Mama Drama: Mama Mama Dental Drama!

Dear Mama Drama: I have always hated going to the dentist and had lots of cavities and other problems growing up. I don’t want my kids to have the same fear and avoidance of dental care that I do. How can I help them have a positive experience with dental care and develop good brushing habits? ~ Traumatized Mama (photo credit) Dear Traumatized: Our own childhood experiences can lead us to avoid things with our children or to make them different than we experienced. You can make things different for your kids by being proactive. Set a good example by brushing and flossing regularly in front of your kids. Show them that dental hygiene is an important and integral part of your personal health care. Research shows that a parent’s dental health can have a significant impact on children’s dental...

How To: Care for your toothbrush

Brushing (and flossing) is the best way to protect your teeth and gums — but not if your toothbrush is in bad shape. “Toothbrush bristles that are worn or frayed from use cannot effectively remove plaque, which is critical to maintaining healthy teeth and gums,” says Sebastiana Springmann, a dentist in Williamsburg, Va. Some advice: Don’t cover up brushes between uses. Allow them to air-dry instead. Bacteria and other organisms will grow faster on bristles kept in a closed, damp environment. Rinse them thoroughly. After each use, hold brushes under

The Baby Dentist’s Tips for Healthy Teeth & When (and How) to Start Flossing

Both as a dentist and as a mother, I hear people say, “We just have bad teeth. Our whole family does.” My name is Dr. Liz, the Baby Dentist, and I have good news for you! The first piece of good news is that not everyone has to get cavities. Even if your family members have had bad teeth in the past, you can change that for your children. It’s likely that your baby was born with healthy teeth, most babies are. As soon as those first teeth come in, it’s time to start taking good care of them. Unhealthy teeth come from not taking good care of teeth as soon as they first come in, and from bad hygiene habits or diet at home. The next bit of good news is that cavities are caused by germs (bacteria). Why is that good news? Because it means they are almost 100% preventable. Tooth decay is caused ...