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Posts for: June, 2015

By Gateway Dental Centre, PC
June 20, 2015
Category: Oral Health
NancyODellonMakingOralHygieneFunforKids

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”


By Gateway Dental Centre, PC
June 11, 2015
Category: None
Tags: Untagged

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Families

Good oral health is important at every age. Healthy teeth and gums signify more than an attractive smile—it often reflects good general health, confidence and a personal sense of well-being. Proper oral hygiene starting at home can help protect your family’s teeth from cavities and prevent gum disease. 
 
The following tips can help your family reach optimal oral health to promote a lifetime of healthy smiles:
 

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The health of your smile is a reflection of how well you take care of your teeth and gums. It should go without saying that you and your family should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to remove plaque build up from the large surfaces of the teeth and under the gums.  Most of us learn these habits as children, and that’s why it’s important for parents to play an active role in helping kids learn the proper techniques for brushing and flossing. 
   

2. Snacking & Tooth Decay

Frequent snacking can be your mouth’s biggest enemy.  That’s because when sugars or starches in your mouth come in contact with plaque, the acids produced can attack teeth for several minutes after you finish eating. Repeated attacks can break down the enamel on the surface of teeth, fueling tooth decay. To prevent cavities, consume sugary foods and drinks with meals rather than in between. If you must snack throughout the day, then brush immediately after to cleanse the mouth of food.
 
Along with limiting how frequently you eat, you should also pay attention to the types of foods and drinks your family is consuming. Limit your intake of sugary, starchy foods, and replace them with healthy choices, such as raw vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. 
 

3. Fluoride

Teeth are attacked by plaque daily. The acids produced by plaque weaken the enamel, which eventually leads to decay. That’s why it is important to make sure you are getting enough fluoride. Fluoride is absorbed into the enamel, helping to repair and prevent cavities. Some children may benefit from fluoride supplements. Ask Gateway Dental Centre, PC about the best fluoride treatment plan for your family at your next visit. 
 

4. Check ups

Regular visits to your West Chicago dentist are a very important part of maintaining good dental health. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling dental appointments twice a year.  A professional dentist can detect problems in their earliest stages, and will make sure your kids’ teeth are developing properly as they grow.  Gateway Dental Centre, PC  can clean the areas of your teeth that regular brushing can’t, helping you avoid unnecessary cavities and dental treatment. 
 
If you neglect the care of your teeth at home and fail to go to the dentist regularly, accumulated plaque could potentially lead to the development of tooth decay, gum disease and even tooth loss. The good news is that being diligent about your dental health care at home and by seeing your dentist on a regular basis, you and your family will be more likely to keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

EffectiveOralHygieneisKeytoDiseasePreventionWhileWearingBraces

While braces are a tried and true method for achieving a more attractive smile, they may also give rise to problems with dental disease. This is because their hardware — the brackets and bands that serve as tracks for the tensioning wires — make it more difficult to access the tooth and gum surfaces to clean away plaque. This thin film of food remnant may then become a haven for bacteria that cause gum disease or tooth decay.

One of the more common conditions to occur while wearing braces is gingivitis. This is an initial inflammation of the gum tissues caused by bacterial plaque that hasn’t been removed by brushing or flossing. As the inflammation grows unchecked, the infection could advance deeper into the tissues to become a more serious form of gum disease that threatens the survival of affected teeth.

Difficult as it may be for those wearing braces, the best way to avoid gingivitis is through more thorough oral hygiene practices. Fortunately, there are many hygiene products that can help you get around many of the access difficulties posed by braces. Smaller toothbrushes known as interproximal brushes and floss threaders, small aids that thread dental floss under braces wires, can access the spaces between teeth more readily than conventional brushes or floss. Water flossers (which use water under pressure to remove plaque between teeth) and motorized toothbrushes can further increase efficiency. We can also reduce bacterial growth in the mouth if need be with prescription-strength antibacterial mouthrinses.

If, however, gingivitis or gum overgrowth (another common occurrence during orthodontic treatment) continues to be a problem, we may need to take other actions including surgery. In extreme cases, the braces may need to be removed to adequately treat the gums and allow them time to heal before proceeding with orthodontics.

Extra care with daily hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings in addition to your orthodontic visits will help keep gum problems at bay while you’re wearing braces. Taking this extra care will stop or minimize the effect of disease as you continue on to the ultimate goal of your orthodontic treatment — a more beautiful smile.

If you would like more information on dental care during orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.




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Gateway Dental Centre, PC

(630) 876-9200
534 Main St. West Chicago, IL 60185