Keep Your Child's Teeth Healthy Between Dentist Visits
Some people may feel like children's dental care isn't that important. The teeth are going to fall out anyway, right? Actually, protecting your child's primary teeth is crucial to ensuring their permanent teeth are healthy and come in properly. Here are some things you can do between dental checkups to keep your children's teeth as healthy as possible.
Learn to brush properly.
Most parents know it's important to brush your teeth twice a day, but navigating the world of infant dental care can be trickier. Even before your child has teeth, you need to be "brushing." To avoid plaque buildup, wipe infant's gums with warm water and a soft wash cloth.
Once your baby has any teeth, you must brush them with a small soft bristle brush. You may continue using warm water until the child is around 2, at which point you should introduce a light "smear" of fluoride toothpaste into the routine. Older children may use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, but make sure they do not swallow any. Start flossing as soon as the child has two side-by-side teeth.
Don't allow food or drink before sleep.
A common dental issue young children have is bottle rot. This form of tooth decay is cause by frequently consuming milk or juice without properly brushing. This often forms when parents give their baby a bottle to take to bed. This is also common in children who are nursing. When possible, avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle containing anything other than water. If you do need to feed your child during the night, it is important to wipe their mouths clean or rinse with water before putting them back to sleep.
Monitor your child's diet.
What your child eats will factor into how healthy their teeth are. A balanced diet is the best way to ensure their dental health. Make sure they eat at least one serving from every food group a day, and limit their sugar intake. Be extra careful of children's medications, as they generally contain high amounts of sugar that can go unnoticed.
Stop bad oral habits.
Many people have heard that thumb sucking and using a bottle or pacifier can ruin a child's teeth. This is only partially true. Babies often display these habits without any lasting oral complications. If your child continues this behavior past the age of 3, however, a change in tooth placement may occur. Ask a dentist about options for helping your child quit these habits.
Take your child to the dentist regularly.
Finally, your child will have to go to the dentist eventually, so it's important to know when and how often this should be done. You should schedule your child's first dentist visit when their first tooth arrives or no later than their first birthday. After this, you should see a pediatric or family dentist twice a year. Start looking for a family dental clinic such as Dentistry For Children & Adolescents as soon as possible.