How to Improve Your Child's Oral Health

How to Improve Your Child's Oral Health

February is National Children's Dental Health Month! Dr. O'Grady wants to help you and your family achieve optimal oral health. If you have children of any age, you know how difficult it is to get them to brush their teeth. It's important to develop good oral health habits at a young age. Although it may be difficult at first, it's definitely an achievable goal. Below, our children's dentist in Denver Highlands shares a few tips on how to improve your child's oral health.

General Tips to Improve Your child's Oral Health

  • Be a strong role model, and make your oral health routine a priority. Kids learn better by imitating them.
  • Let your kids choose their toothbrushes and toothpaste. There are various colors or cartoon characters to choose from.
  • Schedule the time of the brushing and establish a regular time of day for oral care.
  • Help with flossing
  • Have the kids brush for 2 minutes. Using a timer or an hourglass that can be useful and enjoyable. Many toothbrushes now play music for two minutes. Who doesn't love a good brushing dance party?
  • Reward your children for brushing their teeth.

Get the Family to Follow a Nutritious Diet

Just like our overall health, a proper diet is necessary to achieve good oral health. Dr. O'Grady recommends eating nutritious foods throughout the day. Below is a list of foods that you should and should not include in your daily diet.

Foods to be included:

  • Raw Vegetable (carrots, peppers, celery, etc.)
  • Fruit (apples, pears, berries, etc.)
  • Water 
  • Dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk)

Foods to stop the following:

  • Cookies and other desserts
  • Sugary beverages
  • Candy
  • Sticky, hard foods (raisins, gummy treats, taffy, caramel, etc.)

Make Brushing Fun!

If you can make brushing teeth fun instead of making it seem like a chore, your kids will have healthy smiles in no time! Children love all things cool and fun, so why not choose a game that could make brushing go by faster? As mentioned earlier, playing a two-minute song while brushing your teeth can make the time pass! Not to mention the mini dance party you'll have while brushing your teeth.

Early Oral Care Start

Tooth decay, while highly preventable, is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases in infants. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is better to begin oral treatment early, with a first appointment before the age of one. Dr. O'Grady urges parents to encourage good oral hygiene as part of general well-being to help avoid deterioration in young children. 

Build Healthy Oral Habits

Parents need to develop proper brushing and flossing methods to ensure that children develop proper oral health practices throughout their lives. Professional dental cleanings at our dental office in Denver, CO, isn't going to help you or your sustain good oral health. It starts at home.  Brushing and flossing are the most important strategies for reducing plaque and avoiding tooth decay. 

Dr. Kim, a dentist in Lexington, KY, agrees that the best oral health results, use just a limited quantity of pea-sized toothpaste on the toothbrush. Demonstrate careful brushing by gentle back-and-forth strokes on your own teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and encourage children to emulate your acts on their own teeth.

Flossing can start before the teeth begin to meet each other. Brushing can be performed twice a day with FDA approved fluoridated toothpaste. 

Visit Your Denver Highlands Dentist

As life gets busier and busier, it's important that we all take good care of our teeth. Oral health has been linked to many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It doesn't take much to brush and floss your teeth daily, but if you need extra tips on how to improve your child's oral health, contact OG Dental. Our team will do our best to help in any way we can. If you haven't scheduled this year's dental appointments, give us a call!