5 Times to Avoid Brushing Your Teeth

5 Times to Avoid Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day is essential for good dental health. Chances are, you remind your child to brush daily — and your own dentist may even tell you to brush more often. Surprisingly, this does not mean brushing your teeth is always the right choice. There are a few specific times when you should avoid or delay brushing. Here’s a look.

1. Immediately After Eating

Maybe you were told as child not to go swimming for at least 30 minutes after you ate. It turns out, this rule is a myth… but there’s another 30-minute rule that you really should adhere to. Wait 30 minutes between eating and brushing. Brushing right after a snack or meal will only brush the acid from the food onto your teeth, leading to weakened enamel. While you’re waiting for your 30 minutes, take a drink of water to help neutralize the PH levels in your mouth and rinse sugars off your teeth.

2. After Vomiting

After vomiting, you may have an urge to brush your teeth and get that awful taste out of your mouth. DON’T! Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Vomit contains stomach acid, and if you brush right after, you’re brushing your teeth with acid — which is terrible for your enamel. While the clock is ticking down, rinse your mouth with plain water, suck on a sugar-free breath mint, or eat something bland to get the taste of out your mouth. After the sickness has left your body, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush!

3. In The Shower (When You’re Brushing Your Teeth in a Rush)

Some mornings, you have more time than others. Multi-tasking is a way of life, especially when you are a parent. However, there is a time and place to brush your teeth — and that place is not in the shower. When you’re rushing in the shower, that means you’re rushing to brush, and you will likely cut the recommended two-minute brushing time in half. In addition, your shower head is home to thousands of microbes, which can enter your mouth right along with your toothbrush. Your best bet is to brush in front of your mirror, solely focusing on keeping those pearly whites clean!

4. On The Toilet

Fun fact: Your mouth and toilet are super similar as they both contain billions of germs. It sounds gross, but it’s true. Please don’t brush your teeth while on the toilet.  It is a great place for scrolling through Facebook and reading up on current events, but it’s not ideal for keeping good oral hygiene. Bacteria from the toilet can become airborne and get into your mouth, which could lead to serious illness.

5. With Someone Else

Sure, you can stand next to someone as you brush — but do not share a toothbrush! There are a number of reasons why this is a bad idea, including the following:

  • You can spread a bloodborne illness if your gums bleed while you brush.
  • You can share bad bacteria, such as MRSA, lactobacillus, and Pseudomonas (germs that cause pneumonia).
  • You will come into contact with whatever that person ate the night before, especially if they don’t clean or rinse their brush correctly.

Hopefully, you will give these examples some thought and get back to brushing with no distractions. Brushing your teeth twice a day will help prevent cavities, but you must make sure you’re brushing properly to enjoy these benefits.

Does Juice Cause Cavities?

Does Juice Cause Cavities?

Sugary drinks and tooth decay is a hot topic — but there’s an elephant in the room, and it’s name is “juice.” Juice is often seen as a healthy drink because it’s made from fruit. However, giving your kids too much juice actually increases their risk of cavities. Here’s a closer look at the link between juice and tooth decay.

Sugary Drinks and Tooth Decay: Why Juice Is a Poor Choice

To understand how juice causes cavities, you first need to understand a little about the tooth decay process itself. Your mouth is home to millions of oral bacteria. These bacteria eat sugar and release acids, and those acids weaken your tooth enamel, leading to cavities. The more sugar you eat, the more fun those oral bacteria have digesting it, and the more cavities you’ll develop.

Soda is the notorious “sugary drink” that we all know to avoid. But juice contains just as much, if not more, sugar than soda. An 8-ounce glass of cola contains about 22 grams of sugar. A glass of orange juice contains 21 grams of sugar! Oral bacteria don’t care whether the sugar comes from fruit juice or soda; they love it all.

The other reason juice is bad for teeth has to do with its pH. Acidic foods and drinks — those with a low pH — weaken your tooth enamel and increase your risk of cavities. Most juices are acidic, which compounds their cavity-causing effects.

