Although children’s baby teeth will eventually fall out, they are the place holders for your child’s adult teeth. This means taking care of them is just as important as taking care of permanent teeth. This month is National Children’s Dental Health month, making now a great time to work with your child to establish healthy oral care routines. If you are feeling a little lost on what to do to keep your kids’ teeth healthy, here are 6 tips to help.
1. Early care is key
Your child should have their first visit to the dentist when their first tooth breaks through, or at least by the age of 1. This will give you the opportunity to discuss oral health, habits, routines, and diet. Pediatric dentists are ideal for younger children because they receive special training to ensure dentist visits go smoothly. Remember to start brushing as soon as teeth begin to come in.
2. Consider sealants
Sealants are a great option for children who have most or all of their baby teeth. A dentist will use a thin resin coating to fill in the chewing surfaces on teeth which helps block small food particles that could end up causing cavities. Many parents opt for this to help prevent cavities and allow their child’s baby teeth to last until adult teeth begin to come in.
3. Use fluoride toothpaste
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry says the best way to prevent cavities is with fluoride. Dentists recommend using a pea sized or smaller amount and limit rinsing to maximize the cavity fighting effects. Some dentists also recommend fluoride varnishes, which are similar to sealants and help prevent tooth decay.
This is an important yet highly overlooked aspect of oral health. Sugars and starches in excess will contribute to tooth decay. Limit sugary beverages and excessive snacking and encourage your children to drink water whenever possible. If you allow gum, make sure they only chew sugarless as these can actually prevent tooth decay and eliminate bacteria from the mouth.
5. Make it fun
The best way to encourage your children to practice daily oral care is to make it fun for them. Consider playing their favorite music while they are brushing or a star chart where they get a reward after so many stars. There are also several different smartphone apps and fun children’s toothbrushes and toothpastes to help get your child excited about their routine.
6. Lead by example
Consider taking your child with you to your next dentist visit. This will allow them to get a feel of dental offices and how they should behave. Also, by seeing you successfully have a dental procedure done, they may be less fearful when it is their turn. Make a habit to brush and floss together daily, this will help them build healthy routines.
It is important to start caring for you child’s teeth early and regularly to ensure they don’t encounter unexpected problems later. If you are looking for quality dentists in Las Vegas, call (702) 388-8888 for more information or to schedule an appointment today.