It’s already February and it’s National Children’s Dental Health Month! We approach this month with an effort to help you get your kids motivated and excited about maintaining good oral health while helping to educate and inform parents on a variety of topics that are related to your child and their gorgeous smiles!
Topics this month on our social media accounts will include sealants, mouth guards, dental emergencies, healthy eating, thumb sucking and more! So, check our social media often this month. We will also be posting some fun activities and recommend some books for your younger children as well.
To kick off this month, we will focus on the most important part of good oral hygiene – keeping your child’s teeth clean!
Brush and floss
As soon as baby teeth erupt, it is important to keep those cute little teeth and gums clean. Use a moist gauze pad to gently wipe the inside of their mouths or allow your baby to gnaw on a clean, wet washcloth in the bathtub! Your baby will love this, especially if they are teething. Be sure to schedule your child’s first dental visit before their first birthday!
Adults should continue to clean/brush children’s teeth for them until they reach preschool age – or roughly age three. This age will vary based on the child, but in general, it is a good time to make tooth brushing a routine part of their day. Since young children tend to swallow toothpaste rather than spitting it out, use less than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft bristled toothbrush. Make it fun! Lead by example and brush with them! Play music! Make up a silly song! Make sure you have a step stool or something safe that your child can stand on to reach the sink confidently and see the mirror to check their smile!
As your children get older, we still recommend brushing at least two times a day for 2 minutes at a time – that’s the 2x for 2 min rule of thumb. Once children’s teeth begin to touch, it’s important that you start them with floss or flossing sticks which are available at any grocery store or pharmacy. Children can usually floss by themselves around age 8, but again, this varies by child.
See the dentist regularly
Be diligent about scheduling regular dental check-ups every six months for your kids. Regular cleanings and x-rays can help your dentist stay on top of your child’s oral health and stop any problems before they become serious.
Forming oral hygiene habits early will result in a lifetime of good oral health and a beautiful smile for years to come. Happy National Children’s Dental Health Month!