Preventing tooth decay in young children will help ensure that the young ones will not have to go through the pain and embarrassment that dental problems can bring – and can also teach them how to take good care of their dental health, so that these practices can be carried over to their adulthood. It is important to start good oral hygiene practices in the earliest possible time so that tooth decay and other dental concerns can be prevented from developing or further worsening.
Here are some tips to make sure that the dental health of children is well taken care of, to avoid having to deal with serious dental problems in the future and as they get older:
- Set a good example by taking proper care of your own dental health. Young children learn by example; when they see you brushing your teeth properly, eating a balanced diet, and going to the dentist on a regular basis – they will most likely take up these good oral health practices for their own as well.
- From birth to 12 months, you can use a soft and clean baby cloth to wipe your child’s gums to keep the mouth clean. As soon as the first teeth grow, a soft baby toothbrush can be used to gently clean teeth.
- Ask your dentist if toothpaste fortified with fluoride can be used on your child’s teeth, and get recommendations and tips as to how much should be used on the teeth. A small amount is usually enough to be smeared on the surface of teeth.
- Determine if your water is fluoridated; if not, your dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements especially if your child is at increased risk of developing tooth decay.
- Avoid giving your children sticky or too sweet food and beverages, as the high sugar content of these food items can contribute to the development of tooth decay. Expose young children to healthy food items that can have a better impact on their overall health.
- The consumption of fruit juices and drinks with high acidity should be limited, as these can also lead to the premature corrosion of the tooth enamel. A few ounces, about 4-6 ounces a day, should be enough.
- Bring your child to a dentist at a young age, so that he or she will be exposed to the atmosphere in the dental clinic, and will be comfortable with the idea of going for regular dental checkups.
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