How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth in Pediatric Dentistry
Kids require the assistance of an adult from the day they are born until they approach adulthood. The journey is long and can be demanding, especially on matters of health.
Caring for the oral health of your child requires intentionality and commitment to achieve excellent oral health. Besides, your child is more likely to learn more about oral health from you than is the case with a kid’s dentist.
What Does Oral Care Entail in Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is dentistry for children. It caters to all the oral needs that kids have, right from infancy to the teenage years. The oral needs of kids change as they grow up. For all the stages, the solution for excellent oral health is found in pediatric dentistry.
The role of caring for your child’s health, however, should not be fully delegated to a dentist for children. Many of the things necessary for excellent dental health have to be practiced at home.
Tips for Proper Oral Care for Children
- Have a family dentist – this is something we encourage at Strickland Family Dentistry. It assures you that you have a dental professional to turn to when you have a concern with the oral health of your child. Besides, there is such great convenience with having a family doctor for all your oral health needs.
- Practice good oral hygiene – the emphasis on regular teeth brushing and flossing in Sarasota, FL, is not for adults only. Children too, need to practice good oral hygiene. For infants without teeth, you may only need a clean washcloth to wipe the gums and tongue of your child. However, once teeth begin to grow, you must start with the brushing of teeth and flossing. This should commence by the time your child is between 6-10 months. Talk to a dentist near you about how to brush your child’s teeth properly, and what guidelines to follow.
- Consider regular fluoride treatment – the teeth if your child needs to be strengthened. It is one thing to rely on calcium from food, and another thing to work directly with the teeth. For this, you need to get fluoride treatment in a dental clinic. The treatment enriches teeth with fluoride, a natural mineral helpful for building teeth. The mineral is also important for fighting infections causing dental cavities and tooth decay.
- Reinforce good eating habits – children are more inclined to eating snacks and lots of sugary foods. Planning healthy meals for your kids is necessary, not just for their oral health, but for their overall health. Be sure to pack their meals with fruits and vegetables, which are great sources of vitamins and nutrients. You should also put restrictions on the amounts of sugars your child takes, including sodas, candies, and pastries.
- Make oral care fun – children will choose anything that is fun over everything else. For teeth, if you intentionally make healthy habits fun, your child will comply. Watch shows and commercials about oral health to help foster the importance thereof. You can also brush your teeth together with your child and make it enjoyable.
- Consider getting dental sealants – they are substances used in pediatric dental care to help protect the teeth of children from dental cavities. Ideally, they are plastic-like materials that are applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth, particularly the molars and premolars. They fill the pits or teeth so that they lock out any bacteria from damaging the chewing surfaces thereof. The benefits come when your child gets through the cavity-prone ages, that is between 6 and 14 years old, without getting dental cavities. Besides, sealants make it easier for kids to clean the back teeth without leaving plaque and food residues in some areas.
- Allow older kids to chew gum – it does not have to be a type of gum packed with too much sugar. Chewing sugar-free gum has benefits such as:
- Strengthening the jawbone and facial muscles.
- Helps in the production of saliva
- Freshening breath
- Removing some loose food debris caught up in teeth
- Balancing the acids present in the mouth