From day one, keeping your child healthy is your number one priority as a parent. You feed them healthy meals, make sure they’re active, and you do everything you can to give them the opportunities they need to develop. But how can you keep your child’s teeth healthy?
While booking regular dentists appointments for your child is a great way to ensure your child’s oral health is being taken care of, there are additional things you can do at home to keep your kid’s teeth in top shape.
At Shawnessy Dental, we specialize in children’s dentistry, and we’re here to work with you to keep your child healthy. In this blog, we’ll go over our top 10 tips to help you build a strong foundation for your child’s oral health.
Why Is Oral Health Important?
Making sure your child’s teeth are healthy is about more than just keeping their smile straight and white. In reality, your child’s oral health is a vital component of their overall health. Failure to take care of your child’s teeth can not only cause oral health problems but can also lead to issues in other parts of the body as well.
For example, while a cavity can affect your child’s mouth health, it can also lead to pain, infection, and an increase in bacteria that can enter their bloodstream. Furthermore, untreated mouth issues can cause your child to have problems eating, speaking, and playing, which can lead to further health problems and developmental issues.
How Often Should Your Child See Their Dentist?
Regular dental checkups are an important part of maintaining your child’s health.
Your child should have their first dental exam and cleaning before they turn a year old, or no longer than 6 months after getting their first tooth.
After their first appointment, we recommend that your child gets a dental exam and cleaning bi-yearly. Of course, if you notice your child is experiencing any symptoms such as tooth pain, you should book an appointment with your child’s dentist as soon as possible, regardless of when their last exam was.
10 Tips to Keep Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy
Keeping your child healthy can be a lot of work. Luckily, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn our top tips on how to keep your child’s mouth healthy.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The most important thing you can do for your child’s mouth health is to make sure they see their dentist regularly for a children’s exam and cleaning. During your child’s appointment, their dentist will clean your child’s teeth, look for signs of tooth decay, and check your child’s gums for disease.
Protect Your Babies Teeth
If you have a baby or a toddler there are a few precautions you can take to protect your child’s teeth. We recommend avoiding the following to promote good oral hygiene:
- Giving them a bottle before bed
- Feeding them sugary drinks or food
- Letting them suck their thumb or use a pacifier
Develop a Good Hygiene Routine
Getting into the habit of following a good oral hygiene routine can help set your child up for success. At Shawnessy Dental, we recommend the “2 for 2” rule to all our patients. The “2 for 2” rule involves brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time.
Make Flossing a Habit
Just as it’s important for you to floss, it’s necessary for your child as well. You should begin flossing your children’s teeth twice a day as soon as they have two teeth that are touching.
Make Oral Hygiene Fun
If your child dreads brushing or flossing, you can help encourage a good oral hygiene routine by making it fun. Try listening to music, buying your child a cool toothbrush, or making it a competition to get your child on board.
Lead by Example
Your children look up to you. You can use this opportunity to be a role model for your child and show them how important oral hygiene is to you.
Feed Your Child a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is important for all aspects of your child’s health, but it’s important for their teeth too. Keep your kid’s teeth healthy by providing nutritional snacks and limiting sugary drinks or food.
Regularly Check Your Child’s Mouth
It can be hard to tell when your child is experiencing tooth or gum issues. One way to combat this is to regularly monitor your child’s mouth for signs of early tooth decay. If you notice anything changing, book an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible.
Protect Them During Sports & Activities
When your child plays a sport or takes part in physical activity, there’s always a chance their teeth can become damaged. Protect your child’s teeth by purchasing a mouthguard if they’re at risk for a mouth injury.
Know What to Do in an Emergency
A dental emergency can happen to anyone, so you should be prepared to act fast if it happens to you. If you find yourself in an emergency, contact your dentist right away and seek immediate medical attention.
We’re Here for You & Your Family
These 10 tips are just some of the most important things you can do as a parent to maintain good oral health for your child and to begin nurturing good habits. To get more help, please feel free to call us at Shawnessy dental.Our team is always willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have!