Good dental care starts in childhood. When you make sure that your children’s teeth are taken care of, their risk of developing dental caries becomes significantly lower. The following tips are essential to keep in mind for protecting your children’s teeth.
Visit the Dentist
You don’t have to wait until your children start getting their permanent teeth to take them to the dentist. In fact, you should take them for an initial visit when they’re around a year old. This helps them get used to sitting through dental exams, which makes these visits easier as they get older.
Keep Teeth and Gums Clean
Brush and floss your children’s teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals, to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Introduce your children to brushing when they get their baby teeth and get them used to a daily routine of brushing. You can start flossing your children’s teeth when they start growing closer together, typically between two and six years of age. Make sure you use a children’s toothpaste with fluoride when brushing. Plan on helping your children brush and floss until they’re old enough to do so on their own.
Limit Sugary Foods and Beverages
What your children eat has a big impact on their chance of developing tooth problems. Encourage your children to eat healthy snacks, such as fresh vegetables, rather than lollies and other sugar-filled foods. The sugar in these foods can lead to a higher amount of plaque build-up, which increases the risk of tooth decay. If children have the occasional treat, it should be consumed at the same time as a meal to limit the amount of acid attacks throughout the day. Keep in mind that fruit, fruit juices and sport drinks can contain high amounts of sugar.
Understand the Importance of Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral found in most water supplies throughout Australia. Fluoride helps lower the risk of tooth decay, so it’s important to make sure your children are drinking plenty of water each day. Your children can also get fluoride protection by using toothpastes that contain this mineral and receiving fluoride treatments at the dentist. By taking advantage of the protection fluoride provides, you can considerably lower your children’s risk of getting tooth decay.
Consider Dental Sealants
When your children’s molars come in, these permanent teeth often require extra protection from decay. The surface of molars contains many grooves that food can become trapped in, leading to decay. Talk to your dentist about whether they would recommend fissure sealants for your children’s molars and any other teeth that are at an increased risk of tooth decay. Dental sealants are coatings placed over these teeth to cover the grooves, which helps keep food and dental plaque from building up on these surfaces.
Following these tips on a regular basis is the most effective way to keep your children’s baby and permanent teeth in good condition. The combination of dental care at home and routine visits to your dentist can help prevent tooth decay and ensure that your children receive prompt treatment for any problems that are detected early.