How to keep your kids teeth healthy
It’s natural for every parent to want their children to have healthy teeth. Good dental habits that are taught while they have their baby teeth will likely help them care for their adult teeth. So how can you help your child get into a good routine of cleaning their teeth?
TIPS FOR HEALTHY KIDS TEETH
Try some of the following tips and help your child get into a good oral hygiene routine.
- Set the example – Children love to imitate their parents. So brush your teeth and floss together with your child. This can be a great motivation for them to clean their teeth.
- Start young – Help your little one get into a healthy routine and brush twice a day. This can be done from when their first tooth appears using a cloth or small brush. From 18 months the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends you start using a fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. When they have learned to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallowing it, you can put on a bit more toothpaste until you reach the size of a pea. Children can start to learn how to brush their baby teeth from 3 years of age. You can introduce flossing and mouthwash as their teeth start to grow together.
- Visit the dentist – The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends taking your child to the dentist from 1 year of age or within 6 months of their first baby tooth appearing (whichever comes first). You should then continue to take them every 6 months. Many schedule their dentist appointment at the same time as their child’s, this helps set the example and makes it more convenient for you.
- Open communication – Talk to your child about what to expect from their visit to the dentist and always try to be positive. In this way, you will help them relax.
- Reduce their sugar – High levels of sugar in the diet are the main causes of tooth cavities. Help your child appreciate the dangers of eating too many sweets and drinking sugary drinks. This can help them to be on your side when you limit them.
- Brush sufficiently – Kids need to learn to brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes each time. You can help your child learn to appreciate the time needed to clean their teeth properly using tartar dyes or a timer. You can also download an app designed to make brushing fun for kids.
- Consider sealants – Sealants may be a good option for your children’s teeth. Sealants can help prevent cavities and tooth decay which lead to the use of fillings.
- Make goals and reward them – You may be able to motivate your child by tracking their teeth brushing activity using a chart. Along the way, they could be rewarded with a trip out or a toy.
- Don’t share toothbrushes – Keep your children’s toothbrushes separate and label them so they don’t get mixed up. This will prevent germ sharing. Other things to consider are not sharing pacifiers, cups, and other food utensils.
WHEN KIDS HAVE DENTAL COMPLICATIONS
In some cases, children experience problems when their adult teeth are growing. Sometimes they may not emerge as they should. This usually occurs with canines or the wisdom teeth. In these cases, it is recommended that you visit an oral surgeon to resolve these issues.
The oral surgeons at Bay Area OSM can help remove a wisdom tooth that is not emerging or encourage other teeth to come out that are not emerging. Book now to make an appointment.