10 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Half of the children between age 12 and 15 have at least one cavity, and the number of children with cavities is increasing. Common dental problems in children are tooth decay, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking, and tooth loss. To help prevent these issues, here are affordable and simple ways to protect your child’s teeth.

  1. Have a regular dental checkups

The optimum age for children to start visiting a dentist is once the first tooth comes in, usually around six months. The dentist can ensure teeth are erupting correctly, plan preventative care and help you establish good oral hygiene habits for your child.

  1. Brushing and flossing regularly

As soon as your child’s first molar erupts, they can begin learning how to brush their teeth. Follow these tooth brushing tips to help prevent cavities:

  • Ensure you brush the front as well as the back of the tooth because plaque and tartar can begin to form, resulting in cavities and gum problems.
  • Use the right amount of toothpaste. Many toothbrushes designed for children up to age 3 have a dot in the middle (around the size of a grain of rice), which actually shows you just how much toothpaste you should be using. For ages beyond 3, a pea size amount is enough.
  • Make it fun! Use a character themed or musical toothbrush. Sing a song or make up a story, so your child looks forward to brushing their teeth, and brushes for the recommended two minutes.
  • Brush your teeth in front of them, showing them how you clean every part of your mouth including your tongue.
  • Flossing can be done once a day; preferably at night because that ensures all food particles are removed before sleeping. Begin flossing as soon as they have teeth that touch each other. A toothbrush can’t reach debris between teeth; only flossing can. Have your child stand with their back to you and lean their head back so you can floss their teeth. Do this before they brush to loosen up any food particles around their teeth.
  1. Be aware of sippy cups

Sippy cups can contribute to crooked teeth as a result of constant sucking. They can also cause tooth decay because they allow children to drink sugary beverages throughout the entire day. If your child insists on using a sippy cup, make a proactive choice by only offering it with water.

  1. Control their intake of juice

Unfortunately, all juices are high in natural sugar, which increases the risk of tooth decay and other serious problems.

The recommended amount of 100% juice is no more than 4 ounces per day.

It is recommended that children under the age of one avoid juice.

  1. Neglect through baby bottle decay

Babies often develop an attachment to their baby bottle, which sees them carry their bottles with them everywhere. Milk is a natural source of sugar, so this behaviour encourages cavities to develop.
Some babies become so attached they take their bottles to bed, drinking from them through the night at their leisure. While difficult, removing this security will benefit their oral health in the long run.

  1. Follow healthy diet

Food has a huge impact on oral health for children of all ages, making a healthy diet essential for healthy teeth and gums. Sugar is the worst form of nutrition, and a daily diet that reduces this as much as possible will ensure the health of your child’s teeth.
Healthy diet options include fresh vegetables, nuts, proteins, yogurt, and whole grains. As saliva offers teeth an extra layer of protection, eating less frequently can help stop acid attacks from occurring. If your child is hungry for a snack, cheese, apples, carrots, or other sliced vegetables are great options.

  1. Add proper fluoride

Fluoride is a natural substance which strengthening your child’s enamel, ensuring that acids cannot penetrate through to create cavities in the first place. Fluoride can strengthen teeth even before they protrude through the gum line, meaning preventative action will go a long way to achieving optimum oral health for your child.
The most common way to receive fluoride is through drinking water, but if your drinking water lacks fluoride, the next best option is through supplements provided by your dentist. Talk to your dentist if you feel your child could benefit from fluoride supplementation, which can be daily drops, tablets, or lozenges.

  1. Never use spit to clean pacifier

Spit should never be used to clean a pacifier. Adult saliva has a very different bacterial makeup, and the transfer of bacteria to very soft new teeth can result in cavities. Adult saliva is full of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria attributed to tooth decay.
If you’re planning on heading out, place an extra pacifier in your bag, unless you are somewhere you can clean a dropped pacifer with hot water and soap!

  1. Water is best for teeth

Water is the best beverage of choice when it comes to hydration that doesn’t result in cavities. Water is also the best preventative when it comes to reducing post-meal acid.
Rather than brushing your teeth after every meal, it is more effective to rinse your mouth out with fresh water. Enamel is in its softest state immediately after a meal, making tooth brushing a harsh action that can permanently damage enamel. Rinsing with water reduces acid without the enamel damage, so if you want to ensure the health of your child’s teeth, why not adopt a family rinse habit after every meal?

  1. Avoid sugary foods after dinner

Sugary foods cause tooth decay, so it makes sense to avoid sugary foods after dinner. The problem with sugaryfoods late at night is compounded by the fact that many children simply don’t brush their teeth adequately.
Even with parental guidance, there are parts of the mouth that can be missed, leading to cavities. Choosing a healthier snack late at night or ultimately no snack at all can mean a reduced chance of poor oral health in the long run.

All it takes is a little preparation to get your child established with great oral habits. With a proactive approach, your child will have beautiful, white, healthy teeth that last a lifetime.

Author Bio:

Susan works at Oxford House Dental Practice, a pioneer in quality dentistry since its establishment in 1954. With its large, private car park, familiar exterior, friendly attitude of surgeons and the full range of dental treatments, it is a well-known dentist in Milton Keynes.

I am a blogger and have 10 years’ experience in marketing and my core focus is to build my authority as a blogger and I am doing this by writing actionable, useful and engaging contents.