Every aspect of your child’s health is important. This includes their teeth and gums. In order to live a healthy and happy life, proper dental care is a necessity. Despite the need for appropriate oral care in young children, tooth decay is the most common disease they face. Yes, tooth decay ranks higher than asthma and allergies, according to research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They found that a whopping 42% of children under the age of 11 have had cavities in baby teeth with 21% of children under the age of 11 experiencing cavities in their adult teeth. How can you help your child avoid this statistic? This guide will show you how to prevent tooth decay in young children.
Ready to take preventative steps?
A good tidbit of advice is to start early. Many parents overlook teeth and gums in toddlers and very young children. This happens when parents believe that baby teeth are unimportant, as they will simply fall out. That is a dangerous attitude. When you don’t teach your child the importance of good dental care from an early age, it becomes much more difficult for them to establish a routine later on. The earlier you start, the better! When they are one year or younger, simply wipe their gums with a washcloth immediately after eating. Once their teeth start to come in, use a small amount of toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush.
As your child gets older, you will need to brush their teeth twice a day or after every meal. Depending on their age and comfort level, you may need to brush the teeth yourself, give them a little help, or supervise them. If you find that your child is having trouble following their dental care routine, get involved! Brush your own teeth with them, pick up a brightly colored brush, or buy toothpaste with a bubblegum flavor. There are many ways to get your child interested…so make it as fun as possible. That will encourage them and establish positive habits. The result? A reduced chance of experiencing tooth decay.
In addition to establishing a strong dental care routine, there are a number of other things parents can do. It is important to be aware of what you are giving them to eat and drink. Did you know that drinking from a bottle or a sippy cup for long periods of time can actually lead to tooth decay in young children? Since their teeth are quite sensitive, exposure to sugars found in many drinks like juice can cause decay. So, instead of giving your child a bottle to walk around with, save it for mealtime.
It is also a good idea to teach your child how to drink from a regular cup when they reach twelve months. This is important because the liquid they’re drinking is less likely to pool inside their mouths when they use a normal cup. Other tooth decay prevention tips? Avoid giving your child sticky foods like gummies or candies as they are full of sugars. Also, be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for your child once their teeth start to come in.
It’s time to focus on prevention. To ensure that your child has healthy teeth and gums, do everything you can to leave tooth decay in the dust. This guide will help you establish a solid dental routine – and avoid potentially harmful habits. It could make all the difference!