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Chew on This

by Emily Mendelson

Keep your smile in top shape with these tips from dental pros.

For many people, a trip to the dentist awakens feelings of anxiety and dread. But putting dental health on the backburner is not only unhealthy, it sets a bad example for children as well. South Jersey dentists note that advances in dental technology have made both preventive care and cosmetic measures simpler and less painful than ever before.

Keeping mouths clean and healthy starts at an early age, notes Dr. Susan Armstrong of Armstrong Pediatric Dental in Moorestown. And since regular brushing and flossing are essential to a healthy mouth, she encourages parents to make dental hygiene a family activity. “Role model for them, and have them start at a very young age making [brushing and flossing] a part of what they do,” she suggests. “If they see mom and dad doing it, they will want to do it as well.”

Dr. Thomas Kadar of Kadar Orthodontics in Sewell adds, it can’t hurt to make brushing fun. Because kids like to listen to music, “Put [their] favorite song on and listen to the song from start to finish, usually two to three minutes. It times them so they keep brushing until the song is over.”

And as we age, it’s just as important to continue those good habits, according to Dr. Alan Meltzer, a periodontist and dentist in Voorhees. He stresses the importance of preventative care for your gums and mouth, and suggests periodic professional cleanings and exams along with excellent home care as ways to keep your mouth healthy. He notes that when you brush your teeth at home, it is important to be thorough. “Brushing once properly is more effective than brushing three times quickly,” Meltzer says.

Even with careful brushing, molars can be hard to reach, and their naturally uneven surfaces can make cleaning tough for kids. Armstrong recommends sealants to protect kids’ molars from cavities. “[Sealants] are a protective coating, and they are usually a resin-type material,” she says. “It fills in pits and uneven anatomy that make up our tooth structure.”

This is an increasingly popular way to keep bacteria out of those hard to reach areas, Armstrong adds. “I recommend them to a large number of patients,” she notes. “Sealants are relatively inexpensive and very cost effective. Vast numbers of insurance companies are starting to cover [them].”

Later on, when patients get braces, oral hygiene becomes even more crucial, Kadar says. “It’s all up to the brushing and flossing. If your hygiene is bad, you may have to stop treatment and get them healthy again,” he adds.

Kadar also encourages kids to make sure their teeth are healthy before they get braces put on. “We really don’t want to put braces on someone whose hygiene isn’t good. It’s difficult to brush with braces on the teeth.”

Besides, keeping teeth healthy means that the investment in orthodonture will yield returns in healthy, bright smiles for years to come.

Smile Savers
Trust your teeth to these South Jersey dental pros.

ABC Children’s Dentistry
Your child’s comfort and smile is our top priority. ABC Dentistry is dedicated to providing your child with the personalized, gentle care that they deserve. Part of our commitment to our patients includes providing information that helps them make more informed decisions about their oral health needs.
(856) 783-3515

Alan M. Meltzer, D.M.D. M.SC.D.
A world-renowned dentist who practices and lives right here in South Jersey, Dr. Meltzer draws clients from across the Delaware Valley and beyond, due to his outstanding reputation. He has been a guest lecturer on periodontology and dental implant procedures on six continents.
(856) 772-9444

Armstrong Pediatric Dental, LLC
Dr. Armstrong has been voted the Best of the Best Pediatric Dentist in 2011 by South Jersey Magazine. She is committed to providing outstanding care for her patients during the crucial years of growth and development. Visit her online or call today.
(856) 235-0415

Dr. Franck Euksuzian, Dr. Monique Braatz
Our focus of dentistry is preventive care combined with advanced aesthetics, resulting in healthy beautiful smiles that everyone loves. We provide the highest quality of dentistry, making our practice special.
(609) 953-4300

Drs. Rosen & Dworkin
Dentists may detect some medical problems long before a patient is seen by their doctor. Routine preventative care helps patients seek medical treatment for cardiac and some systemic illnesses before more serious health issues develop.
(856) 983-7732

Esposito Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Short Term Ortho (STO) is an adult orthodontic treatment aimed at giving adults a great looking smile in a relatively short time.
(609) 654-0029

Kadar Orthodontics
It’s easy for Kadar Orthodontics to believe that a new smile can change a patient’s life. After all, they see it happen every day. Utilizing the best orthodontic technologies, Dr. Kadar quickly produces awesome results for his patients. A few months, a new life.
(856) 582-1400 (Spec. #3856)

Sarkis Euksuzian Orthodontics
Our orthodontic team consists of highly skilled professionals committed to providing personalized care. We strive to make your experience enjoyable.
(609) 654-0600
(856) 234-2992

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 4 (July, 2011).
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