February is Children’s Dental Health Month

February 15, 2017

Boy in Dentist ChairA lifetime of healthy teeth begins during childhood.

It’s important to note that caring for children’s teeth differs greatly from caring for your own, so it’s important to educate yourself about proper techniques.

A Field Guide to Children’s Oral Hygiene

You should begin caring for your baby’s teeth before they even grow in. After your child finishes a meal, wipe their gums clean using a rag or gauze. After teeth first start to appear, brush them twice a day using a soft bristled brush design specifically for children.

Some more things to keep in mind when caring for kid’s teeth are that they should:

  • Brush teeth twice daily to keep plaque at bay before it becomes tarter. Tarter is a hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
  • If your child is younger than six, only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between teeth.
  • Check over your child’s brush work, making sure they reach their back molars.
  • Within six months after your child’s first tooth erupts, begin taking them to the dentist twice a year.
  • Eat a balanced meal that is low in starchy and sugary foods.

For best results, find ways to get your child engaged and excited about their oral health. We’ve compiled a list to get you started.

Methods for Getting Children Excited About Dental Health

  1. Cute Cartoon ToothTeeth Activities: Use activities and crafts relating to dental health to turn oral health into play.  We love these ideas!
  2. Lead by Example: Make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Make sure you tell your child how much you love doing it. Children will want to follow your lead and take care of their own pearly whites.
  3. Fun Supplies:  Allow your child to select their own supplies at the store. A toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character and flavored toothpaste will help them look forward to brushing time.
  4. Offer a Reward: Reward a job well done! When your child has remembered to brush their teeth consistently, give them a prize. This could be a trip to the park, a reward or certificate, or choosing a movie to watch as a family.
  5. Sing Along: Search for songs about oral hygiene and share them with your kids. Here is a playlist to get you started.

Don’t Stop in March!

Children’s Dental Health Month may be the perfect time to check in with your child’s oral care, but it certainly doesn’t end on March 1st. Make sure your child is keeping their teeth health so they can last for years to come.