Building Healthy Dental Habits For Your Child

Parents have a great deal of things to worry about when it comes to their children’s health and wellness. Dentistry has advanced over the years so there are many more options for your children. Whenever you visit our West Valley Utah dental office, we can guide your children’s dental care and provide incredible preventive and restorative dental solutions.

Dentistry for Children is here help guide you and your children to ensure their teeth are erupting properly and staying healthy. We have five different doctors at two convenient locations, West Valley and Sandy, in our practice to handle your child’s every dental need. Today we want to discuss a few ways you can keep your child’s teeth healthy.

Here are some bad dental habits your child should avoid, and here’s some information about how we can help.

  1. Start with good brushing techniques

Our dental office recommends that your begin brushing your child’s gum during the first few months of their lives. You can start by wiping off the gums with a damp cloth and later using a rubber-bristle brush. As soon as the teeth begin erupting, you brush the teeth with a small-bristle toothbrush at least once a day. When more teeth erupt, you’ll want to brush with a fluoride-based toothpaste twice a day, just like you would with your teeth. Many parents find it useful to lay the child on their backs to effectively brush the teeth. We also encourage you to let your child brush their own teeth.

For older children, there are a few free dental apps that help guide their brushing.

  1. Bring them to the dental office early and often

The American Dental Association recommends that you bring your child to the dentist before they reach the age of 1. At that point, they should most of their primary teeth. This is a great time for us to look at the development of the teeth and jawbone to make sure the teeth are erupting properly. We use those first visits to lightly clean the teeth and instruct parents on the best at-home care techniques.  

Bringing your child to the dentists will reduce their risk of future problems and allow us to intervene early if problems arise. Additionally, it’s extremely important for your child to be comfortable with a dental office. If they are comfortable with the dental office, it increases the chance that they’ll maintain a good relationship with a dentist for the rest of their lives.

  1. End habits like pacifier use or thumb sucking

Ending thumb-sucking or pacifier use is a tricky habit to overcome. After all, kids often begin sucking their thumbs in the womb or using pacifiers as newborns. Parents can take away pacifiers from their children, though you might want to dial back the use in stages. But thumb sucking is a different problem to tackle. There are thumb guards available to reduce or eliminate thumb sucking. If that doesn’t work, our office can intervene. We can provide your child with an oral appliance that doesn’t allow you child to suck their thumb.  

It’s best to address thumb sucking or pacifier use at an early age. These habits can cause tooth alignment issues and even serious bite problems. We often see young patients who suck their thumbs and have pushed their front teeth out of alignment. 

  1. Use preventive methods

A great dental health routine like brushing and flossing can reduce the risk of cavities and painful dental problems. But it’s also wise to use prevention tools like fluoride and dental sealants to fight off dental decay. Fluoride is a natural substance that is found in most public drinking water sources. Our dental office can also provide regular fluoride treatments after your cleanings and exams. Fluoride has been proven to reduce the risk of cavities and to actually repair damaged enamel.

  1. Have your child use mouthguards

If your child is active in sports, you need to consider giving them a custom mouthguard . We recommend that children use mouthguards for contact sports like football or lacrosse. A mouthguard will protect their teeth from dental injuries or painful dental emergencies. And parents, you’ll be protecting your investment, especially if your child is undergoing orthodontics or has already received orthodontics.  Studies have estimated that mouthguards help prevent about 200,000 injuries every year in high school and college sports. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry , children between the ages of 7 to 11 are more susceptible to dental injuries. We are providing custom mouthguards that will protect your teeth better than generic mouthguards that you can buy at any drugstore.

If you have children active in contact sports or high intensity sports (like baseball, basketball, weight lifting, or volleyball), have them wear a mouthguard.

Visit our Dentists Today

We’re using the latest tools and procedures to give your children a brighter, healthier smile. We can help your children overcome a number of issues while giving them a great experience in our office. Call our West Valley City, UT dental office today at 801-758-7119 or fill out our online form for an appointment.

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Visit the pediatric dentist office where “We Keep Kids Smiling!” Our understanding of your child’s unique dental needs is unparalleled. Call now! We can’t wait to see your child’s smile!

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The ABC's of Pediatric Dentistry in Sandy, UT | Dr. Erik Rooklidge, Dentistry for Children
Free e-book!

Early childhood dental care is as important as learning the ABCs! Every parent wants their child to have functional, healthy teeth. You can block out tooth decay and give your child straight and beautiful teeth. Take control of your child’s dental care today by downloading a FREE copy of our e-book

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