As your young child begins to grow, it's important for you to take the right steps to help him or her develop healthy, cavity-free teeth. To do this, you should begin taking your child to the dentist as early as the age of one, and you can also cavity-proof your child's teeth by following these three tips.
Assist With The Right Oral Care
Your child is likely to want to brush his or her teeth alone, but you really should help the child do this. Children have to learn good brushing habits, and this takes time. One idea is to let the child do this by him or herself, but you can go behind the child and brush them again. With this method, the child will at least be doing it alone, but you can also step in and make sure you brush the hard-to-reach areas.
Setting a good example for your child is also a good idea. If your child sees you brushing your teeth every morning and night, he or she may also want to do this. You could even make a habit of doing it together. To make the brushing more effective for both of you, buy a small timer and set it for two minutes. Use this timer each time you brush and let the child set it for you.
Give The Child Enough Fluoride
Fluoride is something that strengthens the enamel on teeth, and the enamel is what protects teeth against cavities. While getting too much fluoride is not good, getting enough is a necessity for your child's teeth. You can use these methods to make sure the child gets enough fluoride:
- Give him or her water with fluoride – Starting a newborn baby on water with fluoride is recommended by doctors and dentists, and you can purchase gallons of water for this purpose. If you have a city water system, your tap water might also contain fluoride, so you would not need to purchase it.
- Get fluoride treatments at the dentist – A pediatric dentist will start giving kids fluoride treatments as soon as they are old enough to handle this procedure. This is done by spraying fluoride foam on teeth liners. The liners are placed in the child's mouth for a few minutes, and the fluoride penetrates into the teeth. Afterwards, the child should not eat for at least an hour to make sure the fluoride has time to take action.
- Use the right products – Small children cannot use mouthwash, but as a child gets older he or she can. Giving the child small amounts of mouthwash is a good idea, as long as the child spits it all out.
If you have questions about this, ask your pediatric dentist.
Choose Dental Sealants
The third way to cavity-proof your child's teeth is by choosing dental sealants for them. Dental sealants are plastic coverings placed over the teeth in liquid form. As the liquid dries, it hardens and becomes a shield against decay. According to Animated Teeth, children can get them at any age, but most dentists will wait until the molar teeth have erupted completely before putting them on.
The coating that is placed on a tooth will gradually wear off, but this is a process that takes many years. Typically, by the time it wears off, the child is old enough to have developed good oral habits of his or her own. Because of this, dental sealants are generally used for kids, but adults can get them too.
Protecting your child's teeth against cavities is up to you, especially when your child is really young. To learn more ways to cavity-proof your child's teeth, make an appointment with a pediatric dentist.