What your pediatric dentists in South Miami want you to know
Protecting your child’s smile is an important part of keeping your child healthy. When your child has a healthy smile, it aids in digestion, which contributes to overall good health. There are a few simple tips you need to know when you are caring for your child’s smile. Dr. Mario Martinez and Dr. Rebecca Lenard at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates in South Miami, FL, want to share the facts about how to make sure your child enjoys a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles.
The fact is children are at risk of tooth decay the minute the first tooth erupts. That’s why it’s critical to teach good oral hygiene habits early. Frequent and thorough removal of plaque by brushing and flossing is essential. You can start caring for your child’s smile by:
Teaching your child to brush after meals and before bed; take a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You and your child should face a mirror with you standing behind your child. As your child watches, use a gentle circular motion to brush all the surfaces of your child’s teeth and along the gumline. Have your child demonstrate the technique back to you.
Sonic or electric toothbrushes are often helpful because they flush out food debris from hard-to-reach places. They are especially helpful for young children who may have dexterity problems.
When your child is 4 years old, you can begin to teach flossing. Have your child hold a hand mirror and watch as you demonstrate flossing. Make sure to wrap around the wide part of each tooth to keep the floss firmly against the tooth surface. Have your child demonstrate back to you. Your child should be flossing without help around the age of 8.
Floss picks are often helpful and because they are available in kid-friendly shapes and colors, they help children want to floss.
Make sure your child is getting an adequate amount of fluoride, either through fluoridated water, your pediatric dentist, or your pediatrician. Fluoride is the most important weapon against tooth decay.
For more information about teaching your child oral hygiene skills and other pediatric dental topics, call Dr. Martinez and Dr. Lenard at South Miami Pediatric Dental Associates today!