9 Tips to Help Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy and Bright

If you’re a parent, you know how difficult it can be at times to get your children to brush well. And let’s not even talk about getting them to floss!

We know that it’s not always easy to keep kids motivated to have good dental health habits. That’s why this month we want to offer you our best tips to help keep your child’s smile healthy and bright.

Drink More Water

Drinking water is good for your health in general, but did you know that regular water consumption stimulates saliva which in turn helps keep your teeth clean? The next time your child wants a drink, choose a glass of tap water instead of juice box or soda. Check out the video below for some great info on the benefits of fluoride in your tap water:

Eat Less Sugar

Sugar may taste good, but it is one of the biggest contributors to cavities and overall poor dental health. Sugar turns into acid and eats away at the enamel on your child’s teeth causing cavities, bad breath, discomfort, premature extractions, crowns, or other procedures that could be avoided. We love a good candy bar, too, just help moderate your child’s sugar intake.

Keep Regular Dental Appointments

Your child should see the dentist twice a year. These appointments help us remove any built up plaque and tartar on your child’s teeth, examine for cavities, and evaluate any existing dental work. We also use these appointments to help make sure your child is on track for a lifetime of healthy teeth.

Use Floss or Floss Picks Daily

The best way to get at the stubborn buildup between your child’s teeth is to floss regularly. As we mentioned last month, flossing is still effective at keeping your smile as healthy as can be.

Learn to Brush Well

Don’t rush when you brush! Brushing your child’s teeth doesn’t have to be complicated. Just ensure that your child is brushing for 2 minutes twice a day. Many parents find using a timer to be helpful. Still waiting for your baby’s teeth to come in? Use a clean washcloth to wipe their gums. This helps keep your baby’s mouth clean and trains them for a future of healthy brushing.

Use Teeth for Chewing Only

Your teeth have a very specific purpose: chewing. Don’t let your child open packages with their teeth or bite their fingernails. Doing so puts a force on their teeth that they aren’t designed to handle. So keep your child’s smile healthy by using the right tool for the right job.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

Recent studies have shown us that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing buildup than manual toothbrushes. The bristle shape, the spinning heads, and the built-in timers all help ensure healthier dental habits for your kids. Plus, you can get them in fun characters that your kids will love.

Wear Retainers As Instructed

If your child has had braces removed, they need to wear their retainers as often as instructed. Your child’s teeth are connected to ligaments that have their own “muscle memory.” To protect your investment–and to ensure a long-lasting healthy smile–help your kids remember to wear their retainers.

Discourage Thumb and Finger Sucking

Kids suck their thumbs or fingers because it’s a comforting or soothing habit. Unfortunately, however, this causes undesirable changes in the shape of the mouth or alignment of the teeth. It may be a slow process, but when you work with your child to stop this habit, they’ll be rewarded with a healthier smile as they grow. If you’re having trouble getting your child to stop, talk with your hygienist about options available to help.