By Dr. Kenyon Glor
Early Dental Check-ups
Pediatric medical and dental experts recommend that all children have their first dental check-up by their first birthday. Early visits help us to pinpoint concerns that can be prevented from evolving into more serious problems later on. It also helps your child become more familiar with the dental office – so that his or her first visit isn’t due to an uncomfortable emergency.
Stick to Tap Water
“Healthy” beverages like fruit juices and sports drinks still contain hidden acids and sugars – which can create extensive amounts of tooth decay. Give your child fluoridated tap water to drink. Tap water rinses the teeth and provides essential minerals that help support healthy enamel. You might be surprised to learn that most bottled waters have a lower pH and no fluoride, so save a few cents and bottle your own!
Wait Until Your Child Can Tie His or Her Own Shoes
Help your child brush and floss their teeth twice a day. Once your child has the dexterity that he or she needs to tie their own shoes, then you can start allowing them to brush and floss on their own. Just be sure to check their teeth before bedtime, to make sure everything is clean! Brush for at least two minutes each time, taking care to clean along the gumlines. Don’t skip the flossing, as even the best brushing possible can’t clean between the teeth.
Look Into Xylitol
Several chewing gums contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that can actually help your child’s teeth repel plaque buildup. Studies show that xylitol use can improve oral health and reduce the risk of tooth decay. Be sure to read the label, as not all “sugar free” gums contain this key ingredient.
If you follow these simple strategies, your children will maintain healthy teeth and gums as well as a bright smile!
– Dr. Glor is a dentist in Wellington, Ohio and has been practicing there for 27 years. He is passionate about dentistry and dedicated to providing you with unsurpassed skills and a dental experience that allows you to enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime.