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Farmington Dentist Teaches Kids the ABC's of Dental Health at Local Schools

Kindergarteners at Lake Garda Elementary School in Burlington recently learned proper brushing, flossing and other techniques to maintain proper dental health during a visit by Dr. Jennifer Diederich of ComPassion Dental in Farmington.
Kindergarteners at Lake Garda Elementary School in Burlington recently learned proper brushing, flossing and other techniques to maintain proper dental health during a visit by Dr. Jennifer Diederich of ComPassion Dental in Farmington.
Childhood is a time for immense learning.  The knowledge gained during this point in life serves as the foundation for the future.  As children we learn how to read, write, add, subtract and take proper care of our bodies.  Farmington Dentist Dr. Jennifer Diederich of ComPassion Dental makes it a point to educate children early on the basics of proper dental care.   “It’s critical that we teach children as soon as possible about the importance of good dental hygiene,” said Dr. Diederich of ComPassion Dental.  “Habits they develop now will carry through the rest of their lives and we want to set them up for healthy dental futures.”   The facts are that 42% of children 2 to 11 have had cavities in their primary teeth and 23% of them do not receive treatment.  These kids have an average of 1.6 decayed primary teeth and 3.6 decayed primary surfaces.  Teeth are like boxes with five surfaces: all four sides and the top are vulnerable to decay.   Dr. Diederich enjoys visiting classrooms to offer children in-person dental lessons. The A, B, C’s include limiting sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in junk foods & junk drinks.   If consumed, it’s best to do so during mealtimes, when the child can brush afterward.  Dr. Diederich advises it’s not about how much sugar but how long it’s drowning your teeth.   “One quick sweet treat per day, if you must.   Also fruit juice should be limited to breakfast only,” said Dr. Diederich.  “It’s important to brush and floss bacteria off the teeth at least one excellent job a day, twice is better, preferably after breakfast and dinner.”   THE TRUTH ABOUT CAVITIES The truth about cavities is that what’s happening inside your mouth is really quite yucky.  Dental cavities are caused by the production of acid by bacteria that always live in and on our bodies. In the mouth they form biofilm, also known as plaque.   A healthy mouth is like an inner city neighborhood with different types of good bacteria.  If sanitation is poor, overcrowding of bacteria happens.  The neighborhood becomes a slum because gangs of bad Streptococcus and Lactobacillus bacteria move in.   When it comes to sugar there are many different types including sucrose, glucose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup and others.  The bad bacteria gobble up their favorite food- sugar, and then dump toxic waste lactic acid on the teeth, which burns holes in the teeth causing cavities.   COMMON INFECTIONS Gingivitis and periodontitis infections not only occur in adults.  Dr. Diederich sees these infections in 99% of patients new to her office, including children.  Gingivitis infects soft gums and periodontitis infects the socket bone.  These infections are caused by different bad bacteria invading the biofilm in the collar (sulcus) of gum around the neck of the tooth.   “It’s not just about the child’s teeth! Gingivitis and periodontitis infections activate a child’s immune system early on,” said Dr. Diederich.  “This starts a lifetime of inflammation in blood vessel walls which may ultimately cause blood clots. This may lead to atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and other problems as the years go by.”   Such dental problems can begin even before a baby is born. Periodontitis is a risk factor for premature labor and low-birth-weight (PLBW) babies in pregnant mothers.   BRUSHING 101 The key to fending off dental enemies lies in optimal tooth brushing.  The first step is buying the right toothbrush.  Dr. Diederich recommends power toothbrushes for kids.   Power toothbrushes scrub bacteria off the teeth, while massaging the teeth and gums together and make it a fun spa experience for a child’s mouth.   “I always coach parents that if they love their child, THEY will brush and floss their children’s teeth at least once a day until age twelve,” she said.   Flossing is another important life-long habit to establish.  Brushing cleans the top and two sides, removing about 50% of the bacteria.  Flossing cleans the sides in-between, cleaning off the other 50% of bacteria.    MAKING A DIFFERENCE Parents play an essential role in the dental hygiene of their children.  However, Dr. Diederich lends a hand to the process by visiting schools and taking her lessons about oral health to the classroom.    “Kids age four through nine are quick to learn and have such enthusiasm and positive attitudes,” she said.  “I really enjoy coaching children in a school, as well as other people in settings outside the office.”   Dr. Jennifer Diederich has been in practice for 25 years.  She offers her patients broad experience and a deep knowledge of general dentistry. Formerly Assistant Professor teaching radiology at top dental schools at UConn in Farmington and Harvard, she is the inventor of the JADRAD Dental X-Ray Shield that reduces radiation exposure by 50%, as shown in research.   ComPassion Dental offers high tech and holistic treatments you can depend on: Beautiful, strong Zirconium non-metal crowns, FastBraces in 3-12 months, no-drill Lumineers Veneers, non-surgical gum therapy, UnderArmour mouth guards ,TMJ and sleep apnea care. To learn more or to schedule a classroom visit by Dr. Diederich, call 860.470.3660 or visit www.compassion-dental.com.

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