From the moment your child gets their first tooth, good oral hygiene should be a priority. Starting good habits at a young age will instill the importance of dental health in your child which carries into adulthood. According to the CDC, about 20% of children ages 5 to 11 years, have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infection that may lead to further health problems on e of them is dental hygiene for kids. The good news is that cavities and tooth decay are preventable.
Preventing cavities and tooth decay in children is easy. Teaching good dental habits to your child can greatly increase their likelihood of continuing with their oral health on their own. Starting from a very young age, you should be caring for your child’s teeth.
Dental Hygiene for Kids / Children’s
Even before children get their first tooth, parents can start taking care of their mouth. It is recommended to wipe the gums twice a day with a clean cloth in the morning after their first feeding and right before they go to bed. The cloth will wipe away bacteria and sugars. It will also get your child used to the idea of oral hygiene.
When teeth start coming in, you can brush your child’s teeth with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and plain water. By their first birthday, they will be ready for their first visit to the dentist.
Under your supervision, it is recommended for young children to brush their teeth two times per day with fluoride toothpaste. Only a small amount of toothpaste, the size of a pea, is needed. It is important for you to always monitor your child while they are brushing to ensure they are doing it correctly and not swallowing the toothpaste. Children can also receive a dental sealant on their teeth for further cavity protection. Dental sealants are safe for children and prevent up to 80% of cavities.
In most areas of the United States, tap water contains a small amount of fluoride. Check with your local utility company about the level of fluoride in the tap water in your area. If your drinking water does not have enough fluoride to prevent cavities, ask your dentist or pediatrician if your child needs oral fluoride supplements.
Oral health is also very important when you are pregnant. When a mother is pregnant, they can become more prone to gum disease and cavities. This can affect the baby’s health if untreated. It is safe to see a dentist while pregnant. It is recommended to brush twice daily, floss daily, and rinse the mouth if nauseous.
Oral Health for Children
Not only is maintaining good oral hygiene habits important for children, but it is also important to take care of the teeth with other safety precautions. Eating a healthy diet can impact the child’s physical health and oral health. Kids who eat a larger amount of sugary foods and drinks are at a higher risk of cavities. Limiting the amount of soda, fruit juice, and sweet drinks, as well as sweet snacks, can greatly reduce their risk of cavities and decay.
Sports are also a big part of most children’s lives. It can be recommended, depending on the sport, for the child to wear a mouthguard to protect their mouth from injuries. Speak with your dentist about a custom-fitted mouthguard.
Oral health is important for children of all ages. Teaching them good habits from a young age will help them continue those habits and protect their teeth later in life. Contact First Point Dental to set an appointment for you and your child.