5 Healthy Habits

At Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics, we provide helpful resources for parents in their efforts to keep their children’s smiles bright and shiny. If you have a child between the ages of eight and twelve, you will want to check out these five tips for forming healthy habits!

Brush Twice a Day and Floss Once a Day

This might seem obvious, but it’s best to start with the basics. By this age, most children have the dexterity to brush independently, but we encourage you to follow up and check that they brushed all their teeth. Lifelong oral health habits are developed at a young age, so it’s critical to help your child learn to brush the right way. They need to brush for two minutes twice a day and floss once daily—preferably at night. 

Establish a Dental Home

Your family might already have a dental home, but if you don’t, it’s never too late to get started. It’s important to have an established relationship and patient history with a dentist. This way, if you ever have an after-hours emergency, you have a contact to reach out to. 

Change the Size of Their Toothbrushes

Most children are ready to graduate to adult-sized toothbrushes between the ages of eight and twelve. This doesn’t mean they need to say goodbye to the fun characters and themes on their brush, but if they are brushing well, it might be time to upgrade. 

Prepare for Adult Teeth

Most children lose all of their baby teeth by the time they are twelve or thirteen years old. By the time they are eight or nine, they will likely have lost their top four front teeth and their bottom four front teeth. This means that your child might lose twelve or more teeth in a three to four-year window. 

Check-in on Their Eating Habits

It’s important to limit the amount of sugar and carbs in your child’s diet, as they can have an adverse effect on your child’s oral health. Around this age, many children begin gaining independence and start controlling some of their own snacking, so it’s important for you to keep an eye on your child and their snacking habits. 

Snacking on fruits like apples and bananas is great because they are low in carbs that break down into sugars. But, we encourage you to regulate snacks such as gummies, crackers, and other foods that stick to teeth and break down into sugars, which cause cavities. 

Find More Resources

For more educational videos and resources that can help keep your child’s smile happy and healthy, check out our YouTube Channel! Make sure you subscribe and click the bell to receive notifications when we drop our latest videos!