Healthy smiles begin in childhood, and our dentists and team are dedicated to giving your child’s smile a great start. But we cannot do it alone, and you play an important role in your child’s oral health. Here are some suggestions for taking care of your child’s teeth:
- Have them brush at least twice a day. You will need to do this for them until about the age of 7, although all children develop their motor skills at a different pace. You can even let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. As long the toothbrush has soft bristles and fits comfortably in your child’s mouth, it should be fine. And make sure that your child chooses a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Make brushing fun! Pick out or make up a tooth brushing song, or let your child practice “brushing” the teeth of a favorite doll, stuffed animal or action figure. Be sure to offer plenty of encouragement and praise for a job well done!
- Help your child floss each day. Flossing removes the plaque and food debris between your child’s teeth and just below the gumline. It is not a bad idea at all to floss after meals or snacks, but it should be done at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
- Talk with your child’s dentist about their diet. Limit your child’s intake of junk food and soft drinks or sports or energy drinks, or avoid them altogether. Try more healthy snacks and plenty of water instead. Our dentists will be happy to make some menu recommendations.
- Monitor for bad habits. Thumb and finger sucking is perfectly normal for small children and often goes away on its own. But if your child shows no sign of stopping, talk with our dentists about habit-breaking treatments.
- Protect your child’s smile. If your child plays contact sports or is involved with an activity that could damage their mouth or teeth, talk to our dentists about a sports mouth guard.
If you have questions about how to take care of your child’s smile. call our office today for an appointment with our dentists.