As parents, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our children maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. One of the most important things we should do is to keep on top of their dental hygiene. Tooth decay and gum disease can have long-term effects on kids, including cavities, difficulty chewing, pain and bad breath. But with the right guidance, parents can help ensure that their children practice good oral health habits from an early age. Here’s what every parent should know about their kids’ dental hygiene.
1. Pediatric Dentists
When it comes to choosing who will take care of your child's teeth, look for a pediatric dentist or family dentistry office who specializes in children's oral health. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with young patients and can provide the care your child needs, from cavity prevention to orthodontic treatments. Pediatric dentists also have special knowledge about how the teeth and gums of children develop as they grow, which helps them better diagnose and treat common problems like tooth decay or gum disease.
Your pediatric dentist will be able to recommend how often professional cleanings should take place for your child, based on their age and individual dental needs. Professional cleanings are important for removing plaque buildup that regular brushing and flossing may miss. During a cleaning, the dentist may use specialized tools like scaling instruments or ultrasonics to get rid of hard-to-reach plaque. These cleanings can help prevent cavities and gum disease, so it’s important to make sure your child visits the dentist regularly.
Fluoride treatments are an important part of dental care for children and can help strengthen their teeth and protect against cavities. Pediatric dentists may recommend fluoride treatments at regular checkups or during professional cleanings, depending on a child’s individual needs. Make sure to follow your pediatric dentist's instructions carefully when giving fluoride treatments such as gels, varnishes or toothpastes, as too much fluoride can cause fluorosis (white spots on teeth).
Preventive care is an important part of children’s dental health, and pediatric dentists can help give your child the tools they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Pediatric dentists may recommend sealants that coat the back teeth to protect against decay or fluoride treatments for extra protection. They may also suggest a special mouthguard if your child plays sports or has any other activity that puts their teeth at risk.
2. Home Dental Hygiene
Even with proper professional care from a pediatric dentist, children still need regular oral hygiene at home. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are essential for preventing cavities and gum disease. Pediatric dentists may also recommend special toothpaste for children that contain fluoride to help protect their teeth.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are probably the most important aspects of a child’s dental hygiene routine. Make sure that your child brushes twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night before bedtime. Pediatric dentists may suggest using age-appropriate toothpaste with fluoride, as this can help prevent cavities and strengthen teeth. When it comes to flossing, make sure that your child is using the correct technique; otherwise plaque buildup can occur between the teeth or along the gum line, leading to decay or gum disease.
Diet is an important part of dental health, and children should be encouraged to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Pediatric dentists may also suggest limiting sugary snacks and drinks, as these can increase the risk of cavities. In addition, try to limit your child’s intake of starchy foods like chips or crackers; when these are eaten, they can get stuck in the teeth and increase the risk of tooth decay.
It's important to remember that baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth, so it’s essential to take good care of them from an early age. Pediatric dentists may recommend that your child visit the dentist as early as six months of age, and continue with regular check-ups. This will give the dentist a chance to look for any potential problems and provide advice on how to care for baby's teeth properly.
Pediatric dentists are experts in children's dental health, and they can help you keep your child’s teeth healthy. Regular professional cleanings and fluoride treatments are essential for preventing cavities and gum disease while brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene at home. Pediatric dentists may also suggest sealants or mouthguards if needed, so make sure to consult one on a regular basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should my child visit the Pediatric Dentist?
It is recommended that children visit the Pediatric Dentist at least once a year, or more often if recommended by the dentist.
2. What can Pediatric Dentists do to help my child’s teeth?
Pediatric dentists can provide advice and treatment for preventing cavities and gum disease, as well as fluoride treatments, sealants and mouthguards if needed.
3. Are sugary snacks bad for my child’s teeth?
Yes, sugary snacks such as candy and cakes can increase the risk of cavities in children, so it is best to limit their intake.