As parents we understand the importance of good dental habits and do our best to pass that onto our children. And healthy adult teeth start with healthy kids teeth!

Keeping kids cavity-free is the ultimate goal, after all, poor dental health impacts more than just your pocketbook and their smiles. In fact, a California Society of Pediatric Dentistry study found:

“Untreated dental disease compromises the child’s ability to eat well, sleep well, and function well at home and at school. The unaesthetic nature of untreated dental decay compromises the child’s self-esteem and social development.” Source: The Consequences of Untreated Dental Disease in Children

How To Keep Kids Teeth Healthy

Unfortunately, many of these adverse effects of an unhealthy smile extend long after childhood, and what better time than National Children’s Dental Health Month , to share some tips for keeping kids teeth healthy:

Be a role model. Kids like to imitate those around them, so be a good role model and demonstrate good oral health habits for them. Brush and floss with your kids, rather than sending them into the bathroom on their own. Instead of treating it as a chore, make it part of the daily routine.

Teach them. Show kids under age 3 how to use a rice-size amount of toothpaste. Once kids are able to understand how to spit, rather than swallow the paste, they can use a pea-size amount. When teeth have grown to touch each other, kids can floss and rinse with mouthwash daily.

Keep dental appointments. Keep a regular routine of visiting the dentist twice a year, and involve your children. By keeping your appointments, you make it a normal activity, and they will make it a ritual. Your child should have their first dental appointment within 6 months of their first tooth or their first birthday, whichever comes first, and then twice a year after that.

Talk. Talk to your kids about what they can expect at the dentist. At their dental visit, talk to your dentist about any concerns you have such as crowding, thumb sucking, losing teeth, mouth guards, and whatever else concerns you.

Eat healthy foods. Avoiding sugary drinks and foods not only helps overall health but it can create a discussion about cavities. When sugar is allowed to sit on your teeth, it can create decay, and we all want healthy, strong teeth to enjoy the things we love.

Brush. Brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes is recommended, yet not always achieved. Set a timer and use a tartar dye if desired to be sure all the teeth surfaces are reached and that brushing has happened long enough to be effective at removing plaque. There are apps available to make brushing and caring for your teeth fun.

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  1. Tiffany Locke

    Your advice to go to a dentist twice a year and ensure your children make their appointments as well as is a good idea. In order to do this, it might help to find a local family dentist so you can make appointments for you and your children at the same time. When choosing one, you’d probably want to research them by looking online and visiting their offices so you can meet and ask questions to make sure you find one that you’re comfortable with so you can visit them regularly.


  2. Gerty Gift

    I liked your recommendation to talk to your kids about what to expect at the dentist. I never considered doing this before, but I can see how it could help them to feel more comfortable if they know what to expect. We’ll be sure to try it out with our kids before our next visit.


  3. Penelope Smith

    This is some really good information about keeping kids teeth healthy. It is good to know that you should really teach kids how to brush their teeth really well from a young age. That is good for me to know that because my nephew is starting to his teeth soon.


  4. Skylar Williams

    Thank you for your tip to be a role model for your kids by brushing and flossing your teeth with your kids. I like that you said that it isn’t a chore but a part of a routine. My sister has three young children that she needs to take to the dentist. I will make sure to pass this tip along to her.


  5. Angela Waterford

    Ideally, my child should be able to learn how to brush at this age, but since he doesn’t like to brush at all, I’m fearing that his habit of consuming candy will lead to tooth cavities. Thanks for informing me that kids like to imitate those around them, so this might motivate him to brush his own teeth. I think I’ll also take him to a pediatric dentist so he will know the benefits of keeping his teeth healthy.


  6. Faylinn

    I completely agree with this article, especially when you mentioned that you should show your children under 3 years old how to use a small amount of toothpaste first. My twin daughters have been asking to brush their own teeth for a few weeks now and I feel like they are finally ready, but I need to make sure I consult with a dentist. Also, I think it would be good to find a new service since we are new to the area and a pediatric dentist could help us out a lot.


  7. Sabrina Addams

    I appreciated how you said to be a role model and brush and floss your teeth with your kids so that they’ll mimic your behavior. My husband and I have a 5-year-old daughter and are trying to get her in the habit of brushing her teeth. I’ll find a child dental clinic to take her to soon and try brushing our teeth with her!


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