With National Children’s Dental Month coming up in February, it’s time for parents (and their kids!) to learn about some important and helpful dental care tips. The team here at Hancock Village Dental is pleased to provide Clermont, Florida dental patients with the best in family dentistry. Here’s what you need to know as we head into National Children’s Dental Month!
Diet Does Matter
Your child’s diet has a direct impact on their ability to grow and maintain healthy teeth. Having all of the essential vitamins and minerals is crucial — and it’s also important to watch calcium and phosphorous intake, as they help encourage strong teeth and bones.
The main dietary enemy is sugar. Nothing causes more tooth decay than sugar — and that sugar is often taken in via sodas, juices, or snacks. Try to make sugar an occasional treat rather than a mainstay of your child’s diet. They’ll have less cavities and enjoy better oral health while staying healthier overall, as well.
Your Child’s Brushing and Flossing Routine
You should start brushing your child’s teeth while they’re an infant — as soon as there are teeth to brush, it’s important to focus on keeping those teeth clean. Your child can be taught to brush their own teeth as toddlers, with the goal of having them independently brushing by the time they’re around 6 years old. Twice a day brushing is the minimum amount needed for good oral health. Each time that your child brushes, it should last for approximately two full minutes. You’ll likely need to supervise closely to ensure that they’re putting in sufficient time, but this will soon become routine.
Flossing is also crucial when it comes to your child’s oral health. It can remove the tiny particles and plaque that aren’t quite reached by the toothbrush. You can do the flossing for your child when they’re around age 4, and then gradually transition them into flossing on their own by the time they’re around 8 years old. Flossing should be done after brushing and should be done a minimum of once a day before bedtime. If you notice any bleeding or gum irritation while flossing your child’s teeth, be sure to talk to Dr. Kasem to get guidance.
Does Your Child Need a Dental Sealant?
In some cases, children need special dental sealants to avoid tooth decay. A sealant is an ultra-thin layer that is place directly on the molars and other permanent teeth. They’re usually needed only on the back teeth, since this is where the majority of cavities form in children today. Sealants prevent decay and damage until the child’s brushing and flossing habits grow advanced enough for them to perform a thorough job. Dr. Kasem is happy to discuss dental sealants with you if you’re concerned about tooth decay in your child.
Fluoride: Is Your Child Getting Enough?
Most places contain fluoride in the municipal water supply, but this isn’t always the case. Speak with your water district to verify that there is fluoride in the water. If you’re not getting fluoride in your water, your child might need a fluoride additive to ensure that their teeth develop properly. Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and can also work to prevent tooth decay. While most toothpastes contain fluoride, that’s meant to work in conjunction with fluoridated water. Therefore, you might need to supplement with fluoride drops if your child isn’t getting fluoride in their water.
Ready to Help Your Child Achieve the Best Oral Health?
Ready to help your child enjoy the best oral health? The team at Hancock Village Dental is ready to make that into a reality. By starting with great dental care early in life, your child’s chances of having a beautiful and healthy smile as an adult are far higher. We offer dental care for all the members of the family, from your child’s very first check-up to smile restoration and beyond. Contact us today to arrange a visit for your child or for yourself. We look forward to seeing you soon — and have a happy and healthy National Children’s Dental Month!