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You–or your child–might think that since the baby teeth will fall out eventually, taking care of your oral health isn’t as important until later. Wrong.
Practicing the proper habits now will set the stage for your oral health in the future. Avoiding trauma to the baby teeth will also save your children from the risk of gum disease and tooth decay in their permanent adult teeth–which are irreplaceable, by the way.
The American Dental Association (ADA) says you must regularly visit the dentist at their requested interval. Among parents with children under 18, 64.6% of families visited the dentist every six months–twice a year. Therefore, we can assume that most dentists recommend two visits a year for the average child.
How to Take Care of Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth start to erupt about the age of six months; most children will have their complete set of teeth by two to three years old. Here are five proven ways to help your child keep their teeth healthy:
Brush and Floss
For kids three years and below, parents and caregivers should start brushing kids' teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth- using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice.
To avoid the risk of developing Fluorosis for children, it is best to consult with your pediatrician or dentist.
When is the best time to floss, you ask?
You can use kids-friendly plastic floss to clean in between their teeth once their teeth start touching.
First Dental Visit is a Happy Visit
Your child’s first dental visit should be after that first tooth comes out, but no later than the first birthday. Parents play an essential role in making their child's teeth healthy, so make sure little ones get that visit before they turn one!
So how do you prepare for the first dental visit? Tell, Show, Do:
- Tell him what is going to happen and expect during the visit. Be positive.
- Show videos and read him some books about his first visit. These practices would help him overcome any fear and be more confident.
- Do ask your child to practice opening his mouth. It will help him get ready when the dentist examines his teeth.
Tips for Mom and Dad: Create a list of questions before your trip to the dentist. Common questions like teething, baby bottle decay, etc., can be answered by your dental health care professional.
Prevent Early Childhood Decay
Commonly called Baby Bottle Caries. It is defined as the presence of one or more decayed teeth, missing teeth (due to decay), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 72 months or younger.
These are the white or brown holes/smooth lesions that you see on your child’s front and molar teeth.
It happens as prolonged exposure to sugary drinks at nighttime or naptime- when the child is put to bed with a bottle or substituting the bottle with a pacifier for fussy babies or kids.
Care But Do Not Share
We care so much for our children that we tend to forget that sharing utensils with them does not matter. Too much for the loving deeds moms and dads! When you do that, you are introducing bacteria to your child.
During mealtimes, your utensils should be separate from the ones that your kids or babies use. No sharing.
Wonders of Water
The best beverage that you can offer your child is water! It is calorie and sugar-free. The best buddy of your little ones' teeth.
4 More Tips for Kid's Beautiful and Healthy Smile
With summer here, outdoor activities like sports and camping, put your child’s teeth at risk of injury and neglect. Here are some highly effective best practices and products that you can use to ensure good dental health for your child while they have fun:
Gamify the Toothbrushing Process
Kids like gamifying things–it’s an effective learning tool for deeper understanding. So, turning boring to-dos like brushing into fun and challenging games can yield higher engagement and ensure that your kids follow healthy lifelong brushing habits.
Hum by Colgate is more than just a toothbrush; it’s an in-app gaming experience that rewards good brushing techniques with prizes. The smart app leverages augmented reality to guide the brush into the right areas of the mouth. The timer is set to ensure proper brushing duration, and the progress tracker grades brushing success.
By actively engaging the user in challenges for new prizes and creating a reward system for good brushing, your child will be more tempted to perform well and continue receiving positive feedback.
Use a Powered Toothbrush
Powered toothbrushes have been clinically proven to be more effective in plaque removal and gum disease prevention. Let’s face it, even after teaching them; kids barely follow the correct brushing protocol with a manual brush–it’s too much work and memory.
A kid-friendly powered toothbrush does a lot of scrubbing for them and is seen as more fun to use–which aids in compliance.
The Brusheez Powered Toothbrush is animal-themed and colorful with a complete bushing kit–including a rinsing cup, 2-minute timer glass to encourage full duration of brushing, a printed brushing chart to keep track of brushing sessions, a convenient stand and storage base, and an extra brush head for longevity.
It gives kids a fun brushing kit so that they can enjoy the entire brushing process.
With Summer around the corner and kids being more prone to accidents, the ADA-approved and Certified Safety Save-A-Tooth Preserving Kit preserves knocked-out teeth for up to 24 hours for safe transport to the dentist.
The twistable jar contains Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution, which has been clinically proven to be more effective than milk, water, and saline solution in preserving a tooth’s periodontal ligament for treatment.
Save-A-Tooth is damage control. But ideally, you want to take preventative measures to help your child avoid a knocked-out tooth in the first place. The SAFEJAWZ Mouthguard provides a snug slim-fit thanks to their FLUID FIT technology. Not only does it protect your teeth, but their JawSecure base helps protect your jaw from impact as well.
The most child-friendly feature about this mouthguard is the ANTI-GAG design, where the gum shields have an ultra-slim profile ensuring minimal interference while playing sports.
Your child’s oral health is critical. Remember that if not cared for properly, incurred trauma on the baby teeth has shown to cause developmental disturbances in permanent teeth. Conditions include yellow-brown discoloration, hypoplasia (underdeveloped tissue), and even crown appearance alterations. Not pretty.
Needless to say, as a parent, it’s your responsibility to nurture the health of your children’s teeth. You can do that with the best practices listed in this article, visit your dentist regularly, brush and floss as advised by your dental health care professional, and take advantage of the highly effective, research-backed products gifted by modern innovation.