When raising a child, as parents, you must care for their bodies, from head to toe. One of these aspects is in regards to their dental health. Even if your children are young enough that they still have milk teeth, you shouldn't take this aspect for granted. Oral hygiene and health are just as important as caring for any other body part. Here are some tips on how you can promote healthy teeth in young children:
- Visit a dentist regularly
Even if your child still has milk teeth, you should always take good care of them by having a dentist check them regularly. It’s recommended that children should have their first visit to the dentist, like those at Hendersonville Dentist, on their first birthday. Here, your dentist can do cavity-preventing measures, such as:
- Regular fluoride wash or treatment, once in three months.
- Regular teeth and gum cleaning, once in six months.
- Proactive treatments such as sealants.
- Start great oral habits as early as possible
You don’t have to wait too long before you can actually start promoting good oral habits. You can begin before your baby starts teething. Before the first tooth erupts, you can start wiping off the gums with a clean washcloth and water to wipe away any milk or pureed food residue.
Once your baby starts teething, you can switch to an infant toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste, the size of a rice grain. When teeth begin to touch each other, you can start to floss your child's teeth gently.
Starting oral habits early is essential to create awareness in the mind of the child that taking care of their teeth is important. Doing so is also helpful so your child won’t react violently towards a strange texture in their mouth, such as toothpaste and a toothbrush.
- Avoid exposure to sugary food and drinks
Raising children involves discipline, too. Part of this discipline includes controlling their sugary food and drink intake. Apart from the health concerns connected with too much sugar intake,
this can also damage your teeth. The less exposure your kids have to sugar, the lesser chances of them wanting these. On days, however, that you do allow your kids to have sugar intake, do let them rinse their mouth with water after eating or drinking. These sugary food and drinks include:
- Candies, lollipops, chocolates, gummy bears and other sweet treats
- Juice and sweetened yogurt
- Colored vitamins
- Practice good oral habits at home by example
Young children learn by example. Hence it’s vital that you practice good habits at home as well. Let young children see you brushing and flossing your teeth so they’ll learn to enjoy the same experience as well. Make it a habit to instill in your children's minds they should brush their teeth after every meal, and drink water as well. The house is the foundation of habits, and it’s easier to shape and train a young mind. Take advantage of this opportunity now to encourage good oral health habits.
- Don’t use the bottle to put your child to sleep
One of the most common mistakes that parents make is they use the bottle to put their children to bed. The baby bottle and milk can easily soothe a child; hence this is a very tempting road to take by parents. What you may not realize is that you’re opening your child's teeth up to cavities and decay. Milk, by its nature, is sugary, and if you let your children sleep with milk in their mouth, you’re allowing milk residue to build up and rest on their teeth.
- Try to shy away from sippy cups, too
Along with the point mentioned above about baby bottles, the same holds with sippy cups. Sippy cups are cups that are used to transition from a regular baby bottle to a glass or cup. However, you can skip this step and train your child at a young age to cup feed. Doing this is the better way, as sippy cups can also cause the build-up of sugar at the back of the front teeth from high sugar drinks.
Parents have the tough job of raising children and catering to their needs. When it comes to oral health, it’s also sometimes difficult to decipher how much dental care young children need. With the tips presented in this article, you now have a guide on promoting healthy teeth for your little one.