Your child’s smile is part of the first impression they make on people. All parents want their children to have bright, happy smiles, but how can you help improve your child’s smile? As a parent, there are lots of pediatric dentistry tips that you can follow to help make sure that your child’s teeth look great. From regular dental visits to tooth-healthy diets, here are some simple pediatric dentistry tips to improve your child’s smile.
Make Regular Dental Appointments
One of the simplest but most overlooked ways to improve your child’s smile is to make sure they’re visiting the dentist regularly. Your child should be going to the dentist every 6 months for regular cleanings and checkups. During dental cleanings, the dentist can remove any built up plaque or tartar. The only way to remove tartar is with a professional cleaning — brushing and flossing alone won’t cut it. If this plaque and tartar isn’t removed, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Pediatric dental appointments aren’t just for cleanings. During a checkup, your child’s dentist will see if you have any questions and can offer other pediatric dentistry tips. Your dentist will also check your child’s teeth to make sure there are no issues developing. If there is anything wrong, catching it early is key. The sooner any problems are identified, the sooner they can be treated. Early treatment will minimize any damage to your child’s healthy smile.
Use Proper Brushing Technique
It may seem like an obvious pediatric dentistry tip, but there’s a reason brushing is so important! If your child doesn’t know how to properly brush their teeth, it can lead to a buildup of cavity-causing bacteria and plaque. Perfecting your child’s tooth brushing technique is a simple, effective way to improve their smile. For best results, follow these steps:
- Squirt a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush.
- Angle your brush at a 45-degree angle from your gums.
- Move the toothbrush gently back and forth with short strokes along the teeth and gums.
- Continue to move the toothbrush along the inner and outer surfaces of every tooth.
- Place the tip of the brush in an upright position to reach behind the front teeth along the top and bottom of the jaw.
By following these simple pediatric dentistry tips, your child will effectively remove any food and bacteria from their teeth, which will keep their smile healthy.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing tends to be a dental habit that falls by the wayside for most people. Don’t let it be that way for your child! Flossing once daily is such a common pediatric dentistry tip because the benefits for your child’s tooth and gums are so great. Of course, just like with tooth brushing, flossing is most effective if your child is using the proper technique. To get all of the benefits of flossing, follow these steps:
- Wrap about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers, leaving about two to three inches unwrapped.
- Use your thumb and forefinger to hold the the floss.
- Gently slide the floss between the teeth.
- Make a “C” shape with the floss, using up and down motions to clean the space.
- Repeat the process for each tooth, using a new section of floss for each tooth.
- Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to clear any excess debris.
Tooth brushing alone won’t remove all the built-up food and bacteria from your child’s mouth, so make sure to floss regularly.
Eat a Tooth-Healthy Diet
Perhaps a lesser-known pediatric dentistry tip is to consider how your child’s diet is affecting their teeth. There are many foods that can have a negative impact on your child’s oral health. To improve your child’s smile, make sure they stay away from foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar provides food for bacteria, which creates acid that results in tooth decay and cavities. They should also avoid sticky, starchy snacks. These foods can get stuck to teeth and provide a breeding ground for bacteria.
In addition to avoiding sugary snacks, your child should be eating foods that are good for their oral health. Incorporate foods like cheese and yogurt, which help lower the pH in your mouth, which can in turn neutralize plaque acid and reduce the risk for tooth decay. Dairy products like these also have calcium and protein that help strengthen teeth. Be sure that your child eats lots of veggies, especially leafy greens, since they’re high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories and sugar.
Consider Dental Sealants
If you’re worried about your child’s ability to keep their teeth clean on their own, here’s a useful pediatric dentistry tip: consider dental sealants. Dental sealants are protective barriers that a dentist can apply to the chewing surfaces of your child’s adult teeth. Adult teeth have pits and fissures that food can easily become stuck in. When that food breaks down, it becomes food for harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and cavities.
By applying dental sealants, your child’s dentist can prevent that build up. The plastic-like coverings fill in all the spaces so that food can’t get stuck there. Since they’re impervious to bacteria, saliva, and food particles, your child can do all of their daily activities normally. Along with appropriate preventative care, dental sealants are a simple, effective way to improve your child’s smile.
There are a lot of pediatric dentistry tips that can help improve your child’s smile, but these are some of the most effective ones to start with. Making sure that your child establishes good oral health habits early in life will help set them up for decades of happy, healthy smiles. Remember, one of the simplest ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy is by making regular dental appointments. Contact Tooth Fairy Pediatric Dental to schedule your child’s next cleaning and checkup today.