Our Blog

Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth

July 28th, 2021

At Northwest Children's Dentistry, we know that brushing your toddler’s teeth can be an intimidating prospect. So we’re providing a few tips in the hope of making the process a lot more easy, effective, and all-around enjoyable for everyone!

Start by getting into a position that gives you control and enables you to see well into your child’s mouth. If you can see clearly, you will be able to maneuver the toothbrush better around your son or daughter’s mouth for a better quality of brushing.

It’s important to choose a time when your toddler is calm. Have your little one sit with his or her favorite stuffed animal, or play a fun movie in the background so your child can focus on something comforting while you’re brushing.

Using a circular motion, brush all sides of their teeth. Be sure to let your toddler have a turn after you’re done, to start getting used to it. This way, he or she is more likely to repeat the brushing and flossing exercise when your youngster is old enough.

Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall and our team agree that brushing and flossing need to be performed with kindness and care. To ensure your child learns good dental hygiene habits early on, be gentle and make this time a happy, learning time.

Your child should also have regular appointments at our Tucson office for checkups and cleanings to keep on track!

Providing the Right Dental Care for your Children

July 21st, 2021

You already know that Northwest Children's Dentistry recommends you come in for a checkup and cleaning at least every six months, but do you know what your child’s dental needs are? From the time children are babies and growing in their first teeth, their oral health care needs may be different from adults. It’s important to know what they need, and when, to help them grow strong, healthy teeth.

When to See Our Team at Northwest Children's Dentistry

While dental care (at home) can begin as soon as your baby starts to show signs of that first tooth, most experts do not recommend you see a dentist until your child is at least one year old. The child will likely be too young at this point to have a full dental exam, but we can take a look at your baby’s teeth and give you tips for brushing and flossing properly.

By the time your child has all of his or her baby teeth—usually around 24 to 30 months of age—we can begin scheduling regular checkups and cleanings.

What to Expect on the First Visits

The first visit to our Tucson office for a full exam will mostly involve getting to know Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall and staff members, and making your child feel comfortable. Let us know if you would like to sit in the exam room during the appointment, but keep in mind that it may be beneficial to leave your child alone with Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall for a portion of the appointment so we can start building trust with your child.

Our team at Northwest Children's Dentistry will likely do some or all of the following during your child's visit:

  • Look for signs of decay or other tooth or gum problems
  • Examine your child’s bite, checking for misalignment that could lead to problems in the future
  • Clean the teeth, and apply fluoride if your child is old enough
  • Talk to you about proper oral health care for your children
  • Answer any questions you may have about caring for your child’s teeth, which may include topics like fluoride needs, nutrition and diet, teething, and the frequency of future checkups

In most cases, we will recommend that you bring your child in every six months for regular checkups, the same as your recommended frequency.

Understanding your child’s unique dental needs is important for providing the best possible care when it becomes necessary. We look forward to building a good relationship with your child so coming to the dentist is a fun, rewarding experience and not a frightening one.

What are dental sealants and how do they work?

July 14th, 2021

A dental sealant is a liquid that is applied to the teeth. The sealant hardens and provides a protective coating that is designed to reduce cavities and create a smoother tooth surface. Dental sealants are clear or white; they do not take away from the appearance of teeth. You can think about this treatment as being similar to varnish that protects a wood floor.

Sealants are not the same as fluoride treatments. The application is similar, but sealants are a semi-permanent protective coating. Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall and our staff recommend that sealant applications for children begin soon after molars erupt, first molars around the age of six, and second molars around the age of 12.

Simple Application

Having sealants applied is not uncomfortable at all. First, your child's teeth will be cleaned and dried. A gel is applied, which helps the sealant adhere to the tooth, and then is rinsed away. Your child's teeth are dried again and the sealant is applied. A few seconds of exposure to a light source may be used to cure the sealant and make it semi-permanent. Sealants should last for a long time, normally between five and ten years.

Sealant Benefits

The coating on the surface of your child's teeth reduces the amount of acid contact. Normal acids in foods that are consumed can eat away at the surface of teeth. Bacteria also react to plaque formation and create more acid in the mouth. These small pits or weakened areas are prone to caries or cavity formation. Preventing cavities is a much better choice than drilling and filling damaged teeth.

A sealant also helps to smooth the chewing surfaces of your childn't teeth. The smoother surface is not as likely to retain small particles of food and bacteria. Your child's mouth stays cleaner and food is not left behind to form acids. The protective application can also be used on other teeth that have a rough surface, to protect the grooves or pits from decay.

After the sealant is applied, your child still needs to take proper care of his or her teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is required. Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall may recommend fluoride treatments to strengthen and protect your child's teeth further.

If you have any concerns about sealants, please discuss them with during your child's next appointment at Northwest Children's Dentistry. We want your little one's teeth to stay healthy for life.

July Office Updates/Announcements

July 12th, 2021

  

(Meet Ruby and Tene! Our newest Saguaro Cacti at our office.)

Happy July! At Northwest Children’s Dentistry, we are hopeful that we will get some great rain this month for monsoon season.

As we get into July, we are also looking forward to various summer activities. Not only is summer a great time to go swimming, take a vacation, spend time with family, and lounge around the house, it’s also a great time to read! Many of us remember participating in summer reading programs.

While summer is a great time to relax, don’t forget to keep up with your oral hygiene routines! Not only does it impact your oral health, but it helps keep your smile looking its best. Be sure to brush twice a day in addition to flossing.

Living in Tucson, hydration is important all year around, but especially in the summer months. Remember to stay hydrated with non-sugary drinks such as water. There are also lot of great options for non-sugary flavored beverages like seltzer water or fresh water with a few small slices of fruit.

For our patient’s that haven’t visited our office in a while, we are still requiring masks for all adults and children two years and older. If you haven’t scheduled a visit because your worried about the risk of Covid-19, our office continues to follow strict cleaning procedures, in addition to wearing masks and having a HEPA-13 air filtration system. Give us a call to book your next appointment!

From all of us at Northwest Children’s Dentistry, we hope you have a safe and fun-filled summer!