As a parent, you undoubtedly want the best for your little ones. How you approach their dental care in the early years will go a long way toward setting them up for good oral health and habits for a lifetime—and your children's dental care specialist is an invaluable resource in this. How can they help you as a parent to better understand and decide how to handle your child's dental habits? Here are a few important subjects to discuss.
1. How to Help Them Brush
Teaching kids about dental hygiene is key to developing lasting, beneficial habits. But how exactly should you teach the process of brushing and flossing? What are some useful techniques? And how involved should parents be? The dentist can help you figure out methods of your own and determine age-appropriate steps toward letting them care for their own dental health.
2. What to Hydrate With
Most parents today know that sugary sodas can be detrimental to developing teeth. But what about other drinks? What should you look for in juices? Are sports drinks okay? Many alternatives to sodas may be just as sugary or starchy and put kids at risk for cavities. While water is the best source of good hydration, parents may need to find healthy ways to add a little flavor to their kids' lives.
3. Which Foods to Choose
From the very beginning—as early as during bottle feeding—what your child eats can affect their oral health. Many processed foods are high in sugars and sugar-like substances. Even a healthy-minded parent might be surprised to know that baby basics, like sticky raisins or acidic citrus fruits, could contribute to tooth decay. Ask your dentist not only for good alternatives but also recommendations about how to incorporate these in limited ways.
4. When to Make Appointments
Many parents begin taking their children to the pediatric dentist even before they develop teeth. A regular schedule of dental checkups—often more than once per year—helps both you and your dentist stay on top of any potential problems. They also acclimate the child to the dentist so it's not a negative experience. Ask your dentist for a recommended schedule.
5. How to Avoid Sharing Bacteria
Did you know that parents can actually pass on cavities to their children? Because many tooth and gum problems stem from bacteria, parents may accidentally pass these to young children by sharing foods and beverages. Talk with the dentist about how this works and how your own oral health can reduce the chances of passing bacteria back and forth.
Where to Learn More
Are there other questions you have that a dentist can help answer? Start by meeting with a quality pediatric dental care specialist in your area today—such as Dentistry For Children & Adolescents. With their help, you'll get your kids' mouths off to the healthiest start possible.