Children naturally go through the transition of losing baby teeth to make room for adult teeth, and it is important to always have good oral health throughout the process! Making sure your children take care of their teeth can save you from the headache of dealing with problems such as cavities that may occur if they are not taken care of!
Here are some simple tips for keeping your child’s teeth healthy and strong:
Make sure they brush their teeth at least twice a day.
A lot of parents follow the guideline of “once in the morning, once at night,” usually after breakfast and dinner. Brushing at least twice daily helps get food and bacteria out of the teeth. Each time they brush their teeth, it should last roughly two minutes. It might help if you play a song or have them sing one in their head, like “Happy Birthday,” a few times through.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
Sugar from food or a drink turns into acid, which can eat away at your teeth. This leads to cavities, which are common in children who have too much sugar. Avoid things like soda, fruit juice or sweetened drinks. Limit sweet snacks, and make sure your child brushes their teeth after having one. It is also important to limit the amount of sugar gum your child chews, or only give them sugar-free gum.
Use toothpaste or mouthwash that contains fluoride.
Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making the outer surface of your teeth, the enamel, more resistant to acids released from sugar and plaque. If your child is 6 or younger, don’t use fluoride unless your dentist recommends it. Younger children are more likely to swallow instead of spitting it out after, which can be harmful to their health.
Encourage them to floss.
Flossing should occur daily. It removes plaque and cleans between your teeth to prevent things like cavities or gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on leftover sugar or food in your mouth and releases an acid that eats away at your teeth. It is important to cover your bases and floss to cover any areas your toothbrush might not be able to reach!
Take them to regular checkups at the dentist.
A pediatric dentist can help you show your child how to properly brush and floss if you have questions. The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist around their first birthday so the dentist can look for any early problems with a child’s teeth. Starting child visits young helps establish comfort around a dentist and instills a good habit of regular checkups! It is recommended that everyone should see a dentist twice a year.
If you’re near the Roscoe Village, Lakeview or Northside areas of Chicago, visit our website or call us today to make an appointment! We work with kids of all different comfort levels and offer many accommodations, including sedation dentistry. We would love to meet you and your child and provide them with the best treatment possible.