When you think about protecting and maintaining your child’s health, things like eating healthy and making sure your child gets enough physical activity may come to mind. However, oral health for kids is vital as well, and is an essential part of your child’s overall wellbeing. Here are some practical things you can do to make sure your child has a healthy smile.
Plaque is a bacterial film that regularly forms on our teeth. If your child is consuming excess sugar from beverages and foods, the bacteria in the plaque can create acids that weaken and erode tooth enamel. This is how cavities form, so removing plaque with a plaque-fighting toothpaste or mouthwash and reducing the sugar in your child’s diet can keep their teeth healthy. It’s also best to ensure your little one is eating a health diet filled with fruits and vegetables, since these foods can naturally reduce plaque.
Brushing and Flossing
Be sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day. Start practicing this early so your little one will get in the habit of brushing their teeth in the morning and at night. For children 2 years of age and younger, gently brush the teeth with tepid water and ask your dentist if a fluoride toothpaste is best at this age. For children between 2 and 6 years of age, use a small amount of toothpaste and make sure your child spits as much of the toothpaste out as possible. Your child’s toothbrush should have soft bristles and you should replace the toothbrush about every 90 days.
Use a Fluoride Supplement
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that makes teeth stronger and protects against cavities and tooth decay. Most children aren’t getting enough fluoride in drinking water, so you may want to ask your dentist about fluoride supplements that are available in your area. You can also find fluoride in kids’ toothpastes and mouth washes. Scheduling dental visits for kids also gives them a chance to get a fluoride treatment that will keep their teeth strong and healthy.
Another reason dental visits for kids are important is, a dentist can thoroughly inspect your child’s mouth and recommend sealants when necessary. Sealants are a coating a dentist applies to the teeth to protect the teeth from decay and excess exposure to acids. The sealants can last for up to 8 years and may need to be reapplied from time to time. Sealant application is painless and is a preventative measure that can keep your child from developing cavities.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Your little one should visit the dentist with six months after they get their first tooth. After this point, you should schedule routine checkups, which can include fluoride treatments and cleanings. Your child should visit the dentist about twice a year in most cases. Regular visits to the dentist can teach your child that oral health should be taken seriously and helps them to maintain proper oral hygiene throughout life.
Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is here to help maintain oral health for kids and assist children in developing healthy dental habits that will serve them well in adulthood. In addition to helping your children care for their teeth at home, our staff can provide the pointers you need to keep your family’s dental health in tact.