Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body? But just because our teeth are super stars, it doesn’t mean they can handle everything we throw at them without a little help. From the foods we eat (such as the sugar-packed sodas we Americans are so fond of) to our lackluster dental habits, some of us really struggle with dental care. The same is true for our kids! It’s important that we give our children all the tools they need to keep their teeth chomping-strong throughout their lives. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while tending to the health of your children’s teeth.
Good Tips for Kids and Babies
The American Dental Association recommends that parents take their children to see a dentist no later than their first birthday. So until then, here are some healthy dental care habits you can work on at home:
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth as soon as is appropriate. Wipe their gums gently with a soft, clean gauze pad or cloth.
- Be mindful that as soon as a tooth breaks through the gums, tooth decay can begin. Baby bottle tooth decay is a possibility, but can be avoided if parents take the proper steps. Place only formula or milk in their bottles and make sure they finish their naptime/bedtime bottles before going to sleep. Also avoid dipping things like pacifiers in honey or sugar, and keep your child’s gums clean.
- Always supervise your children during teeth brushing to ensure that the proper amount of toothpaste is being used and that they don’t swallow it. Until you are comfortable that they can brush on their own, continue to assist them. When your child has teeth that touch, it is a good idea to begin flossing. Consult your dentist for the best ways to begin.
- Make it fun! Sing songs about brushing teeth or play at brushing the teeth of your child’s favorite toy. If you can turn it into a fun experience, they will be more receptive to teeth brushing and care in general.
- Allow your children to choose a fun toothbrush that they love! Cool colors or their favorite cartoon characters are just a few options. There are also toothbrushes that play music as you brush–who doesn’t want to jam out and take care of their teeth at the same time?
- For kids below the age of 3, parents should start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to break through the gums. Use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste–no more than a dab about the size of a grain of rice. Consult with your dentist for further information.
It is important to establish good dental care habits with your kids from a young age. Starting with good habits will ensure that your children’s baby teeth are strong, which is important for chewing food, and even for developing speech. Baby teeth also pave the way for adult teeth and help them come in correctly. Good dental care habits can protect their teeth while young and into their adult years.
So call Oaktown Dental and schedule an appointment today, and let us help you keep your teeth going strong.