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A Clinical Guide to Make Your Child’s Smile Beautiful



The smile is such a key part of a child’s appearance, and unlike height or other factors out of our control, dental appearance is something that can be improved with simple steps. In today’s world where photo-taking and social media posts are such a prevalent aspect of youth culture, your child may feel self-conscious of any imperfections in their smile. If teeth are displaced or discoloured, your child may restrict themselves to a close-mouthed smile.

mother guiding daughter to brush her teeth for a cute smile

Dentistry for kids is so important because every child deserves to smile freely. By following these basic guidelines, you can ensure that your child’s face beams with a bright, open grin. Be sure to implement these steps into your own routine, as kids learn best from modelling your behaviour.

1. Use a Quality Toothbrush After Every Meal

This step is as fundamental as it is straightforward—the better the quality of your child’s toothbrush, the better their dental health will be. Size is significant because children need brushes that are designed to fit their smaller mouths. Be sure to gauge the width of space between their back molars and cheek, and use this measurement to choose the width of the brush. Consider bringing your child along to pick out a brush so you can better find the right size.

Bristle type is another important factor. For kids, choose soft, rounded bristles that will thoroughly clean the teeth without inflaming their sensitive gums. Rubber bristles, typically attached at the sides in addition to the thinner bristles, have been known to cause irritation of the gums.

Once your child is old enough to take over brushing their teeth on their own, be sure to select one with a handle that fits comfortably and is easy to manipulate. Toothbrushes are made from a large selection of handle shapes and sizes. Every child is different, so again, bring them along to the store and let them try out a few different types for ease of holding. Finding the right toothbrush is a basic but effective means of improving your kid’s smile.

2. Dietary Choices for Dental

The food that your child eats plays an important role in the health of your child’s teeth. Some foods can actually improve dental health, whereas others can be very harmful. Your child should avoid sugary drinks such as soda, milkshakes and fruit juice. These sugar-based beverages contain large quantities of added sugar, which sticks to teeth. This sugar then provides fuel for bacteria, which in turn creates acid that results in tooth decay and cavities. Carbonated drinks are worse still due to the added citric and phosphoric acids that wear down tooth enamel over time. This process causes cavities, tooth decay, and sensitivity.

Similarly, your child should restrict consumption of sticky or starchy foods, which can get stuck in teeth just like sugar. During the breakdown process of starchy foods, they become fuel for tooth-decay causing bacteria. Brushing immediately after eating these types of food can mitigate the damage, but the best strategy to simply enjoy these foods in moderation.

In order to maintain a bright smile, your child should avoid foods that can cause staining. Acidic items such as tomato sauce, curries, balsamic vinegar, berries, and certain beverages can cause heavy staining.

Foods that can improve dental health include leafy greens, bananas, Greek yogurt, carrots, apples, and almonds. It is still important to brush after eating these foods, but over time the nutrients in them will improve tooth and gum health.

3. Dental Sealants

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Dental sealants help to stop any damage or decay from occurring, preserving the healthy, clean look of your child’s smile. Dental sealants are applied to form a protective barrier over the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. Adult teeth contain pits and fissures, in which food can become stuck. Once the food breaks down it fuels harmful bacteria that cause cavities and decay.

To keep this bacteria from forming, your child’s dentist can apply a
covering, which seals all the crevices so that food fragments can’t enter. Since the sealant is resistant to bacteria, saliva, and food particles, it is a fantastic way to protect your kid’s smile.

4. Make Regular Dentist Appointments

To ensure that your child’s smile remains bright and cavity-free, every 6 months a dental cleaning and check-up are recommended. If any concerns arise, such as decay or gum issues, early treatment is necessary to prevent the condition worsening, which would have a negative impact on the appearance of the teeth.

Cleaning twice a year will remove lingering plaque and tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that can’t be removed by brushing but only by a trained hygienist. With dentistry for kids, it is important that staff know how to make the experience pleasant and even fun. At Centenary Dental, we’re here to answer all of your child’s questions so they can be fully comfortable.

It important that your kid’s dentist appointment schedule includes regular x-rays to make sure that there are no issues going undetected. Catching any issues early on means that they can be treated right away, prior to a stage where they might affect your child’s smile.

Being a Good Role Model

It’s important that your child see you demonstrating the behaviours you’d like them to take on. Dentistry for kids is all about setting up patterns within their daily routine that will stay with them well into early adulthood and throughout their lifetime. Habits formed at a young age will determine their future. One last tip—teach your kids to floss! Flossing before bedtime is just as important as brushing. Your dentist or hygienist can demonstrate the best technique for children at your next appointment.

For advice customized to your family by an excellent kids’ dentist in Toronto, contact Centenary Dental here for more information or call us at 1-888-768-6955.

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