You have to balance a lot as a parent, and at times, paying careful attention to every little bit of dental hygiene can be a chore. That’s part of why the pediatric dentists at Walker Pediatric Dentistry are here – we’ll help reinforce the kinds of positive habits your child needs to maintain good dental health.
One way you can help yourself as a parent is by recognizing certain unconscious habits you’re in that you may not think are damaging tooth health – but that may be doing so nonetheless. Here are a few sneaky areas to keep an eye on with child dental health in mind.
Most parents know that soda is bad for teeth, but many don’t realize that supposedly “healthy” sports drinks are still full of citric acid that eats away at teeth. The same goes for sticky, sugary foods like dried fruits and bananas, or for starchy foods like pasta or oatmeal.
All of these items are okay in moderation, but be careful. Look to water and milk as liquid alternatives, and try to have your child brush directly after eating some of those kinds of foods.
Even if children are able to perform their own brushing, doing so with you in the room will make them much more likely to brush correctly and for the proper amount of time. Earlier in life, you can take the time to practice brushing with them and teach them the right techniques. Make sure they get in the habit of brushing for two minutes every time, and flossing after.
If your child must have juice or snacks, you need to control the access levels. Let them have these at specific times, and then encourage brushing afterward. For toddlers, avoid a sippy cup full of juice – this means their teeth will never get a break from the sugar. For kids at school, pack a water bottle to stimulate saliva flow and wash away bacteria.
Finally, procrastinating on dental visits for children is one of the quickest ways to ruin their dental health. A professional tooth-cleaning and plaque removal are only a small part of what we do – we also catch tooth decay early, apply sealants and fluoride for strengthening, check for abnormalities in development and look for early signs of oral cancer. Your child is missing out on all these areas if you fall behind on their appointments.
Want to learn more tips for child dental care, or interested in any of our family dentist services? Speak to our friendly staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.