Are you wondering how you can protect your kids’ teeth from plaque, tartar, and other vital 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 teeth, their oral health relies on you. This is why it’s so vital for you to understand 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 so 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 they grow with strong, healthy teeth?
In this article, you will discover seven 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 six months old.
While you should start caring for your child’s teeth right away, you should not use toothpaste immediately.
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 excessive fluoride in the body. While some fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, too much will harm it.
You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth or using a small, soft bristle toothbrush with water.
So, at 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 they reach seven years old. Always be present at teeth brushing time to ensure they’re brushing correctly.
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 three months)
Pro Tip: You can make teeth brushing time fun for your kids by downloading an app or creating a game that encourages them to brush for two 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 harmful effects of sugary, starchy, and acidic foods?
Like some foods are bad for teeth, some foods are amazing for tooth health. Feed your children foods high in vitamins and minerals to amplify tooth strength.
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, the hard mineral layer that protects teeth from chips, cracks, and decay.
To the 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 due diligence and ensure 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 active, which means they’re prone to injury.
If your child plays any contact sports, you might want to consider giving them a mouthguard to wear. Mouth guards help avoid dental injury during sports.
Sports-related dental injuries can cause a mouthful of pain; 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?
Call 512-212-9711 to schedule a pediatric dental visit with Apple Springs Family Dentistry right now.