When you’re a parent, you’d do just about anything to make sure your child grows up healthy. For most parents, that includes having strong teeth. Fortunately, taking care of your kid’s oral health isn’t that hard, provided you have the right tools. Keep reading as a pediatric dentist talks about four of the tools you need to keep your little one’s smile nice and healthy.
Make sure that you buy the right kind of toothbrush for your child. The head of the brush should easily fit into their mouth, and the handle should have a comfortable grip for them. Once you’ve found a few options that fit that mold, let your son or daughter pick out a brush featuring their favorite color or cartoon character. Letting your child have some say in the buying process will make them more likely to look forward to brushing. Be sure to change out their toothbrush every three months, or right after they’ve been sick.
Did you know that brushing only cleans about three-fifths of the surface of the teeth? Flossing can take care of the rest. As soon as your little one has two teeth that touch, you need to start flossing between them every day. If your child has trouble using traditional floss, you can have them use floss picks to give them better reach.
Water is by far the healthiest beverage for teeth of any age. It helps clean food debris off of teeth that, if left behind, can attract dangerous bacteria that cause cavities. Drinking water also helps stimulate saliva production. Saliva not only rinses out the mouth, but neutralizes the acids in food so they don’t damage your little one’s teeth. Make sure to give your son or daughter water instead of juice to rehydrate.
The American Dental Association has recommended for more than 50 years that your child brushes with toothpaste that contains fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens teeth against cavities. However, make sure your child spits it out and doesn’t swallow any of it. Swallowing too much fluoride as a child can make small white spots appear on their adult teeth later in life.
Making sure that your child follows these habits now will set them up for a lifetime of excellent oral health. For more advice on how to implement these habits in your child’s life, contact your dentist for toddlers.
About the Author
Dr. Lily Hoang is a Board-Certified pediatric dentist who practices at Shiny Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Garland, TX. She has a passion for helping children of all ages with their dental health, especially kids with special needs. To learn more about what your child needs to have great oral health, visit Dr. Lily’s website.