Call Us: (810) 344-6700 

Text Us: (810) 227-2744

4e3ee9 b52f7cadebf5435ebda949453fb8a5dd mv2

Childhood Gum Disease

Many dental health issues rarely impact children, but that’s not the case with gum disease.

Harmful oral bacteria don't care how old we are, and kids and teenagers are at risk of developing gingivitis just like adults.

Oral Hygiene and Hormones
The primary cause of childhood gum disease is poor oral hygiene. The gums become more vulnerable to irritation and inflammation when plaque is left to build up at the gumline and harden into tartar. For teenagers, hormones have entered the equation, increasing blood flow to the gums and making them more sensitive. Over half of teenagers have some form of gum disease.

Children Aren’t Good at Self-Reporting Symptoms
Children don’t always recognize when something is wrong because they don’t have a lot to compare it to, so it might not occur to them to mention any symptoms to their parents. Parents should keep an eye out for signs of gum disease like swollen or reddened gums, bleeding gums during brushing or flossing, gum recession, and persistent bad breath regardless of oral hygiene habits.

The Lifelong Battle for Oral Health
It’s a continuous fight to maintain good gum health. Effective oral hygiene habits are essential, and parents can set a good example by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. It’s always easier to prevent a dental health problem than to treat it after it appears, but good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are great for prevention and treatment.
4e3ee9 cc6dd13690604a56bbffafa785c79a3f mv2

A Simple Head To Toe Guide For Kids Health

As a kid, your health is probably the last thing you think about. But the sooner you start paying attention to what’s going on in your body and what you need to stay healthy and strong, the better off you are. Your parents help you out a lot by making sure you have good food to eat and lots of activities to do, but they can’t do all the work themselves. Luckily, parents and children can work together to create the best possible environment.
And parents, you're taking the time to teach your child important habits and you’re learning how to raise healthy, happy, kids. These tips ensure your child’s lifestyle is the healthiest it can possibly be. We’ve put together the best health articles for kids to get them excited about their well-being.

How Children Can Tap Into Brain Power
The brain has different parts that work together. The cerebrum (suh-REE-brum) is the largest part of the brain, and is the thinking part. It’s the part that controls your voluntary muscle movements – the ones that move when you tell them to – like when you’re walking, dancing, or playing sports. It’s also the one you use when you’re thinking hard to solve problems, and where your memories are stored.

The cerebellum (sair-uh-BELL-um) is at the back of your brain, below the cerebrum. It’s the part that controls your balance, movement, and coordination – or how your muscles work together. It’s what allows you to stand up, keep your balance, and move. Without it, you couldn’t stay balanced on a balance beam or a surfboard.

The brain stem is below the cerebellum but in front of your cerebrum. It’s what connects your brain to your spinal cord. It runs down your neck and back, and handles all the involuntary stuff like breathing, digesting your food, and circulating your blood. It’s basically the brain’s secretary because it sends messages back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body.

Your pituitary (put-TOO-uh-ter-ee) gland is about the size of a pea. It makes and releases the hormones that help you grow. It’s a big part of puberty, or the process you’ll go through as you become a man or a woman.
The hypothalamus (hy-po-THAL-uh-mus) is your body’s thermostat. If you’ve ever seen a box on the wall that controls the heat and air conditioning in your house, that’s what the hypothalamus does for your body. You’ll shiver when you’re too cold, and sweat when you’re too hot, as the body tries to keep your temperature where it should be – at around 98.6°F or 37°C.

How Children Can Combat Germs
Germs are invaders that can make us sick, causing things like colds, fever, and upset stomachs. They’re living organisms, just like us, but are so small we don’t notice them. There are four types of germs: bacteria (BAK-teer-ee-uh), viruses (VY-rus-iz), fungi (FUN-guy), and protozoa (pro-toh-ZOH-uh).
Bacteria are one-celled creatures that get their nutrition from their environment. They can reproduce in the body or outside the body. When inside the body, they can cause ear infections, sore throats, cavities, and more. But, not all bacteria are bad. Our bodies need them to keep us healthy, too.

Viruses have to be inside something living to survive. When they get inside our bodies and spread, they can cause things like flu, measles, and other diseases. Make sure to wash your hands regularly, since viruses can live on surfaces like doorknobs, smartphones, and other things you touch every day.
Fungi are made of many cells that are kind of like plants. But, they can’t make their own food like plants, so they get it from humans, plants, and animals. Many fungi aren’t dangerous for healthy people, but some can cause athlete’s foot – an itchy rash that some teens and adults get between their toes.

