As your child is growing up it is important for you, as their parents, to teach them proper dental habits and avoid common dental mistakes. Here are some tips on how you can be proactive and help your child have good dental hygiene:
- Do not put a baby to bed with a bottle. Putting your child to sleep with juice or formula milk increases the bacteria and sugar levels in a baby’s mouth. This can lead to bottle mouth, also known as baby bottle tooth decay. Even breastfeeding right before the baby sleeps is unhygienic because breast milk also contains sugar like formula milk. Make sure to remove the bottle or stop breastfeeding as soon as the child is done and then wipe their mouth with a clean washcloth.
- Fill or correct cavities on baby teeth. Baby teeth can remain in place until up to the age of 12. If any of your child’s teeth are decayed or broken, they can get infected. Infected teeth can hurt your child’s oral and overall health.
- Visit the dentist early. Children’s teeth develop long before birth, starting around six months. Your family doctor should check your baby’s dental health and lookout for possible developments of oral problems.
- Teach good dental habits early. Before a baby’s teeth erupt, brush the gums with water and a baby toothbrush or a soft cloth. Once their teeth erupt, brush twice a day with an ADA-approved children’s toothpaste. As your child gets older, start teaching them how to properly brush their teeth. As soon as two of their teeth touch, start helping your child floss their teeth.
- Supervise your kids while they brush their teeth. Your child may try their best to brush their teeth, but they are not physically capable of brushing their teeth well. Most children do not have the motor skills to successfully brush their teeth until around the age of eight. Make sure they do not miss any teeth.
- Play sports with a mouth guard. Mouthguards can cushion a blow to your child’s face, mouth, teeth, lips, tongue, and jaw. It is important to take extra precautions to prevent these injuries. Also, make sure the mouthguard is cleaned properly and regularly.
As a parent, make your child’s dental health a priority. This includes promoting and teaching good oral hygiene from the very beginning. If you have any questions about your child’s teeth, please contact Klooster Family Dentistry.