7 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

If you think you’re busy, try being a kid. In addition to school, activities and family time, they’re learning how to take care of themselves and others in new ways every single day.

One of those necessary life skills every child needs to learn is brushing his or her teeth. Helping your child get in the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes is no small feat, but a little creativity can go a long way when it comes to his or her long-term dental health.

Here are the 7 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids:

  1. Have 4 Minutes of Fun
  2. Start a Routine and Stick to It
  3. Reward Good Brushing Behavior
  4. Characters Count
  5. Make Up a Story
  6. Go Shopping
  7. Make Brushing a Family Affair

Read more: 7 Ways to Make Brushing Fun for Kids

We are excited to announce our new dentist!

Dr. Matthew Mansey earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2010 with a minor in Prosthodontics. After graduation, Dr. Mansey completed a general practice residency in the Department of Dentistry and Maxillofacial Prosthetics at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. While at Buffalo, Dr. Mansey was presented with the Harvey D. Sprowl Award for consistently displaying a genuine concern for patient’s needs, and a passion for the delivery of quality comprehensive care. Prior to Dental school, Dr. Mansey earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Roger Williams University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. In keeping with his commitment to provide his patients with the highest quality of care, Dr. Mansey participates in a SPEAR Education dental study club.

Dr. Mansey’s professional Affiliations include the American Dental Association (ADA), New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA), NJDA Membership Committee, Tri-County Dental Society.

Dr. Mansey is a resident of Panther Valley and is happy to care for his local community. Outside of the office, he enjoys cycling, golf, and cooking as well as spending time with his wife, Kristin, and family.

TODAY: Toothbrushes Among Household Items That Need Replacing.

Today Show Online (1/17) discusses how often “six common household items,” including toothbrushes, need to be replaced. TODAY states that “old and frayed” toothbrushes do not clean teeth as well, noting the ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months. TODAY adds “the ADA also advises that children’s toothbrushes typically need to be replaced more often than adult brushes,” encouraging people to “keep a regular eye” on their toothbrush bristles and “update accordingly.”

MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with theADA Seal of Acceptance.

JADA Editor Discusses Role Of Genetics In Dental Caries.

The Wall Street Journal (1/13, Mitchell, Subscription Publication) reported that DNA may be one of the factors contributing to dental caries, according to Dr. Michael Glick, editor of The Journal of the American Dental Association. Dr. Glick says some studies suggest genetics could increase the chances of having primary-tooth caries by up to 64 percent, although it is unclear which part of the cavity-forming process genetics affects. Dr. Glick says genetics may impact the way tooth enamel is formed. Some studies also suggest people may inherit having a sweet tooth. However, separating out the impact on cavity development from a high-sugar diet versus a genetic predisposition is difficult, Dr. Glick says. Even if a person has a cavity gene, evidence shows it is not possible to get cavities without sugar. To prevent dental caries, Dr. Glick recommends reducing sugar consumption, practicing good oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, and using sealants.

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide information on dental caries for dental professionals and for patients.

UK Dentists: Prevent Health Problems By Ending Office “Cake Culture.”

CNBC (1/3, Reid) reports that UK dentists are calling for an end to the office “cake culture,” saying sugary sweets contribute to health problems, such as tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity. In a statement released Tuesday, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in London identified the workplace as one of the primary places where people consume sugar each day. “We need a culture change in offices and other workplaces that encourages healthy eating and helps workers avoid caving in to sweet temptations such as cakes, sweets and biscuits,” said Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons.

The Daily Mail (1/3) reports that Professor Hunt said, “Managers want to reward staff for their efforts, colleagues want to celebrate special occasions and workers want to bring back a gift from their holidays.” However, “while these sweet treats might be well meaning, they are also contributing to the current obesity epidemic and poor oral health,” said Professor Hunt.

The Independent (UK) (1/3, Sharman) reports the Faculty of Dental Surgery provided several tips to help reduce sugar intake in the workplace, such as limiting portion sizes, opting for low-sugar alternatives, and placing sweet treats in a location where they are less accessible and visible.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on how food affects dental health.

CDC Report Highlights Benefits Of Dental Sealants For Children


The ADA News (10/18, Manchir) reports that dental sealants could prevent 80 percent of cavities in school-age children, although 60 percent of children do not get them, according to a new CDC Vital Signs Report. The report also found that children without dental sealants had three times as many cavities as children who did, and that nearly $300 million in dental treatment costs could be saved by providing dental sealants to “the nearly seven million low-income children who don’t have them.”

CBS News (10/18, Marcus) reports that, in a press conferenceTuesday, CDC officials encouraged parents, healthcare providers, and school administrators to be aware of the benefits and help make sure children have dental sealants. CBS News notes that ADA spokeswoman Dr. Mary Hayes “recommends sealants be used at about age 6 and then again around age 12 when adult molars come in.”

The New York Daily News (10/18, Pesce) reports that CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in the report, “Many children with untreated cavities will have difficulty eating, speaking, and learning.” Frieden added, “Dental sealants can be an effective and inexpensive way to prevent cavities.”

