There is nothing in this world that makes my heart explode like seeing the joy on my kids faces! I ensure I am capturing healthy smiles, laughs and giggles in pictures and videos with these 10 tips from Dr. Peter Markov.
Start seeing a pediatric dentist and establish a dental home early. These early visits are crucial for younger children to acclimate to the new experiences. By bringing in a child at this age, you can establish good habits as well as alleviate any fears so that as the child ages, they are comfortable and not afraid.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends bringing your child to see a dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of their first tooth, whichever happens first.
See a Specialist
Pediatric dentists receive an additional two to three years of specialty training and have extensive knowledge of children’s dental health needs and growth development.
Pediatric dentists also receive training in advanced techniques and special dental materials. Although general dentists and family dentists sometimes see kids, pediatric dentists only see kids.
Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes is essential to staying cavity free. Most kids start to want to be independent before they develop the dexterity needed to brush properly so this means you will need to help.
Helpful hint – Once a child can tie their own shoes, they can usually brush their own teeth.
Introducing flossing once a day as soon as the teeth touch is one of the best tips for oral hygiene. This usually occurs around age 3.
Flossing allows for food to be removed from places that a toothbrush cannot reach (which is about 40% of the tooth surface), and it is a great way to prevent gum disease.
Replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months. Oral health is directly linked to physical health.
Germs and bacteria can stay on a toothbrush. Using a brush with weakened bristles means it won’t clean as well, which can increase the risk of tooth decay and even gum disease.
Make it fun!
If your child has a favorite song, play or sing it while he or she brushes. There are many apps available for free download on any smart device that makes brushing a game.
Find VK Pediatric Dentistry’s favorite kids dental apps. Get creative and play “dentist” at home. This will help your child feel more in control and help ease nerves for the next appointment.
Steer clear of sugar and sticky foods
Sticky foods naturally are notorious for getting in the grooves and
between teeth and are hard to remove. The longer sugar sits on the teeth, the more damage it does.
Limit sweets to mealtimes and try to decrease the frequency of snacks that are high in sugar like chips, fruit snacks, and candy.
Avoid soda and fruit juice
Citric acid can wear down the tooth enamel which makes the tooth weak and can lead to cavities, sensitivity, and decay. Fruit juice may seem harmless but most of the nutritional value of the whole fruit is removed when it is turned into juice.
Not only does your child miss out on important vitamins and minerals, but the added sugar will coat your child’s teeth which is where bacteria thrive. Choose water instead of sugary drinks!
Seal out decay
Dental sealants are one of the easiest and most effective ways to help your child fight tooth decay. Sealants on permanent molars reduce the risk of cavities by 80%.
Sealants involve a thin protective coating on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, which creates a barrier where food often gets trapped. Prevention is key to being cavity free!
Keep regular dental visits
Regular cleaning and check-ins with your child’s dentist are the best way to
prevent major problems down the road. Visits every 6 months are recommended.
Dr Peter Markov
Dr. Peter Markov, DMD is a pediatric dentist and owner at VK Pediatric Dentistry in Arlington, VA.
Dr Peter Markov is an Adventure Dad in his own right. He enjoys kayaking, rock climbing, and anything outdoors. He is usually watching soccer, basketball or formula 1 and is always open to try something new. Whether it be food or drink in Arlington, DC and the surrounding cities of Northern Virginia – if you have any spots you love, please let him know at your next appointment!
Dr. Peter Markov received his doctorate in dental medicine from Case Western Reserve University where he graduated at the top of his class and was inducted into the National Dental Honor Society.
Following graduation, Dr. Peter completed a postgraduate residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, a top 10 children’s hospital in the nation. He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Virginia Dental Association, and the American Dental Association.
Why VK Pediatric Dentistry
VK Pediatric Dentistry is accepting new patients and is offering complimentary Quip Electric Toothbrush Kits to any new patients who mention they are a reader and who schedule in March.
Online scheduling is offered at www.smilewithvk.com or you can call the office at (703) 962-7814. Office is located at: 5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207.