With February marking children’s dental health month, it’s time to talk to your kids about their pearly whites. When you’re young, it’s easy to let your oral hygiene fall by the wayside – after all, it’s definitely not the most exciting part of the day. While this can require you stepping up to be the bad guy and force them to brush and floss, there are some other steps you can take to help keep your family cavity-free.
Exactly what do your kids’ teeth need the most? While every mouth benefits from unique care, there are general guidelines that will help keep cavities and gum disease at bay. Read on for a few simple ways to embrace great oral health and keep your kids’ smiles strong.
Building Your Kids’ Healthy Teeth
- Sealants – Dental sealants are thin, protective coats that help prevent typically problematic teeth from developing cavities. They’re especially beneficial for kids because they protect back molars and other teeth that are tough to brush and floss. The nooks and crannies in kids’ molars foster bacteria growth and plaque, and sealants keep them clear of issues.
- Fluoride toothpaste – You may not know that the current ADA recommendation is that children use fluoride toothpaste as soon as their teeth erupt. By avoiding cavities when young, your kids stand a greater chance of developing dental anxiety. The longer you can put off that first filling, the better, allowing kids to see the dentist’s office as a positive place.
- Sugar consumption – Sweet snacks can result in repeat cavities. Talk to your kids about what candy does to their teeth, and the correlation between sugar and cavities. When grocery shopping, make choise that are low in sugar and starch, and prioritize vegetables, nuts, and dairy.
- Regular dental exams – As soon as your child’s teeth begin to erupt, he or she should be visiting the dentist’s office (and if they haven’t erupted by the first birthday, it’s time to schedule anyway. Exams every six months allow us to detect problems early on, and monitor healthy tooth development.