Summer is the time for fun with the family, vacations, and outdoor activities. However, it’s also a time when your children’s dental health might take a hit due to increased sugary drinks, snacks and a change in their oral hygiene routine.
At Youth Dental and Vision, we care about the health of your kids’ teeth. In this blog, we’ll explain why oral health is important for kids and give you six tips to keep their smiles healthy this summer.
The Importance of Dental Health for Kids
Good oral health is crucial for your child’s overall well-being. Dental issues in kids, such as tooth decay and gum disease, can cause pain, affect their nutrition, and even lower their self-esteem.
Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, play a crucial role in your child’s development. They aid in speech, chewing, and maintaining proper alignment for their permanent teeth. To avoid complications with permanent teeth, primary teeth need to be healthy and strong.
Encouraging good oral hygiene from a young age will promote good habits and overall wellness. Here are six tips to help you keep your kids’ teeth healthy all summer long.
Develop an Oral Hygiene Routine
A consistent oral hygiene routine is crucial for your child’s dental health. Teach your kids the proper way to brush and floss. Brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day to strengthen tooth enamel and combat decay. Ensure your kids brush for at least two minutes, applying gentle pressure on their teeth and gums. Ensure you supervise their routine until they can do it independently, typically around age 7 or 8.
For more information about how to choose the right toothpaste for your child, read Choosing The Right Toothpaste For Your Child.
Limit Sugary Drinks and Snacks
Sugary drinks and snacks can contribute to tooth decay in kids. To protect their dental health, limit their consumption of these popular treats. Instead, find healthy alternatives like water, fresh fruit, and raw vegetables. Of course, sugary drinks and snacks are not bad when eaten in moderation but it is important to encourage your child to brush their teeth after eating or drinking them.
Replace Sippy Cups with Regular Cups
Sippy cups can contribute to tooth decay because the spout puts the liquid in direct contact with the teeth. If the liquid contains sugar, it immediately hits the tooth enamel and begins to erode. If your child must use a sippy cup, we suggest only putting water in it so that to minimize enamel erosion. Never allow your child to go to sleep with a sippy cup and gradually replace them with regular cups as soon as your child is ready.
Consider Dental Sealants
Dental sealants are thin protective coatings applied to the grooves of molars, preventing food particles and bacteria from collecting and causing tooth decay. According to the CDC, dental sealants can reduce cavities by up to 80%. If we think dental sealants are appropriate for your child, we will recommend them around the age of 6 or 7.
Protect Teeth During Summer Sports
Ensure your child wears appropriate mouth protection to prevent dental injuries while playing sports. Invest in a quality mouthguard made of molded plastic or rubber to protect your child’s teeth, gums, and cheeks from trauma or injury during summer activities.
Regular Checkups with Your Pediatric Dentist
Regular checkups with your pediatric dentist can help diagnose dental issues before they become a problem. Our pediatric dentists specialize in providing dental care for both primary teeth (baby teeth) and emerging permanent teeth. As your children grow, they will closely monitor your their development and recommend necessary preventive measures.
Best Pediatric Dentist in Denver
By following these tips, you can ensure your kids’ dental health stays in tip-top shape this summer! At Youth Dental and Vision, we are committed to providing the best care for your child’s teeth. If you are searching for a pediatric dentist near me, call (303) 953-8801 to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations or complete the online booking form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Make teeth brushing fun! Allow them to choose their toothbrush and toothpaste, play music while they brush, and set up a reward system when they complete their oral hygiene routine. You can also get an electric toothbrush with a timer to make things easier!
A combination of plaque buildup and sugary foods causes tooth decay in children. Poor dental hygiene, genetics, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to tooth decay. Regular checkups with a pediatric dentist are essential for diagnosing and addressing dental issues early on.
Incorporate foods high in calcium and phosphorous to naturally strengthen your child’s teeth. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are all great options to help build strong teeth and bones. Water should be your child’s beverage of choice, as it helps wash away food particles and balance the pH level in their mouth by increasing saliva production.