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Blog posts of '2019' 'July'

When to Start Introducing a Toothbrush for Babies

Whether your client is a first time parent or well-seasoned, they often have lots of questions and concerns about what they need to do to get their children off to a good start with dental care. You are their best source for information and support for their young child’s dental care. Some questions they might have to promote good oral health and preventing tooth decay for their little ones are; when should they start cleaning? Do they wait until the first tooth comes in or should they start with just brushing their baby’s gums? 

Pre-Teething 

Proper cleaning is necessary, and should begin even before their baby has any teeth. They should wipe the gums off after each feeding with a warm, wet washcloth or a dampened piece of gauze wrapped around their finger. They can also buy infant finger brushes which are thimble-like, soft rubbery devices that fit over their index finger, to use for rubbing off excess food.

 

Teething 

Once teeth begin coming in, parents should start taking care of them right away. Unfortunately, many parents think baby teeth aren't important because they're eventually replaced by permanent ones. However, these first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help their baby chew and talk. If they're not cared for properly, they can decay, leading to gingivitis, which can affect the spacing of their permanent teeth.

 

How to Brush Baby’s Teeth 

Parents can brush their baby’s teeth after each meal or at a minimum, twice a day. Parents should use an infant finger brush or an infant toothbrush moistened with tap water and no more than a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste. Gently brush all sides (front, back and sides) of their baby’s teeth and lightly massage their gums. Follow with some water to help rinse away any leftover residue from the toothpaste. Until the child reaches an age of 2-3 (when they can be taught to spit after brushing) they will likely swallow the toothpaste, but the small amount being used won’t do any harm to them.

 

Tips for a Baby that Hates Tooth Brushing 

Some babies won’t like tooth brushing time at all, which can make it difficult for them and the parents trying to do the brushing. If you have a patient with this particular issue here are some tips you can give them that might help ease some of the tension during tooth brush time.

  •          Easy Does It: Remind them that their baby’s gums are very sensitive, even before they begin teething, so have them start with a soft wash cloth to help get their baby used to brushing process.
  •          Sing a Song: Sometimes a little distraction is all they need! Have them sing their baby’s favorite song or make a special, goofy song they sing just for tooth brushing time. This will not only help distract their baby, but also make the time more fun.
  •          Demostrate: Make tooth brushing about family time. Mom and/or Dad can brush their teeth first, while baby watches, then they can move on to their baby’s teeth. Seeing mom and dad do it first can help take away some of the consternation.
  •          Let them Play: Let them play with the toothbrush or finger brush (under adult supervision) before hand to let them get used to it. And there is a good chance that while they are playing with the baby toothbrush, it will end up in their mouth.

We have lots of cool stuff to give to your young patients and their parents to help make brushing time and their trips to the dentist a lot less stressful. Contact us today to learn more about improving dental health for the whole family!

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Manual and Electric Toothbrushes

By now most people know that brushing their teeth is the foundation of good oral care and prevention. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both electric and manual toothbrushes are effective at removing the oral plaque that can cause decay and disease. 

Electric and manual toothbrushes each have their own benefits. The ADA puts a Seal of Acceptance on any toothbrush, electric or manual, that’s proven safe and effective. Read more about the pros and cons and which one might be best for your clients. 


Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes come in many different shapes and sizes and are powered by your hand and wrist. Although electric toothbrushes are starting to become the preference over a manual toothbrush for overall oral health, there are some pros and cons to using a manual toothbrush. 

Pros:

  •          Manual toothbrushes cost less
  •          Lots of styles, bristles and heads to choose from
  •          Great for travel
  •          No batteries or charging necessary

 Cons:

  •          No timer
  •          Difficult to clean teeth as thoroughly as an electric 

Replacement Electric Toothbrush Heads

Electric Toothbrushes

There are currently two types of technology used in electric toothbrushes: oscillating and sonic. We will discuss these before going into the pros and cons.

