With so much going on in our family, it can be easy to overlook important health issues as our kids grow up.
From the day they are born to the day they move out, their health is a priority that requires constant care because of constant threats.
The family dentists at Little Heroes have seen this struggle over and over throughout the years. Parents are always looking for the right steps to take while balancing the dental health of their family with the rest of everyday life.
These tips can help you lay out a plan for your kids’ teeth as they age:
- It’s Never Too Early to Start
Dental health is like most things in life, the earlier you begin taking care of it the better. While some parents might be hesitant to start brushing before “baby” teeth come in, you can start cleaning your baby’s mouth before they do.
Using infant tooth and gum wipes, you can get rid of bacteria that builds up on your baby’s tongue from drinking milk. Bacteria that can cause cavities.
You should also avoid doing anything that might cause you to share bacteria with your child. Sharing spoons and cups, as well cleaning their pacifier in your mouth, should all be avoided to reduce passing germs.Parents love kissing baby but #DontSpreadGerms by sharing spoons or cleaning the pacifier w/your mouth #LittleHeroes Click To Tweet
- An Early Start Should Include An Early Trip To The Dentist
There’s really no way around this one. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) both say the same thing: your kid should see a dentist before their first birthday.
The reason for this is to familiarize them with the experience and make them more comfortable each time they come back.
They should know that the trip is good for them and that there is nothing to be afraid of.
- The First Trip Should Be Fun A Fun Learning Experience
This tip doesn’t just apply to your tots either. Everyone, including your dentist, has a chance to take in information and create a plan around your child’s needs and habits.
Once your child is comfortable, a productive first visit will include an evaluation of their teeth, practice with dental care, and a talk about what to do at home.
- You’ll Be Doing Plenty of Cleaning Yourself
You should aim to have your kids brush their own teeth by six years old. For flossing, 10 is an ideal target. That means before then, they will need your help keeping their mouth as clean as possible.
When your child is still an infant, make sure that the toothbrush you use has a small head and bristles.
While fluoride is important to good dental health, it can be a hazard for children who haven’t learn to spit toothpaste out, so plan accordingly as your kid grows.
- Diet Is Just As Important
Brushing and flossing usually get the majority of the credit when things go right for your family’s teeth.
But what your kids are eating and drinking is just as important. Stocking up on fruits and sugar-free drinks is just as important as fluoride and floss.
Your little hero’s teeth need all the help they can get from food, in the form of compounds like calcium and phosphorus.
One surprisingly good source of protection is cheese, which not only provides the previously mentioned helpers, but also produces saliva to wash away stray bits of food and guard against acids that can harm teeth.
Also, tots shouldn’t be falling asleep with a bottle of formula, juice, or other sugary drinks in their mouth.A #beautiful #smile includes brushing, flossing & #EatingHealthy. Parents avoid sugary treats for your tot Click To Tweet
- Teens May Know Everything But Their Teeth Still Need Help
The teenage years are a time of great change for their face beyond what they see in the mirror. The underlying structure of your teenager’s face and jaw will change.
During this part of their life they will get their permanent teeth, and combined with having more control over what they eat, they can be at risk for tooth decay and other dental health concerns.
It doesn’t matter that they aren’t a “little” kid anymore, they should still have regular visits with their pediatric dentist to help guide them through these changes.
- Si Hablan Español, If You Prefer
Language can always be an issue and here in the Rio Grande Valley, we know there are many parents and families who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish.
The good news is that the AAPD has taken this into account and provides many of their informational brochures in Spanish as well as English.
Whether you have questions on sealants, dental care for your baby, or an emergency, the AAPD provides the bilingual answers you are looking for.
For everything you did and didn’t plan for, call our Little Heroes family dental offices today in Laredo, Mission, San Juan, and Pharr.
Taking care of your child’s teeth is an everyday task that requires good planning and even better habits. With the right care, your child can avoid many serious dental problems and have a beautiful smile to show for all the hard work.
Let Little Heroes be there to help you with any emergency and for all the appointment pit-stops along the way.