The foundation for a lifelong healthy smile starts before your child’s first baby tooth erupts. Although they are only in place for a short time, they serve a valuable role in your child’s oral health and development. The biggest threat to your child’s smile is tooth decay. While the rate of cavities has declined in recent years, it remains the most prevalent chronic condition American children face. In fact, 43.1% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 will develop at least one cavity. As a parent, your family dentist in Green Lake has several tips to help you keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy.
Establish an Oral Hygiene Routine Early
You can teach your child to commit to their oral hygiene at home by incorporating it into their daily schedule. Even before their first baby tooth erupts, take the time to wipe their gums with a soft cloth twice a day. After their first teeth emerge, use a small soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth twice a day. Around the age of 6, their teeth move closer together, so it is time to incorporate flossing into their nightly routine.
Encourage a Healthy Diet
The foods your child eats can help or hurt their oral health. It is best to limit their consumption of sugary and starchy foods, which can lead to tooth decay. Instead, promote a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
Drink Tap Water
Tap water keeps your child hydrated while also encouraging strong enamel. It is a source of fluoride, which strengthens your child’s enamel to help prevent tooth decay.
Schedule Regular Dental Appointments
Around the age of 1, your child should see their dentist in Green Lake for a cleaning and checkup. They monitor your child’s oral health and development while creating customized solutions to ensure their smile lasts.
Ask about Preventive Treatments
Besides a routine cleaning and checkup, their dentist can also offer other preventive treatments to help combat tooth decay, like dental sealants. These act as a protective barrier to cavity-prone areas to reduce the risk of decay. Fluoride varnish also helps to protect their smile by replenishing areas of weakened enamel.
Besides your child’s home oral hygiene routine, take them to their dentist regularly as soon as their first teeth erupt. Your dentist creates a specific oral hygiene program to keep their smile cavity-free. With the right foundation at home and with the help of their dentist, you can encourage a healthy smile that lasts.