Oral Health Education
As pediatric dentists, part of our job is to instill good oral hygiene habits in our young patients that will hopefully stick with them for life. We do this by teaching your children how to properly brush and floss, eat properly to promote dental health, etc. But we also know that encouragement from parents makes a huge difference in whether children keep these habits. So we make sure to include you in all of our instruction so you can continue the process at home.
During Your Kids’ Dentist Appointments
At your child’s appointment, we will take the time to explain to you the particulars of your child’s tooth development, how to handle and prevent cavities and gum disease, guidelines for a healthy diet, and the best methods for excellent dental hygiene at home. We will also explain in detail any procedure we recommend for your child such as sealants or crowns.
We believe if we can create a positive experience for children in our Columbus, Ohio office, they will learn to enjoy taking care of their teeth, they’ll be more likely to develop and keep great oral hygiene habits, and they’ll be excited to come back to the dentist. We always explain in kid-friendly words what is going on during their appointments so they can learn for themselves the importance of good dental health and so fear won’t become a part of their dental experience. We make sure their visit is fun and interesting so they always walk away smiling.
Teaching Your Kids at Home
At Hines Little Smiles, we know the power of oral health education in the home. Parents are the greatest influence in a child’s development so we work to help educate you on some of those things that you may not be aware of when it comes to your child’s dental health. Here are a few must-know tips to make teaching oral hygiene to your kids a positive experience.
- Keep a wide array of dental supplies in your bathroom such as yummy toothpaste, flavored floss, and fun toothbrushes to help make every day dental care enjoyable for kids.
- Help your kids, especially those under 5, brush twice and floss once each day. If they are cooperative, encourage them to brush after meals and snacks as well. When you are brushing for them, be sure to use a soft-bristled brush and just a pea-sized drop of toothpaste that they spit out after brushing. While fluoride is essential to protecting your child’s tooth enamel, be sure to not give him or her too much; choose a special kids’ toothpaste with a low fluoride content.
- Although children have primary teeth that will be replaced by permanent ones, long term complications can arise if they aren’t taken care of adequately. Brushing and flossing prevent tooth decay and gingivitis, which can seriously damage their mouths later on in life.
- Even babies need dental care! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing in your child for a first visit at his or her first birthday or no later than six months after the first tooth erupts, whichever comes first. Once you do see teeth coming in, wipe down your baby’s mouth with a soft cloth after feeding to prevent plaque from forming and causing early tooth decay.
- Watch your child’s diet; sugars and carbonated beverages are damaging to teeth. It’s alright to let him or her have “fun food” every now and again, but limit the frequency to ensure they have a healthy mouth. Tip: Cheese, yogurt, and vegetables are all dentist-approved snacks.
We are committed to educating you and your family on how to achieve optimal dental health from the youngest ages. It’s important to bring your children in at least every six months for a regular check-up. If you have questions for your kids’ dentist at any time, feel free to ask; we are here to help!