As a parent, you want to provide the best possible care for your child. Your child’s dental health is critical to their overall health and wellbeing.
Teaching kids to have good oral care helps them develop good dental hygiene habits for the future, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
Fortunately, there are many helpful tips and tricks you can use to be sure their teeth are getting the care they need. Here’s a look at 8 tips for children’s oral health.
1. Brush Twice a Day
This might seem like the most obvious tip, but it’s a critical one. Ensuring your child brushes their teeth regularly is one of the most important things you can do for their oral health.
They should brush twice a day for two minutes. Encourage them to brush back and forth and up and down. Remind them to brush their tongue and gums as well.
On average, children can begin brushing on their own at 6-8 years of age. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t irritate their sensitive teeth or gums.
2. Floss Each Day
Many people skip this important step, but it’s one of the best things you can do for a healthy mouth. Children are more likely to floss as adults if they learn its importance from an early age.
It’s best to floss before bedtime. This helps your child remove food particles stuck between the teeth that could lead to dental decay.
If your child has trouble using traditional floss, individual flossers work just as well. They come in fun flavors and colors that help make the process more enjoyable for your child.
3. Buy a New Toothbrush
Getting a new toothbrush is fun for kids. There are so many cute and colorful options available.
You should replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles begin to fray. Bacteria build-up on the bristles over time, so you don’t want your child using an old toothbrush.
Make getting a new toothbrush a fun event. If your child is excited about it, they’re more likely to want to brush their teeth.
4. Go for Regular Dental Checkups
Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a stressful event. Children who begin seeing a dentist at a young age are less likely to experience dental anxiety.
Children should see a dentist every 6 months for routine cleanings and checkups. A dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, removing plaque that can lead to cavities.
The dentist may order x-rays to check for any problems. If cavities or other problems are caught early, treatment can help prevent a more serious issue.
The dental staff will help teach your child about the importance of oral hygiene. When your child is accustomed to seeing the dentist, they won’t be afraid.
This makes trips to the dentist easier for you and your child.
5. Get Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel. Your child’s dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help protect your child’s teeth from decay and cavities.
Many dentists for babies recommend fluoride treatments as soon as a child gets their first tooth. They can receive 2-4 fluoride treatments a year, depending on their individual needs.
6. Consider Dental Sealants
If your child has permanent teeth, their dentist may recommend dental sealants. Dental sealants can help prevent tooth decay in permanent teeth.
Their teeth and molars have pits and fissures that can trap food particles, leading to plaque buildup. To prevent this issue, your child’s dentist can apply a sealant to coat the grooves of the teeth.
Sealant application is easy and painless, and the benefits can last for years. Most children get their first set of molars around age 6 and their second set around age twelve.
Your child’s dentist may recommend applying a sealant after each set of molars comes in.
7. Eat a Healthy Diet
What your child eats and drinks has a big impact on their dental health. Calcium-rich foods like dairy products and leafy green vegetables promote healthy teeth and bones.
Getting the proper vitamins such as Vitamin B, vitamin D, zinc, copper, and iron is critical for healthy teeth. Make sure they get a healthy, balanced diet to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need for good health.
If you think your child may not be getting enough vitamins from the food they eat, consider giving them a once-a-day multivitamin.
Limit your child’s sugar intake. Sticky candy and sugary drinks are the enemies of your child’s teeth. Keep treats in moderation and make sure they are brushing each day.
8. Avoid Fruit Juice and Soda
Fruit juice may seem like a healthy choice, but it can be harmful to your child’s teeth. Fruit juice is often loaded with sugar. This sugar coats your child’s teeth and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
Fruit loses much of its nutritional value when it is turned into fruit juice. Keep your child’s consumption of juice to a minimum.
Soda products are even worse. They are sugary and highly acidic which can wear down the tooth’s enamel. This can lead to discoloration, sensitivity, and tooth decay. Instead, encourage your child to drink water or milk whenever possible.
Protect Children’s Oral Health
You want to do everything you can to protect your child’s health. Their dental care is vital to their overall health.
Luckily, there are many oral care tips you can use to protect children’s oral health. Starting your child’s dental care early and teaching them how to care for their teeth is so important.
If you’re looking for a dentist for your child, we’d love to meet you. We’re committed to providing a wide variety of dental services for our patients of all ages.
We have practices throughout the Greater Toronto area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.