Steps for “Brushing Up” Your Child’s Oral Health

A memorable childhood should involve care-free moments with an abundance of laughter. During these crucial formative years, parents provide training and instructions for their kids—which will influence them for a lifetime. This even includes how parents place the value of up-keeping their teeth and gums.

Little Teeth are Important Too!

Essential building-blocks for physical, social, and emotional growth are already in play at infancy. Part of that progression is healthy “baby” teeth that will help your child break down food to extract essential nutrients. These little teeth also lend clarity to your child’s speech. Furthermore, primary teeth promote healthy jaw development and uphold spacing for future permanent teeth that start pushing through around the ages of 6 or 7.

Is Tooth Decay an Infectious Disease?

Most people don’t realize cavities are a chronic disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  report that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease and 19 percent of children ages 2 to 19 years old have untreated tooth decay.

Tooth decay isn’t just about the pain suffered during a toothache or the disappointment of prematurely lost teeth. Dental disease can significantly affect your child’s overall physical and emotional well-being. However, childhood cavities are largely preventable! How can you protect your child?

Teaching the Tooth Care Basics

Here are three practical steps to implement as a parent:

1. Start early—When that very first tooth pops in, it can be protected by wiping it with a clean, damp cloth every day. As more teeth come in, switch to a small, soft toothbrush – make brushing fun by implementing a cute “Dora” or “Diego” brush. The American Dental Association recommends a “well-baby checkup” with the dentist no later than the child’s first birthday to confirm proper development.

2. Be a teacher—Fluoride toothpaste is appropriate when your child is around 2 years old. Are you worried about them swallowing too much? Use only a pea-sized amount and emphasize the need to spit and rinse while supervising.

3. Be positive—Openly, let your children see you brush and floss regularly and speak positively about visits to the dentist. Check-ups that include fluoride treatments and dental sealants can go far in helping your child maintain that happy little smile.

Contact us today to book your next dental appointment for you and your family. Call Cristi at 253-941-6365 to schedule your family’s next appointment.  Together, let’s make healthy, happy smiles that can last a lifetime!

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