Your child’s teeth are important. By taking good care of their teeth, you can help your child build good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime, and prevent common oral health issues like cavities. But what should you do to keep their smile healthy? Here are 5 top tips from the Houston team at Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry.
First, look at their diet. Your child should eat plenty of whole grains, lean meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid heavily-processed foods, especially things like cookies, candy, potato chips, and other such snacks. Foods that are high in sugar or starch can contribute to tooth decay, and are simply not as healthy for young, growing children.
Sugary drinks are a very common contributing factor for cavities. They are particularly troublesome if your child sips on them frequently throughout the day. Sugar will build up in their mouth, where bacteria can feed on it, excrete acid, and cause cavities.
So we recommend avoiding sugary soda, sports drinks, and even juice. Your child should be drinking only tap water and milk. Tap water is better than bottled water because it’s typically fluoridated. Fluoride in tap water helps strengthen the teeth and prevent cavities.
You should brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day. Brush them once in the morning when they wake up, and once at night before bed. Brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes, and use ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
You will need to keep brushing your child’s teeth for them until they're about 5-6 years old, or are able to tie their own shoes. Once your child starts brushing on their own, make sure to supervise them. Make brushing a family activity. That way, you can keep an eye on them, correct mistakes, and lead by example!
Kids of all ages should see a dentist like Dr. Jason Brock every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam. The AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends that kids start seeing the dentist when they turn one year old, or whenever their first tooth erupts.
Frequent oral exams and teeth cleanings let Dr. Brock keep an eye on your child’s oral health, identify potential areas of concern, and answer any questions you may have about your child’s oral health and development.
Fluoride treatments may be an option if your child is cavity-prone. In this treatment, Dr. Brock will paint a fluoride-rich liquid onto your child’s teeth, leave it in place for a few minutes, then rinse it away. This strengthens their teeth and helps prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are also an option. These are usually applied to the rear teeth, and consist of a transparent, thin layer of dental resin. This creates an invisible barrier that prevents cavities by protecting the rear teeth from sugar, bacteria, and acid.
Whether you’re a new parent, new to the area, or just looking for a new pediatric dentist in Houston, Dr. Jason Brock is here to help. At Big Picture Pediatric Dentistry, we offer caring, gentle, and child-friendly dental care throughout Houston. To learn more and get started, just contact us online or give us a call at 281-461-7470.