Parents know the importance of quality dental hygiene for their children. Not only is the health of their teeth important, but instilling habits that will continue through adulthood is critical. These are life lessons that the youngsters in your life will use for years to come and it is important they stick to them early. Dental habits and oral hygiene are codependent, and good ones will keep your kids in the dentist for just their checkups and nothing more. Here at Alligator Dental, we’ve helped children keep their teeth a bright and pearly white for years, but we don’t do it alone. For parents, oral care starts at home, which is why we have some habits that you should do your best to instill in your children. If your child is in need of a check-up, give Alligator Dental a call to set up their next appointment!
Brushing at Least Twice a Day
It’s a common practice, but you should get your children in the habit of brushing their teeth at least twice a day. We say at least twice because it is never a bad idea to include a third toothbrushing after lunch, since it is the normal tendency to brush once in the morning and once before bed. It is typical that a child will question why he or she has to brush their teeth when they wake up, wondering why their bedtime brush isn’t enough. We can hear it now, excuses and questions like “but I brushed them last night!” and “I haven’t eaten anything yet; I don’t need to brush!” While these are good arguments on the surface, let your child know some of the biggest reasons to brush in the morning, including:
- You don’t want gross morning breath
- Getting rid of bacteria that grew overnight
- Fluoride exposure, aka preventing and limiting daily tooth and oral wear and tear
We will explore these in-depth later, but sharing these with your kids is important. Not only can they start they day off with fresh breath, they will ensure their teeth are in good shape before anything can happen. They should be in the habit of brushing at least twice daily to maintain good oral health and limit their visits to see us here at Alligator Dental.
Eating Healthy Snacks
Our teeth cannot grow properly without the right nutrients. A healthy diet means healthy teeth, and quality snacks are a part of a balanced diet for children. Not only can it help keep them away from sugary, sticky snacks like candy that can get lodged in between teeth and spell disaster later, but it will also ensure they are getting a variety of foods to provide different nutrients necessary for dental health, as well as overall wellness. Some healthy snacks we like to see children consume include things like:
- Milk: this calcium bomb is a great way to ensure teeth will grow strong and sturdy.
- Kiwi: an exotic and furry fruit, kiwi is a perfect option to add both healthy fruit and vitamin C into your child’s diet. Vitamin C promotes both bone and tissue health, perfect for healthy teeth and strong gums.
- Celery: crunchy snacks are always a favorite. Not only does it cost calories to eat celery, but it also requires saliva production. More saliva will clean teeth and the crunch will help massage your gums.
Limit Ice Chewing
Kids and adults alike are guilty of chewing on ice. Whether it’s a hot summer day and shaved ice is our refreshment of choice, or we are chomping on the remnants of a glass of water, chewing ice is a common oral habit. If you catch your youngster doing this, stress to them how crucial it is that they limit the habit or stop it all together. While chewing ice doesn’t have immediate impacts on dental health, it can be an oral hygiene disaster in the long run. Enamel will break down if ice is chewed too long or too often, and an ice cube that is strongly frozen can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. It can also lead to increased tooth sensitivity and potentially increase susceptibility to cavities. Occasionally, chewing ice is okay, but make sure your child limits or eliminates the habit to prevent tooth cavities and other dental damage.
Here at Alligator Dental, we want to ensure that children’s dentistry is a fun and exciting time for the kids in our community, instead of being an event they dread. If you are new to the San Marcos and Seguin area, have recently welcomed a youngster to your family, or are just looking for a new pediatric dentist, call the team at Alligator Dental. We can’t wait to meet your kids and show them how much fun the dentist can be, so set up an appointment today!