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How to Help Your Children with Dental Care

Posted: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 6:22 am
Author: Joe Cerwinske

As National Children’s Dental Health Month concludes, dentists remind parents it’s important for them to help their children with dental care. Dr. Ann Harris of Harris and Harris Dental in Washington says until a child is seven- or eight-years-old, it’s a good idea for the parent to stay active in their oral hygiene practices. She explains, “The moms and dads need to kind of be watching and encouraging. The (child’s) dexterity is not so good. Some children are born with nice spacing, and some children are born crowded. So the more crowded they are, the more difficult it is to clean it well, and sometimes that’s where I get the parents more involved.”

Harris also says some children have difficulty flossing, so parents should help with that as well. She recommends children and adults brush two times a day, but if they’re only going to brush once to do it before bedtime. Lastly, she says it’s important to monitor a child’s sugar intake throughout the day. Harris says it’s not the amount of sugar a person has during the day that makes a difference for dental health, it’s the frequency with which the sugar is being consumed. With that in mind, she recommends only giving children sugary foods a couple times a day, and it’s a good idea to give it to them after they’ve eaten a normal meal. For more information about Children’s Dental Health Month, listen to the two-part In Touch with Southeast Iowa interview with Harris at