Tuesday, January 27, 2015

6 Tips to Help Children Have Good Dental Hygiene

Good dental habits that are developed at a young age help children maintain strong and healthy teeth throughout their lives. Here are 7 smart tips parents should follow:
 
1.) Start Brushing Early

It is important to start taking care of a baby’s teeth as soon as they appear, because cavities can form early. An infant toothbrush with a tiny smear of toothpaste is enough to keep baby teeth free of plaque and debris. Parents or caregivers should supervise brushing until children reach age 5.

2.) Brush at Least Twice a Day

Teach children to brush at least twice a day, just like adults do. Establishing good brushing habits is vital, otherwise, it becomes easy to forget to brush, and nothing is worse than allowing food particles to sit on the teeth throughout the day or overnight -- this is how plaque builds up and cavities form.

3.) Teach Flossing

Flossing is a much neglected part of good dental hygiene. Remember, plaque can also grow in the spaces between teeth, and small particles of food can get lodged there. Flossing is the only way to reach these spaces, so it should become a regular practice as soon as children have teeth that are touching.

4.) Avoid Sugary Food & Drinks

Sugary and starchy foods are particularly dangerous for teeth. The sugars and starches attract bacteria, which produce plaque, and plaque eats away at tooth enamel to form cavities. A major contributing factor to childhood cavities is the drinking of sugary sodas and juice. Babies are sometimes given bottles of juice when they are laid down for a nap, and older children frequently enjoy soda with their meals. Unfortunately, all of the sugar contained in such drinks is incredibly destructive to tooth enamel.

Limit a child’s intake of foods with added sugar, and make sure they brush their teeth thoroughly and at night.

5.) Make Regular Dental Appointments

Your child’s first dental visit should be scheduled about 6 months after teeth come in, with regular checkups starting around age 4. These visits can help prevent early childhood cavities, and give children the opportunity to become familiar with Dr. Fayad and his team so they feel comfortable visiting our dental office. 

6.) Positive Attitude toward the Dentist

Finally, it is important to make sure that your kids feel good about going the dentist. Parents go a long way toward encouraging this attitude in the way they discuss upcoming visits. Answer a child’s questions with positive words, avoiding scary terminology, and in this way, your child will develop a positive attitude about regular checkups and cleanings.
 
Is your child ready for their first dental visit? Do you have more questions about dentistry for all members of your family? Contact Dr. Fayad today to schedule your dental consultation!
 

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