Spring Clean Challenge - Week 2
We're back at it with Week 2 of our 2018 Spring Clean Challenge! If this is the first you're reading about this spring-themed giveaway, go back and read our first blog post describing the big ideas behind this challenge and how you can participate. Quick version: over the month of May, we will be issuing weekly challenges to encourage you and your family to join us in our quest for cleaner mouths and healthier bodies.
Week One's challenge was simple: get in the game by contacting us to schedule a oral health exam and dental cleaning. That challenge is still active, and will remain so for the duration of the Spring Clean Challenge. So if you haven't already, give us a call! And if you're an active patient in our practice who has been seen in the last six months, you're automatically entered to win!
For Week 2, we are focusing on the small smiles. Establishing healthy habits at an early age is essential to keep our little ones free from the harmful bacteria that can cause big-time problems in teeny-tiny mouths. I'm often asked when the best time is to start cleaning a child's teeth. My answer is simple - if the child has a tooth, it's time to get started with developing a dental hygiene routine. Our pediatric dental colleagues recommend establishing a home for dental care by the age of one year!
Keep in mind, though, that your little one is likely only going to be seen by a family or pediatric dentist once every six months. What about the other 363 days of the year? That's where parents and caretakers must take an active role in demonstrating healthy habits and making sure that children are keeping their mouths clean. It starts with some simple daily practices:
- Brush the teeth twice per day and use floss or other cleaning aides at least once every day to clean those spaces between the teeth. If you're not sure how to brush your kid's teeth, fear not: Youtube is here to help (we'll plan to post some helpful videos in the future)! As children develop better hand-eye coordination, they should be encouraged to begin cleaning their own teeth.
- Limit the number of sugary drinks your child consumes. In order to combat the recent explosion in childhood obesity and early development of type-2 diabetes, the CDC recently recommended ZERO sugary drinks per day for children. Sugar-loaded drinks may taste great going down, but they are kryptonite for your young one's teeth. The bacteria that live in the mouth and cause tooth decay thrive on the sugars found in sodas and sweetened drinks. Keep good old fashioned water flowing, and reserve some natural fruit juice for an occasional sweet treat.
- Shed some light on your child's mouth and use a plaque disclosing solution to help you and your child see the areas where harmful plaque and bacteria are gathered on the teeth. Plaque tends to blend in with the tooth, and what looks like a clean mouth might actually be filled with cavity-causing bacteria. I use a plaque disclosing solution every time I clean a patient's mouth. It helps the patient see the difficult areas where bacteria can gather, and it helps me make sure I'm doing a thorough job removing the bacteria from the mouth. For $6 or $7, you can have the ability to see just how much (or how little) of those pesky bugs have made it into the mouth. And once you can see it, it's much easier to remove it!
So here is our challenge for Week Two: snap a photograph of you and your little ones performing your daily dental routine. Post the photo on Instagram or Facebook and tag us (@campbellsvilledentalcare)! Make sure you use the hashtag #cdcspringcleanchallenge. We'll share some of our favorite photos, and your photo will count as another entry to win our grand prize! We can't wait to see your photos! Check back in with us next Tuesday for our next challenge!