Dental care is a lifetime commitment, and it’s never too early to start.
The best time to introduce your child to the dentist is when they are still young. Pediatric dentistry plays an important role in ensuring that your child’s teeth stay healthy even during this tender age.
What happens when kids don’t take care of their teeth?
Bad teeth can lead to a host of problems, from tooth decay and gum disease to missing teeth. If you’re a parent, it’s important to know how to take care of your child’s teeth and encourage healthy habits from an early age.
Poor oral hygiene habits can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Studies have shown that children who don’t take care of their teeth are more likely to be bullied or teased by other students, which can affect their self-confidence and make it difficult for them to make friends.
Some kids may also develop speech problems as a result of untreated dental problems, which can also affect their quality of life.
Remember, kids’ teeth are always growing – so regular brushing and flossing is essential for maintaining good oral health. But kids need more than just a twice-daily cleaning routine. It’s important to teach them how to brush and floss properly, as well as how often they should be doing these things.
Here are some simple tips from our friendly dentist for teaching kids how to take care of their teeth:
Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
Regular visits to the dentist are important because it allows your child’s dentist to check for tooth decay and other dental problems, as well as look for signs of disease such as gum disease or oral cancer.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visiting the dentist at least once a year starting at age one. Your dentist will remove plaque and calculus build-up throughout the year, so you can maintain healthy gums and strong teeth.
In addition, the dentist will make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and free of cavities or other problems that could affect their appearance or ability to chew properly (such as crooked or crowded teeth). For more information about how dentists can take care of your kid’s health, you can also visit https://currydentistry.com/ – a reliable dental practitioner in Alabama.
Brush twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
This is the most important step in maintaining good oral hygiene. For best results, brush for two minutes after meals and at bedtime (or at least once per day).
Make brushing fun by playing music while you brush together or singing songs that rhyme with brushing motions (for example, “Brush your teeth, brush them twice; once when you wake up in the morning; once when you go to bed at night”). You might also try letting your child pick out his own toothbrush and toothpaste flavor — then he’ll be more likely to want to brush!
Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to help prevent cavities.
Tooth decay is an ongoing battle for most kids, but there are some simple things you can do to help prevent cavities. Your dentist may recommend using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash, as well as brushing your child’s teeth twice a day.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, preventing it from being attacked by cavity-causing bacteria in plaque. It can also help reverse the early stages of decay by remineralizing areas weakened by decay-causing acids produced by bacteria.
Don’t forget the tongue!
Brushing your tongue helps remove bacteria that cause bad breath. A tongue scraper can be used daily after brushing or flossing to remove more debris on the tongue surface than brushing alone does — especially important if you have braces or other orthodontic appliances that make it difficult for you to clean between your teeth effectively with just a toothbrush alone.
Flossing is just as important as brushing because it cleans between the teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Floss before bedtime to eliminate food particles that form overnight in your mouth before they have the chance to turn into tartar (calculus) on your teeth.
Watch what they eat.
Avoid sweets and sticky foods like candy, caramel apples, caramels, and hard candy because they can stick to your teeth for a long time and give you cavities. If you eat these foods once in a while or have them as part of a meal or snack, brush your teeth right after eating them so they don’t stay on your teeth too long before being washed away by saliva (spit).
Also, encourage them to drink water after eating sugary foods. Sugar can stick to your teeth and get stuck in between them, making them more likely to cause cavities if not brushed away right away.
Talk about the importance of taking care of their teeth.
Explain why it’s important to brush before meals, even if they aren’t eating anything sticky like candy or peanut butter. Praise them when they do well — even if they only brush once a day — and use positive reinforcement when they do something wrong instead of punishing them after the fact by taking away their favorite toys or treats.
Set a good example.
If you want your children to take good care of their teeth, you need to do the same. Children learn by observing others’ behavior. So, if you are not brushing your teeth after every meal or flossing daily, they may not brush their teeth or floss.
Start young. If a new generation of kids is going to develop good habits with respect to their oral health, then there needs to be a concerted effort throughout the community to raise awareness and promote good practices. With a little bit of guidance and practice, our kids can be taught how to properly maintain their smile for life!
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Story Credits to Dr. Stuart A.Curry
Dr. Stuart A.Curry grew up in Vestavia Hills, AL. He graduated as the valedictorian of his high school class at VHHS in 1996. He received a Presidential Scholarship to the University of Alabama, and graduated with a B.S. with honors in 2000. His major was Environment Science with an emphasis in Pre-Dental.
Dr. Curry was then accepted to The University of Alabama School of Dentistry at Birmingham. After this four year school was completed, he graduated in 2004. After Dental School, Dr. Curry served 3 years active duty in the United States Air Force at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL. During these 3 years Captain Curry was a General Dentist for over 9,000 airmen and officers, and 4,000 dependents on this base. During his time at MacDill AFB, he was able to hone his skills as a general and cosmetic dentist.
After his active duty service was over, Dr. Curry moved back home to start “Stuart Curry Dentistry” in 2007. He opened the doors to his practice in October of 2007. By starting this practice, Dr. Curry was able to start the type of dental practice he always envisioned. With friendly, caring staff and a safe, clean environment, Dr. Curry is a dental home for thousands of patients in the Greater Birmingham area.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.