Whether infants or older, caring for children’s teeth is important because oral health directly impacts overall health, making it a key element of the whole child approach.
And although most parents understand its importance, they struggle to maintain their child’s oral hygiene.
So today, let’s look at seven ways you can care for your child’s teeth and have them smile bright all year long!
1. Teach them to brush and floss regularly
The first step to good oral health is teaching your children to brush their teeth correctly. Make sure they do it at least twice a day — once in the morning upon waking up and once just before bedtime.
Brushing in the morning is essential to remove bad smell, acid, and bacteria that accumulate overnight. On the other hand, brushing before bedtime will ensure there are no food remnants in between your child’s teeth or gums.
Besides brushing their teeth, you should also teach them to floss after every meal and explain to them why it is important for children to floss their teeth.
You can make brushing and flossing fun for them by letting them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
2. Schedule regular dental check-ups
You might not be able to notice any tooth decay or cavities occurring at the sides or back of your child’s teeth. Therefore, it’s important to take your child to the dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning.
During these appointments, the dentist will check for cavities or other problems and provide a thorough professional cleaning for better dental health.
3. Encourage them to eat healthy foods
Another way you can take care of your child’s teeth is encouraging them to eat healthy foods. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all good for their teeth and overall health.
Crunchy vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, and celery can even help clean your child’s teeth while they’re eating by scraping away the plaque that builds up in between meals. In addition, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, making them the perfect healthy snack for after school meals.
In case your child’s plaque has already turned into tartar, make sure you read this post by Putney Dental explaining how to remove it at home.
Other natural foods that can help promote oral health include kiwis, strawberries, melons, papaya, and oranges — all of these are rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for healthy gums.
4. Limit sugary drinks and sticky sweets
Almost everybody (regardless of age) has a sweet tooth. Children especially love soft drinks, chocolates, and sweet snacks.
But, too much sugar and acidic intake pose a real threat to your child’s teeth. Excess use of sugars and acidic drinks can cause:
- Tooth decay (cavities)
- Enamel erosion (or loss)
- Gingivitis (gum disease)
So, try to minimise your child’s sugar and snack intake before it’s too late!
5. Use fluoride toothpaste
Once your child is two, start using a modest amount of fluoride toothpaste instead of non-fluoride or baby toothpaste.
Besides decreasing the already present plaque on teeth, fluoride helps prevent cavities and strengthens the enamel.
However, it is not advisable for infants aged or below one and a half years old. If your child hasn’t turned two, consult a doctor or take expert advice before switching to fluoride toothpaste.
6. Educate them about dental health
Make sure your children know how important it is to take care of their teeth by regularly brushing, flossing, and following other healthy habits.
Make them understand the harmful results of poor oral hygiene and how it could impact their overall health.
You can also tell them about different foods that are good or bad for their teeth. Try to include the natural fruits and vegetables we have listed under heading #3. If they understand how good and bad foods impact their dental and overall health from a young age, they are more likely to follow a healthy lifestyle in their youth and later stages of life.
Finally, let them know that visiting the dentist regularly is very important for keeping their teeth and gums in good shape.
7. Be a good role model
Last but not least, you need to be a good role model for your children when it comes to dental care.
Make sure you brush and floss your teeth in front of them, so they know that it’s important for everyone in the family to take care of their teeth.
Also, let them see you eating healthy foods and avoiding sugary snacks and drinks.
And that’s a wrap! By following these simple tips, you can easily care for your child’s teeth and help them develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Good luck.