When To Replace Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes don’t last forever, but it can be difficult to figure out when the time has come to replace it. Surprisingly, your toothbrush should be replaced every 3-4 months according to manufacturer guidelines.
Signs You Need A New Toothbrush:
- Frayed bristles
- Your teeth feel fuzzy even after brushing
- You were recently sick
- A bad smell
- You can’t remember when you last replaced your toothbrush
Your toothbrush is the first line of defense against bacteria that cause bacteria, tooth decay and bad breath. Brushing your teeth between each meal is an excellent way to prevent tooth decay. If you are brushing your teeth for two minutes twice per day, then you are already taking actionable steps to protect your teeth from cavities.
If you are using a manual toothbrush, the bristles will start to fall out and become mangled or twisted within about 3 months. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) also advice to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or whenever they appear to be worn out.
Once the bristles of your toothbrush start to loose their stiffness, OFFICE NAME advises that you should throw it out. Without bristles that brush aside food and plaque, your toothbrush quickly loses its efficiency.
What if I have an Electric Toothbrush?
Electric toothbrushes clean the surface area of your teeth by vibrating and rotating quickly. The heads on your electric toothbrush still have nylon bristles that will wear down after regular use. These bristles are also shorter, which can lead to fraying more quickly.
You should plan to change out your electric toothbrush head every 12 weeks, or even earlier. You should be watching for signs of wear and tear on the bristles to know when it’s time to say goodbye to a brush head.
All in all, your toothbrush is an important oral hygiene tool. To make the most out of your toothbrushes lifespan, you should use only your own toothbrush and store it upright and let it air dry. You should plan to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. It might be beneficial to mark your calendar on the date of your purchase so you remember when it’s time to replace it again. If you have any more questions about oral hygiene, contact either of our Massachusetts offices.
How to Stop Thumb Sucking Habit
Young children and babies learn to suck their thumb as a natural reflex. It becomes innate behavior because they had to suckle their milk to get nutrition when they were young. It is a self-soothing behavior and can stay with them as they grow. At first, this habit may seem harmless, but it can eventually lead to a changing mouth shape, which creates an overbite. If your child doesn’t break this habit before their permanent teeth come in, there is a chance that their palate may need correcting along with braces to straighten their teeth.
Ways to Help Your Child Stop The Habit
- Use positive reinforcement. Always praise and reward your child when they don’t suck their thumb – this can be done through reward charts or gentle reminders.
- Keep the hands busy and provide distraction. You won’t be able to keep your child distracted at all times, but this can work in conjunction with other methods. These methods can include: Arts and crafts, dancing, writing, jewelry making, sports, baking, baking, etc.
- Thumb guards. Thumb guards can be a great solution for your child because it allows them to still engage in daily activities without much difficulty. The sides of the thumbguard have air holes so your child cannot create suction when trying to suck it. Your pediatric dentist may have suggestions as to what brand to use.
Always remember to praise your child and to not ridicule or make them feel bad for this behavior – the damage of doing this can be lifelong and could do nothing to help them. In order for your child to break their thumb sucking habit, you’ll need to keep it positive and upbeat to encourage them.
At Broad Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we work with you and your child to break their thumb sucking habits. We know that once it becomes a habit, it is very hard to break. With the use of positive reinforcement, healthy distractions and thumb guards, we can help stop your child from sucking their thumb. Contact either of our offices and we will be happy to help you break your child’s thumb sucking habit and take care of their oral health.
Flossing 101: Answering Your Most Asked Questions
Flossing should be an integral part of everyone’s dental health routine. Your children should be flossing in addition to brushing to ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy. While many people know their children should be flossing, they still have many other questions about flossing. That’s why at Broad Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Lynn & Salem, MA we have put together this list of answers to some of the most common questions about flossing.
How Often Should They Floss?
They should floss at least once per day. While flossing once per day is sufficient, the American Dental Association notes that flossing 2 or 3 times per day can be excellent for your oral health. If they are having trouble remembering to floss it can be helpful to leave a visual cue for them, such as leaving the floss on the counter or placing a sticky note on the bathroom mirror.
