Moms!…(and Dads) Are you doing all that you can do for your childrens oral health? Make sure you are by following these quick and easy 10 steps to make sure you are providing the best for the little person in your life, and who knows, maybe pic up something that may improve your habits as well.
Tips for Building Healthy Oral Habits for Kids!
• Healthy oral hygiene habits can begin even before your baby has teeth! After feeding, wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth. This will help your baby get used to having your mouth cleaned after eating.
• If you feel your baby needs to sleep with a bottle, fill it with WATER ONLY! Other liquids, such as juice or milk, encourage the growth of bacteria which causes cavities.
• Baby’s first tooth is an exciting thing! As soon as the first tooth makes an appearance, begin brushing with an infant or baby toothbrush in the morning and especially before bedtime. Lie your child down and support their head with a pillow, a bed, a couch, or your lap. This allows you to have both hands free with a good view into baby’s mouth.
• Once the habit of brushing is established, be aware of any changes in the color of your baby’s front teeth. Brown lines, white lines or spots, or tiny chips may be signs of potential problems. Early detection makes for easy repair!
• Using toothpaste which contains fluoride helps to harden the tooth mineral, which makes it more resistant to acid. Only a very small smear of toothpaste is necessary when brushing, approximately the size of a pea.
• Think of ways to make tooth brushing fun! Make brushing a game, sing songs, and read stories about healthy teeth and visiting the dentist. A general rule of thumb would be to brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to write their own name correctly!
• Happy-visits to the dental office are recommended by 12months of age, or within 6months of baby’s first tooth. This is a great time for your child to be introduced to your dental office, as well as an opportunity for you to ask any questions regarding your child’s dental health.
• Healthy snacks are a great thing! When eating between meals, its best to avoid foods containing sugar or starch, as well as acidic foods. Sticky snacks like dried fruit, or starchy snacks like crackers or granola bars, can be especially harmful. Healthy snack choices include nuts, nut butter, seeds, cheese, plain yogurt, raw veggies, or popcorn.
• Sweets! We all know that sugar can cause cavities. It’s important to know that it’s not the amount of sweets our children eat, but how often and when they eat them. Every time we eat something with sugar, the oral bacteria produce acid that can damage the teeth. This “acid attack” can last up to 20 minutes every time. This means, if they are going to have sweets, the end of a meal is the best time to have them.
Please feel free to Post any questions you may have about your childs oral health, or email me at Drberdan@vernondentalcentre.com.