3 Oral Hygiene Concerns Parents May Be Struggling With

Taking care of your children's oral health

They say that parenting can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. And though we’re not entirely sure who they are, what’s often left out is that parenting is also likely the most challenging thing you will ever do. At Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists, we think parenting is both rewarding and challenging. And sometimes, the challenges make the reward that much sweeter. This all said, there are some common challenges that nearly all parents face. Knowing you aren’t alone can make things a bit easier.

Does maintaining your children’s oral health feel like a challenge?

We understand and believe in our heart of hearts that most parents are doing their best. The fact is, though, there are some challenges that almost all parents face when it comes to their kids and their teeth. That’s why the Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists team meets parents right where they’re at, celebrating successes and helping to mitigate challenges. We have put together a list of some helpful tips and tricks to help you work with your child and protect their oral health.

1. Every child deserves a treat now and again.

One of the things most parents will agree on is the importance of a healthy diet and good nutritional choices. This means presenting your children with tooth-friendly foods that are also good for their overall health. Toothsome and tasty recipes, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, frozen fruit pops on a hot summer day, fruit-infused water, fruit kabobs, and lean proteins, are excellent choices perfect for a healthy diet. These choices, combined with a good oral hygiene routine, can help prevent childhood tooth decay.

But this doesn’t mean that tooth-friendly foods are the be-all and end-all for food choices. You may be surprised by what we recommend, but go with us on this. Occasionally let your kids eat foods that aren’t the healthiest. Let your child have a snack after school,  just serve the snack with water so it  can help rinse food particles away. And be sure to let your kids enjoy juice or other starchy or sweet food items now and again.

Put a limit on when these food items are offered, meaning don’t offer them all day throughout the day. Keep these items limited and offered occasionally because all kids deserve the enjoyment of special treats. And finally, be cautious in how you refer to food at home. Use neutral language and avoid labeling various foods as good or bad.

2. Help your child brush their teeth twice a day.

It can be easy to forget to brush your child’s teeth every once in a while, especially with squirmy toddlers or stubborn preschoolers. But making toothbrushing a predictable routine is probably the best way to teach your child the importance of good oral care at home. Protect your children’s oral health by teaching them how to brush correctly.

For young kids, download a toothbrushing song that shows them how to brush and for how long (twice a day for two minutes at a time with an age-appropriate soft-bristled toothbrush). Follow toothbrushing tips as recommended by the American Dental Association. And if you are still struggling with how to brush your child’s teeth, ask your pediatric dentist near Omaha, NE, for help.

If your child continues to struggle with tooth brushing, take some time to get to the root cause. Are you in a hurry at the end of the day and your child feels rushed as a result? Does your child have a sensory perception concern? Are they just being stubborn? By identifying the root cause of the problem, it will be easier to brainstorm ideas to help get your child get on the same page as you when it comes to brushing their teeth.

3. Kids still develop cavities despite best oral care efforts.

So, you’ve mastered children’s oral health as it pertains to oral hygiene and tooth-friendly foods. But the worst still happens— your child has a cavity. Parents need to know that many factors can play into cavity development. Various medications and medical conditions can increase the risk of tooth decay. And, sometimes, kids have genetic disorders that cause their teeth to be softer, thus making them more susceptible to tooth decay.

It’s important to remember that prevention should be the goal. But things do happen and that is where restorative dentistry options come into play. By taking your child to the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and oral evaluation, we can help keep your child’s mouth in tip-top shape, and we can take action if a cavity has developed.

Visit your pediatric dentist near Omaha, NE, for your child’s dental cleaning.

Whether you are wondering what foods cause cavities, you need help with how to brush your child’s teeth, or they are due for their six-month cleaning, the team at Omaha Pediatric Dental Specialists can’t wait to see you and your child. So what are you waiting for? Request an appointment today, and let us reassure you that you’re doing a great job.