How To Teach Your Children To Have Dental Hygiene
Summer vacation is the perfect time to talk with your kids about how important it is to take care of their teeth. When you lay the foundation now for great oral health, you will be helping your child to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth and overall wellness.
Here are some top oral health tips from a Washington Heights dentist to discuss with your child.
Build Toothbrushing Into Your Child’s Daily Routine
Every parent knows that it isn’t always easy to get a child to cooperate. Sometimes, it might be tempting to let the routine slide and try again tomorrow. However, regular brushing twice a day is one of the best ways to protect the health of your child’s teeth. Without regular brushing, your child is at risk of plaque and bacterial buildup that will cause decay, cavities, and gum diseases.
When choosing a toothbrush for your child, select one with a small head that will fit well inside their mouths. Only use a pea sized amount of toothpaste. Gently brush the front, back, and sides of your child’s teeth, paying special attention to where the teeth and gums meet.
Take the time to help your child brush their teeth twice a day. After breakfast and before bed are the best times for optimal protection.
Teach Your Child To Floss
Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene, but it is often skipped because people don’t like to do it or find it too time consuming. The reason that flossing is so important is because the floss can remove food particles and any plaque buildup that is developing between teeth or in areas where a toothbrush cannot reach. Since plaque growth and obstructed food particles happen at any age, it’s important that your child learns to floss as soon as they are big enough to do it.
Traditional flossing can be challenging for children, so ask your Washington Heights dental clinic for suggestions on alternatives, such as interdental brushing and water flossing, both of which are easier to use than traditional flossing and make the process much more fun.
Limit Your Child’s Sugar Intake
Most children love sugary foods. Unfortunately, candy along with sweetened foods and beverages become a daily norm rather than an occasional treat. Sugar will cause more damage to teeth than almost any other food. When sugars in foods or drinks interact with the bacteria that occur in your child’s mouth, plaque forms on teeth.
Plaque is the clear, somewhat sticky substance that is constantly forming on our teeth. You can feel plaque when you move your tongue over your teeth, which usually feel slippery when they are coated with plaque. Not only is plaque unsightly, but contains acids that wear away the outer layers of our teeth, causing cavities, discoloration, and sensitivity. If plaque is left untreated, the bacteria can spread into the gum tissue that surrounds teeth, causing irritation and infection that will lead to gum disease. When you carefully limit your child’s sugar intake, you’ll be reducing plaque buildup, which will directly help reduce their risk of dental problems.
Discourage Habits That Are Detrimental To Dental Health
Everyone has a handful of bad or nervous habits, but some childhood habits are especially harmful for teeth and oral development. Some of these habits include sucking on a bottle at night, long-term pacifier use, persistent thumb sucking past toddlerhood, and nail biting. Ask your family dentist for advice and support to help your child stop these habits – or better yet, prevent them from happening in the first place.
Visit Your Family Dentist Regularly
One of the best ways to promote healthy oral hygiene in your children is with regular dental visits at your Washington Heights dentist office. The American Dental Association recommends that infants have their first dental visit within 6 months of the appearance of their first tooth, and every 6 months after that.
At regular dental appointments, your dentist will be able to assess the development of your child’s teeth and jaw. If needed, early intervention can be provided. Your family dentist may also recommend preventative treatments, such as dental sealants or fluoride treatments, to promote the health of your child’s teeth.
Top Rated Dentist In Washington Heights
Get the best smile and healthier teeth with Esthetix Dental Spa in Washington Heights. Our experienced dentists offer modern technology to give you a comfortable and effective dental experience. Get only the best dental care for your family! To schedule your appointment at Esthetix Dental Spa, contact us today.