The 5 Factors That Really Matter in Pediatric Oral Health

If you do these few things effectively, you will set your child up for a lifetime of excellent oral health.

mother teaching daughter to brush teeth

As a parent, you are constantly bombarded with marketing campaigns pertaining to your child’s health. Though this is true of many domains, it also applies to oral care. Between mouthwashes, vibrating toothbrushes, special toothpaste, and more, it is natural to wonder what factors really matter.

Establish a Routine

The most important thing you can do for your child is help them establish an oral care routine. This usually means setting aside roughly ten minutes every night for brushing and flossing. When a child does not have a set schedule, they often end up skipping mornings, nights, or entire days. The result is poor oral health and expensive trips to the dentist. To assist in this process, you can make brushing and flossing a family affair. If you go through your routine at the same time as your child, you can make sure they are completing it every night.

Ensure Proper Methods

Sometimes, a child will have a consistent routine, but their methods will be incorrect. Though this can happen in a variety of ways, the most common are brushing too hard, too soft, or for not long enough. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you can watch your child brush and give pointers when necessary. If you are not entirely clear on what proper methods are, ask your pediatric dentist.

Control Diet

Though brushing and flossing are essential, they are only half the battle. If you want your child to have the best oral health possible, you’ll need to manage their diet too. The most common foods that adversely affect teeth are citrus fruits, dried fruit, chips, and candy. Though you do not need to cut these foods out entirely, reducing intake is a smart strategy.

Watch What They Drink

Perhaps even more important than controlling eating habits is watching what your child drinks. Two primary factors make a drink unhealthy for teeth: Acidity and sugar content. That means soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks should be limited as much as possible. When you do so, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone, as drinks with lots of sugar have adverse effects on other health domains too.

Regularly See the Dentist

The last thing you can do for your child is have them regularly see an experienced pediatric dentist. First, a dentist will provide services such as scraping plaque, giving fluoride treatments, and educating on proper methods. Second, they can catch severe issues before they ever happen. Between these two functions, seeing the dentist every 4-6 months will not only be great for your child’s health, but it will save you money in the long run.

Though there are thousands of businesses out there trying to convince you to purchase their latest product, there is really only a short list of factors that matter for your child’s oral health. They are establishing a routine, ensuring proper methods, controlling diet, limiting unhealthy drinks, and regularly seeing a dentist. If you do those few things effectively, you will set your child up for a lifetime of excellent oral health.

Updated: September 21, 2018

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