If you are a parent that wants to learn how to maximize your child’s dental health, there are a few simple guidelines that you can follow. Firstly, find out if your child is at high risk of developing cavities. Your child may be at risk for developing cavities if he or she consumes a lot of sugary or sweet drinks and foods. In addition, children who are born prematurely, have special care needs, or do not visit the dentist regularly are at risk for cavities. To avoid cavities, limit the amount of sweet snacks that your child eats and feed them fresh fruits and vegetables instead.
When your child is a baby, be careful about bottle-feeding. Sweet liquids from the bottle often remain in contact with the child’s teeth for long periods of time, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. Don’t allow a child to go to bed with a bottle or walk around with a bottle all day. Also, teach the child to use a drinking cup instead of a bottle by their first birthday.
Teach your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Once they reach preschool-age, you can start giving them fluoride toothpaste. A small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is all they need. Don’t overlook the importance of fluoride. Fluoride helps to reduce cavities and makes the child’s teeth stronger by hardening the tooth enamel. Many cities add fluoride to the water supply; however, if you live in a place where the water doesn’t contain fluoride, you can ask your dentist to give your child daily fluoride tablets starting at the age of six months.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association that children begin to visit the dentist starting from their first birthday. It is important that your child sees the dentist at least twice a year so that any problems can be detected at an early stage. Visiting the dentist can often be scary for a young child; however, a pediatric dentist, who specializes in children’s dental health, knows how to handle young patients and can help your child to become comfortable during their dental visits.