Healthy Dental Habits For Your Child!
Healthy teeth and gums are important for your child's overall health and well-being. Establishing healthy habits from a young age can go a long way in terms of prevention. Young children and babies cannot clean their own teeth. It is important that parents brush for them when they are very young and with them as they grow older. Here are some tips to get you going!
Start as early as you can! Many parents think they should only start oral care when a baby's first tooth comes in. However, it is recommended to begin by cleaning your baby’s mouth using a wet cloth and gently wiping the gums to remove any leftover milk or formula from the mouth as soon as you can!
Brush your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Be sure to lift the lip to brush along the gum line.
Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to protect the teeth from cavities. Children under the age of 3 should only use a smear (size of a grain of rice) while those over 3 can use a pea-sized amount.
Make brushing fun and develop a routine: brush at a specific time (after a bath); with specific cues (music, counting, etc).
Regardless of age, discourage snacking on sugary foods and drinks throughout the day or overnight.For example, the constant and slow sipping on milk-filled bottles at night to put your child to sleep can keeps sugars in the mouth and can lead to cavities. A tip would be to fill them with water instead!
The earlier a dental problem is found, the easier it is to fix. Check your child’s mouth for signs of disease such as brown/yellow spots and visit the dentist regularly.
Try to avoid sugary foods and drink, and instead offer your child healthy snack options such as milk and cheese, carrots and celery etc. The younger you cultivate good eating habits, the easier it will be to follow through!