Pediatric Dental Care Starts from Birth | Northridge Dentist

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Halloween is a sweet time of year for your child. Sometimes it is difficult to be a parent when there is sweet treats everywhere your little one turns. But protecting their dental health at home is easy to do. Here are just a few little tips to keep in mind when it seems like keeping their smile bright is an impossible feat, and it starts from infancy. Yes, even little ones without teeth can start becoming accustomed to dental health care. The sooner you get them into a good routine, the easier it will be when this holiday rolls around every year.

Clean your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after each feeding. As soon as the first teeth come in, begin brushing them with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water.  If you are considering using toothpaste before your child’s second birthday, ask your dentist first.

To avoid baby bottle tooth decay and teeth misalignment due to sucking, try to wean your child off of the breast and bottle by one year of age, and monitor excessive sucking of pacifiers, fingers and thumbs. Never give your child a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquid as a pacifier at naptime or bedtime.

Help a young child brush at night, the most important time to brush, due to lower salivary flow and higher susceptibility to cavities. Perhaps let the child brush their teeth first to build self-confidence, then the parent can follow up to ensure that all plaque is removed. Usually by age 5 or so, the child can learn to brush his or her own teeth with proper parental instruction.

The best way to teach a child how to brush is to lead by good example. Allowing your child to watch you brush your teeth teaches the importance of good oral hygiene. Have them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Children love to feel like they’re doing adult things and it will help them feel responsible for their teeth.

In addition, preventative routine dental checkups ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums. Don’t wait. Schedule your child’s next pediatric dental visit with Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or online at davidluntdds.com.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Northridge, Granada Hills, Reseda, Chatsworth, Porter Ranch, Winnetka and surrounding areas.

Halloween and Braces: Trick or Treat? | Northridge Dentist

thinkstockphotos-178564205October is National Orthodontic Health Month, and coincidentally, Halloween. (I know…How did that happen?) So in honor of these two fantastic occasions, let’s do a quick run-down of what is going to happen if you throw caution to the wind and celebrate Halloween like all of your friends without braces. Because if you do decide to not look after your braces, the consequences will be more frightening than the holiday itself.

When we get our braces put on, we are warned that there are certain foods we will have to forgo while our braces are fixing our smile. And when it comes to Halloween, these foods are in full force. Popcorn, nuts, gum and all hard, sticky or chewy candies are pure evil on your mouth’s delicate appliances. As a matter of fact, while everything is fine in moderation, candy is the worst on your teeth. They come in lots of different variations.

They can be a hard candy, like a lollypop or a Jolly Rancher, which are a favorite because they last a while if we suck on them. Having the sugar linger around in your mouth as the candy dissolves makes it easier for cavities to form. And if you chomp on them, you can run the risk of breaking off one of your brackets or chipping an actual tooth. Chewy candies, like a gummy bear or a jelly bean, have similar results but have a tendency to get stuck in the crevices of your molars, making a perfect hideout for cavities. Sticky candy, like caramels or chewing gum, are some of the worst treats of all. Not only can they pull off a bracket from your tooth, but they can burrow within your molars as well, making them basically a sweet combination of the two others. There are also candies on the market that are sour than they are sweet and are an absolute favorite with all kids today. The sourness is actually acidic and can break down your tooth’s enamel, making them more prone to decay, so try to limit these candies the most.

There are some alternatives to these candies that will not only be safe on your braces, but won’t make you feel like you’re being left out of the scariest of holidays. Chocolate, soft treats and ice cream are all braces-friendly treats that are quite enjoyable.

So, what do you do to prevent anything from happening to your braces during this spooky time? Try to limit your candy intake. The more you indulge in these sweets, the higher the risk of damaging your appliances. When eating the candy, make them quick snacks, not an all-day treat. The longer you let the sugar linger in your mouth, the easier it is for the sugars to stake inside your mouth. After you have your sweet treat, rinse you mouth out with water. Saliva is your mouth’s natural fighter against cavity-causing bacteria. And lastly, brush and floss at least two times a day. Cavities are no match for good oral hygiene. Happy Halloween!

For more information on oral health care, contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website davidluntdds.com.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and all surrounding areas.

A Is for Autumn…and Apples | Northridge Dentist

Parents Giving Children Piggyback Ride On Walk In WoodsNow that we are smack dab in the middle of Autumn, I think that it’s time to talk about one of our mouth’s very best friends – the apple. Autumn is apple season and it is key to many of our autumnal celebrations. The kiddies are back to school; you send them with an apple for the teacher. The leaves change from bright, vivid greens to more rust-like, “apple-y” colorations. It is getting chilly and it’s time to break out the cinnamon sticks for our apple cider. Yes, ‘tis the season of the apple and we are here to help you celebrate this tooth-friendly food properly.

Apples aren’t only a fruit used to sweet talk the teachers or keep away the doctors. They also help keep our smiles strong and bright. Apples are naturally full of vitamins A and C, key to keeping our gums nice and healthy. There is also a small amount of acid in the apple that acts as an astringent on your teeth when you bite into it. Just make sure to keep the peel on the apple. It needs the crunchiness of the skin to help clean your teeth. And that is why they are also known as nature’s toothbrush. When you crunch into this delicious fruit, you are releasing an ambush on the bacteria in your mouth plotting your future cavities. As it scrubs your teeth as you chew, the juiciness of the apple causes you to produce saliva. That saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against cavity-causing bacteria. The more saliva you have going on, the less chance the bacteria has to bury itself in your mouth, wreaking havoc on your mouth.

Apples are just good for us, but they also keep an eye on our snacking habits. There is a snacking theory I recently heard that really clicked for me: if you feel like snacking but don’t want an apple, you are just bored. And when I actually thought about it, it’s completely true. An apple is an ideal snack. The fiber makes me fuller than something bad for me, and will have less sugar (and calories) than what I would snack on I had a choice. The apple is not only making me healthy, but also thinner. That’s a snack I can get behind!

Just because the apple is now our favorite go-to snack, please remember that these sweet fruits do have sugar content, so be sure to brush afterwards to make sure you get rid of the loosened plaque left behind by your apple. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, do a quick rinse with some water. The more your mouth is rinsed, the less chance that plaque can become re-attached to your teeth.

So stock up on those amazing apples. Not only are they great at keeping us healthy, they are also great in lots of healthy autumnal recipes!

For more information on oral health care, contact Dr. David Lunt at (818) 885-7230 or visit our website davidluntdds.com.

Dr. David Lunt also proudly serves Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, CSUN, Cal State Northridge, and all surrounding areas.