5 Tips To Keep Your Kids’ Teeth Healthy

August 15, 2023

kids' teeth

Keeping your kids’ teeth healthy is an essential part of everyday hygiene and is important for their overall health and well-being. The effects of poor oral health can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. These oral conditions can cause pain and discomfort and lead to negative consequences in the future.

Children’s Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of adolescents aged 12 to 19 have had a cavity in at least one of their permanent teeth. One of the best ways to safeguard against this is to instill good oral hygiene practices in your child from a young age. Here at Holly Springs Pediatrics, we have put together a list of five tips to keep your kids’ teeth healthy for years to come. 

1. Begin Oral Hygiene Before Your Child’s First Tooth

Did you know that baby teeth are already in your child’s jaw when they are born? This means that as a parent, you should begin oral hygiene before their first tooth makes its grand appearance. Before this, it is important to use a gauze pad or soft cloth to wipe your child’s gums. When your kids’ teeth start to come in, use a soft toothbrush to gently brush their teeth in a circular motion.

2. Brush Twice Every Day

When introducing oral hygiene into your kids’ teeth health routine, it is important to brush after every feeding, or at least twice a day. By doing so, you can help ward off tooth decay, also known as cavities. Cavities can cause harm to permanent teeth that haven’t come in yet and may lead to complications as your child ages. Children should begin learning to brush their teeth on their own by two years of age.

3. Limit Sugary Drinks And Snacks

Sugary drinks and snacks are delicious, but they pose significant risks to your child’s health. Consuming these on a regular basis can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing acids that attack the tooth enamel. Limiting sugary foods and drinks can help protect your child’s teeth and promote good oral hygiene. Additionally, foods and beverages that contain high levels of sugar can lead to weight gain, nutrient deficiencies, and a lack of energy and concentration.

4. Schedule Regular Dentist Appointments

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing a dentist every six months, by their first birthday or once their first tooth emerges— whichever comes first. These appointments normally include a dental exam, cleaning, fluoride treatment, and, if necessary, x-rays of the mouth. Regular dentist appointments are key to maintaining your child’s oral health and addressing any concerns as soon as possible.

5. Be A Good Role Model

Children are like sponges, which makes modeling good oral hygiene habits essential. It is important to practice what you preach, meaning if you expect your child to floss and brush twice a day, you should also be engaging in the same behaviors. Additionally, modeling healthy food choices is also important when it comes to the health of your kids’ teeth. Relay to them that certain dietary choices can promote oral health, such as vegetables and dairy products, while other foods can harm their teeth, such as candy and soda.

Teaching your child oral hygiene from a young age has several benefits. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times on a wide array of subjects. Do you have more questions on ways to keep your kids’ teeth healthy? Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.