If you want your children to have healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives, you must encourage healthy oral habits from a very young age. Throughout their early years, the primary purpose is to keep your child’s teeth free of cavities. If this isn’t taken care of, then their ability to eat and speak may be affected. Plus, it can affect their confidence levels as well.
So follow our dental care tips for children and ensure healthy teeth and gums. This information is provided by our Whitney Ranch Dentists located in Henderson Nevada.
Get Regular Checkups
This is one of the most effective dental care tips for children. Checkups should be regular, usually twice a year or as your dentist advises you. Early preventative measures prevent potential issues from becoming a major concern, while also helping you save money.
Make sure the 1st trip to the dentist is a great one. Make sure there’s a treasure chest for them to choose a gift at the end of your visit or promise them a something fun after the visit. This can help ensure a positive association with going to the dentist – instead of the deep fear and loathing most adults associate with going to the dentist.
Teach Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Brushing is important for good oral health, even when your child doesn’t have teeth. Gently brush their gums and tongue, either with a baby toothbrush or a damp washcloth. Once their teeth grow, you can use an infant toothbrush for brushing their teeth as well as their tongue. Use fluoride toothpaste for the purpose.
As for flossing, this should start when two teeth begin to touch each other. Ideally, your dentist can guide you about proper brushing and flossing techniques, so do get in touch with them. You can do this together and make a game of it – so your child is asking you to floss and brush together.
Brush in the Morning and at Night
Make sure that your brush your child’s teeth before you put them to bed. And once you do, don’t give them anything to eat and drink, even milk till the next morning, after you’ve brushed their teeth again.
If your child still drinks milk from a bottle, please don’t give them anything right before their bedtime. The same goes for juices and other sugary liquids. They can remain on the surface of the teeth, paving the way for bacterial growth.
Reduce Their Juice Intake
How many ounces of juice do you give your child every day? Limit this to only 4 ounces, because anything in greater quantities, is unhealthy and can cause tooth decay.
Don’t Depend Too Much on the Sippy Cup
Does your child drink from a sippy cup? Avoid using it too much because that can again lead to decay if your child uses it throughout the day or if they are using a sippy cup – make sure it’s just water.
Throw Away the Pacifier
If your child has crossed the age of 3, they should not be using a pacifier anymore. This can affect the growth of their teeth, and in some cases, may even change their mouth shape. Talk to your dentist, and ask them to conduct an examination if your child has used pacifiers even after 3 years.
Why Baby Teeth Matter
Baby teeth are important to your child’s oral health and development into their permanent teeth. The baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing underneath their gums. If a baby tooth becomes loose and falls out early, the permanent teeth can move into the empty space and make it difficult for the permanent teeth to find room when they come in.
Visit the Dentist at an Early Age
From a child’s perspective, going to the dentist can cause anxiousness because the unfamiliar noises and instruments in their mouth can be scary. The earlier a child visits the dentist, the calmer they will be and become comfortable because they have visited before. By teaching your child that visiting the dentist is important and not an optional choice they will get comfortable with visiting for checkups. It can also be helpful to explain how the dentist will take care of their teeth so that they can help prevent additional issues such as root canals, abscessed (loose) teeth or gum disease. It is easy to explain that the dentist helps keep cavities from appearing often and ensures they will have a beautiful smile.
So which of these dental care tips for children have you already been practicing?
Whitney Ranch Dental offers dentistry for children in Henderson, Nevada and surrounding areas. Visit us regularly so that we can examine your child’s teeth and ensure their oral health isn’t affected by tooth decay, cavities or other issues. For more information, call our practice today at (702) 233-2787 or book an appointment with one of your dental professionals via our appointment booking page.