As a parent, it’s important for you to ensure your children have optimal oral health. There’s a common misconception that “baby teeth don’t matter” because they’re going to fall out anyway. However, the health of your child’s primary teeth plays a significant role in their overall oral health as they get older. Good oral health is also critical for children who have begun to replace primary teeth with secondary teeth. Here’s how you can help improve your children’s dental health.
Encourage Your Child to Brush Their Teeth Twice a Day
If you struggle to get your child to remember to brush their teeth, you’re not alone. Many parents fight the same battle getting their little ones to the sink. Encourage your child to brush their teeth twice a day by educating them on why clean teeth are important in an age-appropriate manner. Often, it takes a little more than a heart-to-heart talk to motivate your child to spend time brushing.
Many parents will reward their children after so many days of brushing. For example, they may use a sticker chart to show their child when their teeth should be brushed, and when the chart is filled out, they may purchase a small toy or take the child out for a treat. Other ways you can motivate your child to get excited about brushing are to get them a toothbrush they really like and toothpaste that tastes good.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks For Best Children’s Dental Health
It’s well known that sugar is a primary cause of cavities and tooth decay. While this doesn’t mean that you should never allow your child anything sweet to eat, it does mean that you should keep an eye on how much they’re having and when. Sugary drinks like soda and juice can be replaced with water with the exception of special occasions, and desserts can be swapped out for healthy fruit. Keep the treats to a minimum and make sure your child rinses their mouth or brushes their teeth again after consuming something with sugar.
Don’t allow your child to eat or drink after they’ve brushed their teeth before bed. For example, a child may want a glass of milk before bed and many parents don’t think this is an issue since milk is not sweet. However, milk does still have sugars in it that can contribute to tooth decay. Let your child know that once their teeth are brushed for the night, water is the best choice. Remember that no child — or parent — is perfect, so don’t stress about a little sugar here and there.
Don’t Skip Checkups
Taking your child to the dentist on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do to foster good oral hygiene. Even if you don’t think your child has any dental issues like cavities, help your child get into the habit of visiting the dentist at least annually or as recommended. Dentistry for children, including regular and thorough cleanings, is crucial for removing plaque that is missed even with good brushing.
At Suwanee Center for Family Dentistry, we know that good brushing habits help children develop optimal oral hygiene for life. Contact us today to learn more or to book an appointment at (770) 629-0573.