Taking Care Of Your Child's Teeth
Nov 16, 2018
Taking care of your child’s teeth can be quite tricky, especially since you never really know when or where to start. It’s never too early to begin taking care of your child’s dental health! You don’t have to wait for the first tooth to appear, oral hygiene starts from day one.
Here are a few tips for you to take better care for your child’s teeth, be it an infant, a toddler, or an older kid.
Use Pacifiers Sparingly
Children, especially toddlers, often get into the habit of thumb sucking or require pacifiers to be calmed down. While these can provide temporary comfort to the child, if done too frequently they can cause harm to the shape and structure of the developing teeth.
It’s recommended that you minimize both these habits and try to eliminate them completely by the time your child turns three. For the duration you do use pacifiers, make sure that they aren’t coated with any sweetening food element, and don’t have liquid interiors.
Avoid 'Baby Bottle Decay'
One of the most detrimental things you can do is have your child take a nap while drinking from a bottle of milk or juice. The sugary liquids can stick to the teeth and cause bacteria to grow. If not stopped, this can even cause tooth decay. Avoid giving your child a bottle before they go to bed to prevent their teeth from getting damaged.
Manage Their Diet
Following a healthy and balanced diet is not only essential for your child’s growth, but it also has a huge impact on their dental health. As much as kids love all things sweet, giving them sugary food frequently can be very harmful for their teeth.
Avoid sodas, sugary drinks, and candies and limit their intake of snacks between meals. Instead, incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products in their daily diet and make sure they brush their teeth after meals. Doing so will help their teeth grow strong and will also prevent cavities.
Take Your Child to the Dentist
Don’t wait for your child to complain of an aching tooth before you take them to a dentist! Start early and take them for a routine checkup every few months to ensure their teeth are cavity-free and in perfect condition.
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has suggested that children should have their first visit to the dentist six months after teething begins. This ensures that any potential cavities or other dental concerns can be taken care of before they spread, while also getting the child into the habit of going to the dentist regularly.
Take Care of the Gums
Teeth aren’t the only thing you need to look out for when taking care of your child’s oral health. You also need to make sure their gums are in good shape and don’t show signs of soreness or bleeding.
For infants, it’s advisable to wipe off their gums after each feeding using a clean and warm washcloth or wrapping a damp piece of gauze around your finger. Get in the habit of wiping your baby’s gums off after each feeding.