Nothing can light up a room quite like your child’s bright, shining smile. Keeping that smile healthy can be a challenge, especially if your child doesn’t like to brush their teeth. Good oral hygiene is vital for kids and adults alike, so here are some handy tips you can use to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.
The best way to make sure your child has a healthy smile is by starting good dental hygiene practices with them as early as possible. Even before your infant begins teething, you should wipe their gums with a damp washcloth after feeding, as this will help prevent bacteria buildup.
After their first tooth comes in, you should begin gently brushing their tooth with an infant toothbrush and a small amount of ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. Once they develop two teeth that touch, you can also start flossing them gently. Your child will easily learn this is part of their daily routine.
In addition to cleaning your infant’s teeth, you should establish care routines that limit their chances of developing tooth decay. For example, after your child begins teething, you should avoid giving them a bottle before bed, as the sugars from the liquid in the bottle can make tooth enamel erode overnight. Furthermore, you should discourage your infant from sucking on their thumb or a pacifier, as these habits can also cause tooth decay.
Perhaps most importantly, you could make sure to take your infant to a dentist before their first birthday. Not only will this allow you to ask the dentist important questions about your child’s dental care, but it will also help your child get used to the atmosphere of a dentist’s office. Additionally, taking your child to a dentist early in life may help prevent them from developing more severe dental problems later on.
Establish an Oral Care Routine
Once your child becomes old enough to care for their own teeth with your guidance, you should help them develop and stick to a good oral care routine.
Make sure your child brushes twice and flosses once daily, preferably at the same time each day, as keeping a strict schedule will help them turn dental care into a habit. Brushing your own teeth with or in front of your child will also help them develop good dental habits. Children often learn best by modeling what adults do. So if your child sees you brushing often, there is a good chance they will imitate you.
In addition, you should be sure to schedule regular dentist appointments for your child, as routine check-ups can often catch, prevent, or fix common childhood dental problems.
Regulate Food and Toothpaste Choice
Another way to make sure your child’s smile stays healthy is by regulating the foods they eat and the toothpaste they use.
Juice, sugary food, and sticky candy can all cause serious damage to tooth enamel and should therefore only be eaten in moderation. Sweet liquid medicines, while sometimes necessary, can also cause tooth decay. If your child eats any of these things, you should have them brush their teeth afterward to flush out the sugar.
You may also want to avoid giving your toddler a sippy cup full of juice, as taking sips of juice over several hours can cause a surprising amount of damage to tooth enamel.
You should also ensure that your child is using the right type and amount of toothpaste. If your water is not fluoridated, you should consider getting your child a fluoride toothpaste as well as asking your dentist for fluoride supplements.
That being said, you should be careful not to give your child too much fluoride, as doing so can cause tooth discoloration. Ultimately, good oral care is about striking the right balance between healthy foods, habits, and dental hygiene products.
Visit Us to Discuss Your Child’s Dental Health
At Dental Group of Simi Valley, we understand how important it is for your child’s brilliant smile to stay clean and healthy. That’s why we offer plenty of pediatric dental services, including comprehensive treatmentplanning and preventative care.
Since 1963, our family-owned dental practice has been providing excellent service to patients of all ages from Simi Valley, CA. We would love to welcome you as the newest member of our extended dental care family, so give us a call today.