Our blog post this month is going to provide parents a few recommendations on how to keep their children’s teeth healthy since back to school time is upon us! If your children learn how to take care of their teeth, they are very likely to continue those habits into adulthood. It can be difficult to keep your child’s teeth healthy because they struggle to understand how it will help them later in life. Positive preventative habits now can lead to fewer serious issues later in life such as cavities other oral health problems. Teaching you kids these habits will lead to healthier teeth for them and a happier life.
Brush and Floss Twice a Day
It’s recommended that children brush and floss twice a day, just as adults do. This can be a difficult task to perform at first, but when introduced in the proper ways, it can be an easy habit to get into.
The ADA recommends that children make their first dental visit before their first birthday. During this trip, the dentist will be able to outline proper brushing and flossing techniques and perform a thorough exam while the child sits comfortably on your lap. This is important to do because it also instills the need for you as a parent to help them brush their teeth in the first few years of their lives.
Brushing your child’s teeth during the morning and evening routines will help your child expect it to be done, which will lead to them being more comfortable with the feeling. Dr.Phuong Phan also recommends making it a more fun event by getting a colorful/themed toothbrush and yummy tasting toothpaste to go along with it. You can even incorporate a fun song or television show while you brush as well to lighten the mood and make them more receptive to you being in their mouths.
In order to keep your child’s teeth healthy, our team at Phan Family Dentistry recommends to brush for two full minutes. When they are old enough to wield their own toothbrush, it’s your responsibility as the parent to make sure they are brushing correctly and for the designated amount of time. Flossing once a day as soon as two teeth touch is also very important to remove plaque from between the teeth that brushes can’t reach.
Schedule Routine Dental Visits
Your children should visit a dentist at least twice per year, or as often as your dentist recommends. As mentioned before, make sure that their first visit comes before they turn one year of age to ensure they are on the right path to oral health success. The earlier you start children on routine dental visits, the more accepting they normally end up being to going. This is not only important for them as children but also helps them later in life when they become adults with their own routines and habits.
Dr.Phuong Phan ensures that the practice is welcoming to all children who visit here. We want to make sure that all dental anxieties stay at the door and that their trip is as enjoyable as possible. The last thing anyone wants is for a child to resent their dental visits, which normally winds up transitioning into adult habits of not going until there’s a dental emergency.
Regular dental visits are vital in keeping your child’s teeth healthy. They give our team the ability to evaluate their mouth, make recommendations for household routines, and allows us to identify any possible issues that may arise before they become worse.
Avoid Biting on Ice & Nonfood Items
It’s important to understand that young children actually go through a learning phase where they learn about their world via their mouth’s. They chew and gnaw on everything to understand what is food, what a toy or pacifier might be, and what might bring harm to them. Chewing on things might actually help them when their teeth begin to push through, to help the pain go away too.
Unfortunately, some of these behaviors may transition into their lives as more mature children too. They may begin to chew on ice that comes in their drinks and that can actually cause serious harm to a child’s teeth. Our team at Phan Family Dentistry has seen teeth crack or break time and time again when a child chews on ice, hard candies, or nonfood items. It’s not just cracking teeth either: Sucking on pencils or pens can actually cause drastic shifting in their teeth too!
Ensuring poor habits don’t begin to affect their adult teeth, it’s best to make sure they don’t begin them in the first place. Be sure to correct the behavior immediately when it’s identified to prevent it from becoming a habit.
Limit Consuming Certain Foods
You may already understand that sugar filled foods and drinks can cause large-scale cavity issues. Even though you may limit their access to these types of food and drink, there still comes the times when they may not be under your supervision, like at school or a friend’s house. This is where we recommend the practice of educating rather than denying access to these treats.
Rather than blocking all access to these foods, make sure you educate your children on the effects of high-sugar diets. Talk to your kids and explain that large consumptions of sugar can severely degrade their teeth. Mention to them that it’s okay to enjoy a candy bar or soda every once in a while, but it must be done in moderation.
Not only that but you should also explain to them that once they’re done with consuming the sugary substance, they should aim to brush and floss as well. At the very least, take a few mouthfuls of water to wash some of the sugar off the surface of their teeth. Remember: It’s not exactly how many grams of sugar one consumes, but how long that sugar remains on the teeth. Bacteria uses sugar as fuel so the longer it’s on your child’s teeth, the more plaque will build.
As your child’s adult teeth grow in, Dr. Phuong Phan can actually help prevent decay by applying a thing coat of resin, called sealant, to their back teeth. This is something that helps protect the teeth that are used the most from cavities and can keep bacteria from settling in those hard to reach crevices.
If you are actively looking for a family dentist in Alexandria, Virginia, please feel free to reach out to our team. We are passionate about helping every single member of the family maintain their oral hygiene and would love to earn your trust.