It’s not often that we think about math problems when it comes to the health of our teeth. However, Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow recommend doing just that when it comes to you and your kids brushing their teeth regularly!
What Does 2 x 2 Mean?
The “2 x 2″ phrase has been created by the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and the Ad Council to help parents and children understand the importance of regular brushing and flossing.
The phrase “2 x 2″ might seem like a math problem – and it is – but it’s also a really easy way to remember when to brush your teeth. This particular “2 x 2″ means that kids and adults of all ages should brush their teeth two times a day for a minimum of two minutes each time.
Why Brush for 2 Minutes?
It’s hard for kids to mark the passage of time, whether it’s two minutes or two days. Younger children don’t have a clear concept of the passing of time, and older kids simply get restless and distracted when it comes to brushing for two whole minutes.
To help keep kids brushing, the 2 x 2 website has provided a wide variety of 2 minute videos for kids to watch while they brush. Kids can enjoy short snippets of Elmo, The Dream Jam Band, and Adventure Time to help keep their brushing on track during the whole two minutes. Then your kids can track their progress each day with this 2 x 2 printable sheet.
Two minutes might seem like a long time, but think about it in the scope of an entire day – in 24 hours, there are 1,440 minutes. Even if you brush for a total of 4 minutes each day, that still leaves 1,436 minutes left to learn, play, work and have fun!
Toothbrushing Tips for a Healthy Mouth
Even though this is a helpful tool, it’s important not to set up a video and leave your child to his or her own devices during toothbrushing time. Here are helpful hints:
- Have your children choose toothbrushes that they like, just make sure the brushes have small bristles and can reach all areas of their mouths.
- Teach children to brush their teeth at an angle along the gumline.
- Provide fluoride toothpaste for kids to brush with, and ensure they get in the habit of spitting it out when brushing is done (as opposed to swallowing it).
- Teach kids to brush all surfaces of their teeth, including those hard to reach areas as well as their tongues.
As your children grow older and begin to brush on their own, dentists in Portland, OR Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow encourage parents to check how well their children are brushing and flossing each day to ensure the best dental health. Call 503-236-1449 today to schedule a dental appointment for your child at Mt. Tabor Dental.
Great amounts of sugar can be detrimental to children at any time of the year, including Easter. Sticky jelly beans and chocolate bunnies, while popular, can help cavities form in your child’s teeth.
Dentists in Portland, Oregon Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental suggest using creativity during this time of year to present kids with these healthy and fun snacks!
A Smoothie a Bunny Would Love
Smoothies are an excellent way to fortify a child’s diet in a fun and easy way. To help your kids be as healthy as a bunny, start this smoothie off right with 1 cup of milk and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cooked carrots. Add 1/2 cup of yogurt (flavored as desired) and 1 tablespoon of honey – blend well with ice!
Experiment with different foods and flavors to customize smoothies. Add spinach or kale to the mix for additional veggies. A scoop of vanilla protein powder can add a slight sweetness, along with fresh or frozen fruits like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.
Play With Your Food
Salads are basically combinations of vegetables or fruits that are healthy and delicious. To make them a little more fun for your kids this Easter, prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables that your kids can cut into different shapes.
Present a large lettuce leaf as the “canvas,” and have your kids create different kinds of bunny or Easter salads using the fruits and vegetables on hand. For example, a slice of pineapple can be the start of a cute bunny face. Apple slices can form the bunny ears, and cut olives, cucumber or carrots can be used to make a bunny nose, eyes, and whiskers. Help younger children cut out the shapes they need and watch the healthy creativity unfold!
Healthy Treats in a Nest
At this time of year, nests are made from a combination of chocolate and coconut, which doesn’t make the healthiest of snacks. Make your own version using shredded wheat and all-natural coconut to dress up a healthy dessert.
Take five to six large shredded wheat pieces without the coating of frosting and crumble them into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup brown or organic sugar (if desired) and 3/4 cup of coconut. Mix together and add 1/2 a stick of melted butter to start (you may need to add a bit more).
Once combined, press the mixture gently into muffin cups to form the shape of nests. Bake them for ten minutes at 350 degrees. Once they’re cooled, remove them from the pan and fill with fresh fruit or yogurt for a delicious treat!
