How to protect your child's teeth?
The primary reason behind tooth decay isn’t the quantity of sugar in your child’s diet, but how frequently it is consumed during the day, so ensure that you keep sugary foods to mealtimes only. For snacks, you must choose savoury options like toast breadsticks, cheese, fruits, etc. It is advisable to refrain from sugary or fizzy drinks, especially in-between meals and at bedtime. Cavities can occur if a child is exposed to sugary drinks for a long time. If you want your child to enjoy a sugary drink, without their teeth being affected, it is best to dilute the fruit juices available in bottles. You can add five parts of water to one-part juice and serve it at mealtimes for children of six months of age and above.
To help your children conserve a healthy smile, it is best to give them a balanced diet, limited stock of snacks, and inculcate good habits like brushing teeth twice a day. Moreover, you can schedule frequent dental check-ups for them.
As far as possible motivate your child to eat healthy and restrict junk food and too many snacks.
The Foundation of Your Child's Dental Health
The foundation of great dental health is laid in the initial years of life. Surveys reveal that there’s a relationship between poor eating habits and brushing habits at the age of 1 or 2 and tooth decay at the age of 3. It also a known fact that children with cavities in their milk teeth are more likely to develop cavities in their adult teeth. So, to give your child a good dental health in the future, it is best to help your child establish good habits right from the beginning, that is the time from when they get their first tooth.
Parents who teach their children good oral hygiene in the initial years can expect them to maintain the health of their teeth throughout adulthood. It’s also essential to find an appropriate toothbrush for your child. There are many toothbrushes available in the market that are specially designed for young children.
Today’s children are a part of the fluoride generation as they get the advantage of having fluoride present in the drinking water. However, the positive impact of fluoride has resulted in a decreased emphasis on the significance of good brushing habits.
Children these days also have more access to sweets and other unhealthy foods than before. This implies that as a parent you need to actively encourage good oral hygiene and eating habits to give your child the best start possible.
Dental risks involved in early years
The main risks involved in babies and toddlers, once their teeth have erupted are:
1. Lots of snacks – Snacking can lead to teeth decay as there is insufficient time between eating to enable the teeth to recover from plaque acids.
2. Beverages before sleeping – Putting your baby to sleep with a milk bottle or juice or any sugary beverage isn’t a wise decision. If you want to give your baby a bottle of milk before bed, then you must also provide a bottle of plain water to get the gums and teeth cleaned.
Oral Health Tips For Babies and Toddlers
- Clean your baby’s teeth with a damp washcloth by gently rub their gums.
- The moment a tooth begins to appear, you must introduce a soft, child size toothbrush
- Do not introduce them to toothpaste until they turn 18 months of age. At this time, use child-strength fluoride toothpaste.
- Take them to a dentist when they turn one or when the first set of teeth appears.
- Brush their teeth twice daily and floss those touching together.
Oral Health Tips For Children
1. Give your child an adult strength toothpaste at the age of 9. You can get them child-strength toothpaste or any other alternative recommended by the dentist.
2. Encourage them to floss teeth that touch together.
3. Ensure they brush twice daily. You can make brushing fun by playing a song or using a smartphone application that reminds your child to brush teeth for two minutes.
General tips for looking after your child's teeth
- Restrict acidic drinks like soft drinks and fruit juices. Food acids can weaken tooth material and break down the minerals in tooth enamel, leading to holes. In extreme cases, the teeth can be destroyed right down to the gum.
- Limit intake of sugary foods as bacteria in dental plaque can convert sugars into acids.
- Protect your child’s teeth from injury. Encourage use of mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
- Prevent them from using their teeth for anything other than chewing food. Do not let them use their teeth to crack nuts or open packets of chips.
- Take your child to the dentist for regular check-ups.