Tooth decay can occur as soon as children start growing teeth. All it takes is for sugary substances to stick to their teeth, and it will result in tooth decay. These sugars do not necessarily need to come from candy or junk food. They can come from milk, juice, and honey too.
People assume that children have stronger teeth than adults, but it is actually the opposite. When young children grow baby teeth, their enamel is thin and extra soft. It does not take long for plaque to generate acids which destroy the enamel if there are sugars sitting on the teeth.
To prevent early childhood tooth decay and having dental health problems later in life, you need to take good care of their dental health early on.
Below are 7 ways you can do this.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing must become a daily ritual with your child. If they are not old enough to do these things for themselves, then you will need to do it for them. But if they are old enough, then get your child in the habit of brushing and flossing at least two times per day.
Clean Their Teeth After Meals
If you are feeding your child milk or any other food with sugar in it, then clean their teeth immediately after they eat. Do not let anything sugary stick to their teeth for longer than necessary. If you do not clean their teeth and sugar sits on them for too long, then tooth decay will likely follow.
Feed Them Nutritious Foods
It is best to get your child started on a nutritious diet in their early years. This will make it easier for them to stick to the diet as they enter adulthood. In addition, a nutritious diet will ensure they have strong and vibrant teeth.
Avoid giving your child any food or drink which has added sugars in it. That means no soft drinks, cookies, cake, or any desserts. Even if you feed them a naturally sugary food like raisins, you must ensure they do not stick to their teeth either.
Remove Baby’s Bottle
Parents often make the mistake of letting the baby hold their own bottle for too long. If you are not paying attention to your baby, they will probably fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth. That could be devastating because the sugary milk in the bottle will also sit in their mouth and on their teeth.
Provide Sugar-Free Medicine
Whenever your child needs some over-the-counter medications, such as cough drops or liquid cold medicine, make sure it is sugar-free. Medicine is not supposed to taste good anyway, so there is no sense in getting a sugar-filled version. Save your child’s teeth by always going sugar-free.
Introduce Water Early On
Babies need milk because they contain vital nutrients for their initial growth. But as babies turn into children, they must be introduced to water. Do not let your child keep drinking milk, whether it is human breast milk or cow milk.
Introduce your child to water and get them in the habit of drinking it. Water is a great way for anyone to keep their teeth clean naturally. It washes all the debris and substances off the teeth.
Get your child started with regular visits to the dentist, so they can receive dental exams and cleaning. The dentist can educate your child about the right way to brush their teeth. The sooner they pick up this habit, the better.
Lake Haven Dental Surgery is a good facility for general dentistry check-ups and procedures for children. You should consider checking them out.