As dentists and parents, we understand how important it is to help our kids develop good oral hygiene habits. Healthy adult teeth begin with having healthy kid’s teeth. The goal is to keep kids cavity-free because we also understand that poor dental health can affect their smiles, confidence, and future. Untreated dental problems inhibit children from eating well, sleeping well, and even functioning well at school and home. Untreated tooth decay compromises a kid’s self-esteem and can have a negative impact on social development. Your Upper East Side kid’s dentists have compiled a list of 10 dental care tips to help you protect and preserve your kid’s beautiful smile.
10 Dental Care Tips for Keeping Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy
1.Be the Role Model They Need
Kids, especially younger ones, like to imitate older family or household members. Be a good role model for them by demonstrating good dental health habits. Consider brushing and flossing with them instead of sending them to the bathroom to figure it out on their own. Try not to make it a chore, just make it part of your home’s daily routine.
2.Teach Younger Children How to Brush
Children under three years of age will need to be shown how to brush their teeth – all of them. You can also show them how to use the right amount of toothpaste. Until they know how to spit well, they should use only a rice-amount. Once they master spitting, they can use pea-size. Once kids have enough teeth so they are touching each other, they can start learning how to floss and rinse with mouthwash each day.
3.Keep Regular Dental Appointments at UESKD
Kids need to see their Upper Eastside Kids dentist twice a year for routine exams. By starting when they are young, it will just be a normal activity they get used to. A child should see the dentist within six months of getting their first tooth. Or by their first birthday if they have not begun cutting teeth. After that, twice a year visits are needed to help them keep their smiles beautiful.
4.Provide a Healthy Diet
Avoiding foods and drinks with a lot of sugar is beneficial to your child’s overall health, but it can also help prevent cavities. If sugar is allowed to stay on their teeth, it can lead to decay. Also, including nutrient-rich foods in their diet helps build strong bones and healthy teeth.
Discuss sealants with your Upper Eastside Kids Dentist as a preventative measure to help prevent cavities. Sealants cover the rough tops of the teeth and often help prevent cavities that can need to be repaired with fillings.
6.Don’t Share Germs
Even though it’s tempting, don’t let your kids share utensils, bottles, sippy cups, pacifiers, or other items with siblings or other kids. Our mouths contain bacteria that can be passed to others and this is not healthy. Sanitizing all the items your baby or small child may put in their mouth can help prevent bacterial infections like thrush.
7.Change out Toothbrushes
Every few months replace your child’s toothbrush with a new one. The bristles wear down over time and you want to ensure their teeth are getting the best cleaning possible. You may consider letting them choose their own toothbrushes and helping them learn what to look for.
8.Look for the ADA Seal
The American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance means oral care products meet certain regulations. It guarantees the oral hygiene product will do a safe and thorough job when your child brushes.
9.Protect Your Kid’s Teeth During Sports and Activities
It’s exciting when your child gets to an age where they can be active in sports and other activities. Make sure they wear a mouthguard when participating in rigorous activities. Talk to an Upper East Side Kids Dentist about available options that are appropriate for your child and their activity level.
10.No Bottles or Sippy Cups at Bedtime
Letting your child fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup may seem like a safe way to ensure drama-free bedtimes, but it can be harmful to your child’s teeth. Sugars, even the natural ones in milk and juice, break down tooth enamel over time. These liquids can do a lot of damage if they are allowed to pool inside your child’s mouth as they fall asleep. If they must have a bottle or sippy cup at bedtime, make the switch to water.
Contact Upper Eastside Kids Dentist
Call us today and set up your child’s first or next dental visit. Please let us know if you have any questions about these 10 dental care tips for kids. Our dental team wants to partner with you to help protect your kid’s beautiful smile and ensure they keep it for the rest of their lives.