Importance of Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Your Child’s Dental Health

omega 3 fatty acidsOmega 3 is a group of fatty acids commonly extracted from marine and plant oils. It is considered  “good fat” and is helpful in preventing cardiovascular and neurological problems and arthritis. Unfortunately, it cannot be synthesized in the body and requires dietary supplementation. Apart from the systemic benefits, a Japanese study has found that Omega 3 can significantly reduce risk of periodontal disease. A research study from the University of Pittsburgh found that increasing Omega 3 fatty acids in children may result in enhancement of memory. In addition, other studies have documented that Omega 3 has a lot of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects.

Why is it important for your child?

Children who are growing require enhanced amounts of dietary supplements such as minerals and vitamins, to ensure proper growth and development. The Omega 3 fatty acids and their derivatives are also equally important in ensuring adequate growth of children. These fatty acids not only improve the general health of growing children, but are also helpful in ensuring dental health. By reducing the incidence of infections and inflammation within the oral cavity, Omega 3 fatty acids and their derivatives enhance the lifespan and functionality of teeth.

Anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to possess significant anti-inflammatory effects, and hence are highly effective in reversing oral and dental inflammation, such as stomatitis, burning mouth syndrome and even gingivitis.

 Antibacterial effects of Omega 3

Recent research studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids possess potent anti-bacterial properties, in addition to inflammation relieving capabilities. Various Omega 3 fatty acids and their derivatives possess the ability to inhibit bacterial activity of Streptomcoccus mutans, candida albicans and porphyromonas gingivalis. These microbes have been implicated in various oral pathological conditions such as periodontitis and fungal infections.

Anti-Cancer properties of Omega 3

A study published in the scientific journal Carcinogenesis showed that Omega 3 fatty acids might have a role in suppressing oral and skin malignancies as well as pre-malignant conditions, most common among which is the oral squamous cell carcinoma. It was found that small doses of Omega 3 fatty acids that are non-lethal for the normal cells, could effectively destroy malignant cells.

How to Increase intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

The human body possesses limited capacity to synthesize Omega 3 fatty acids on its own which is augmented by the intake of diets that are rich in these components, or supplements that have been specifically created to increase body’s Omega 3 levels. One the most common and easily accessible source of Omega 3 fatty acids is fish. Various marine animals such as sardine, tuna and salmon are rich in these fatty acids. In the case of plants, walnuts and flaxseeds are known to be excellent reservoirs. Various pharmaceutical companies provide therapeutic agents that are rich in Omega fatty acids for those who do not have access to natural sources of Omega 3 or for those who are vegetarians.

Tips For Improving Your Childs’s Dental Health

Everybody loves to see a child’s brand new glittery white teeth, but very few people know the importance of looking after them. The teeth and mouth are regarded as the gateway to the body so it is imperative to have good dental hygiene in order to have a good general health. It is equally important to take good care of your child’s dental health.

Parents shoulchild's dental healthd develop a habit of cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they see the first tooth erupt.  Decay and cavities are a slowly progressing phenomenon, and regular brushing of your child’s teeth twice a day is an effective barrier against it. The American Dental Association recommends that parents visit the dentist when their child grows their first tooth so they can be taught about the various aspects of taking care of their child’s dental health.

Children normally grow a tooth around 6 months of age. This is the time when parents should brush their teeth, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste. However, it should be kept in mind that the toothpaste should be used sparingly, and every effort is made to avoid ingestion. Parents should initially brush their children’s teeth themselves, and then afterwards, allow the children do it themselves as they become capable to do so. Parents should supervise them until they are at least eight. This is done to minimize the risk of adverse effects due to toothpaste consumption, which may become a possibility if large amounts are ingested.

Many children don’t exactly love to brush their teeth. Parents should try to make it a fun activity so that they enjoy brushing. A timer can be used to ensure brushing is carried out for a sufficient time, and physical inspection of your child’s teeth can be performed to assess if the brushing was adequate. Parents can also brush their teeth in front of their children to serve as a role model and demonstrate the importance of this activity.

