Childhood and adolescence are two of the most crucial stages when it comes to oral development, which is why it’s so important to instill good dental care habits when your kids are young. These habits will pave the way for them so they can have a healthy, radiant smile that will last a lifetime. Here at Family Tree Dental, we have been working with the families of St. Paul, MN for over 30 years helping create healthy smiles with professional dental care for all ages. To make sure you kids grow up to have brilliant smiles, here are a few tips that you can teach them.
1. Brush At Least Twice Each Day
Brushing your teeth is the core of any good dental hygiene routine, so teaching you kids that they should brush their teeth at least twice a day will make a big difference down the road. Brushing will keep teeth clear of food particles, plaque, and bacteria that will cause tooth decay. A great way to get kids to brush their teeth is to make it a game, where they can compete with their parents or their siblings to see who can keep a brushing streak going the longest.
2. Use Proper Brushing Technique
Brushing your teeth the wrong way can lead to bacteria being left behind, putting your kids at risk for tooth decay. Teaching them the proper brushing technique by angling their toothbrush and scrubbing in small circles will make sure that they clear away all of the remaining food particles close to the gums and in other hard to reach areas.
3. Don’t Forget To Floss
Flossing in the other crucial component to good oral hygiene, since a toothbrush will never be able to get into the tiny crevices between your teeth for a complete clean. This is where flossing comes in, since it covers the areas that the toothbrush bristles were not able to fit through. Teaching your kids to floss in between every tooth, even the very back teeth, will reduce their risk of gum disease and tooth decay significantly.
4. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dentist
A lot of kids seem to be afraid of the dentist, mostly because they get tricked into going to the dentist or get told by their friends and siblings that it’s scary. For parents, the key is to help your kids be as comfortable with their dentist as possible, letting them know what they can expect to happen at their appointments before you take them. At Family Tree Dental, Dr. Watson and our staff will also help out in making sure your kids are as comfortable as possible. The most important thing is making sure their first dental experience is a good one.
5. Always Ask The Dentist Questions
Kids have questions about everything, so letting your kids know that they can ask Dr. Watson and our dental staff anything they want while they’re at the dentist is another thing that will make them feel more comfortable. Not only that, they will be able to learn about dentistry, what we’re doing with their teeth, and why, giving them a better understanding of why it’s important to go to the dentist and take care of their smile.
6. Limit Candy & Sugar
Most kids have a sweet tooth, and there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of candy now and then. However, candy and sugar become extremely dangerous if your kids are not brushing their teeth after, or they’re eating large amounts of it. Sugar quickly turns into acid when it combines with saliva, eating away at the teeth until they rot. Doing your best to limit the amount of sugar your kids eat will help their smiles last much longer.
7. Drink Plenty Of Water
While fruit juices or soft drinks may be in higher demand when it comes to kids, there’s nothing better for their overall health than water. Getting your kids in the habit of drinking water will not only help keep their bodies hydrated and energized, but it will also promote better oral health, since water helps wash away bacteria and food particles on the surfaces of the teeth and gums.
8. Eat Your Fruits & Veggies
There are certain foods that actually strengthen teeth, so working some of those foods into your kids diet will help them maintain a healthier smile. Fruits and veggies like apples and carrots are full of fiber, which actually scrubs while also causing the production of more saliva, which will naturally wash away food particles and bacteria. Also, leafy greens like spinach are full of calcium, which your teeth needs to rebuild and strengthen itself, as well as other essential vitamins.
9. Protect Your Teeth Playing Sports
Sometimes it seems like kids have endless energy, which makes sports such a great outlet for kids to stay active. However, sports can also lead to injuries, including teeth that are cracked, chipped, or even knocked out. When playing any kind of contact sport, we recommend that kids wear a protective mouthguard that will prevent their teeth from being seriously damaged.
10. Fluoride Is Your Friend
It’s common to not know exactly what fluoride is, but it’s important to know that it helps keep your smile strong and healthy. This is also one bit of information that is great for kids to know, since one they understand what fluoride is and how it helps their smile, they’ll remember it as the grow up and become adults.
Fluoride is a simple mineral that restores essential vitamins and minerals in our teeth, and you can find it in toothpaste, mouthwash, and even our drinking water. You’ll often get a fluoride polish and rinse at the dentist, to make sure your teeth stay strong.
11. Keep Smiling!
There’s no time in life that’s more carefree than when you’re a kid, and while it’s not a dental tip, it’s a general tip for enjoying life. Letting your kids have fun and smile as much as possible is always an important part of childhood. We also recommend encouraging your kids to be proud of their smile, since if it’s something they see in a positive light, they will be more likely to care about it, and take care of it.
Contact Family Tree Dental For More Tips
If you have any questions about these dental tips or are looking for more information that can help your kids maintain a healthy smile, just contact us at Family Tree Dental! We’ve been helping kids and adults alike maintain optimal oral health by providing the professional dental care they deserve for three decades. If you would like to schedule your child’s first dental appointment, just give us a call at 651.776.2701 and a member of our team will be able to assist you. We look forward to welcoming you and your family into our office and showing you why Family Tree Dental is the best dental care in St. Paul, MN.