According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the number one dental problem among children under 5 years is tooth decay. According to the study conducted by AAP on preschoolers, 28% of the children have one or more cavities by the age of three.
This can be avoided by simply encouraging good dental hygiene habits from an early age. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should start brushing their infants’ teeth twice daily with appropriate brushes as soon as they erupt. Once the kids develop good motor skills, usually around the age of three, they should be taught proper dental self-care behavior to promote healthy gums and teeth.
Here we will outline the basic dental hygiene that every child should follow:
Brushing the Teeth:
Once your child reaches the age where they’re able to take care of their personal hygiene, they should be taught proper tooth brushing techniques. To make it a part of their habits, it’s better to integrate tooth brushing into the morning and bedtime routines.
It’s important to use fluoride-based toothpaste as fluoride promotes healthy enamel which prevents cavities from forming. Only allow your children to apply a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste, which is enough for proper brushing.
Children under the age of 6 should be supervised while they’re brushing their teeth to make sure they clean the teeth thoroughly. This is also important to make sure they’re not swallowing any paste and spitting out the excess completely.
No matter how well you brush your teeth, there are always some food particles hidden between the teeth that aren’t removed. These particles affect the health of your gums over time. The gums are the soft tissues holding the teeth together and are very important to prevent teeth from falling out in the future.
Flossing is the best way to promote healthy gums. Slipping the dental floss along the gum line once or twice a day can prevent the buildup of bacteria by removing the leftover food particles. Flossing requires advance motor skills so you’ll need to help your child with it until they have mastered the technique. Another solution is to give children pre-flossed holders, which are easier to manage than long pieces of floss strings.
Your child’s diet plays a key role in their dental health. Sugar consumption is the main cause of cavities that eventually lead to tooth decay. According to the Oral Health Foundation, even healthy drinks such as ‘natural’ fruit juices contain large amounts of tooth-rotting sugar.
Avoid giving your children pre-packaged juices and processed foods. Switch them with milk, fresh fruits, and healthy vegetables as snacks. Make sure they brush their teeth and floss after every meal for complete oral health care.
Regular Dental Checkups:
Sometimes a tooth may be rotting on the inside giving with no symptoms such as pain or visible signs. That’s why it’s important to take your child for regular dental checkups. Dentists can help prevent cavities by putting fluoride varnish or dental sealants that protect the teeth from harmful bacteria. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends taking your child for their first dental check-up at the age of one.
Our Children’s Dentist is the leading pediatric dentistry office in Houston. We are the first dental office for kids providing a warm, caring and child-friendly environment for all the oral health services your child needs. We provide expert preventive treatments and other dentistry services for the greater Houston area, Beaumont and Corpus Christi, TX. Contact us today at 713-244-7796 for an appointment and make your child’s dental visits something to look forward to!