Category Archives: Family Dentistry

Idaho Falls Pediatric Dentistry

Tips to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

By: Michelle Tunquist

Getting kids to brush their teeth can be a chore that few parents look forward to.  If your children are like mine, they’ve been known to run and hide as soon as the words “brush your teeth” are muttered.  Little kids are rarely concerned about the future of their teeth, and many think losing a couple teeth is actually something that they wouldn’t mind.  Changing teeth brushing from a chore to a positive experience can make a big difference in getting your kids to brush.  Here are a few tips for how to make teeth brushing go more smoothly.

  • Show them the Plaque.  Plaque-disclosing tablets color the plaque on your child’s teeth and allow them to really see where they need to brush.  Many kids love to use these tablets and it helps them understand how to brush more effectively.  There are also some mouthwashes that will tint plaque and allow kids to see where they should brush.  You can find plaque-disclosing tablets at the dentist, the pharmacist’s counter and online.
  • Make it Fun. Kids are more likely to brush if it is a positive experience.  Rather than make it  another boring chore, liven it up and make it fun.  Try:
  • Making Bubbles. Have a competition with your kids to see who can make the most bubbles.  This will make brushing fun and encourage them to brush more.  After all, the more they brush, the more bubbles they will make.
  • Brushing with a Stuffed Animal. Let them bring a friend to brushing time.  Simply bringing a stuffed animal will make the process more fun.  Maybe their friend needs his/her teeth brushed too.
  • Singing a Song. Choose a favorite song and play it while they brush, or encourage them to sing a favorite song in their head.
  • Using an Egg Timer. Kids love to use timers.  Set up the timer and have them brush till the sand runs out.
  • Praise Your Kids. Everyone loves to get praised.  When your kids do a good job, let them know you appreciate their efforts.  It takes very little effort to say a positive word, but it can make the difference in how your kids feel about teeth brushing time.
  • Let them Pick the Toothpaste/Toothbrush. There are all types of fun toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Letting your kids pick their favorite character can motivate them to brush their teeth.  Sometimes all it takes to look forward to teeth brushing time is their favorite cartoon character.

Tips for Parents

As parents, we are ultimately responsible for the health of our children’s teeth.  Here are a few tips to help keep their teeth healthy and bright.

  • Schedule your kid’s first appointment when they are one years old.  The earlier they come in, the better.  This allows them to build a positive experience at the dentist and make sure that healthy habits start when they are little.
  • Brush your kid’s teeth twice a day.  Once they begin brushing on their own, make sure to continue to check that they are doing a good job and removing all food residue.
  • Floss your kid’s teeth as soon as they start touching.  Once teeth are close together, food can easily get caught between the teeth and cause teeth to decay.  If regular flossing is difficult, use child friendly flossers.
  • Talk to your dentist about sealants.  Sealants protect teeth and prevent cavities.

Idaho Falls Dentist Keeps Kids Smiling

At our Idaho Falls family dentistry, we care about our littlest patients and want them to enjoy their experience at the dentist.  We strive to make their visit as comfortable as possible.  Call today to make an appointment for your little ones.

When Should I Take My Children For Their First Dental Visit?

  Child at Idaho Falls DentistPart of maintaining a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene is getting an early start!  We recommend starting to bring your children to the dentist around the age of 3 or 4, unless you notice something of concern when helping your children with their at home dental care.  On a child’s first visit, we will introduce them to all the materials and instruments we will be using to clean their teeth.  We have our special “spinning toothbrush” that “tickles” their teeth clean and “Mr.Thirsty” that helps suck up any water “Mr.Squirty” gets in their mouth so they don’t have to swallow it!  After their teeth are all sparkly clean, we will floss in between their teeth and show them how to do it on their own using a tooth flosser.  Next, the child has the choice of several yummy flavors of fluoride we will either brush on their teeth or place in a tray that goes in the child’s mouth.  The fluoride is like vitamins for their teeth to help them grow strong and healthy!  Then it’s the Dentist’s turn to take at look at your child’s nice clean smile!  He will usually count their teeth for Visit to Idaho Falls Dentistthem, checking for any signs of decay as he goes.  After the Dentist is done, the child gets their very own toothbrush bag with new toothbrush, floss, kid flosser, and toothpaste!  The best part is next!  PRIZES!  We have a special token we give to the child to put into our prize machine for being such a great helper!  


 We like to see children every 6 months, just as we do adults, to clean and check all the teeth and catch anything as early as possible before it becomes a problem.  Between the ages of 5 and 6 we will take a few digital films of the child’s teeth to detect any decay that may be starting between the teeth.  We can’t see these areas by visually looking in their mouth, so films help to catch decay early.  In between cleanings, we recommend you help your children at home with their brushing and flossing.  Try to encourage 2 minutes of brushing at least once in the morning and once at night, followed by flossing at night to remove debris from between the teeth.  We also recommend a Act Mouthrinsedaily fluoride mouth rinse if your child is able to swish and spit it out.  A good brand for kids is ACT Anticavity for Kids. For more information on the ACT mouth rinse, click on the image of the bottle to go to their website. 


  Some children may be a little apprehensive at first when coming to the Dentist because it’s new and unfamiliar.  Try practicing with your children at home before their appointment.  Have them practice opening and closing their mouth and count their teeth informing them that when the Dentist looks he will count their teeth too.  Talk to your children about your visits to the Dentist and how you get your teeth cleaned too so they know it’s easy.  Most Idaho Falls Dentistimportantly, be positive when talking with them and try not to use any scary words such as drill, needles, or shots.  We always avoid those words and usually come up with some silly names for the instruments we use so things don’t seem so scary.  Remember, good oral health care habits start at home so help your children to understand the importance of oral health and having their teeth checked by the Dentist regularly.  If you ever have any questions, call us at (208) ­524-1700 and we will be happy to help!
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National Children’s Dental Health Month!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!  During February we want to raise awareness of oral health for children.  It’s important to start good dental hygiene habits at an early age.  This years slogan for the campaign set forth by the American Dental Association is “Get a Gold Medal Smile.”              

Just a few tips for ensuring good oral health of your child’s teeth include:                 

  • Regular dental checkups: cleanings, fluoride treatments, and regular digital films help to catch problems early.  Early detection is KEY!                                   
  • Awareness of Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
  • Dental Emergencies: The ADA has some helpful tips on how to handle different oral emergencies.

Idaho Falls DentistryGive Kids A Smile is a program that we love to participate in every February to help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month.  On February 1st we held Give Kids A Smile day in our office to help educate and provide dental health care to children from low-income uninsured families who may not receive it on a regular basis.  We hope that we can help raise awareness of  the importance of proper dental health care for children and for adults as we provide care for all of our existing and new patients!

Idaho Falls Dentistry