Taking care of your kids and their teeth is a major challenge. The scary part is that dental care for kids is going to get a lot more essential in the coming years. Take a look at these statistics revealed in the Parents magazine. Tooth decay and cavities are the most common ailments in kids in the U.S. and children have dental issues 5 to 8 times more often than even asthma. At least 25% of preschoolers has a cavity and by the time the kids reach kindergarten, close to 55% have tooth decay.
The best way to make sure that your kids have healthy teeth is to begin taking them for regular dental check-ups at an early age. And, like Dr. Jennifer Silver, expert dentist in Calgary recommends, you may want to bring your child for a first dental exam within 6 months after the first tooth has erupted. Keep in mind that primary teeth in infants begin growing at age 6 months. So, the first time your child sees a dentist should be before she turns a year old.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises that dental care for kids is not just about avoiding pain and difficulty in eating. Cavities can also make it hard for children to learn to speak properly. Irritation and discomfort in the oral cavity can also make focusing in school difficult. Consult a good pediatric dentist and follow the directions for oral care properly. Here are some of the directions you may receive.
Begin using tooth and gum wipes for infants at least once a day. This routine ensures that your baby does not have a buildup of cavity-causing bacteria under the tongue. Never share food or any kind of utensils with the baby including spoons and bowls. By transferring saliva from your mouth to the baby’s, you risk infecting your child with bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Buy a soft-bristled baby brush and fluoridated toothpaste, and brush your baby’s first tooth twice a day. After breakfast and after dinner are the best times to spare a few minutes. You’ll also inculcate healthy dental habits in your child from a young age.
According to the latest guidelines released by the American Dental Association (ADA), parents must use fluoridated toothpaste in dental care for kids. You might want to begin with an amount the size of a grain of rice when the first tooth appears. Graduate to a pea-sized amount by the age of 3 years. Fluoride can protect your child’s teeth by remineralizing the tooth enamel and preventing the bacterial acids from attacking and causing cavities in the primary teeth.
Around 75% of the locations in the U.S. have fluoridated water supply. In case you live in an area where the water supplied in your home does not have fluoride, your child’s dentist may recommend that you give your child a multivitamin enhanced with fluoride every day.
The best way to teach your kids how to care for their teeth is give them a demonstration of how to do it. Kids love to emulate everything their parents do. So, when you begin the regular brushing and flossing, they will be happy to imitate you. WebMD describes the best techniques you must use.
For instance, hold the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees from the tooth and brush using circular motions. Remember to target all the areas of the tooth including the top, sides, and inner side that faces the tongue. You may also want to brush the tongue using gentle strokes from the inner end to the outer tip to remove plaque. Show the child how to rinse with water and spit out the paste. The entire process should take around 2 to 3 minutes.
Controlling your child’s sugar intake is essential in dental care for kids. That’s something you’re likely well aware of. However, like your dentist will warn you, keep watch on the starchy foods and carbs your child eats. And, these foods include chips, crackers, breads, dried fruit, and all kinds of confectionery. Focus more on fresh fruits and vegetables and giving your child a stick of carrot or cucumber to chew on is preferable to a breadstick.
You may also want to inculcate the habit of not snacking between meals. Avoid sweetened juices and formula that may form a film on the teeth and cause cavities. And, never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle in his mouth. If he won’t quiet down, offering a bottle of water instead is preferable.
One of the key rules of dental care for kids is to discourage sucking on the bottle all through the day. Restrict sucking for specific times of the day. As soon as your child is 6 months old and ready to start eating semi-solid foods, switch all drinking activities to a cup with a straw or hard spout. Read this article on Kids Health that explains how by the time, the child is a year old, she should be able to hold the cup and drink on her own.
Following these simple tips for dental care for kids can ensure that your child has healthy teeth all through childhood and adulthood. The good habits your kids learn now will follow them as adults. And, the care you take of your kids’ primary teeth will ensure that the permanent teeth are also free of cavities and tooth decay.