by Dr. Casey Lau
10.23.2021

6 Sweet Tips to Beat Holiday Sugar Bugs For Your Kids Teeth

With kids (and ourselves) eating more sweets during the holiday season, our Chief Dentist, Dr. Casey, gives us the real “tooth” about sweets and keeping up good oral hygiene habits for kids.

 

Most parents already know brushing their kid’s teeth is important, so why is it a good idea to “brush up” on the topic?

 

We all know that brushing twice a day, for 2 minutes is important. We also know about best-laid plans. And sometimes, in the chaos of a bedtime routine or the morning rush to get out the door, we make compromises: We don’t bother to double-check. We trust that it got done. And so the twice-a-day doesn’t always happen.

 

I can tell when parents aren’t participating in their child’s oral care to the extent they should. It’s not enough to ask them to brush their teeth and hope for the best; you need to get in there with them. I recommend that parents allow their child to brush for two minutes and then go behind and repeat the brushing for another two minutes. It might seem overkill, but it allows them to see proper brushing techniques and to ensure their teeth are cleaned properly.

 

Remember, the habits that we set for our children now will (hopefully) be the habits they follow for the rest of their lives. (I’m talking to you, non-flosser!)

 

With all the leftover Halloween candy - not to mention all the extra desserts and sweets that the holiday season usually brings- it seems like a good time of year to discuss kids’ oral care. What advice do you have?

 

Let me start by saying that I love sweets. I’m the dessert person in our family, and I often joke that I only eat dinner to have dessert. So suffice it to say, you will never hear me say “no” if I’m offered something sweet and delicious- especially during the holidays.

 

However, like most things in life, moderation is key. Enjoy, but remember that sugar and carbohydrates are still the enemies of teeth. Continue to be vigilant with your brushing and flossing, especially if you’re eating more sweets than usual - and make sure your kids are, too!

 

What are some of your go-to techniques or methods you use with your kids to help prevent cavities and ensure long-term oral health?

 

1.  Use Plaque Disclosing Tablets: I love using these - and so do kids! They leave a dye on your teeth that shows where the plaque is hiding. It’s a great teaching tool to show kids how good (or bad) they do at brushing. Ask your dentist or order them online. The ones we use at home are called Purple Chews.


2.  Try a Timer: A timer is essential to make sure they are taking their time. Divide the mouth into four “sections,” if you will, and spend 30 seconds on each until it adds up to two minutes. Any timer will do, but you can also download some really fun apps to your phone. My kids love the Oral B Magic Timer and we use it every night. 


3.  Brush and Repeat: Watch your children when they brush - and then go back and do any areas they missed. It’s timely but worth it and another way to reinforce good oral care habits.


4.  Flossing: Start them young! We started flossing our children as soon as they had multiple teeth - the teeth didn’t have to touch; we wanted it to become normal for them. It’s far easier to introduce it to a toddler than a teenager!


5.  Use fun flavors: Keep your kids interested by using flavors they’ll love and be excited to try out.


6.  Be mindful of ingredients: Be sure you’re using products that contain remineralizing and antimicrobial properties to keep their teeth healthy. We created an excellent product for all ages and has both remineralizing (nano-hydroxyapatite) and anti-bacterial (xylitol) properties. 

        

      Can you explain what is nano-hydroxyapatite is and why parents should know about it? Are there kids’ toothpaste on the market that do not incorporate either fluoride or nano-hydroxyapatite? And do most kids’ toothpaste contain the same thing? Or is it worth checking out the ingredients?

       

      As a dentist, I believe in fluoride; it remains the gold standard for strengthening teeth and fighting tooth decay. With that said, nano-hydroxyapatite is also great as it can remineralize teeth. Our teeth and bones are made of hydroxyapatite, so when I discovered this ingredient that could be added to oral care products that basically bathed our teeth with the same mineral that our teeth are made of, well, I was pretty excited!

       

      There are some kinds of toothpaste that contain neither fluoride nor nano-hydroxyapatite. And while other minerals can be added to remineralize teeth, some of these can negatively affect those with milk allergies.

       

      As far as reading labels is concerned, it’s always a good idea - though admittedly sometimes tricky as we weren’t all biochemists. Still, parents really should do their homework and be aware of what they’re giving their children. Consult your dentist and hygienist as you decide what’s best for you and your family.

       

      If a parent is having trouble getting their kid to brush their teeth, do you think suggesting trying different flavors like Elims pineapple toothpaste is good advice? If so, why?

       

      Fun flavors are fun for everyone - but especially kids. As you continue to reinforce the importance of brushing and flossing (and in our house, mouth washing) to your children, mixing up the flavors is a great way to get them on board and excited - as long as it’s a product you believe in. In my house, our kids use both Elims flavors: Pineapple Orange Mint and Lavender Vanilla Mint - they love them!

       

      At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to instill good oral hygiene habits in our children in any way we can - whether it’s using different flavors, fun apps, or making it into a game, we can give them a strong foundation for life.

