Mommy Katie: Top Children's Dental Health Tips

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Top Children's Dental Health Tips


Dental health is important at any age. But a child’s dental health is of special importance. Improper dental care can affect growing teeth and cause dental problems in adult teeth down the line. According to the National Institutes of Health, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. Over 40 percent of children aged 2 to 11 have had a cavity in their baby teeth and over two-thirds of teenagers aged 16 to 19 have had a cavity in their adult teeth. So below are some top tips for keeping children’s dental health in good order.

The basics of children’s dental health

Children have similar needs to what we have for dental health, with some minor alterations. Some tips to follow include:

·         Brush teeth twice daily with an American Dental Association-accepted fluoride toothpaste. 

·         Floss twice per day, as well.

·         Ideally, a child’s drinking water should be fluoridated. You may need to call the city to find out if and how much fluoridation is in your water and talk to your dentist to see if those levels are sufficient. Fluoride can strengthen enamel and help it stand stronger against decay. Your dentist may provide fluoride supplements.     

·         Limit the starchy and sugar-loaded foods. Watch out for foods like candy, cookies, dried fruit, pretzels, potato chips and sodas. These combine with plaque to create acids, wearing away enamel and causing cavities. Try to limit snacking, especially in areas without sufficiently fluoridated water. 

With these habits you’ll be able to prevent cavities in your child.

The best brushing techniques for kids

The brushing needs for your child aren’t too different from our own. With a child, you’ll use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste. You’ll want to use a soft-bristled brush, aiming for the inside of the teeth first where debris and plaque can most accumulate. Then brush the outside of the tooth, and then the top side of the tooth. And remember to brush the tongue.

When to take infants to the dentist

It’s easy to put off going to the dentist, since children “just” have baby teeth. But starting dental care early can create better dental health habits down the line and help avoid costly dental procedures. This will also get your child used to the dentist at an early age, rather than having the child associate the dentist with a painful emergency down the line.    

Baby teeth pop up around six months of age, and that’s when you should look into taking your kid to a local dentist. The minute a tooth is there, it’s at risk for decay. The American Dental Association recommends making an appointment within the first six months of the first tooth appearing.    

Sealants
                                                                                                              
There are a few common dental procedures that may benefit children. One is a dental sealant, where plastic coatings are put on the top surfaces of a child’s permanent back teeth, which are susceptible to decay. There’s no pain and it’s a quick procedure. You may want to talk to your dentist about whether sealants are right for your child. 




 



2 comments:

Janet W. said...

These are great tips! It's so important to start a healthy dental routine at a young age!

Doubledown said...

Thank you katie