It is important for children to care for their teeth properly to avoid any problems from tooth decay or gum infections. At Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists, we offer a variety of dental care suggestions for a child’s teeth. Here are the points to remember for the best dental care for children.
Point to Remember 1: Consuming a Nutritious Daily Diet
Children should have access to nutritious foods that include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and proteins. The majority of the foods served to children should be plant-based, including dark leafy greens, tomatoes and apples. It is better for children to eat natural foods that aren’t slathered with fatty sauces or deep-fried in oils.
Point to Remember 2: Frequent Brushing with Fluoridated Toothpaste
Choose toothpaste that contains fluoride, but avoid buying hot mint or cinnamon flavors. Provide a soft-bristled toothbrush that is the proper size for the child’s mouth and hands, making it easier for a child to brush correctly. Have a mirror placed at a lower level so that a child can see her mouth while brushing, and also, provide dental floss for removing additional food debris. Children can also use some types of fluoridated rinses to improve the strength of their dental enamel.
Point to Remember 3: Drink Healthier Beverages
Parents should avoid giving children unhealthy beverages, such as soft drinks, sweetened tea or fruit juices. It is better for children to drink plain water or nutritious milk that will hydrate the body and keep the teeth or alveolar bones healthier. Infants and toddlers shouldn’t have bottles of milk to drink at night because this practice can erode the enamel of the teeth.
Point to Remember 4: Customized Mouth Guards While Playing Sports
If your child is participating in sports or riding a bicycle, then we recommend having a customized mouth guards made. These devices are made from molds of your child’s mouth, and you should replace these mouth guards frequently so that the items will fit properly.
Point to Remember 5: Avoiding Bad Habits
Bad habits can damage the alignment of a child’s primary teeth, so we recommend discouraging bad habits, such as sucking on the thumb or using a pacifier. Biting the fingernails can also damage the dental enamel on the teeth, and it will also introduce numerous pathogens into the mouth, possibly causing gingivitis.
Point to Remember 6: Taking Dietary Supplements
When your child has allergies that prevent the consumption of certain foods, you can find dietary supplements to replace the missing nutrients in their daily diet. It is a good idea to understand the proper amount of vitamins and minerals that a child requires at a certain age.
Point to Remember 7: Set a Good Example
Parents should set a good example for their children by also consuming a nutritious diet, avoiding sugary beverages and brushing their teeth at least twice a day. If parent plays a contact sport, they must wear a mouth guard so that a child understands the importance of protecting the gums and teeth during physical activity.
Point to Remember 8: Regular Dental Office Visits
Parents should bring young children to Houston Pediatric Dental Specialists when the first baby teeth erupts. This helps children to become accustomed to having the teeth examined, leading to less fear at an older age. Make it a habit to visit our office every six months so that your children can have an examination, professional cleaning and a fluoride treatment.