Guest contributor and Marin County dentist Dr. Steven McConnell gives parents some tips on optimal oral health for children and teens.
Every parent wants his or her children to have optimum health. Fortunately, in dentistry we now know that optimizing oral heath actually improves our overall health. Although there have been countless articles about the link between oral health and overall health for adults, the reality is that the same holds true for infants, children, and teens as well. When the mouth is optimally healthy we are much more resistant to the numerous bacterial and viral infections that we have the potential to be exposed to every day. Common sense tells us that everything we eat and drink as well as the air we breathe all passes either through the mouth, or nasal passages.
All humans have a population of bacteria that inhabits this area, both good bacteria (important for proper digestion), and bad bacteria (causes gum disease and cavities). When the bad bacteria are allowed to proliferate, the delicate balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria is upset. If the mouth is not in healthy balance, the bad bacteria dominate the mouth, lowering the immune response and making us more susceptible to infection.
Marin Mommies presents a guest article by Marin mom and Marriage and Family Therapist Spencer Jacobs.
For many of you the mere mention of THE HOLIDAY SEASON is too much too soon. This season is full of meaning for our culture and holds a wide spectrum of traditions, memories and images for each individual. It can stir up emotions and issues for many of us- even those of us who LOVE the holidays. We’ve all seen countless movies illuminating the highs and lows of Christmas but the expectations of this season can create discomforts that are very real. The bright side is many of these issues can be helped with insight, planning and support. We cannot always control the effects of stress or even it’s root cause, but we can take steps to reduce the impact of stress before it de-rails us and the ones we love most.
Here are a few tips to keep you and your family light and bright this holiday season:
Consider your history with the holidays. Do you find yourself feeling low every year at a certain day or time? Will this be the first holiday since the loss of a loved one? Does an annual event leave you rattled each year? Alter traditions that leave you feeling low or stressed. Add new rituals that support your current life and do your best to avoid events that don’t make you feel good.
At what age should your child have his or her first visit to the dentist? Marin pediatric dentist Dr. Neidre Banakus tells us why it's important to visit the dentist by your child's first birthday in this guest article.
Have you asked yourself, “When should my child have their first dental appointment?” This is a very common question among parents and the answer may surprise you. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Banakus recommend “First Visit by First Birthday.”
Why so young?
For children, this is a time of change and development in their world and their teeth are appearing as well. The reason that this visit is crucial is not only to begin a relationship with children to their pediatric dentist, but also to ensure their mouth is healthy and that growth and development are normal.
Guest contributor and Marin dentist Dr. Steven McConnell gives us some tips on oral hygiene for babies, young children, and parents. Good oral health begins at day one, so make sure you get your children on track for a lifetime of healthy habits.
Caring for kids starts with caring for yourself, not only because periodontal disease can be contagious, but it is always good to lead by example.
For babies be sure to use dental friendly pacifiers and bottle nipples. The classic is the Nuk design.
Always avoid putting babies to bed with any bottles as the pooled milk or juice can lead to severe decay.
On babies, before teeth are present, use single gauze or thin wash cloth to gently displace bacteria-rich film that sticks to gum ridges. As they get teeth, continue to use gauze or wash cloth. Be sure to use dental-friendly pacifiers and bottle nipples. Never put them to bed with a bottle as the pooled milk or juice can lead to severe decay.
Discover the essential knowledge of natural movement development, social interactions and self-motivated learning in the baby’s first year in the Amazing Babies Moving Program for Educators, Professionals and Parents. The Amazing Babies Moving Program provides participants with a unique two-part framework for understanding natural movement development in the baby’s first year. The benefits of this approach is that it provides a clear guide to understanding movement development, pre-verbal communication and self-motivated learning in babies. Parents, educators, and professionals will find it an effective way to communicate this important information to actively support parents and babies in the first year.
The Amazing Babies Moving Approach covers natural movement, communication and learning development from birth to walking.
Marin parent coach, family therapist, and sleep researcher Angelique Millette has helped countless parents, especially in the area of getting babies, toddlers, and children to get the good night's sleep they need. She is also the creator of the Hands-to-Heart Sleep Swaddle, a combination swaddle and sleep sack that helps babies go to sleep the natural and safe way.
If you're a parent, you're either actively involved in swaddling your baby to try to get her to sleep, or you remember doing it. I always thought it was incredible the way the Marin General maternity staff wrapped up both our kids snug and tight. When we tried it, they'd invariably develop amazing "Houdini Hands" skills and wriggle their way free from the swaddling, no matter how snug and comfy we thought it was.
With our copious amounts of rainfall this season, it's little wonder that we're seeing lush amounts of vegetation in Marin's forests and meadows. Unfortunately, much of this otherwise beautiful greenery is in the form of poison oak, an irritating plant that anyone participating in outdoor activities this summer should be wary of, especially children who may not be on the lookout for this distinctive shrub with leaves grouped in threes.
Please note that this post should not be a substitute for proper medical advice—if you suspect that someone in your family has developed a reaction to poison oak, go see your doctor or a dermatologist.
We just got back from our first camping trip of the season, and ran into a notorious and ubiquitous outdoor pest—the tick. We managed to get up-close-and-personal with one of the nasty little critters when we found one hanging out on my son's shoulder when we were getting him ready for bed. Fortunately, it hadn't bitten him yet, and we caught and disposed of the tick quickly and easily. It did reinforce for us the need to be vigilant in looking for ticks after most outdoor activities.
Often as small as a sesame seed, these nasty little parasites can be found all over California—you've no doubt seen the tick warning signs at many trailheads throughout Marin and the Bay Area. While in times past they were regarded as more of a nuisance than anything else, in the last 20 years or so they’ve become vectors for serious health problems, including the infamous Lyme disease. Of course, this article should not be a substitute for genuine medical advice, so if you suspect a real health problem, talk to your pediatrician.
How should your child's language development be progressing? Marin Speech Pathologist Cydney Doerres, MS, CCC, fills us in on children's important developmental milestones and potential causes for concern in this guest article.
Do you recall how excited you were when your child said his first word? Talking and walking are two of the most important developmental milestones in a child’s and a parent’s life. We, as parents, often gage our children’s overall development based on the language that he understands and is producing. Catching a speech or language delay early is important as the ability to communicate helps your child to develop learning, play and social skills in preschool and earlier.
As a Speech and Language Pathologist/Therapist the most frequent question I hear from professionals, family, friends and parents is “Is my child talking at the right level for his/her age?” If I feel that I have observed the child well enough, then I can provide a confident answer, however, I have often only just met the child!