Your little one’s smile lights up your life — gums and all. But as your toothless wonder starts to develop their first pearly whites, how can you keep their smile beaming bright long term?
Research shows that a little more than 40% of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have dental cavities that affect their primary, or baby, teeth.
In light of this, taking care of your children’s teeth from an early age is important. Here’s a rundown on the top children’s dentistry tips to keep your child smiling big for years to come.
Let’s dig in!
Visit the Dentist Early On
One of the best ways to care for your child’s teeth is to take them to the dentist when their teeth start to appear. Dental visits twice a year can help you to monitor your child’s teeth to ensure that they remain problem free. A dentist can also address any issues that erupt over time.
You may be tempted to forego visits to a pediatric dental office simply because you know your baby’s primary teeth will eventually fall out anyway. However, while these primary teeth are in your child’s mouth, they will no doubt impact their wellbeing. For instance, cavities can cause pain and make your child’s teeth sensitive to hot, cold, and sweets.
Also, the more your child develops the routine of going to the dentist early on, the more likely they are to build healthy habits in the years ahead. This will increase their chances of retaining their permanent teeth later in life.
In fact, you can even plan an exciting activity for your child after each dental visit. This will help your child to look forward to going to their children’s dentist appointment every time.
When you go to the dentist for your own cleanings, feel free to take your child with you. This will further get your child more accustomed to the smells, sounds, and sights of the dental office at an early age.
Steer Clear of Sugar
Another way to protect your child’s teeth is to inhibit their consumption of sugar.
Whenever your child consumes sugar, the oral bacteria that come into contact with it create an acid that weakens the teeth’s top surface, called the enamel. Unfortunately, this causes tooth decay, which leads to holes in the teeth or cavities.
For this reason, it is best to avoid giving your child sugary snacks and fruit juice. Instead, try to give your child milk and water each day. If you do give your child juice, restrict it to a mealtime rather than constantly giving them the sweet beverage over the course of the day.
Also, try to avoid giving your child a sugary snack to reward them for great behavior. Choose a more nutritious and healthier reward that your child should be consuming regularly anyway, like frozen fruit, applesauce, or apple slices.
Finally, when you are out grocery shopping, pay special attention to various food product labels before you add certain foods to your cart. Many seemingly healthy foods, including cereal and fruit, contain high levels of sugar.
For healthier options, stick with kid-friendly foods that are lower in sugar, like banana chips, cocoa almonds, and fruit bars.
Make Brushing Fun
Finally, show your child how to brush their teeth properly from a young age. During this process, you can demonstrate to them how fun brushing can be as well.
Brush your child’s pearly whites twice a day. Start out by using a clean cloth. Wrap the cloth around one of your fingers, and wipe down your child’s mini teeth with it.
As your child begins to develop more teeth, you can switch to using a toothbrush and toothpaste instead. A dollop of toothpaste the size of a pea is all your child needs if they are older than 3 years of age. Meanwhile, a mere toothpaste smear is sufficient for a child up to 3 years of age.
Also, use fluoride toothpaste, as it’s designed to strengthen your child’s tooth enamel. This will make it easier for your little one’s teeth to resist tooth decay. Also, allow your child to pick out their own toothpaste and toothbrush, which will get them even more excited about the toothbrushing process.
Additional Toothbrushing Tips
Each time your child brushes their teeth, have them brush for two minutes every time.
To achieve this, consider singing a song to your child. For example, you can sing “Happy Birthday” 20 times to reach the two-minute mark. Alternatively, set a timer to two minutes for each brushing session.
Brushing may also be more enjoyable for your little one if you create a reward chart for them. Give them a sticker after each successful toothbrushing experience, and reward them once they get through a full week or month of brushing, for example.
How We Can Meet Your Children’s Dentistry Needs
At Beaumont Kids Dentistry, we take pride in offering high-level children’s dentistry services in a welcoming environment. Our goal? To make dentistry fun for your child while putting them on the path to stellar oral health for a lifetime.
Our child-friendly team and office are excited to alleviate the anxiety or fear that your child may have about going to the dentist. With our routine exams, quality procedures, and cutting-edge technology, you can expect nothing less than the best care for your little one.
Get in touch with us to learn more about our pediatric dentistry services, and schedule an appointment today!