Toothy advice for Autumn means this dentistry blog focuses on family, fall, and dental health. We are aware that the Autumn school days made families intensely busy.
All of us are hunting for ways to deal with the new routines of school and work. Life seems to be going much faster than it did in the last lazy days of summer.
That means you can easily overlook the most important pieces of toothy advice from your pediatric dentist.
Toothy Advice for Present, Past, and Future Dental Health
We know our children are immersed in a dizzy Autumn schedule of family activities, sports, and studies. And, dare we mention it, Halloween anticipation? The rushed schedule makes our toothy advice all the more critical.
As is often the case at this season, Pediatric dentists’ offices are still managing an energetic pace with Back-to-School check-ups. Regardless of your child’s age, their present and future dental health depend upon the habits developed now.
And timely check-ups are an essential part of dental health.
In the Midst of Busy Autumn Schedules: Remember Your Child’s Dental Check-up
We stressed the critical importance of these check-ups in many previous blogs like The Dental Check-up: a Back-to-School Crusade for Dentists.
We still agree with numerous quotations and summaries from AAPD’s former President, Dr. Joe Castellano… “Studies have shown that poor oral health can lead to poor overall health and poor performance in school.”
And your Back-to-School check-up tells you, and us, where your child’s dental health stands. Thus, it’s our toothy 2021 advice: Call and “make up” your appointment if you were too busy during the summer or in the earlier Back to School days.
The Dental Check-up: The Starting Point for Dental Health
r. Castellano also explained that your child’s check-up establishes the starting point that will help ensure that every child has the best possible chance at success.” And he added, “…in our offices, dentists and hygienists can provide tips and guidelines to parents and caregivers to help keep their children cavity-free…”
And remember, the habits we set up with your child’s dental care now, will follow him or her the rest of their lives.
Toothy advice for Toddlers, Teens, Tweens
Because we are concerned that in the rush of the season, your children could accidentally adopt poor oral habits. Therefore, we are offering tips that are tied to different ages of children.
We are very proud of parents who provide dental coaching. The fall-winter months bring sports weekends, sweet holidays, and wonderful occasions. However, such events encourage poor nutritional choices.
They also tempt families to stray from brushing schedules. It is only with parents’ vigilance that we can prevent the dreaded pain and expense of cavities.
Toothy Advice and Age-Related Expectations
Is your family aware that the tips of good oral hygiene are age-appropriate? As we have done previously, we want to review and renew our toothy advice for families in the golden days of fall. Let’s take the spotlight on some age-appropriate dental care for your school-age children.
Defeating Dental Decay With Planned Toothy Advice
We think the Back-to-School schedules of autumn actually help parents to be better dental coaches. Without all the summer distractions, we know you can find time to coach your children in the basics:
- Brush two times a day for two entire minutes
- and floss at least once a day.
- Most parents recognize the value of these basic rules, especially when they have established their dental home here.
At Dentistry for Children, we work together to guide a child’s growth in a commitment to proper dental hygiene. Adult dental problems often start with the poor dental hygiene learned in youth. Thus, we work every day to instill good dental health habits in our patients.
Best 2021 Toothy Advice
Our Best Toothy Advice for Autumn of 2021–and our most important point of this blog–is that the brushing abilities and attitudes change with the age of the child. Our coaching and parent’s coaching must be age-appropriate.
Tots: Not Ready for Brushing Skills
Although we covered this to some degree in previous blogs, are you aware preschool children do not yet possess the fine motor skills he or she needs to brush properly? Toddlers are in a daze overwhelmed by all the changes in their world and in their mouth.
- For example, support your child when he or she is brushing new molars with care.
- You see, at 5 or 6 years of age, a lot of children still brush like they did at 4 years old. If they do that, they will completely miss brushing their new molars.
- Experts say, “They’re not accommodating the new molars, and they’re not accommodating the fact that the mouth is growing.”
Therefore, if your child is Pre K or even First Grade, he or she needs constant supervision with that tooth brush. Our toothy advice comes in three parts:
1. Brush with tots and toddlers. Do more than just help them. Our toothy advice is to actually brush for them as well as with them.
2. As you brush, help them remember to reach all the way to the back of the mouth. That is the only way to clean those shiny new molars located way in back of the mouth.
Toothy Advice for ages 7-12: Watch Out for the Resistance Years
After age 6, a few years can make an enormous difference. From ages 7 to 12, children no longer appreciate their brushing ability as an accomplishment.
Do you know these can be the years of resistance? At 7-12 years old, the inability to brush is probably fake. Children of this age are quite aware of good brushing techniques, but they resist it.
They might be resistant, resentful, rebellious, or too busy with other activities. Children of this age know how to brush. But they sometimes resent taking the time to do it. They do not really understand how important good dental health is to their future well-being.
Being the Benevolent Dental Care Authoritarian
Our toothy advice to parents is to take over and be authoritative about oral hygiene schedules. Children at this age are very busy.
Likewise, they are beyond the concept of “sugar-bugs.” But our toothy advice is to help them understand the consequences of cavities. Additionally, keep them appraised of the discipline of the mouthguard if they play sports.
Ages 12-18: A New Dental Dawn of Discovery
Often times we think only little kids get cavities. However, the tendency for caries (tooth decay) spikes in the teen-age years. Trusting your teens is important, but the discipline of tooth-brush and floss behavior is still critical.
- Penetrating the teen or pre-teen maze of activity might not be easy. But as a parent, you must provide guiding dental advice that will build their habits for years to come.
- We have previously blogged about tooth whitening, which becomes a huge issue in this age group.
Terrific Take-Aways from Our Toothy Advice
Dentists often say, “The behaviors of the teenager are going to translate into the 20-year-old.”
Once again we cannot resist advising them “that they don’t have to brush any teeth they do not want to keep.” If you say this to your teens, they’ll laugh. But they’ll get your point.
Then, we hope they will brush, floss, and see the dentist regularly.
Our Toothy Advice about Dental Check-ups
Below, you can read our favorite bit of toothy advice about making the dental re-check appointment for your pre-teen or teen. Here are our Best Tips:
Remember Timing Is Everything! As part of the trust and responsibility you hope to engender in your teen or pre-teen, we highly suggest you check your pre-teen or teen-aged child’s agenda before you make a dental appointment. They will be very impressed and grateful for your consideration of their schedule.
As always, thank you for reading the blog at Dentistry for Children. We never take our readers for granted. And we wish you and your family the happiest of Autumn seasons.