The Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

It’s no secret that chewing gum containing sugar is bad for your teeth. However, there is a healthier option in sugar-free gum, with some brands even given the official ADA seal of approval.

So what are the benefits of sugar-free gum, and what should you look out for when shopping? Let’s take a look at some pros, cons, and tips to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy.

Main Benefits

The primary benefit of chewing gum is that it promotes the production of saliva. Saliva has a lot to do with the health and cleanliness of your mouth, believe it or not. Not only is it responsible for helping to clear food debris and plaque, but it also helps wash away the acids that coat your teeth and cause decay.

Chewing is the easiest way to produce saliva, and sugar-free gum does this without leaving extra sugars and acids in your mouth afterward. This is why dentists recommend sugar-free gum over the regular variety for your oral health.

Pros and Cons

The problem with sugar-free gums is that not all brands are created equal. Some contain controversial sweeteners that may have a negative effect on overall health.

To help you navigate the confusion, the ADA has given their seal of approval to the top brands they’ve deemed most beneficial. See them here: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/category-display?category=Sugar+Free+Chewing+Gum+for+Reducing+Cavities

The Best Use of Gum

While chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial, it’s important to remember that it cannot replace routing oral hygiene. This means brushing teeth once in the morning and then again at night, as well as flossing daily (preferably after your last meal of the day).

Most dentists agree that chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for about twenty minutes after every meal promotes saliva production, helps clean the teeth of excess food particles and acids, and can play a significant role in helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Find Out More

Hudson Valley Pediatrics provides quality dentistry in Middletown, Scotchtown, and Mechanicstown. If you’d like to find out more, please contact our office to schedule an appointment today!

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How to Make Brushing and Flossing Fun for Your Child

Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to ensure your child learns techniques for lifelong dental health. While most parents know that showing their child how to brush and floss is important, they may struggle to keep them engaged in the task. Children sometimes dislike this activity, as they do not see it as fun.

At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to the long-term health of children’s smiles through care both in our office and at home. We have created this guide to help parents turn daily brushing and flossing into a fun time for their children, encouraging positive habits for a lifetime.

Use a Themed Toothbrush

Modern toothbrush manufacturers offer a number of options to keep children interested in brushing and flossing. Whether your child likes Marvel, Disney, or Nickelodeon, there are almost certainly brushes themed with characters or shows they enjoy. This allows younger patients to turn brushing their teeth into a game starring the characters from their favorite shows, movies, and games.

Play Your Child’s Favorite Song as a Timer

With the availability of streaming music on nearly every connected device in your household and in your pocket, it is easier than ever to make a timer out of your child’s favorite song. If the song they choose ends before the recommended two minutes, start it over or begin to play another song they like. This makes the time spent brushing enjoyable.

Let Your Child Pick the Flavors of Toothpaste and Floss

There are a variety of flavors your child can choose from selecting oral hygiene products. The next time your child needs toothpaste or floss, let them go with you to purchase them. They can choose the flavor and even the theme of their brushing and flossing materials, ensuring that they are as happy as possible when keeping their teeth clean.

Brush and Floss with Your Child

Your child may prefer to clean their smile with you, rather than do so by themselves as you supervise. When it is time for your child to brush their teeth, do it with them. You can even turn their oral healthcare routine into a fun competition, where you see who can brush their teeth better.

Help Your Child Keep Their Smile Healthy

Making brushing and flossing fun for your child can ultimately be fun for you too. To learn other ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy while keeping them engaged, contact Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry today. Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman and our whole team want to see your child smile happily for a lifetime.

The Benefit of Sugar-Free Gum for Children

Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and a number of other holidays have children eating large amounts of candy — not to mention birthday celebrations at school. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay for young patients, and children who eat excessive amounts of sweets or sugar added foods tend to experience a higher number of cavities.

While the consumption of sugar is hard to prevent for patients of any age, encouraging the sugar-free gum as an alternative to normal candies, is a great way to establish positive and lasting habits for your child. At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to patients’ long term dental health and have created this guide to explain the benefits that sugar-free gum provides for children.

Less Sugar, Fewer Cavities

Sugar does not directly cause cavities but is fed upon by the oral bacteria creating acid as a byproduct. As children consume more sugar, the amount of bacteria in their smile grows, leading to greater concentration of acid. This altered pH balance leads to weakened dental enamel and eventually, allows the bacteria to reach the sensitive tissues inside the tooth.

By choosing sugar-free gums, you ensure oral bacteria have less to feed on, minimizing the risk for cavities and tooth infections.