Are Some Juices Better Than Others?

Virtually all fruit juices are acidic and sugary, making them a poor choice for dental health. Green vegetable juices made from spinach and kale can be a better choice since they are lower in sugar.  Watch out, though — some commercially prepared green juices are sweetened with apple or carrot juice, which makes them sugary and a poor choice.

Should You Ever Give Your Child Juice?

All things in moderation! You don’t need to ban juice altogether, but don’t offer it on a daily basis. If you do occasionally give your child juice as a treat, offer it with a meal so your child drinks it all at once, rather than letting the sugar bathe their teeth as they sip all day.

What Are Good Alternatives to Juice?

The best alternative to juice is plain water. When your child sips water throughout the day, it helps rinse food particles off their teeth, reducing the risk of cavities. You can also give your child whole milk; it’s a good source of calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that promote strong, healthy enamel.

Whole, fresh fruits are also a good alternative to fruit juice — especially crunchy fruits like apples and watermelon. The sugar is less concentrated in whole fruit than in fruit juice, and the fiber in fruit also limits contact between the sugar and the tooth enamel.

When thinking of sugary drinks and tooth decay, don’t forget that juice can be just as bad as soda. Save juice for a special treat, and instead give your child snacks and drinks that promote tooth health, like milk and crunchy fruits.

July 2019: 5 Family Friendly Events in Holland, Michigan

July 2019: 5 Family Friendly Events in Holland, Michigan

Looking for fun upcoming events in Holland, Michigan? July is a beautiful month marked by warm weather, green grass, and plenty of sunshine. What better time to get outside and enjoy life with your family? Luckily, the Holland area has a lot of fun, family-friendly events planned for July. Here are five you may want to check out with your family.

1. Remember When Cruise & Car Show

Do you have some car buffs in the family? This cruise and car show is scheduled for 5 – 9 pm on July 7th. Hosted by the Holland Vintage Care Club, the event begins with a car show in Downtown Holland, followed by a cruise down 8th Street at 8:00 pm.

2. Holland Farmers Market

Discover what local farmers have been growing at the Holland Farmers Market on 8th Street. The market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am – 3 pm, and Monday nights from 5 pm – 8 pm. July is one of the best months to visit since so many fruits and veggies are in season.

Each Wednesday, the market offers events in Holland, Michigan planned especially for kids! On July 17th, the kids can decorate a bag, and on July 3rd, they’ll learn about keeping water supplies clean.

3. Celebration Freedom

Celebrate Independence Day on July 4th in Kollen Park. The event begins at 4 pm with kids’ games, live music, and food vendors on-site. At dusk, fireworks will be lit off over Lake Macatawa as patriotic music plays in the background.

4. Wednesday Concerts in the Park

Every Wednesday throughout the month of July, there will be live concerts in GDK Park in downtown Holland. The concerts last from 12:00 – 1:00 pm and feature family-friendly performers including:

  • El Brandino: July 3
  • Dylan Tolbert: July 10
  • Sandra Effert: July 17
  • Evolucion: July 24
  • Serita Black Rose Due: July 31

5. Ice Cream Bike Ride

Take a bike ride through downtown Holland with Velo City Cycles on July 30th. The crew will depart from the bike shop at 6:30 pm, with the ride lasting about an hour. Following the ride, Hudson Ice Cream and the Holland Police Department will provide ice cream for everyone. All ages are welcome, and admission is free, but please remember to wear your helmet.

With these awesome events in Holland, Michigan, there’s no reason not to get out and have fun this July. Invite a few friends along, and make a day of it. Local events are an important component of community and health.

How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth During Sports

How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth During Sports

Participating in sports provides numerous benefits for children, but sports can also be a risk to dental health for kids. Not only do team sports keep kids physically fit, but they teach leadership skills, help build self-esteem, and encourage goal-setting and time management. Unfortunately, kids who play sports are also at an increased risk of tooth damage and dental injuries. As a parent of an athletic child, there are a few things you should be doing to protect your child’s teeth and mouth.

