Keep Kids Smiling with Good Dental Health
For example, a little cavity can become a bad infection if it is not treated. Since the mouth is connected to the rest of the body, poor oral care can also lead to other issues. That’s why you should take care of your child’s teeth from an early age!
Easy Ways to Time Your Child’s Tooth Brushing
- Set a timer: Set your phone’s timer for two minutes to make sure kids are brushing for the right amount of time.
- Incorporate technology: Download a toothbrush timer app on your smartphone. They give tips and even help making tooth brushing into a game!
- Sing a song: “Happy Birthday” or the Alphabet Song are the perfect length when you sing them through twice!
Here are some ways you can help protect your children’s teeth and keep them healthy:
- Start early: If your child is still a baby, don’t use toothpaste. Use a soft and clean cloth to wipe your child’s gums and teeth. Starting at about age two, brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and floss once a day.
- Be a role model: Show your children how to care for their teeth by doing the same for yours! Be sure to keep up with your own dental and oral health.
- Establish a routine: Establish a morning and nighttime tooth brushing routine and stick to it. Make sure to teach kids proper technique.
- Choose snacks wisely: Avoid foods and drinks with added sugars that can cause cavities, such as cookies or juice. Choose snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Use positive rewards: Your child will love treats or little rewards for practicing good dental care. This will help reinforce healthy habits!
Take your child to his or her first dentist appointment no later than their first birthday. Schedule regular checkups every six months. The dentist will check for any problems before they become serious. They will also keep a record of any problems so they can follow your child over time.
At the visit, the you can expect:
- Thorough review of child’s dental history
- Tips for proper tooth brushing and cavity prevention
- Risk assessment for certain conditions
- A dental hygienist will help clean areas in their mouth that may be difficult to get at home.
- A dental hygienist will apply fluoride and sealants for your child, which helps protect their teeth from cavities.
Annual dental visits are also part of the Goodness Rewards program. Your child can earn a gift card for completing health activities. For more information, please visit www.goodnessrewards.com or call 1-888-237-5918 (TDD/TTY: 711) Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., or Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you need help finding a dentist, go to www.gatewayhealthplan.com to search for one in your area.