We all want the best for our children, which explains why we work so hard to be sure they’re in good schools, or why we spend so many weeknights and weekends driving them to various sports practices and dance recitals, and chess tournaments. However, knowing how important healthy dental habits also are, parents should be devoting plenty of energy to ensuring their children develop healthy brushing and flossing habits, as well as everything else they do for their kids.

As your Santa Monica family dentist, Dr. Carol E. Follette has a few suggestions for how best to go about doing this.

Six Tips for Establishing Good Dental Habits in Children

1. Start as Infants

If brushing is something a child has always done, they will have no choice but for it to feel like a routine. Babies can develop tooth decay if their teeth aren’t brushed properly, so make sure you’re getting them used to the feeling of a toothbrush in their mouth, even when they’re infants.

2. Teach Proper Technique

There is, of course, a correct way to brush a child’s teeth, and most small children aren’t going to understand this without a great deal of help. Starting at age two or three, parents can begin showing their children how to brush with the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums while moving the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes. Show them how to get every surface, even if they’re bad at it, and don’t forget the gums and tongue!

3. Don’t Stop Helping Too Early

By the age of four or five, many children will seem to have the hang of it, but the recommendation is to continue helping children brush until they are six or seven years old to make sure they’re not missing anything. They often do miss spots, so don’t abandon helping too early.

4. Make it Routine

Children should be brushing twice a day, so try to set times with them when it becomes routine. We suggest doing this after breakfast before heading to school, and then again at night before bed. This gets them in the habit of knowing when to brush.

5. Limit Sugar Consumption

Kids love sugar, but sugar does not love teeth. That means it’s the parents’ jobs to limit how much sugar their kids are taking in. Giving them a healthy diet is beneficial for many reasons, but starting them early on not craving sugar will have positive long-term impacts on the health of their teeth.

6. Normalize Routine Dental Appointments

Make sure that you get your child in to see Dr. Follette, your Santa Monica mercury-free dentist, the recommended two times per year. The earlier in their lives they go, the more normal it will feel to visit the dentist. This limits their anxiety about the experience and also makes sure they get the twice-annual professional cleanings they need to maintain proper dental health.

If you’re able to manage each of these things, you’ll raise a child that not only values dental health but also understands how to maintain that dental health on their own once they're old enough to do so. We all want the best for our children, after all, and dental health is certainly an important part of that.




If you are sick with a cold or flu, your oral health probably isn’t your priority. Depending on how sick you are, it can be an exhausting thought just to drag yourself out of bed, much less head to the bathroom to brush your teeth!

However, neglecting your oral hygiene at this time can, unfortunately, can mean bad things for your teeth and gums. Your Santa Monica, CA family dentist doesn’t expect you to be an oral health superstar during this time, but taking care of yourself now can minimize the risk of developing cavities and other oral health issues.

Protect Your Oral Health While You're Sick

Here are a few easy things you can do to protect your oral health, so look them over so you can be prepared the next time you get sick:

  • Put floss on your nightstand – Daily flossing is critical for preventing gum disease, so keep floss on your nightstand. That way, you will be more likely to use it while you are lying in bed with nothing else to do!
  • Stay hydrated – It is common to get dry mouth when you are sick, but the lack of saliva promotes bacterial growth. Many cold medications are also dehydrating, so keep a bottle of water with you at all times. Sucking on sugar-free cough drops can also help stimulate the flow of saliva.
  • Don’t skip brushing – It may be the last thing on your mind, but brushing is just as important when you’re sick. You may be surprised at how brushing can help you feel refreshed, and it has the added benefit of removing decay-producing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
  • Rinse with water after vomiting –Unfortunately, throwing up is often part of being sick. You will probably be tempted to brush immediately after to get rid of the unpleasant taste in your mouth. However, the acid levels rise in your mouth after vomiting, which can weaken dental enamel. But rinsing with water neutralizes the acid in your mouth and help stop erosion.

Please Call Our Office

If you have questions about caring for your oral health, please call the Santa Monica, CA family dentist. We will be happy to assist you and schedule an appointment for you if necessary!


At Carol E. Folette, DDS in Santa Monica, we’ve introduced hundreds of patients to the wonders of dental bonding. It’s a safe, budget-friendly way to improve your smile and send your self-confidence through the roof.

What Is Dental Bonding?

The crux of dental bonding is composite resin - a moldable substance whose color can be customized to that of your teeth. After an examination of your mouth to identify the extent of your bonding needs, the dentist will refine the resin’s color and then mold it into the exact shape required to fit your teeth.


For patients, dental bonding brings several important benefits - some cosmetic and some not. These benefits include:

Gap Closure

Celebrities like David Letterman and Lauren Hutton are well-known for their gap-tooth smiles, but whether to address or ignore gap teeth is down to personal preference. For people who prefer “seamless” teeth, dental bonding is an excellent solution. The composite resin can be used to fill the gap, and depending on the width of the space, possibly even close it.


For patients with a very wide gap, or who have multiple gaps to address, a better course of action is probably dental veneers, which more effectively cover larger areas. But if you don’t fall into this category, than dental bonding is definitely worth pursuing.

Crack Care & Prevention

Anyone who has ever cracked a tooth can attest to the anxiety that comes with worrying that the crack will grow bigger and contribute to tooth discoloration. What’s needed is an effective solution for fortification, and that’s where dental bonding comes in. Not only can a dental bond reinforce your tooth and stop an existing crack from lengthening, it will also lessen the chances of future cracks developing, thus minimizing the odds of your smile becoming discolored by what are called “craze lines”.

Chip Repair

Aside from cavities, chips are the most common tooth defects, with causes ranging from hard-food consumption and accidents, to aging. A chipped tooth is liable to cause discoloration, weaken the tooth’s structure, and create an “uneven” appearance in your smile. Here again, dental bonding is an effective recourse for resolving discoloration and preventing further chipping and damage. Also, any uneven aspect to your grin is eliminated, restoring your smile to its natural splendor.

Health Benefits

Along with its proven cosmetic advantages, dental bonding is also an effective deterrent to dental health concerns like cavities and exposed roots. Specific to cavities, composite resin (dental bonding’s key component) is a viable alternative to traditional silver fillings. The resin looks more natural, doesn’t possess any health risks, and is more durable than silver/amalgam. Regarding exposed roots, which are typically caused by receding gums, dental bonding is effective at covering the roots and mitigating the sensitivity associated with the exposure. And of course, the ability to color-match is also a big upside.

Choose Dental Bonding and Let Your Smile Shine

Ready to let your smile shine? Dental bonding is an excellent choice for addressing issues like chips, cracks, and gaps, and restoring your smile’s natural appeal. Contact Carol E. Folette, DDS today and learn more about this popular procedure.