The 6 don’ts of caring for your child’s teeth

Do you know that tooth decay is the most typical continual illness of childhood? And that 40% of kids have tooth decay by kindergarten? It is a large deal, not solely due to the ache and an infection it could possibly trigger, but additionally as a result of kids with tooth decay usually tend to miss college and have poorer grades — and since tooth decay is linked to a better danger of many well being issues later in life, together with coronary heart illness and untimely delivery.

Tooth decay is easy to stop, but sadly, many households don’t take the steps which are wanted.

1.   Don’t skip the fluoride. Fluoride could be very useful on the subject of stopping tooth decay. An excessive amount of fluoride isn’t good, as it could possibly result in fluorosis — however avoiding fluoride totally is a giant mistake. There is no such thing as a want for “coaching” toothpaste. As quickly as your little one has tooth, it is best to use fluoride toothpaste. The trick is to solely use a tiny bit. Earlier than age 3, only a barely seen smear is loads. Beginning at 3, use a pea-sized quantity.

2.  Don’t shirk the brushing. It may be busy within the morning when you’re making an attempt to get everybody out of the home — and it’s comprehensible to be so exhausted within the night that simply getting youngsters into mattress turns into the aim. However common brushing is essential to stopping cavities. Ideally, brushing ought to occur after each meal, however twice a day is okay. As soon as a day will not be fantastic.

3.  Don’t skip supervising the brushing. Independence is nice in youngsters, however not on the subject of brushing tooth. To be actually efficient, every tooth must be brushed. Left to their very own units, most children don’t brush all of their tooth (a few of them barely brush any). So for teenagers youthful than 6, fairly than simply handing them the toothbrush after which checking your telephone, or sending them to the lavatory to brush on their very own, dad and mom should be concerned. Do it your self till you’re positive they’re doing what they should do.

4.  Don’t give youngsters sticky sweets. Sugar is unhealthy for tooth, particularly when it’s actually caught to tooth. So stuff like toffee, caramel, gummy bears, and even dried fruit should not the perfect decisions on the subject of snacks. Not that children can by no means have them, however they need to be restricted, and ideally youngsters ought to brush quickly after consuming them.

5.  Don’t let youngsters carry round sippy cups or bottles of juice or milk. When youngsters are continuously sipping juice or milk, it finally ends up that means that tooth are constantly bathed in sugar. Even 100% juice and unsweetened milk have sugar (the pure sugars of milk and juice, not sucrose), which might do the identical injury to tooth. If youngsters are going to hold round a beverage, it needs to be water.

6.  Don’t keep away from going to the dentist early or typically sufficient. The American Dental Affiliation and the American Academy of Pediatrics advocate that kids see a dentist, and set up a dental “dwelling,” by the age of a yr. As soon as they get began, they need to go each 6 months for a checkup, cleansing, and preventive care like sealants. Identical to going to the pediatrician for normal checkups, going to the dentist for normal checkups is one of the best ways to catch issues early and forestall them earlier than they begin.

For extra data on preserving your little one’s tooth wholesome, go to the Youngsters’s Oral Well being web page of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention web site.

Comply with me on Twitter @drClaire

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