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 It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Braces as an adult? No way. At least, that was what I thought when my dentist told me that I was going to have to see an orthodontist about my crooked teeth. But my teeth were so misaligned that they were causing me pain when I chewed, so I decided to at least look into it. Turns out braces today are nothing like the ones my friends had when I was a kid. Mine were practically invisible, and I didn't need to wear them that long. I started this blog to encourage other people like me who are nervous about the prospect of wearing braces as an adult. My straight smile is so worth the trips to the orthodontist, and wearing braces was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Read on to find out more about how you can straighten your smile.

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It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Teaching Your Child to Enjoy Brushing

by Jacqueline Byrd

If you have a small child, teaching them the importance of brushing their teeth will be one of the many life lessons you will be responsible to teach them. There are several ways to instill positive tooth cleaning practices into your child's daily routine. Here are some ideas you can use to help your child learn that brushing their teeth is an act to take seriously while putting some fun into the procedure.

Show Some Examples

To teach a young child about why teeth should be brushed, hands-on activities may be best to help get the point across. Print out some pictures of decayed teeth and bright healthy smiles from webpages. Glue these to index cards. Give your child two pieces of cardstock, one with the words "clean teeth" and the other with the words "decayed teeth" on the tops.

Have your child glue each index card to the appropriately labeled piece of cardstock. Discuss the examples in detail so your child knows the white teeth got that way from regular brushing. Showing your child what decayed teeth look like will help your child try their best to avoid having their own teeth end up looking this way, possibly having them brush regularly as a result.

Another idea is to laminate pictures of people smiling. Use a black dry-erase marker to make a few decayed spots on the teeth of the people in the pictures by drawing them directly on the lamination material. Have your child use a toothbrush to brush away the decayed areas, leaving the people with white, healthy teeth.

Use a Timer

When your child goes into the bathroom to brush their teeth, using a timer can help them be sure they are getting in enough brushing time to do a good job. Set out an hourglass with sand inside and tell your child they must brush their teeth until the sand is completely gone. Another idea is to start playing a song on your cell phone and tell your child not to stop brushing until the music stops. Look for fun toothbrushing songs to download to make the experience festive.

Get Involved

One fun way to get your child to brush their teeth is to do it right along side them. Grab your toothbrush and toothpaste and brush together. Make funny faces at each other as you brush. Try playing follow the leader with which brushstrokes you will use and alternate whose turn it is to be the leader. Brushing together will soon become a bonding time and you will both have healthy teeth as an extra incentive. For more ideas, talk to a pediatric dentist.