• How to Teach Children Good Oral Hygiene

    Children live in a special world, where their top priorities are having fun, being silly, and avoiding activities that stand in the way of their good time. For this reason, children also tend to avoid daily rituals that don’t stimulate them in a fun way. For most children, brushing teeth is ranked about as highly as cleaning a bedroom. So, how do you encourage enthusiasm in your children for something as necessary (and “boring”) as dental maintenance? Here are some great tips for how to teach children good oral hygiene:

    Lead by example. Your children look to you when gauging appropriate behavior, and that’s no less true when it comes to oral hygiene. If you make it a point to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist when needed (and without too much complaining), then you can rest assured that you are doing the single most important things you can do when it comes to teaching your children to have an appreciation for good oral hygiene.

    Invest in some cool tools and toiletries . Take a trip to any local retail department store to find a wide array of neat products designed specifically for keeping your children’s chompers in top shape. Look for specially-flavored toothpastes and mouthwashes formulated especially for kids, as well as toothbrushes that vibrate, time tooth-brushing sessions, play music, and more.

    Reward good behavior. Keep an oral hygiene chart in plain view (near the behavior or allowance chart or in the bathroom in a good idea), and give your children a star or checkmark for each day that they successfully brush their teeth as needed, and without your prompting. At the end of the week, offer a reward in the form of an ooey-gooey treat (candy and ice cream are always a big hit) and tell your children that their good oral hygiene habits enable them to indulge every so often.

    Oral hygiene is an important part of overall health and well-being, and good oral hygiene habits begin in childhood. It is important that you care for your children’s oral health now, so that they can develop their own healthy dental habits as adults.

    Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4038.

    Dental services in Barrington, RI

  • How to Overcome Dental Fear & Anxiety

    How to Manage Fear and Anxiety at the Dentist

    Unfortunately, there is no getting past proper dental care by a specialist. However, what is not noticed by many is that a great deal of individuals suffer from anxiety and fear when visiting the dentist. What is usually a simple procedure for most people is regarded as a nightmare to others. Luckily, there are strategies that both the patient and the dentist can undertake to create a more relaxing environment to ease the patient’s fear and anxiety.


    The environment that one finds themselves in influences feelings and expectations. When walking into a dental office for the first time, assess whether or not you feel comfortable, because if you aren’t comfortable in your environment, there is no chance you will feel comfortable during a dental procedure. Therefore, the first step in reducing your anxiety is to ensure that you like the environment you are in.


    As expected, a dental professional and dental staff has little to no way of knowing what you are thinking and how you are feeling. The solution is to communicate with your dentist and staff and let them know how you feel. When there is an understanding that anxiety is an issue, your dentist and staff will do what they can to keep you in a comfortable and safe state. Both you and your dentist need to establish that a foundation on what exactly causes your fear and anxiety and how such issues can be mitigated. Perhaps performing a procedure a certain way or not showing you possible dental tools involved in the procedure will make you feel more comfortable.


    Along with environment and communication, it is also important to help you psychologically. If it makes you feel more comfortable, the dentist should go over the tools used during the procedure, explain to you exactly what they are for, and how they effectively help you. It is also beneficial for your dentist to review the procedures with you, explain what will be done, and what you should expect. These techniques will not only build a relationship between you and your dentist, but it will allow you to feel safer in a dental environment.


    If the anxiety and fear is extremely severe, or if certain procedures are just too much to handle, the final option is sedation. Your dental specialist can use either laughing gas (inhalation sedation) or an IV (intravenous sedation) to relax you. Both of these will help you get through the procedure smoothly and without fear.

    Overall, there are a great number of techniques to controlling your fear and anxiety at the dentist. You just need to find the right professional that suits your needs and helps you feel as comfortable as possible, and luckily there are many professional dentists out there who care about their patients.

    Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4038.

    Dental services in Barrington, RI

  • Effective Ways to Close Gaps or Spaces in Your Smile

    For many of our patients who have a diastema, the condition can be more than simply an esthetic inconvenience. Spaces or gaps in your smile can cause confidence issues and a loss of self esteem. Sometimes a space or gap is the result of a missing tooth, and others are formed when teeth grow in unevenly, but regardless of the reason, a diastema can be corrected using a number of procedures.

    Treatment Options To Close Gaps Between Teeth


    Bonding consists of applying a dental resin to the teeth. The resin is tooth colored and will close your gap while allowing you to maintain the appearance of natural teeth. Dental bonding is typically better suited to close small gaps.


    If the gaps between your teeth are larger or if several teeth need to be treated to renew your smile, veneers are an option. Veneers are custom fit pieces of porcelain that are affixed to the front of your teeth. Like bonding, veneers can fill gaps while providing you with a vibrant, natural looking smile.


    Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that can move your teeth without the need for traditional metal wire braces. Invisalign is more comfortable than traditional braces because it does not have wires or brackets. Instead, it uses clear, BPA-free plastic aligners that are completely removable.

    For severe gaps between teeth or to correct multiple gaps, orthodontics such as traditional braces may be necessary. Braces provide not only an esthetic fix for gaps in teeth, but can also correct related bite conditions.

    Which One Is Right for You?

    Unsure which option is right to help close the gap in your teeth? We can talk to you about options, evaluate your smile, and listen to your goals, cosmetic or otherwise. We will then make recommendations that you can follow to get the best results for you. Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry at (401) 247-2200.

    Dental services in Barrington, RI

  • Dental Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

    Visiting the dentist is not our favorite thing to do, but avoiding the dentist can lead to a host of oral health problems that can often be averted with simple routine dental check-ups and cleanings. Aside from visiting the dentist for regular dental care, you should also come in if you suspect you may be suffering from any of the following oral health concerns.

    Tooth Sensitivity

    Although many people experience tooth sensitivity when consuming food and drinks that are extremely hot or cold, excessive tooth sensitivity may indicate a larger problem, such as gum disease.

    Tooth Decay

    Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of permanent tooth loss. Tooth decay often occurs as the result of an excessive buildup of plaque on or around the teeth, which eventually leads to the development of acids that can damage the teeth’s mineral structure.

    Periodontal Disease

    If left untreated, periodontal, or gum, disease is serious and can lead to inflammation of the gums, tooth loss and bone damage. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and can typically be averted by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day and keeping all your routine dental appointments.


    Everyone suffers from bad breath from time to time. Eating certain foods such as garlic or onions is a common culprit behind bad breath. However, if you suffer from persistent bad breath, it may be a sign of periodontal disease or another oral health issue.

    Orthodontic Issues

    Crooked teeth and an uneven bite cause painful symptoms such as headaches and jaw pain. In addition, it is more difficult to care for crooked teeth properly, sometimes leading to tooth decay or other dental problems.


    If you are having any of the issues listed above, contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry so we can evaluate your oral health and discuss any dental concerns you may have. Call (401) 237-4038. We look forward to speaking with you!

    Dental services in Barrington, RI