With the Easter holiday just behind us, and it being the nation’s 2nd biggest candy selling holiday, what better time to re-focus on dental health. I gave my kids more toys and other small items than candy in their Easter basket, but I still couldn’t resist the tradition of a chocolate bunny.
I have always been a big advocate though of also giving toothbrushes as gifts, stocking stuffers, etc. I think it’s sending a good message of health and showing that brushing teeth can be fun, especially with the many different characters, light-up, and power toothbrushes to choose from.
Giving your child the gift of healthy teeth and gums will last way longer than a gift of candy. Here are Dr. Ignelzi’s top 5 tips for ensuring your child has a healthy smile:
1. Children should brush their teeth at least twice each day – once in the morning and once at night. Remember, the most important time to brush is right before bedtime.
2. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist about the right amount of fluoride for your child. Ask if your child should be brushing with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
3. Avoid giving your child sticky foods and unhealthy snacks like candy, soda or juice in between meals. Instead, give your child healthy snacks like cheese, yogurt or fruit.
4. If you see white spots developing on your child’s teeth, take your child to a pediatric dentist right away. A white spot is often the first sign of a dental cavity.
5. Schedule your child’s first dental visit with a pediatric dentist when s/he is one year old. Pediatric dentists have additional training beyond dental school working with young children. Remember – first tooth, first birthday, first dental visit!
Dr. Ignelzi is a leading expert in his field, and has been interviewed live on radio and television, as well as quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines, such as Parents, Redbook, American Baby, Prevention, Working Mother, and Contemporary Oral Hygiene. Dr. Ignelzi operates a full time private practice limited to orthodontics and pediatric dentistry in Greensboro, NC. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry.