It’s easy to assume that because children just have their baby teeth in some cases, or because they’re younger, they’ll be less prone to tooth decay and gum disease. But starting early preventative dental care measures for children can halt issues like cavities and gum disease in the long run.
Children can actually be susceptible to gum diseases like chronic gingivitis, which causes the gums to swell, turn red and bleed, as well as other issues like cavities. According to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, around 50 percent of children have periodontal disease. And according to the CDC, in 2011 to 2012, 21 percent of children from the ages of six to 11 had dental cavities in permanent teeth.
Luckily, preventing these dental issues and others is easy with some proper dental care. Below are some top tips to follow.
The basics of brushing
Most people have heard how to brush, but because we learn at home, we can all have different understandings of it. The current good methods for brushing include:
- Use soft-bristle brushes, as these will get the job done without upsetting the gums too much.
- Always use fluoride toothpaste. That helps the teeth guard against plaque.
- Use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste on the brush. There’s no need to unload half the tube, especially for children.
- Use small circles over every tooth, getting the tops and all sides of each tooth.
By teaching these methods to your children, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the chance of oral health problems.
Other preventative dental care measures for children
Everyone knows we should floss, but many people don’t know that children should have an adult assist them with flossing. That will assure the greatest dexterity for getting in between the teeth accurately. And remember, when flossing the teeth of a child run the floss along both sides of the space between the teeth.
Also, make sure to keep up on visits to a dentist near you. The typical recommendation is twice per year, about every six months.
One of the best preventative dental care measures for children is to start those good hygiene habits early. Estimates on when to start using toothpaste vary, so talk with your dentist about when you should start using toothpaste. And start brushing with water as soon as you see the first tooth. Watch your child’s mouth as they age and start flossing when the gaps between the teeth close.
By keeping up with oral hygiene, your child will understand that good oral hygiene habits are just a part of normal life. Also, try to be a good role model by keeping up on oral hygiene yourself, and make sure your child sees you brushing your teeth at least twice daily.
Also, remember to limit how much your child snacks. It may seem paranoid, but every snack is an opportunity for plaque to build up, especially as those sugars and starches from most snack foods mix with saliva. So try to limit snacking, and have your child brush their teeth as often as possible after snacking.