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When you have young kids, there are a lot of questions you’ll likely want to ask about their oral health. When is it time to teach them to brush? What about flossing? And when should they see the dentist for the first time? The good news is, there are answers to all of those questions. Even better is the fact that the answers are simple and easily digested. So today, we’ll walk you through those questions to help you better understand how to care for your kids’ oral health needs.

Start them early

One of the best things you can do, as any dentist will tell you, is to start your kids early with dental visits. These regular trips to see Dr. Michael Shirer help make the dentist’s office an inviting, normal part of life. Kids won’t go kicking and screaming to the dentist when it’s been a part of their life for as long as they can remember.

You will likely be your child’s best bet for a healthy smile by helping them brush and floss until they are around seven or eight. Use a toothpaste that has fluoride and a soft toothbrush made specifically for young children, and brush at least twice a day. Be sure to clean the from and back of their teeth and around the gum line. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste after brushing.

Once your child’s teeth begin to touch, you will need to start flossing. If they are teething and experiencing gum tenderness, rub their gums with a clean finger or use a moist, cold washcloth. As they become accustomed to brushing and flossing regularly, they will be building a healthy foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

With that in mind, we recommend making brushing and flossing a game in your house. This helps kids enjoy the activities that care for and prevent cavities. This not only helps your kids out in the short term, but it saves you a lot of money as they grow up. You won’t have to pay for visits to fill cavities, get crowns, or other costly dental repairs.

Eating for a healthy smile

Healthy foods will nourish their gum tissue and emerging teeth with the nutrients they need to thrive. Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole-grain bread, crackers, etc. along with lean meats, legumes an eggs will go a long way to keeping their mouth healthy. Definitely limit their exposure to sweets, preferably with their meal.

When it comes to beverages, milk and water are ideal, and sugary drinks like 100-percent juice should still be limited. Don’t place juice in a bottle, but rather in a cup.

We hope this information was helpful and that it’ll help you teach your kids to have the best oral health possible. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us today at 803-648-6400.