National Children’s Dental Health Month is Here!

February brings National Children’s Dental Health Month! This is brought to you by the American Dental Association to create child awareness of the benefits of good oral health. This year’s month-long campaign is, “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.”

First Dental Visit

Around their first birthday, or within six months after their first tooth emerges, visit our dentist to make sure the teeth of your child are developing properly. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, over 50 percent of children will have some kind of tooth decay before they turn five, so it is important for your child to attend early dental visits. We can address any oral hygiene questions you have and let you know when it is time to start using a toothbrush.

Let them see you brushing and flossing, and help them brush and floss their teeth. By following the 2-2-2 Rule (seeing the dentist twice a year and brushing and flossing twice a day for two minutes), you will develop healthy oral hygiene habits.

Brushing Technique

-Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and brush along the gum line.
-Brush each tooth in a back and forth, up and down motion.
-Clean the inside, outside, back and top surfaces of each tooth.
-Gently wipe the tongue to remove bacteria.

Brush twice a day for two minutes each, giving the molars some extra attention. If your little one wants to help, you can take turns brushing or let them start and you finish. Don not let them share their toothbrush, and replace it when the bristles start to fray.

Flossing

When your child’s teeth touch, it is time to start flossing the areas that the toothbrush can’t clean. Whether it is dental floss, floss sticks/picks or oral irrigators, find a flossing tool that works best and use it!

Flossing Technique

-Using about 18 inches of floss, you can wrap an end around each of your middle fingers.
-Slide the floss between two teeth gently
-At the gum line, create a C-shape around each tooth
-Pull the floss tight to scrape against each tooth and repeat until all have been cleaned.

When your child’s manual dexterity and coordination is developed around six or seven years old, you can let them start brushing on their own. At this time, our dentist can also speak with you about fluoride and dental sealants to prevent cavities. Your child can usually floss by themselves by the time they are nine or ten.

Teen Care

High schoolers are often busy with school, sports and extracurricular activities, work and socializing, so you want to help them stick to their daily oral hygiene habits. They may be wearing braces, having wisdom teeth removed and feeling self-conscious about their smile (and their breath), so good oral hygiene habits can support their goals.

-Encourage them to use a timer, listen to their favorite song while brushing and flossing for two minutes, or switch to an electric toothbrush with a timer.
-Keep plenty of dental hygiene supplies in stock such as soft toothbrushes, flavored flosses, toothpaste and a toothbrush for their backpack when they are on the go.
-Keep fruits and vegetables handy instead of junk food for healthier snacking.
-If they are active in sports, supply them with an athletic guard to protect teeth from being chipped, cracked or lost.
-Talk to your teen about peer-pressure activities that can damage his or her smile like smoking, drinking or getting an oral piercing.

Your teens want to look and feel their best, so support their efforts for maintaining those oral habits instilled in their childhood. This month is a good time to reinforce good habits and provide your children and teens with the tools and support they need for a lifetime of healthy smiles!

Keeping Ahead of COVID-19

Providing a safe environment for treatment and control for infectious disease is always a priority at Paul Stanovick DDS. Our expansive reception area and large outdoor deck provides space to easily support regulations surrounding social distancing. The treatment rooms provide an extra layer of protection as they are sanitized between each patient and provide clean air through air purifiers located in each room. We encourage that all patients schedule for their essential or ongoing treatment. Proactively treating your dental needs will benefit both your health and reduce the need for corrective treatment over time. We do ask that any high-risk patients postpone any elective dental treatment at this time. You will see some changes during your next appointment as we have added precautions to protect patients and staff. All patients will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 screening form as well as have their temperature taken. You will be asked to enter the building with use of facial protection and asked to wear it until you are in the treatment room. Hand sanitizer is also available throughout the whole building for your use. You may notice that our magazine and children’s books have been removed from the reception area as they are harder to disinfect. We have installed plexiglass around our front reception area for added distancing between front staff and patients waiting for appointments. Air purifiers have been placed in every operatory with two larger purifiers in the front and back of the office. We have provided face shields, lab jackets and barrier gowns for all clinical staff. Our hours of operation will still remain Monday -Friday 8am-5pm. We are trying our best to re-appoint patients that missed March 2020 & April 2020 dental appointments. We are looking forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about treatment and the safety precautions we are taking here at the practice. If you would like to make an appointment you can give us a call or text 804.781.1919. Thank you for your patience during these changing times and for your trust in us with taking care of your dental needs. Sincerely, Dr. Paul Stanovick, Dr. Brant Stanovick, and Staff.