February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!
Helping keiki maintain good dental health is incredibly important to their developmental growth. Brushing twice daily using a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste along with flossing is important for kids of all ages, as cavities can take hold early. You should start scheduling regular cleanings and checkups with the dentist earlier than you might realize! Here are some tips for ensuring good dental health as your kids grow:
- Parents should begin brushing baby teeth as soon as they start to pop through the gums.
- Babies should have their first dental appointment by their first birthday.
- Preschoolers typically start to want to brush by themselves, but they still need help to ensure they’re brushing correctly.
- Teaching proper brushing technique is good prep for the elementary years when they will start brushing on their own.
- Getting kids excited about brushing isn’t always easy, but letting them pick their toothbrush and a fun toothpaste can help!
- At this age, kids often have busy schedules that can lead to poor dental hygiene due to rushing through brushings or failing to brush. Good dental hygiene habits will likely follow children into adulthood.
- Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice and floss once daily.
- Limit sugary drinks and foods, and encourage your child to drink water to increase saliva production, which helps protect against cavities and decay. Hard snacks like carrots and apples also help to clean teeth.
- For teenagers, even busier schedules can be problematic for dental health. Buy a few disposable or travel toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste to stash in backpacks and vehicles.
- Highlight the importance of a clean smile and fresh breath for a positive self-image.
It’s never too early to begin a lifetime of good dental health.
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