3 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Dental problems are one of the most common and severe health concerns among children, leading to issues such as school absences, early tooth loss, pain, and difficulty eating. As a parent, you should lay the groundwork for healthy habits in your child’s early years to set them up for success in later life.
A kid’s dentist can help with any oral problems your child might have, but parents have a responsibility to teach their child the basics of proper oral care. Teeth play a vital role in speech and eating, and poor oral health can affect your child’s development.
Children take after their parents, so it’s essential to show your kids the best oral hygiene practices.
Visit the dentist often
Dentists recommend that adults come in for a cleaning and checkup at least every six months. The same rule applies to kids as well. Once your child turns one, make it a point to bring them along for a dentist’s visit. You want to start them young so that it develops into a lifelong habit. While your regular dentist should be fine, you’ll probably get better service if you go to a kid’s dentist.
The first dental visit serves as the baseline for any future visits. The dentist will conduct an oral exam and teach you and your child the basics of brushing, flossing, and cavity prevention. They will also identify any oral problems your children might have and recommend a course of treatment.
Use fluoride toothpaste
Many parents buy kid-friendly non-fluoridated toothpaste for their children. However, it can cause more harm than good because the health effects are negligible at best. Without fluoride, your child’s teeth will start to decay. Tooth decay has become the number one childhood disease after asthma, and the numbers keep on rising.
Just use a tiny amount of toothpaste at first: a half-pea for babies and a pea-sized dollop for toddlers. Brush your teeth together to help inculcate the habit into their minds. It also helps if your water supply is fluoridated, but if it isn’t, you might want to get multivitamin supplements.
Start brushing early
Even babies need to start brushing their teeth, even if they don’t have any. Use gum wipes to clean your infant’s teeth area to remove bad bacteria. Avoid sharing cups and utensils as you can inadvertently transfer bacteria from your mouth to your child.
Once your child develops teeth, teach them how to use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Kids often have difficulty spitting out, but they’ll learn once they get older. There might be cases when you have to brush their teeth yourself, but it’s best to teach them to be self-sufficient. Make sure to supervise every so often to correct any bad habits.
These pointers will help you set the tone for a better and more holistic lifestyle. Teaching children the basics of oral hygiene will encourage them to develop good habits. Kids learn by example, so it’s your job to model good behavior and point out oral health mistakes they make.