Tooth decay that leads to cavities is the most common disease in children. Left untreated, it can interfere with your child’s sleep, learning and speech, and can eventually lead to some serious complications that can turn dangerous for your child’s health. In order to prevent tooth decay, it is important for parents to develop a regular dental hygiene regimen right away with children to develop healthy habits. We want to discuss some tips to help you prevent dental problems and teach your children to keep their teeth healthy.
If you are looking for your child’s first dentist, or you have a child in need of a regular check-up, Reason To Smile is experienced taking care of children’s teeth. We can help you develop a dental routine to keep your child’s smile sparkling.
Teach Kids How to Brush Properly
As an infant, your child’s gums should be brushed with a gum brush or a damp cloth. They don’t have any teeth, so why do their gums need to be brushed? Well, brushing an infant’s gums will cut back on the cavity causing bacteria that is present even before your child gets their first tooth.
Kid’s teeth should be brushed twice a day as soon as their first tooth comes in — ideally after breakfast and after dinner — to remove buildup that leads to cavities. Use a kids brush with soft bristles and brush your child’s teeth carefully in a circular motion. After they can do it themselves, you should still monitor them to be sure that they are brushing correctly and reaching their back molars.
A small bit of toothpaste with fluoride can go a long way, and will clean and strengthen a child’s teeth better than some of the non-fluoridated children’s toothpastes that are out there. Show your kids how much they should be using (a pea-sized amount) and talk to them about the importance of keeping their teeth healthy.
Don’t Forget About Flossing
As soon as your child has teeth that touch, flossing should be added to the regimen. Like all adults, children should be flossing every day, too. Flossing clears buildup from between the teeth that brushing does not reach, preventing cavities that can develop in between the teeth.
For impatient and squirmy kids, it could be even harder to floss than it is to brush their teeth. Don’t give up! Disposable flossers might make it easier on you, and easier for your child once they can do it themselves. There are many options to choose from, so ask your dentist what would work best for your child’s needs.
At Home Care is Not Enough
It is recommended that children see a dentist around their first birthday. This appointment will help you make a dental plan for your child, and evaluate their teeth for any potential problems.
Adults and children alike should go for regular dental checkups every 6 months. These checkups clean and polish the teeth, and will check in on your child’s progress in learning how to care for their teeth. Talk with their dentist about what you can do to keep your child on track, and make sure their teeth are being cared for. Good oral care along with regular checkups should keep your kids from those scary procedures that make us wary of the dentist.
Sometimes we forget that our diets can seriously impact our dental health, and this is no exception for kids. Teeth can also be damaged by sucking on a pacifier or bottle, biting on hard candies, and chewing on ice. Limiting sugary foods, and teaching kids to make healthier food choices and avoid damaging habits will keep their smile and their body strong.
Teaching Kids is Hard, Let Us Help
Do you have some questions about your child’s oral health? Do you need to schedule your child an appointment? We have lots of experience handling the common dental problems that kids face. Give us a call at (801) 719-5447 or you can contact us online. We would be happy to help you teach your child the importance of a healthy smile.