Smile First Pediatric Dentistry is pleased to welcome you to our new blog. This is where we will share tips, best practices, and research to help promote excellent oral health in kids. Our entire staff thanks you for entrusting your children to our care.
Kids Headed Back to School Soon?
After enjoying a more leisurely pace for the past three months, both parents and children must go through a big adjustment when school starts up again in the late summer. If brushing and flossing got a bit lax over the summer as well, now is a great time to get back into a regular routine. Now is also an ideal time to schedule a preventive care exam if your children have not returned to school yet. You will beat the rush of appointments, and your kids will not need to miss any class time for their dental check-up.
How Often Should Kids Have a Preventive Care Dental Exam?
Children should visit the dentists at least once a year but preferably twice. We encourage you to talk to your children about what to expect during the appointment to prevent them from feeling anxious. You can also feel good knowing that each member of our dental team has years of experience working with kids and has received advanced training in the specialty of pediatric dentistry. A dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth, and a dentist will follow up to check for any oral health issues.
Limit the Number of Sugary Snacks and Drinks Your Children Consume
One of the chores that returns with the new school year is packing lunches again. Sticky snacks with a high sugar content and drinks such as fruit juice contain acid that can damage your child’s teeth if consumed too often. Because it can take saliva up to 20 minutes to neutralize acid, that leaves plenty of time for it to spread across your child’s teeth and gums. Kids who eat candy every day increase their risk of cavities for this reason alone.
You do not have to forbid sweets altogether, but try to save them for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. When your child is hungry for a snack, offer a healthier alternative such as piece of fruit or nuts instead. If your children do eat sweets, make it a rule that they have to brush their teeth as soon as possible afterward.
Supervise Young Children During Tooth Brushing
Until your children get to about second grade, it is important to supervise them brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. Young children typically do not understand the importance of caring for their teeth and will likely rush through the process. They also need reinforcement to complete the tasks correctly. The hand-over-hand method works well for teaching younger children how to brush their teeth.