Unfortunately, this is hardly case.
Sure, while you can encourage independent brushing and flossing, it's also important to serve as guides; teach kids good dental health EVEN when you think your kids have it down pat.
Here's a handy checklist for parents on dental care for kids.
- Watch your kids brush and floss at least once a week. It's important to keep up with how your children are doing at the sink. Look to see if they're brushing for at least two minutes and if they're covering all of the areas in their mouths. And, since flossing can be tricky, look to see if the kids are using the floss correctly and if they're holding it properly.
- Monitor fluoride use. Make sure your kids are getting enough fluoride. Check to see if your community water supply is fluoridated. If not, ask me about professional fluoride treatments or supplements. Keep in mind that too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis – which creates a stained appearance on teeth.
- Encourage healthy eating. Steer clear of fruit snacks, raisins, and other chewy food and/or candy. A nutritious, well-balanced diet is just as importan
t for your child's teeth as it is for overall health. Give your kids smart snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables, unsalted pretzels, plain yogurt, nuts and low-fat cheese.
- Keep those dental appointments. Don't let after school activities get in the way of keeping dental appointments for kids. Those routine checkups are just too important to skip. Kids, like adults, should visit my office at least twice a year and they should also be seen for sealants as well.
Make caring for kids' teeth a priority. They'll thank for you it later.