10 Frequently Asked Questions About Children's Dental Health
In recognition of February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’ve listed below the 10 most frequently asked questions our patients ask us about their children’s dental health.
Building a healthy body and teeth starts at an early age. Developing good dental habits when your kids are young will help them develop lifelong healthy, beautiful smiles.
10 Frequently Asked Questions about Children’s Dental Health
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?
Start gently brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Once your toddlers are old enough to start brushing on their own, establish a twice-daily brushing routine with your kids – 2 minutes, 2 times per day.
How do I get my kids to brush their teeth?
This is one of the MOST frequently asked questions we get from our GCCD parents! Sometimes it can be a challenge to get your kids to brush their teeth, especially twice a day every day. When they are younger, make it fun for your children to brush their teeth with these ideas:
- “Make brushing and flossing a joint parenting effort,” said Dr. Kyle Lowe.
- Starting early is the key to getting kids to brush and floss regularly. “We developed a routine of brushing our girls’ gums and teeth early as six months with extremely soft brushes,” Dr. Lowe said.
- Brush your teeth when your kids brush! It’s great family time while you’re teaching your younger kids how to brush.
- We’ve mentioned above to start a routine and stick to it. Make brushing the very next step after getting dressed in the morning. Use an acronym to keep the routine going at night. “PJ and TB Time was our nighttime motto for our kids,” said Dr. Bryan Simone. “When we would say that, our kids knew they needed to go change into their PJs and brush their teeth (TB is Tooth Brush).”
- Keep your kids’ toothbrushes by the kitchen sink so they can brush right after breakfast on school days. “This worked really well for my own kids during the school year,” said Dr. Simone. “When our kids were running late in the mornings, it was a great way to ensure they brushed their teeth before heading off to school.”
- Use a kitchen timer to help time your kids as they brush their teeth. Sometimes it’s easier for kids to count down the time while they are brushing.
MouthHealthy.org also has some great tips to get and keep your kids brushing their teeth.
How do I get my child to floss?
It’s important to teach your kids to floss daily to get the food in between their teeth.
- Dr. Lowe also suggests flossing your kids’ teeth regularly three to four times a week when they start to get primary second molars (about 20-24months). “We found it easiest to have the girls lay down on a bed or couch until they were able to stand more independently,” he said.
- And, of course, follow the same ideas as above and incorporate flossing into your daily oral care routine.
What foods cause cavities?
Sugary foods and sticky snacks cause cavities in children and adults. As good as they may taste, we typically recommend children avoid eating raisins, gummies (including gummy vitamins), jelly beans and sweet foods. The ingredients in these types of foods stick to your kids’ teeth, which makes it difficult for saliva to naturally clean them. Here is a list from MouthHealthy.org to help guide your shopping decisions.
What drinks cause cavities?
This frequently asked question about kids’ dental health is extremely important. Drinks that are loaded with sugar cause cavities in children and adults. These drinks include soda, juice and sports drinks.
Remember to drink water that contains fluoride. Water is the best thing you can drink for your dental and overall health!
Can I put my baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice?
NO. Putting your baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice can cause serious tooth decay, also called baby bottle syndrome. When a baby or toddler drinks from the bottle throughout the night or a nap, saliva in the mouth isn’t able to clean the sugars from your baby’s teeth. Over time, your child’s teeth begin to decay, which can cause long-term dental health problems.
What kind of toothpaste should I use on my kids’ teeth?
Use fluoride toothpaste like Colgate or Crest.
When should my child visit the dentist?
Click here to read our blog about when to take your child to the dentist for the first time.
How often should my child go to the dentist?
Just like adults, kids should visit the dentist twice a year – every six months.
Does my child need sealants and Flouride at the dentist?
Yes. Sealants and Flouride are a vital part of every child’s dental health. Visit our Dental Sealants page to learn why and what the dental sealant procedure is.
If you have additional questions about your kids’ dental health or would like to schedule a dental exam and cleaning, contact Grove City Center for Dentistry today via phone at 614-875-3141 or schedule online at your convenience.