• Steven Walker posted an update 9 months, 2 weeks ago

    Each year parents make sure that they get their children go service to the doctor for an annual checkup before school starts, but what about their teeth? Tooth decay and dental disease is an increasing epidemic in the United States and efforts to educate parents have been increasing by the dental and medical community, according to A healthy, dazzling smile doesn’t just happen, it takes diligence, discipline and persistence from an early age.

    How to choose a dentist?

    Pediatric dentists generally have a few years of specialized training in the oral health of children. These dentists address the needs of infants, children, adolescents and patients with special needs. A comprehensive dental exam includes cleanings, x-rays and ensuring that the teeth and gums are developing properly. They also promote an environment that kids love when visiting the office such as a television, games; things that serve as diversions while waiting their turn. Find a dentist through word of mouth, one that other parents trust and one that can communicate with children in a friendly and non-threatening way. Make your child’s first dental visit a positive one!

    Learn about the dynamic duo: brushing and flossing

    Believe it or not, by the time your baby’s first tooth erupts it’s time to start daily brushing with a tiny amount of toothpaste made especially for children. By the time the child is a preschooler, he/she may be able to brush twice a day with some supervision from parents. Use a very soft bristled brush and gentle circular motions. Now flossing is a little harder to do, so parents may need to do this task as the teeth come in and touch each other. Flossing is so important to remove plaque that forms between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. As the child ages, this task can be done alone using a gentle back and forth motion to guide the floss between the teeth.

    Be careful with fluoride and harsh abrasives

    Fluoride integrates into the tooth enamel making the teeth more resistant to cavities. But too much fluoride can be dangerous if ingested. Swallowing too much toothpaste leads to a condition called dental fluorosis in which the tooth enamel becomes brittle and discolored. Only use fluoride toothpaste when your child is able to understand that swallowing it can be dangerous. For the very young, you can find fluoride-free products. Avoid using harsh whitening toothpastes made to clean stains off of adults’ teeth. These are not suitable for children and can strip off developing tooth enamel.

    Create good dental habits early

    We as parents know that repetition is an important way to teach habits. We sometimes have to do tasks whether we like it or not. Let your children know early on that there is no acceptable excuse for not brushing the teeth at least twice a day. You know there will be battles to conquer but be firm when your child pleads, “I’m too tired to brush, I’ll brush extra in the morning.” Please don’t fall for this ploy. If necessary explain how germs, bacteria and plaque accumulates overnight. This usually grosses the kids and gets them up to brush. Be steadfast. By the time your children reach the preteen stage, brushing and flossing will be a habit and a part of their grooming routine.

    A good diet is necessary for a healthy mouth

    The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a well-balanced diet, just like the rest of our body. Teach children that healthy snacks such as fresh carrots, apples, celery, cheese and yogurt make for a beautiful smile. I’m not saying that your kids can’t have a sweet snack on occasion, but keep this in moderation. The longer sweet foods remain in the mouth, the higher the risk of tooth decay and cavities. No one likes the feel of the drill at the dentist’s office.

    Keep oral hygiene a value you instill in your child and they will thank you as they grow into teenagers and have a beautiful kissable smile.