Category Archives: Dental Tips for Parents

Chewing Your Baby’s Food?

Some of you may have seen the Today show feature on Alicia Silverstone chewing food and then transferring it to her child.  (Video below)

Other than just plain being gross, it’s not good for the child’s teeth!

Evidence has proven that the transmission of saliva from a parent to child, between spouses, etc. can be harmful to their teeth!  Parents with active tooth decay can pass the Streptococcus mutans bacteria through their saliva and give their children cavities!

Dentists and other healthcare professionals advise against sharing utensils, kissing your child on the lips, and even blowing on their food.

For more info on this, read this article on how Mom’s kiss can spread cavities.

Stem Cells from Teeth?

Did you know that saving stem cells from teeth could possibly help to protect your family’s health?

New methods are developing to preserve your teeth so the stem cells can be used later.

So far, dental stem cells have successfully been used to regrow jaw bone and to treat periodontal disease.
Researchers and doctors are working in the regenerative medicine arena with the goal of improving treatment or therapies for:
1. Tooth loss and periodontal disease
2. Skeletal bone loss/fractures
3. Muscular Dystrophy
4. Parkinson’s Disease
5. Spinal Cord Injury
6. Type 1 Diabetes
7. Stroke
8. Alzheimers
9. Heart attacks
10. Diabetes

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Healthy Habits for Kids can Affect School Performance!

Healthy Teeth & Healthy Habits Can Improve School Performance
Quick Tips for Parents:

  1. Limit your child’s access to sugary drinks.
  2. Provide your child with healthy snacks and limit the number of snacks.
  3. Ensure that your child brushes and flosses regularly and visits the dentist twice a year.
  4. Ask your school what kind of snacks and drinks are provided and encourage them to offer healthy alternatives.
  5. Make sure your child gets adequate physical activity.
  6. Make sure your child has a healthy breakfast to start the day right.
  7. Set a positive example yourself!

Tips for Parents: Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

Quick Tips to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy!
  • Avoid giving your child sweetened liquids.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
  • Make sure your child gets enough fluoride.
  • Start regular dental visits around 18-24 months of age.
  • Ask your dentist for advice on sealants and mouthguards.
  • Let your dentist know about your child’s health.
  • Set a good example for your child! 

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Tips for Parents: Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Many parents ask us when they should start taking their child to the dentist.  We recommend doing a “tiny tots” visit anywhere from age 1-2.  At the visit, you and your child will meet with one of our hygienists and one of our doctors.  These early childhood dental visits will allow us to monitor the teeth for signs of decay and monitor the progress and potential problems with emerging teeth.  We will also discuss proper brushing techniques and give tips for home care, as well as making sure your child receives the proper amount of fluoride.  We try to make the first visit a fun experience for your child!

Tips for Parents: Toothbrushing

Toothbrushing from Day One
Here at Hudsonville Dental, we encourage you to take care of your child’s teeth from day one.  Infant gums should be wiped with clean gauze after all feedings.  Once the first tooth has emerged, begin brushing your child’s teeth and gums with a soft bristled toothbrush and a little water.  Lots of new types of toothbrushes and safety brushes for infants and toddlers are available so experiment until you find the right one for you and your child.  When your child is able to hold the toothbrush and tries to brush themselves, supervise carefully and then brush again for them to make sure every surface has been brushed.  As they learn how to brush, begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach them to spit out the toothpaste and rinse well with water.  Toddlers, and even infants who are teething, may enjoy the soothing vibrations of an electric toothbrush.  Select one with a smaller head made for young children.  Many even include timers so the brush turns off automatically when brushing time is over.  Help your child
build healthy teeth and healthy habits! 

Tips for Parents: Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking

Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking:
Sucking is one of a baby’s natural reflexes and serves to help them learn about their world, feel secure, calm themselves and can help them fall asleep.  Most children will stop thumb sucking or using a pacifier between the ages of two and four.  Once permanent teeth begin to emerge, sucking on a thumb or pacifier can cause problems with growth and alignment so encourage your toddler to use another item such as a blanket or favorite stuffed animal to soothe themselves.