Portland Oregon dentists and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage parents to take this opportunity to make healthier Easter treats for kids to help them take care of their teeth. For an appointment to see Dr. Todd Beck or Dr. Jacob Morrow, call 503-236-1449 today!
Spring cleaning is traditionally the time of year where we clean out the closets and scrub down the house after a long, dreary winter. But have you ever considered that spring cleaning is also excellent for your dental health?
Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental encourage you to take this opportunity to do some spring cleaning for the health of your teeth and mouth!
Time for a Regular Check Up
At Mt. Tabor Dental, the Portland dentists and staff like to see patients at least two times a year. This regular routine of comprehensive oral exams and teeth cleanings keeps the doctors and patients aware of any changes in your mouth.
At a regular check up, Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow focus on a wide range of elements to help ensure optimal dental health, including:
- evidence of gum disease
- development of tooth decay
- TMJ health
- any tooth trauma
- oral cancer screening
Collecting this information about your oral health on a regular basis is essential to providing the most accurate and effective treatment plan for your needs over time. It’s important to remember that while visits twice a year is recommended, these visits may need to be more often based on your personal dental health needs.
Gentle and Thorough Cleaning
Part of the routine appointments include a thorough teeth cleaning with a gentle touch by one of our hygienists. This type of spring cleaning clears away any build up of plaque that has hardened into tartar and threatens the health of your teeth and gums.
While a thorough teeth cleaning is necessary, the entire team at Mt. Tabor Dental focus on your personal level of comfort, doing all they can to help you feel relaxed. Our fun-loving atmosphere can help you look forward to your regular dental care appointments!
At-Home Dental Care
While regular teeth cleaning and dental exams are essential, dental care routines at home contribute greatly to overall health. To keep your smile healthy and bright between appointments, it is important to follow these easy steps:
- Monitor your food and beverage intake, cutting out those that are high in sugar
- Focus on including lean protein sources, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits in your every day dietary choices
- Brush teeth twice a day, and preferably once after each meal
- Floss at least once a day in those hard-to-reach places where plaque gathers
This time of spring cleaning is also a great time to determine whether or not it’s been awhile since you’ve replaced your toothbrush. Take this opportunity to get one that’s gentle for your teeth, or make an appointment to come in and get one from us at Mt. Tabor Dental along with your exam and teeth cleaning. Call (503) 236-1449 for your personal appointment!
The rainy and dreary winter months here in Portland are often associated with the symptoms of cold and flu. If you are suffering with symptoms like fever, congestion, coughing and digestive issues, perhaps you can find comfort in knowing you are not alone.
And like others who are suffering, you probably want to be done with these symptoms as soon as possible. Here are some tips from dentists in Portland, Oregon Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental to help you get and stay healthy this winter.
1. Focus on Nutrient-Rich Food
The food that is good for your teeth is also great for your overall dental health. Dark, leafy greens like kale provide essential nutrients that include beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, and iron to help you stay healthy. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons contain vitamin C and potassium as well as fiber, all of which will boost your health. Additional nutrient-rich winter favorites include winter squash varieties, cranberries, and beans.
In more general terms, prioritize vegetables and fruits for each meal and snack. Crunchy ones like carrots, apples and celery also naturally clean your teeth while you eat. Opt for lean meat – turkey is a great option during this time of year – and low-fat dairy foods to round out a healthy diet.
2. Prioritize Exercise
When it’s cold and rainy, there’s a great temptation to bundle up under a fleece blanket on the couch with a good book. This is a great winter activity in moderation, balanced with regular exercise during these dreary winter months.
Schedule time every day – even if it’s only 30 minutes – to get out in the fresh air and walk or head to the gym for some much-needed physical activity. Here in Portland, invest in a sturdy pair of rainboots and a high-quality umbrella to keep the bad-weather excuses at bay. Take advantage of the nearby winter snow to practice fun sports like sledding, snowshoeing and skiing to get your blood pumping and stay active.
3. Sleep Well
If winter weather is good for anything, it’s sleep. Take advantage of the longer nights and darkness and start going to bed earlier. If you’re already feeling sick, the extra sleep will help you feel better faster. If you’re not yet sick, the rest can help you from getting whatever cold or flu virus is going around.
4. Know Your Health Baseline
Knowing your health baseline is an important step to staying healthy now and in later years. If you haven’t had a physical and a flu shot in awhile, make an appointment to see your doctor to get thoroughly checked out. Another important step is to come in a see Portland dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow, who can help diagnose and treat oral health concerns and help you feel strong and healthy again!
