Oral Care Tips for Kids During National Children's Dental Health Month

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Did you know your child's oral hygiene is an integral part of their overall health? The care that goes into your child's gums and teeth begins with you. Parents can start their children at a young age by making healthy teeth a priority at home. February is National Children's Dental Health Month and a great time to start your kids down the right path of a lifetime of proper oral hygiene.

At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County, our expert dentists and dedicated staff offer comprehensive and preventive family dentistry in a safe, caring environment at our dental facility in State College, PA. Read on to learn helpful ways to instill excellent oral hygiene with your children and be the first line of defense against future dental problems.

When can you start proper oral hygiene?

Babies are born with all their teeth – you just can't see them right away. Baby teeth generally start to emerge around 5 – 6 months. However, it is good to begin dental health care even before the first tooth appears. An important rule to remember from infancy to adulthood is that healthy gums produce healthy teeth.

  • After each feeding, wipe your baby's gums with a soft washcloth.
  • Take the bottle away once your child is done. It will help prevent baby bottle tooth decay.
  • Don't let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk, juice, or formula.
  • Schedule your child's first dental visit before their first birthday.

Oral health care for children

Children generally have all their primary or baby teeth by the age of three. They will begin to fall out around age six, allowing for permanent, or adult, teeth to start coming in. Most children have all their adult teeth by the age of 13. As children grow up, their dental habits should grow with them. Establishing a proper oral hygiene routine at an early age will keep your child's teeth healthy and strong throughout their lifetime. Here are some helpful tips to start around age three:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste (pea-size amount) and make sure they spit and rinse after brushing.
  • Make sure they brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes.
  • Instill the importance of dental floss as soon as their teeth start to touch, or even earlier.
  • Help them floss and brush, paying attention to their back teeth.
  • Visit the dentist bi-annually or every six months.

Healthy teeth at home for teenagers

Daily dental hygiene habits are imperative as your child grows older, and more permanent teeth come in. Keeping teeth and gums healthy is crucial to prevent future dental problems. However, it cannot be easy to keep teenagers interested in proper oral hygiene. To keep them on track, try these tips:

  • Remind them to brush twice a day and switch them to an electric toothbrush.
  • Remind them that flossing is essential for permanent teeth to prevent cavities.
  • As teens become more aware of their appearance, a gentle reminder that good dental health can help them look and feel better.
  • Proper oral hygiene can help keep their mouth fresh and avoid bad breath.
  • Ensure teens wearing braces or Invisalign® clear aligners brush and floss after every meal to prevent dental issues when their orthodontic treatment is done.

The foundation of proper oral hygiene in adulthood begins in the early years of life. Your child's dental health can start before they even get their first tooth. Take an active role in solidifying healthy teeth at home by establishing a good dental routine for your family. At Advanced Dentistry of Centre County in State College, PA, our team of skilled dentists and dental hygienists will be happy to assist you with your child's dental care needs. If you need family dentistry in State College, PA, contact our office or set up an appointment online today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.