Did you know that babies are born with all their adult teeth already? You just can’t see them because they are hidden in the gums. It is important to start good oral care even before the first tooth comes in. Remember: from healthy gums come healthy teeth. Here are the top 10 tips to maintain kids’ dental health:
10 Tips To Maintain Kids’ Dental Health
In pediatric dental care, prevention is a priority. This means establishing good dental habits as early as possible. Building the right habits will prevent dental costs and problems in the future. Self-care is one of the most important habits a parent can teach to their children.
1. Start early. From brushing your child’s teeth to taking him to visit a dentist, care should be done as soon as his first tooth erupts. You can even begin to care for his gums before a tooth comes out by gently wiping it with a damp washcloth after feeding especially with solids. Habits form during infancy. Once your baby gets used to the routine of cleaning their teeth at certain times during the day, it will not be as hard to inculcate the good habit of brushing one’s teeth as they get older. Teeth also need care as it takes years before permanent or adult teeth come out. Dental caries and tooth decay are problems that are very preventable during your child’s early years.
2. Teach self-care. Include your child. The goal is to help our children maintain good oral hygiene by themselves once they grow up and become independent. From teaching them how to brush their teeth properly and encouraging them to do it consistently, you are not only teaching them independence but also self-confidence that they can accomplish such tasks.
3. What he eats is a huge factor. Did you know that aside from good oral hygiene, nutrition plays a big factor in maintaining good teeth? There are people who are consistent with regular brushing and flossing but still get more cavities than most people. Diet plays a big role in influencing caries and teeth strength. Eating a balanced diet will help your child’s teeth to develop properly becoming strong. Limit the sugars that they eat but be realistic that it maybe impossible to avoid sugars totally. If your child does snack on a sugary treat make sure they brush and rinse after finishing.
4. Be conscious of what he drinks. Juices, soda and sports drinks contain a lot of sugars that can lead to an acidic mouth conducive to tooth decay. If your child is still drinking formula, don’t let him sleep with a bottle in his mouth. This is different from breastfeeding. It’s not a good habit to let children enjoy colored drinks anyway. Water is best!
5. Be aware of certain medications. Medicines prescribed for children, in order to be more appealing, have a lot of sugar in their ingredients. This allows them to have better taste to make it easier to drink. Be conscious about this and let them rinse with water following medicine intake. Another tip is for children with asthma. Asthma inhalers will develop bacteria over time and need to be cleaned daily. These inhalers will also dry out your child’s mouth that can lead to tooth decay as well. Our saliva is our natural defense against tooth decay.
6. Beware of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding is common for children until the age of seven. If it persists, consult with your kid dentist for bite guards.
7. Stop using a pacifier by age of 2. Pacifiers are very dangerous to your child’s teeth as they get older. Continuing pacifier use past age 2 could lead to malocclusions (crooked teeth with an open bite).
8. Childproof your home and protect teeth against active contact sports. Research has shown that children under age 7 sustain over half of the dental injuries to their primary (baby) teeth playing in close proximity to home furniture. Always wear a mouth guard when playing active sports. A custom-made mouth guard offers better tooth protection than a shop-bought one.
9. Establish a good relationship with your dentist. Most children fear going to the dentist. There are ways to reduce your children’s fear but the best thing to do is make sure you bring them consistently and as early as possible so it would seems like a normal thing to do for them. A pediatric dentist not only ensures that your child’s teeth are taken care of, he also has ways to distract your child while he performs treatments and to make it a positive dental experience for them.
10. Choose a dentist that has experience with children. Dr. Ted Reese is an Indianapolis dentist who does pediatric cleanings (kids get a toy and a special bag with their own toothbrush and toothpaste) to prevent cavities, frenectomies for children with tongue or lip ties, and traditional or ceramic braces for teens and pre-teens. He practices minimally-invasive dentistry to make it as pain-free as possible (there are also various sedation modalities that can be used) for your child.
We Value Preventive Dental Care
At Indianapolis Dentistry we care so much about preventative care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.
Again, our number one goal is to provide you with gentle, quality dental care. Please feel free to call us today at 317-882-0228 to make an appointment in Indianapolis!