Our pediatric dental team loves helping parents give their children the best possible start to a lifetime of good oral health. The holiday season is a great time to boost your child’s dental health. Why not give them the gift of a healthy smile, so their developing smile prospers while they grow? It will minimize dental problems and costly treatment later. A healthy smile has the ability to boost their self-esteem, confidence and happiness.
Supporting Your Child’s Developing Smile
Wondering what you can do to support your children’s oral health? Here are some simple ways for keeping your child’s smile healthy and strong!
1. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment by the time they are one year old.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children need to have their first dental appointment by the time they turn one year old. Ideally, they should be seen within six months of the time their first tooth comes in to make sure it is coming in the way it should so their permanent teeth can come in properly later. Our team will assess their general dental health and spot any problems early. We will also review their general oral hygiene care and provide tips to set the stage for good oral health with a healthy foundation.
2. Give your child the tools they need to have healthy teeth later.
We can give you the tools you need to help your child develop healthy habits. When making brushing and flossing a daily habit early, they will better maintain that habit later. The biggest secret is consistency!
3. Making daily oral hygiene fun.
This is perhaps the greatest oral hygiene gift you can give them. Allow your child to pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste themselves so they feel like this is something they want to do. Brush and floss as a family or with a parent, making sure they clean for two minutes, twice a day. Make it a game and set your phone to a two-minute song they like. You can even help them track their daily brushing and flossing habits to earn a reward for their consistent efforts!
Preventative Dental Care
As with grown-up teeth, prevention now is easier than treatment later. With good dental care, your child can avoid risking decaying tooth enamel, cavities, and gum disease. Along with daily oral hygiene and routine dental visits, your child’s teeth may benefit from dental sealants (a thin plastic coating painted on tooth surfaces) to protect their molars which are harder to clean. Dental sealants act as a shield to ward off harmful plaque, oral acids and stray bits of food particles that can become trapped. A simple fluoride varnish can also be easily applied to protect your child’s chompers. And finally, you can support your child’s smile with some of these tooth-friendly holiday gifts!
Tooth-Friendly Holiday Gifts
- Various kinds of toothpaste that come in fun flavors, their favorite superhero or cartoon characters.
- A fun timer they can set for brushing and flossing.
- An age-appropriate flossing tool of choice like floss threaders, dental floss tape, oral irrigator, etc.
- A kid-sized dental hygiene kit packed with travel-sized toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, flossing picks (especially if you have a child wearing braces, along with braces wax) and a compact mirror.
- Age-appropriate tooth whitening products for your teen like special toothpaste, strips, and over-the-counter kits.
- Healthy snacks like protein-packed nuts, dark chocolate, and their favorite sugar-free gum are great alternatives to traditional candy canes, peppermint bark and caramel toffee treats popular this time of year.
- Schedule their next pediatric dental appointment to maintain their healthy, beautiful smiles!
Please call us anytime if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s smile. Our dental team wishes your family a wonderful winter season with great oral health!