Top Dental Care Tips for Kids
February is the month of love and National Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s a great reminder to show us some love for your kid’s teeth.
Healthy adult teeth begin in childhood. They affect not just our children’s dentition, speech, and eating abilities, but also their self-esteem. A study report by the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry reports;
“Untreated dental disease compromises the child’s ability to eat well, sleep well, and function well at home and at school. The unaesthetic nature of untreated dental decay compromises the child’s self-esteem and social development.” (Source: The Consequences of Untreated Dental Disease in Children)
Poor dental health can affect your kids and lead to infection, gum disease, or other problems.
Oral tips for your kids
It can be challenging to encourage our children to be responsible for their dental health. We have listed the best dental tips for your kids. Small steps lead to drastic results.
1. Be their role model and educate your children
Whether it is younger or older children, they like to model their parents. Be their role model for dental hygiene, as you demonstrate proper habits to them until their adulthood. You can make certain routines like brushing and flossing shared activities with them.
Educate them about the importance of oral care and the right techniques of brushing and flossing. Read books and watch videos that explain dental hygiene to kids in a fun and educational way.
Plaque can be difficult to see, unlike cavities. You can do a fun science experiment with a plaque-disclosing tablet to talk about how plaque forms and looks to your children. Fun activities like these can reinforce the significance of oral health and its impact on their overall health.
2. Make brushing and flossing part of their daily routine
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends parents brush their children’s teeth until they are eight years, and floss them until they are 10. For babies and toddlers, their gums can be cleaned with a soft washcloth until their milk teeth erupt.
You can, of course, support daily brushing and flossing habits by getting your child to get more involved. They can shop for their favourite toothbrush, and you can have so many options these days with fun characters and colors. Look for soft bristle brushes for children. There are electric toothbrushes for children which clean teeth better. You can pick floss with a handle for your kids to use it more comfortably.
Your kids can pick their favorite toothpaste flavor. Make the daily brushing and flossing routine exciting for your children by playing songs in the background. The American Dental Association (ADA) has a special playlist for children to encourage their brushing habits.
Their toothbrushes need to be changed every 3-4 months, and the ADA recommends this. One sign when their brushes need to be tossed out is when they start to fray and get ineffective in their functioning. You should also teach your kids to brush and clean their tongues as well.
The ADA has changed its earlier stance and now recommends fluoridated toothpaste for all kids from the time their first tooth erupts. Tooth decay is the most common disease in childhood, overtaking asthma in recent years.
Children should learn to brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day. The right technique of brushing and flossing is also important as an aggressive action or an incorrect method can harm their teeth and gums.
You can organize a craft session for your kids where they can make their track chart. It can be hung in their bathrooms and checked each time they brush and floss their teeth. They can also be rewarded for their consistency with anything they like to do. Alternatively, you can access fun coloring pages and activities on the ADA site.
3. Stock and prepare enjoyable teeth-friendly food options
There are so many teeth-friendly food choices for your children. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat, cheese, and nuts don’t just make great nutritional choices but can also reduce their risk of developing cavities. Limit processed food, cookies, candy, chips, and sugary soda beverages.
You can give a list of healthy teeth-friendly options to your child and let them pick their favorite foods from the grocery store.
If your child shows interest in gardening, you can encourage him or her to grow their own fruits and vegetables and prepare meals together.
4. Schedule regular dental visits
Like adults, you should bring your children to the dentist twice a year. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend bringing your child to a dentist around their first birthday or when their first tooth appears.
Starting early will help your child get accustomed to dental visits, which are important for sustainable dental health. You can also ease dental anxiety in your children by reading books about dentist visits and help them be mentally prepared beforehand. A good family and pediatric dentist will also be adept at reducing your child’s fears and making them feel comfortable in the clinic.
A family and pediatric dentist will examine your child’s family history and look for any early signs of a cavity. They can also guide your child on the proper brushing and flossing techniques. There are many options like sealants for children to protect their teeth from harmful bacteria and cavities.
Celebrate the month of love with your children by showing some love for their teeth. A little bit of chocolate and candies hurt no one as long as your children are on track with their oral care. You can take pointers from our article, and of course, our dentists are always a call away.
And we assure you that your kids will have a lot to smile about all year long.
If you’re currently looking for a family and Pediatric Dentists in Palo Alto, you can trust Blue Turtle Dental services in Palo Alto, CA, for expert dental care. Call us for any dental queries, concerns, or to schedule an appointment.
(Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including: