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Teaching Your Child Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Pediatric DentistryTooth decay and gum disease are not just teen and adult problems. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that childhood dental caries is five times more prevalent than asthma, and its effects can be devastating. To promote your youngster's dental health, teach him or her good oral hygiene habits. Read how Dr. Courtney Ashby, your children's dentist at Remington Family Dentistry, can help.

Start early

You'll see your baby's first tooth around age six months of age. Then's the time to start good oral hygiene as you use a clean cloth to swab that little tooth and gums after each feeding. As your child grows and gets more of those important baby teeth, advance to non-fluoride toothpaste (just a small smear) and baby-sized soft brush.

Also, avoid putting your baby or toddler to bed with a bottle. Milk or juice, pooled at the gum line, promotes what's nicknamed "baby bottle decay." By age two, eliminate pacifier usage to ensure better dental alignment as your little one matures.

By age six, your youngster can brush and spit independently; so fluoride toothpaste is a must as a valuable cavity preventative. However, be sure to supervise your child until age ten, and help him or her floss, too, until manual dexterity is well-practiced.

Stay with it

Everyone--children through adults of all ages--should brush two times a day and floss daily to remove plaque and avoid tartar build-up, says the American Dental Association. See your Remington children's dentist twice a year for check-ups and professional cleanings beginning in toddlerhood. Besides helping with good oral hygiene, Dr. Ashby and her staff check for decay, gum disease and proper dental alignment. If your child has a bite issue, your dentist will catch it early on, reducing the length and complexity of orthodontic treatment.

Be a good role model

Practicing good oral hygiene yourself is one of the best ways to ensure your child brushes, flosses and eats well. And, speaking of eating, don't forget that a healthy diet is also a good oral hygiene habit. Avoid sugary drinks and junk foods. Drink plenty of water (everyone in the family should carry his or her own water bottle). Serve (and eat) fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and high-calcium dairy.

Your children will notice if you practice what you preach. So, as you eat well, they naturally will follow with healthy choices even when you're not there to supervise.

Come see us

At Remington Family Dentistry, Dr. Ashby and her team look forward to seeing you and your children. They not only provide the best in preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services, but they also delight in teaching families the best ways to care for their oral health. Call today for your routine cleaning and examination appointments: (540) 439-8335.

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