Dental Care Tips for Kids
February is National Dental Children’s Health Month! As an orthodontic office, we know that a crucial part of obtaining a perfect smile is excellent dental hygiene. Starting good habits young will launch you into a lifetime of great oral care. Here are 5 tips that will get you on your way to healthy gums and teeth:
CARE DON’T SHARE
Make sure that you keep your food and utensils to yourself. This includes toothbrushes as well. You can transfer cavity-causing germs to others when you share. Keep your mouth free from harmful oral bacteria by not sharing drinks, food, or silverware!
EAT A HEALTHY AND BALANCED DIET
This includes eating a diet of foods that are healthy for your teeth and drinking plenty of water. Make sure you get the correct amount of calories for your age, gender, and level of activity and that you’re eating a balanced diet. According to MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced and healthy diet should include:
- Fruits and Vegetables. Combined, these should cover half of your plate at meals.
- Grains. At least half of the grains you eat should be whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
- Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods most often.
- Protein. Make lean protein choices and vary your choices to also includes eggs, beans, peas, and legumes. Eat at least eight ounces of seafood a week.
Part of a healthy diet is limiting snacking and drinking between meals.
SEE YOUR DENTIST REGULARLY
Make sure you visit your dentist regularly for your scheduled cleanings. Visiting your dentist every few months will help you detect cavities and gum disease early, making it easier to fix. Another important reason to visit your dentist is to get a thorough oral cleaning. Even if you take good care of your teeth, your dentist can clean them even deeper and remove any plaque build up. Your children should be seeing a dentist no later than 1-year of age.
BRUSH AND FLOSS DAILY
To brush your teeth correctly, you should brush for 2 minutes twice a day and floss at least once per day. Start by flossing between all of your teeth, especially your molars! Make sure you brush the front, sides, and back of each tooth. This will get rid of any food trapped in your teeth which helps prevent cavities and bad breath. Use a toothpaste with fluoride for even healthier teeth and gums.
SEAL OUT DECAY
To add extra protection, ask your dentist about applying dental sealants. These are thin coatings made from plastic or other dental materials that are painted onto your back teeth. Think of a sealant as a shield for your back teeth. They protect you from tooth decay and cavities. People with dental sealants usually get about 80% less cavities!
Cheers to great oral health!