February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time to highlight to kids everywhere the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums. No matter what month of the year it is, though, it’s always a good time to reinforce the basics of dental care for kids and remind parents what can be done to make sure children maintain good oral health.
Brush ‘Em, Brush ‘Em, Brush ‘Em
Children should brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. If you’re not sure what kind to use, always ask your Hampton dentist or hygienist for recommendations. Using the right kind of toothpaste, though, is only half the battle.
It’s important to make sure your kid’s teeth are being brushed properly and thoroughly – and that means assisting them in their oral health care. Whether you supervise or tag team the task, make your kids’ oral health as much of a priority as your own to save them from tooth decay and discolored teeth.
Toothbrushes can’t do all the work. It’s critical for kids to clean between their teeth daily with dental floss too. This act removes the food particles and plaque that get stuck and that a toothbrush just can’t reach.
Flossing is important no matter what age you are, even for kids who might have big gaps between their teeth. Eventually, teeth will touch, and flossing will be more important than ever. If regular floss is too difficult for your child to use, invest in flossing picks. They get the job done and come in fun, kid-friendly shapes, colors, and flavors.
Watch What You Eat
Many kids love to indulge in chewy, gummy snacks and foods that easily stick to tooth enamel. There is nothing wrong with allowing your kid some tasty treats, as long as they understand what needs to happen after they eat them – and what they need to eat in addition to these sweets.
When your child has candy or sweets, make sure they brush and floss afterward or, at the very least, rinse their mouth with water if brushing isn’t possible. Balance your child’s diet with plenty of healthy foods and sugar-free beverages that are good for their oral health and their body. This will keep their teeth in good condition and create a much lower risk of developing cavities.
Visit Your Hampton, NH, Dentist
Your children should see your Hampton family dentist every six months, just like adults. These visits are important for many reasons. When your kids are very tiny – 2 or 3 years old – it may seem silly to take them to the dentist, but the younger they start seeing the dentist, the sooner they will get used to the idea and the act of having their teeth cleaned and examined.
Kids’ mouths are ever-changing, with teeth coming and going, their jaw and bite growing and shifting, and their varied oral health care efforts. It’s incredibly important for kids to have their teeth cleaned professionally twice a year, and undergo fluoride treatments to give them extra insurance against tooth decay. Once permanent molars erupt, your dentist will also encourage sealants for additional protection against cavities.
Get your kids on the right track to excellent oral health for a lifetime. Schedule an appointment with Smiles by the Sea, your family dentistry practice in Hampton, New Hampshire. Contact us today.