Do you know how to keep your children’s teeth and gums healthy? With February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, there’s never been a better time to make sure you’re taking the best care of their oral health! By using the tips outlined below, your kids will be sure to have a radiant smile for years to come.

Keep Regular Dental Cleaning Visits

Routine cleanings and checkups are an important part of a dental health regimen. Children should see a dentist every 6 months. During these visits, the dentist will clean your child’s mouth, removing any plaque buildup that has occurred since their last appointment. This will help prevent cavities from forming in the future.

In addition, the dentist will take an x-ray of your child’s mouth, and identify any potential problems. With regular visits, any issues will likely be caught early, making it easier for your child (and wallet) to handle any needed treatments.

Consider Sealants

As your child’s adult teeth grow in, there is greater potential for food and other debris to get caught in the various dips and fissures that come with permanent teeth. In order to avoid plaque buildup and tooth decay, consider dental sealants for your child. Sealants are easy and painless to apply and provide dental health benefits for years after application. In children, sealants are best applied after each set of molars erupts, which is typically around the ages of 6 and 12.

Replace Their Toothbrush

The effectiveness of your child’s tooth brushing can be greatly affected by the quality of their toothbrush. As a general rule of thumb, toothbrushes should be replaced roughly every 3 months or when the bristles begin to fray, whichever comes first. If you have difficulty remembering when to replace your families’ toothbrushes, make a habit of doing so every time the season changes (which conveniently happens every 3 months).

Consider Fluoride Treatment

Another preventative measure that you can take to ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy is fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that has been proven to strengthen tooth enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. Fluoride treatments can be given to your child two to four times a year after their first tooth breaks the surface.

Try a Tooth-Healthy Diet

The health of your child’s teeth is determined by more than just how well they take care of them, but also by what they eat. Foods that are rich in calcium can help your child have strong, healthy teeth and bones. Such foods include dairy, broccoli, and a variety of leafy green vegetables. Other vitamins worth incorporating into your child’s diet include vitamin D, copper, zinc, and potassium. In addition, it’s best to avoid soda and fruit juices that can leave your children’s teeth layered in sugar. This additional sugar can exacerbate plaque buildup and lead to tooth decay.

Be a Role Model

Last, but certainly not least, one of the best things you can do for your child’s teeth is to take care of your own! Children like to mimic the adults in their lives, so by watching you practice good oral health techniques, they’re more likely to do so as well. If they’re resistant to brushing and flossing, do it with them. In doing so, these healthy habits are seen as less of a chore and more as a fun, family activity.

It’s time to set that appointment with your child! Our Long Beach dental team is proud to offer quality dental care to all families that come to our practice. Book an appointment today by calling us at 562-434-6414 or use this form here to request an appointment time.