Poor oral health can place a tremendous burden on children.ent
They’re more likely to miss school and less likely to finish homework. They’re also more prone to depression and inattentiveness.
So it’s never too soon to start thinking about dental care for kids.
Here are some important things you should know about oral care for the little ones.
1. Babies Can Develop Tooth Decay
It’s important to regularly rub your baby’s gums with a warm washcloth to remove bacteria. And as tempting as it might be to put him or her to sleep with a bottle, avoid that whenever possible.
This is especially the case once teeth come in.
The sugars from the milk or juice can sit on a baby’s teeth for hours and eat away at the enamel. This can leave the new teeth pitted, pocked, and discolored.
Severe cases can require extracting the front teeth – leaving the child without those teeth until the permanent ones appear.
2. Fluoride Toothpaste Begins At Age 2
While brushing should certainly start before the age of 2, you don’t really need to start using fluoride toothpaste until that age.
At this point, the child’s teeth are continuing to grow and develop and the fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
It’s also important that you continue to develop good brushing habits. At this age, children can brush their own teeth. But parents should follow up with an additional brushing, just to be sure they’re clean.
Using a themed brush with a favorite cartoon character can make this process all the more enjoyable.
3. Age 2 Is Also Time for Dental Visits
Sometime between the moment that the first tooth comes in and all the primary teeth are visible is the time to schedule that first dental appointment.
This is typically around the age of 2.
To help your child get accustomed to the strange sights, smells, and sounds of a dental office, many dentists recommend a trial visit.
For most children who are already used to having their gums wiped and teeth brushed every day, the dentist is not as scary as for those who haven’t had these experiences.
4. Healthy Eating Habits Start with You
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is key to good oral health and preventing tooth decay.
But once children start school, it’s much harder to control what they eat.
As a parent, you can lead by example. Follow a consistent oral healthcare routine that they can witness.
And eat a healthy diet. When your kids see you eating fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods, they’re more likely to do the same.
5. Braces Deliver More Than a Perfect Smile
As kids continue to grow, it can impact the bite and straightness of their teeth.
In the past, orthodontic treatment didn’t begin until at least the age of 10 or 11. But now, kids as young as 7 are using corrective appliances.
Manipulating teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective. Younger children’s teeth often require only fairly minor orthodontic devices.
But orthodontics isn’t just about achieving a great smile.
If there are issues with the jaw, dental arch or teeth that aren’t addressed, they can cause long-term health concerns that can last well into adulthood. Click here to find out more about signs that it’s time for braces for your child.
Dental Care for Kids Is Crucial
It’s obvious that getting the appropriate dental care for kids can make a huge difference in a child’s life.
So don’t hesitate to get your child to the dentist!
And for more great tips on living your most productive life, keep checking back with our blog.
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