Your kid’s oral health plays a significant impact on their overall health. When their teeth, gums, and mouth are healthy, they can eat delicious and nutritious food, speak normally, feel good about their smile, and enjoy an overall quality of life. Good oral health reduces your child’s risk of oral concerns such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.
Existing and untreated oral conditions can cause significant discomfort and affect your child’s ability to eat well, speak, function, and even sleep well. It also causes the need for uncomfortable, invasive, lengthy, and expensive treatments. Poor oral health also increases their risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
As far as your child’s oral health is concerned, there are several things you can do to help your child to maintain a healthy mouth. This article gives tips on keeping your child’s teeth and mouth healthy, fully functional, and beautiful.
Caring for Your Kid’s Mouth
Below are tips for cleaning and caring for your child’s mouth based on their age:
Less than 12 months
- Wipe the child’s gums using a clean, soft, damp cloth at least once daily.
- Once the baby’s teeth appear, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth at least once daily.
- Take the child for their first pediatric dental checkup and cleaning once their first tooth erupts.
- Avoid giving your child sugary items. It can encourage bacterial growth, increasing your child’s risk of decay and other oral infections.
Age 1 – 2 years
- Take the child for their first pediatric visit after 12 months. Be sure to schedule follow-up appointments.
- Brush the child’s teeth daily using a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and non-fluoridated toothpaste.
- Regularly monitor your child’s bite and signs of oral problems.
- Take your child for treatment promptly if you notice any oral concerns.
Age 3 and above
- Introduce your kid to proper oral hygiene habits such as flossing and brushing their teeth twice daily for at least 2 minutes each.
- Replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 – 4 months or sooner.
- Consult a pediatric dentist about introducing your child to fluoride toothpaste.
- Take them for pediatric visits every six months.
Essential Tips to Keep Kid’s Teeth Healthy
- Be a role model. Children learn by observing and imitating. Therefore, you should be a good role model to your child by demonstrating good oral hygiene and habits. You can brush and floss with them rather than instruct them to go and brush alone.
- Help and teach your child how to brush and floss. Young children might not be able to brush thoroughly, especially in the dark parts of their mouths. Helping and teaching them how to brush and floss will ensure their teeth, gums, and mouth is clean. It reduces the risk of bacterial plaque, which causes tooth decay and gum disease.
- Take them for routine dental appointments. Good at home is good but not sufficient to maintain excellent oral health. Taking your child for routine visits allows the dentist to clean their mouth and remove bacterial plaque that causes decay and gum disease. The dentist can also monitor their oral development and address any potential concerns. Their first meeting should be as soon as their first tooth erupts or after 12 months. After that, schedule routine visits every six months. Our Pediatric Dentist in Westwood, MA, offers teeth cleaning for kids.
- Feed them healthy foods. Diet plays a crucial role in your child’s mouth and body wellness. Feed your child’s teeth and gum healthy foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Similarly, avoid or limit foods and drinks high in acids and sugar. These can increase the child’s risk of developing cavities and gum infections.
- Apply dental sealants and fluoride treatments. Since children snack regularly and might not be able to brush their mouths adequately, they are at a greater risk of developing oral problems such as cavities. Applying dental sealants to their back teeth reduces the risk of developing bacterial plaque and tartar, promoting healthy teeth. Fluoride treatments also strengthen their teeth and protect them against cavities.
- Warn your child about sharing utensils. Children might be okay sharing drinks and foods using the same cups, bottles, or spoons. Unfortunately, sharing utensils increases the risk of passing bacteria which causes oral infections.
Schedule an appointment today
Do you need more information on how to care for your kid’s teeth? Contact Westwood Dental Group to learn more or book an appointment.