One of the biggest struggles parents have been facing since they started having kids is maintaining their children’s dental health. It’s seems like an almost impossible task – when your very own parents would spoil your kids whenever you’re not around by giving them ice cream. And then there’s the school cafeteria that sells chocolate cake, candies and smoothies and then there’s the pantry where your children would sneak off late at night to grab a midnight snack and then foregoing brushing their teeth in fear that you might find out. All these factors can lead to tooth decay and unfortunately, they don’t care about it. Either they don’t know or they just don’t care.
As parents, the responsibility of ensuring that their teeth are healthy is on us. It’s a big responsibility given that kids will always be kids and they love anything that has sugar in it or on it. These kids would give anything for a bar of chocolate.
The good news is that you can still do something about it. One bar of chocolate won’t instantly lead to cavities. A slice of chocolate cake at midnight won’t instantly lead to periodontal disease. Here are the things you can do to ensure that your children’s teeth are healthy.
It Is Best To Start Them Young
- Do you notice seeing as young as one year olds with tooth decay? Do you know that dental health starts during the teething stage. When your baby is teething, you should prepare a clean and damp washcloth and rub it gently on your baby’s gums to remove any bacteria present.
- The moment your baby has teeth, purchase an infant toothbrush. You can use fluoride toothpaste designed for babies but just make sure that you only use a small amount of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. It is also important to check out the seal of acceptance by the American Dental Association.
- It’s also okay to start flossing if their teeth already touch.
- At the age of two years old, you should start teaching them how to spit when they brush.
- As soon as your child reaches three years old, you should increase the amount of toothpaste you are going to give them. Pea-sized fluoride toothpaste will do.
- When your children are below eight years old, always supervise them while they are brushing their teeth especially if they are already using toothpaste.
Again, as early as one year old, babies can already develop cavities. It’s also worth mentioning that putting a baby to sleep after drinking a bottle of milk is also not good for their teeth because of the sugars present in the milk that could stay on the teeth. The sugar can brittle and weaken the enamel – a condition referred to as bottle mouth. If this practice continues it could lead to discolored, pitted and pocked teeth.
When Is The Best Time To See A Dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that kids should make an appointment with the dentist as soon as they turn one year old or after they have had their first birthday. During this time, their dentist will explain to the parent or the caregiver the proper way to brush and floss the teeth. They will likely show a video or demonstrate it to you.
Scheduling regular dental check-up at an early age will help them understand what a dentist does so they won’t fear dentists when they get older. You can find a pediatric dentist in your area if you have one. These are the dentists who specialise in treating children’s dental health. A regular visit to your dentist will allow them to inspect and diagnose potential problems early. They can also refer you to specialists if there is a need like an orthodontist or an oral surgeon.
How Can You Prevent Your Child From Getting Cavities?
- Instill an oral habit as young as they are. Teach them to brush their teeth twice or thrice a day with fluoride toothpaste and teach them the proper technique in flossing.
- Fluoride toothpaste is essential because it helps strengthen your teeth’s enamel making it difficult for acids to destroy your teeth.
- Minimis consumption of sugary foods such as candies and cakes as this can weaken the enamel. Since you can’t stop them from consuming these types of sugary foods then at least ensure that they brush their teeth and rinse their mouths with water afterwards.
So there you have it, the tips you need to know to keep your child’s teeth healthy.