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Establish Healthy Dental Habits Early to Protect Your Child’s Teeth and Gums

Dental health is as important for kids as it is for adults. Yet, there are different challenges when it comes to keeping young smiles healthy. From fussy brushers and dental office jitters to battling with braces, there’s plenty to contend with. As a parent, your challenge is being proactive from the start when it comes to protecting your child’s teeth and gums. Here are a few strategies to ensure your child’s pearly whites stay healthy and bright.

Start Early

Cavities top the list of childhood dental problems. About one in five children, ages five to 11 years, have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Yet, they almost always are preventable. Along with diligent brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, dental visits for are vital to preventing cavities. Just go right now and check out an Oxford Dental care practice. Because regular checkups and cleanings should begin sooner than later. In fact, the Dentures in Newington CT recommends children begin seeing a dentist by their first birthday. By the time your child is three or four, cavities and decay can already be present.

Professional cleanings can go a long way towards preventing dental problems. However, that’s not the only benefit to them. The earlier your child goes to the dentist, the more likely that they will be at ease with dental visits. In contrast, treatment for cavities or early stages of gum disease can often be scary – even requiring sedation, injections and sometimes even surgery.

Brush Better, Not Harder

It’s up to parents to lead the way when it comes to brushing and flossing. The AAPD recommends that children brush for two minutes, twice a day, as well as floss once a day. While many young children want to tackle tasks independently, few have the motor skills to brush effectively until they’re at least seven or eight years old. One strategy is to help with brushing and flossing, and then give the toothbrush to your child so they can “finish.”

Because gums are especially fragile in children, overbrushing is a common pediatric dental problem that can lead to gum erosion and early-stage gum disease. And, the problem can be exacerbated with the use of a hard-bristle toothbrush. Even soft-bristle brushes can damage gums if your child brushes too aggressively. A safer alternative is a toothbrush designed with flexible rubber-bristles that don’t abrade gums.

Offer a Balanced Diet

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The old mantra “you are what you eat,” certainly applies to your child’s dental health. A diet of soda and candy is a surefire way to promote dental decay. Yet, many are surprised to learn that seemingly-healthy crackers, baked goods and fruit juice can have a similar effect. Along with food that has a high sugar content, those that have refined carbohydrates can also damage the tooth structure and gums.

A smile was meant to last a lifetime. As a parent, it’s your job to keep your child’s smile healthy during their formative years – by establishing healthy habits from the start. While it can be challenging sticking to regular brushing and professional cleanings, your child will thank you one day for your diligence.

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Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS

Dr. Jack Gruber, DDS is a renowned periodontist whose experience spans over 40 years as a pioneer in periodontal medicine. He is a leading authority in the silent epidemic of gum recession and gum disease, which impacts more than 75% of adults over the age of 35. Dr. Gruber maintains an active private practice and has treated thousands of patients with all forms of periodontal disease. Dr. Gruber is also an accomplished periodontal surgeon and trains dentists on how to excel in their craft. He also is an award-winning instructor, lecturer, and researcher who contributes immeasurably to the field of Dentistry and the health of his patients. Dr. Gruber is also the creator of the PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush, which he developed after an overwhelming number of patients had been coming to him with receding gums primarily due to aggressively over brushing their teeth and gums with a standard nylon toothbrush. The PeriClean is the first complete redesign of the conventional nylon bristled toothbrush in over 77 years.