Pediatric Dental Hygiene: The ABCs
The first step in helping your child develop healthy oral care habits for life starts with teaching them the importance of good dental hygiene. So, help your child learn basic care practices by sharing the ABCs of dental hygiene with them to promote a healthy mouth and smile:
- A – Ask Questions: It’s important to teach your kids that it’s ok to ask about dental hygiene tips. If they have questions about anything from how to properly brush their teeth to what they can expect from a visit to the dentist, encourage them to speak up, and ask. Remember, your dentist is the expert. They, along with their team are specially trained and have extensive experience that they can use to answer all of your and your child’s questions to encourage regular, healthy care practices.
- B – Brush: Encourage your child to brush their teeth at least twice each day, after meals and at bedtime, using a soft bristled toothbrush. And, teach them to be as thorough as possible, brushing at a 45-degree angle using small circular motions to reach food particles under the gum line. This is also the time to teach them that the tools they use, preferable an ADA approved toothbrush, should be replaced every 3 months.
- C – Cavities: Cavities are both treatable and preventable. But, it’s best to try to avoid them at all costs by encouraging healthy habits. For instance, too much sugar can lead to the development of tooth decay. This happens when bacteria that live on the teeth feast on the bits of food that are left, eating away at tooth enamel. So, encourage your child to cut down on the sweets but also stick to the twice-a-day rule of brushing to prevent this buildup.
- D – Dentist Visits: When it comes to your health, preventive care is of the utmost importance. So, to maintain a healthy smile, it’s important to have regular professional cleanings and check-ups with your dentist twice a year. Of course, if your child is experiencing something unusual, like tooth or gum pain, or if you have concerns about their oral health, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away to stay on top of the situation before things turn into something more serious.
- E – Eat Health: Teach your kids to stick to a balanced diet to help maintain their oral health as well as their overall health. Eating a variety of foods, like fruits, vegetables or cheese, for example, is encouraged over more damaging things like sugar and starches. It’s also important to teach them to drink lots of water, as it helps wash away food particles that may stick to teeth.
- F – Floss: Just as you teach your kids to brush their teeth to clean the surface, it’s also important to teach them to floss. Flossing cleans between the gaps of your teeth as well as under the gum line and helps prevent nasty, harmful buildup. We recommend daily flossing.
Schedule your child’s next dental exam and cleaning today to keep their smile bright and healthy for years to come.