Conversations with your children about their teeth should extend beyond just tales about the tooth fairy. The earlier you start educating your young son or daughter about the importance of good oral hygiene, the greater chance they have of maintaining a healthy smile throughout their lives. February is Children’s Dental Health Month – so what better time than now to start the conversation? If you are unsure where to start, here are some tips from a dentist in Medford to help your little ones stay smiling.
4 Tips for Young Healthy Smiles
Here are 4 easy tips to support your children’s dental health:
- Be a good role model – Children imitate what they see around them, so be a good role model and brush your teeth alongside your child every night before they go to bed. Even when they are young and still have their baby teeth, it is important for children to brush their teeth twice daily and floss once a day.
- Snack smart – Many snacks marketed towards children are loaded with sugar. Instead of artificially sweet treats, pack your children’s lunch boxes with healthy snacks like trail mix, yogurt, or cheese sticks.
- Mouth protection – If your child plays football, hockey, or another contact sport, have them wear a custom mouth guard to protect their teeth from accidents.
- Talk to your kids about teeth – Teaching kids about the importance of oral health should not just happen in the dentist’s office, but at home as well. Make oral health education fun by pretending to take one of your child’s toys on a “trip to the dentist”.
Why Do Children Need to Visit the Dentist?
In addition to the 4 tips above, regularly bringing your young son or daughter to the dentist is also critical to maintaining their oral health. Why are routine checkups so important? Consider this:
- #1 – Nearly 1 out of every 5 school-aged children have untreated tooth decay. During a regular dental checkup, a dentist can spot early signs decay and help prevent it from worsening.
- #2 – A dental professional will expertly clean your child’s teeth during each routine checkup, helping remove any harmful plaque or tartar.
- #3 – A routine checkup is also an opportunity for a dentist to have a conversation with your child about the importance of oral care and answer any questions he or she (or you!) may have.
How Often Should Children Visit the Dentist?
According to the American Dental Association, both children and adults should visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup every six months. As noted earlier, children are especially susceptible to tooth decay. Routine dental exams and cleanings allow your child’s dentist an opportunity to spot early signs of trouble before they can develop into more serious dental problems.
Positive habits start at an early age, so don’t delay in setting your child on a path to a lifelong healthy smile. Start by following the tips above and calling a dentist in Medford today.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino is proud to have helped adults and children in Medford achieve and maintain healthy smiles for over 25 years. His excellent patient care has been recognized by the Harvard Community Health Plan, which awarded Dr. Giamberardino the prestigious Diamond Award. For more oral care tips, visit the Giamberardino Dental Care website or call 781-396-3800.