As a parent, nobody gives you step-by-step instructions on how to care for your child’s mouth when you first have them. Whether your child has already visited their family dentist or not, it’s important to protect their mouth starting at an early age, so their adult smile will be happy and healthy. To preserve their teeth and gums and reduce their risk of developing oral issues down the road, read on for four tips to help keep their mouth healthy this Children’s Dental Health Month. ß
Keep Their Teeth Cavity-Free With Dental Sealants
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 percent of children from the ages of five to 11 have at least one untreated decaying tooth. Because cavities are among the biggest threat to younger people, it’s important to protect your child to ensure they’re comfortable and their temporary teeth remain healthy.
When your little one gets older, their family dentist may recommend getting dental sealants. These are small shields that are painted over their molars to prevent bacteria and food debris from building up in their grooves and crevices and causing cavities. The treatment only takes a few minutes, but it’s completely painless and can provides several years of protection from pesky cavities.
Take Care of Their Mouth Before Their First Tooth Grows In
Many parents aren’t aware that they’re able to protect their little one’s teeth, even if they don’t have any visible ones that have grown in yet. By wiping their gums twice each day using a soft, clean cloth with lukewarm water, you’ll be able to remove harmful bacteria and sugars. It’s best to do this once in the morning after their first feeding, and once right before they’re put down for bed.
Get Them On a Schedule
The sooner your child develops good oral habits, the better. That’s why it’s a good idea to start building a morning and nightly dental hygiene routine with them at a young age. You can do this by including them each time you brush and floss your teeth. Normalizing these daily tasks will make it second-nature, increasing the chances that they have fewer oral health problems as adults because they’ll be more likely to stick to the schedule they developed as children.
Protect Baby Teeth Even Though They’re Destined To Fall Out
Some parents wonder why baby teeth are so important if they’re just going to fall out anyways. These are vital developmental tools that help them learn how to chew and pronounce certain words and sounds. They also act as placeholders for their adult teeth. If temporary teeth fall out too early, it can cause their permanent ones to grow in crooked and misaligned, creating orthodontic issues.
Since this month is Children’s Dental Health Month, there’s no better time to get your little one acquainted with their family dentist. With great at-home and professional dental care, you’ll be able to ensure that their smile stays as happy and healthy as ever!
About the Author
Dr. Derek Song is dedicated to providing families with high-quality and thorough preventive dental care to tackle oral health problems while they’re still small. He understands the importance of creating a fun and exciting learning environment for children, and takes the time to provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to keep their smile healthy as adults. For questions or to schedule a children’s dental checkup and cleaning, visit his website or call 781-272-5890.