Do you have kids that love to eat sugary snacks late at night? What about children that like to go to sleep with a bottle? Establishing healthy bedtime routines for kids can limit the risk of cavities and other oral health concerns. Here are some of our favorite bedtime routines to follow to help keep your child’s smile in tip-top shape!
Say Goodbye to Late-Night Snacking
Set a rule that children are not allowed to have a snack after a certain hour before bedtime. Snacking when they are in bed leaves sugar and carbohydrates inside their mouths, which can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. For hungry children, have a final snack an hour or more before bedtime to avoid the midnight wake-up from a child wanting a snack.
No More Bedtime Bottles
It’s easy to look for ways to make the bedtime routine easier. Some parents can find themselves giving a baby a bottle at bedtime to help them go to sleep. The problem with bedtime bottles is the damage sugar and carbohydrates can cause when they stick to the teeth and gums. These sugars and carbohydrates can increase your child’s risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay is a disheartening thing to see for parents, as it can lead to years of extensive dental treatments to limit the amount of decay that continues to occur into adulthood.
Flossing is Essential
A number of parents focus solely on brushing and they forget about flossing. It is important to set up flossing routines at a young age. Taking un-waxed floss and gently inserting it between the teeth will remove any food particles left behind, and any bacteria that can infect the gums and cause additional tooth decay.
It is vital for your child to brush their teeth for the right amount of time. Children love to rush through this process and oftentimes leave behind bacteria that causes plaque. A great way to help kids get into the routine of brushing for 2 minutes is by playing their favorite song, or using a timer. If they are capable of brushing for the recommended amount of time, they will drastically reduce their risk of serious oral health problems.
If you want some extra fun and creative ideas for helping your child have fun while brushing, check out our blog post called “5 Easy Ways to Make Brushing Fun!”
The Right Method
Kids have small hands, small mouths, and small teeth! It’s not easy for them to get to the back teeth and clean properly between the deep fissures. The best thing parents can do for their kids is help them learn how to brush the right way. Consider using a battery-powered toothbrush for your kids. The circular vibrating motion in these toothbrushes, helps to break up bacteria in the mouth, and properly cleans within the deep fissures.
To help your child develop great brushing habits, we created a guide to teach you about the 10 Common Mistakes Children Make While Brushing their Teeth. Check it out!
Brushing Time at Breakfast
While we want to emphasize the importance of nightly brushing, there is another time of day to brush as well, breakfast! Make the same routine into habits with your kids by brushing before or after breakfast. Keeping fluoride on their teeth throughout the day will strengthen the enamel and help to reduce the risk of gum disease.
Parents are the best teachers! We are here to help you teach your kids how to correctly brush and floss to maintain healthier teeth and gums. Contact our Pediatric Dental Office in Bountiful to schedule an appointment for your child’s next cleaning and examination to help keep those pesky cavities away! 801.294.8880
See you soon!