Dental Health for Kids: 5 Things All Parents Should Know
As a parent, it's important to look after your kids' teeth. Read on to learn some important things you need to know about dental health for kids.
Being a parent is a rewarding but difficult job, as it can feel like there are a million different things to worry about at once. With everything on your plate, it can be easy to allow their dental health to slip your mind.
But practicing good dental health for kids is important for their overall health! Poor dental health can lead to a variety of health issues, from cardiovascular disease to pneumonia.
To learn a few of the best oral health tips for kids, keep reading!
- Don't Wait to Visit the Dentist
Start good dental habits early by taking your child to the dentist as soon as he or she has their first tooth. While you likely won't be able to have a productive conversation about gum disease and tooth decay with a small child, making the dentist a normal part of life will help them with oral health down the road.
Introducing them to your Family Dentist as early as possible will also cut down on any anxiety your kids have around dentist visits.
- Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
One of the best things you can do for your kids oral health is to avoid giving them sugary foods and drinks. Soda and sports drinks are particularly harmful to children's teeth because they not only contain a high amount of sugar but are often acidic as well.
There's nothing wrong with an occasional treat, but sugar will damage your little one's teeth like nothing else.
- Use Flouride Toothpaste
You might be surprised to learn that tooth decay is extremely common among children. In fact, about 20% of children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one decayed tooth.
To prevent this from happening to your child, avoid the "safe to swallow" toothpaste marketed toward young children. Use fluoride toothpaste from the start, which will help your child's teeth grow while protecting them from cavities.
- Floss Daily
You're never too young to start flossing. Once they have enough teeth that some are touching, it's time to break out the floss. Even the best tooth brushing won't rid their mouth of all of the food and plaque.
Do your best to floss your child's teeth every day, taking care to rub both sides of each of their teeth.
- Tools and Technique Are Important
When brushing your child's teeth, you should be brushing in circular motions. Don't brush back and forth, you can damage the surface of their teeth.
The general recommendation is to brush for two minutes, but there's no need to brush for that long if your child only has a few teeth. For kids 5 years old and younger, you should be able to clean their teeth thoroughly in a minute or so.
Practice Good Dental Health for Kids to Create Positive Health Habits
The importance of dental health for kids cannot be overstated. Taking care of their baby teeth will not only prevent decay but teach them good dental health habits for the future.
Brushing and flossing might not be their favorite thing, and that's okay! Be patient, take your time, you can even make it a game or offer rewards (as long as those rewards aren't soda or candy).
Looking for more tips on improving your child's health? Be sure to check out our blog!