As a mother of three, I have a deep, personal appreciation for the importance of helping children to maintain a healthy mouth. Oral health problems that develop at a young age can lead to serious, painful, and long-lasting consequences. That’s why my staff and I always try to instill lessons in our young patients that will help them prevent such issues. I also work closely with parents to help them ensure that their children are practicing tooth-friendly habits at home.
Since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, now is the perfect time to consider whether you are doing all you can to protect your young one’s precious smile. Here are a few tips from a children’s dentist in Camp Hill on how you can make sure your child’s teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.
Focus on Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is vital at any age, even before a child’s permanent teeth begin to erupt. Protecting the baby teeth spares kids from pain and gives their permanent teeth the best start possible. You should brush and floss your child’s teeth for them until they develop enough dexterity to do it on their own (usually around the time they can tie their own shoes). Even after that, you should supervise their habits to make sure they are doing a thorough job. If you have questions about which products your child should be using or exactly how you should clean their teeth, ask me or one of the hygienists in my office. We’re happy to help!
Teach Kids Why Dental Health Is So Important
Showing children how to care for their teeth and gums is vital, but they may not act on what they learn unless they understand why oral health is so important. You can use age-appropriate materials, such as videos, coloring activities, and photos, to help them understand various oral health concepts. For example, Colgate has a series of animated videos that feature fun characters who seek to protect teeth against the ravages of plaque and acids.
Don’t Forget Diet
Most people love sugary, acidic, and starchy goodies, but kids are especially drawn to foods that might damage their teeth. That’s why you should make an effort to reserve things like candy, chips, and soda as rare treats for your little ones. Try to keep your kitchen stocked with tooth-friendly snacks, like cheese, veggies, apples, and nuts. You can also show your kids how to read nutrition levels so they can make good decisions about what they eat even when Mom and Dad aren’t around.
How are your kids’ smiles faring? This month is the perfect time to improve your efforts to help your children establish the foundation for a lifetime of healthy, functional teeth and gums.
About the Author
Dr. Rina Singh is a family dentist in Camp Hill with decades of experience in her profession. She and her staff enjoy working with patients of all ages, and they strive to create an environment where even the youngest children feel at ease. To learn more about Dr. Singh or to schedule a checkup for your child, contact our office at 717-761-0283.