Taking your child frequently to the dentist can go a long way in ensuring their dental health. Cavities in teeth can sometimes develop in those areas of the teeth that cannot be visible through naked eye, and requires a dentist and in some cases, x-rays to confirm presence of tooth decay. If your children don’t develop good dental hygiene at an early age, it will be very difficult in later years to convince them.

Another aspect that should be taken care of is the diet, which should be rich in calcium and fluoride to assist in healthy tooth development. These elements are found in products such as milk and eggs. Furthermore, sugar intake of your child should be carefully monitored because sugar is the main culprit in creating an environment in the mouth that is conducive to tooth decay. Children tend to sleep while milk bottles are in their mouth, and parents should ensure to brush their children’s teeth, or at least rinse their mouths with water after breast or bottle feeding to minimize growth of cavity causing bacteria.

In a nutshell, parents should start taking care of their children’s teeth right after their appearance because healthy dental health ensures a healthy mind and body.

Help Children Overcome Fear Of The Dentist

fear of the dentistThe reason most children have a fear of the dentist is because of the unknown. Many may have not visited a dentist before and don’t know what to expect. They might see the dentist as someone who causes pain. This is because they might have seen their parents experience discomfort after a major dental procedure.  Or they may not be able to differentiate between the dentist and the doctor where they may have been given shots. There are some things that we can do to help our children overcome fear of the dentist.

Model correct behavior – The next time you have a dental appointment, take your child with you.  Have the child watch the entire process and explain what is happening as it happens. After, make sure your child is aware of how amazing your newly cleaned teeth feel and how happy you are to have healthy teeth and gums.

Read dentist stories to your children – There are many children’s books available that talk about visiting the dentist and make it fun for children.  This can help relieve some of the unknown and fear from your child.

Pretend play – Role playing with your children is a great way to have them know what it would be like at the dental office.  Create a pretend dental office in your house with fake instruments and all.  Take turns with your child pretending to be the dentist and patient. Pretend to check your child’s teeth and talk to your child about brushing and flossing.

Bring your child’s favorite toy – You can talk to the dentist ahead of time and make sure that it is OK to bring your child’s favorite toy with you. This helps the child feel more safe and happy.

Reassure them – While you are at the dentist, be sure to let your child know how great they are doing. Give them encouragement and positive affirmations.

How Parents Can Help Kids Overcome Fear Of The Dentist|Village Dental

Teeth Grinding In Children

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is actually more common in children than adults. It is believed that about 30% of children grind or clench their teeth. Usually, they move past this phase by the time they are a teenager.

Why do children grind their teeth?  Kids grind their teeth for similar reasons that adults do.  Some of these reasons are stress, allergies, tooth loss, jaw growth, or a response to pain like an earache or toothache.

How do I know if my child grinds their teeth? Many kids who grind their teeth do it in their sleep and have no idea they are doing it. Sometimes they may feel jaw, face, neck or shoulder pain because of it. If your child grinds their teeth, it can result in some damage.  It can cause fractured teeth, abnormal wear on teeth, increase sensitivity, receding gums and jaw misalignment.

Treatment for teeth grinding includes close monitoring of your child’s teeth.  They can use a mouth guard to protect their teeth from damage.  If the grinding is a result of stress, it is important to find out what is bothering them.  If you suspect your child grinds their teeth, visit your dentist for a full evaluation.

Do Kids Grind Their Teeth?|Marialana Perrone

Make Brushing Magical

make brushing magicalDentalCare.Com provides a fun way to make brushing magical.  This activity booklet from Disney, Crest, and OralB includes fun activities for kids that remind them the importance of brushing their teeth.

You will find mazes, crossword puzzles, matching and coloring activities.  If you have a child that doesn’t think brushing is fun (and what child does!), print out this fun activity booklet for them. Check it out here.