People know the importance of brushing their child’s teeth two or three times a day, and flossing at least once a day, in maintaining good oral health. But did you know there are other measures your child should also take if they want to have healthy teeth for a lifetime? Implement these simples measures at an early age for your child to keep healthy habits throughout their life.
- Establish visiting your dental office at least twice a year at an early age: This is probably the most important thing to do. With regularly scheduled visits to your dentist, your child’s oral health can be closely monitored and any change in his/hers oral health can be addressed in a timely manner. Also, be sure to ask your dentist how often your child should be scheduled with regular appointments. Your dentist will be familiar with your child’s particular situation and will know the best oral health examination schedule for your child to follow.
- Be aware of your child’s overall health condition: Your child’s oral health depends on many factors, including overall health, any medications he or she may be taking, and of course their oral hygiene routine. Many systemic diseases also have an oral component. Poor gum health can lead to problems such as heart attack, stroke, and/or blood sugar control, and medications that cause a decrease in saliva can predispose you to cavities. If you notice a change in your child’s general health condition, it is a good idea for them to visit the dentist to ensure their teeth and mouth is healthy. Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about your child’s oral health practices and develop an effective routine.
- Use fluoride products: Everyone, regardless of age, can benefit from using fluoride. Fluoride strengthens developing teeth in children and helps prevent decay in adults and children. Toothpastes and alcohol-free mouthwashes are good sources of fluoride. Ask your dentist if your child might need a stronger concentration of fluoride in a gel, toothpaste or rinse. Also inquire if a fluoride treatment after your child’s cleaning would be beneficial for them.
- Make sure your child eats a healthy and balanced diet, and limit snacks: A healthy, balanced diet is essential for good general and oral health. When people eat, bits of food become lodged in and around the teeth, and this provides fuel for the bacteria in plaque. The bacte6ria produce acid, and when people eat food containing sugars or starches, teeth are exposed to these acids. If your child eat snacks throughout the day, the repeated exposure to this acid can break down the enamel surface of their teeth, eventually leading to a cavity. Whatever they snack-on, make sure your child brushes their teeth or chew sugarless gum afterward.
Here’s a fun little game to teach your child the proper dental terms: http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/health_games/dental/dental-match-it.html
We hope you enjoyed these tips!