This month may be a time for paper hearts and valentines, but at Smile Fitness Centers, we celebrate February by showing love for little smiles! Your child is at special risk for tooth decay, and developing good habits now will put him or her on the road to a lifetime of healthy smiles. To honor National Children’s Dental Health Month, the children’s dentist in Phoenix has put together a list of helpful tips for kids’ teeth!
Monitor Brushing and Flossing
You’ll need to brush your child’s teeth for them until the time they can tie their own shoes, or around age 6. By that time, kids have the dexterity necessary to thoroughly brush, but will still benefit from your close supervision. Flossing should begin as soon as two or more teeth are touching each other.
As your child gets older, it may seem like they’re able to brush and floss without your supervision, but children continue developing their hygiene habits for years. It may seem excessive, but monitoring your child’s brushing and flossing techniques well into teenhood will help to make sure they’re getting a proper clean every single time.
Remember that just like you, children should brush their teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, and floss daily.
Encourage Healthy Eating and Drinking Habits
Your child’s nutrition plays a big role in his or her smile health, so make sure you talk about the importance of healthy eating for their teeth and gums. As they get older, children are eating out of the home more and making more of their own decisions — so your guidance from a young age will be important for years to come.
And while you’re talking to your child about proper eating habits, don’t overlook the importance of what they’re drinking, too. Kids may love the taste of sports drinks, fruit juices, and sodas, but these sugary beverages throw the pH balance of their mouths out of whack and leave them at a greater risk of decay.
One of your biggest allies in your child’s dental health is actually tap water. In the US, water sources have been treated with fluoride, the mineral that is well-known for its ability to prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to the acids and bacteria that cause cavities. An additional fluoride treatment at Smile Fitness Centers can provide extra protection.
Consider Early Orthodontic Intervention
Some orthodontic issues are best fixed when children are young, before the jawbones have fully formed. Around age 7 or so, we may recommend an orthodontic evaluation. Fixing issues from a young age can reduce future orthodontic treatment times, or eliminate the need for braces altogether. You and your child’s dentist will fully discuss the need for and advantages of early orthodontic intervention.
Schedule a Checkup and Cleaning Today!
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, twice-annual checkups and cleanings at Smile Fitness Centers keep your child’s smile healthy and strong. And if there’s one thing they can’t do for themselves, it’s call us to schedule an appointment! So be an advocate for your child’s smile — contact us to book a checkup and cleaning today.