Approximately 20% of kids from 5 to 11 have one or more untreated cavities. That untreated tooth decay can cause pain, infections, difficulty eating, and even missed school.
It all starts with kids dental care at home and at the dentist. Getting your kids on a regular oral health care routine can prevent cavities and other teeth problems.
That saves them a lot of discomfort and you a lot of money. Good oral care also sets your kids up for a lifetime of healthier teeth.
Keep reading to the best kids dental care tips to keep your child’s smile clean and healthy.
Start Kids Dental Care Early
Don’t ignore your child’s mouth until teeth appear. Even your baby’s gummy smile needs attention before teething begins.
For babies, you just need to wipe the gums with a soft, damp washcloth. Once those first chompers emerge, switch to a baby toothbrush with soft bristles. Brush with a small amount of fluoride-free baby toothpaste for the standard 2 minute brushing time.
At around age 2, let your little one try brushing. This helps your toddler learn how to brush and starts building the habit. Follow up with your own brushing after your toddler tries to make sure all of the teeth get clean.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Your child’s first trip to the dentist should happen when the first tooth emerges or by the first birthday. After that, schedule regular checkups every six months to make sure everything is developing correctly and to diagnose problems early.
Babylon Dental Care suggests scheduling a back to school checkup to make sure teeth are in good shape after a summer of ice cream and other treats. If your child is overdue for a dental appointment, schedule one now and get back on track with regular visits.
Ensure Regular Brushing and Flossing
Kids tend to forget to brush and floss. Some would go days without reminders. It may seem annoying to constantly remind them to brush and floss, but doing so ensures their teeth get the care they need.
Establish a regular routine that incorporates brushing and flossing each morning and night to get into the habit. You might make a picture chart that shows all parts of the routine, including brushing, to give your child a visual reminder.
Another idea is to brush your teeth together with your kids. This sets a positive example of proper dental care and makes sure everyone in the family remembers to brush.
Cut Back on Sugar
Limiting sugar not only helps your child’s overall health, it can also protect teeth from harmful bacteria and decay. Encourage your child to eat more healthy foods while saving sugary snacks as rare treats.
Hard candies can be particularly harmful because they can get stuck between teeth. Those sugary particles can cause decay as they sit in the teeth. Flossing after eating hard candy can help free those pieces and cut down on decay.
When you do let your child have sugary treats, try to wait until after meals. Your mouth has more saliva in it at that time, which helps protect the teeth from sugar.
Sugary drinks such as soda and juice can also be damaging. If kids do drink those beverages, have them use straws to keep the liquids away from the teeth more. Drinking lots of water to balance it out can also help.
Improve Oral Care
Starting early with home oral care and regular dentist visits helps keep your little one’s mouth healthy. Follow kids dental care tips regularly to teach your child the proper habits. Read more health articles to find out how you and your kids can stay healthier and happier.