When it comes to taking care of your teeth, the earlier you start the better. This is especially important, considering that cavities affect 20% of children aged 5 to 11 and 13% of children aged 12 to 19. The good news is that cavities and tooth decay are preventable. To ensure your children have the healthiest teeth possible, follow these guidelines.
The Basic Guidelines of Oral Health:
Remember that baby teeth are important.
- Baby teeth typically appear around 6 months of age and grow until around age 2 or 3.
- It is important to take care of these baby teeth because it establishes good oral health habits in young children and contributes to a healthier mouth later in life.
- Most water sources contain fluoride, a mineral that can help prevent cavities.
- Limit your intake of juice and soda, as those increase teeth's acidity and cause cavities.
- Foods to eat: fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, beans, and whole grains.
- Foods to avoid: dried fruit, chips, cookies, and other items high in sugar. These foods create an acid that attacks the teeth, forming cavities.
Make sure to brush children's teeth at least twice a day.
- This is important to do after breakfast and before bed for at least two minutes each.
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush all sides of the mouth.
- Once a child's teeth begin to touch one another, start a flossing regimen. This will get rid of food and germs stuck in between teeth.
Get a regular checkup from the dentist.
- Follow your dentist's guidelines for visits and screenings.
- If parents see a problem or know that the child is not receiving fluoride in their water, children should see their dentist by their first birthday. Otherwise the child may wait until around 2 years of age for their first visit, which we call a “ happy visit”
- Young children should receive a fluoride varnish to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities.
- Talk to your dentist about dental sealants, which protect teeth from decay.
We all want the best for our children and oral health should be near the top of that list. We take the guesswork out of taking care of young teeth. Contact The Smile Spa today to schedule an appointment and learn about our services!