- On October 5, 2017
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- books for kids, childrens dentistry, dental health, National Dental Hygiene Month, Oral health, pediatric dentistry
Oral Health for Kids
National Dental Hygiene Month
Brushing and flossing our little one’s teeth can be a challenge! We completely understand now that we are parents of a 4-year old and a 2-year old. There are days that we have had to brush our 2-year-old son Will’s teeth while he is screaming at us. I joke that at least his mouth is open and I can see in there! Haha! We all have been there, right?
As a dentist, I see tooth decay on small children regularly, and I know that it is preventable. 1 in 4 children have tooth decay by age 5!
Our family history, diet, fluoridated/non-fluoridated water (which Smithville’s is not), can all contribute to tooth decay. We CAN OVERCOME these obstacles to prevent our kiddos from having tooth decay. With all we do to protect our babies, we must also put that same energy into protecting them from developing holes full of bacteria in their mouths.
Here are a few tips to preventing tooth decay:
- Bring your kiddos with you to your dental appointments. We can give advice and help you with any questions!
- Brush morning & night – night is a MUST
- Let them brush first, then it is ALWAYS mom or dad’s turn after. It helps my 2-year old to watch me brush his sister’s teeth first, then he allows me to take a turn brushing his teeth. If they won’t allow you at first, then unfortunately tough parenting has to kick in. You HAVE to get in there (whatever it takes) and brush. If our kids touch a dirty toilet, we make them wash their hands. We hold them up to the sink and scrub their hands for them! Right?!? Often the bacteria in mouths is worse than what you will find on a toilet – GROSS – I know! None of us think of it this way, because we can’t see it until the bacteria has gotten so bad it causes a visible hole in the tooth.
- If your child won’t allow a kid’s toothbrush to be used, then try a washcloth or even an adult toothbrush to cover more surface area, quickly.
- Floss between teeth that are touching. If there is a gap between teeth and you can brush it, then you don’t have to floss that spot. My daughter has 4 areas that I floss every day, the rest I can get to with a toothbrush.
- It is ok after age 1 to use fluoride toothpaste!
- Read books to your kids on taking care of their teeth, so they don’t develop a fear of brushing and flossing. Here is a list of great kid-friendly books on oral health: (Click link for book list —>) Oral Health For Kids