Bright Ideas for a Brighter Kids Smile

As a parent, it can be challenging to convince your children that brushing their teeth can be fun. With your kids home from school since forever and until who knows when, now is a great time to get them motivated. Heck, you have nowhere else to be! Kidding, but…only sort of.

  1. Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene Routine: Have your child brush their teeth morning and night with Firefly’s Ready Go Power Toothbrush to teach them the dentist-recommended time for proper cleaning of two minutes.
  2. Create a “shared vision” between parents and children. Create a shared vision with children by modeling your own brush time behavior and letting the child pick out his or her toothbrush color and toothpaste flavor. It’s also important to create a shared vision between parent and pediatric dentist during the initial dental visit to help reinforce good oral hygiene habits at home.
  3. Make it Fun: Let your child choose their favorite flavor or favorite character with Firefly’s Natural Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste. It even comes with a mystery prize.

Firefly’s NEW! Ready Go Power Toothbrush ($6.98 at Walmart and

The Ready Go Power Toothbrush combines Firefly’s famous Light Up feature with a soft rotating head that brought an innovation to kids’ oral care. The stop light timer counts down from green to yellow to red, helping children brush for the dentist recommended time for proper cleaning of teeth. This toothbrush has a soft rotating head that blasts away plaque, preventing gum disease and tooth decay. It has a massaging action which effectively cleans between teeth while stimulating gums.

NEW Natural Anticavity Fluoride Toothpaste ($3.48, Walmart and

Carefully crafted for kids, this toothpaste is clinically proven to strengthen a child’s enamel while reducing bacteria and plaque buildup that cause cavities. There are no “nasties” (no artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors, dyes, or SLS/sulfates) and the less mess airless pump leads to more controlled dosage and a cleaner bathroom. What’s even more fun? The new toothpaste includes a FREE mystery prize with every purchase.

Dental Amalgam: Is it a Health risk?

An amalgam in dental terms is a silver filling. It is actually not silver but a mixture of silver, mercury, tin and copper. Approximately 50% of this compound is mercury; this is the substance which binds the others together and creates a strong filling.

The Problem With Mercury

Unfortunately, research shows that mercury can be very dangerous for your health. Although it is a naturally occurring element it can have a toxic effect on your nervous system, lings, kidneys and even your eyes.

Your first thought will be to check your local amalgam removal service. But before you rush to your dentist it is important to understand the true effects of mercury:

The Form Of Mercury

Mercury can exist in a variety of different forms; the seriousness of your exposure will depend upon the type of mercury you are consuming. There are 3 main forms of mercury:


  • Elemental Mercury


In its standard form mercury is actually a liquid. It has been used in this form in a variety of items, including fluorescent lamps and thermometers.


  • Inorganic Mercury Salts


Mercury can be dissolved in water which creates a salt, but it is still filled with mercury. If these are swallowed they can cause intestinal distress and kidney damage.


  • Organic Mercury


This is the worst form of mercury, you can actually experience mercury poisoning just by having a few drops land on your skin. The effect will be poor balance and your speech will suffer. IT can kill you in just a few months!

Why Have Amalgam Fillings?

If mercury is such a dangerous substance then you must question why it is included in fillings. The answer lies in toxicity levels and the way this mineral changes when mixed with others.

In effect, because the mercury has been mixed with other minerals to create your filling it has been rendered harmless.

A little mercury will be released under the daily pressure of chewing your food and grinding your teeth. This amount has been shown to be less than you would be exposed to in the normal course of a day through the air, food and even water.


It is also worth noting that dental amalgam has been used for in excess of 150 years and it is considered the safest, most cost effective and durable material to work with.

In addition, it is much easier to work with that other filling materials; it can be easily added to your tooth cavity and shaped to ensure a perfect repair in minutes.

The alternatives

There are alternatives. These include gold or porcelain. However, these materials are much more expensive and difficult to deal with. They will also take longer to make and require at least two visits to your dentists.

The other option is a composite filling can be used to match the appearance of your teeth. This is becoming the most popular solution although it is not as strong as an amalgam. However, it does not carry the associated health risks and is a good reason to have your amalgam fillings replaced.

Oral Hygiene And Your Overall Health

It is sad that your eyes are the window to your soul, although it is actually the pupils which give away the most information regarding the emotional state of a person.

But, did you know that the teeth and your oral health are the window to your overall health? This is not a new theory but it is one that has been proven to be true. In fact, once you read the issues that can develop through poor oral hygiene you’ll be booking an appointment with Rickard Dental and practicing better oral hygiene in no time!

Heart Problems

If you don’t keep your teeth and mouth clean then bacteria will collect. This can then enter your blood stream, which is extremely easy to do from your mouth. Unfortunately the bacteria can then travel round your body and cause an infection.

A common collecting point is your heart; a build-up of bacteria can actually cause a heart attack.

A condition known as Endocarditis refers to the build-up of bacteria in the inner linings of your heart. This will cause inflammation and the infection which can cause heart attacks and heart failure.


Science has shown that oral bacteria in the blood stream will make you blood clot easier. While this is a good thing when you have a cut it is not so good when your blood clots inside your veins. But that’s not all!

Oral bacteria are also believed to contribute towards the narrowing of your arteries, making the blood flow less and a clot more likely.

A cot will cut off the blood supply to vital organs, including the brain; causing a stroke.


When you have gum disease your gums become inflamed and tender. This is a serious issue in itself. However, inflammation can travel around your body. This is known as systemic inflammation and cause a number of other health issues including pain and limited mobility.


Bad oral health will not cause arthritis as this is done by damage to your joints. But, it will worsen the pain you are feeling from arthritis. Scientists are not sure of the exact link but numerous studies have shown it to be true.

Lung Disorder

Oral bacteria can get all round your body, this includes your lungs. In general this will not cause an issue. But, if you have an existing lung condition or pneumonia then it can make it much worse.

Blood Poisoning

Perhaps the most deadly of the health issues created by bad oral health is blood poisoning. Gum disease or decaying teeth can cause an abscess which can become infected. If this is left untreated the infection can enter the bloodstream and cause septicemia, which can be fatal.

The first step in your fight for good oral health is to adopt good dental practices. Your dentist can advise you on the right approach. It is also essential to book regular dental appointments, this will ensure any issues are picked up early and dealt with.

How to Make a Dental Visit Fun for Kids

Even as adults, we’re not really jumping up and down about the thought of going to the dentist whether it’s for our annual check-up or for some other reason (such as a cavity filling). Therefore, it’s totally understandable why a child may not really be looking forward to it, either. Yet, surprisingly so, there are things that you can do to make the dental visit fun (or at least a really pleasant experience) for your son or daughter. We have enclosed five handy tips to keep in mind:

Pick the right dentist. Some women prefer a female gynecologist because they feel like she may be able to better empathize with what they are going through. For a similar reason, it’s a good idea to look for a dentist who either exclusively works with children or has a good reputation for connecting well with kids.

Make sure there’s a “fun” waiting room. Most of [Read more…]