For children, keeping their teeth healthy can be a challenge. Many children have tooth decay before the age of five and have their first cavity around eight years old. Parents can help their children take care of their teeth from the very beginning. It is possible for them to have healthy teeth and great smiles. Here are a few tips on how to keep your child’s smile healthy and decay-free.
Start Before Teeth Grow
Proper tooth care starts before your baby even gets teeth. After feeding your baby wipe the gums and tongue with a clean, damp cloth. This will help get the bacteria that collect from food off the gums and keep them healthy.
Start Dentist Visits Early
When your child cuts his first tooth, you can take him to the dentist. You should take them back every 6 months for cleanings and checksups. The dentist can prescribe fluoride drops or pills if necessary. He may also coat the teeth with fluoride varnish. He will also take x-rays and apply sealants as your child grows.
Of course, brushing is the key to taking care of anyone’s teeth. Start out brushing your child’s teeth with no toothpaste. When they are able to spit, apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to the brush. Be sure to get every area of the mouth.
It is recommended to brush teeth no less than two minutes to maintain optimum health. If your child is old enough, you can have them do a tint rinse. Put the rinse in the mouth and swish it. Spit it out and it leaves a colored tint on the teeth to help kids see where to brush.
Take Care of the Gums
The gums are the tissue that helps hold the teeth in place. It is also important to keep them healthy. Gingivitis is caused by the bacteria in food that settles onto the gum. It can cause inflammation, sensitivity, and bleeding of the gums. Later in life, if the gums are not kept healthy, it can cause so much decay that the teeth fall out. Keep gums healthy by brushing close to the gums and flossing in order to get food from between the teeth.
The key to keeping your child’s smile healthy is prevention. Taking care of your children’s teeth does not have to be difficult. It can be made simple and fun for you and your children.