Protozoa are like bacteria, except they love water and usually spread disease through. Some of them cause infections in your intestines, which causes you to feel like you’re going to throw up, or means you’ll have diarrhea.

Protect yourself from germs not just by washing your hands, but make sure to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, get shots at a routine physician visit, eat healthy, and exercise.

How Kids Can Get The Nutrition & Vitamins They Need
If you’re like most kids, there are some vegetables you don’t like. But fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, which our bodies need to stay healthy and strong. Vitamins are substances found in the food we eat, that your body needs to make sure it grows as it should. Each vitamin has jobs to do in the body, which is why we need so many. That’s why a healthy diet is important.
  • Vitamin A from carrots and sweet potatoes helps you see in the dark.
  • Vitamin B, found in whole grains helps you make energy from the food you eat.
  • Vitamin C in oranges and spinach helps heal cuts and scrapes.
  • Vitamin D in milk helps keep your bones strong.

Eating a nutritious meal every time you eat helps make sure you get all the vitamins you need. Your school lunch is a good place to start for healthy eating. Sugary foods may taste good, but they aren’t high in vitamins. Make sure you only eat those as special treats and not an everyday food.

Your body’s digestive system takes the food you put in your mouth, and runs it through your stomach and intestines to turn into it the things it needs to use to keep your body running.

When you go to the bathroom, you’re getting rid of the digested food and drink and what the body doesn’t need. If you have food allergies, you can’t eat certain foods without causing problems in your body. The good news is, you can outgrow some of them.

Dental Health: Keeping Your Smile Nice And White
Did you know your teeth care can affect other parts of your body, too? Gum disease can increase the risk of many other serious health issues, including heart attack and stroke. Those are scary things a lot of grown-ups have to deal with, but the best way to make sure you don’t have to is to take care of yourself now.

Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is the best way you can prevent dental decay. According to the National Pediatric Association, it’s important to teach children how to brush their teeth at a young age and visit the dentist regularly to promote good oral health, even in early childhood.

Make sure you’re brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal. If you can’t brush your teeth after lunch at school, that’s okay, just make sure you brush them before you go to bed. Use toothpaste with fluoride, because it helps keep your teeth strong. If you need help getting your teeth extra clean, ask your parents.

How Kids Can Build Strong Bodies
Exercise is important. You should aim to get 60 minutes of activity every day. Running around outside, playing sports, doing push-ups or situps, dancing, or anything that gets you moving can be exercise. Your physical education (PE) class at school counts, but you still need to be doing something active on the weekends to stay in shape.

The heart is a muscle, and it sends blood all throughout your body. It takes your heart less than one minute to pump blood to all the cells in your body. It uses the oxygen you breathe in to send oxygen-rich blood out and takes returning blood to the lungs to remove the carbon dioxide when we exhale. The process starts again when we inhale. The heart and lungs work together to keep our oxygen levels right where they need to be.
While it may seem more fun to spend hours watching TV, there’s a reason your parents encourage daily activity. Aerobic (with air) activity helps your heart muscle get stronger, making it do a better job of pumping oxygen and blood through your body. Exercises like running, swimming, jumping rope, skating, or riding a bike are good for your heart. Even with air pollution concerns, getting outside for fresh air is better than staying cooped up inside all day. Just make sure you get your homework done before you go play.

Another kind of exercise helps you build stronger muscles. Push-ups, biking, rowing, and pull-ups are good strength training exercises. Remember, your muscles are your body’s engine – you couldn’t do anything without them. They are the parts of the body that turn energy into motion. Your tongue is a muscle. You need it to talk and eat… and both of those things help keep it strong and healthy.

How Kids Can Maintain Healthy Social Lives
Depression and youth mental issues are increasingly more common. It’s thought to be a result of increasing technology and digital content consumption, particularly smartphone usage. Because kids are more focused on electronics, we’re starting to see a decrease in attention span.

Technology has also contributed to bullying because it’s so easy to use the computer to send messages to someone else. Even elementary students are dealing with bullying on new levels. As parents, it’s important to teach kids safety tips they can use both online and off when they are dealing with a bully or peer pressure.

Add to this the hormones and changes kids go through during puberty, and you’re sure to see some sadness and frustration. Focus efforts on family growth and community time, to strengthen your child’s bond with others. Get them involved in activities outside the home – sports or volunteer work – to give them a sense of purpose. This will help improve their overall mental health. It will also help them build social skills to address issues on their own.

