As a parent, you want your children to be healthy and happy. You know that the foods you serve them help provide energy and nutrients for their growing bodies. The same goes for their smiles. What your kids eat and drink will help determine whether they have a healthy mouth or one that is prone to decay.
By teaching your kids how to eat right, you are helping them build good eating habits. These will keep their teeth strong, protect them from cavities and prevent bad breath.
The following tips to help you care for your kid’s dental health
Know when it’s time to remove your kid’s wisdom teeth
There are a few signs that wisdom teeth removal may be necessary. If your child is experiencing pain or swelling around their wisdom teeth, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist. The same goes for any redness of the gums surrounding these third molars or for tooth decay or infection.
In addition, if your child has trouble opening and closing their mouth, biting and chewing food, or simply moving their tongue over the affected area, these could also be signs that their wisdom teeth need to come out.
It’s important to note that not everyone needs kids wisdom teeth removal. In some cases, they may grow straight and not cause any issues that would require surgery. Your dentist will let you know whether or not this is the case in time.
Check for Plaque Daily
Cavities result from a bacterial infection in your little one’s mouth. The bacteria cause an acid to form, destroying the enamel on the tooth. The good news is that you can prevent or at least reduce your child’s risk of cavities by helping to remove plaque before it has time to turn into a cavity.
You can check for a plaque on your child’s teeth by using dental disclosing tablets. Ask your child’s dentist about these tablets and how to use them. Once you see where the plaque is, help your child brush and floss away from the bacteria that cause cavities.
Brush your child’s teeth daily
Children should start brushing as soon as their first tooth erupts. A soft-bristled toothbrush and water are all you need at first. When two teeth touch, it’s time to introduce flossing. Once children reach the age of 8 or 10, they can use a small-headed adult toothbrush with soft bristles.
Include fluoride in your child’s oral health plan
Fluoride is essential to the development of strong, healthy teeth. It can be found in many kinds of toothpaste, mouth rinses, and tap water. You can also ask your dental provider about fluoride applications during regular checkups.
Limit sugary drinks and foods
Soda, juice, and sweetened coffee drinks are high in sugar and can lead to tooth decay. Diet drinks may not have sugar, but they contain acid that can erode teeth over time. Instead of sugary drinks, encourage your children to drink more water throughout the day. This will keep their mouths clean and their bodies hydrated.
Go for a regular checkup
Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, at least once every six months. That way, the dentist can keep a watchful eye on your child’s developing teeth and gums and help you provide the best care for them. Health experts detect any problems early so that treatment can start immediately. Preventive care is always better than remedial treatment.
When to Take Your Kid to a Dentist
Here are four important reasons why you should take your child to the dentist:
- Bleeding gums– Bleeding gums are a sign that your child may have gum disease, which is typically caused by bacteria in dental plaque that build up along and under the gum line. If not treated properly, gum disease can affect more than just your oral health. Studies show that it may also increase your risk for developing other health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory illness, and cancer.
- Pain– Tooth pain can signify cavities, infection, or gum disease. If your child complains of tooth pain, don’t assume it’s because they didn’t brush well enough. Take them to the dentist to rule out other issues.
- Sensitivity– It could indicate a deeper issue if your child has hot or cold sensitivity, especially when eating or drinking their favorite foods and beverages. Sometimes, this is simply due to an exposed root caused by recession of the gums. In other instances, it may point to tooth decay or damage.
- Discoloration-While some discoloration is normal for children (like stains from certain drinks), unexplained discoloration of teeth and gums could be a sign of infection, decay, or other issues. It’s best to have children inspected at regular intervals so that issues can be caught early.
- Damage– If your child plays contact sports and does not wear a mouthguard. They are at risk of dental injuries, such as broken or chipped teeth and cracked jaws. If your child gets hit in the mouth during a game, even if they do not complain of pain they may experience teeth problems later.
- Cavities– Cavities are the most common childhood oral health problem, but they’re easily prevented with regular brushing and flossing. If you notice brown spots on your child’s teeth, make an appointment with the dentist right away so he can fill in the cavity before it gets worse.
Dental problems generally don’t heal on their own and will usually get worse over time if they remain untreated. As soon as you suspect something is wrong, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a dentist so they can examine your child and see what is going on.
Taking care of the teeth of your kids is a very important obligation. If they have healthy teeth, they will have a healthy body too. Many people are not aware that dental health can also affect general health. Even though we don’t usually notice it, dental health and general health are interconnected.
The bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease can also cause heart disease and other problems in the human body. Kids who have bad breath, cavities, or bleeding gums may be more likely to get sick than those who practice good dental hygiene habits. Kids with bad teeth may have trouble concentrating at school, as well.
Dental hygiene can have a big impact on your kid’s self-esteem. They will feel good about themselves if they know they have fresh breath, healthy teeth, and gums. It can raise their self-esteem so much that they’ll want to share their smile with everyone.