Tips on brushing teeth of young children

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It is important that parents help with brushing teeth until at least age 8. Before this, children do not have the dexterity to brush well.

It can be easier to brush if you have your child lie down with their head in your lap. Then you can see into their mouth and see what you are brushing.

Consider moving tooth-brushing activities out of the bathroom into a common area like the kitchen. Then, your children can brush as a group while you monitor. This helps you to make sure they are brushing instead of just playing.

Set a timer for 2 minutes, to make sure that brushing happens for an appropriate length of time.

For the independent child, allow them to brush first and then you can brush. This practice allows them to develop their skill.

If your child cries with brushing, don’t give up! Continue to work on this habit daily and usually children become used to the routine.

Start when children are very young. It is easier to get a child used to tooth brushing if you begin the habit from the very moment they have their first tooth – usually between 6-12 months of age.

Ask another adult to help you. If your child really struggles, it can be useful to have one parent hold the child in his lap while the other parent brushes the teeth.

For children who really fight brushing, it is important to eliminate all sugary foods and beverages and see a dentist regularly. Brushing is the best way to prevent cavities. If you are not able to brush well, or at all, it becomes more important to use these other ways to prevent decay.

Allow your child to hold a comfort item, like a prized blanket or a favorite toy, while you are brushing.

Children with autism often benefit from a specially designed three-sided toothbrush head. The design allows the child to chew on the brush rather than brushing, which can result in increased removal of plaque over a one-sided toothbrush. One brand is the Den-Trust 3-sided toothbrush.

Here is a great article with some more tips https://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/for-some-children-with-autism-even-a-toothbrush-is-a-challenge/?mcubz=1. Also HealthyChildren.org tips.

Flu Vaccine Is Here!

Our first major shipments of flu vaccine have arrived and so we have started giving flu vaccines in the office. We will be using the same process that we have used the last several years.

Any of our active patients may receive a flu vaccine either as a walk-in, when they are here with a sibling, or at any regularly scheduled appointment. Or if you prefer you can schedule a shot-only appointment by calling us or using the patient portal. 

Once again this year the experts have determined that there will be no nasal (FluMist) version of the vaccine available as it was not felt that it would be effective for this years' strains of flu virus. Our initial influenza vaccines we have available are all injectable and preservative free.

We recommend flu vaccine for all of our patients who are six months of age or older, and it is especially important for children with chronic health problems. While each season can be different, the two most recent years of the influenza vaccine demonstrated between 34% and 42% reduced chance to need medical care for influenza illness in those who received a vaccination. Learn more at CDC Flu Vaccine Effectiveness.

New Check-In Process Arriving June 21st!

Starting Wednesday, June 21st, Childhood Health is excited to implement a new process to streamline our check-in process.  Upon arriving at our office, you will be greeted by our staff and handed an orange Phreesia tablet that will allow you to review and verify patient demographic changes, and to make secure and private payments right on the pad.

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As with any change, there will be an adjustment period, so we thank you for your patience as we make this transition. This is going to be a very exciting benefit to save our patients time and hassle, and allow our staff to focus on what they do best, serving you, instead of sorting papers.

Please see the video below for a demonstration of the check-in process utilizing the new tablets.