Even at a young age, oral health is very important and still affects your life in many ways. There are a lot of things that you can do as a caregiver to ensure your children get a head start on good oral hygiene habits.
It’s Never Too Early To Start
One thing that you can do, and perhaps one of the most important things, is to start teaching good mouth health early on. As soon as your little one starts getting teeth you should start making an effort to take care of them and also get them established with a dental care provider. Your child’s dentist can give you tips on how to properly take care of your child’s teeth. You should make sure to bring your child to the dentist as often as your dental care provider recommends.
Lead By Example - Brush 2 Times A Day
It’s no secret that kids learn by example. Brushing your teeth right before bed and one more time during the day with your kids is a great way to get them into the habit. You should be supervising their brushing until they are old enough to be trusted to do it on their own correctly.
If your child is old enough, they should be using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Otherwise, there are training toothpastes that are fluoride free for children who do not understand the concept of not swallowing the toothpaste when starting out.
Fluoride Is A Key Factor
There are so many flavors of toothpaste out there and letting your child pick one that they like is fine so long as it contains the proper amount of fluoride. A child under three should use toothpaste with no more of a fluoride level than 1000ppm. After they turn three you can bump that up to a toothpaste containing approximately 1350 to 1500 ppm.
A Healthier Diet Means A Happier Mouth
Another important thing to pay attention to is diet. You should be feeding your children a proper balance of foods. Sugary foods and drinks are obviously bad for both their overall health, and their oral health.
Cheese and raw vegetables are a good alternative for junk food as they remove some harmful acids that can damage their teeth. Fruit drinks should be given in moderation because even though they seem healthy, they contain a lot of sugar. Fruit naturally has a lot of sugar in it which can cause your child’s teeth to decay.
Milk and water are the best options for children to be drinking as neither are acidic or sugary so they are safe for teeth and good for overall health. Realistically, a child should not have more than 30g of sugar in one day. Any more than that is not good for them.
You can help teach your kids what is and is not good for them by allowing them to help you pack their lunch or make meals and it’s a good bonding opportunity for you to take advantage of.