Kid’s. . .Teeth
By Victoria Squillante
Make Them WANT to Brush! Incentives and Apps
Things You Need to Know About Braces
Advice from Orthodontist Dr. Will Engilman:
1 Prevent the pain before it gets started. “Before a child sees the orthodontist he needs to take an Advil or Motrin,” says Dr. Engilman. Doing this prevents the pain before it has even started. Instead of taking medicine after the teeth start to hurt, it can already be in the child’s system to prevent the pain altogether.
• Beam Toothbrush: This toothbrush allows parents to keep track of their children’s brushing habits. The toothbrush is connected via bluetooth to a free app. This app collects data about the user’s oral care habits such as how often and when the toothbrush is being used. beamtoothbrush.com • Brushing charts with incentives: By making up a chart for rewards or
2 Keep up with appointments, especially if something has happened like a broken bracket or bent wire. “If you miss an appointment or break a bracket and don’t get it fixed quickly, it can set patients back,” he says. “It could lengthen the amount of time the braces are needed.”
Are those teeth this close? It is time to start flossing once the teeth move together and start to touch. This is when food particles can get trapped in between the teeth.
points for brushing, children will be more motivated. Find free charts online. • Show kids the effects of brushing their teeth: There are many experiments available online that demonstrate the effects of toothbrushing. One example is Crest’s “Eggsperiment.” This experiment uses eggs, toothpaste, and vinegar to show kids what toothpaste does for their teeth. It can be found at crest.com/crest-kids/ eggsperiment.aspx
• Sonicare for kids: Electric toothbrushes like Sonicare make brushing teeth much easier and fun. This toothbrush has fun designs and also has a built-in timer to help kids brush the recommended two minutes per brushing. • Apps: Apps are available that play songs for two minutes to help brushing times. Some of these apps, like the Aquafresh Time 2 Brush app, have
incentives for making it to the two minutes such as points that can buy outfits for dancing characters on the screen. Sources: Dr. Korie Acord, Dr. Kim Hansford, and Dr. WIll Engilman
At left: Beam Toothbrush At right: Sonicare Toothbrush Above right: AquaFresh Apps
“Braces and straightening teeth can be a life-changing event. I like what I do because I can help people who are self-conscious with how they look.” Dr. Will Engilman
Wisdom teeth — What time is the right time? Everyone’s teeth are different, but ages 15 through 17 are usually the right time to start looking into how the wisdom teeth are forming and what— if anything — will need to be done with them. Sources: Dr. Korie Acord and Dr. Will Engilman
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