Dr. Freano emphasizes the dental and physical health benefits associated with maintaining a clean and healthy smile. Preventive dental care enables he and his staff to spot problems in the early stages and to professionally clean a patient’s teeth.

A professional dental cleaning goes beyond what your toothbrush can do and helps to remove plaque from those hard to reach spots and ensure the teeth are clean and healthy along the gum line.

Preventive Care: What to Expect

During a routine preventive care visit with Dr. Freano in his Lexington dentist office, patients can expect a thorough exam and an opportunity to discuss their personal concerns. A routine exam will include:

  • Professional dental cleaning
  • Dental x-rays
  • Periodontal screening
  • Dental caries (cavities) screening
  • Occlusal analysis to examine the position of the bite

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The Secret To Getting Your Child To Floss Daily

It’s a fact of life for parents, kids emulate what they do. You teach your child not to talk to strangers, to wash his or her hands, even how to lock the door at night. You explain to them the danger of not taking precautions, but they do these things because they know you do them.

Dental care is no different. Children will brush and floss regularly because the adults in the house do it. The key is to approach the subject as a family. Discuss what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth. Most will readily accept brushing, because they feel an immediate change when their teeth are clean. Flossing takes more work.

It Starts in the Dentist Office

Proper flossing is learned, and who better to ask for instructions than your dentist? Flossing helps remove food and other debris from between the teeth, but there is a technique to it. If you do it incorrectly, you may cut into gums causing pain. This negative reinforcement makes a child hesitant to floss, so learn the right way from the professionals. Once done correctly, it will become a natural extension of a child’s dental routine.

Make It a Family Affair

When kids are young, they enjoy mimicking their role models. Practice flossing together as a family when your children are young. As they grow older, they will appreciate privacy more, but the habit you help them form will stay with them. Providing a good example each day will matter, but only if they see what you are doing.

Use a Game Timer

Kids are naturally competitive. You can make a game out of flossing by timing the process. The goal is not to finish early, but the stay the distance – anyone still flossing his or her teeth when the buzzer sounds wins. You might give them points for each day they make it to the finish line and offer prizes at the end of the week, such as a few extra dollars with allowance or a chance to pick the movie.

Put It to Music

For younger children, try playing their favorite song when they floss. Audio is a better choice than playing a video, because it is less distracting. You want the child to concentrate on the cleaning ritual, just make sure the song is long enough for them to do an effective job. Explain that they should keep flossing the way the dentist showed them until the music stops.

Floss Early in the Evening

Sleepy kids won’t do a good job flossing or brushing for that matter. Make oral hygiene an early evening routine, after they have a snack, for example. No one knows your child better than you, so pick a time that he or she is alert, but will not be eating or drinking anything but water for the rest of the night.

Put Them in Control

Floss comes in many different styles. Let your children help find the right one for them. The American Dental Society points out it really doesn’t matter what kind of floss a person uses. The market is full of distinctive types – waxed, unwaxed, flat, wide and flavored – give your kids a chance to experiment with each kind. That will instill a sense of control while letting them have some fun finding the right one.

Tell the Story of Good and Evil

Kids love a fairytale. Make flossing into an adventure where bacteria are the bad guys and floss the sword. Your champion grabs the sword for an epic battle with every floss session. Make it create and inspiring enough to make your child want to floss just to hear the story again. Pretty soon, he or she will be telling it in their minds each time they floss. Battling evil is a great incentive.

Flossing doesn’t have to be a mundane task. The more meaning you make it, the more interesting it will be for your child. Ask your dentist for suggestions on how to make flossing fun for kids.

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