How to Keep Your Child Dental Health in Check
Good dental care should begin as soon as the child’s first teeth start to appear. Because you can’t see a full dental formula in the child’s mouth, it doesn’t mean that teeth aren’t there. Child specialists state that teeth begin to develop in the second trimester of the mother’s pregnancy. At birth, every child has about 20 primary teeth, some fully developed, waiting to sprout.
When to see a dentist
Most parents can’t determine the right time they should take their child to a tooth dentist. The American Dental Association recommends seeing a pediatric dentist on the child’s first birthday. During this visit, your dentist will explain how to properly brush and floss your child’s teeth and do a demonstrative exam in the office.
During these visits, the dentist can detect early problems with the child’s teeth, preventing later visits to the dentist after the teeth vigorously develop. It also minimizes the chances of your child losing teeth as they age.
If the child is at risk of developing cavities, a fluoride treatment might be issued before all teeth grow. This helps to harden the tooth enamel, which wards off most regular childhood oral diseases and dental caries.
How to Prevent Cavities
Cavities develop when food left on the teeth after a meal or snack is not brushed off. This food decays and releases acids with time, which erode the enamel until a hole forms (Cavity). To prevent cavities:
- Teach good oral hygiene early – You need to teach our kids to brush and start flossing their teeth early. This way, cavities won’t have a chance.
- Get enough fluoride – Regular fluoride use strengthens the enamel, hardening it so acids won’t penetrate easily. Many towns require water to be fluoridated, although some don’t. If your tap water is not fluoridated, it’s good to ask for fluoride supplements from your dentist in Emerson, NJ. Child toothpaste has fluoride, but this is not enough to fully protect the teeth. There’s a need to be careful, though, because excess fluoride discolors teeth.
- Avoid some foods – Juices and sugary foods like sticky, gummy candies, gummy vitamins, and roll-ups can erode the enamel and cause cavities when continuously taken. If your child eats these sugary foods, always have them gaggle water in their mouth to flush out the sugars. This is similar to sugared medicines.
As your child’s permanent teeth set in, your pediatric dentist can apply resin tooth sealants to keep the back teeth protected since that is where most chewing occurs. With a dental sealant, bacteria won’t reach the crevices and chewing ridges of molars and pre-molars. Routine oral care has to be maintained even after a dental sealant application.
Other Child care dental tips
- Evade ‘Baby Bottle Decay’
Never put your child down for a nap with their bottle of milk, juice, or baby formula in their mouth. Sugary liquids often cling to the child’s teeth, where bacteria lodge to the teeth and cause cavities. If you must give your child a bottle as they sleep, ensure it’s water.
- Choose the right Size Toothbrush
Brushing teeth requires quite some skill for it to be effective. Kids, however, won’t develop this skill until they are good to use their hands effectively. Giving them a big toothbrush or one with stiff bristles makes it hard for them to brush. They might even end up hurting their gums.
- Supervise your kids’ brushing
After visiting the Emerson Family Dental office for tips on how your child should brush their teeth, you should always ensure they use the right brushing technique. We advise supervising your child’s brushing until they are at least age 7. If left to do it alone, they will not reach all the hard places needed; that’s why parental guidance is necessary.
- Don’t rinse the brush before brushing
While this is not commonly known, indeed, wet bristles are not effective for brushing. They soften, which makes them less effective at scrubbing the enamel.
- Don’t rinse the mouth after brushing
Rinsing washes away the fluoride left behind after brushing. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children under the age of two smear a fluoridated toothpaste, and those aged 2 to 5 use a pea-sized dollop.
Never threaten to take your child to a dentist if they get a cavity after failing to brush their teeth. This makes them fear a dentist. Instead, reward your children after brushing every day. You can use treats such as extra screen time or make a special family meal for your child.