17 Feb The 9 Dental Tips a Dentist Gives His Kids
Like most parents, ever since my three boys were toddlers, my wife and I tried to impart the knowledge and habits they would need to grow into healthy adults. Now that they are older teens, though the reality that we can no longer make choices for them has become abundantly clear,it’s been gratifying to see that they have indeed adopted many of the healthy habits we tried to instill in them early on. So, in celebration of February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, here are thetips I give my own kids for taking the best possible care of their teeth.
- Try your best to avoid sugary foods and drinks. On those limited occasions, when you do consume sugary foods and drinks–let’s be real, birthday parties, playdates at the neighbor’s and Halloween happen- have them with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
- Try to avoid snacks between meals. If you crave a snack, try to choose something nutritious.
- If you’regoing to chew gum, make it sugarless, and preferably mint or menthol flavors.
- Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
- Water is your best choice. Other choices are low-fat milk, very limited juice consumption and no soda!
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes morning and night. (An electric toothbrush often makes this easier and more enjoyable for kids.)
- Don’t forget to floss. Sorry kids, there’s no way around it—brushing is not enough. Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, aka plaque, from your
- If you wear any kind of braces, it’s more important than ever that you take care of your teeth. Whenyour Dentist or Orthodontist recommendcertain products to make taking care of your teeth easier or more effective, use them. It is not unheard of for orthodontists to have to remove braces, give poorly cared-for gums time to heal, and then reapply them. This will add months and years to the time you’ll need to wear braces—not to mention having to use your birthday money to cover the additional cost!
- Visit the dentist’s office twice a year– (Yup, even if they’re your Mom or Dad!)