Caring For Your Child’s Teeth | Pediatric Dentistry In La Jolla | Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry

Caring for your child’s teeth

Eating with braces

We all want the very best for our children and that should extend to the health and wellbeing of their teeth. At Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we work with children and their parents to make sure they know how best to look after young teeth. After all, they’re the foundation to a great smile.

Here are some ways we can all work together to help your child get the best teeth possible:

Establish a routine

Routines are an essential part of a child’s life. Routines help children to grow in confidence, learn new skills and establish a sense of independence. Extend your child’s routine to incorporate regular tooth brushing at least twice a day – morning and night.

Brush your teeth with your child and show them how to brush both their front and back teeth. Make this fun by choosing colourful tooth brushes and giving them special toothpaste.

Children’s toothpaste should include 1350-1500ppm fluoride. Your dentist will advise you if you need to increase the strength of toothpaste.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits. We will discuss with you the right time to start flossing your child's teeth, but if you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.

Avoid sugary foods

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk of tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.

Food and drink have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of your child’s teeth. Drinks full of sugar, such as juices, flavoured waters and milks, sports drinks and soda can cause decay. Sugary food is also really bad for teeth, and we’re not just talking about candy. Sugary breakfast cereals, muesli bars, low-fat yoghurts and even ketchup can affect the health of your child’s teeth.

Instead, some of the best foods for healthy teeth include:

  • cheese
  • yoghurt
  • fruit and vegetables
  • fish
  • milk

Take them to the dentist

Getting your child familiar with the dentist and taking them for regular appointments is vital to ensure they are comfortable with the clinic environment. Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and check-ups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth at their strongest.

To begin with, it may help if they just come with you for your appointment so they can watch what happens. This will also help them to feel comfortable if or when they need to visit an orthodontist. At Dr. Paul J. Styrt, Specialists in Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we like to make orthodontic treatment fun for our youngest patients so we’ll do all we can to put them at ease.


As an orthodontist, we can help to give your child’s teeth an extra layer of protection with sealants. These help in the fight against decay and cavities.

Dental sealants are a plastic resin, (BPA free), that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on the tooth's surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.

Sealants are typically applied to children's teeth as a preventive measure after the permanent teeth have erupted. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and we’ll recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Sealants last from three to five years, although it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact so if your child's sealants come off, let us know, and schedule an appointment for your child's teeth to be re-sealed.

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Treatment for kids

Melissa N. Mother of a child age 10

I have been very impressed with the entire office. You do a super job of making us feel you care. Thank you. We love to refer your office to our friends and family.