       

      Until next time,

      Dr. Casey

       

      6 Sweet Tips to Beat Holiday Sugar Bugs For Your Kids Teeth

      With kids (and ourselves) eating more sweets during the holiday season, our Chief Dentist, Dr. Casey, gives us the real “tooth” about sweets and keeping up good oral hygiene habits for kids.

       

      Most parents already know brushing their kid’s teeth is important, so why is it a good idea to “brush up” on the topic?

       

      We all know that brushing twice a day, for 2 minutes is important. We also know about best-laid plans. And sometimes, in the chaos of a bedtime routine or the morning rush to get out the door, we make compromises: We don’t bother to double-check. We trust that it got done. And so the twice-a-day doesn’t always happen.

       

      I can tell when parents aren’t participating in their child’s oral care to the extent they should. It’s not enough to ask them to brush their teeth and hope for the best; you need to get in there with them. I recommend that parents allow their child to brush for two minutes and then go behind and repeat the brushing for another two minutes. It might seem overkill, but it allows them to see proper brushing techniques and to ensure their teeth are cleaned properly.

       

      Remember, the habits that we set for our children now will (hopefully) be the habits they follow for the rest of their lives. (I’m talking to you, non-flosser!)

       

      With all the leftover Halloween candy - not to mention all the extra desserts and sweets that the holiday season usually brings- it seems like a good time of year to discuss kids’ oral care. What advice do you have?

       

      Let me start by saying that I love sweets. I’m the dessert person in our family, and I often joke that I only eat dinner to have dessert. So suffice it to say, you will never hear me say “no” if I’m offered something sweet and delicious- especially during the holidays.

       

      However, like most things in life, moderation is key. Enjoy, but remember that sugar and carbohydrates are still the enemies of teeth. Continue to be vigilant with your brushing and flossing, especially if you’re eating more sweets than usual - and make sure your kids are, too!

       

      What are some of your go-to techniques or methods you use with your kids to help prevent cavities and ensure long-term oral health?

       

      1.  Use Plaque Disclosing Tablets: I love using these - and so do kids! They leave a dye on your teeth that shows where the plaque is hiding. It’s a great teaching tool to show kids how good (or bad) they do at brushing. Ask your dentist or order them online. The ones we use at home are called Purple Chews.


      2.  Try a Timer: A timer is essential to make sure they are taking their time. Divide the mouth into four “sections,” if you will, and spend 30 seconds on each until it adds up to two minutes. Any timer will do, but you can also download some really fun apps to your phone. My kids love the Oral B Magic Timer and we use it every night. 


      3.  Brush and Repeat: Watch your children when they brush - and then go back and do any areas they missed. It’s timely but worth it and another way to reinforce good oral care habits.


      4.  Flossing: Start them young! We started flossing our children as soon as they had multiple teeth - the teeth didn’t have to touch; we wanted it to become normal for them. It’s far easier to introduce it to a toddler than a teenager!


      5.  Use fun flavors: Keep your kids interested by using flavors they’ll love and be excited to try out.


      6.  Be mindful of ingredients: Be sure you’re using products that contain remineralizing and antimicrobial properties to keep their teeth healthy. We created an excellent product for all ages and has both remineralizing (nano-hydroxyapatite) and anti-bacterial (xylitol) properties. 

            

          Can you explain what is nano-hydroxyapatite is and why parents should know about it? Are there kids’ toothpaste on the market that do not incorporate either fluoride or nano-hydroxyapatite? And do most kids’ toothpaste contain the same thing? Or is it worth checking out the ingredients?

           

          As a dentist, I believe in fluoride; it remains the gold standard for strengthening teeth and fighting tooth decay. With that said, nano-hydroxyapatite is also great as it can remineralize teeth. Our teeth and bones are made of hydroxyapatite, so when I discovered this ingredient that could be added to oral care products that basically bathed our teeth with the same mineral that our teeth are made of, well, I was pretty excited!

           

          There are some kinds of toothpaste that contain neither fluoride nor nano-hydroxyapatite. And while other minerals can be added to remineralize teeth, some of these can negatively affect those with milk allergies.

           

          As far as reading labels is concerned, it’s always a good idea - though admittedly sometimes tricky as we weren’t all biochemists. Still, parents really should do their homework and be aware of what they’re giving their children. Consult your dentist and hygienist as you decide what’s best for you and your family.

           

          If a parent is having trouble getting their kid to brush their teeth, do you think suggesting trying different flavors like Elims pineapple toothpaste is good advice? If so, why?

           

          Fun flavors are fun for everyone - but especially kids. As you continue to reinforce the importance of brushing and flossing (and in our house, mouth washing) to your children, mixing up the flavors is a great way to get them on board and excited - as long as it’s a product you believe in. In my house, our kids use both Elims flavors: Pineapple Orange Mint and Lavender Vanilla Mint - they love them!

           

          At the end of the day, it’s our responsibility to instill good oral hygiene habits in our children in any way we can - whether it’s using different flavors, fun apps, or making it into a game, we can give them a strong foundation for life.

           

          Until next time,

          Dr. Casey

           

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