Take a moment this new year to evaluate your children’s oral care habits. Are you concerned about them or think their oral hygiene could be better? It’s easy to forget about our oral care routine with our busy family lives. The New Year is a great time when making goals like healthy eating and weight loss are common. Why not set a new goal to encourage good dental hygiene in your kids to help them grow up with healthy smiles?
The Importance of Children’s Dental Hygiene
Children are less prone to periodontal disease than adults. But tartar and plaque buildup can cause erosion and decay in their teeth. If they aren’t treated early, the results can be both physical (cavities,) emotional (low self-esteem,) and social (embarrassment around other people.)
A child’s primary teeth can become severely decayed at alarmingly quick rates. Thankfully it’s best to spot and treat problems early before they have a chance to get worse.
If you carry insurance, your plan will almost always cover children’s a dental cleaning in Wheat Ridge as well as protective sealants. Even if your insurance doesn’t cover preventive care, it’s more affordable than paying for complex reconstructive surgery as an adult or teenager. Dr. Ngo at Kid Focus Dentistry in Wheat Ridge recommends that you schedule a checkup for your child once their first tooth erupts, then every six months after that.
What Happens at a Children’s Dental Exam?
At your child’s exam, we will gently remove any plaque and polish away any surface discoloration as part of their pediatric dental cleaning. Are you worried about the color of their adult teeth? Permanent teeth are usually slightly darker than baby teeth because they have a thicker layer of dentin beneath their enamel.
Our children’s dentist in Wheat Ridge can also check your child’s recent dental X-rays to check for cavities, cysts, impacted teeth, or atypical growth issues. The earlier we spot concerns, the more conservative and affordable it is to treat them.
Brushing Tips for Kids
As a parent, caregiver, or grandparent, you naturally want the best for your children. The first step is teaching your child how to brush their own teeth and be independent about their dental care. Here are a couple of things you can do to make the process more effective and fun:
Children learn by mirroring others. You can’t underestimate the positive impact watching a parent brush and floss their teeth has on a child.
Your children will be more open to the idea of brushing longer if they understand it is an essential part of daily life and get to share that moment with a parent.
Consider using a timer or their favorite song to time how long you’re supposed to brush (two minutes.) If they don’t have a timer, most kids will only brush for about 30 seconds.
Use the Correct Toothpaste
Fluoride is essential for healthy tooth development. However, your child may swallow the toothpaste if they’re very young. This can lead to nausea and upset stomachs. Until your child can spit the toothpaste out, only use a smear the size of a grain of rice when it comes to fluoride toothpaste. When they get older, up the amount to the size of a pea.
Easy Ways to Stick to Your Resolution
Make 2023 your child’s best year for healthy teeth yet. Dr. Ngo recommends making goals like:
- Encourage your child to brush twice daily
- Allow your children to be independent but make sure you follow up behind them until they can tie their shoes.
- Floss your child’s teeth every day.
- Encourage regular water intake. Tap is best.
- Limit the intake of soda, juice, sports drinks, and other sweetened beverages.
- Do not snack on processed carbs between meals. Instead, focus on the best food for healthy teeth, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Schedule Your Child’s Visit
Regular dentist checkups are a great opportunity for your child to improve their oral hygiene and dental health. Call us today to schedule your child’s next checkup!