Establishing a good oral hygiene routine early in your kid’s life is the best way to ensure they have healthy baby and adult teeth. This blog post will discuss 7 tips to ensure your child has a healthy smile.
Let’s dive in!
1. Brush twice a day – Establish a good brushing routine as soon as their first tooth appears. This habit will teach them that brushing their teeth is part of their daily routine. When they are old enough, let your child pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Set a reminder on a shared device to remind them when brushing time is. Choose a reminder system that works for your family, and stick to a good routine of brushing and flossing at the same time each day.
The way you brush is also important. Move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions. Brushing hard and fast can damage the gums and teeth, so make sure this is a gentle motion. Brush all the way to the back, making sure to get the back molars. If you find it hard to reach the back teeth, move your jaw to the left when brushing the left rear molars and to the right when brushing the right rear molars. Brushing this way will make it easier to reach the top and bottom teeth.
2. Floss – Flossing is an important step in cavity prevention. Plaque between the teeth can cause tooth decay and cavities, so it’s really important to floss at least once a day. To make this task easier, choose a method that makes flossing easier. Waxed floss, flossers, or water picks are all good options. Keep the floss next to their toothbrush so they remember. For tips on how to floss, see our blog post Teaching Kids the Right Way to Floss: A Guide for Parents.
3. Replace their toothbrush regularly – We brush our teeth to remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque, so it only makes sense to replace these cleaning machines regularly! As a general rule, you should replace your toothbrush every three months. And remember that you can recycle toothbrushes, flossers, toothpaste tubes, and caps, so pop them in your recycling bin when your finished with them.
4. Get regular dental exams and cleanings – According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, your child should have a dental exam on their first birthday or when their first tooth comes in, whichever comes first. The earlier you start taking your child to the dentist, the easier the visits will be. Your child will learn that there is nothing to be afraid of, and going to the dentist will be something they look forward to.
To help make these visits easier, explain what will happen during their appointment. If they are having a check-up, the dentist will look at their oral cavity to see if there are any signs of decay, infection, or gum disease. Dental x-rays are only done if there is a specific reason for doing so.
A teeth cleaning involves removing plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth using special dental tools. The teeth are then polished and flossed, and a fluoride treatment is applied. This process is quick and should not be painful. If your child suffers from extreme anxiety or dental fear or has developmental disabilities that make it impossible for them to sit for long periods, sedation options are available.
At Youth Dental & Vision, children under two years old are eligible for a free dental exam! We also accept a variety of insurance plans, including Medicaid and Denver Health. For a full list of the insurance plans we accept, visit our About Us page.
5. Fluoride treatment – Fluoride treatments are usually done after a teeth cleaning and help strengthen teeth and reduce the risk of cavities. Fluoride treatments come in many forms, such as gels, foams, and varnishes. Speak to your child’s dental hygienist or dentist if you have concerns about the safety of fluoride. Check out the blog Fluoride: A Must For Children’s Dental Health to learn more.
6. Dental sealants – Your dentist may recommend applying a dental treatment called dental sealants. Dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars and are used to protect your child’s teeth from cavities and other forms of decay. The sealants fill in the grooves in the teeth and act as a barrier against bacteria. Sealants are generally recommended at age 6 or 7 for first molars and age 12 for second molars. Read the blog Dental Sealants for Kids: Everything You Need To Know, for more information about dental sealants.
7. Eat a tooth-healthy diet – The food we eat can have a drastic effect on our overall oral health. Eating a tooth-healthy diet means avoiding sugary foods and starchy snacks and instead opting for tooth-friendly foods like fruits and vegetables. Limit acidic drinks like soda, energy drinks, or sports beverages as they can weaken tooth enamel. Read the blog Strengthening Your Child’s Teeth With The Right Foods to learn more.
Kids Dentist Denver, CO
At Youth Dental & Vision, we understand the importance of good oral health and strive to provide children with the best dental care possible. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help your family on their journey toward beautiful smiles and optimal oral health! Book an appointment today to get started.If you are searching for a kids dentist near me, contact Youth Dental & Vision at (720) 575-1250 or complete the online booking form. Visit us in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, and Hampden. We look forward to helping your kids maintain their healthy smile!