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Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits

There are many important things that you need to teach your child, and oral hygiene habits should be high on your list. After all. every parent wants their child's smile to last a lifetime! At the office of Dr. Lance Anderson, your family dentist in Wichita, KS, our friendly team equips parents and kids with the tools to prevent decay, gum disease, and more, and we'd love to help your family, too.

Why is oral hygiene important?

Frankly, the smallest things can cause the biggest problems. For instance, strep bacteria multiply in soft plaque and hard tartar which rapidly build on and between teeth.

BMC Oral Health reports that a yellow layer of bacteria-rich plaque takes just 48 hours to form. Sticky and fuzzy, plaque hardens into damaging plaque that decays teeth with corrosive acids and pushes gum tissue away from enamel surfaces.

Here are other startling facts: dental decay is the most common chronic health condition among children. In fact, about 20 percent of school-age kids have one or more unaddressed cavities, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Professionals, such as your family dentist in Wichita, believe that good oral hygiene practiced from babyhood on can reduce these difficult statistics. Dr. Anderson asks parents to remain steadfast in giving children their brightest, healthiest smiles.

Here's how to do it

  1. Offer a healthy diet. Breastfed babies have fewer smile alignment issues as they grow, states the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA maintains that children who were nursed as infants have lower rates of decay, specifically baby bottle decay. Also, as your child grows, stay away from processed sugars and excessive amounts of carbohydrates. Offer plenty of water, fresh fruits and veggies, and low-fat dairy and proteins.

  2. Brush twice daily for two minutes—once in the morning and again at bedtime. Stay with your child during brushing, and brush for them until age three or four. Use a kid-sized, soft brush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Supervise older youngsters until the age of eight.

  3. Floss, floss, floss. When teeth become tightly spaced, flossing is a must, as it removes the plaque that a brush misses. Water flossers and interdental brushes are also excellent choices for children with braces.

  4. Have your young athlete wear a mouthguard. You'll save many oral lacerations, cracked/knocked-out teeth, and a lot of pain and worry.

  5. See Dr. Anderson every six months. Your child will receive a complete oral exam, including inspection of dental bite and alignment, as well as a check on how the permanent teeth size up.

For more about oral hygiene habits

Contact Dr. Lance Anderson, your family dentist in Wichita, KS, by dialing (316) 687-2104.

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