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You might not really think about taking care of your child’s teeth beyond the normal brushing once or twice a day (or once in two days, lol). But the truth is that even little teeth can have problems and by age 5, a child could be suffering from tooth decay.
What does taking care of your child’s teeth entail?
Actually a lot more than simply brushing the teeth. Even the way you brush it and the amounts of toothpaste you use should be carefully considered. In an article title Taking Care of Tiny Teeth by Maricar Santos of WorkingMother.com, a few tips were shared to help you with that job. Here they are below:
Start dentist visits early on. The AAPD recommends that a child’s ongoing dentist office visits begin around age 1, or after the eruption of the first tooth. Early visits allow your dentist to assess how your child’s teeth are coming in and jaw is growing. Plus, you can learn how to help take care of your little one’s teeth, and she can get familiar and comfortable with the dentist chair.
Use kid speak when talking about dental health. Tooth decay, gingivitis and tartar may sound like foreign words to your child, so find an alternative route to dental care discussions. An easy way is to join the Monster-Free Mouths Movement. “It’s a cute way of getting kids’ attention about what’s going on in their mouths,” Dr. Brill says. “We’re characterizing the germs and the bacteria in the mouth as monsters, so kids see that it’s something that shouldn’t be part of their existence.”
Supervise brushing until age 8. “Young children don’t have the manual dexterity to do a really good job until age 7 or 8,” explains Dr. Brill. “So parents have to take an active involvement in their children’s oral health at least until then.”
Measure toothpaste amounts carefully. To prevent kids from accidentally ingesting fluoride toothpaste in large amounts, parents should stick to the recommended amounts from the AAPD: a tiny smear of toothpaste for kids under 2, a rice-sized amount for kids 2 to 5 and a pea-size amount for kids over 5.
Brush twice a day. Don’t skip this dental health basic. “You should brush your teeth and your young child’s at least twice a day—when you wake up and before you go to bed. If you have the opportunity to brush and floss after eating, that’s a very good thing to do,” Dr. Brill says.
Encourage routine flossing. As soon as the teeth are in contact with each other, flossing should be part of your kid’s dental hygiene routine. Lend a hand if your child needs help or is confused about how to floss correctly.
Skip the mouthwash. “Mouthwash is basically perfume,” Dr. Brill asserts. “Nothing substitutes for a good brushing and a good flossing.”
Skimp on sweets. Bacteria in the mouth coupled with a diet high in sugar creates the perfect setting for acid to form and to create tooth decay, so limit how often and how much your little one snacks or sips on sugary food and drinks.