Have a child with special needs and you need a dentist?
Healthy living doesn’t have to be difficult. There are public programs available for those who are dealing with poverty and high-income families alike to help ensure adults support and learn behavior that builds a solid foundation for children’s development. We hope our tips for parents prove helpful in improving children’s healthcare.
4e3ee9 62f0a070a204442cb05082cbfcdb6221 mv2

Dentist Recommended Best Toothpaste For Kids

Oral care is extremely important for people of all ages – and that all starts out during childhood. Some of the biggest questions that dental professionals get are: What is the best toothpaste for kids? Should you be looking for cavity protection? Is adult toothpaste okay to use? Ultimately, the most important thing about toothpaste is for kids to actually want to use it. We often hear from parents about how their kids have a difficult time brushing because the toothpaste doesn’t taste good. Fortunately, there are many flavored toothpaste options available for kids to try!

From a dental perspective, there are a few additional factors to consider when choosing kids toothpaste. Fluoride content is something that needs to be considered, as that maximizes the preventative effect of the toothpaste itself. With all of the options available, it can be a daunting task for parents to choose the right toothpaste brands for their kids. Generally, we recommend parents start by finding a toothpaste that is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Choosing The Best Toothpaste For Your Kids
Toothpaste is the gateway to proper oral health for your kids. Choosing the right kids toothpaste can be a challenge for many parents, but it’s an incredibly important decision for your child’s long-term wellbeing. After all, the human mouth can be a breeding ground for thousands of different kinds of bacteria – which, when not cleaned properly, can lead to plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can accumulate and cause several oral health problems. These problems include – but are not limited to – tooth decay, cavities, bad breath, and gum disease. It is recommended that children brush their teeth twice a day.

There are several things you should look for when choosing the right toothpaste brands for your children.

Benefits Of ADA Approval In Kids Toothpaste
We mentioned that we strongly recommend choosing a toothpaste that has been approved by the ADA. Having the ADA Seal of Acceptance means that your child’s toothpaste has gone through a rigorous evaluation process to ensure its quality. In order to achieve this seal, the following criteria must be met:
  • Scientific evidence demonstrates the safety and efficacy of the toothpaste, as reviewed by the ADA Council of Scientific Affairs.
  • The toothpaste must have fluoride as an active ingredient.
  • In addition to fluoride, toothpastes may contain other active ingredients to help lessen tooth sensitivity, whiten teeth, reduce gingivitis or tartar build-up, or prevent enamel erosion or bad breath.
  • The toothpaste may not contain flavoring agents that cause or contribute to tooth decay (sugar, for example).

All of this means that your child’s toothpaste has been objectively reviewed, tested, and approved for safety and efficacy. Your child’s pediatric dentist can also be a helpful resource in finding the right toothpaste.

Benefits Of Fluoride In Your Child’s Toothpaste
One of the primary factors in achieving the ADA Seal of Acceptance is having fluoride as an active ingredient in the toothpaste. But why is fluoride so important? Fluoride can help protect teeth against cavities and plaque build-up.

When you are choosing a baby toothpaste or toddler toothpaste, you should very carefully monitor use. Swallowing too much fluoride is not healthy, so the amount needs to be controlled. The recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste for children under three is a small smear, while older children should use a pea-sized amount. This is because younger children are generally unable to properly spit out their toothpaste.

A Brief Primer On Fluoride In Toothpaste
If you are taking the time to really read the labels on toothpaste, you will notice that some say Sodium Monofluorophosphate (0.84% Na2PFO3) and some say Sodium Fluoride (0.24% NaF). Either way, they both have 0.15% w/v fluoride ion. But what does it mean?

The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine, which is the 13th most abundant element in the earth’s crust. It is never encountered in its free state in nature; it exists only in combination with other elements as a fluoride compound. Fluoride is compounded in toothpaste with sodium or monofluorophosphate – but both act as a sort of vehicle for the fluoride. Once it gets into the saliva, it separates and can be incorporated by the tooth enamel to make it stronger and more resistant to the acids that can eventually break down the tooth to create cavities.

Avoid Harsh Abrasives
Choosing an age-appropriate toothpaste is beneficial, because some adult toothpastes may contain harsh ingredients that are too aggressive for young tooth enamel. These abrasives are used to polish teeth and remove plaque – but they are better suited to adult teeth. Using an adult toothpaste when a child or toddler toothpaste would be more appropriate may end up eroding and wearing away the enamel in your child’s teeth. Be sure you are choosing a toothpaste that is gentle enough.

