Kids are not always the best at caring for their own teeth. It then becomes primarily the parents’ or caregivers’ job to help them maintain their dental health, along with help from a quality pediatric dentist. Although the primary teeth are only temporary, they still serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth that will eventually replace them. By teaching children how to care for their primary teeth, you are giving them the skills and habits they need to take care of their permanent teeth.
How do you protect kids’ teeth from cavities? Here’s what you can do to give your child a positive start and a solid foundation for a lifetime of dental health.
Teach Proper Brushing and Flossing Technique
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day is the recommended practice according to dentists. But proper brushing and flossing technique is just as important. Teach your kids how to brush their teeth so that they remove food residue and plaque. Always use a fluoride toothpaste, as it is an important mineral that fortifies tooth enamel and helps to prevent cavities. When they are young, allow them to brush first, then follow after them to ensure that no spots are missed.
Flossing can be difficult for small children with developing fine motor skills. Allow them to use plastic flossers as they learn, encouraging them to curve the floss around each tooth in order to reach all of the spaces between the teeth and gums. Once children are older they may begin using string floss.
Model Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Children do what they see way more than what they are told. Model proper brushing and flossing techniques. Let your children see you brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Explain to them why you take good care of your teeth, that you want them to last for the rest of your life.
Take Your Child to the Dentist Every 6 Months
The American Dental Association recommends that children and adults go to the dentist for routine dental cleanings and oral exams every 6 months. This is the ideal frequency to ensure that plaque that is left behind after brushing and flossing at home is removed before it can cause tooth decay or gum disease. No matter how carefully you brush and floss, there is no way to ensure that every spot is clean without the help of preventive dentistry.
Another important part of routine dental appointments is an oral health screening. Your dentist will check the health of your child’s teeth as well as the soft tissues of their mouth. Once yearly X-Rays will identify cavities in the earliest stages as well as any underlying issues below the gum line.
Encourage (and Model) Healthy Diet and Nutrition
What you eat and drink has a significant effect on your dental health. Try to encourage your child to eat healthy foods whenever possible and limit sugary treats to special occasions. Avoid soft drinks, sports drinks, juice, and other beverages that are high in sugar, as constantly bathing your teeth in sugar and acid increases your risk of cavities.
Equally as important is the frequency of eating and drinking. Try to allow at least 2 hours to pass between meals and snacks. This allows your child’s mouth to produce healthy enzymes that protect the teeth from decay. Constantly sipping or snacking robs your teeth of this natural protective quality.
Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental Provides Preventive Dental Care for Kids
Routine care from a quality pediatric dentist is an important part of protecting your child’s teeth from cavities. Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental provides preventive dentistry services, including cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, and more. If you want to give your child a solid foundation for a lifetime of dental health, we are here to help.