Strong, healthy teeth help you chew the right foods which help your child grow and stay active. Teeth also have practical and aesthetic purposes: they help you speak clearly and look your best. When your child takes care of their smile, it prevents plaque from growing. Plaque is a clear film of bacteria or “sugar bugs” that stick to tooth enamel.
After eating, sugar bugs go crazy over the sugar on your teeth, (ex. like ants at a picnic). The sugar bugs turn the sugar into acids that eat away tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. The sugar bugs also cause gingivitis, which is gum disease that can make your gums red, swollen, and sore. Gums are the soft pink tissue in your mouth that hold your teeth in place.
If you don’t take care of your teeth, cavities and unhealthy gums will make your mouth very, very sore. Eating and smiling are not easy to do when you are not feeling your best.
Tips For Kids on Keeping a Happy, Healthy Smile:Brush at least twice a day — after breakfast and before bedtime. If you can, brush a third time after lunch or after sweet snacks. Brushing properly gets rid of sugar bugs!
- Brush all of your teeth, not just the front ones. Spend some time on the teeth along the sides and in the back. Have your dentist show the best way to brush to get your teeth clean.
- Take your time while brushing. Spend at least 2 or 3 minutes each time you brush. If you have trouble keeping track of the time, use a timer or play a recording of a song to help pass the time.
- Be sure your toothbrush has soft bristles (the package will tell you if they’re soft). You should get a new toothbrush every 3 months. **Pro tip: some toothbrushes come with bristles that change color when it’s time to change them.
- Ask your dentist if an antibacterial mouth rinse is a good fit.
- Floss your teeth! This is a very important way to keep them healthy. It feels weird the first few times you do it, but pretty soon you’ll be a pro. Feel free to ask questions about proper flossing during your dental appointments. Flossing is so because it gets rid of food that’s hidden where your toothbrush can’t get it, no matter how well you brush.
- Brushing your tongue can also help keep your breath fresh!
Quick Tips For Parents
Help Make Brushing and Flossing Fun and Easy:
- Brush your teeth together, taking turns brushing each others teeth
- Use a toothbrush featuring a familiar cartoon character
- Sing the theme song from your child’s favorite cartoon or a nursery rhyme while you brush their teeth
- Use toothpaste and mouth rinse that have pleasant flavors for sensitive taste buds
- Use syllables like “ahhhh” or “eeeeeee” to help your child open their mouth or move their lips away from their teeth while brushing.
Bringing them in when they are young helps them associate dental visits with fun since we work hard at Lakeshore Dental Studio to make their appointment quick and easy for you, but fun for them! With stickers, cartoons, a toy machine, and prizes, kids look forward to coming in for appointments. The main problem then becomes convincing them to go home!
With any questions about your child’s oral health, we encourage you to give us a call or schedule an appointment. Hope to see you in soon!