10 Tips to Better Dental Health for Kids

Having a pearly white smile as an adult begins with practicing good dental care as a kid. Taking care of those teeth when you’re young leads to a lifetime of oral and overall health. Knowing where to begin is the first step to forming good habits early on.

Here are ten tips for improving the dental health of your children.

Ten Tips for Better Dental Health for Kids

Dental health is not something to take lightly. Follow these ten steps with your children, and give them the gift of a healthy smile for life.

  1. Start young. Children should see a dentist for their very first checkup within six months of their first baby tooth coming in.
  2. Educate. Teach your children the importance of caring for their teeth and good oral hygiene habits.
  3. Make brushing fun. Come up with a fun song or have your kids play a fun toothbrushing game during brushing.
  4. Seek out a dentist for kids. See if there’s a Kool Smiles in your area. Taking your child to a dentist that focuses on providing a fun and friendly atmosphere for kids can eliminate any fear.
  5. Be proactive. Ask your dentist about sealants or fluoride applications that will help protect against cavities before they happen.
  6. Remove the bottle. When infants fall asleep with a bottle of breast milk or formula in their mouth, the extended exposure to sugar can increase tooth decay.
  7. Check medications. Talk to your pediatrician about how different medications could affect your child’s teeth. Children’s medication can often be sweet and sugary, and kids who take long-term prescriptions can be more vulnerable to suffer from cavities and tooth decay.
  8. Supervise. Once your kids begin brushing and flossing on their own, watch them until you’re certain they’ve made good dental hygiene a habit.
  9. Thumbs out. If your child is still sucking his or her thumb once permanent teeth begin to come in, speech problems or misaligned teeth can occur.
  10. Fluoride up. Have your home’s water supply tested for fluoride. Fluoride helps fight against early tooth decay, one of the most common dental problems in children.

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Sources:

Kids Health – http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/teeth/fluoride_water.html

PBS Kids – http://pbskids.org/daniel/games/in-my-bathroom/