How can I tell whether my kid needs braces?
When should I plan my kid’s first dental visit? Should my 5-year old be flossing? How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
Parents have so many questions when it comes to dental care for kids. While it’s important to stop cavities, parents don’t always how best to do it.
You can prevent tooth decay in your child by starting their dental care early. Be sure to follow these tips to stop cavities and keep your kid’s smile healthy.
Train Good Habits
Brushing is vital from the beginning. Before you baby develops teeth, you can brush their gums gently. Use a baby toothbrush or soft washcloth to do so.
When your child’s teeth develop, brush them with a baby toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
Begin flossing when a couple of their teeth grow next to each other. Consult your dentist about schedules and techniques.
Brush and floss their teeth before they go to sleep. After that, don’t give your kid any drink or food, apart from water, till the next morning.
Your dentist may suggest when you should start using child mouthwash. You must wait until your kid knows how to spit the mouthwash out.
Dentists now recommend that kids should see a dentist from as early as their first birthday.
During the first visit, your child’s dentist will explain how to brush toddler teeth properly and various flossing techniques. They’ll then carry out a test with your child seated on your lap.
Teaching your kid to make dental visits a habit will be good for them in the future. Here are a few tips to ensure your kid looks forward to every visit.
- Start early so your kid sees dentist trips as normal. Dentists suggest that kids should first visit the dentist when the first tooth develops and on their first birthday.
- Prepare your little ones for dentist trips by having them read kids’ books about dental visits.
- Don’t reward your kid for visiting the dentist because this implies that it’s a daunting experience. Turn the trip into part of an exciting excursion instead. Head to the park, movies, or another nice place before and after your appointment.
- Stay calm and allow the dentist to get on with it if your kid fusses.
Vegetables, fruit, cheese, nuts, and lean meat are beneficial for teeth than chips, candy, and cookies. However, kids sometimes need support to make healthy decisions.
They dread eating unconventional food and might feel uncomfortable with not being in control of their own diet. To improve your kids’ eating habits, follow these tips to help them have fun while eating.
- Let your children be involved in growing or buying your food, and let them help set the table.
- Let your child have their favorite teddy bear at the dinner table. Kids are often receptive to eating an unusual food if they can ‘feed’ it to their ‘child’ first.
- Make healthy food options available. Hungry kids don’t have the patience to wait while you cook, so keep some nutritious snacks in the fridge they can chow when hunger strikes.
- Increase dairy in your child’s diet. Dairy products neutralize harmful acids that chip away at teeth. They’re also loaded with casein, which helps protect the enamel. Give your children healthy dairy products such as milk, cheese, and non-fat Greek yogurt with each meal to strengthen their enamel.
- Save starchy and sugary food for mealtimes. Adding these foods to meals decreases their chance of causing cavities, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).
Insist on Brushing, Rinsing, and Flossing
If your child kicks off when it’s time to brush, rinse, or floss, don’t let the matter slide. Make it clear that they don’t have a choice.
Here are some tips to entice your reluctant kid to brush on their own or let you help:
A younger kid may happily brush for a present, for example. You can also make brushing, flossing, and rinsing a group activity. Children are more likely to do what adults are doing.
Let Your Kid Choose Toothpaste
Children aged 5 or over can choose their own toothpaste from the options you provide.
Have Them Do It as Early as Possible
If your kid’s tired, they might be more reluctant to brush, floss, and rinse. So have them do it way before bedtime.
Kids can begin brushing under adult supervision when they’re 2 or 3. However, they might not be able to do it alone until they’re about 6. And it might take until the age of 10 before they perfect flossing skills.
Buy a New Toothbrush
Buy your kid a new toothbrush every 3 months. You should change the toothbrush once the bristles get frayed and the head starts to lose its shape.
It’s also important to change your kid’s toothbrush once they recover from any kind of illness. Bacteria can accumulate on the bristles and handle of the toothbrush and may prolong your child’s illness or bring it back later.
If your kid has the flu or a cold, buy them a new toothbrush as soon as they are well.
Give Your Kid More Water
Water is great for oral health as it helps fight cavities. Water is usually PH neutral and doesn’t damage tooth enamel. Indeed, it helps remove food debris from teeth, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
Water also helps boost saliva production, which rids teeth of debris naturally and lowers the level of dangerous acid left behind by drink and food.
To maximize the benefits of water, have your kid rinse their mouth out after every meal. This will get rid of any food bits in the mouth, and help stop cavities.
Practice Effective Dental Care for Kids
Encouraging regular brushing, flossing and rinsing, keeping sugary and starchy foods in check, and visiting your dentist are all good dental care tips for your children.
Need more tips on dental care for kids? Talk to the experts at Doug Lewis Dentistry in Birmingham, AL.