Having strong and healthy teeth isn’t only important for adults. Despite having milk teeth, children also require good oral health to help them eat, talk, and develop. As a parent, it’s up to you to ensure that they learn the importance of maintaining dental hygiene at an early age. Here are some ways you can ensure the best oral health for your children:
Importance and Care of Primary Teeth
While it may seem that primary teeth aren’t very important since they tend to fall off, this couldn’t be more untrue. Primary teeth help provide a solid structure to your child’s developing face and jawbone. Unfortunately, these teeth are also very susceptible to decay from an early age.
If primary teeth start to decay, it can cause serious consequences for your child’s overall health. For example, it may make it harder for them to eat, speak, or even sleep if it gets painful. Moreover, tooth decay can spread fast between primary teeth as it is caused by bacteria.
It is vital to ensure that your child brushes their teeth every day after a meal. Even if your child is currently breastfeeding, cleaning their teeth before and after feeding is important. This is because the bacteria can feed on any remnants of glucose and carbohydrates and begin to spread.
Why Kids Need to Visit A Dentist
It is highly recommended to take your child on dental visits from the age of 1. While some parents wait for these dental visits until the age of 4, it is essential to take them earlier to identify tooth decay before it spreads too much. Apart from getting your child familiarized with the dentist from an early age, these visits would also help give you personalized advice on caring for their oral health.
Dental Care From Birth to Preschool
Caring for a baby can be complicated for first-time parents. So here’s a quick and easy guide that lets you ensure perfect oral health for your children until they’re old enough for preschool.
When your baby is this young, you must clean their gums twice a day with a soft and damp cloth. Do the same for any early teeth that appear during this period. You should never leave your baby in bed with a bottle, as this is one of the primary reasons for tooth decay.
By this time, your child should have their first dental visit. Moreover, it’s the right age to switch your child from a bottle to a regular cup as it will prevent large gaps in the teeth.
When your child is three years old, they should start brushing twice a day. This is also the time you should start using fluoride-based toothpaste. If you see any signs of tooth decay, take your child to the dentist immediately.
Best Practices For A Healthy Mouth
There are a few important things your child needs for perfect oral health. These daily practices will help them prevent dental problems in the long run:
Fluoride is vital for the prevention of cavities. This is because it helps harden the tooth enamel and reduces the growth of decay-causing bacteria. While some cities may provide fluoride in the drinking water supply, it’s always better to rely on toothpaste for the job.
Dental hygiene is the stepping stone to great oral health. It should begin at the time your baby gets their first tooth. When your baby has all their teeth, it is vital to teach them to floss as well. This will further help prevent decay and cavities caused by food stuck between the teeth.
Avoiding sugar is vital to ensuring good oral health for your child. You should limit the number of juices, sodas, and sweet snacks they get. It is important to ensure that they brush their teeth after having sweet things and should never have them before bedtime.
War with Cavities
We’ve been discussing cavities and their causes throughout this guide. It’s primarily because the risk factor for cavities is particularly high for children under the age of six. There are a few other risk factors that you should watch out for:
- Other members of the family also have cavities
- They eat a ton of sugary foods and drink sweetened beverages such as sodas
- They wear braces or other oral appliances that can interfere with tooth cleaning
- They have special needs for their health
If you come across any of the above risk factors for your child, you should seek assistance from your dentist immediately. It is entirely possible to prevent cavities using the oral healthcare methods discussed above.
While it certainly isn’t easy, caring for your child’s dental health doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Simply ensure that they follow proper dental hygiene procedures and regularly take them to our Complete Smile clinic it’s a child-friendly dentist for perfect oral health.