Provide a Mouth Guard

Children playing sports such as soccer, hockey, and football may suffer chipped or lost teeth or cut lips, if they are hit in the mouth by a ball, bat, or other player. Injuries can also happen when a child slips and hits their face on the ground. Children who are wearing mouth guards are less apt to become injured when such accidents occur.

Mouth guard are flexible pieces of rubbery plastic that fit over the upper teeth. Your child is meant to bite down on the mouth guard when wearing it, which helps it to protect the lower teeth as well. You can purchase sports mouth guards at many sporting goods stores and pharmacies. Typically, you will need to place the mouth guard in hot water to soften it, and then have your child bite into it to create a customized fit.

Check with your child’s coach to make sure they are wearing their mouth guard during all practices and games. Also, make sure you replace your child’s mouth guard each season. This promotes ongoing dental health for kids as their mouths continue to grow.

Encourage Use of a Helmet

Faceguards and helmets also help protect the jaw and teeth from blows when kids are playing sports like football, baseball, and hockey. Helmets are also a smart choice in many individual sports, such as cycling, horseback riding, and ice skating. Make sure that your child knows the importance of always wearing their helmet, and seek out coaches who enforce this rule. Don’t be afraid to ask other parents to remind your child to put their helmet on if they happen to see them without it during practice or a game.

Minimize the Use of Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are heavily marketed to athletes as a way of replacing the fluids lost during exercise. Unfortunately, they tend to be really high in sugar, which puts the teeth at risk for decay and cavities. In all but the most vigorous workouts, your child should be fine re-hydrating with water alone. When they do occasionally drink sports drinks, make sure they rinse their mouth out with a sip of water afterwards.

Talk To Your Dentist About Dental Health for Kids

Inform your child’s dentist that they play sports, and ask for additional tips and advice for managing dental health for kids who are athletes. Your dentist may recommend a custom mouth guard and can keep a close eye out for cavities and other issues during regular appointments.

How Important are Baby Teeth to my Child?

How Important are Baby Teeth to my Child?

The baby teeth first appear when your child is between six and 12 months of age, and they start falling out around the age of five or six. Since these teeth are only around for a short time, it’s common for parents to question their importance. However, baby teeth actually play a vital role in your child’s overall and dental health — both now and as your child continues to grow.

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

We often get asked why baby teeth need to be cared for as thoroughly as adult teeth. The answer is very simple: the baby teeth help your child to speak and chew, and they hold space for the permanent teeth to come into the right spots. By the time your child turns three, they will most likely have a full set of twenty teeth. Over the course of several years, those teeth will start to fall out and get replaced by adult teeth.

Keeping Baby Teeth Healthy

As an adult, you know that having too many sugary drinks, sweets, and unhealthy snacks can be detrimental to your dental health. Your child’s baby teeth are no different. In fact, they can develop a cavity quicker and more easily than an adult tooth. The enamel (the outer layer of the tooth) is much thinner on a baby tooth than on an adult tooth, so it’s important to brush and floss your child’s teeth every day just like you do your own.

Teaching your child to care for their teeth at an early age will help them understand the importance good oral hygiene and set them up for decades of happy and healthy teeth. Emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing daily, and help your child brush until they are capable of doing so on their own. Talk to your child about healthy snacks, and keep plenty of low-sugar alternatives in the home. String cheese, carrot sticks, and nuts are all healthy snacks that help keep baby teeth in good shape.

The Importance of Dental Care

Regular visits to the dentist also help keep your child’s baby teeth healthy. A dental hygienist can remove plaque that often forms at the gum line, helping to prevent cavities. They can also point out areas your child may be missing while brushing and help teach them techniques to brush more thoroughly. If your child does develop cavities in their baby teeth, their dentist can make sure they are detected and filled early before serious harm occurs.

Baby teeth may not last forever, but they are vital for your child’s ongoing health. Take good care of these baby teeth, and contact us if you’re looking for a kind and knowledgeable pediatric dentist.

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Suite 5.
Holland, MI 49424

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