6 Surprising Cavity Fighters

Whether you are bound for the calorie-free foods or the sweet and sticky, you’d be surprised at the kind of things your local grocery can offer in the way of cavity fighters. Sometimes the most unlikely foods can turn out to have oral benefits that you’d never expect. Here are a few we thought were especially interesting:

Chocolate – The main ingredient in chocolate, the husk of the cocoa bean, contain an antibacterial agent that actually counteracts harmful oral bacteria, preventing tooth decay.

Cheese – Teeth are partially made up of calcium, and cheese has been shown to increase the levels of calcium in the mouth, leading some researchers to believe it can actually help your teeth counteract the effects of tooth decay.

Chewing Gum – Chewing gums in today’s convenience stores all seem to be sugar-free, which makes them a great way to avoid cavities. However, it’s the new sweet stuff in gum, xylitol, that has actually been found to fight cavities by way of neutralizing bacteria.

Green Tea – Green tea has long been considered beneficial to your health, but studies have recently found it’s even good for your teeth, controlling the levels of bacteria in your mouth to help stop tooth decay and gum disease.

Hard Candy – Probably the most surprising of all, modern-day hard candy can actually prevent the bacteria from causing tooth decay, because, just like gum, it’s now made from xylitol, which has begun to replaced traditional sugars.

Straws – Though it’s not exactly a food, straws CAN help prevent cavities through the simple, but useful act of bypassing your teeth and gums. This is primarily effective when drinking sugary drinks like juice or soda, but the fact remains: the less food touches your teeth, the less cavities you’ll develop!

Getting Children to Brush

One of the major lessons for any child is learning how to effectively and regularly brush their teeth. It’s a lot to take on and remember at a young age, but it’s an important part of growing up and being independent. That means, it usually falls on the parent to teach and reinforce healthy brushing habits. There are many ways to go about getting your kid to brush his or her teeth, but these are some of the methods that we think are most effective in doing so.

Start at 2 years old to ensure your child learns the importance of brushing at an early age. The sooner they start to accept it as part of their routine, the sooner your kids will find brushing comes more naturally, leaving you with less fuss and more brush.

Demonstrate and participate in brushing. Doing it together can help teach your child the proper etiquette. When they are able to see and mimic you, your child will quickly learn just how to apply their toothpaste, how long to brush for, and how to rinse their mouth, all things that encourage independent brushing.

Make brushing a game by having a contest to see who can brush their teeth the best. You can also hold time trials to see if they can last 2 minutes or more, or put on some music and brush to the beat!

Give them a choice in toothbrush color and toothpaste brand. This helps them get involved in the learning process and take more of an interest in the activity. Once they get used to their routine, they can also start to choose the order in which they brush, floss, or swish with mouthwash, giving them further independence in their newly developed skill.

8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists

Many adults have fears of dentists, so it’s natural to expect your kids to feel the same way. However, there are some tips you can use to help your child overcome that fear.

  1. Talk to Them About the Dentist: Keeping them prepared for what’s to come helps them think positively about it before, making the experience all the less frightening.
  2. Play Out a Pretend Dentist Visit: Let your child experience the visit with you before they experience it with the real dentist.
  3. Emphasize the Importance of Brushing: Encouraging strong, healthy teeth can help your child develop a sense of pride in their teeth that just might lead them to show off their pearly whites with ease.
  4. Plan Fun Afterward: Let your child know that there is something fun you are going to do together after their dentist visit, whether that’s going to a movie, a park, or even shopping for toys!
  5. Create Positive Associations: Avoid bribes that suggest the dentist is an upsetting place to be, and forget any of your personal experiences at the dentist. Instead, talk about how nice your teeth feel after your visit and how happy it makes you when you both have a healthy mouth.
  6. Bring a Comfort Object: Whether your child sleeps with a teddy bear or a special blanket, find whatever gives them comfort and allow them to bring it with them to the dentist’s office.
  7. Get to the Office Early: Arriving a few minutes early to your child’s exam can help show them there is nothing to be scared of at the dentist.
  8. Be Prepared for Fussing: Not every child can be made to feel comfortable at the dentist’s office, and following the advice of your child’s dentist is often the best course of action when your child starts to fuss. After all, they have likely seen more children in exam chairs than the average parent.