Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in every five children has at least one untreated form of tooth decay? That is 20 percent of all children! Given this statistic, it’s particularly important to encourage healthy dental habits from a young age. In fact, most dentists recommend that children have their initial appointment shortly after the arrival of their first tooth. After that, you should schedule biannual visits (every six months).
Healthy Habits for Your Child’s Dental Care
Maintaining the health of a child’s teeth and gums goes beyond a beautiful smile, as it also helps to avoid complications that may affect oral development, including speech problems. In addition to regular visits with a pediatric dentist, here are four healthy habits to adopt that directly relate to your child’s oral health:
- Offer them a nutrient-rich diet: Include fruits and vegetables on your child’s plate each day. Some foods, like pears, melons, apples, and cucumbers, even serve as natural “teeth cleaners,” helping to scrape away food particles that may be stuck in between teeth. Avoid giving your child sugary drinks or constant snacks. Bacteria in the mouth feeds on sugar particles, and each time your child ingests food, the bacteria receives a fresh food source for its continual growth. The acids produced by the bacteria can erode gum tissue, tooth enamel, and bone.
- Establish good oral habits: Thumb-sucking as well as pacifier and bottle use can negatively impact teeth alignment. We know these habits can be difficult for your child to overcome, especially if they rely on them as sources of security and comfort. Your pediatric dentist can offer you helpful ideas for this challenging transition!
- Set a brushing routine: Help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste (fluoride-free for children under age two and with fluoride for older kids). At age seven, your child can begin brushing independently. For babies, rub their gums with a clean cloth after each meal.
- Introduce flossing: Cavities and tooth decay are actually more likely to occur in between the teeth, so helping your child floss is a necessary step in their dental care. Seek guidance from your pediatric dentist to ensure that you’re positioning the floss correctly.
Pediatric Dentistry at Maitland Ave. Smile Co.
Maitland Ave. Smile Co. of Altamonte Springs, Florida, is a family dental practice that is experienced with patients of all ages. We understand that your child’s first few visits may be stressful, so we do our best to create an environment that makes them feel safe and comfortable. Thanks to our patient-focused, high-quality care, we can address a wide variety of needs through our pediatric dental services, which include:
- Routine dental cleaning and check-up
- Screenings for cavities and tooth decay
- Patient education
- Dental sealants
- X-rays, as needed
- Mouth guards
- Invisalign® for teens
- Wisdom teeth removal
From their first visit, we will begin tracking the growth and development of your child’s teeth to determine if they are at risk for orthodontic issues. Fortunately, early detection and follow-up care may prevent problems from worsening or future ones from developing.
Schedule an appointment at Maitland Ave. Smile Co. today!
Check out our Dental Blog for posts about dental anxiety, the impact of stress on oral health, and more.