 

Oscillating

 

Oscillating toothbrushes come with smaller, round toothbrush heads that turn (oscillate) quickly in one direction and then in another direction to clean your teeth. They typically oscillate anywhere from 2,500-7,000 strokes per minute depending on the brush.

 

Some research shows that electric toothbrushes with rotating-oscillating bristles are more effective at removing plaque and preventing periodontal (gum) disease than manual toothbrushes. However, this research did not compare other electric toothbrushes like those who use sonic technology.

 

Sonic

 

Sonic toothbrushes use sonic technology which makes the brush vibrate around 31,000 strokes per minute.  The brush heads are shaped like regular toothbrush heads and vibrate side to side to clean your teeth.

 

Many brush manufacturers claim that sonic vibrations push toothpaste, water, and saliva into areas where bristles don’t touch, resulting in a better cleaning, and some scientific evidence does suggest that these brushes will indeed clean areas that others cannot.

 

Pros:

  •          Easier for people with limited mobility, such as people with arthritis
  •          Built-in timers
  •          Can be more fun for kids

 

Cons:

  •          More expensive
  •          Can be damaged by dropping or while traveling
  •          Need batteries or a way to charge
  •          Need to buy replacement heads

 

While electric toothbrushes will give patients the best cleaning, the choice between manual versus electric can really come down to a patient’s personal preference and situation. Having an electric toothbrush in the home and a manual one for travel is perfectly acceptable. If, however, your patients prefer manual toothbrushes make sure to share with them the proper technique (timing, technique, etc.) to brush with them.

 

If you’d like to learn about our manual versus electric toothbrush options or other toothbrushing aids, like timers, that we have available, please contact us today.

How Should Exam Gloves Fit?

It’s essential to wear the right sized protective equipment in any medical setting. Exam gloves are worn daily by most medical professionals such as doctors, dental assistants and care staff and it is important they fit properly. Hand protection is essential when dealing with bodily fluids or potentially harmful diseases during patient exams and procedures. Due to this, it’s important for medical professionals to know the right size exam gloves to use for their work. First, they must decide which type of exam glove to use. This can include latex gloves, nitrile gloves, neoprene gloves, vinyl gloves or any other type of disposable glove. Once the type of exam glove is determined, proper sizing is the next crucial step. 

Finding a comfortable fitting glove is essential. A tight-fitting glove can negatively affect fine motor skills, irritate the skin, and lead to hand fatigue. Contrarily, a glove that fits too loosely can cause a person to execute movements awkwardly. This could potentially lead to exposure to blood-borne pathogens or hazardous chemicals. 

Finding the Right Fit 

Exam gloves are manufactured to specific ASTM glove standards. When determining the proper size glove, there are 4 key areas to consider: glove length, glove width, finger length and width, and material.  

Glove Length: Measured from the tip of the middle finger to the cuff. 

Glove Width: Measured around the knuckles of your dominant hand, above the V in your thumb. Essentially, the widest part of your hand. This is an important measurement, since you don’t want gloves that are too tight. 

Finger Length and Width: This can be tricky because it is one of the few things that can vary between product lines. 

Material: This can be the real wild card when trying to find a proper fitting exam glove. The thickness and stretchability of the material being used could cause a change in an entire size up or down.

 

Here is a diagram and size chart on how to measure to get the right fit for exam gloves.

Medical Exam Glove Size Chart Measuring guide for glove fit

 

Left & Right Hand Fitted vs. Ambidextrous

 

Hand-specific gloves with contoured fingers and a natural thumb position are most commonly found in surgical glove lines. Since they are designed for each hand, they usually offer the best and most comfortable fit, but can be more expensive than an examination glove. Many medical professionals have just accepted the extra cost as a tradeoff for the comfort and less hand fatigue that they’ve experienced with ambidextrous exam gloves. However, some of the newer, thinner nitrile material will warm from body temperature when donned and contour to each hand. This helps give the medical community a little more choice in the type of glove they wear.

 

If you want to learn more about proper glove sizing or simply which type of glove is best for your application, please contact us today.