Celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month with us in February and schedule an appointment with Dr. Maggie to learn how to keep your child’s oral hygiene routine fun and healthy. The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be stated enough, especially when it comes to teaching children how to properly care for their teeth at every age. To help your child practice good oral hygiene, you can make brushing and flossing fun by involving the whole family and using toothbrushes that play music.

Start Good Oral Care Early

When you teach your child to properly care your their teeth by regularly brushing and flossing, you are helping them prevent cavities and gum disease. Children’s Dental Health Month was developed in order to emphasize the importance of oral care even if your child still has his or her baby teeth.

To help your children remember to brush and floss print out this Tooth Brushing Chart! Just add stickers!

While baby teeth are temporary and replaced by adult teeth, they serve a vital purpose in the mouth. They help your child eat and speak properly, and they guide the adult teeth into their proper positions. By teaching your child to care for his or her baby teeth by learning how to properly brush, floss and use mouthwash, you are helping develop good habits for when their adult teeth emerge.

Understanding Good Oral Hygiene for Children

During Children’s Dental Health Month, it is important to review your child’s oral hygiene habits and adjust according to your child’s age. If you have a new infant, it is important to clean his or her mouth and gums with a damp, soft washcloth. This will remove excess formula or milk from the gums and help prevent excess bacteria from forming in the mouth. When your child’s first few teeth appear, wiping your infant’s gums helps prevent baby bottle tooth decay, which can happen if excess formula is left in the mouth, especially at night.

Once several of your child’s teeth have emerged, it’s time to start using a soft bristled brush designed for infants and/or toddlers. There is still no need to use toothpaste at this point, but you can choose an oral censer that is designed for infants and toddlers instead of plain water if you wish. This is also the time when you should schedule your child’s first dental appointment.

When your child reaches two years of age, they are ready for children’s toothpaste and to start learning how to brush their own teeth. You can make this process more fun by creating a game around practicing good oral hygiene and/or by choosing fun toothbrushes that play music.

From the ages of two to seven, you will need to closely supervise your child’s oral hygiene habits until they have the hand dexterity and skill to reach every part of their teeth and gums. This may mean helping your child brush and floss his or her teeth after they have already brushed their teeth on their own. After the age of seven, your child should have the knowledge and skill to brush and floss his or her teeth at least twice a day.

How You Can Celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month with Us

You can help us celebrate Children’s Dental Health month by ensuring that your child receives regular dental checkups at our pediatric dental office in Palm Harbor and by reminding your friends and family with children to schedule appointments for their own children. Every child from the time they receive their first tooth until they turn 18 years years of age should receive at least one dental checkup and dental cleaning twice each year. These checkups remove all the plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth and look for problems with the development of the teeth, gums, and jaw so that they can be corrected before they interfere with your child’s speech and language development as well as his or her ability to chew. During your child’s appointment, we can also answer common dental care questions as well as any questions your older child may have about proper oral hygiene.

To schedule your child’s dental checkup in Palm Harbor with our pediatric dentist, call us at 727-786-7551.

Check out this Print-Friendly Tooth Brushing Chart to help your child celebrate Children’s Dental Health Month right!