Pediatric Dentistry: 4 Oral Health Tips for Your Child

Pediatric Dentistry: 4 Oral Health Tips for Your Child from Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau, MOPediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and more than 50% of teenagers have had at least one cavity in a permanent tooth. Getting your young child to learn healthy habits can be challenging, but these tips can help.

Oral health tips

As a parent, you have many roles. When it comes to oral health, the biggest things to focus on are starting early and being consistent.

1. Teach proper brushing and flossing techniques

The foundation for healthy teeth and gums is good oral hygiene techniques. With babies, you should start even before their first teeth come in. Use a damp cloth or soaked gauze pad to clean the gums gently after each feeding. Once baby teeth come in, use a soft brush with a small amount of non-fluoride toothpaste.

You can start teaching a young child to brush his or her own teeth around the age of three or four, although you should follow up with additional brushing until the child has the dexterity to do it properly. Flossing can begin around that time as well. Teach not only good brushing and flossing techniques but also the need for frequency. Children should brush at least twice a day, as well as floss daily.

2. Schedule dental visits early in life

You can schedule the first professional pediatric dentistry appointment when your child turns one. After that consultation, twice-yearly visits are recommended for professional cleanings and cavity prevention.

3. Limit sugar

Sugar intake increases the probability of tooth decay. Although it may be hard to avoid it with little ones completely, you should limit it as much as possible. To decrease the chances of developing cavities, brush your baby's teeth shortly after any sugar consumption. Bottles filled with fruit juice or milk should not be given before bed to babies.

Focus on food that contains high levels of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables high in water content, such as cucumbers, melons, celery, and pears, are preferred over raisins and bananas since these are high in concentrated fruit sugar.

4. Be a good role model

Children of any age look up to their parents for guidance. This means that if you follow dental hygiene guidelines, your children are more likely to adhere to them as well.

If you do not like to go to the dentist, do not demonstrate your fear or worry to your children. Treat going to the dentist as a positive experience that is important for teeth and gum health.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentistry in Cape Girardeau, MO


There are many factors involved in keeping children's teeth healthy and cavity-free. If you teach them how to keep their teeth clean, and you bring them to pediatric dentistry appointments, this reduces the chances of decay and sets the child up for a solid dental hygiene foundation.

Request an appointment or call Jayne F. Scherrman JS Pediatric Dentistry at 573-271-3062 for an appointment in our Cape Girardeau office.

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