Best Life: Kids and dental care tips for parents

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 7:20 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- The CDC says that 42% of children, ages 2 to 11, have had cavities in their baby teeth, and 21% of children, ages 6 to 11, have had them in their permanent teeth. So, what can parents do to prevent cavities and promote a healthy smile for their little ones?

Working, prepping meals, homework and playtime. Parents are busy! Add in managing your kid’s dental care and the life of a parent gets more hectic. But there are ways to make dental care easier on your kids and you.

First, start with the right toothbrush.

“The industry has done a great job in developing, like, fun-colored toothbrushes, different types of flossers that are more kid-friendly,” shared Jacqueline Moroco, DDS, MS, CEO of Moroco Orthodontics.

Brushing is the most important method of cavity prevention, but it can be tricky to find the right toothbrush for your child with so many different options available. A good place to start is by looking for a toothbrush with soft, polished bristles.

Also, visit the dentist regularly. According to the CDC, children who start seeing the dentist by age five have dental costs that are 40% lower over a five-year period.

“The relationship with the dentist is really important; parents finding the right fit for their child, you know, not every office is created equally,” said Moroco.

Some other tips for parents to encourage good dental care for their kids: brush your teeth together, set a timer for two minutes so your kids know how long they need to brush, have your child practice brushing teeth on a doll or stuffed animal and create a rewards system. Add a sticker for every day they brush their teeth without complaining. When they reach a certain number of stickers, they could get a toy or a trip to the zoo.

The biggest mistake some parents make is letting their child brush their teeth alone. Since most children don’t have the motor skills to brush effectively until they’re eight years old, parents need to supervise brushing and check to make sure every surface of each tooth is clean.

Contributors to this news report include: Adahlia Thomas, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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