There so many things to worry about while raising small children, it is a wonder that parents manage to get anything done! On the plus side, today there are more resources than ever for parents and caretakers looking for the best way to care for, nurture, and educate their children. For example, this article will provide some quick and simple tips for maintaining your child’s dental health – although, of course, it is no substitute for an appointment with a dental professional.
One: The Importance of Children’s Dental Hygiene
Many parents do not understand how important tooth care is for small children, especially infants and toddlers. The truth is that breast milk and formula both contain natural sugars that can attack the enamel on your child’s teeth.
For this reason, it is a good idea to begin gently cleaning out your child’s mouth with a soft, wet cloth at least once a day. Practicing this regularly will also get your child used to having his or her mouth, teeth, and tongue touched. This will make him or her more receptive to dental care in the future.
One last important fact about children’s teeth: they may be temporary, but they can influence children’s dental health for the rest of their lives. Baby teeth serve as “placeholders” for the teeth that will replace them one day; if they are lost too soon, the adult teeth may become overcrowded.
Two: Selecting Toothpaste for Children
It can be overwhelming just looking at all the dental product options for adults and children. Fortunately if your child is still below the age of three, you may not have to face this issue yet. According to the American Dental Association, water (or fluoride-free children’s toothpaste) is sufficient to clean infants’ and toddlers’ mouths. Fluoride toothpaste is not recommended for children under three.
The ADA can also be a wonderful resource as you research brands for older kids. Every product they approve of will have an official seal on its packaging, or you could just peruse the webpage for the most recommended products. Feel free to experiment with different flavors until your kids find one they will look forward to tasting.
Three: Brushing Children’s Teeth
Many dentists recommend brushing your kids’ teeth for them until they reach the age of five or six, as younger children are likely to miss important areas. Be careful to brush thoroughly but not too hard, or it will be uncomfortable for your child. Emphasize the importance of spitting the toothpaste out, as too much fluoride is bad for young kids.
For more information, contact Chicago family dentist Dr. Bagai.