Posts Tagged ‘ national child dental health month ’

How to Help Your Kids Fight Against Cavities

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Toddler with toothbrushWe all know it’s important to form healthy hygiene habits from an early age — and a specific one is tooth care.  According to the CDC, tooth decay (or cavities) actually “affect children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease.”

Dental experts recommend that kids see the dentist by their first birthday, when their teeth are starting to grow, though waiting until they’re 2- or 3-years old is also okay.  Parents should help their children brush and floss until they are old enough, or have developed the fine motor skills, to hold a toothbrush and dental floss on their own.

Guidelines from MouthHealthy.org, a new site from the American Dental Association, recommends these brushing techniques:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Since February is Children’s Dental Health Month, brush up on more “toothy” knowledge.  Check out these Parents features:

 

Image: One year old baby boy with toothbrush via Shutterstock.

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4 Ways Kids Can Maintain Healthy Teeth

Monday, February 27th, 2012

child at the dentist officeBefore February ends, we wanted to honor National Children’s Dental Health Month.  To help kids maintain strong, cavity-free teeth every day, Andie Pearson, D.D.S., a practitioner for ChicagoHealers.com, recommends the following suggestions.

Refrain from sugary and processed snacks. Kids who constantly eat sticky, chewy, and dry snacks will suffer from decomposed tooth enamel and tooth decay over time. Children should regularly avoid eating snacks like dried fruit, candy, chips, granola bars, popcorn, nuts, cookies, cakes, and other baked sweets.

Choose fruits, vegetables and dairy first. With lots of nutrients, these are the healthiest options for kids’ teeth. Store snacks like baby carrots, sugar snap peas, cucumber slices, bananas, berries, yogurt, and cheese where children can conveniently grab when hungry so that they steer clear of the less healthy snacks. Fruit and vegetable juices are also great choices, but be sure to avoid products with high fructose corn syrup, as they contain loads of sugar.

Brush 2-3 times per day. Sugar and tiny crumbs tend to get stuck around the teeth and gums so it’s important for kids to brush frequently. Not doing so will cause tooth enamel to decompose and, in turn, cause the teeth to decay over time. Make sure that children brush after every meal, and rinse after every snack.

Floss daily. Food gets stuck in gums that can’t be removed simply by brushing. Teach kids to floss during their younger years to prevent gum disease and tooth decay later in life.

 

Also, read answers to your questions about dental care for kids at Unexpectedly Expecting.  Our blogger, Julia, just graduated from dental school last year.  Also, soothe your little ones by helping them overcome fear of dentists.

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