Virtually all parents want their youngsters to grow up with healthy teeth and gums. Teaching a child good oral care and scheduling regular checkups with a children’s dentist will help ensure this goal is successfully accomplished:
It is wise to brush a youngster’s teeth from 18 months of age until the child is capable of taking over this task. A pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste should be used for children between 18 months and six years of age. After this, standard fluoride toothpaste can be used. The teeth should be brushed in a circular motion along the gum line twice daily, as this prevents tooth decay by removing plaque.
Children under seven years of age typically need help with this task. However, even after the child begins brushing his or her own teeth, an adult should supervise the task to ensure it is being completed correctly.
Limit Both Natural and Refined Sugars
Most parents understand that sugary snacks are not healthy for children and can lead to early tooth decay. However, there are also hidden sugars in “healthy” drinks, such as fruit juice. Although juice is a better choice than soda, youngsters who are following an otherwise healthy diet do not need fruit juice on a regular basis.
Diet soft drinks should also be avoided: even though such beverages do not contain sugar, they contain acids, which can damage tooth enamel.
Healthy Snacks and Meals
Children should be given a broad range of healthy foods on a daily basis from the five standard food groups. Vegetables and fruits are particularly important to a healthy diet. Cheese, yogurt and milk are also good snacks for children, as they provide the calcium necessary for healthy teeth.
The Importance of Regular Checkups
All youngsters should have their teeth examined by a children’s dentist by the time they enter school. Regular checkups are crucial, as it is during such exams that potential problems are spotted early. Fortunately, tooth decay and other issues can be treated in their early stages, but regular checkups are the only way to determine if such problems exist.