When babies get their first teeth, it’s time to celebrate. But it’s also time to think about keeping those new teeth healthy and cavity-free. When good dental health habits start early, with baby teeth, they can be well established for a healthy smile when the permanent teeth grow in.
Feed Them Healthy Foods
You already know that sugary treats can cause cavities, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. As kids grow older, you don’t always have complete control over what they eat. They may get sweets from grandparents, neighbors, or lunchbox swaps with their classmates.
Further, sugar can hide in foods. Fruit juice, dried fruits, and jam or jelly can have the same effect on enamel erosion as sugar. Encourage your child to make healthy snack choices such as fresh fruit, cheese, nuts, and raw vegetables. Crunchy snacks can also help clear away plaque.
Make Sure They’re Following a Dental Routine
As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, you should start a regular brushing routine. For several years, you will have to assist because children don’t have the coordination needed to reach all surfaces of the tooth that need cleaning. They also won’t be able to floss.
Many children find the taste of toothpaste too strong, so use just a little, but always choose a variety with fluoride. Fluoride toothpastes are better at fighting cavities. With regular practice, when they reach their tween years, they should have good dental hygiene habits firmly ingrained.
Get Them Regular Checkups
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important to prevent cavities and to catch any problems that may be contributing to tooth decay. The first visit to the dentist should be before their first birthday. A pediatric dentist and hygienist will encourage good habits.
As your child grows, the hygienist will remove any cavity-causing tartar buildup and advise you about areas where your child needs to brush more thoroughly. Your dentist will look for signs of future problems, such as teething issues or tooth crowding. A misaligned bite can cause teeth to decay.
Nobody likes having cavities filled, and left unchecked, tooth decay can lead to more serious oral problems. While your child’s smile looks terrific right now, it will take work to keep it that way. When you start good habits in infancy, such as a good diet and regular brushing, your child’s teeth can stay healthy into adulthood.
Check out this article on what every mom needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle!