Metro Mama & Metro Baby

By Patricia Wersinger

According to Dr. Salzer, a dental surgeon and orthodentist with a practice in New York City, tooth care becomes an issue when children become tweens. “As children they allow parents to check up on their brushing skills,” she says, “As tweens, they want to be independent but they may not have the skills or patience to brush properly. They may also reject tooth care hygiene simply because they don’t like how the products taste”.

Providing tweens with products that are adequate for their changing mouths with flavors and designs that appeal to them will help them establish healthy oral care routines. Dr. Salzer, a mother of four, praises the full ProHealth FOR ME line of Crest and Oral B, the first full tooth care line created exclusively for tweens. She recommends the Oral-B Pro Health FOR ME Cross Action Toothbrush because it’s just the right size for an older child’s mouth, and the handle is sized to optimally fit a tween’s hand for comfort and control.

The Oral-B Pulsar Pro-Health FOR ME Toothbrush adjusts to the contours of childrens’ teeth to clean the difficult areas in the back and the gaps common in their changing teeth. The Crest Anti Cavity Fluoride Toothpaste and alcohol free Crest Anti Cavity Fluoride Rinse flavors are appropriately flavored for tweens, offering a more natural refreshing taste without the harshness or alcohol content of adult mouthwashes – or the over sweet, fruit and candy flavors that younger children prefer. The Oral-B Pro – Health FOR ME collection also includes Floss Picks that are easier to use than floss at that particular age. The toothbrushes have an appealing contemporary design that tweens will identify with.

Ensuring tweens take teeth hygiene seriously with the appropriate products has also become the commitment of teen actress Alyson Stoner. Alyson Stoner and her mother Lu Anne have partnered with Crest and Oral-B to help teach parents and their kids how to build a strong and healthy oral care foundation. It’s a partnership created to help families work together to make healthy decisions, especially when it comes to oral health. Tooth decay is the most common disease among children. 51 million hours of school are missed each year due to tooth decay and poor dental hygiene. Visit your dentist regularly and have your tween eat plenty of yogurt, cheese, protein, fruit and veggies for healthy teeth. “Surprisingly, chips, crackers and cookies can be as bad as candy for your teeth,” says Dr. Salzer, “When the carbohydrates aren’t cleaned from teeth regularly, the bacteria in your mouth digest these foods, generating acidic byproducts that can cause plaque, and may lead to tooth decay”.

Find out which brush is best suited for your Tween’s needs, the Oral -B Pulsar Pro-Health FOR ME Vibrating Toothbrush or the Oral B Pro-Health FOR ME Cross-Action Toothbrush. Available in drugstores everywhere.

For girls ages 2 to 8 years, parental supervision is essential to keep teeth healthy and clean. To bring enthusiasm to that important daily routine, Colgate Kids offers age specific toothbrushes such as Dora The Explorer, a battery-powered toothbrush with a small rotating head and multiple height bristles to brush away plaque and help reach hard to get areas.

When they graduate from the Colgate tasty watermelon and strawberry flavors appropriate for kids, Tweens will love to try the Pop Stars Anti-Cavity Toothpaste with a savory mint flavor with star breath strips that dissolve inside the mouth making the clean feeling last longer.

Available at all drugstores

Tom’s of Maine has introduced a long lasting Wicked Fresh Toothpaste and long-lasting Wicked Fresh Mouthwash that contain the flavorless botanical licorice root extract combined with cool mountain mint flavor oils to refresh taste. Quite delicious and not painful on your gums, they are a great alternative to artificially flavored mint toothpastes and gels that can burn the gums of sensitive teeth. Your environmentally-conscious tween will love that no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are ever used at Tom of Maine’s and that the sources of all ingredients can be checked on the company’s website. The 100% recyclable packaging is made with mostly recycled materials too. Available in health food stores and drugstores.

The Radius Toothbrush is the first environmentally responsible toothbrush because it is made of recycled materials such as dollar bills, flax fiber and wood. The Radius Toothbrush is a good investment because it lasts longer than an average toothbrush and creates less plastic disposal. It is beautifully designed and fits comfortably in the hand with its wide rounded handle. http://www.radius.com

Kids often avoid wearing their retainers or mouth guards because they are reluctant to clean them or don’ t know how. Nature Zone is a portable UV/Ozone sanitizer that uses natural ozone to penetrate into porous material to destroy bio-pathogens, bacteria, viruses, moulds in retainers, mouth guards and electric brush heads. It is the most effective product on the market to sanitize effectively, it is portable and easy to take with you to camp, sleep over or anywhere. Also works well with earplugs for swimmers to protect against swimmers’ ear. Nature Zone is an essential hygienic device to protect your children’s oral appliances. Available at http://www.naturezoneinc.com.

For tweens and teens who are self conscious about not so white or stained teeth, the Luster 1 Hour At-Home Tooth Whitening Light System offers an economical and effective solution by whitening teeth up to 6 shades in an hour without using the harsh chemicals that irritate gums and that can make teeth whitening such a painful experience. The unique Luster’s Resin Formula patented technology allows the same results you would get in an in office visit with a lot less concentration of peroxide and less intensity of light. The system consists of a three-step program that includes using the Accelerator Mouth Rinse, applying the Activating Whitening Gel and then setting the Whitening Light to activate the photo-activator in the gel. To keep their teeth sparkling, Luster’s WHITE 7 Toothpaste contains 7 whitening ingredients and 45 Citranene Eubiotics essential oils with holistic properties. This brand new product is more effective than all whitening toothpastes out on the market. Luster is FDA cleared, making it the only OTC whitening products with FDA clearance/approval. Available in drugstores everywhere.

Dentists recommend sugarless gum such as Orbit to fight against tooth decay. Orbit is debuting 36 new retro patterns this fall that you can only discover after unwrapping the outer plastic. Research also suggests that chewing gum may help tweens focus on their assignments so make sure you keep a pack of Orbit in your backpack!

With all these new products that inspire sensible dental hygiene and maintenance, tweens and their younger or older siblings and peers should have no problem reaching new levels of care and developing an awareness of the importance of this essential task.

Originally published October 2010
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