Let’s set the scene: you’re a busy parent who works during the day and takes care of your kids in the evening. You do your best to ensure your kids are healthy, safe, and happy, and you make it a priority to teach them good habits that will stick with them throughout their lifetimes. In short, you’re a great parent, and great parents take care of their kids’ teeth.
Sometimes it can be a little challenging to figure out what steps you should take, which habits to enforce, which tools to use, and how to adapt to their different developmental stages – but that’s what the team at the Children’s Dental Center is here for! Taking care of teeth is our specialty, and we’re here to give you these four tips to keep your kids’ teeth healthy. Keep reading to learn the tricks of the trade from the team that knows their stuff.
The Importance of Oral Health
Keeping up with your child’s oral health is essential for so many reasons. Of course, you want to make sure their teeth don’t become yellow, and they don’t end up with bad breath, but a good oral hygiene routine can work wonders for more than just appearances.
Preventative dental care is the cornerstone of pediatric dentistry and can reduce the risk of cavities, prevent long-term dental expenses, and keep them healthier overall. With these tips, you’ll help your child stay on track for years to come.
Tip #1: Introduce them to the Dentist at an Early Age
The American Dental Association advises parents to bring their children in to see a dentist as early as six months of age. This is the age that a child typically starts teething, which kicks off your child’s dental growth. Your child is born with 20 baby teeth that will gradually grow in between the six-month mark and age three.
It’s essential to note that the moment your child’s first tooth is exposed, dental decay is possible. You’ll need to begin cleaning their teeth as early as possible to ensure they stay healthy while the rest of them grow in. Bringing your child in for an early visit at the Children’s Dental Center means you’ll learn from the experts how your child’s baby teeth will grow in and how we can help prevent decay.
Early dental visits also help your child avoid dental anxiety, which is common among children. Once they meet their dentist and get to know them, they’ll be more likely to enjoy cleaning their teeth and continue to make oral health a priority throughout their lives.
Tip #2: Model Healthy Brushing Habits
Children are sponges, and from the moment they’re born, they’re learning how to be responsible people – from you! Your children will model their behavior based on what they see you do, so when it comes to your daily brushing routine, make sure it’s stellar!
Practicing healthy oral hygiene habits with your child helps them to learn how to brush their teeth, how often, and how important it is to do so. If they see their favorite people brushing and flossing their teeth, they’ll want to do it, too!
Tip #3: Encourage Healthy Foods & Drinks
It’s the scariest thing any child or parent could hear: you have a cavity! No one wants cavities, and the best way to prevent them is by eating healthy food and drinking water.
When your child eats sugary foods and drinks juice or soda, the sugars from those foods stick in the hard-to-reach areas of their mouths. Brushing regularly helps remove these sugars, but when they become stuck, they attract bad bacteria. When bacteria eat these sugars, they produce acids that can break down enamel and cause cavities.
By removing excess sugar from their diets, their teeth will thank you!
Tip #4: Use the Right Toothpaste
Your child will have different needs depending on their age. The Children’s Dental Center’s recommendation for how to brush your two-year-old’s teeth will be different from how your teen should brush their teeth. Understanding the importance of fluoride in your child’s toothpaste and the amount to use is key to keeping your child’s teeth happy and healthy.
Once their first tooth grows in, it’s time to introduce a very small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Use a baby toothbrush and a rice-sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush away leftover sugars in their mouths after eating. Remember that your child can’t spit out excess toothpaste at this age, so it’s important to use a tiny amount so they don’t swallow too much fluoride.
When your child is old enough to spit out excess toothpaste, around age three, you can begin to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. They can maintain this habit throughout their lives,
Choose the Children’s Dental Center!
Our doctors in Collierville, Midtown, Arlington, and East Memphis are experts in caring for your child’s teeth. For years, we’ve been serving healthy and happy smiles to Shelby County’s coolest kids, and we can’t wait to make your child smile, too. Schedule their first appointment today to give them the best care possible.