January 23, 2019
Dental Health & Hygiene for Children
Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean teeth with a soft, clean cloth or baby’s toothbrush. Avoid putting the baby to bed with a bottle and check teeth regularly for spots or stains.
As you might guess, the number-one dental problem among preschoolers is tooth decay.
1. One out of 10 two- year-old already have one or more cavities
2. By age three, 28% of children have one or more cavities
3. By age five, nearly 50% of children have one or more cavities
Many parents assume that cavities in baby teeth don’t matter, because they’ll be lost anyway. But that’s not true. Dental decay in baby teeth can negatively affect permanent teeth and lead to future dental problems.
Teaching Good Dental Habits
The best way to protect your child’s teeth is to teach him good dental habits. With the proper coaching he’ll quickly adopt good oral hygiene as a part of his daily routine. However, while he may be an enthusiastic participant, he won’t yet have the control or concentration to brush his teeth all by himself. You’ll need to supervise and help him so that the brush removes all the plaque—the soft, sticky, bacteria- containing deposits that accumulate on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Also, keep an eye out for areas of brown or white spots which might be signs of early decay.
For all children, you should
1. Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are two years old. You might start sooner, if a dentist or doctor suggests it.
2. Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks
3. Schedule regular dental check-ups
Forming good habits at a young age can help your child have healthy teeth for life.