Healthy teeth start in early childhood. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure your child is receiving the dental care that they need.
1. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Your child should begin seeing a dentist around their first birthday. Thereafter, it's usually recommended to visit the dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning every six months. Maintaining this dental schedule serves two purposes. First, it helps prevent dental issues from occurring. Secondly, your child becomes accustomed to dental visits, which minimizes the fear that many people feel when it comes to seeing the dentist.
2. Set a Brushing Schedule
As a general rule, your child should brush twice daily. Once in the morning after breakfast, and again before bed in the evening. Try and stick to a specific time and routine so that the brushing habit becomes ingrained in your child from a young age. For young children, you may need to help them brush every evening, but older children can take over the task. If necessary, use sticker charts or other rewards to help build the habit.
3. Start Flossing Young
Your child needs to begin flossing once daily as soon as two touching teeth grow in. Young children can't floss themselves, of course, so you must do it for them. Your dentist can show you the best technique. Older children can take over the task. They may find it easier to use individual flossing picks as opposed to a simple length of floss, so experiment with different tools to find the one that will work out the best.
4. Limit Cavity-Causing Foods
Certain foods are more likely to cause cavities. Sugary, sticky foods are the worst. These include sodas, candy, sugary fruit juices, and some desserts. Any food that is sticky or chewy is worse since it adheres to the teeth. Limit these items to special treat status, and require brushing after consuming. Avoid eating sugary foods right before bed, too, since any residue that is missed during brushing will remain on the teeth all night.
5. Consider Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride leads to stronger teeth and lower chances of decay. Many municipalities have it in the water, which ensures your children get the fluoride they need. If your water is untreated, consult with your dentist. While a fluoride toothpaste will provide some protection, children can benefit from additional fluoride application, either in the dental office or as a product you administer at home.
Contact a family dentistry service for more help.