February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and a great time to discuss healthy habits for your children’s developing teeth and smile. Drs. Andy and Ambre Kragor believe that the benefits of building good oral health habits in children and teens are immeasurable. Healthy teeth are a strong measure of a person’s overall health, and Drs. Andy and Ambre see it as their mission to educate parents and children on the healthy oral hygiene habits that will sustain their beautiful smiles for years to come.
Drs. Andy and Ambre Kragor advise patients every day to start teaching your children early with good dental habits and never skip the basics. Below are a few items we recommend teaching your children very early in order to keep their teeth, gums and smile healthy and bright.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day
Especially before you go to bed to remove the germs that cause plaque buildup. YUK right? Children may need your help brushing up until the third grade. Even beyond that age, we recommend asking them and enforcing good brushing habits during the pre-teen and teenage years where hormonal levels can alter plaque levels.
Flossing is as important as brushing.
Flossing removes plaque from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing also reduces inflammation in your gums and keeps them healthy. Start this habit early in your children. We began flossing our children the moment they had teeth.
See your dentist every three to six months for cleanings and checkups.
We actually encourage every three months for our orthodontic patients to help reduce their bacteria and plaque.
Most children will not need any treatment at this age. The orthodontist is trained to check the development of not only the teeth, but also the jaws. Most evaluations are 100% complementary and often times can prevent further orthodontic issues down the road.
Wear your retainer.
As your body grows, your teeth shift, and your retainer helps your teeth stay set in their new positions. And if you lose your retainer, get a new one as soon as possible. A retainer is the best insurance policy you can have for your smile after you have had them straightened.
Drs. Andy and Ambre also recommend helping your child to stop the below habits that lead to complications with the growth and alignment of permanent teeth.
- Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of teeth. Dentists recommend eliminating those habits by the time a child is 4.
- Chewing on items like pens, pencils, caps, ice, etc. is very dangerous for your teeth. We recommend parents these behaviors to help protect their teeth.
- Sugar! Soft drinks are especially hard on little ones’ teeth because their tooth enamel is not fully developed. And in reality they are hard on adult teeth as well. If you have not seen the way teeth look in a cup of sugar after a few hours you should take a look. You may never want to drink soda again!
Ready to get your child on their way to a beautiful, healthy smile? Contact Kragor Orthodontics for a complementary evaluation at 770-485-8827.