February 21, 2016
Baby teeth help children learn to speak clearly, bite and chew food, and act as a guide for incoming adult teeth. It’s very important to keep them healthy and cavity free even though they will eventually fall out. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in the spirit of promoting excellent oral health for all children, here are a few tips to help keep your child’s teeth cavity free.
Follow the 2×2 Rule
2×2 is a great way to remember to ensure that your child brushes their teeth two times a day for two minutes. A fun way to keep track of two minutes is to use a timer, or miniature hourglass so you child can see how long they should brush. For older children, many electric toothbrushes have timers in them to let your child know when to stop. Flossing should also be included in at least one session of brushing to remove large food particles and plaque from in between teeth.
Visit your dentist regularly
Make sure your child is visiting the dentist at least two times per year for regular cleanings and examinations. This not only helps to ensure good oral health, but also helps your child acclimate to the dental office and promotes positive feelings about their dental appointments. Your dentist can spot decay or other problems early on, making any treatment necessary easier and more comfortable for your child.
When your child is old enough, using toothpaste with fluoride is recommended. Put a pea size amount on your child’s toothbrush and make sure that they don’t swallow any of the toothpaste during brushing. Fluoride helps protect teeth from cavities by strengthening tooth enamel and minimizing harmful bacteria and acids. Your dentist may also recommend an antibacterial fluoride rinse for older children.
Talk to your dentist about sealants for your child. Dental sealants protect teeth by putting a layer of dental material over the chewing surface of the tooth. The material acts as a barrier protecting the tooth from decay causing acids, and it also fills in anycrevices or grooves in the tooth that may be prone to cavities.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating healthy and nutritious foods is so important on many levels. Not only does it strengthen a developing body, it also helps to strengthen developing teeth. Sugar is your teeth’s number one enemy, and limiting your child’s consumption of sugary foods and beverages is a great way to prevent tooth decay and cavities, and promote overall health and well-being. Teaching children about healthy foods and proper nutrition promotes a lifetime of healthy habits.
At On Point Dentistry, Dr. Marco Cabelleros and his team want to help parents teach their children the importance of oral health. Dr. Cabelleros believes that prevention is the best medicine, and learning healthy habits early on will help children maintain optimum oral health and well being. Our goal is to give your child an upbeat and positive experience every time they come to our office so that they will look forward to their dental appointments. We do this by educating children about their teeth, making oral health fun, and explaining what we’re doing as we go so there’s no reason to be afraid. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s cleaning and examination.
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