Establishing good oral health in childhood can help prevent serious dental disease during one’s lifetime. While our family dentist provides a number of treatments to address common conditions like dental caries and gum disease, there are steps parents and caregivers can take to preserve the health of their children’s teeth at home. Some of these steps can prevent disease when followed properly.
Teach Proper Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is any patient’s first line of protection against common disease. Children after the age of four should begin brushing their own teeth. Teaching proper oral hygiene is a process that takes some getting used to for children since dexterity is necessary. Moreover, learning to brush and floss properly can take practice since some teeth are harder to reach than others. Beyond teaching oral hygiene, it is important to prioritize it by establishing a routine and conveying its importance in your household. Some parents choose to incentivize brushing and flossing with rewards like movie nights or extended bed times on the weekends.
Schedule Routine Checkups and Cleanings
Routine checkups and cleanings with our family dentist are essential for protecting the health of teeth and gums. Checkups are quick and comfortable. They can reveal a variety of potential problems that can be treated with preventive and restorative care. Cleanings are important, too. A dental cleaning removes substances that are missed by home care practices and can help prevent the development of gum disease, which can occur at any age.
Sugar is a source of food for bacteria – especially the harmful varieties that live in the mouth. When bacteria feed on sugar, they colonize and form plaque. A sticky, translucent substance, plaque can affect the health of tooth enamel when bacteria release acid and it can inflame the gums. Our practice recommends reducing sugar to help starve harmful bacteria and protect teeth.
Encourage Water Intake
Not only does water hydrate all the body’s systems, drinking it is good for oral health. Water helps rinse the mouth of debris and it can neutralize an acidic environment. We recommend that kids drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy oral pH.
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