One of the signs of good parenting is how you protect your child’s teeth. As soon as the first tooth of your baby appears, your responsibility starts. In fact, it is recommended that you wash your infant’s gums even before teething. It is important to practice good oral hygiene as early as possible. This ensures that decay or dental problems will be avoided in the future. The parent must personally take care of their child’s teeth during infant and toddler years. They must slowly teach their child good dental habits like brushing. As the child grows older, he or she must learn to be self-sufficient in taking good care of the teeth and gums, using items like a youth mouthguard even into the teen years.
The health of the child’s teeth is important, and so is his or her smile. It is priceless. As a responsible parent, you must do everything you can to keep it that way, from good dental care to using a youth mouthguard if your kid is in sports. Taking good care of the mouth, gums and teeth are vital to the overall health of the child. Protecting your child’s teeth is not as hard as you think. It’s all a matter of developing good habits. If you are armed with the right dental information, everything will work out fine. The following are some important things to do and practice to help your child have and maintain healthy teeth, gums, and mouth.
Teaching Good Habits
As early as possible, you must teach your child certain habits like brushing, flossing, and drinking and be eating healthy. If you have a baby, you must refrain from giving your baby a bottle of juice or formula during bedtime. As the child grows into a toddler or older, control his/her sugar intake. You must encourage your child to eat healthy foods like vegetables and fruits, and lessen sugary in-between meals.
You must start protecting the mouth of your child even before the first tooth comes out. After feeding the baby, you must wipe and rinse his/her gums. This will keep the gum and mouth of the child healthy. When the first tooth appears, start brushing the tooth and continue cleaning the gums and toothless areas. If there are already plenty of teeth to brush, you can start flossing.
Toddlers and pre-school age kids must start developing good dental habits—including using a youth mouthguard if appropriate—on their own, with your guidance. Teach your child to use floss and toothbrush properly and make such activity fun. There are flosses for kids and fluoride toothpaste that are effective for such age.
Discourage Thumb Sucking
Babies are more likely to have the habit of thumb sucking. Usually, children, when they are already around four years old, stop the habit on their own. But some don’t. Do certain things to discourage thumb sucking and help your child quit the habit as early as possible. Prolonged thumb sucking may cause problems like bad alignment of the teeth.
Caring for Baby Teeth
Kids aging six months usually already have baby teeth. These teeth may not be permanent yet, but they must be taken care of just the same. They are as important as adult teeth. Baby teeth must be kept healthy and strong because they hold space for permanent teeth, particular in the jaws. Developing the habit of caring for baby teeth will likely make the child be careful about his/her permanent teeth when he/she grows up.
If your child is active in sports and other physical activities, you can make him or her wear a youth mouthguard. Like regular mouthguards, a youth mouthguard is designed to protect the teeth from possible damage. With a youth mouthguard, you can ensure that your child’s teeth will be protected from getting chipped, broken or accidentally extracted. This also protects the teeth from possible misalignment.
In addition to the use of a youth mouthguard, you should start dental visits for your child early. According to American Dental Association, to best protect the oral health of the child, dental visits must be done as early as the first birthday of the child, or within six months after the first tooth came out. Like in adults, children need dental check-ups regularly. The recommended schedule is twice a year or every six months. More frequent visits may be required if there are dental issues that need to be monitored.
There are various dental procedures for children. Most dental offices are capable of performing the basic dental care that a child needs. These include the following:
- Teeth cleaning
- Plaque removing
- Teeth, mouth and jaw examination
- Dental sealant application, replacement and repair
- Dental risk assessment
- Children’s fluoride needs and recommendations.
Do not wait for the first sign of decay or dental issue to arise before you start caring for your child’s teeth. Still, nothing beats prevention. And the best way to do that is to care for and protect your child’s teeth. Make an appointment to see us today to get started.