National Children’s Dental Health Month: Top Tips for Parents

Every February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month. We thought this was a good time to go over our top tips for parents.

  • Be Calm – You play a large role in your child’s comfort level with the dentist. Act relaxed and tell your child that the dentist will “count” and “take pictures” of his/her teeth. Do not use fear-provoking words such as “hurt,” “pull,” or “drill.” Your child can easily read your verbal, as well as, non-verbal cues. Please remember, we are all on the same side, your child’s.
  • Dental Hygiene Begins With the First Tooth – Fluoride toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2-3 years of age, or when your child is able to spit out the excess after brushing. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Consider Sealants – Sealants protect the tooth surfaces that have grooves and pits which cannot be cleaned adequately by simple brushing. On the back teeth, or molars, where most cavities occur, they create a barrier against food and plaque. Sealant application is quick, comfortable and requires only one visit.
  • Don’t Put Your Infant to Sleep with a Bottle – Infants should not be put to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup containing a liquid other than water. Always remember to clean your child’s teeth before placing them in bed.
  • Wean Off the Bottle By 1 – This is because the stagnation of milk and the fermentation of disaccharide lactose, a sugar found in milk, creates acids that puts children at a higher risk of forming decay.

At Great Neck & Mid-Island Dental Associates, we offer a pediatric wing called Kid-Island Dental with a “kids of all ages” waiting room equipped with TVs, video games and toys. All of our treatment rooms are also decorated with popular children’s characters, and each has a TV that allows our pediatric patients to watch their favorite show or movie while in the dentist’s chair.

If it’s time for your child’s first visit to the dentist, we’d be happy to walk you through the process to make sure you and your child are comfortable before they walk in the door. This is an important first step for your child – make sure you’re ready with the right dentist.