When you teach your child how to care for their teeth and prevent cavities, you are making an investment in their teeth and health and will in turn protect your wallet.
Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your child learns proper oral hygiene and care, prevents cavities, and keeps them smiling:
- Set an example, taking good care of your own teeth sends a message that oral health is something to be valued
- Make tooth care fun and exciting, like brushing along with your child or letting them choose their own toothbrush, encourages proper oral care.
- Brush twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque- which is the main cause of tooth decay.
- Floss to prevent plaque buildup
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste.
- Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.
- Eat a well-balanced diet that limits starchy or sugary foods, which produce plaque acids that can cause tooth decay.
- Teach them how to properly brush
- Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, make sure they don’t swallow it!
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Clean the outer surfaces of each tooth. Angle the brush along the outer gumline. Gently brush back and forth.
- Brush the tongue if your child is not too sensitive to it
When Should My Child Begin Flossing?
Flossing is a very important step in oral hygiene, and some specialists recommend flossing as soon as your baby starts eating solid foods with a mouthful of teeth – a good rule of thumb is to begin flossing for your kid by the age of four. By eight or nine they can take over the responsibility -with proper instruction.
Fluoride is one of the best ways to help prevent tooth decay. A mineral, fluoride combines with the tooth’s enamel to strengthen it. In many municipal water supplies, the right amount of fluoride is added for proper tooth development. If your water does not contain enough fluoride, there are many alternatives to add fluoride to your diet, and you should speak to your dentist about their recommended products.
Maintain Their Diet to Maintain Oral Health
A balanced diet is necessary for your child to develop strong, teeth. In addition to a barrage of vitamins and minerals, a child’s diet should include plenty of calcium, phosphorous, and proper levels of fluoride.
The sugars and starches found in many foods and snacks like cookies, candies, dried fruit, soft drinks, pretzels, and potato chips combine with plaque on teeth to create acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and may lead to cavities.
To avoid this you should limit snacking, and have your child brush their teeth or rinse their mouth thoroughly after every snack and meal.
In addition, keeping your child’s teeth clean and well-maintained can add plenty of benefits to their overall health. Taking care of their teeth, as well as showing them how to in the future not only protects their teeth but also ensures they remain confident and smiling for many years to come! Please make an appointment with Children’s Dentistry of San Diego today!