A child’s teeth are essential for the future. Good milk teeth often lead to good permanent teeth. And this is what every guardian should want.
Most children are not as active when it comes to taking care of their teeth. That is why every guardian must take up the mantle.
If your child does not take care of their teeth, they could develop cavities and other dental issues. Issues that could affect the development of their permanent teeth.
Luckily, there are many small steps you can take to care for your child’s teeth before and after their permanent teeth set in.
Keep scrolling to find out what to do and what to avoid.
How to Care For Your Child’s Teeth
1. Brush their teeth and teach your child how to brush.
The first step in keeping your kid’s teeth healthy is brushing. Brushing teeth removes food particles and clears the mouth of lingering bacteria.
If allowed to sit on the teeth, the food particles mix with saliva and create plaque. Plaque on the teeth forms acid, which erodes the enamel.
It leads to cavities and other teeth-related issues such as gingivitis.
The only way to prevent or reduce plaque on the teeth is with regular brushing. As you clean your child’s teeth, teach them to brush correctly too.
Use small circular movements, and minimal pressure, twice a day. It ensures that the child knows how to take care of their teeth as they grow older.
2. Buy a soft-bristle toothbrush.
Teeth are sensitive, especially children’s teeth and gums. Therefore, while you make efforts to keep your child’s teeth clean, ensure that you are gentle.
Experts recommend using a soft-bristle toothbrush to clean your child’s teeth and tongue.
Manufacturers often make special toothbrushes for children. Buy the best ones, with a clear indication of soft-bristle on the package.
Using a soft-bristle toothbrush does not mean using a worn-out one. Therefore, do not use your old toothbrush to clean your child’s teeth.
It will not work as well.
When buying a toothbrush for your child, get one in the desired color, pattern, or cartoon.
This will significantly help young children retain a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards brushing their teeth.
3. Floss if the teeth touch.
You do not need to floss a baby’s teeth most of the time because they do not touch. Brushing will work well in the meantime.
However, when your child grows more teeth, they will start to touch. Then, it is time to bring out the dental floss.
Dental floss reaches between the teeth. It removes stuck food particles, which prevents the formation of plaque.
Flossing your kid’s teeth at least once a day puts them at less risk of developing gingivitis and gum disease.
Just be gentle when starting. Additionally, you can gradually teach your child how to do it.
Finally, always use fluoride-infused dental floss.
4. Check for signs of decay.
Next, you have to check on your child’s teeth regularly. It is easy to miss some of the early signs of tooth decay and other conditions in children.
Since they cannot yet differentiate between normal and a warning sign, you have to stay alert.
Tooth decay in children causes pain and can affect permanent tooth growth and development.
The early signs of tooth decay in children are:
- White patches on teeth
- Brown spots on the teeth
- Discoloration on the gums
- Swollen gums
- White or brown spots on the gum line
If you notice any of these signs, take your child to a professional as soon as possible.
5. Offer water after meals.
Ensure that you offer your child water after every meal and snack. Let your child drink as much water as possible.
Water is necessary for your child’s health and teeth.
It flushes food particles and bacteria from the mouth. And it helps to keep teeth clean before you can brush or floss.
Additionally, water helps with saliva production to keep the mouth hydrated. Chances of plaque buildup are less in a well-hydrated mouth.
Furthermore, water helps to wash away any acidic content from the mouth. This prevents corrosion of the enamel.
6. Avoid sugary treats.
Children love sugary stuff. And it seems like they can devour mountains of it. However, you should not let your kid eat too much sugar.
Your child’s mouth has bacteria. The bacteria can transform sugar into an acid that erodes the enamel, causing tooth decay.
Therefore, as much as you want to reward or treat your child, avoid giving them too many sugary treats.
Establish a culture of healthy sugar sources such as raisins, dates, and sugarcane.
If you give your child a sugary treat, encourage drinking water immediately after. Likewise, ensure they brush and floss after a sugary treat.
7. Replace toothbrushes, especially after a cold.
Replacing your child’s toothbrush will ensure that their teeth remain healthy.
After a while, the bristles of a toothbrush become less effective at removing food particles and cleaning.
Therefore, you must replace your child’s toothbrush every three months to ensure that their teeth remain clean.
Colds and flu can affect your child’s teeth. When your child develops a cold or flu, their teeth may feel sore, like the rest of their body.
Additionally, the flu causes inflammation in the digestive system leading to vomiting. If your child vomits regularly, the acid content washes the teeth, eroding the enamel.
By retaining the same toothbrush, you put your child at risk of reinfection as the bacteria could linger on their toothbrush.
So it is recommended to replace your child’s toothbrush after a cold or flu.
8. Book dentist appointments regularly.
And finally, ensure that your child visits a pediatric dentist regularly. A professional will ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy. Additionally, the dentist will offer advice to improve on routines for the best health.
These eight simple steps are a sure way to guarantee good teeth health for your children. It means fewer chances of cavities and other diseases. Additionally, your child will develop strong and healthy permanent teeth. This is the ultimate goal to prevent problems in the future.