Good oral hygiene can help your children avoid painful cavities. Edison, NJ, family dentists, Drs. Saul and David Frechtman, of Frechtman Family Dental of Edison share a few tips that will help make brushing a positive experience for your child.
Explain why brushing is so important
Your children may know that you expect them to brush their teeth in the morning and evening, but might not understand why brushing is important. If you attempt an in-depth explanation of the dangers of plaque, you'll quickly lose your kids' interest. Instead, use terms that kids can understand.
They may not be impressed by plaque, but when you explain that failing to brush regularly leaves germs on their teeth, they may understand why you're so insistent that they keep their teeth sparkling clean.
Teeth kids the basics
Teach your kids to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle when they brush and gently move the brush back and forth on one tooth before moving on to the next. Choose soft-bristled kids' size brushes to make brushing a more pleasant experience for your children. Visual aids are always a good choice when teaching children oral hygiene. Buy some plaque disclosing tablets at an Edison drugstore and encourage your child to chew one after brushing. Every spot your child missed will turn red, making it very clear why thorough brushing is so important.
Everything's better with music
Two minutes is the recommended length of time for brushing teeth, but that can seem like an eternity to kids. Make the time pass quickly by playing a little music while your children brush, or buy brushes that not only play a favorite tune but also light up when your kids brush.
It's a good idea to check up on older children from time to time. Paying a surprise visit to the bathroom can yield surprising information. Occasionally, kids have been known to simply wet their brushes and put them back in the stand when they don't feel like brushing. Your visit can help ensure that they don't become lazy about brushing their teeth.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams will help your child avoid cavities. When it's time for your child's next appointment, call Edison, NJ, family dentists, Drs. Saul and David Frechtman, of Frechtman Family Dental of Edison at (732) 548-8600.
If you have chronic jaw joint pain you may have heard of using Botox to relieve discomfort from temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Before you seek out this remedy, though, be sure you know the facts beforehand.
TMD is actually a group of conditions affecting the joints, muscles and overall structures of the jaw. People with TMD often experience sharp pain and reduced range of motion of the jaw joints. Although we don't know the exact causes, we believe stress (accompanied often by teeth grinding habits) is a major factor for many patients.
Treatments run the spectrum from conservative to aggressive. Conservative treatments include cold and heat packs, therapeutic exercises, and muscle pain or relaxant medication. On the more aggressive side, patients undergo surgery to reorient the lower jaw. Most people gain a significant amount of relief from conservative therapies; the results aren't as positive with surgery.
Botox falls on the aggressive side of treatments. Approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic uses, the drug contains botulinum toxin type A, a bacterial toxin that can cause muscle paralysis. It's often injected into facial structures to paralyze small muscles and temporarily “smooth out” wrinkle lines. Only recently has it been proposed to help relieve jaw pain.
The jury, however, is still out on its effectiveness with jaw pain. The double-blind testing performed thus far hasn't produced any relevant clinical results that the injections actually work with TMD.
And there are other complications. Some people injected with Botox encounter pain, bruising or swelling at the injection site, and some have severe headaches afterward. Botox is also a temporary solution, not a permanent cure — you'll need another injection a few months later to maintain the effect. You might even develop antibodies that diminish the drug's effect and require higher subsequent doses to compensate.
This and other concerns should give you pause before seeking out this remedy. The best strategy is to try the traditional treatments first, which are also the least invasive. If there's no significant relief, then talk to us and your physician about other options.
If you would like more information on treatment options for TMD, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Botox Treatment for TMJ Pain.”
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!