No parent wants their child to experience a pediatric dental emergency. That’s why we’re offering our top tips for helping your child maintain a healthy smile. Our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is ready to help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are the most common chronic disease affecting American children. That being said, there’s a lot you can do as a parent to help your child avoid a dental emergency.
Here’s what you need to know.
You’ll be responsible for your child’s oral hygiene until they gain the eye-hand coordination necessary for brushing and flossing. This stage of child development is typically around age six. Even then, you’ll still need to watch your child brush and floss until they’re emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility themselves without supervision.
Please make sure that your child brushes their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. After brushing, be sure that your child spits the toothpaste into the sink instead of swallowing it.
Oral hygiene is one of your child’s best defenses against cavities. This is because brushing and flossing helps to remove food particles and plaque buildup.
If your child neglects oral hygiene, the bacteria inside their mouth will produce an acid that attacks their teeth and gums. Over time, this can lead to childhood cavities or a pediatric dental emergency.
In general, we recommend that our patients see Dr. Kim at least every six months for a pediatric teeth cleaning and oral examination. While you can remove plaque at home, only a skilled dental professional will be able to remove tartar. We also use this time to examine your child’s teeth and gums, as well as take X-rays if it’s been awhile since their last ones.
All of this information allows our pediatric dentist to evaluate your child’s oral health and detect any issues before they have the opportunity to worsen. For example, X-rays can help our dentist spot any cavities that could be hiding between teeth.
The bacteria that live in your child’s mouth love to consume sugar. In return, they produce an acid that attacks the gums and erodes the enamel. For this reason, it’s a good idea to reduce how many sugary treats are in the house. Even doing something simple like not buying soda anymore can greatly reduce your child’s sugar intake.
Also, it’s important to know that some foods can be deceptively sweet. For example, certain types of yogurt or sports drinks may be advertised as healthy, but contain high amounts of sugar. Our Grand Rapids pediatric dentist can help you learn more about healthy snacks that promote good oral health and reduce your child’s risk of cavities.
Dr. Wanki William Kim is a pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He’s also accepting new patients and would be more than happy to help your child maintain a healthy smile. To request an appointment for your child, please call the Pediatric Dentistry of Michigan at (616) 447-7900. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.