5 Teeth Cleaning Practices to Teach Your Child

teeth-cleaning-tips-for-kids

A lifetime of healthy smiles begins with learning good dental habits at a young age. A pediatric dentist will be able to give your child’s teeth a professional cleaning, but there are some tips that every parent should share with their child about taking care of their own teeth in between visits to the dentist.

Below are five of the best teeth cleaning practices to teach your child. 

The proper way to brush

It seems like a no-brainer, but many children — and even adults — don’t brush their teeth correctly. Teach your children the proper way to brush their teeth, and continue to help them until they are at least coordinated enough to tie their own shoes. 

Flossing

Your child has probably heard of “the floss” dance move. But how much do they know about “flossing” the dental move? Once your child’s teeth begin to fit closely together, it’s time to add flossing to their routine. Start by flossing their teeth for them until they get the hang of it themselves. 

Using mouthwash

Once your child is around six years old, they can begin to use mouthwash under your supervision. Practice with water first to make sure they know how to swish it around without swallowing. 

Eating a healthy diet

A poor diet is not just unhealthy for a young body. It can also wreak havoc on a child’s teeth. Teach your children about how sugar causes cavities, and monitor what they eat.

Drinking only water at night

Kids often only associate food with cavities. So after they brush their teeth for the night, they can still have some juice or soda to drink, right? Not exactly. Sugary beverages can be just as harmful to teeth as food. Once they have brushed up for the night, only water is allowed.

Schedule a Cleaning for Your Child Near Greenville, NC

Schedule a dental cleaning for your child at Wilson Pediatric Dentistry. Our team has years of training and experience working with young children and can help you and your child instill the proper teeth cleaning practices that will set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Come see us in Wilson, North Carolina, today. 

Dentist-Approved Snacks Your Kids Will Love

girl eating apples out of a basket of fruit, a tooth healthy snack in wilson, nc

With the high levels of processed sugars in most pre-packaged kids’ foods, choosing quick snacks for your children can feel like a minefield. While some foods contribute to the growth of bacteria and plaque, others can actually protect dental health. But which treats are the best for teeth? Are there any healthy snacks that are easy to make and serve on the go?

Your dentist in Wilson, North Carolina, is here with some tips.

No Fuss, Tooth-Healthy Snack Ideas from Your Dentist in Wilson, NC

A general rule of thumb for picking healthy foods for yourself or your kids is sticking to whole foods and limiting processed foods. What’s the difference? Whole foods typically consist of just one ingredient. These include fresh fruits and veggies, meats, whole grains, nuts, and dairy products. Processed foods, like cookies, chips, or sodas are often high in sugar or fats.

Usually, whole foods are around the outside of the grocery store, while processed foods are up and down the aisles. Here are a few easy-to-prepare, tooth-healthy whole foods kids will love.

Apples

Not all sweet foods are bad for your teeth. Most fresh fruit can provide a sweet taste without risk of tooth decay. The dietary fiber in apples also helps stimulate saliva, which pairs with the fruit’s high water content to rinse off your teeth while you chew.

Yogurt

Yogurt, like most other dairy products, is rich in calcium and protein, which help to make teeth stronger. However, not all yogurts are created equal. Look for yogurts that are low in sugar and fat content. If you want to sweeten the yogurt yourself, you can always add fresh fruit.

Cheese

Cheese also contains calcium and protein, but it comes with its own unique benefits as well. Cheese has been shown to increase the pH level in your mouth, decreasing the acidity. Lower acidity levels means lower risks of decay.

Cheese sticks and cheese wheels make great on-the-go snacks that require no prep. Cheddar also pairs nicely with sliced red apples.

Oatmeal

Whole grains like yogurt, brown rice, and those found in whole-grain bread bring a lot of healthy fiber to your diet. However, whole grains also have the added bonus of fighting gum disease. Oatmeal is a great choice because it’s low-fat, filling, and an easy to prepare. You can also add fruit, like bananas, strawberries, or apples to oatmeal to make it more interesting.

Like yogurt, you need to watch out for sugar-added varieties. Stick to old-fashioned or steel rolled oats.

Celery

Celery is a dental superfood. High water levels? Check. Dietary fiber? Tons of it. Sugars? Almost none. Crunchy celery also massages your gums as you chew, improving their health. Other raw vegetables will also provide similar benefits.

Unfortunately, few kids appreciate the taste of raw celery. Just jazz it up with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or cream cheese and your kids won’t be able to get enough.

Want more healthy ideas for your kids? Your Wilson, North Carolina, dentist will be happy to discuss dental-friendly snacks at your child’s next checkup. Schedule your appointment or contact Wilson Pediatric Dentistry at (252) 291-4300