Should They Floss Before or After Brushing?
A recent study suggests that the order of brushing and flossing can have an impact on your oral health. This study found that flossing first followed by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste was more effective than brushing first and flossing after. The study also found that flossing before brushing resulted in more fluoride retention between the teeth. Although it may be best to floss before brushing, it’s important to remember that flossing at all is more beneficial for your dental health. Even if they floss after they brush, their dental health will be much better off than if they didn’t floss at all.
Can They Use a Waterpik Instead of Flossing?
Waterpiks, also known as oral irrigators, have become very popular in recent years. They use a directed, forceful stream of water to remove food debris and plaque from in between teeth. Oral irrigators can be very useful in helping people reach hard to get places in their mouth and make it easier for people with braces or other oral appliances to clean around them. There is some research that suggests that using oral irrigators can be more effective than flossing. However, we recommend that they floss immediately before or after using an oral irrigator to ensure optimum oral health.
Why Do Gums Bleed When Flossing?
The most common cause of bleeding gums when flossing is a buildup of plaque, tartar, & bacteria around the gums. This buildup can inflame and irritate the gums, causing them to bleed when you floss. However, bleeding gums can also be caused by periodontal disease, hormonal changes, certain medical conditions, and flossing the wrong way. If you have concerns about your child’s gums bleeding, you should have a conversation with your dentist.
Hopefully we were able to answer some of your pressing questions about flossing. If you have any other questions about flossing or dental health, give our office a call at (781) 599-2900 or (978) 910-0004. We are always happy to answer your questions.
Dental Anxiety in Children
It’s common for children—and adults—to feel afraid, stressed, or anxious when it comes to visiting their dentist. While many kids don’t enjoy going to the dentist, they don’t necessarily feel fear or anxiety but some children experience very real fear and anxiety. If parents and dentists don’t work together early on to reduce/eliminate these fears, it can develop into an actual phobia. At Broad Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, both of our offices are designed to help children feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable at each of their visits. We work at every visit to minimize fears and create positive dental experiences for children.
Why Do Children Fear the Dentist?
It’s normal to feel a little anxiety when a visit to the dentist is coming up, especially for children. But, to help your child with their dental anxiety, you should understand the reasons they’re feeling anxious.
- Pain. Whether your child has heard about a painful experience that a parent or sibling had or if they’ve had a painful experience themselves, it’s understandable that they’re afraid. Children also often are afraid of needles associated with some dental work.
- Embarrassment. If a child has obvious oral health issues, such as decay, they can feel self-conscious and embarrassed.
- Lack of control. Fear of losing control is related to the fear of pain. A child knows that the big person with the pointy instruments is in charge. If there’s pain or discomfort, the child may very likely feel that he or she has no control over it.
Helping Your Child Overcome Dental Anxiety
As a parent, you can help your child manage and overcome their fears. We’ve included some of our dental anxiety management tips so you can help your children have a positive experience at every dental visit.
- Take them to the dentist early on. It’s recommended children visit a dentist when their first tooth appears or by their first birthday.
- Visit a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists are uniquely trained in caring for children’s oral health, including helping them feel safe and comfortable during visits.
- Let them bring something that comforts them such as a toy or blanket. This helps your child feel more comfortable during their entire visit.
- Speak positively about dental visits. The way you speak about the dentist can directly impact how your child sees the dentist; so it’s important that you don’t speak poorly about dental visits.
- Focus on practicing good oral health habits at home. When children are familiar with brushing, flossing, and the importance of oral health, it helps them have fewer oral health issues and more-positive experiences at the dentist.
- Give positve reniforcment. Before, during, and after dental visits, give your child praise for being able to take the steps required to have a healthy smile.
If you have any questions about pediatric dental anxiety or are ready to schedule your child’s dental visit—contact the Broad Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team, located in Lynn and Salem, MA.Learn About First Dental Visits See Contact & Location Information