Regular dental care, both at home and at bi-annual cleanings, can help lower your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease and even tooth loss. A child should have their first dental checkup by their first birthday, setting the stage for a lifetime of good oral habits. Your child and their dentist both play a part in making their healthy teeth and gums a success. Here’s what you can do to help.
1. Brushing for Healthy Teeth
It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day. Food particles that stick around can cause plaque buildup, which leads to tartar and can mean painful cavities.
Teach your child to brush for two to three minutes, and make sure they have help until they’re at least seven or eight. From 18 months on, brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on the brush. Their risk of tooth decay will lessen with every brush.
2. Flossing for Healthy Gums
We think of flossing as a way to clean our teeth, but it’s also best for taking care of our gums. Healthy teeth and gums start when we are young. Flossing properly at least once a day can limit your exposure to gingivitis, a form of gum disease. It’s important to check at least once a month for any changes to your child’s teeth and keep gums healthy.
3. Limiting Sugary Foods
Tooth loss can occur when we’re not careful about the foods we eat. Sugars in food remain in your mouth, feeding the bacteria that live there and eating away at the enamel on your teeth. It’s best to avoid most sugary foods, but when your child has satisfied their sweet tooth, remind them to brush or at least rinse their mouth. Be extra careful with sticky or gummy lollies and fruit leather — these foods are practically made to stick around on your child’s teeth.
4. Cutting Out Sweet Drinks
Going to bed with a bottle is one surefire way to keep sugars in your child’s mouth all night long, which will lead to trouble down the road. Start now to make sure your child can go to bed without a bottle, and always take the bottle once the baby is done with it. Your baby should start learning to drink from a cup at six months.
5. Getting Their Fluoride
Fluoride toothpaste is a good idea for keeping kids’ teeth healthy and strong, but toothpaste is not necessarily the only form of fluoride your child needs: Give your child tap water, which should be boiled and cooled for children under one year, to make sure they are getting the proper amount of fluoride for their teeth.
Learn More About Kids’ Dental Health
Good oral hygiene is a lifetime responsibility. Our kid-friendly dentists help young patients maintain healthy teeth and gums with tips, advice, and routine cleanings. Call Coast Family Dental at (07) 5437 9000 to schedule an appointment.