Dental Hygiene and Children
Children tend to fall prey to germs and bacteria more and hence develop diseases, infections or cavities too. While it is more obvious to take care of their health needs, as a parent, we might not give enough attention to their teeth.
The oral region is connected to the overall body and that is why any negligence in this area is unpardonable.
We have put together a few vital tips that will help you navigate dental health for your children.
- Even before your baby starts teething, run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria.
- When your baby gets teeth, brush them with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). Use fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. (If you are using baby toothpaste without the fluoride, keep it to the same amount because you still want to minimize any toothpaste that is swallowed.)
- When two of your baby’s teeth touch, you can begin flossing between them.
- Around age 2, your child should learn to spit while brushing. Avoid giving your child water to swish and spit because this can make swallowing toothpaste more likely.
- Kids ages 3 and up should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Always supervise kids younger than 8 while brushing, as they’re likely to swallow toothpaste.
Here’s how to keep cavities away:
- Start good oral habits early.
- Teach kids to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly.
- Get enough fluoride. Regular use of fluoride toughens the enamel, making it harder for acid to penetrate. Although many towns require tap water to be fluoridated, others don’t. If your water supply is not fluoridated or if your family uses purified water, ask your dentist for fluoride supplements. Most toothpastes contain fluoride but toothpaste alone will not fully protect a child’s teeth. Be careful, however, since too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration. Check with your dentist before supplementing.
- Limit or avoid some foods. Sugary foods, juices, candy (especially sticky gummy candy, gummy vitamins, or fruit leather or “roll-ups”) can erode enamel and cause cavities. If your kids eat these foods, have them rinse their mouth or brush their teeth after eating to wash away the sugar. The same goes for taking sweetened liquid medicines: always have kids rinse or brush afterward.
- As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, the dentist can help prevent decay by applying a thin wash of resin (called a sealant) to the back teeth, where most chewing is done. This protective coating keeps bacteria from settling in the hard-to-reach crevices of the molars. But make sure that kids know that sealants aren’t a replacement for good brushing and regular flossing.
- As kids get older, their bite and the straightness of their teeth can become an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it used to, and braces have changed too. The embarrassing old gear — a mouth filled with metal wires and braces — is in the past. Kids as young as age 7 now wear corrective appliances, and plastic-based (sometimes clear) materials have replaced metal. Orthodontists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age can be easier and more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with fairly minor orthodontic devices, preventing major treatment later on.
Give us a call now to schedule for a summer cleaning, we are already booking up August, due to the closure from Covid19. Any questions, your friendly Johns Family Dentistry team is always here to help.