As a family dentist, our goal is to help all our patients maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime. There are several things you can do to help make this a possibility. To learn more about oral health or to schedule a dental cleaning, call (301) 248-8080. When you visit our Fort Washington, MD dental office, James E Sullivan DDS can put you and your children on a plan for long-term oral health. When combined with good oral hygiene at home, your child may never have to experience a bad toothache or massive cavities.
Here are 10 Tips From a Family Dentist for Taking Care of Your Kids' Teeth
- Drink more water. As a pediatric dentist, we know that drinking plenty of water can help keep your kids’ teeth and gums healthy. Staying hydrated helps to keep saliva levels where they need to be, so when they eat, food particles can be naturally washed away.
- Throw away old toothbrushes. When you bring your children in for a dental cleaning, we will probably give them a toothbrush to take home with them. Toothbrushes should only be used for around three months, so it is important that you change them out frequently. If the bristles are frayed or it starts to smell, you could be putting new bacteria into the mouth or at the very least, not getting their teeth as clean as they should be. Also, when you do buy a new toothbrush, make sure it is soft so it will not strip away their enamel.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can help keep your children’s teeth strong and healthy in between dental cleaning appointments.
- Cut out soda and acidic juices. As a parent, it is important to be aware of the high acid levels in everyday drinks. Things like soda and juice can erode dentin. In fact, regular cola has a pH level that is so low, it is closer to battery acid than to water.
- Snack healthy. Give your kids healthy food to snack on, like crunchy vegetables, string cheese, and nuts. Avoid anything full of sugar, acidic, or refined carbs like crackers.
- No milk at bedtime. Giving your baby or toddler milk at bedtime is unwise because it means sugar will be on their teeth as they sleep. This can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
- Have teeth professionally cleaned. We recommend that you bring your children to our Fort Washington, MD pediatric dentist office twice per year so we can remove any plaque or tartar that has formed on their teeth before they develop tooth decay.
- Get a fluoride treatment. There are high acid levels in everyday drinks, and simply brushing can remove some of the enamel from the teeth. This can weaken teeth, make them more susceptible to decay, and more likely to become damaged. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and combat this natural process.
- Use dental sealants. As a 20744 family dentist, we recommend using dental sealants as a way to reduce the likelihood of your child developing cavities. Dental sealants are a plastic-like substance brushed onto the teeth in order to create a barrier between the food they eat and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This is important when the ridges are so deep, food easily becomes trapped.
- Floss every day. At our dental office, we inform parents of the importance of flossing every day in addition to brushing and scheduling a regular dental cleaning. Food and plaque will become stuck in between the teeth, making flossing the only way to remove it on a daily basis.
As a 20744 pediatric dentist, James E Sullivan DDS can answer any further questions you have about dental hygiene and how to keep your children in excellent oral health. To schedule an appointment with our Fort Washington, MD dental office, call (301) 248-8080.
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