The New Year is the perfect time to help your child make some "Smile-utions" for continued oral health and brighter smiles!
At we approach the end of 2014, and the holiday parties and activities are about to end, many parents would be the first to admit that they put their children’s oral health routine on the back burner for the last couple of weeks of the year. The start of the New Year is an excellent time to make some “Smile-utions”— resolutions geared toward maintaining a healthy diet, a daily oral health routine and dental visits every six months.
Park View's Point of View
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we promote oral health education throughout the year, including dietary advice. The goal at our practice is to always report cavity-free visits and educate our parents and young patients on the necessary steps needed to create a lifetime of healthy smiles. We also try to make oral health a fun, positive experience for children, starting with our bright, subway-themed office, goody bags, contests, raffles and informative blog stories and Facebook posts.
This year we are introducing our NEW YEAR’S SMILE-UTIONS — six resolutions that will keep young smiles bright for a lifetime.
SMILE-UTION #1— Visit Your Pediatric Dentist Twice a Year
We know that busy schedules make it difficult to come in for those all-important dental visits even just once a year, let alone twice. Many parents often question the need for that second visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry not only recommends, but continually stresses the importance of visiting your dentist twice a year, as an essential factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. A new cavity can actually form within a six month time period. Like any other problem, the longer it goes unattended, the worse it can get. Coming in every six months is also a good checkpoint to monitor whether or not your child needs early orthodontic care.
SMILE-UTION #2— Don’t hesitate to ask your pediatric dentist lots of questions.
At Park View Pediatric Dentistry, we feel that maintaining an ongoing dialog with our patients’ parents can make all the difference toward your child’s next cavity-free visit. We encourage our parents to ask questions from the simplest, “Are we brushing and flossing correctly?” to “Why is my child experiencing swollen gums?” The more specific questions that our parents have about their child’s oral health, the more customized our approach and treatment can be. It is also wise to keep your pediatric dentist’s phone number handy at all times, should an emergency situation occur.
SMILE-UTION #3— Teach your children proper bushing techniques from the start.
Baby teeth, and how they are cared for, are the foundation for permanent adult teeth. When your child is about six years old, it is time to move from brushing their teeth for them, to teaching them to brush and care for their own teeth. Teaching basic oral hygiene techniques and habits begin in toddlerhood and is an important process that continues throughout the childhood years.
SMILE-UTION #4— Remember that flossing is also an important part of your child’s oral health routine.
Much has been written about the importance and teaching of brushing, however flossing is equally important. Flossing helps to remove food and plaque from in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. Experts concur that flossing is necessary once your child has two teeth that touch. This usually happens initially with the last two molars (around age 2- 2 1/2). This is the time to get in the habit of flossing every night at bedtime before brushing.
SMILE-UTION #5— Maintain a healthy, low sugar diet for your child.
It goes without saying that limiting sugar intake and maintaining a healthy diet, complete with raw fruits and vegetables is of the utmost importance for oral and overall health. Choose sugar-free snacks like humus and carrot sticks, popcorn, pretzels, apple slices or cucumber rounds dipped in a yogurt and herb dressing. Do not give children sugary soda drinks, rather pure water, flavored with fresh citrus or mint. Getting child in the water-drinking habit is also good to rinse the mouth fresh throughout the day and keep children hydrated.
SMILE-UTION #6— Prevent accidents that can result in broken or lost teeth
Many of our young patients, both girls and boys, participate in a wide range of sports activities from skiing to soccer, softball to basketball. We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a mouth guard during sports activities. We have seen countless face and tooth trauma situations that could have be prevented if the child simply had used a mouth guard or a protective helmet during sports. The last thing any parent wants is for fun time to turn into emergency time. Plan safely for all sports activities with the appropriate helmets and mouth guards.
Here’s to happy New Yew. We look forward to seeing you in 2015!
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Park View Pediatric Dentistry