Oral health starts in the womb already, which is why doctors advise expectant mothers to consume enough calcium, protein, and other important nutrients for bone and teeth formation. By teaching your children to take care of their teeth from a young age, you will create a foundation of good oral health that will go a long way to ensuring good all-over health.
Here are some of our best tips for healthy young teeth.
1. Introduce the dentist early
Many people are afraid of dentists, which is sad. Building a relationship with your dentist from a young age can help your child avoid many painful dentist visits in the future. Take your child to the dentist around his or her first birthday, even if they only have one or two teeth, to make sure they are off to a good start.
2. Introduce fun into the brushing routine
Just like you disguise broccoli in more interesting foods, find ways to make brushing teeth fun. You will find many ways to do just that on Youtube and Pinterest; from cute games and songs to cool charts, they are all there.
Once your child's first tooth pops out, it is time to introduce the brush. Buy a fun baby brush and toothpaste specifically for milk teeth. Start a brushing routine whereby you supervise brushing twice a day. Ideally, start early in the day, because if it is too close to bedtime, you will probably have to deal with the grumpiest and receive precious little cooperation.
3. Ban the bottle at bedtime
While it seems harmless to put your baby to sleep with a bottle, it is a harmful habit that can damage those precious teeth. If you absolutely must, transition with plain water before taking the bottle away cold turkey. The sugar in the juice of milk quickly damages the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
4. Reduce sugar intake
It's easy to prevent children from eating too much sugar, as they have not tasted it and will therefore not crave it unless you give it to them. Limit the amount of sugar your child is exposed to every day, even in hidden culprits such as fruit juices. Sugar breaks down into an acid that eats away at the enamel.
5. Be a good example
Remember that kids learn by watching their parents. Therefore, you need to be a good example. Let your child watch you brush and floss, and take her along to your regularly scheduled dental appointments.
From the age of about 5, provide a few options, and let your child choose his or her own brush and toothpaste. This is also a good age to introduce flossing.
Need help? Our dentists are child-friendly and know just how to make dental visits fun and easy on parents and children alike. We believe that prevention is better than cure, and are committed to keeping your child's teeth healthy for the perfect smile. Call us today - we will help make the most of your child’s oral health.