Your kids may already have their holiday gift list ready to go. But this season, try thinking beyond the Legos, Xboxes, and American Girl dolls. There is a gift you can give your children that will save them hours of pain and discomfort, potentially thousands of dollars, and that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
We are talking about the gift of good dental health. Of course, this isn’t something you can wrap, put under the tree, and forget about. Teaching your kids the essentials of preventive dental care is a process that you should start young and continue to reinforce throughout their childhood. This creates a sturdy foundation and instills the habits they need to keep their teeth healthy in adulthood.
At Creekview Family Dentistry, we are happy to help you teach your children the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums. Book appointments for everyone in the family by calling our Lewisville, TX office at 972-505-3423.
Start Dental Visits Early
The American Dental Association recommends that babies see the dentist for their initial visit when their first tooth comes in — or by their first birthday. The younger the child is when we see him or her, the better able we are to create a reliable record of his or her development. It’s also about getting your child accustomed to the dental experience.
At Creekview Family Dentistry, we are able to offer help for issues you may be experiencing with your baby or toddler, like thumb sucking and teething pain.
Even before that first tooth comes in, you can start the process of acclimating your child to an oral hygiene routine. Use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums of bacteria. When the first tooth emerges, you can switch to a soft baby toothbrush.
See Us Every Six Months
Even if you practice good oral hygiene at home, twice-yearly dental visits are important for a number of reasons.
- Our skilled and reassuring hygienists will give your child’s teeth a gentle but thorough cleaning. They have special tools that enable them to reach areas you just can’t get to with your toothbrush at home. They will eliminate built-up plaque and tartar that if left unchecked would cause tooth decay and gum disease. Finally, they will floss and polish the teeth so that they gleam.
- Dr. Mathew, Dr. Samuel, or Dr. Al-Tamimi will thoroughly examine your child’s mouth for signs of decay and other problems. A professional examination is vital because pain and symptoms may not be present in early-stage disease.
- We may take X-rays of your mouth. X-rays enable us to see issues not apparent to the naked eye, including abscesses, hidden cavities, impacted teeth, and more.
We understand that little kids may be anxious about visiting the dentist. Our compassionate staff knows how to put patients of all ages of ease, plus we offer TVs with headphones in every examination room. Your kids can be distracted with a favorite show while we work on their teeth!
Establish a Routine at Home
Since they only see us twice per year, it’s vital that kids learn the importance of taking care of their oral health while at home.
- Make sure you have a routine in place: everyone in the family should brush at least twice per day and floss every night. Even when you’re rushed in the morning or your schedule’s a bit off, don’t let your kids skip this important part of the day.
- Technique matters: kids should brush their teeth for two minutes at a time and reach all surfaces of the teeth. Brushing too hard can damage the enamel or gums — being gentle but thorough is key. They should always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Kids must be supervised until they are able to do a good job on their own.
- Toothbrushes should be replaced regularly: whenever the bristles become frayed or every few months.
Avoid Damaging Foods
Unfortunately, a lot of drinks and snacks marketed to parents and kids are terrible for the teeth. Try to avoid purchasing sugary drinks and sticky, sweet snacks. Here are some of the worst (and most common) offenders:
- Fruit rollups and chewy fruit snacks
- Juice, soda, and sports drinks
- Soft granola bars
- Sweetened flavored milk (we love milk, but buy plain)
- Sugary yogurt products (buy plain and add your own flavorings)
- Raisins and other dried fruits
Stick to these guidelines, and you are setting your kids up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Don’t forget to book checkups with Creekview Family Dentistry. Fill out our online form or call our Lewisville, TX office at 972-505-3423.