Good dental hygiene is very important – in fact, many other health issues can stem from teeth problems. That's why it's crucial to start very early in life. You can do a lot to protect your kids from getting cavities by showing them to clean their teeth and gums as soon as they are old enough to be able to know what to do. How to do that best? Read on to learn more!
1) Be Firm but Inspiring When It Comes to Teeth Hygiene
Always stand firm on brushing, flossing and rinsing. Emphasize to your child the importance of these hygienic practices. Some tips and tricks to coax your reluctant kid to brush their teeth on their own include: being patient with them, letting them choose their favorite toothpaste or toothbrush, and using some motivators to encourage them. There are many child-friendly accessories you can get e.g. at Sears, such as toothbrushes with children's favorite cartoon characters, that are sure to make your kid want to spend more time in the bathroom. While you're at it remember about Discountrue coupons for helpful discounts on a wide range of products. And, most importantly, don’t forget to lead by example by actually showing your children how to brush the teeth!
2) Start Going for Checkups Early
By the time your child hits one year, you should see to it that they begin visiting a dentist. Such early preventive teeth care also helps to save a lot of cash in the long run. In fact, dental care expenses reduce by almost 40% over a 5-year period for a child who begins dental visits by their 5th birthday, according to the CDC.
3) Teach Your Kids Good Hygiene Habits
In fact, brushing should start even before your little one has grown teeth. Gently brush your child's gums using water on a baby toothbrush or a soft washcloth. Once their teeth have appeared, use a special infant toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to brush them twice a day.
Flossing can begin once two teeth have touched each other. Your dentist can advise more on this, as well as when to start using mouthwash. Brushing and flossing should be done just before bedtime, after which no more food or drink (except water) should be taken till the next morning. This also helps to protect your kid from 'Baby Bottle Decay' that is caused by putting your child down to sleep with a bottle of juice, baby formula or milk.
4) Watch Out for Sugary Foods, Drinks and Even Sweet Medicine
You should definitely cut back on your child’s intake of sugary stuff. Things like juice or cake are not a very healthy daylong choice for kids. They can lead not only to cavities, but many other ailments as well. Keep in mind that more than four ounces of 100% fruit juice per day is very unhealthy to the teeth.
Another thing that parents forget about often is sweet medicine. Don’t let their characteristic flavors and sugars stick for long on the teeth. Particularly, some antibiotics and asthma medications can lead to an overgrowth of candida (yeast), resulting in a fungal infection known as oral thrush.
5) Control the Sippy Cup and the Use of the Pacifier
As long as a sippy cup can help your child transit from a bottle to a glass, don't let them drink from it all day. Too much use of the sippy cup can cause decay on the back of their front teeth if drinks are sugary.
Using a pacifier can be very beneficial to your child, however, it is recommended that they ditch it by the age of 4. Some claim that it can affect the lineup of the teeth in the long term, or even lead to a change in the shape of your child’s mouth. It's best if you get more advice from your doctor on this. And what you definitely shouldn't be doing is dipping the pacifier in something sweet!