Kids’ dental care isn’t always a top priority for parents, especially when their baby’s teeth haven’t come in yet. Forming healthy oral care habits early, though, sets children up to have healthier teeth and gums as an adult. To ensure your child has the best chance for good oral health in the future, follow the below tips.
5 Kids’ Dental Care Tips for a Healthy Smile
1. Brush & Floss Early
Even before babies get their first tooth, parents should clean their child’s gums with a damp washcloth. Once the first tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing. Starting kids’ dental care early is key in building good habits. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with water to start, and build up to a rice-sized amount of children’s toothpaste. As soon as your child develops two or more teeth that touch, introduce flossing into your routine.
2. Ditch the Pacifier
Pacifiers are useful for comforting cranky babies, but when they’re used for too long, they can cause tooth misalignment and other problems. The sooner you can break your child of this habit, the less likely they are to need braces or have other dental problems in the future.
3. Skip the Bottle in Bed
Baby bottle tooth decay happens when parents put their children to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. Both seem like healthy options, but the sugars they contain will eat away at your child’s enamel as they sleep. To avoid this, clean their teeth and gums with a damp cloth after they’ve had their bottle, or put them to bed with a bottle of water instead.
4. Make Each Meal Nutritious
A balanced and nutritious diet is key for children’s physical and oral health. Fill their plates with fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and dairy. Keep sugary options like cookies and candy to a minimum. Encourage your children to drink water, as it contains fluoride and helps strengthen the teeth. Remember that even natural sugars can be problematic, so limit fruit juices or dilute them with water.
5. Lead By Example
It’s not likely that your child will brush and floss their teeth or eat their vegetables if you don’t. The fastest way for children to learn is by watching their parents. Make sure your child sees you brushing and flossing every day, and when they're old enough to brush on their own, do it together. Fill your plate with healthy options at meal times, too.
For quality kids’ dental care in Anchorage, AK, turn to the children’s dentists at Alaska Dentistry for Kids. They will handle all your child’s needs, from basic cleanings and exams to fillings and tongue-tie laser procedures. Call them today at (907) 274-2525 to schedule an appointment, or visit their website for more information.