Getting your child to follow regular brushing habits is extremely important for their oral health. Frequent brushing, avoiding sugary drinks, and routine teeth cleanings are just a few of the best ways to help prevent cavities. Even with all these options available, why is tooth decay the most common chronic disease of children ages 2-11? Experts suggest that many parents are failing to preserve their child’s overall oral hygiene.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, one out of five children between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth.
Here several tips parents should know to keep their children’s teeth bright and healthy.
Letting Your Child Brush Unattended
A child is more likely to brush correctly if a parent is in the room. First, take the time to practice brushing with your child, making sure to teach the proper way of brushing. After some practice rounds, be sure to stand in the room with your child and inspect their brushing technique. Remeber to teach them that it is recommended that they brush for at least two minutes each time. According to most experts, children don’t develop the basic motor skills to brush effectively until the age of eight.
Putting Off The First Dentist Appointment
It is as common as the age of two for a child to need to go under general anesthesia to treat cavity. Ideally, a baby’s first dental appointment should come soon after his or her first tooth erupts. In any case, it should not be later than their first birthday.
Stop Putting The Baby to Bed with a Bottle
Laying down your little boy or girl with a bottle or sippy cup at night keeps the sugar and bacteria levels in the mouth elevated all the time. According to a survey by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 85 percent of parents knew that it wasn’t a safe idea to put their infants to bed with a bottle of milk or juice, yet 20 percent did it anyway. If parents have been putting their babies to bed with a bottle, start weaning as soon as possible.
It is common to pack your child a sports drink for their soccer or tee ball game. While it is okay in moderation, sports drinks are full of citric acids ready to wear down their teeth. Don’t allow your child to sip on sugary drinks such as soda all day. If you can’t rid it from their diet for good, limit the sugary drinks to just one per day.
Not Replacing Tooth Brushes Frequently Enough
Dental experts agree that child toothbrushes should be replaced every four to six weeks. Remeber that this is different from adult toothbrushes. Adults should be changing toothbrushes every three months because of the more bacteria found in their mouths. Make sure to keep your child from chewing on his or her toothbrush. This could shorten the life of the toothbrush even more.
Educating yourself first on how to teach your children to care for their teeth is very important. Ensure that you know all the facts when it comes to your child’s oral health. They may just be baby teeth to you but they serve an important purpose. They help guide adult teeth into the right position and help to define the growth of the airway. If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to contact a dental professional.