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Q: How can I get my kids to develop good dental hygiene?

Posted September 18, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: They’ve got a fresh haircut, a crisp, new outfit and a backpack full of supplies, but do they have a healthy smile as well? Amidst all the hubbub of getting your little one ready for the new school year, thinking about dental hygiene habits might be the farthest thing from your mind. Surprisingly, this is the perfect time to help your child establish smile-friendly practices.

“During the school year, kids get used to a certain routine,” says Ankeny family dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord. “Adding good oral hygiene habits to that routine makes it easier for kids — and parents — to remember to take care of their smiles.”

A few tips for helping your child enjoy optimal dental health include:

While your child is eating breakfast, get his or her toothbrush and toothpaste ready so he or she can brush before leaving for school.

Pack lunches and provide afterschool snacks that include water, fresh fruits, no sugar-added fruit cups, veggie sticks, cheese and nuts.

Older children, especially those with braces, should carry a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste for brushing after lunch.

To help protect young teeth from decay, Dr. Peddicord also strongly recommends that you talk to your child’s dentist about dental sealants. These thin, protective layers fill in the crevices on the biting surfaces of the back teeth where cavities tend to form the most. To schedule your child’s next dental visit with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please call our kid-friendly office at (515) 963-3339.

Information provided by Dr. Erika Peddicord, Peddicord Family Dentistry, 121 N.E. 18th St., Suite C, 963-3339.

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