As a parent, you worry about your children. It’s only natural. From teaching nutrition to good study habits, watching over kids is a full-time job! One of the most challenging habits to teach your kids is good oral health. Kids can be forgetful and brushing and flossing can seem like chores.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make your life as a parent a little easier when it comes to children’s teeth.
Diet makes more of a difference than you think
Sure, you know to try and keep sugary snacks away from kids, and to teach them that fruit makes a great snack. However, did you know that cheese also helps fight cavities? Cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, and Monterey jack cheeses all stimulate the child’s salivary glands, which help to wash away plaque-causing materials. And cheese also contains calcium, which will help to build strong teeth. This is a great list of important vitamins and minerals for children’s teeth and gums.
Make sure your child gets dental sealants
One procedure that you should discuss with us is sealants. Sealants are a clear coating placed in the grooves of a child’s teeth to prevent decay. Let’s face it, kids tend not to be thorough brushers, and these sealants can do a lot to protect kid’s teeth from cavities. Even better, sealants are much less expensive than fillings, so as a parent, you save money!
Floss Early, Floss Often, and Floss Well
As adults, we all know to floss our teeth, but you’d be surprised by just how many parents tend to let their children get away without flossing their teeth every day. Granted, flossing can be unpleasant, especially at first but good dental habits are ingrained when a child is young, and flossing is one of the best habits there is.
Use the right toothbrush
Toothbrushes come in all varieties, but the best brushes for kids are the “soft” bristle brushes. Replace the brushes every three months, or when they start to splay—splayed bristles which tend to make gums bleed. Make sure that children understand the proper way to brush their teeth. Incorrect brushing makes keeping teeth clean much harder than it needs to be.
Take it easy. Don’t rush
Most children under the age of five shouldn’t be trying to brush their own teeth. Their muscles are just not that coordinated yet. Instead, you should brush their teeth for them. When should children be able to brush their own teeth? A good rule of thumb is, if they can tie their own shoes, they can brush their own teeth.
Make sure they don’t fear the dentist!
Although going to the pediatric dentist can seem scary for children, it’s important that parents tell the truth about the experience. Any attempt to bend the truth may be considered a betrayal of trust by the child, making them dislike the pediatric dentist.
The reward is in the future!
While learning how to foster good oral health can be a stressful lesson for a parent to teach, you will reap major rewards in the years ahead.
Having a healthy mouth and a dazzling smile is positive for children as they grow up. Pediatric Dentistry in Fleming Island, FL can help in this process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.