9 Tips To Keep Kids Teeth Healthy
Updated: Feb 6, 2020
1. Be a role model. Kids like to imitate those around them, so be a good role model and demonstrate good oral health habits for them. Brush and floss with your kids, rather than sending them into the bathroom on their own. Instead of treating it as a chore, make it part of the daily routine. 2. Teach them. Show kids under age 3 how to use a rice-size amount of toothpaste. Once kids are able to understand how to spit, rather than swallow the paste, they can use a pea-size amount. When teeth have grown to touch each other, kids can floss and rinse with mouthwash daily. 3. Keep dental appointments. Keep a regular routine of visiting the dentist twice a year, and involve your children. By keeping your appointments, you make it a normal activity, and they will make it a ritual. Your child should have their first dental appointment within 6 months of their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first, and then twice a year after that. 4. Talk. Talk to your kids about what they can expect at the dentist. At their dental visit, talk to your dentist about any concerns you have such as crowding, thumb sucking, losing teeth, mouth guards, and whatever else concerns you. . 5. Eat healthy foods. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods not only helps overall health but it can create a discussion about cavities. When sugar is allowed to sit on your teeth, it can create decay, and we all want healthy, strong teeth to enjoy the things we love. 6. Brush. Brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes is recommended, yet not always achieved. Set a timer and use a tartar dye if desired to be sure all the teeth surfaces are reached and that brushing has happened long enough to be effective at removing plaque. There are apps available to make brushing and caring for your teeth fun. 7. Consider Sealants. For healthy kids teeth, talk to your dentist about the option of having your child’s teeth sealed. Sealants can help prevent cavities and resulting fillings. 8. Use Rewards. Let kids choose their own toothbrush (within reason) and consider a goal chart to track their progress on a goal that leads to a reward such as going to a movie, or taking a trip to the toy store. 9. Don’t share germs. Don’t share utensils, sippy cups, bottles, pacifiers or other items with your kids or allow them to be shared with others. Bacteria in our mouths can be passed to each other and isn’t healthy. Be sure to sanitize all items that may be in your baby’s mouth to prevent bacterial infections such as thrush.