If your little one's teeth have already erupted, it is important to help them establish good dental hygiene practices to protect their oral health. The teeth are subject to decay as soon as they present in the mouth. In fact, each time your child drinks or eats any substance that contains carbohydrates, the bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in the item. As they feed, the microbes release acid that eats away at the tooth enamel to cause decay.
As a parent, you can take steps to help ensure that your child learns proper habits that can keep their teeth and gums healthy. Here are a few ways to help your child learn to care for their teeth.
Establish a Brushing and Flossing Routine
Children respond well to set schedules. Thus, it can be advantageous to their oral health to have them brush and floss at particular times during the day or as a normal component of their morning and evening routines.
Having a child brush and floss immediately upon rising can help ensure that these hygienic practices are never omitted. Since most dentists recommend that children brush at least twice daily, you can also have your child brush before changing clothes for bed.
When a child brushes, ensure that their toothbrush has soft bristles and the toothpaste is fluoridated. Soft bristles clean as effectively as their firm counterparts without damaging the tooth enamel. Additionally, the fluoride in toothpaste helps to remineralize the teeth before decay causes cavities to form.
Take Your Child to the Dentist
Since many children start teething before they can walk, some parents feel that it is unnecessary to take their children to the dentist. However, a child's first dental visit can be scheduled as soon as their first teeth present.
Dental appointments that begin early in life can help a child view the visits as a normal part of their oral health regimen. Additionally, the appointments can help prevent the development of dental fears that arise when an older child does not know what to expect from a dentist.
Be sure to choose a dentist that specializes in pediatric or family dentistry. The dentist is likely to have an office with a kid-friendly environment that can help young children feel more at ease.
If you have not scheduled your child's first dental visit, contact the office of a pediatric dentist in your local area to make an appointment.