Children's Oral Health (3 Awesome ways to Boss it)

Orthodontic Observations: There is nothing quite like a baby’s first smile. With their dimpled cheeks and rosy pink gums, it is crystal clear theirs is a heart-warming grin. However adorable their smiles, though, the very innocence which makes them so appealing is also a hurdle for parents to overcome. By age 2, it is imperative for the parent or guardian to start routine dental check-ups as part of their child’s overall heath care.

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Taking care of emerging baby teeth and teaching your child how to best care for their teeth and gums will instill within them efficient habits and practices which will inevitably lead to a brighter smile and better overall oral health. Many people are complacent when it comes to maintaining good dental health habits.

This complacency has a massive trickle-down effect.  If poor dental hygiene continues through childhood and the teenage years, it will have an adverse effect on an individuals general dental health as an adult. The simple fact of the matter is, when good dental hygiene habits are developed in early childhood, the children will grow up with healthy teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene habits in childhood will most likely lead to future dental problems in adulthood.


Future of Children’s Oral Health

Your local orthodontist is trained to diagnose and prevent all aspects of dental disease and complications. They will gladly provide those seeking further knowledge with the information needed to develop and instill better dental habits. There is a growing epidemic among children’s dental health which can be directly linked to the complacency of the parents or caregivers. It seems many simply don’t see the ramifications of improper dental care and/or promoting bad dental hygiene habits.

Recent statistics highlight the severity of this crisis, showing that in children five years and younger, more than a quarter of them suffer from preventable tooth decay. Our future lies in their hands. Not only is it beneficial in the short term to teach good oral care habits to children, but it also allows for better oral health for them as adults.


Diet and Decay

Attending regular appointments with your dentist and orthodontist is a great step in caring for your dental health. It is important to remember, though, much of the daily work still lies in the patient’s hands. Doctors will perform procedures to correct dental issues and educate patients and parents on how to care for the teeth. However, their influence extends only so far as their office doors. Once you are back to your daily life, the responsibility lies in your hands. Therefore, it is truly imperative to recognize the ways you can maintain a healthy smile.

The foods we eat are the largest variable in any dental situation. Many foods are high in acids and sugars and, as such, may accumulate on the tooth’s enamel and eat away at it. This causes decay and leaves the door open for a whole slew of further issues, especially if not attended to right away. Choosing healthy foods, rather than candies and junk foods, will drastically cut down on the amount of ‘bad’ sugars and acids attacking your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing regularly is also essential and the only way to effectively clean these harmful substances from your mouth.

Mouthwash products are also useful. But it is imperative to use the products properly and on a regular basis for maximum effect and efficiency. There are many healthy foods which have the added benefit of acting as a ‘natural’ toothbrush of sorts (i.e. fruits and vegetables like Strawberries, carrots, apple, etc.). Crunchy foods can help to reduce and remove plaque buildup, but are certainly not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.



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Mouth Maintenance Methods


The most obvious and well-known way to keep your teeth clean is by brushing them.  Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. The toothbrush you choose should be able to comfortably reach all areas of your mouth. Replace the toothbrush as soon as the bristles begin becoming frayed (or every two to three months) to ensure maximum tooth brushing efficiency.

For proper brushing techniques and advice, ask your local orthodontist for a reference guide to brushing like this one here. Keeping the information on hand will ensure proper methods are being used with each and every brushing. Hanging a simple sign in the bathroom with directions on how to properly brush can help to instill good dental hygiene habits in other family members, including the younger ones, merely by reminding them how easy and important it is.



Flossing is discounted by many people.  When this complacency becomes part of your dental care routine, overall oral health suffers over time. It is recommended to floss at least once every day. Flossing, along with brushing, ensures the removal of any plaque film. It does not matter if you floss before you brush or after. As long as there is time set aside for flossing, it will be beneficial.



Mouthrinse is an added step in the oral care process.  It can be beneficial to help wash away extra food particles left after brushing and flossing.  But the main benefit comes from the additional fluoride it provides to help strengthen the tooth’s enamel.  It also provides the patient with fresh breath, which helps reduce halitosis (bad breath) in many people.  Make sure that your mouthrinse is ADA approved and does not contain excessive amounts of alcohol, which can be a major ingredient of some mouthrinse.

We invite you to watch this lecture given by an expert on the whole subject of children’s oral health. 

Scheduling an Appointment

Maintaining regular appointments with your dentist and orthodontist allows the professionals to monitor and maintain your dental health.  At Nease & Higginbotham Orthodontics, the doctors you will see are trained to identify and treat any dental problem you may have.  Speak with Dr. Nease or Dr. Higginbotham about your oral health concerns and ask questions regarding any subject. Contact us today!

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2455 E. Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29307
Phone: (864) 579-7700


Children’s Oral Health ( 3 Awesome ways to Boss it)

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