7 Tips For Keeping Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs in the world and part of that job includes making sure your kid’s teeth are as healthy as possible. From birth to adulthood, your child’s teeth will grow and change, requiring different kinds of care along the way.

You likely already know some of the basics of taking care of teeth, but maybe you don’t. So, if you have kids and you want to learn about caring for their teeth, please continue reading.

Tips For Keeping Your Kid’s Teeth Healthy

Practicing routine dental care at home can not only keep your kid’s teeth healthy but also helps reduce the cost of professional care that he or she may need over the years. Children are not born with the knowledge to care for their teeth. That’s why it is important for parents to be responsible by instilling in your children a daily routine and good practices. We have several tips to share that will keep your child’s smile healthy.

1. Brush and Floss Your Kid’s Teeth

This is the most basic thing you can do to keep your kid’s teeth healthy. Brushing and flossing cleans unwanted plaque and bacteria off teeth and gums, preventing gum disease and cavities. Even before your child’s first tooth erupts you should use a damp cloth to wipe the gums clean. Once the first tooth reveals itself, use a soft infant toothbrush to gently clean it at least twice a day. Flossing can begin after your child has two teeth that are touching.

As your child gets older, be sure to teach them how to brush and floss by themselves. Promoting a good oral health routine and inspecting your child’s work is the best way to prevent problems down the road.

2. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

This is not always easy in today’s world of processed foods and sweets. If you have ever gone grocery shopping, you have clearly seen the market is designed to sell you candy and soda. And it’s all conveniently placed so your child will see it and want it.

While it’s okay for kids to have a treat now and then, it’s best to control how much they have and when they have it. Parents should teach their kids moderation. After all, too many sweets can cause cavities and other dental issues. A child only has one set of baby teeth. Teaching them self-control and proper oral care habits helps prepare them to care for their permanent teeth later on.

Limit or avoid sugary foods and drinks especially before bedtime. Always make sure your child brushes and flosses after consuming sweets to clean off any sugar particles left behind. Sugar weakens the tooth enamel and increases the risk for cavities to develop. Instead, focus on calcium-rich foods that will work to strengthen teeth.

3. Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments

kid's teeth

Most parents don’t have the training to spot potential dental problems and they certainly don’t have the tools to perform professional cleanings and closer inspections.

Ideally, parents should schedule their child’s first dentist appointment after the first tooth erupts, and then continue scheduling regular check-ups every six months. The dentist will be able to take a close look at your kid’s teeth and identify any problems that need attention. Your child will also get a professional cleaning that will eliminate plaque buildup missed by brushing and flossing at home.

Making dentist appointments a routine part of your child’s life helps them feel less anxiety and fear. Be sure not to pass on any fears about the dentist that you may have yourself. Give your child the confidence and courage to visit the dentist. It should be a positive experience, not something to dread. Smiles in Framingham offers pediatric dental care.

4. Ask About Sealants for Kid’s Teeth

If your child is having problems brushing properly or staying away from sugary foods and drinks, dental sealants are a possible solution. Sealants are a special coating that the dentist can apply to the back teeth. This coating helps prevent cavity formation. Just ask the dentist about it during your next appointment.

5. Mouthguards

Children are often very active. Perhaps your child participates in organized sports. If so, make wearing a mouthguard part of their routine every time they step on the playing field or court. Mouthguards protect teeth from sustaining damage if there is an accident. In addition, mouthguards are highly recommended if your child wears braces as they can be expensive to repair or replace.

6. Use Plenty of Fluoride

Getting enough fluoride promotes stronger tooth enamel, which is why parents should make sure it is part of their child’s oral care routine. Of course, many localities require fluoride in drinking water for this very reason. It is a safe and naturally occurring mineral that also happens to be a natural preventer of tooth decay. If not present in your drinking water, ask your dentist about fluoride supplements. While toothpaste and mouthwash generally include fluoride, it’s simply not enough. However, too much fluoride can result in tooth discoloration, so be sure to consult the dentist.

7.  Be a Role Model

kid's teeth

Ultimately, the best thing you can do to keep your kid’s teeth healthy is to teach them how to do it themselves. That means being a role model. Children often imitate their parents and want to be like them. They want to feel and act like a grown-up, and practicing a proper oral health routine can be part of that. Make oral care fun. Reward your children for doing a good job. Encourage them as much as possible and correct them when necessary. Bad oral health can lead to all sorts of short-term and long-term problems that can be avoided. As parents, we don’t want our children to be in pain or feel embarrassed to talk or smile. We want them to be healthy. So, be the best parent you can be for them so they can become a healthy adult like you.

Keeping Kid’s Teeth Healthy in Framingham

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch and the Smiles In Framingham team are ready to help you provide the best dental care for your child. Just call us today at 508-872-0555 or visit our website today for a consultation. We serve Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and surrounding areas. Let us help you give your child a smile both of you will love for a lifetime.

To all my wonderful patients and their families:

 

The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.

 

Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.

 

Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.

 

I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.

 

Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.

 

Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.

 

My very best wishes to all of you,

 

Dr. Deborah Himelhoch