Good oral health starts early and ensuring that your kids learn the right habits from a young age can help delay and prevent tooth decay. We don’t often think of tooth decay as an illness, but it is, in fact, the most common chronic disease that affects children and teenagers of all ages.
Tips to ensure that your kids avoid painful tooth decay include:
1. Brushing Regularly
It is essential to teach your kids to brush their teeth at least twice a day, preferably at night before they go to bed and in the morning after breakfast. It is also important to teach them the correct brushing technique to ensure that the teeth are correctly cleaned along the gum line and other hard to reach places. Your dentist can help your kids to learn the best technique.
It is also vital to ensure that an age-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste are used correctly.
Food, plaque and other debris can get stuck between the teeth and may not be removed by brushing. In fact, between the teeth is one of the most common places for tooth decay to set in. Flossing after brushing is a great way to remove everything from between teeth and prevent cavities in these areas. Once again, proper technique is essential when flossing.
There are a variety of different types of dental floss available. Choose one that is gentle on the gums for kids. Your dentist can assist you in choosing the best kind of floss to use on your children.
Rinsing the mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash is a great way to remove all remaining debris in the mouth as well as unseen microorganisms such as bacteria. A good swirl around the mouth and gargle in the back of the throat is the ideal way to finish off a twice-daily dental routine.
It is important to use a mouthwash that is appropriate for children and ensure that they do not swallow. Swallowing mouthwash is not recommended.
4. Regular Dental Visits
A first dental visit should be around 3 to 6 months after the first teeth appear. After this, a child should see the dentist every 6 months to a year. However, should a dentist be concerned about the overall health of the mouth and teeth or detect a problem early on, they may schedule more regular appointments to prevent tooth decay and other oral health issues from arising in the future.
5. Food and Beverages
Sugar provides plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth with the food it needs to grow rapidly. It is, therefore, best to avoid sugary drinks and foods altogether. Alternatively, rinse the mouth after eating or brushing teeth. An apple a day is however recommended as it helps strengthen teeth and gums as it can help effectively clean the teeth.
Remember that children learn best from imitating their parents, and if you have a good oral health routine, they should have no problem following suit and heading towards a future free of tooth decay. Help keep your children’s teeth healthy by calling us today to schedule a check-up with out family dental service!