As a parent, you always want is best for your child. You want them to grow up healthy and strong. Parents dread the day when their children get their first cavity. Regardless, an area that some parents inadvertently forget is their dental health.
Caring for your child’s oral health begins right away, even before the first baby teeth appear. Wiping your baby’s gums after feedings with a damp cloth is a good way to quickly wipe off any bacteria that can grow from leftover milk or formula. Once teeth appear, it becomes more challenging. How do you, as a parent, help keep your children from getting dreaded cavities? Most of these preventative measures are simple and easy to enforce.
Avoid letting your child go to bed with a bottle. Children that go to sleep with a bottle of juice or milk provide ample opportunities for bacteria to grow in the mouth. Fussy children should go to bed with a bottle of water instead.
Limit the intake of sugary food and drinks. Sugar accelerates the growth of cavity and tooth decay causing bacteria. Cutting back on these harmful foods and drinks will lessen the chance for decay and cavities.
Limit the amount of acidic food and drinks. While orange juice is said to be packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals, it also has acid that destroys tooth enamel.
Practice healthy teeth cleaning hygiene. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush on your young child’s teeth. Brush their teeth after every time they eat, especially sweets. If your child is under the age of two, use a fluoride free toothpaste specifically designed for small children. Only after your child is over two years old should toothpaste with fluoride be used. This is because you need to make sure your child can spit the toothpaste out without swallowing it. For the most effective brushing, the toothbrush should be held at a 45-degree angle and the whole surface of the teeth and gums should be covered. Brushing should last at least 2 minutes.
Eliminate the fear of the dentist. Taking your children to the dentist while they’re young can help reduce their fear of going to the dentist later. These early dentist visits should be pleasant experiences. It is suggested that the first few visits should be trial visits where no work is done, but merely serves the purpose of getting your child familiar with the office and the dental staff. When children associate the dentist with pleasant experiences, the less likely they will resist going to the dentist and the more cooperative they’ll be while at the dentist.
At Stone Crest Family Dentistry, we have services catered specifically for younger patients. We want to provide you and your family the best dental experience possible. Your child’s dental health is important and taking proper preventative measures early will ensure less dental problems later in life.
For children (and adults) who have cavities or other dental issues, we have a wide range of restorative dental services available as well. Take the vital step in protecting your child’s dental health by setting up an appointment with us today. While you, as the parent, have the biggest impact on your child’s dental health, our expertise, exams and cleanings will further reduce the risk of cavities for your child.