Protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay.
There is a concerning number of children who suffer from tooth decay. In fact, it is the most common chronic disease in children. It is even more common than asthma or hay fever. While children are growing and developing the skills that will benefit them throughout their whole life, children are missing an essential healthy skill, tooth care.
It is important to teach children how to take care of their teeth, not just for today but for their future. According to an article by the Academy of General Dentistry, “Children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities in their permanent teeth, as well.” This can lead to a future of painful dental visits, missed school days due to pain, and not to mention a string of heart and gastrointestinal problems that have also been linked to poor gum and teeth health.
Brush for two minutes, two times a day.
Brushing for two minutes, two times a day after breakfast and before bedtime is recommended. Children 2 years and older can use a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. If your child is under 2, use a damp cloth to clean his or her gums and a soft bristled toothbrush with water. Make brushing fun! Set a timer or sing a song to help your child brush for the correct amount of time. You can find a collection of fun, 2 minute brushing videos at www.2min2x.org.
When your child is old enough, encourage brushing his or her own teeth. Just supervise to make sure that your child is thorough and using the right brushing and flossing technique.
Dental visits every six months.
Starting six months after your child’s first tooth erupts or by the child’s first birthday– he or she should see the dentist every six months. The dentist doesn’t have to be a scary place. By making regular visits to the dental office, it reduces anxiety and makes future visits less stressful. Your dentist can also check up on the development of your child’s mouth, teach you how to ensure good oral health and recommend special preventative care if necessary.
Promote healthy eating habits.
Yes, this step might seem easier said than done. Kids (and adults) love sugary snacks and drinks, but they are a major tooth decay offender. Sugar can break down tooth enamel, get between cracks in teeth and cause decay. Limit the number of snacks and drinks that contain a lot of sugar and offer a variety of fruits and vegetables instead. An apple a day really does keep cavities at bay.
Lead by example.
Your child looks up to you, so the best way to ensure your child develops the health habits necessary to stay health, is to practice the healthy habits yourself. Brushing and flossing your teeth with your child will teach him or her the importance of good oral hygiene. Not only do you get the joy of watching your child grow up healthy, you get the benefit of also living healthy. So whether you are enjoying a healthy snack, going to the dentist, or brushing and flossing your teeth, your child will too.
Are you concerned about your child’s oral health?
If your child is complaining about tooth pain, or if you notice any problems with your child’s teeth, it is important to get any concerns checked out by your dentist immediately. There could be a serious problems that needs immediate attention.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment in Sacramento, give us a call at 916-649-0249 and get on the road to healthy teeth and gums today!