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No parent wants their kids to end up with lots of cavities. Unfortunately, child tooth decay is very common. Below are some tips on how to care for your kids’ teeth and teach them best practices.
Help them develop a dental routine
Kids should be taught the importance of brushing their teeth morning and night from an early age. In their early years, it’s a good idea to brush your kids’ teeth for them. By the age of 7, your kids should then be doing it themselves – however it’s a good idea to watch to make sure they’re still doing it properly.
Some kids enjoy brushing their teeth, while others may find it to be a chore and may resist. To encourage kids to brush their teeth, try to make it a fun activity. There are lots of ways to entertain young kids such as brushing their teeth to music, getting them to make funny sounds like ‘eee’ and ‘ahhh’, brushing your teeth with them and letting them choose their toothbrush. As kids get older, make sure to stress the importance of brushing and flossing teeth.
Watch what they eat
A poor diet can contribute to bad teeth. Make sure that your kids aren’t consuming too much sugar – this is the big culprit behind tooth decay. Some of the worst offenders include candy, chocolate, soda drinks and fruit juice.
Try to limit sugary foods and drinks by reserving them as treats. This could include only allowing kids to have no more than one soda per day or one bit of candy after school. Kids shouldn’t be allowed to continuously feast on sugary foods and drinks throughout the day. Eating crisp fruits and raw vegetables are actually a good way to naturally clean plaque from your teeth. Plus, they have nutritional benefits with antioxidants and vitamins.
Go for checkups
Dental checkups are a great way to check that your kids’ teeth are healthy. As your kids start brushing themselves, dentist visits can be particularly helpful for seeing how well your kids are brushing. A family dentist will be able to recommend any brushing improvements that need to be made. They also are helpful in teaching kids the best techniques for flossing which is very important in oral health.
Know when to consider dental treatment
If your child has developed a cavity or is experiencing pain, it most likely is time to consider dental treatment. When caught early, many dental problems are easier to treat and you can stop the spread of infection. If caught early enough, it can also mean having the treatment at the dentist office verses needing to go to an endodontist or even the hospital.
It’s important to also check your kids’ teeth as new teeth are coming through. Problems such as overcrowding can make brushing teeth harder as well as affecting the general appearance of teeth – orthodontic treatment such as getting invisalign clear braces could help to push your teeth into shape. Most kids get braces in their early teens.
Lead by example
Your kids are more likely to care about their dental health if you care about your own. Make sure that you’re brushing your teeth, visiting the dentist regularly and watching your diet. If kids grow up seeing their parents brushing their teeth twice per day or limiting soda drinks, they will view it as the normal thing to do. If you’re not strict with a brushing routine or you drink a lot of soda, it will be harder to persuade your kids not to take the same path.
These are just some of the tips you can follow to help care for your kids’ teeth and teach them how to take care of them. Speak with your dentist about other ways to help foster a desire for good dental hygiene.
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