February 20, 2013

news-dental-health-children-special-needs-02-2013Join us in celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month. And to help you make dental health a fun activity for your family, we would like to share a few tips from our friends at Ridgepointe Dental in The Colony, TX.

While developing good dental habits takes time, it’s important to start the process at an early age. The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist by the time they are 12 months old and no later than six months after the eruption of their first tooth.

Once that first visit is complete, there are a few things you can do at home to help your child develop strong, healthy teeth:

  • Limit sugar intake — Constant exposure to sugar is the primary reason children get cavities. Cavities form even if the sugar comes from a natural source like all-natural fruit juice.
  • Brush your children’s teeth for them — Even as your children get a little older, they will still benefit from you brushing their teeth. We need to make it our responsibility to help them care for their teeth until our children can do a good job on their own.
  • Don’t fret over toothpaste — There are some children who do not like the taste or texture of toothpaste. If that is a stumbling block for your child, simply allow him to brush without toothpaste. Other than the topical application of fluoride, it is just not that important. Although he may not have nice fresh breath, at least the plaque and bacteria will be greatly reduced.
  • Invest in an electric toothbrush – Electric toothbrushes are worth their weight in gold! Young children don’t have the dexterity to brush their teeth thoroughly, and they don’t have the attention span to brush for the recommended two minutes. The electric brushes compensate for both of these issues. Plus, they are great for children with physical limitations.
  • Don’t forget the dental rinse — After brushing, your child should use a dental rinse that contains fluoride. Read the label to ensure it contains fluoride.
  • Make brushing fun – Let your child brush to a favorite song. You can also create a behavior chart where your child can place a sticker on it each morning and night to indicate he has brushed. Or you can provide a bit of encouragement by rewarding your child with a small prize if she completes a whole week of brushing

Having healthy teeth is an important part of your child’s overall health. With a little guidance and fun, your child will develop a lifetime of healthy dental habits.

Happy brushing!

~ Thanks to Rachel Dalton at Ridgepointe Dental for contributing to this post.