February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month, so our team at First Dental Associates in Reading, MA is taking the time to share what we know about caring for your child’s teeth. Read the information we have shared, then call our office at 781-438-1312 to schedule a dental cleaning for your family.
Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
- Ages 0 to 2
A baby can have their teeth cleaned and cared for as soon as the first one appears. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and water to gently clean your infant’s teeth. Don’t use toothpaste. Your baby will likely resist at first but the more you clean their teeth, the more they will become used to the feeling.
Cleaning your baby’s teeth is essential to protect against tooth decay and set them up for a good oral health routine.
- Ages 2 to 7
When your child turns two, bring them to First Dental Associates for their first dental appointment.
At this point, you can also start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth. Continue to use a soft-bristled toothbrush specially designed for young children to gently brush their teeth.
Help your child brush to ensure they brush properly until they’re old enough to effectively do so on their own. Use fun ways to encourage your little one to brush for at least two minutes. There are a lot of fun songs to make the habit more fun!
Continue to remind your child that they shouldn’t swallow the toothpaste.
Diet For Healthy Teeth
When it comes to diet and your teeth, there are two major things to keep in mind: balance and moderation. A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for strong and healthy teeth, but sweets and treats can still be enjoyed in moderation.
A well-balanced diet includes nutrient-rich foods from all food groups to promote a healthy mouth. A balanced diet consists of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
To build strong and healthy teeth, calcium-rich foods are essential. Foods high in calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese, canned salmon, almonds, and dark leafy green vegetables.
Phosphorus is another essential nutrient for strong teeth. Phosphorus can be found in eggs, lean meat, fish, and dairy products.
Additionally, be sure to get enough vitamin C. This vitamin promotes gum health and can be found in citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and potatoes.
Encouraging Healthy Dental Habits For Your Kids
As much as we love them, we know sometimes kids can be a bit stubborn. So what can you do if your child isn’t exactly thrilled to take care of their teeth?
Fortunately, there are quite a few things worth trying, to encourage your kids to practice healthy dental habits.
When it comes to brushing their teeth, the earlier you can start, the better. Make it a bit more exciting by letting them pick out their own toothbrush. You may be surprised by how excited they get when they can use their cool purchase!
It’s also a good idea to set a good example for your little one and brush your teeth alongside them. Have them mimic your actions to ensure they’re brushing properly and for long enough. If you want, you can even play a song and dance along as you two clean your teeth!
As for helping your child become more comfortable going to the dentist, the most important thing to remember is to talk to them about it in a way that is positive and fun. Explain to them that going to the dentist is important if they want to keep their teeth shiny and strong.
It can also be beneficial to read books about going to the dentist and then talk to your little one about the books.
As much as possible, try to avoid talking about the dentist in a negative way. The last thing you want to do is scare your child or cause them to feel uneasy about visiting our office!
Schedule Your Family’s Dentist Appointment Today
Don’t wait another day to call First Dental Associates to schedule a dental cleaning for you and your little. We can even try to schedule appointments for your whole family on the same day so you don’t have to make multiple trips.
First Dental Associates is a family-oriented dental office that is more than willing to accommodate your family to show that going to the dentist is a good thing!