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February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

 

This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. 

We at Wow Smiles feel it is important to shine a light on children’s dental health because we know that establishing proper attitudes and habits at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life. Each week in the month of February, we want to assist parents, caregivers, and teachers by providing helpful tips to ensure that the children in their lives are keeping their smiles beautiful and healthy now and for years to come.

This week we are focusing on the benefits of drinking water and how it can help children maintain a healthy smile. 

There are a lot of reasons water is good for a child’s overall health, but here a few reasons it benefits their oral health. Water washes away sugars and acids that may be left on children’s teeth. Water can also prevent staining from other food and drinks. When possible, drinking tap water that contains fluoride can help strengthen children’s teeth and could keep them from unwanted cavities.

While all of those reasons are important, the most important part may be figuring out how to get your child to actually drink the water! When it comes to beverages, with all of the other sugar-filled options that are marketed to children, it’s no wonder that it’s often a challenge when trying to get them to drink water.

Here are a few ways that can help you encourage your child to drink more water:

Let your child pick out a fun water bottle or reusable cup that is their very own. Children are more apt to carry water with them to school or other activities if they are excited about their bottle or cup. Let them know that this bottle/cup is special and only for drinking water.

Make a sticker chart with daily or weekly water goals. Let them put a sticker up for each day that they meet that goal. If they meet their water goal for the entire month, reward them with a special toy, family outing or another incentive. Preferably one that encourages and reinforces healthy choices.

And finally, always lead by example! As the adults in their lives, it is important that you show children the importance of drinking water by doing so yourself. Try replacing 1-2 of your usual daily drinks of choice with water instead.

Until next time, happy hydrating!

This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others.

Wow Smiles and Denti-Cal

Wow Smiles is a proud Denti-Cal provider and wants to be sure you and your family receive the dental and orthodontic services that may be available to you through the great state of California. Here are a few things that you should know.

If you qualify for Medi-Cal, you are most likely eligible to reap at least some of the benefits of Denti-Cal.

One of the common misunderstandings surrounding Denti-Cal is that it is a separate program that you must qualify for even if you already qualify for Medi-Cal. This is not the case. While the degree of benefits may vary, Denti-Cal is offered under the umbrella of the Medi-Cal program.

Your children may qualify for Denti-cal benefits.

The early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment (EPSDT) program is a special process within Denti-Cal specifically for children. Under federal law, EPSDT services are provided to any Medi-Cal beneficiary under age 21. For the Denti-Cal Program, this means medically necessary dental services provided for any Denti-Cal beneficiary who has not yet reached his or her 21st birthday are EPSDT services. Have a question about your child’s dental benefits and what they qualify for? Denti-Cal Representatives can be reached at 800- 423-0507 to answer all of your questions regarding EPSDT services and EPSDT Supplemental Services.

Wow Smiles is here to help!

We at Wow Smiles know that the varying benefits and coverage with Denti-Cal can be confusing and overwhelming for families. That is why we are here to help! Contact us today at (844) 900-4969 or request a free consultation at our Ukiah or Vallejo offices to learn more about what dental and orthodontic care you and your family may qualify for under Denti-Cal! And be on the lookout for our next blog, where we will give you some examples of Denti-Cal benefits in specific cases.

Wow Smiles is a proud Denti-Cal provider and wants to be sure you and your family receive the dental and orthodontic services that may be available to you through the great state of California. Here are a few things that you should know. If you qualify for Medi-Cal, you are most likely eligible to reap […]

When Should My Child Get Braces?

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. For the final week, we would like to help answer the question, “When should my child get braces?”

As parents, it can be difficult for us to determine not only if our children need braces, but when the optimum time would be for their treatment to begin.

Dental experts believe one of the keys to ensuring a lifetime of straight smiles is an orthodontic screening for every child once they have their permanent teeth, usually by the age of seven or so. Why so soon? Early monitoring by an orthodontist can help identify and address any issues that could become problematic later. But how do you decide which teeth are normal but imperfect, and which will actually require professional treatment? Here are a few ways you can ensure your child is getting proper dental and orthodontic care at the right age.

Regular dental visits from an early age.

The best way to determine whether your children will need braces is to take them to the dentist regularly. All children should have their first visit to the dentist by around age two, and an initial consultation with an orthodontist by around age seven.

Be aware of crowding and abnormal tooth spacing.

Some types of orthodontic problems, called malocclusions, are obvious pretty early on, while others might not look bad but can cause real dental issues if left untreated. Some of the most common malocclusions are crowding (where the teeth bunch up against each other), excessive spacing (where large gaps form between the teeth), and abnormal eruption (one or more teeth appearing in the wrong location.)

Pay attention to an unusual bite or jaw structure.

If left untreated, these misalignments can have lifelong implications. While these issues are often easily corrected in a growing child, they’re much more difficult to reverse in an adult.

Keep an eye on oral behaviors.

Some common childhood behaviors can cause dental problems later on. Thumb sucking, finger sucking, and bottle or pacifier usage past the toddler stage can lead to or aggravate orthodontic problems.
Sometimes a child having trouble biting or chewing my indicate a need for braces, since it could be related to a bad bite. Just be aware that bite or jaw problems don’t always interfere with how a child eats or chews, so don’t rely on that as concrete evidence of anything. These issues are best brought to your orthodontist’s attention.

Listen to their speech and pay attention to their self-esteem.