NBC News (10/18, Fox) reports that although some parents may be concerned about sealants containing BPA, the ADA states, “The potential amount of BPA patients could be exposed to when receiving sealants is minuscule, and it’s less than the amount a person receives from breathing air or handling a receipt.”

A systematic review of the use of sealants and the updated clinical practice guidelines are both available in The Journal of the American Dental Association. The ADA News also reported previously on research published in the ADA Professional Product Review that shows BPA in dental sealants is safe. MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

Free Cancer Screenings for Washington and Chester Township Residents



Once again, the Washington Township Health Department is pleased to be able to offer free cancer screenings for Washington and Chester Township residents. Free Skin and Oral Cancer screenings will be held on Monday, October 24th, 2016 at the Washington Township Senior Center on E. Springtown Rd. from 9:30am – 12:30pm.

Pre-registration is required. Call the Washington Township Health Department today at 908-876-3650 and reserve your time slot.

We hope to see you there!

Dental Care Available At Olympic Village Polyclinic

CNN (8/5, Gupta, Kounang, Lamotte) reported on the facilities available to handle medical emergencies in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games. Dr. Antonio Marttos, a trauma surgeon from the University of Miami, is overseeing all trauma and emergency services during the Games, which includes the Olympic Village Polyclinic, a mini hospital in the Olympic Village that provides everything from emergency services to dental care, along with the Americas Medical City facility, which is composed of two hospitals, one that will cater to athletes and the other to Olympic dignitaries and VIPs.

Meanwhile, the Voice Online (UK) (8/5) stated a report by dental researchers found athletes have a significantly higher risk of tooth erosion than non-athletes. The study found the athletes had high carbohydrate consumption, including sports drinks, gels, and bars during training, which may have contributed to a higher risk of tooth decay and dental erosion. Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said, “If everyday people taking part in sport, including children, are looking to copy their Olympic hero’s habits, it is important to limit the amount of times they have anything acidic or sugary.”

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on foods that affect dental health.

ADA Responds To News Story Challenging Benefits Of Dental Flossing


The ADA News (8/2, Manchir) reports that the American Dental Association has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners after the AP questioned the oral health benefits of flossing. “To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits advised by your dentist,” the ADA said in the statement, adding that interdental cleaners, including floss, are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.

Business Insider (8/2, Brodwin) states that the AP report comes in sharp contrast to recommendations from basically every major dental hygiene organization, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology. The article adds that experts say flossing helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which can contribute to receding gums and gum disease.

The New York Times (8/2, Louis, Subscription Publication) reports that there is evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and gum inflammation known as gingivitis. For example, a review of six trials found that when professionals flossed the teeth of children on school days for almost two years, they saw a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities.
New York Magazine (8/2) adds, “This very intense investigation doesn’t mean flossing isn’t beneficial,” noting that a dentist for the National Institutes of Health encourages people to continue to floss, stating that “it’s low risk, low cost.”

MouthHealthy.org provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique, and also provides information on plaque.

Evidence Indicates Children Strongly Benefit From Sealants


The ADA News (7/25, Manchir) reports that the August edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association contains a systematic review of the use of sealants as well as clinical practice guidelines that have been updated as a result of that review, which indicate the benefit of using sealants to prevent and manage occlusal caries in children and adolescents. “The guidelines show that sealants are more effective in managing pit and fissure caries than fluoride treatments, such as varnish,” said the article’s lead author, Dr. John Timothy Wright. “They also show that benefits are obtained by the variety of materials currently marketed in the United States for sealant use (e.g. resin based materials, glass ionomer materials, polyacid-modified resin, and resin-modified glass ionomers).” According to the article, the analysis indicated that children treated with sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the incidence of occlusal caries compared with children that do not receive sealants.

The ADA Catalog offers three illustrated handouts to help explain sealant benefits to patients: the brochure “Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth, Preventing Decay,” (W291); the mini-brochure “Seal Out Decay” (W191); and the “Sealants Quick Reference,” a two-sided card (W276).

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on sealants.

ADA Spokesperson Discusses Biggest Cavity Myth


A consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (7/21) website features American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discussing dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires more extensive treatment at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. The best thing to do, Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on caries for dental professionals and for patients.

People Encouraged To Plan Ahead For Healthcare Expenses In Retirement


US News & World Report (7/20, Reiss) states that mitigating potential health care expenses before retirement can make all the difference. In a list of six tips for future retirees to protect their retirement nest eggs from sky-high medical bills, the article recommends people start by understanding the system. For example, individuals can select Medicare Advantage, which allows companies regulated by Medicare to cover dental care, eye exams and other medical services.

The Jackson (TN) Sun (7/19, Thomas) added that one of the biggest questions for retirees is whether to sign up for the original Medicare plan or an Advantage Plan. According to the article, Medicare Advantage bundles services and costs and might offer some extra benefits like vision and dental coverage but include some restrictions.

MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on paying for dental care after retirement.