As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure your child is healthy from the very start. You might think that early oral health isn’t a huge concern. But just because your child will eventually lose their baby teeth doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about tooth decay in your toddler. Without proper care, your child could potentially suffer significant issues before the Tooth Fairy ever arrives. Below, we’ll take a look at three ways parents can prevent tooth decay in their young children.
- Limit Sugary Drinks
Ideally, you should be limiting the amount of juice and other sugary drinks your child consumes anyway. But this is especially important at nighttime. Fill sippy cups or bottles with water in lieu of milk, juice, or other beverages. A 2012 study published by the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that 65% of parents who used bottled water had no idea about the fluoride levels it contained. While fluoride can help overall oral health in older children, filtered water is usually a better choice for toddlers. And when your child does drink anything other than water, make sure it’s consumed quickly. This limits the amount of time a toddler’s teeth are exposed to the sugars that can eventually lead to tooth decay.
- Brush And Floss Regularly
One way to foster lifelong hygiene habits is by starting early. Be sure to floss and brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and after consumption of snacks and sweets. Do not use toothpastes that contain fluoride until your child has reached two years of age or so. Tooth brushes should be held at a 45-degree angle ; brush for at least two minutes and be sure not to brush too hard. As they get older, you should check their handiwork to ensure they’re brushing and flossing effectively. Your pediatric dentist can also help solidify the importance of proper oral care.
- Schedule Dental Visits
Some parents are under the assumption that their children don’t need to visit the dentist until they get older. But you should actually schedule your child’s first appointment when their baby teeth first start to appear or before their first birthday. Your dentist will monitor kids’ growth and make certain they’re taking good care of their baby teeth. If a child experiences decay or infection when they still have baby teeth, this actually can have a big impact on their oral health throughout their lives. By making dental visits a part of their routine from the beginning, your child will learn that there are rewards (sometimes literal ones!) for brushing and flossing properly.
Early oral habits are key to living a long, healthy life. If you’re looking for qualified, caring pediatric dentists in your area, Smilez Pediatric Dental Group is here to help. For more information, contact us today.