Parents often find it challenging to determine the appropriate level of dental care required for their children. While they understand the importance of cavity prevention, they may lack clarity on the most effective methods to achieve this goal. Here are some tips for parents:
1. Start early
Begin dental care as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. Wipe their gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings, and once the teeth erupt, start brushing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
2. Use fluoride toothpaste
Use a small smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) for children under 3 years old. For children, 3 years and older, use a pea-sized amount. Make sure they spit out the toothpaste and avoid swallowing it.
3. Brush twice a day
Encourage your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Supervise them until they are around 7-8 years old to ensure they are brushing properly.
4. Teach proper brushing/flossing technique
Show your child how to brush their teeth in gentle, circular motions, covering all tooth surfaces. Pay attention to the gumline and back teeth, as these areas are often neglected. When they have more than 1 tooth, start flossing them.
5. Make it fun
Make brushing a fun activity by playing their favorite music or using a toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character. Consider using a timer or toothbrushing app to help them brush for the recommended two minutes.
6. Encourage flossing
As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, introduce flossing. Help them floss their teeth at least once a day until they can do it on their own. Floss picks or floss holders can be helpful for children.
7. Limit sugary foods and drinks
Sugar contributes to tooth decay, so limit sugary snacks, candies, and drinks in your child’s diet. Encourage healthier options like fruits, vegetables, and water.
8. Schedule regular dental check-ups
Take your child for regular dental check-ups every six months or as recommended by the dentist. Regular visits can help identify any dental issues early on and promote good oral health habits.
9. Consider dental sealants
Talk to your dentist about dental sealants, which are thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. They can help prevent cavities by shielding the teeth from bacteria and food particles.
10. Lead by example
Be a positive role model for your child by practicing good oral hygiene yourself. Brush and floss your teeth together, emphasizing dental care’s importance for overall health.
Remember, good dental care habits established in childhood can set the foundation for a lifetime of oral health. Call Paradise Dental Associates today or book an appointment online for your family’s dental needs.