It is National Children’s Dental Health Month this month, which is dedicated to spreading knowledge about oral health to children, families, and caregivers. National Children’s Dental Health Month aims to teach children about brushing and flossing, and the importance of eating healthy snacks and routine dental office visits.
Oral health is important and it’s important to teach your children this. Practicing good dental health means keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy. It also just helps your overall appearance and quality of life. Below are some tips to help keep you and your little ones smiling for life.
Your child should visit the pediatric dentist’s office as soon as 1 year old. This way they are able to get comfortable with the pediatric dentist. Make sure they know why it’s important to go to the dentist so their teeth can be nice and clean.
Don’t skip out on brushing your teeth. Never go without brushing your teeth. The more regularly you brush your teeth, the more dental issues you will prevent. It’s important to stick to a schedule and make it a habit. Brushing at least twice a day for two minutes will help your child’s teeth.
It can be easy to skip brushing on a late-night, but make sure you enforce the rules and make sure your child doesn’t skip out on brushing.
Additionally, make brushing fun! If your child has a favorite song let them brush their teeth while their favorite song is playing. You also can read a book to your child while they are brushing their teeth. The best way for them to learn is by watching you brush your teeth as well.
You should help your child when brushing their teeth until they are seven years old. After they turn seven it’s advised that you allow them to brush on their own, but check their teeth after brushing.
Also, don’t forget your child’s tongue. It’s important when brushing and teaching your child or children how to brush that you teach them how to brush their tongue. Plaque left on your tongue can lead to bad breath. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
Fluoride helps fight against your child’s teeth being damaged by any candies or sugary foods that they may eat. It can be found in toothpaste form and in liquid form. Fluoride toothpaste is safe and the best toothpaste to prevent cavities. It also helps protect your teeth by making your teeth stronger and building them up to be able to resist the acid found in some food and drinks.
Fluoride has been proven to reverse early signs of tooth decay which is seen often in children that drink a lot of juices and drink from a bottle for too long.
Fluoride water is a great alternative or complement to toothpaste. It is also calorie-free. Most kids love this choice of beverage because it reminds them of a sports drink or juice.
Parents shouldn’t worry about their children drinking fluoridated water. It’s an easy way to make sure your children’s teeth are protected while still allowing them to drink a sweet drink every once in a while.
Flossing can be tiring and hard for small children but as a parent, make sure your child is flossing. This is vital to their teeth staying strong and helping their overall oral health. Make sure to treat flossing as equally as important as brushing your child’s teeth. Even if it’s difficult – continue flossing.
Young children nine times out of ten will stop flossing due to it hurting or being super difficult. If flossing continues to hurt the child, there are chances there could be a bigger problem. Make sure to let the pediatric dentist your child is seeing know if your child has had prolonged pain while flossing because this might be a sign of gum disease.
Eating sweets after a meal as opposed to eating sweets as a snack is better for children. Snacking is a normal, daily occurrence and sweets should not always be associated with their daily snack. When giving kids snacks give them veggies or something healthier, such as fruit to make it a habit of healthy snacking.
Additionally, having a sweet after the main meal is better for their teeth because the main meal serves as a coat or protective layer. Drinking tap water also helps with the strength of your teeth. Eating crunchy fruits will help.
A healthy rewards system or incentives can help motivate your child to brush and floss daily. Let them pick out their own toothbrush and make sure you are tracking their progress when it comes to them brushing their teeth. Most pediatric dentist offices have a rewards system. Whenever your child goes to the pediatric dentist to get their teeth cleaned, the dentist will normally have a toy box that the kids are allowed to pick from at the end of their appointment.
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All children should be familiar with the dentist’s office and how to brush their teeth. As their parent, it’s important to teach your children how vital oral health is. Brushing twice a day, avoiding sugary food, flossing, and visiting the dentist twice a year are the main ways to continue to have good oral health. Make it a fun habit in your child’s life! We hope these tips will help as you teach your children about good habits during National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Visit Snodgrass-King Dental Associates at any of our 5 locations across Middle Tennessee (Mt. Juliet, Hermitage, Murfreesboro, Spring Hill, and Cool Springs) to see if we can jump-start your child’s healthy dental hygiene habits and be a resource for you.
We can also address any orthodontic needs for children, teens, and adults. If you have any questions, we’d love to answer any of those, as well as help find the best solution for all your dental care needs. Call us today at (615) 771-1111 to schedule your next appointment.