Growing up isn’t an easy thing to do. That’s why as a parent, there are so many things that you do to keep your child safe, happy and growing. From eating the right foods, to going to the right to school, you want to make sure that your child’s wants and needs are met and they are thriving as they grow. One of things that your child is going to have for the rest of their lives is their teeth. In order to make sure your child is set up for success in keeping those teeth in the best shape possible for as long as possible, it is important to develop good oral health habits.
Why do I need to worry about teeth when they don’t have any or are they just going to fall out?
Believe it or not, once baby teeth get bacteria in them, it can seep down to adult teeth and cause them permanent damage. Starting early can promote healthy habits and lead to a lifetime of good dental health.
What can I do to help ensure a healthy mouth for my child?
Even though your child might not have their permanent teeth showing, there are several ways you can help them start on the right foot with their oral hygiene. First, as an infant, you can clean their gums with a clean damp cloth to remove any residue from milk or formula left behind. As they start to get their first teeth, make sure that they have learned how (with your help) to brush at night with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
If they are old enough to spit, then they are old enough to use regular toothpaste, not just the fruity flavored children’s toothpaste, which doesn’t do as great of a job cleaning teeth. The earlier you start, the healthier your teeth will be. Within six months of getting their first tooth, a dentist visit should be on the schedule, just so the doctor can check out how everything is going and so your child can have a positive experience of going to the dentist.
From the time your child is born, they must avoid common and long term exposure to liquids that contain a lot of sugar. That means skipping out on those popular juice boxes that everyone is drinking and opting for water instead.
When it comes to a diet for a healthy mouth, try to steer clear of anything in a package and aim for fresh fruit and veggies, milk, yogurt, and cheese for snacks for your child. Remember to leave the skin on apples, grapes, and other fruits because not only is that where the nutrients are, but also the skin helps to scrub the teeth on the way down. Also, a little attachment to the thumb or pacifier isn’t going to hurt anyone, but most agree that if your child is hanging onto it longer than the age of three, it might interfere with the growth and alignment of teeth later on in life.