February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The Florida Department of Health reminds parents and guardians that their children can avoid cavities by practicing good oral health habits. Children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children who do not.
Oral health tips that can keep children’s teeth healthy, include brushing their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Children brushing their teeth twice a day can help reduce their risk of tooth decay.
In addition, to children brushing their teeth twice a day there are other ways to reduce tooth decay risk:
• Schedule regular dental visits.
• Encourage your child to develop good brushing and flossing habits.
• Monitor the beverages your child is consuming. Children should make healthy beverage choices, such as water and low-fat milk.
• If your child does consume sugary drinks or sugary foods, it should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
• Limit between meal snacks. If your child craves a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
• If your child chews gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food.
Remember the P-E-A-R-L-S of Wisdom when it comes to dental hygiene for children.
Protect tiny teeth by caring for your mouth when you are pregnant. Your child’s future oral health starts with you.
Ensure to wipe your baby’s gums after each meal.
Avoid putting babies to bed with a bottle.
Remember to brush your child’s teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Limit drinks and food with added sugars for children. Encourage your child to eat more fruits and veggies.
Schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday or after their first tooth appears.