As a parent, you surely want to keep your child as healthy as possible. However, many new parents do not know how to meet the oral health requirements of a young child. These five tips will help you cover all the basics and get your kids' teeth off to a healthy start in life.
1. Clean Your Baby's Gums
Oral healthcare for children begins long before the first baby teeth appear. Gently wipe your newborn's gums with a soft, damp cloth after each feed to keep them clean. This helps to prevent bacteria from growing in your child's mouth. Continue cleaning your infant's gums in this way until they develop teeth, at which point you can move onto cleaning with a soft toothbrush.
2. Practice Healthy Feeding Habits
Bottle cavities are unfortunately very common in babies and toddlers. You can avoid this type of cavity by never putting your child to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. Although these beverages contain healthy nutrients, they also contain natural sugar, which feeds oral bacteria. Feed your child and then clean their teeth or gums before you put them down to sleep.
3. Choose Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a natural mineral that strengthens tooth enamel. Dentists recommend using fluoride toothpaste to clean children's teeth as soon as they appear. However, fluoride can cause tooth discolouration if a child swallows large amounts of it, so stick to using a tiny amount of toothpaste until your kid gets the hang of spitting the paste out.
4. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
When your child's first tooth appears, it is time for their first dental checkup. Throughout your child's youth, stick to a regular schedule of dental appointments so your family dentist can ensure your child's teeth are developing correctly. Dentists can not only spot the signs of tooth decay and treat it right away but also monitor the alignment of your child's teeth and recommend braces to straighten them if necessary.
5. Protect Kids' Teeth During Sports
According to research published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, 13 per cent of childhood oral traumatic injuries occur while playing sports. A whack in the mouth with an elbow, knee, ball or bat can easily dislodge a child's teeth, which could lead to lifelong consequences for their oral health. Protect your kids from this kind of injury by getting them fitted with custom mouthguards and ensuring they always wear them when playing contact sports.