Chewing Helps Keep Teeth Clean

The very act of chewing is essential in maintaining your dental health. This is especially beneficial for younger patients who may have difficulty properly brushing and flossing their teeth on a regular basis. Consistent chewing helps to clear food particles from the surfaces of the teeth, preventing the development of plaque and decay. Chewing also generates saliva, which is the body’s natural protection against decay keeps oral bacteria levels balanced.

Sugar Substitutes: Xylitol Strengthens Teeth

Many sugar-free gums use xylitol as a sweetener. This naturally occurring substance is entirely safe and acts in much the same way as fluoride. Xylitol remineralizes the enamel, helping to guard against decay, and leading to healthier teeth in the long term.

To learn more about the steps you can take to keep your child’s teeth healthy well into their adult years, contact Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry today. Dr. Geri Waldman and our team are dedicated to helping parents achieve lasting dental health.

A Parent’s Guide to Silver Diamine Fluoride

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) has become a topic of much discussion among parents looking to protect their child’s dental health without having to completely remove and fill portions of the hard dental tissues.

At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we provide young patients with comprehensive care and educate parents on the best and latest methods of cavity control. We have created this guide to help patients understand the details of SDF and how it can best be used to treat your child.

What is Silver Diamine Fluoride?

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a colorless and odorless liquid varnish that contains both silver and fluoride. As with traditional fluoride varnishes, the ingredients re-mineralize dental enamel, helping to prevent future decay and preserving patients’ dental health. The silver content of this liquid is entirely safe and acts as an antimicrobial material when applied to sites of decay.

How SDF is Used

SDF has been approved as a Class II medical device by the FDA, allowing dental professionals to apply the liquid in the same way as traditional fluoride. While SDF is sometimes presented as an alternative to drilling and filling cavities, this material is better served to augment normal preventive care for dental decay.

This liquid is best for patients who are experiencing significant decay in their baby teeth, but who do not require fillings for all caries. This not only helps to preserve a greater portion of the healthy tooth structure but encourages the long-term health of your child’s smile.

Are There Downsides to SDF?

The unfortunate downside to this liquid is that it turns decayed portions of tooth black. SDF also leaves a slightly metallic taste, though this fades quickly. These downsides are often weighed against the health benefits of silver diamine fluoride, making them generally beneficial for teeth that are not visible in the smile.

To learn more about the effects of Silver Diamine Fluoride and other materials used in the regular care of your child’s dental health, contact Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry today. Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman and our team are committed to total preventive dental care in Middletown.

How to Make Brushing and Flossing Fun for Your Child

Regular brushing and flossing are necessary to ensure your child learns techniques for lifelong dental health. While most parents know that showing their child how to brush and floss is important, they may struggle to keep them engaged with the task. Children sometimes dislike this activity, as they do not see it as fun.

At Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry, we are committed to the long term health of children’s smiles through care both in our office and at home. We have created this guide to help parents turn daily brushing and flossing into a fun time for their children, encouraging positive habits for a lifetime.

Use a Themed Toothbrush

Modern toothbrush manufacturers offer a number of options to keep children interested in brushing and flossing. Whether your child likes Marvel, Disney, or Nickelodeon, there are almost certainly brushes themed with characters or shows they enjoy. This allows younger patients to turn brushing their teeth into a game starring the characters from their favorite shows, movies, and games.

Play Your Child’s Favorite Song as a Timer

With the availability of streaming music on nearly every connected device in your household and in your pocket, it is easier than ever to make a timer out of your child’s favorite song. If the song they choose ends before the recommended two minutes, start it over or begin to play another song they like. This makes the time spent brushing pass quickly and enjoyably.

Let Your Child Pick the Flavors of Toothpaste and Floss

There are a variety of flavors your child can choose from selecting oral hygiene products. The next time your child needs toothpaste or floss, let them go with you to purchase them. They can choose the flavor and even the theme of their brushing and flossing materials, ensuring that they are as happy as possible when keeping their teeth clean.

Brush and Floss with Your Child

Your child may prefer to clean their smile with you, rather than do so by themselves as you supervise. When it is time for your child to brush their teeth, do it with them. You can even turn their oral healthcare routine into a fun competition, where you see who can brush their teeth better.

Help Your Child Keep Their Smile Healthy

Making brushing and flossing fun for your child can ultimately be fun for you too. To learn other ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy while keeping them engaged, contact Hudson Valley Pediatric Dentistry today. Dr. Geri-Lynn Waldman and our whole team want to see your child smile happily for a lifetime.