As a parent, you probably understand that pediatric dentistry is an important aspect of your child's overall health. However, you first need to deal with the teething process as the baby teeth emerge from the gums. It varies among babies, but teething typically begins around six months of age. Common symptoms include sore and irritated…
4 Tips From a Pediatric Dentistry Office on Proper Oral Hygiene
Your child should visit a pediatric dentistry office on a regular basis for healthier teeth and gums. However, teaching your child to take care of their teeth at home on a daily basis can be just as important as maintaining regular appointments. By building a healthy routine and developing good habits, your child can reduce their risks for tooth decay and gum disease, along with all of the negative side effects these issues can bring.
4 tips for teaching good oral hygiene
First and foremost, do your best to make dental care fun and exciting for your children. Offer plenty of positive reinforcement with verbal praise, high-fives, sticker charts, rewards, or anything else that will help your child stay motivated until the practices become second nature. Also, keep these important tips in mind when you are teaching your child how to care for their teeth and gums the right way.
1. Use toothpaste sparingly
You have probably seen plenty of toothpaste commercials that show a generous sweep of the product along the entire surface of the toothbrush. In truth, adults only need about a pea-sized amount to effectively clean their teeth and small children need even less. Most dentists recommend applying an amount the size of a single grain of rice to the toothbrushes of babies, toddlers, and preschool children. Older kids can transition to the pea-sized amount as their permanent teeth start to erupt and their mouths grow larger.
Using more than this is not only wasteful; it can also be harmful. Fluoride toothpaste can help prevent cavities, but it can cause serious health problems if too much of it is swallowed. It can also damage tooth enamel in high doses and cause a pediatric dentistry issue known as fluorosis, the discoloration of a child's permanent teeth before they erupt above the gum line.
2. Teach your child to brush properly
Brushing your teeth is simple but good technique matters. Teach your child to brush gently at a 45-degree angle. This will help prevent irritation and enamel damage while sweeping away more plaque, food particles, and bacteria along the gumline. Show your child how to move the toothbrush to all tooth surfaces. Finally, use a timer to help them stay on track and avoid rushing. About two minutes is just right.
3. Address unhealthy habits
Bacteria play a pivotal role in tooth decay and gum disease, and certain practices can introduce even more into the mouth. These include:
- Biting or chewing on fingernails
- Chewing or sucking on foreign objects
- Finger- or thumb-sucking
- Failure to wash hands often and properly
If these bad habits are an issue, talk to your dentist and take steps to help your child change them.
4. Prioritize a nutritious diet
Food and beverage choices can have a significant effect on oral health. Teach your child about the importance of eating foods that strengthen and protect their teeth, such as dairy products, fresh produce, and lean protein. Offer these daily. Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages that can increase the risks of tooth decay.
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A healthy smile starts in the earliest years of life. Teach your child how to prioritize their oral health and visit a pediatric dentistry practice regularly for a strong and beautiful smile.
The main concern of pediatric dentistry is the health of your child’s teeth and gums. A child’s oral health is so important that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule a child’s first dental visit no later than the first birthday. During an appointment, the dentist can provide insight on how to…
In pediatric dentistry, dental professionals understand that parents play a big role in their children's oral health. You are a guide and model along the way, helping your children build healthy habits and routines. However, cavities in children are common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50% of children between…