Dental health issues can be painful and expensive. Oral health impacts many things throughout a child’s life, including their self-esteem. Establishing proper mouth care from a young age can prevent oral health problems during adulthood.
At Dentistry for Children in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada our pediatric dental experts know the aesthetic, physical, and emotional importance of healthy teeth. By helping parents develop a routine for children at an early age, our trained specialists ensure maximum dental care benefits for the rest of their lives.
Why dental health is important for children
Even though baby teeth eventually fall out, it’s crucial they’re well taken care of. Paying attention to baby teeth creates great oral hygiene habits early on. It also ensures your child understands the best ways to keep cavities and crooked teeth at bay.
Children have a high risk of tooth decay
Tooth decay develops when bacteria and acids settle onto and between teeth. Saliva helps remove some bacteria throughout the day. However, if your child isn’t brushing and flossing every day, that bacteria sticks and grows. Eventually, it turns to plaque, eats away at tooth enamel, and causes tooth decay.
According to the team at Johns Hopkins Medicine, some children are at risk for tooth decay because of:
- Sugar and starch-filled diets
- Reduced saliva production
- High levels of mouth bacteria
- Limited fluoride supply in water
- Poor oral hygiene
Care of baby teeth affect adult teeth
Poor oral care of baby teeth impacts the future of your child’s mouth. Baby teeth, also called milk teeth or primary teeth, act as a sort of place holder for their adult teeth. They help give shape to their face as they grow and aid in the development of speech. Taking exceptional care of baby teeth guarantees healthy gums for permanent teeth.
Many poor oral health habits can develop while your child is a baby, so it’s best to take preventive measures to avoid costly and painful dental problems as they grow older.
How to create good habits early
Besides practicing proper hygiene in front of your children, there are some other ways to set your child up for a lifetime of great dental health.
Develop excellent oral hygiene habits early on by using wet gauze or a washcloth to wipe the gums and all-around your baby’s mouth after they’ve eaten. This will help remove food bits and other debris that can lead to bacteria, and it will help your child get used to having their mouth cleaned.
As soon as their first tooth appears, start brushing the teeth (or tooth) morning and night. Use a soft toothbrush that’s created for children. Choose a toothpaste that includes fluoride and only use a pea-sized amount for each brushing.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a parent brush their child’s teeth for them until they’re six-years-old. This prevents them from swallowing too much toothpaste, and it shows them how long they should brush each time. Anything less than two minutes of brushing isn’t long enough.
The less sugary snacks and drinks your child consumes, the less likely it is bacteria will have a chance to grow in their mouth. Sticking to fresh foods and plenty of water is another way to cultivate healthy oral habits and a healthy sense of wellbeing. After all, a bright smile makes everyone feel happier and more confident.
Are you ready to begin a lifetime of great dental health for your child? Contact Dentistry for Children by using our helpful online booking form.