Start Them Young: 4 Tips To Keep Your Kids Teeth And Gums Healthy
If you've got kids, you want them to stay as healthy as possible. Part of that health includes their teeth. You might not realize it, but dental problems – such as gum disease – can lead to serious health problems later. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help keep your kids teeth and gums healthy. Here four of those steps.
Start Them Early
It's never too early to get your kids started on the path to good oral hygiene. In fact, you can start as soon as your kids are born. The first thing you should do is use a clean, damp cloth to wipe your baby's gums after each feeding. Once their first tooth erupts through the skin, you should start using a soft toothbrush. It's also a good idea to schedule your child's first trip to the dentist right around the same time as their first tooth erupts. Early dental visits will help your dentist monitor the health and development of your kid's teeth. Those early visits will also help your kids develop a good relationship with their dentist.
Say Yes to Sealants
In addition to early exposure to good oral hygiene, it's also a good idea for you to say yes to dental sealants. The surface of your kid's teeth contains small pits and fissures. Those sealants will seal those spaces, and protect the chewing surface of your kids back molars, which will prevent tooth decay. If your kids haven't had their teeth sealed yet, talk to your dentist about having the procedure done at your next visit.
Don't Overdo it on the Fluoride
Fluoride is an important part of your kid's dental health. To protect your kid's teeth, be sure that the water they're drinking is fluoridated, and that your older kids are using a fluoride toothpaste. It's also a good idea to talk to your dentist about fluoride treatments, especially if your kids are prone to tooth decay. It's important to remember that young children should only use a small dab of fluoride toothpaste on their toothbrush. Otherwise, they risk developing white spots on the enamel of their teeth.
Encourage Proper Oral Hygiene
It can be difficult to get your kids to practice proper oral hygiene. However, to ensure healthy teeth, it's important that you do. First, make sure they brush their teeth for about 3-minutes, twice a day. You can encourage longer brushing by having them listen to their favorite song while they brush. Once the song is over, they can stop brushing. Second, make sure they get a new toothbrush at least once every three months. This will ensure that their teeth are getting as clean as possible. Finally, be sure they see the dentist at least twice a year. Encouraging proper oral hygiene while they're young will follow them through to adulthood.