Getting kids to brush their teeth can be a challenge.
But some companies are working to change that, by, for example, making toothpastes in different flavors such as bubblegum and strawberry. The brushes have changed, too. They now come in fun shapes and colors and with grips that are easier for children to handle. Many manufacturers are making interactive electric toothbrushes. For example, Philips Sonicare offers a brush that kids to connect to an APP that plays music and stops after a designated time to let children know when it’s OK to stop brushing.
The timer gradually increase to two minutes to help train kids to brush the recommended time, and KidPacer musically alerts when to move to the next quadrant of the mouth to ensure a thorough cleaning.
Dr. Arditas, of Pristine Family Dentistry, located at Thorek’s medical professional building (840 W. Irving Park Rd., Suite 407) says parents need to start helping children protect their teeth early and recommends a combination of check-ups, fluoride and sealants.
Protect your child’s teeth from the start
Fluoride: Using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water can help protect teeth from decay. The city of Chicago actively fluoridates its water within the guidelines of the American Dental Association.
While fluoride can take care of front teeth, back teeth are more difficult because their surface is rough and uneven. To help protect molars, Pristine offers dental sealants, which are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.
Dr. Arditas recommends that children get sealants on their permanent molars as soon as they come in. She notes that a combination of fluoride and sealants can prevent almost all tooth decay.
Even if your child takes all the right steps — brushing, flossing, sealants and eating the right foods, there are some children who are more genetically predisposed to cavities. That’s why it is so important for children – and adults – to get regular twice a year checkups and cleanings.
Pristine Family Dentistry is offering FREE school dental exams for children who have no insurance.
They also accept most major insurances, including Medicaid and Kid Care. Call for an appointment at (773) 248-8580. Walk-ins are welcome, too. Pristine Family Dentistry is a general dentist for adults and children of all ages. Services include exams, cleanings, crowns and bridges; cosmetic dentistry; root canals; gum treatments; extractions; full/partial dentures.