Twice a year (more if there’s a concern), you and your child will visit a pediatric dentist to get a thorough cleaning and check for any potential issues. However, good pediatric oral health requires daily attention. Below are five tips from the Charlotte pediatric dental practice, Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry.
Habits are practices that form over time through routines. Be sure your child visits a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or on their first birthday. By getting your child used to the idea of visiting the dentist, you are helping to establish a healthy relationship with oral health and avoiding fear of the dentist.
Clean the Tools
Make sure you are storing your child’s toothbrush in a good location between uses. If your child comes down with a cold or other illness, be sure to immediately replace the toothbrush once the germs have passed.
As your child enrolls in spring sports, mouth guards should be something you add to the dental equipment list. Make sure to soak and scrub the case and guard of a mouth guard your child has used in the past. The American Dental Association suggests cleaning a mouth guard by brushing it with a toothbrush and toothpaste regularly to remove any built up debris, then rinsing it thoroughly with warm, soapy water. Another good tip: Make sure to have your dentist ensure the fit of the mouth guard is still correct for your child’s mouth.
Although sports drinks, juices, sodas, or other sugary beverages are often strong temptations for children, it’s best to make it a habit for them to choose water. Leaving sugary particles on kids’ teeth is a leading cause of tooth decay.
Flossing is an important part of achieving and maintaining oral health, and kids’ mouths are no exception. However, many parents find it more challenging to work flossing into the dental routine for their children. Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry shared several tips regarding flossing for kids, including demonstrating the practice, singing songs, using fun toys or floss gear, and tracking their progress.
In addition to basic care and limiting sugary drinks (as mentioned above), there are ways to help protect the enamel on your child’s teeth. Try encouraging calcium-rich foods like yogurt or cheese or offering other enamel-protecting foods like kiwi or snap peas. Make sure you are also using (and teaching your child) proper brushing technique.. Finally, asking your children to rinse their mouths after meals can make a difference in the enamel strength.
As always, be sure to talk with your child’s pediatric dentist to make sure they are on track for healthy smiles. Also, the dentist or hygienist will be able to offer more tips to help you care for your children’s teeth and gums. Starting proper techniques and practices early in a child’s life can make a huge, lasting difference in their health!