Oral Health Guidelines for Children

How to keep your kids smiling!

Regular dental visits for the entire family

  • Set a good example for your children by visiting the dentist at least 2x a year for a routine exam and cleaning.
  • Make sure to lift up your child's upper lip and check their teeth periodically. Alert your pediatrition/dentist of any concerns.
  • Once your child's adult teeth erupt inquire about dental sealants. These help to prevent cavities on your child's permanent teeth. 
  • Visit the American Dental Association website via the following link for some educational children's videos: http://www.ada.org/353.aspx

Healthy Snacks

  • Avoid soda. Limit juices. Limit sticky, sugary foods.
  • It is better to eat sweets and drink juice with a meal, instead of as a snack. The mouth produces more saliva during mealtime, this serves to protect your teeth.
  • Encourage children to eat fresh fruit instead of fruit snacks, or fruit juices.
  • Adding high calcium and high phosphorous foods to a meal helps to decrease the erosive potential of other foods. This can include milk, cheese, or yogurt. If your child cannot tolerate dairy products calcium fortified soy milk, or calcium fortified juices are a good alternative.

Brushing twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste

  • It is important to choose the age appropriate toothbrush. This can range from extra-soft to soft bristle toothbrushes.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 2-6 years of age.
  • Brush after breakfast, and before bedtime. Once teeth start to touch it is important to begin flossing.

Drink tap water

  • Juices, sodas and sports drinks are acidic and can soften teeth leading to cavities.
  • Consumption of sports energy drinks should be limited to games lasting at least 90 minutes. Drink water before and after practices.
  • When drinking juices, sodas or sports drinks attempt to gulp or drink with a straw. You want to limit the amount of time these beverages are sitting on your teeth.
  • "Sip all day, and you've got decay".

Limit saliva sharing practices

  • Children are not born with cavity producing bacteria. It is introduced through saliva sharing practices. Limit sharing of food and beverages.

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