10 Tips for Raising Kids with Good Teeth
A child’s first teeth, or baby teeth, are really important because they affect a child’s ability to speak and chew food. Although the baby teeth are only used for a few years, their care can affect the health of adult teeth, so it’s never too early to start teaching children about oral hygiene.
1) Early care. Daily tooth cleaning should start as soon as a child has teeth. To start with, this could be done with a damp cloth or a very small soft brush before moving on to a bigger brush and teaching your child how to brush for themselves.
2) Sealants. From the age of around six years old children will start getting their permanent molars, which will need to last them for the rest of their lives. It is possible to have thin protective coatings painted on to the chewing surfaces, which can reduce the risk of cavities.
3) Use the right amount of fluoride. Fluoride can help to strengthen enamel, protecting it against decay. Most toothpastes and mouthwashes contain fluoride for this reason, but it is important not to use too much for young children. Any more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste can lead to white spots on their teeth.
4) Brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Children thrive on routine, so making sure that twice-daily brushing is part of their day is the best way to ensure they continue this healthy habit into adulthood.
5) Rinse after eating. Brushing teeth too soon after meals can actually cause damage because enamel may be temporarily weakened by food acids. However, teaching your child to rinse their mouth after eating can help to protect their teeth from decay.
6) Change toothbrushes regularly. Once the bristles on a toothbrush start to fray, it becomes less effective at cleaning, so experts recommend they should be changed three to four times a year.
7) Eat a balanced diet. The healthy growth of first teeth and adult teeth requires a variety of nutrients, so it’s important to make sure your child eats a balanced diet which provides everything they need. There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally found in fish, can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of gum disease.
8) Limit sugary foods. When sugar is broken down, it turns into acids which can erode enamel and cause sensitivity and decay. Foods which stay in the mouth for a prolonged period, such as sticky sweets or sugary drinks, are particularly damaging and should be avoided or severely limited.
9) Regular dentist appointments. Experts typically recommend visiting a dentist every 6-12 months, and it is a good idea to get your child used to these visits from an early age.
10) Use a mouth guard. Playing sports and taking part in physical activities are great ways to keep fit and grow healthy bodies, but they can be hazardous to teeth. Dentists can make custom-fitted mouth guards which will keep your child’s teeth safe from damage.
At Cherrybank Dental Spa, we believe in the same levels of excellent care for children as we do for adults. To discuss treatments or book a family dentistry appointment at Cherrybank, or, if you would like to find out more about how Digital Smile Design could work for you please call us today on 01738 481 519
Alternatively, you can contact our expert dental team via an online consultation, where you can find out:
- If we can help you
- What your treatment options are
- An idea of costs
Last updated April 8th, 2019