As a parent, you want the best for your child, including helping them live a long and healthy life. At SPA Dental Group, with locations in New York City and Washington, DC, our team is well aware that an overlooked aspect of overall health is oral health. That’s where we can help.
Proper dental care in childhood can pave the way for a beautiful smile and good oral health in adulthood. Here are some of our oral health hacks to ensure your child's dental success.
1. Start early
The foundation for good oral health begins in infancy, which is why we offer pediatric dentistry. Even before your child's first teeth appear, you can start oral care by gently wiping their gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding.
Once the first tooth erupts, usually around six months, it's time to introduce a soft, child-sized toothbrush. From now on, brushing should be part of your child's daily routine.
2. Make brushing fun
Children are more likely to embrace good oral hygiene habits when they enjoy the process. Turn brushing into a fun and interactive activity. Sing songs, use colorful toothbrushes, or even try an electric toothbrush with exciting designs. You can also get kid-friendly toothpaste flavors that make brushing a tastier experience.
3. Teach proper technique
You can teach your child how to brush their teeth using gentle, circular motions and ensure they brush for at least two minutes. Supervise your child's brushing until they can do it effectively on their own, usually around age 7 or 8.
4. Limit sugar intake
A significant threat to oral health is sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth, leading to cavities and tooth decay. While it's challenging to eliminate all sugar from your child's diet, you can limit their intake by avoiding sugary snacks and drinks. Instead, choose healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables.
5. Visit our practice regularly
Regular dental checkups are crucial for maintaining oral health. Start bringing your child to our office around their first birthday or as soon as their first tooth appears. This early introduction to our team establishes a positive association with dental care. Regular checkups allow us to catch any potential issues early and provide guidance on proper oral care.
6. Fluoride is your friend
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavities. Ensure your child is getting adequate fluoride, either through fluoride toothpaste or a fluoride treatment. However, be mindful of the recommended fluoride levels for your child's age because excessive fluoride intake can lead to fluorosis.
7. Lead by example
Children mimic their parents' behavior, so set a good example regarding oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and let your child see that you prioritize dental care. That instills a lifelong habit.
8. Protect their teeth during sports
If your child is involved in sports, consider a custom-fitted mouthguard as part of their preventive care to protect their teeth from injury. Dental injuries can be painful and costly to treat, so prevention is key.
9. Stay informed
Oral health recommendations may change over time as new research emerges. We can help you stay informed about the latest guidelines and dental products to ensure you're providing the best care for your child's oral health.
Prioritizing oral health in your family will go a long way in ensuring their dental success. By starting early, making oral care fun, and instilling good habits, you can help your child maintain a healthy smile that’ll last a lifetime.
If you have questions about these oral health hacks or more, call us at either office in New York City or Washington, DC, or click here to book an appointment online today.