How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
All parents want the best for their children. In the earliest months and years of your child’s life, much of their health is influenced by your lifestyle and the care you provide. The development of a child’s teeth is no less important than any other body part.
Tooth decay and problems with the position of your child’s teeth are commonplace, but ignoring them can leave your child with problems that could affect them for the rest of their lives. Because of this, it’s vital to take control of their dental care.
So, as a parent, what can you do to ensure your child has healthy teeth and gums? And, from what age should they start seeing a dentist?
Here’s how you can help keep your child’s teeth healthy and instill the best dental health habits as they grow.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay can affect us all at any stage in our lives. Acid erosion brought about by bacteria in our mouths feeding on sugar in our diet can harm the enamel of our teeth. Although enamel is the toughest material in the human body, a combination of sugar and poor dental hygiene can cause cavities to form.
It’s easy to write off a child’s baby teeth as being expendable. After all, they’re replaced by adult teeth as a child’s jaw develops. However, preventing tooth decay in baby teeth is equally important as it is in permanent teeth.
Dental Health Starts at Birth
So, when should you start thinking about your child’s dental health? You might think the answer is when they have their first full set of teeth or when the first teeth emerge. In fact, it’s actually much earlier than this.
You need to care for your baby’s oral health from birth. Even before teeth are visible, your child could develop tooth decay from a build-up of sugars from milk or juice, particularly when a child is sucking on a bottle for prolonged periods.
Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth
It’s important to take care of your baby’s oral health. Just because you can’t see teeth, it doesn’t mean they’re not there. A baby’s teeth start to develop from the second trimester of pregnancy, but may not emerge until they are a few months old.
Use a damp cloth to wipe your child’s gums after feeding. This stops bacteria from building up.
Once your child’s teeth start to appear, use an infant’s toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and gently brush their teeth.
Teaching Your Child to Brush
By the time your child is old enough to brush their teeth themselves, they should be used to the routine of twice daily brushing for two minutes at a time. Teach your child to brush their own teeth using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and encourage them to spit the toothpaste out, but not to rinse.
It’s important to supervise your child while they are brushing. This should continue until they are around eight years old.
Create an Oral Health-Friendly Diet for Kids
Most kids love sugary food and drinks. But sugar contributes heavily to tooth decay. It’s therefore essential to limit the amount of sugar your child consumes.
Wherever possible, monitor ingredients and look for healthier low sugar alternatives. If your child does have any particularly sweet treats, encourage them to brush their teeth after to reduce the possibility of decay.
Children’s Dentistry at Canon House
At Canon House, we’re here to help your child’s dental health. We recommend bringing your young child to see us while they’re still very young so they get used to visiting the dentist and don’t fear us later in life. Once your child’s first teeth erupt, we’ll start seeing them for regular checkups.
Call us today to book an appointment for your child.
Contact us today if you have any questions regarding our dental treatment!
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