5 Tips for a Healthy Mouth

Island Children’s Dentistry

Dr. Allie Lonneman, a local pediatric dentist at Island Children’s Dentistry, shares 5 ways to keep your kiddos teeth happy & healthy!

Schedule the first visit by age 1 – Did you know as soon as a child’s first tooth erupts, they are ready for a visit to the pediatric dentist? Our office, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends bringing your children to see a dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth. Early visits allow younger children an opportunity to acclimate to a new environment and establish good oral habits that can set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles and positive dental visits.

Visit a pediatric dentist – Just like you take your children to a pediatrician for their doctor’s visits, it’s important to see a pediatric dentist for their dental checkups! Pediatric dentists receive an additional 2-3 years of specialized training on children’s dental health needs, as well as pediatric growth & development. Your child deserves to see a specialist. 

It’s never too early to start brushing – Prior to the teeth erupting, it is recommended to introduce a finger brush with non-fluoride toothpaste to your kiddo’s routine. Clean the gums regularly by wiping them with a finger brush, burp cloth or gauze pad. When the teeth erupt, brush them twice a day with a rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.

Learn the benefits of fluoride – Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter! Not only does it remineralize teeth, but it also helps prevent tooth decay by making our teeth stronger and more cavity resistant. While we acknowledge fluoride’s critical role in a healthy mouth, it is important to use safe doses as excess intake can have unwanted effects. For kiddos under the age of 3 (prior to spitting out their toothpaste), we recommend a rice sized amount of toothpaste. Older kiddos, who spit out their toothpaste, can brush twice daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Make it fun! – Get creative with your child’s oral health routine! Play your kiddo’s favorite song while you brush. Brush your teeth together. Read books about dental health or trips to the dentist. By introducing the “dentist” at home in an environment they are comfortable in, you are giving your child a better opportunity to feel more in control and prepared for their dental visits.

At Island Children’s Dentistry, we strive to make your children’s visit to the dentist a positive one. Whether it’s blowing bubbles, learning to brush with the help of our stuffed dinosaur, watching their favorite movie or earning a toy and a balloon at the end of the visit – we do whatever we can to help create a positive environment. Start your kiddo off on the right foot by following these 5 tips & scheduling a visit at Island Children’s Dentistry!

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