Fun Tips for Your Children’s Oral Health
Brushing and Flossing
It is recommended that parents assist children with brushing up to the age of eight and flossing until the age of ten. If your children begin to resist assistance, make sure you continue to check “their handy work” until these recommended ages.
Make brushing and flossing fun for them. We recommend a cute, whimsical timer they can set for brushing time. Get your children involved with the choice of toothbrushes and toothpaste they use. Most stores now have expanded dental sections. They can select toothbrushes embossed with their favorite superheroes, Disney characters, etc. in a rainbow assortment of colors. There is a variety of anticavity fluoride toothpaste flavored to appeal to children. Additionally, there is a great selection of battery-operated brushes for kids these days.
In our office, we recommend bringing your children into our office for a “happy visit” at age 2.5. On this visit, we familiarize them with the dental surroundings, count their teeth and show them how to brush correctly. These children leave with a prize from our treasure chest. We recommend regular visits begin at age 3 and see them every six months.
In addition to regular brushing, anticavity fluoride toothpaste, flossing and parental supervision of their oral care, involve your children in selecting nutritious healthy food choices. Save sugary or starchy foods for those times when you will be brushing immediately afterwards. Be cognizant of high sugar juice boxes. In its place, replace them with water flavored with fresh fruit slices. Fill the fridge with healthy convenient food. Have vegetables and fruit pre-cut when they grab for a snack. Fruits, vegetables, cheese and nuts are better for their teeth than cookies, candies and chips. Fill your fridge with these options and limit the high sugar and empty calorie options.
Early, healthy, positive oral hygiene decisions and habits will serve them well for a lifetime.