At-Home Dental Tips Every Parent Should Know

Tuesday July 19, 2016 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

Did you know that dentists see an increase in cavities over the summer? Unfortunately, it’s true. In the summertime, events like outdoor movies, carnivals, and sporting activities seem to go hand-in-hand with sugary treats. Elephant ears, we’re talking to you! With that in mind, we thought that now would be the ideal time to provide you with a refresher on how you can best care for your children’s teeth at home.

What Does Good At-Home Dental Care for Children Consist Of?

At a minimum, good dental care should consist of gently brushing twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and daily flossing. Depending on your child’s age, you may need to provide assistance.

For bonus points, we also encourage parents to limit sugary snacks. We don’t want to ruin all of your summer fun, but we do suggest that sugary treats be limited to a few times a week, rather than an everyday occurrence.

Why Is Good Home Dental Care So Important?

The earlier you instill healthy habits in your children, the more likely they are to stick. By making good dental hygiene a priority in your household, your children are less likely to experience cavities and tooth decay.

Tips for Teaching Children Good Dental Care

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, we also encourage you to do the following:

  • Keep Healthy Snacks Readily Available. When sugary treats are nowhere to be found and healthy alternatives are plentiful, children will reach for nutritious snacks. Keep teeth-friendly items on hand like apples, crunchy vegetables (don’t forget the ranch dressing!), and string cheese.
  • Encourage Water Drinking. Water not only cleans away the acids that erode enamel, it also keeps the mouth moist, which defends against tooth decay. Additionally, fluoridated water strengthens developing teeth. For these reasons, we suggest you let your children pick out their own special water bottle. When they can select the bottle themselves, they’re often more excited about using it. Encourage them to drink from it regularly, especially if they can’t brush immediately after eating—a swish of water is the next best thing to a toothbrush!
  • Model Good Dental Hygiene. Lastly, we’d suggest that you take great care of your own teeth. Kids absorb everything, and they really do learn by watching mom and dad. If you make good oral hygiene a priority, your children are more likely to as well.

Finally, while at-home dental care is important, regular dentist visits are equally so. If you or your children are due for an appointment, it’s simple to schedule one online. Click here to access our online appointment request form or call our office. We have 2 locations to serve you. To reach our N. Murray Hill Road office serving the West Columbus area, please contact (614) 878-1188. Alternatively, to schedule an appointment at our North location in Westerville, call (614) 890-5022. We are pleased to also offer evening office hours for your convenience.