Did you know that February is National Children’s Dental Health Month? To help keep your child’s smile white, bright, healthy, and cavity-free this month and every month, Dr. Parnaz Aurasteh and the team at Oral Care Dentistry offer these 5 simple and healthy habits:
1. EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
Kids love sugary treats, but make sure they’re the “treat” and not the default option. Shop the perimeters of the grocery store to find the healthiest foods. The center aisles tend to contain processed food that tempts a sweet tooth, so steer kids in a healthier direction. In addition to the types of foods, learn the proportions that help kids build the strong bones and teeth they’ll need to have a healthy mouth for the rest of their lives:
- Fruits and Veggies should make up half of what your son or daughter eats every day.
- Whole Grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat, and brown rice, have more vitamins than refined grains. The extra fiber slows down the grain’s conversion to sugar, which can cause tooth decay, and aids in digestion.
- Low-Fat Dairy contains calcium to build strong bones and teeth.
- High-quality, lean proteins — such as beef, skinless poultry, and fish – are an essential component of a healthy diet. Including 8 oz. per week of seafood or fish.
2. DRINK TAP WATER
Bottled water is a continuing trend, but many commercial brands use highly filtered or distilled water that is free from fluoride – which our bodies use to build healthy teeth. Giving your children tap water ensures that they will receive the fluoride they need to keep their enamel strong. Heading out on a hike or packing a lunch? Fill a stainless steel water bottle or canteen with water from the tap. It’ll be healthier for your kids’ teeth and save money, too.
3. BRUSH AFTER EATING
Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day for two minutes each time with a clean, child-sized toothbrush that has soft bristles. Medium or hard bristles can irritate the gums and may eventually erode tooth enamel.
The toothbrush should be placed at a 45-degree angle and moved gently back and forth on the outside and inside surfaces of all the teeth. Be sure they reach to the backs of the molars, too!
4. USE AN ADA-APPROVED FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE
Look for the American Dental Association seal on any toothpaste you buy. Bargain toothpaste may be doing your child’s teeth more harm than good. Some adult toothpaste may be too harsh for sensitive young mouths, so find flavors and formulations that are child-friendly, contain fluoride, and are ADA approved.
5. SEE THE DENTIST TWICE A YEAR
Regular cleanings and check-ups are essential for healthy teeth. Dr. Aurasteh and her team will examine your child’s teeth and gums to be sure they are healthy, using the latest technology to detect and treatcavities. We also offer fluoride treatments to help prevent cavities and build strong, healthy teeth.