Families who learn together get more out of the experience. Whether this is lawn care, how to do laundry, or cook a delicious meal, when the whole family is involved, the experience is more fruitful.

The same is true for dental care. If the whole family learns to take care of their teeth together, they are more likely to establish healthy oral hygiene routines that will keep every member of the family looking good and feeling good. But that doesn’t mean everyone is going to have the same issues. At Perrigo Dental Care in Birmingham, you and your family can get all the family dentistry you need under one roof. Here are some things to consider when making your family’s dental care plans.

Small Children

Although the reasons may not be obvious, dental care is for small children is important. True enough, they do have another set of teeth waiting to come in, but that doesn’t mean that their baby teeth don’t matter. Oral health has a direct relationship with the overall health of your children. Tooth decay can affect how your children eat and how they feel. It is hard enough to get kids to eat healthily without a toothache or irritated gums making it harder.

To avoid tooth decay in small children you need to be careful about what they eat and limit the sugary sweets they love so much. You probably don’t need to be reminded that candy is bad for your children’s teeth, but did you know that fruit can an issue, too? Fruit contains sugar that feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. Also, citrus fruits, like the ever popular orange, are high in acid, which weakens the enamel that protects the tooth.

Raisins and fruit juice are particularly problematic. Raisins are not only chock full of sugar, they are chewy and sticky. This means it is harder to get the sugar off of your children’s teeth. The longer sugar sits on their teeth, the longer decay causing bacteria gets to feed, which could mean more cavities. And fruit juice has all the sugar and acid of fruit without the healthy fiber. The act of chewing food helps to protect your teeth from decay because it generates saliva, which washes food particles away and has natural bacteria fighting properties. So when your child drinks fruit juice instead of eating the actual fruit, they are increasing the chances of tooth decay.

Of course, your children need the vitamins that fruit provides, so you shouldn’t stop them from eating it all together. Just make sure they follow their snack with a big glass of water to help fight the negative effects fruit can have on their teeth.

Older Children

Children that are a little bit older, but not yet teenagers, have many of the same concerns that young children have. However, these kids have the added issue of losing teeth. As baby teeth loosen up and come out, permanent teeth come in behind them. The health of the baby teeth can affect how the permanent tooth comes in. For example, if a baby tooth is lost prematurely, the permanent tooth has no guide and could come in crooked. And if a baby tooth is stubborn and doesn’t want to come out, then the permanent tooth may be forced to break through in front of or behind the baby one, causing potential alignment issues.

Teeth that come in crooked because of problems with baby teeth may find their way into alignment on their own, but they may not. At Perrigo Dental Care we can help you keep a close eye on your children’s teeth alignment to decide if and when any corrective action needs to be taken.

Healthy Habits

The most important thing for children is that they establish healthy home dental care habits. It is hard to get your children to understand the value of brushing and flossing, but if you don’t get them doing it when they are children, then they will be less likely to carry on the habit as teenagers and adults.

It may be helpful to make tooth care a fun game. Play their favorite song while they brush. This will not only make brushing exciting, it will make sure they are brushing their teeth long enough. Have them start when the song starts, and when its over, they are done!

You could also have them imitate their favorite animal when they brush. How would a lion brush her teeth? How about a giraffe? This is even more fun if you get involved. Imagine their delight watching Mom floss like a toucan, or seeing Dad brush like badger. When the whole family is involved in dental care, they will build a oral health foundation to keep them smiling for years to come.

Visit Our Office

The sooner and more often you bring your children to the dentist, the less likely they are to have anxiety about it when they are older. Our Birmingham office is inviting and our staff is friendly. When you bring your children in for professional cleanings and examinations, we will make sure they comfortable and can see that the dentist is nothing to fear.

Call Perrigo Dental Care today to schedule an appointment.

Check back for part two of our blog series on family dental care.