Consider The Flavor Of The Toothpaste
One of the main reasons children complain about brushing their teeth is because they don’t think the toothpaste tastes good. If the flavor is palatable to a young child, he or she will be more excited about the routine of brushing their teeth. Minty adult toothpastes can be too overwhelming for children, so what should you look for? Many children’s toothpastes come in fun fruit flavors – that may even taste like your child’s favorite fruit! There are fun toothpaste flavors like strawberry or bubblegum that will have your child looking forward to brushing their teeth. Finding a flavored toothpaste that your child is excited about will encourage them to develop good oral care habits from a young age.

Our Picks For The Best Toothpaste For Kids
Now that you know a little bit about what to look for in toothpaste for babies, toddlers, and kids, let’s review some of our favorite options. These options are all great for baby teeth – they won’t be too rough on the young enamel. They meet the criteria above, so you can rest assured that you’re choosing a great toothpaste for your child. Any of the below options will have your child excited to grab a toothbrush and get brushing!

Kid’s Crest
Kid’s Crest toothpaste is a tried and true option that is trusted by parents and kids everywhere. One of the main benefits of Kid’s Crest is that it comes in a wide variety of flavors that kids enjoy. The flavor options include things such as Bubblegum, Strawberry Rush, and the ever-popular Sparkle Fun. With the word “fun” right there in the title, it’s sure to get your kids excited about their oral care routine.

Colgate For Kids
Colgate is a well-known toothpaste brand that is doing excellent things in the children’s toothpaste space. The toothpaste tubes are often decorated with some of your kid’s favorite characters – from Minions to Elsa to everything in between. In addition to toothpaste tubes that are kid-friendly, Colgate also comes in many fun flavors like Mild Bubble Fruit, Strawberry Smash, and Watermelon Burst.

Hello Toothpaste
Though not a household name (yet!), Hello Toothpaste has a huge variety of flavors and options that will fit your family. They have options that are coconut oil-based, in addition to charcoal and hemp-based natural toothpastes. Many families are choosing more natural options when it comes to oral health, and Hello Toothpaste surely fits that bill. They offer flavors like watermelon, strawberry, and blue raspberry. And, in addition to the great kid-pleasing flavors, parents will be happy to know that Hello Toothpaste is vegan and cruelty-free, as well as BPA-free and phthalate-free.
Kids tend to like sweet flavors, and this toothpaste is sweetened by erythritol, which naturally helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth. Erythritol also aids in slowing the formation of plaque.

This toothpaste is also SLS-free. SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate, is a chemical compound that functions as a foaming agent in many personal care products. It’s largely responsible for the foam created in toothpaste and shampoo. Some brushers that are prone to allergies or sensitive to sulfites may be better off choosing SLS-free toothpastes like Hello Toothpaste.

Burt’s Bees For Kids
Burt’s Bees is a trusted brand for a wide variety of personal care items. And they are really doing something special with their line of kid’s toothpastes. They are committed to ensuring that their products are not tested on animals – which is something that is important to many consumers.

As far as dental health is concerned, Burt’s Bees for Kids is free of any harsh or damaging ingredients that may concern parents. It is made without sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), triclosan & parabens, artificial flavors & sweeteners, preservatives, dyes (blue, red, & yellow), and plastic microbeads. When you take all of those things out of the equation, you are left with a safe and effective natural toothpaste option for kids.

But what about the flavor? It comes in fun flavors like Fruit Fusion – but that’s not all. Burt’s Bees for Kids contains sweetener from the stevia plant, which gives the toothpaste a pleasant taste that kids love.

Tom’s Of Maine Children’s Toothpaste
Another excellent natural toothpaste option for kids comes from Tom’s of Maine. This toothpaste is free of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives – so it definitely plays to a parent’s sensibilities as far as their child’s oral health is concerned. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a silly side. The tagline is: “Silly Enough for Kids – Good Enough for Moms and Dads!” and it certainly lives up to that.

In fun flavors like Silly Strawberry, kids will enjoy brushing their teeth with Tom’s of Maine. The delicious real fruit flavor appeals to children’s tastes without using artificial sparkles or flavors.
Tom’s of Maine is also proudly not tested on animals and free of any animal ingredients.

Start An Oral Care Routine Early
With all of these great kids toothpaste options, there’s no excuse for not implementing an oral care routine with your child. Here are a few tips to get your kids excited about using their new toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Set a good example yourself by showing your child that you also regularly brush and floss your own teeth. Kids are always eager to copy their parents’ habits.
  • You can turn toothbrushing into a game by brushing during the commercial break of your child’s favorite TV show. Brush one quadrant of the mouth per 30 second commercial break.
  • If your child has a favorite song, you can play that during their tooth brushing routine. This associates tooth brushing with something that they already enjoy.
  • Make sure you choose the right tools. This means having an age-appropriate toothbrush and flossing tools.

Talk To Your Dentist Today!
There are many options out there to ensure your child’s oral health. From the moment your child gets his or her first tooth, you can begin forming those healthy oral care habits. You can create many of those habits at home from a very early age. The earlier kids understand how important taking care of their teeth is, the better off they will be in the long run. Talk to your pediatric dentist for tips and advice on choosing the best toothpaste for kids and best course of oral care for your child.
4e3ee9 64855153f3b6460bbdad469dc8e7e488 mv2

Can Adults Straighten Their Smile with ClearCorrect Orthodontics?

Orthodontics aren’t just for children and teens. If you’re an adult and are suffering from teeth misalignment, overcrowding, tooth gaps, or bite problems, read on to learn why you should consider orthodontics with Nurture Family Dental.

Understanding Orthodontic Care
Orthodontics is about moving teeth to create a healthy, functional, and attractive smile. It is a very specific field of dentistry that involves the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of orthodontic problems. While many people are under the impression that orthodontics is just for children and teens, that’s not true. If you’re an adult considering orthodontic treatment, this article is for you.

ClearCorrect Orthodontics
Over the last few years, more and more adults have transformed their smile and received straight teeth using ClearCorrect™ Orthodontics. These invisible, clear braces are custom removable aligners that work over time to move your teeth into place. ClearCorrect utilizes a series of clear, customized, removable appliances to move teeth at a gradual rate over time. Since adults have better oral health understanding than children and teens do, they may also be able to move their teeth faster than younger orthodontic patients.

Who Can Use ClearCorrect?
ClearCorrect orthodontics are ideal for correcting a few different problems that can result in a flawed smile with crooked teeth and bite problems. These conditions can include:
  • Teeth misalignment
  • Overcrowding
  • Tooth gaps
  • Bite problems (overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite)

ClearCorrect currently is available to treat adults and teenagers. However, as Consumer Guide to Dentistry explains, children who might not have all of their molars and senior citizens who present with more complicated dental cases also may be candidates for ClearCorrect, but should consult with their dentists to determine the treatment option that best suits their needs.

The benefits of this teeth-aligning treatment include:
  • Discreet options for straightening your teeth slowly over time — The clear aligners are essentially invisible, so you can wear them anywhere and not worry about feeling self-conscious.
  • Removable aligners for eating and cleaning — Cleaning metal braces can be difficult and time-consuming, but ClearCorrect aligners pop out easily any time you want to rinse or do a thorough cleaning. You can also remove the aligners temporarily for special events, and it will not significantly affect your treatment.
  • Fewer visits to the dentist during treatment — We’ll outline your entire plan and fabricate all the aligners you need for your treatment. You switch them at regular intervals, and only need to come in about once every four to six weeks for our dentists to check your progress.
  • Straighter, healthier teeth over time, less pain from misalignment and less risk of decay when you practice proper oral hygiene

When Other Treatment Might be Needed
While orthodontics can transform your smile, there are some instances in which orthodontic treatment might not be possible. These include:
  • Problems with tooth roots — If your tooth roots are damaged or low-quality due to bad dental care or gum disease problems, orthodontic treatment probably won’t work for you.
  • Advanced age — We are unable to treat orthodontic problems in patients who are aged 80 or older.
  • Underlying oral health conditions — If you have certain medical issues, orthodontics might not be the best way to reshape your teeth. Other treatments may be necessary first, including medications or surgery for certain medical conditions.

What You Should Expect from Orthodontic Treatment
Under orthodontic treatment, your teeth will shift gradually over time. There is typically little-to-no discomfort or pain with orthodontic treatment. However, we will perform a dental exam before beginning treatment to ensure that you don’t have any underlying conditions that would prevent the procedure from working for you.

At Nurture Family Dental, we will create a comprehensive orthodontic treatment plan that will outline what you can expect with your smile over the next few months.

Why You Should Align Your Smile with ClearCorrect
Having straight teeth and an aligned smile has more than just appearance benefits. Additionally, it can also improve your dental health. The American Association of Orthodontists explains that this is because straight teeth are easier to clean. With straight teeth, you can remove plaque more easily. If you have crooked teeth, there are more places in the mouth for plaque to hide and not easily be removed through daily brushing and flossing. Plaque buildup can result in cavities, gum inflammation, and if it progresses far enough, gum disease.

Make an Appointment with Nurture Family Dental
If you are ready to get the smile you want, make an appointment at Nurture Family Dental. Call us today to learn more about if you are a candidate for ClearCorrect Orthodontics. An aligned smile is just one appointment away!