Instilling Good Dental Health at an Early Age: Simple Dental Tips for Kids
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay and many other forms of oral disease that affect children are ultimately preventable. Yet tooth decay is still the most common chronic infectious disease plaguing children in the United States. Good oral hygiene habits and attention to preventative care may help your child avoid severe pain caused by cavities and other dental infections.
Since tooth decay is the number one dental problem among preschoolers, we want to equip parents with simple dental tips to limit problems and promote healthy teeth and gums in our littlest ones. Here is a list every parent should consider.
- Avoid Sticky & Sour Treats
Children will suffer from massive dental erosion caused by the unhealthy Ph levels found in sour candies such as Sweetarts and Skittles. Even fruit snacks are harmful and will stick to the tooth all the while eating away at the enamel. Avoid these snacks at all costs!
- Limit Sugar Drinks
Soft drinks and other flavored drinks are common culprits, but surprisingly so is juice and milk. Constant drinking throughout the day with these types of liquids causes teeth to be coated with sugar for long periods of time. Drinking water is always the best option. However, if you child does drink something with sugar, try to rinse the teeth immediately after or better yet brush their teeth.
- Ensure Proper Brushing
As soon as children get their teeth, brushing should commence. A warm wet cloth on a baby’s teeth will suffice. Yet proper brushing for toddlers and young children should consist of using the right size toothbrush with the appropriate bristle strength in addition to using a pea-size amount of ADA-approved toothpaste.
- Inspect Often
Most problems can be detected by a simple examination. Parents should look out for baby teeth as they erupt through the gums as well as watching out for tartar and plaque buildup. Also keep an eye out for inflamed gums, poor alignment, and brown or white spots on the teeth that may indicate a cavity.
- Start Early & Stay Consistent
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children see a specialized dentist by the age of one. Having your child seen consistently by a caring dental care provider will ensure optimum oral health. It is recommended that every child—and adult alike—visit their dentist ever six months.
- Make Flossing Fun
Flossing is vitally important as it removes food particles stuck between teeth where brushing cannot reach. Today, you can find flossers specifically made for children in all shapes and sizes. Most children will require assistance in flossing. Don’t overlook this important step… a few minutes with your assistance can make all of the difference.
- Fluoride When Needed
If you desire an extra dose of Fluoride or live in an area where the water in not fluoridated, fluoride drops or chewable tablets can be prescribed. Fluoride provides extra protection against those harmful cavities. It’s best to talk to your pediatrician or dental provider about this option.
Stick to these tips and you will be sure to establish good oral hygiene habits for your children that they will likely carry into adulthood. Remember, prevention is key! You will ultimately be able to preserve your child’s dental health for many years to come!
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