace | Hoboken Dentist

We all know the basics of dental hygiene – we need to do it on a daily basis, we need to do brush for at least two minutes, along with flossing and rinsing with a good anti-bacterial mouthwash to rinse away the cavity-causing bacteria. But what we may not always think about is maintaining the tools you need to keep that smile bright and healthy, namely your toothbrush.

How often should you replace your toothbrush? A question that most individuals fail to answer. To be fair, there isn’t a real specific answer, however the American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush about every three months. A strikingly odd fact about your toothbrush is that it probably is covered with 10 million germs and bacteria. Though this sounds awfully unsettling, have no fear! These bacteria aren’t big enough to threaten your teeth.

There is a proper way to clean and handle your toothbrush right after usage to ensure yourself a greater chance of less bacteria. Make sure to run your toothbrush under tap water and then let it air dry in an upright position, and you should allow sufficient time for your toothbrush to dry before you decide to use it again. When you happen to catch a cold, make sure to replace your toothbrush afterwards to prevent your cold from returning. If you are really worried about bacteria and germs, soak your tooth brush in a mouthwash solution, or use some hydrogen peroxide mixed with water to form your own solution.

Everyone wants a smile to be proud of – make sure you have the proper tools to keep it.

To learn more about toothbrush care, call Dr. David Musarra at Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Also visit the website at www.hobokenpediatricdentistry.com.

Dr. David Musarra proudly accepts patients from Hoboken and all surrounding areas.

How Do I Keep My Child from Binging on Halloween Candy?

thinkstockphotos-128958877It’s Halloween…that one day of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But it’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. Lots of candy given simply by saying those three magic words: trick or treat. No need to be good in order to dodge the coal in the stocking. In fact, the ‘trick’ in trick or treat almost praises bad kid behavior if candy ISN’T received. But as your children are scouring the neighborhood for a larger haul than the year before, ask yourself – how can I monitor my child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of year?

Here are some pediatric dental tips to keep in mind when going through your little monsters’ stash:

Limit the intake. Halloween has to be the coolest time of year for your child’s imagination. For one day, they have the freedom to munch on candy while “fighting crime” dressed as a superhero or riding a unicorn in as fairy. Tiny humans live for this day. Depriving them of what some would call a major part of the holiday will not only make your child upset, but won’t make life at home very peaceful. So instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, unleashing the cavities while you aren’t looking.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Of course, the main defense against Halloween candy-driven cavities is always going to be good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. In case you aren’t sure if your child is brushing thoroughly enough, there are various disclosing products you can give your child to find out if their doing a good job brushing by coloring areas in their teeth that have plaque buildup. If they are fully against brushing, entice them to making a change by letting them pick out their own dental stuff. Kids are often swayed by doing grown up things. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

For more information on ways to keep your child’s smile healthy during Halloween, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111. Learn more about their practice by visiting www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Accepting patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark and all surrounding areas.

How To Prevent Cavities in Children

475936549Tooth decay and cavities are a common problem, not just in adults but also in children. Both are a concern for parents all over the world, a problem that may affect as many as half of all children from ages 2 to 11.

For parents out there, the first step in preventing cavities in your children is to understand what causes it and how to treat it.

Possible Causes 

Cavities and tooth decay occur in children when the bacteria in their mouth start eating away at their primary teeth. Also known as dental caries, the main reason why cavities occur in children is inadequate dental care, such as not brushing and flossing your child’s teeth enough.

One of the more common causes, however, is putting children to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Done regularly, doing so can put children at risk for what’s known as baby bottle tooth decay. This happens because the milk or juice from the bottle can sit in your child’s mouth as they sleep, which creates a place where bacteria can breed and grow.

Letting children eat what they want and when they want it, such as regularly letting your child eat or suck on candies, can also contribute to their risk for cavities.

Prevention

The first thing that you’d want to do is to stop letting your child go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. If you do give your child something to help him or her sleep, let your child drink water. Also, when you do let your children drink milk or sugary drinks, encourage him or her to drink from a bottle or a sippy cup, as well as to drink them quickly so that the teeth aren’t exposed as much to decay-causing sugars.

Encourage children to brush and floss their teeth every day as well, and be sure to keep their intake of sugary foods and drink at a minimum. Also, try your best to have your child checked by the dentist as soon as his or her first birthday.

For children below two years of age, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-fluoride toothpaste. The latter is because children below two years of age won’t likely know how to spit the fluoride toothpaste out of their mouth, and may end up swallowing it.

Flossing is also recommended and it’s best to that you brush, as well as floss, with your children so as to set an example for them.

Treatment

Treatment for cavities in children will require dental work. For smaller cavities, dentists may use fillings. However, if the cavities are too big, the dentist may have to restore to using dental restorations such as a full crown to prevent the spreading of bacteria.

Dentists may have to remove severely decayed teeth as letting them stay can cause problems for the adult teeth in the future.

For parents, the best way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities and other dental problems is by setting an example. Also, if you teach your children healthy oral hygiene habits early on, such as brushing and flossing every day, as well as visiting the dentist regularly, they’re more likely to enjoy a healthy set of teeth once they grow old. More importantly, however, teaching your children good oral health habits will make sure that they’ll to stick to them throughout their life.

Be sure that your child practices proper oral hygiene and is taken for regular checkups to ensure good oral health. To schedule a routine checkup or professional cleaning for your child, contact Dental Associates of Hoboken at 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.