The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 1 child out of 5 aged around 5 to 11 years already has a decayed tooth. Every parent knows that this is a worrying statistic. As a parent, what can you do?
A decayed tooth is a huge problem and can affect your child's general health. This is why you must address this issue as soon as possible. On the other hand, you might even think that you don't need to worry about it because the decay is on a baby tooth.
That line of thinking is wrong. This is because tooth decay in the baby tooth can eventually affect the permanent tooth and lead to severe complications in the future if not properly managed. This means you will need to take extra precautions for your children's dental health.
Teeth are important, and caring for begins in childhood, right from when they grow their very first tooth. This is when you should start taking good care of your children's teeth and brush their teeth even in their toddler years.
Keep reading to know more about the best practices for your children concerning dental health and hygiene matters.
Teach Them to Take Care of Their Teeth
You can not possibly do it all. This is why you need them to know the importance of good dental health. Teach your young children the benefits of strong white teeth, as well as the consequences of decaying teeth. This will make them more careful in the foods they consume, when they brush, and so on. This will help make your job of preventing tooth decay much easier.
However, your job might become easier, but you're not done yet. You still have to be the one to supervise and sometimes help your children brush their teeth. This way, you can check their mouths every once in a while for signs of tooth decay.
Brush Their Teeth Properly
Brushing does not begin when your child has a complete set of white teeth. Rather, it begins when the child grows the very first tooth. Luckily, there are specialized toothbrushes designed to help tend to the child's needs.
This means you can find a toothbrush with really soft bristles that would be gentle on your child's teeth and gum but effective enough against germs and decay.
Use the Right Amount of Toothpaste
Believe it or not, healthy teeth are not entirely dependent on the amount of toothpaste you use. When they grow their first tooth, use only a grain-sized amount of toothpaste. However, as they grow older, you can use a pea-sized amount.
Make sure to use fluoride toothpaste, per the CDC's recommendations. Also, you should ensure they don't swallow this toothpaste by teaching them to spit it out and rinse their mouths.
Watch Their Sugar Intake
Sugar is an enemy to all things healthy teeth. Keep a close eye on the foods your child consumes. You must replace meals or snacks high in sugar, especially sticky ones such as caramel and chocolates, with healthier alternatives in your child's diet. Instead of giving them cookies, you can cut some carrots instead. You should also reduce your soda intake. A healthier alternative is to drink water or, occasionally, one glass of fresh-squeezed juice.
Also, after they consume any high-sugar item, they should brush their teeth. Doing this will help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Go for Regular Dental Checkups
Yes, your children may not love visiting the dentist, but it's for the best. Visit your pediatric dentist regularly, so your dentist can check your child's teeth for any signs of underdevelopment or decay.
Regular checkups are a good thing because this would help you know the problem on time, if there is any. For instance, if your kid loses baby teeth too early, it can cause dental health complications. To avoid any complications that might arise from this issue, your child's dentist might suggest they wear space maintainers to keep their teeth healthy.
Additionally, your dentist can also check if your children have any issues with the alignment of their jaws. When left unattended, these issues can severely affect how your children's teeth will grow, affecting their overall quality of life.
Overall health includes taking care of your teeth. As your children are unaware of their oral health, you must do all you can to save your baby's teeth early on. Make sure to brush their teeth regularly and avoid serving high-sugar snacks such as cookies and sodas. And finally, make sure to visit your dentist regularly to ensure their teeth are in tip-top condition.