You can never start too early when it comes to caring for the teeth of your children. The earlier they get into good habits, the better off they will be as they grow up, and the less trouble they will face in their future.
Babies are born with a full set of teeth which are hidden by their gums. The baby teeth start appearing after six months, but it is essential to look after their gums even before the teeth appear.
All their baby (primary) teeth should have appeared by the age of three. By the age of six, these teeth begin falling out to make way for the permanent adult teeth, which are usually all in place by the time the person is thirteen years old.
The first visit to the dentist is very important, because it can help you come up with a detailed plan that allows you to properly care for your child’s teeth. The dentist will assess whether your child is in a low, medium or high risk group for getting cavities and other problems. Then, the dentist will also tell you how often your child must brush his teeth and whether flossing is also required.
Brushing of teeth must start when the first tooth appears. It’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure the child’s teeth are brushed until he or she is 5 or 6 years old. At this age, children should have the ability of brushing their teeth by themselves.
If parents have lots of tooth decay and cavities, the child is more likely to develop them too, because the parent is obviously not caring for his teeth properly. And if the parent can’t do that for himself, his child has little hope.
Children shouldn’t eat unhealthy snacks. A recent study showed that if a child ate a snack and still had bits of food stuck in his teeth 20 minutes later, that particular snack causes dental health issues, so it shouldn’t be eaten anymore.
Do your best to control how much sugary foods and drinks your child consumes, to help keep his teeth as healthy as possible.
Regular dental check-ups will reveal how well or how badly a child’s teeth are cared for. If there are problems, they can be fixed, and then the parent and child can be educated on how to avoid such problems from occurring in the future.
Ideally, your child should brush his teeth after each meal. Flossing can be done as well, and a mouthwash can get rid of bits of food and give your child’s breath a pleasant smell at the same time.
There are other good habits to teach your child when caring for his teeth. Limit the amount of sugary drinks, for example. Make sure to dilute the soft drinks, thus avoiding the high amounts of acid, which can cause other health problems as well.
Work with your dentist to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to care for your children’s teeth in their early years. As mentioned above, good habits formed early in life will help ensure that their adult teeth remain healthy for the rest of their lives.