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7 Healthy Dental Habits For Kids

kids dental care

Children’s health and happiness are always at the forefront of parents’ minds. All moms and dads want their kids to live long, joy-filled lives.

Childhood obesity is a problem in America, so parents encourage their kids to go outside and be active. There are even government initiatives that push children to exercise more.

However, with all this focus on outdoor activity and physical education, parents sometimes neglect other areas of health. They lose sight of how important something like kids dental care truly is.

Kids dental care doesn’t get as much attention as childhood obesity because the percentage of children with untreated tooth decay is less than that of children who are obese. However, there are still many kids dealing with dental issues.

About 20 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 11 in America have at least one untreated decayed tooth. This number is 13 percent for kids ages 12 to 19.

Fortunately, parents and their children can be proactive so that these dental issues never occur. If kids follow specific steps when taking care of their teeth, their chances at getting cavities are drastically reduced.

So how do you prevent your children from having problems with their teeth? We have seven healthy dental habits for you and your kids to follow.

Read on to discover what you and your children can do to make sure that they have the strongest (and shiniest) teeth possible.

Kids Dental Care Basics: Brush and Floss

The most basic rule of dental hygiene is to brush and floss your teeth every day. This is especially important for kids dental care.

Make sure you or your children brush their teeth at least twice a day. Typically, once in the morning and once at night. If you can do it more than twice a day, though, that’s even better.

You or your children should also floss their teeth once a day. Flossing ensures that you get rid of as much plaque and food from between their teeth and below their gum lines as possible.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Most parents nowadays try to motivate their kids to eat fruits and vegetables to battle against childhood obesity. However, these healthy meal choices also benefit your children’s teeth.

You mainly want your children to eat fruits and vegetables that possess a high volume of water.

These types of fruits and veggies include pears, melons, and cucumbers, which are all low in sugar. The crunching process of eating these foods also helps clean your children’s teeth.

Try to stay away from certain fruits that are higher in sugar, such as bananas and dried fruit. If your children eat them periodically, that is fine. Just be sure they clean their teeth not too long afterward.

Stay Away From Too Much Sugar and Starch

One common warning that all parents give their kids is to not have too much sugar. Not only can sugar cause kids to become hyper and gain weight, but it also can damage their teeth.

Most moms and dads try to steer their children away from cookies, cakes, and candies. However, other sugary and starchy foods, such as granola bars, honey, and even raisins, can also cause dental harm.

How exactly do they do this?

These types of food are difficult for saliva to wash away. As a result, they constantly coat your children’s teeth in sugar, which can end up causing tooth decay.

Make sure that your children brush their teeth very soon after they eat something too sugary or starchy. Otherwise, they could end up with many cavities.

Enjoy Good Sources of Calcium

Calcium doesn’t just strengthen your bones. It also greatly helps your teeth.

Nearly 99 percent of all the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones and teeth. That’s why dentists encourage their patients, particularly children, to eat and drink snacks that are filled with good calcium

Some of the best sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and broccoli. Your children can eat foods that strengthen their teeth for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Keep an Eye on Pacifiers and Sippy Cups

It is incredibly common for babies and toddlers to suck on pacifiers. It is also quite usual for young children to drink from sippy cups as they transition into drinking from real cups or glasses.

However, prolonged use of both pacifiers and sippy cups can potentially be very damaging to your children’s teeth.

If your children continue to use pacifiers past the age of two or three, it could change how their teeth line up and cause their teeth to come in crooked or distorted. It could also affect the shapes of your children’s mouths.

When it comes to sippy cups, don’t let your children use them all day long. Constant use of sippy cups can lead to tooth decay on the back of your children’s front teeth, especially if they are drinking sugary liquids like juice.

No Dental Hygiene Vacations On Your Vacation

Dental hygiene is never anyone’s first priority on a vacation. People want to relax and have fun. The common, everyday activities they do can sometimes fall by the wayside.

Don’t let that happen with your family’s dental care.

Set an example by keeping up with your own brushing and flossing schedule. If your children see you sticking to it, they’re more likely to follow.

A vacation is no time to be taking a break from dental hygiene, especially when your kids are most likely indulging in more sugary and starchy foods.

Cleaning your children’s teeth on a trip has to be just as important as it is at home. Remain consistent.

Regularly Visit Your Pediatric Dentist

The best kids dental care can’t solely happen at home. You need to make sure your children are also seeing their dentist on a regular basis.

Typically, most people, both children, and adults see their dentist twice a year, about once every six months. Keep to this schedule to ensure your teeth are clean and strong.

When it comes to babies and dental care, the general rule is to have their first visit to the dentist be no later than their first birthday. As soon as their first tooth comes in, schedule an appointment.

Do you have questions or concerns about kids dental care? Want to make an appointment for you or your child sometime soon?

We can help! Contact us at Forest Park Dental so that we can assist you today.

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