Are you wondering how you can protect your kids’ teeth from plaque, tartar and other key causes of cavities and tooth decay?
As a parent, it’s your job to ensure your children are healthy and well. Since babies and toddlers don’t know how to care for their own teeth, their oral health relies on you. Which is why It’s so important for you to know how to care for your child’s teeth and gums.
Without proper dental hygiene, you put your kids at risk of suffering from cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and the list goes on. And poor dental hygiene in kids usually leads to poor dental hygiene in adults.
So, how can you ensure optimal oral health for your children so that they grow up with strong, healthy teeth?
In this article, you will discover 7 helpful tips to care for your child’s teeth, as advised by the best family dentist in Leander, Texas.
Get ready to find out how you can keep your kids’ teeth healthy for years to come.
Table of Contents
Tip #1 Care Your Child’s Teeth From Day One
Do you know when to start brushing your kids’ teeth?
You can expect your child’s first baby tooth to erupt anywhere between four to seven months of age. On average, baby teeth come in around 6 months old.
While you should start caring for your child’s teeth right away, you should not use toothpaste right away.
Why? Because baby teeth are sensitive.
On top of that, babies do not understand not to swallow toothpaste. If too much toothpaste gets swallowed, this can create an excessive amount of fluoride in the body. While some fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, too much will harm it.
You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth by simply wiping their teeth with a soft cloth or by using a small, soft bristle toothbrush with water.
So, what age should a kid start brushing their teeth with toothpaste?
Once your child reaches 18 months, it’s safe to start brushing with toothpaste. Use a low-fluoride toothpaste to avoid weakened enamel.
Pro Tip: You will probably need to assist your child in brushing until he or she reaches 7 years old. Always be present at teeth brushing time to make sure they’re brushing properly.
Tip #2 Teach Your Kids Healthy Brushing Habits From A Young Age
Are you introducing healthy brushing habits to your child’s daily routine?
It’s important for you to teach kids how to brush the right way so they don’t grow up with the wrong teeth brushing technique.
As a reminder, you should teach your kids to…
- Brush 2-3 times per day
- Spend two full minutes brushing every tooth
- Floss daily (when age-appropriate)
- Switch toothbrushes regularly (every 3 months)
Pro Tip: You can make teeth brushing time fun for kids by downloading an app or creating a game that will encourage them to brush for two full minutes.
Tip #3 Limit Sugary Foods And Drinks From Your Kids’ Diet
As you probably know, excess sugar intake is a key cause of cavities in kids.
If you want to significantly decrease your child’s chance of developing tooth decay, limit the number of sugary foods and drinks you allow your child to ingest each day.
Here are some of the worst foods and drinks for kids’ teeth:
- Soda and juice
- Dried fruits and other sticky foods
- Potato chips and other starchy snacks
Did you know starchy foods like bread, pasta, and potato chips can also cause cavities in kids? The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar, so these foods cause just as much harm as candy and juice.
Tip #4 Introduce Healthy Vitamins & Minerals To Your Child’s Diet
Want to reverse the negative effects of sugary, starchy and acidic foods?
Just like there are foods that are bad for teeth, there are also foods that are amazing for tooth health. To amplify tooth strength, feed your children foods high in vitamins and minerals.
Here are some vitamins & minerals that are good for your child’s teeth:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- B vitamins
- Vitamin K
So, which foods contain healthy vitamins and minerals? Stay tuned.
What to feed kids for tooth strength:
- Leafy greens
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables
- Protein-rich foods like eggs and chicken
Tip #5 Make Sure Your Kids Drink Water With Fluoride In It
While too much fluoride can be detrimental to your child’s dental hygiene, a safe amount of fluoride goes a long way.
Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, which is the hard mineral layer responsible for protecting teeth from chips, cracks, and decay.
To best part?
You can give your kids fluoride without a battle. Most drinking water contains some level of fluoride that helps ward off plaque and tartar.
Does your drinking water have the right level of fluoride?
As always, it’s best to do your own due diligence and make sure your water isn’t over fluoridated. This way, you can ensure you don’t give your kids too much fluoride.
Tip #6 Protect Your Child’s Mouth During Sports And Playtime
Children are really active, which means they’re prone to injury.
If your child plays any contact sports, you might want to consider giving them a mouth guard to wear. Mouthguards help avoid dental injury during sports.
Sports-related dental injuries can cause a mouthful of pain, and they should not be taken lightly. To avoid tooth loss or oral infection, address oral injuries right away.
Special Note: Apple Springs Family Dentistry responds quickly to your dental emergencies. If you or your child is suffering from a dental emergency, don’t wait. Call us right now at 512-212-9711.
Tip #7 Start Seeing Your Family Dentist From Year One
Are you waiting too long to take your kid to the dentist?
If you didn’t know, you should take your child to the dentist by the time they turn one year old, or six months after their first tooth erupts.
When you start bringing your child to the dentist from a young age, you will be able to monitor your child’s dental health from the start. Plus, this will help you reduce your child’s fear of the dental chair.
Schedule Your Pediatric Dentistry Appointment Now
With Apple Springs Family Dentistry, Your New Family Dentist
Is it time for your child’s first dental appointment or their next checkup?
Click here or call 512-212-9711 to schedule a pediatric dental visit with Apple Springs Family Dentistry right now.