Actress Jennie Garth volunteers with Smiles Across America, an organization that helps underserved children get the oral hygiene care they need, to teach kids how to take care of their teeth.
Jennie reveals her favorite brushing tip that she uses with her own children, and cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears teach you how to make brushing fun for your little ones!
Painless Cavity Filling
Do you or your children dread the shots and drilling that come with cavities? A new laser procedure makes getting your cavity filled a quick, pain-free process. The Waterlase cavity-filling system chips away decay and plaque in the tooth with shots of water and a laser, then the cavity is filled with a liquid composite and sealed with a curing light, resulting in a painless, five-minute procedure that allows the patient to work, eat and drink immediately after.
“No Novocain, no shots. This is a great way of doing dentistry in five minutes, start to finish,” pediatric dentist Dr. Christina Do says. “Gone are the days of pain, shots and fillings where you leave the office with a numb lip and tongue. Now I can get you filled without a shot, without any fear or anxiety. The patient feels no pain, it’s nice and comfortable, and he wants to come back to the dentist because he had the best cavity filling ever!”
Pain-Free Cavity Prevention
Dr. Bill Dorfman says that people can avoid cavities on the top of their teeth if they have clear resin sealants bonded to their molars at age 6 and then again at age 12. Dr. Bill performs the procedure on his daughter, Georgie, and explains how it can prevent tooth decay.
To make it an enjoyable experience for a baby, put non-fluoride toothpaste on gauze-wrapped fingertip and gently brush inside the baby’s mouth. Also, make brushing teeth a family event so the baby will mimic the behavior.
“What we’re trying to do now,” Dr. Jim says, “is create healthy habits. We want [the baby] to think brushing his teeth is fun.”
Grinding Your Teeth
It’s more dangerous than you think! Dr. Bill estimates that 30 percent of kids grind their teeth at night, but says that most outgrow it in time. Ten percent of adults grind their teeth and are unaware they do it. Dr. Bill cautions that if left unchecked, teeth grinding can lead to severely worn teeth, TMJ and neck pain.