At Mt. Tabor Dental, Portland Oregon dentists Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow often get asked which floss is best.
The answer: “Any dental floss that you use every day as part of your daily dental care routine.”
That said, there are many varieties of dental floss out there. One way to ensure that you can resolve to floss during this new year is to find the kind that you really like!
The History of Dental Floss
The practice of cleaning in-between teeth is not a new idea. Anthropologists studying the remains of ancient cultures have found evidence of implements used specifically to clean between teeth.
Credit for the invention of what we know as dental floss goes to a dentist by the name of Levi Spear Parmly, who practiced in New Orleans in the early to mid-1800s. He is best known for publishing literature encouraging his patients to use silk thread to clean in between their teeth. The idea evolved and was eventually picked up by Johnson & Johnson, who in 1896 produced an unwaxed dental floss for the open market.
Which Floss Should I Buy?
You only need to stand in the oral care aisle of the drug store or grocery store to see that there are several different varieties of floss. But which is the best, and which one should you buy?
The answer is simple: the one that you will use every day.
A more technical answer is to choose between the two main kinds of floss, which are multifilament and monofilament.
- Multifilament floss is generally made of nylon or silk and is the most common. It’s also the least expensive and comes in a variety of kinds and flavors.
- Monofilament floss is made of a type of rubber or plastic material. It tends to be a bit more expensive, but some patients find that it’s easier to use because it doesn’t tear.
Regardless of which general type of dental floss you choose to use, it’s important to know that they also come in a variety of flavors, including unflavored, mint, cinnamon, bubble gum, and even bacon!
Why Should I Floss?
Flossing every day is part of a two-step routine to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Dental floss provides a simple and effective way to clean those surfaces in-between that are difficult to impossible to reach by brushing alone. While brushing your teeth is an essential first step in a good dental care routine, flossing is the vital second step that often gets left out.
These simple tips can help you make flossing a part of your daily health care regimen. If you want additional help, dentists in Portland, OR Dr. Beck, Dr. Morrow and their staff at Mt. Tabor Dental can show you how to get the most out of flossing!
Flossing, like anything else worth doing, takes some practice over a period of time. There are many myths out there regarding flossing, so many of our patients at Mt. Tabor Dental either grab the dental floss to use right before each regular appointment with our dentists in Portland, Oregon Dr. Todd Beck and Dr. Jacob Morrow or don’t do it at all.
The fact is that flossing is both essential to maintaining good dental health and easier than you might think. Here are simple tips to help you floss for the new year!
Choose Your Favorite Floss
Believe it or not, there are many types of floss from which to choose, and you may have a preference that will encourage you to floss. Many of our patients prefer woven floss, but additional kinds of dental floss include:
Some dental floss is thicker than others depending on how it’s constructed. The best way to find out which one you like best is to take a few different samples during your regular dental appointment with Dr. Beck or Dr. Morrow at Mt. Tabor Dental.
It’s also important to remember that dental floss comes in a variety of flavors. Don’t prefer mint while you floss? Try cinnamon. Having a hard time getting your kids to use dental floss each day? Consider grabbing the bubble gum flavor for them.
Flossing Any Way is the Right Way
Some of our patients who visit Mt. Tabor Dental are concerned that they may floss “the wrong way,” but there is simply no wrong way to floss. Grab a length of floss that is 12″ to 18″ long.
Wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand, and the rest around the middle finger of the other hand. Use your thumbs and forefingers to grasp the floss and gently place the floss between the teeth.
Pull the length of floss down between your teeth, and curve it around the surface of each tooth once the floss reaches the gum line. For additional help with how best to floss at home, just ask us during your next appointment. Any of the staff and Portland, Oregon dentists at Mt. Tabor Dental would be happy to help you with your personal flossing technique!
Keep Floss in Easy Reach
One of the myths regarding flossing teeth is that we’re too busy, and this simply isn’t true. One way to be faster at flossing is to practice, and dental floss is portable enough to take anywhere. Grab extras and leave them in your car, purse, by the phone, and – of course – by the bathroom sink so that you see them often and are reminded to floss. Then use it while you’re sitting in traffic or after dinner in a restaurant – even a couple of minutes a day can benefit your smile!