There are some speech problems that can be directly related to orthodontic issues. Even if your child’s teeth appear relatively straight and normal to you, have them checked out by an orthodontist if they have a speech impediment, just to rule that possibility out. Lisping, especially, can often be dental-related. Some orthodontic issues might seem cosmetic in nature, but if a dental problem is causing real damage to your child’s emotional well-being and self-esteem, it’s worth exploring treatment based on the psychological benefits.

So when is the best time for a child to get braces?

In general, pre-teen (10-12) and early teen (13-14) are the prime ages for wearing braces. In this period of early adolescence, children are still growing at a rapid pace. If you wait too far past that window, many orthodontic issues can become more difficult and expensive to treat as the facial and jaw bones settle into their adult sizes. Although orthodontists today can successfully correct most problems regardless of the patient’s age, starting treatment within this “sweet spot” can play a significant role in the total time and expenses required for the completion of the orthodontic treatment.

If you’re looking for more information on braces for your child, Wow Smiles has got you covered! Contact us at one of our two convenient offices in Ukiah or Vallejo!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. For the final week, we would like to help answer the question, “When should my […]

4 Keys To Teaching Children Proper Dental Hygiene

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. This week we want to focus on the importance of instilling proper dental hygiene with your children now that will benefit them well into adulthood.

From the time a toddler is tall enough to be boosted up to the bathroom sink, they’re told to brush their teeth, twice a day, every day, for at least two minutes, and then floss directly after. As most of us know, however, getting children to adhere and adjust to any new daily routine can be a bit challenging. Undeniably, a child’s first response to many of his or her parents’ instructions is a nagging, predictable, “Why?” While you could get away with a simple and firm “Because I said so.” when it comes to maintaining dental hygiene, it may benefit your child to understand why brushing and flossing are so essential. Here are 4 things you should be teaching your children about proper dental hygiene.

 1. Brushing and flossing remove plaque buildup

Your child has probably heard the dentist mention “plaque,” but they may not fully grasp the concept. Explain to your child that plaque is a layer of sticky bacteria that rests on teeth until it’s brushed and flossed away properly, and that bacteria can be very aggressive.

2. Brushing after eating is never a bad idea

If you’ve told your child what plaque is, you should follow up and explain its relationship to bacteria, especially in regards to food. It’s important that they understand bacteria feeds off of sugar that gets left behind as a sort of footprint from the foods we eat by breaking it down into acids that attack our tooth enamel, which is how cavities are formed. Always especially encourage your child to brush after eating foods that are high in sugar.

3. Good dental hygiene prevents gingivitis

 

Emphasize that, in addition to attacking the enamel, plaque is also responsible for gingivitis. Make sure your child knows that this gum disease makes gums extremely sore, swollen, and red and can make everyday activities like eating and even talking uncomfortable.

4. Neglecting brushing and flossing will lead to bad breath and yellow teeth

 

Depending on your child’s age, this could be their greatest motivation for brushing and flossing. Older children are often self-conscious about their overall aesthetic and may be most concerned with the visible and odorous impacts of neglecting tooth care. Inform your child that the plaque that gathers on their teeth forms a foul smell and also tears away at white enamel, causing your teeth to appear more yellow.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. This week we want to focus on the importance of instilling proper dental hygiene with […]

Never Fear, Wow Smiles Is Here!

 

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. This week we want to help any parents out there whose children may be afraid of the orthodontist.

5 Keys To Taking The Fear Out Of the Orthodontist Appointment

Don’t overcomplicate your child’s first visit to the Orthodontist.
American Association of Orthodontics recommends that an orthodontist examines a child by the time they are seven years old. Young children that may have had a bad first experience with a dentist or another doctor may be frightened at the thought of seeing an orthodontist. Don’t include any details that are not necessary, such as having to get certain treatments, if you know this could give your child added anxiety. As a parent, if you are calm and keep the event casual, your child is more likely to feel at ease.

Make it fun!
Bring a favorite book or stuffed animal that is familiar to your child that they can have with them if they need to spend any time in the waiting room. If you use a family calendar, mark the date with some fun stickers or colorful markers as this may help your child be more excited about visiting the orthodontist.

Be positive.
Regardless of any prior bad experiences you may have had with a dentist or orthodontist, do your best to stay positive around your child. Try not to complain about the event or the details surrounding it, because as we all know, children hear everything! Instead, mention what an awesome smile they have and that you want their smile to stay as awesome as they are!

Avoid bribery.
One of the (understandable) mistakes parents often make with their children when it comes to doctor visits is bribing them with toys or treats. Parents say things like “If you go, we’ll get ice cream after.” While on the surface this may seem harmless, children are very intuitive, and may end up thinking “There must be a reason I shouldn’t want to go.” If you would like to reward your child for their behavior after a visit, don’t bring it up until the appointment is over. Then they can be rewarded without having prior anxiety as to why they need to be bribed into going in the first place.

Pick the right dentist and orthodontist.
Our final key and perhaps the most important in taking the fear out of an orthodontic appointment is finding the right dentist and orthodontist. At Wow Smiles, we specialize in making dentistry and orthodontics fun! From the moment your child arrives, we want to make sure they feel special and excited about being there. It is all about them and their beautiful smile! As a parent, we want to put you at ease as well. We stay away from the cold environment that your or your child may have dealt with in the past at other doctor’s offices. We do this by creating a warm and inviting office, and with our trained staff that have years of experience dealing with dentistry and orthodontics. We are proud to say that our patients often want to come back and see us! We would love the opportunity to show you and your child just how easy the process can be. Never fear, Wow Smiles is here! Request a free consultation today!

  February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated orthodontic professionals, health-care providers, and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. This week we want to help any parents out there whose children may be […]