Preventing Early Childhood Tooth Decay

Unfortunately, we’re all at risk of developing tooth decay without taking proper care of our teeth and gums. And that goes for children too. As parents, it’s nice to be able to spoil your child from time to time with sweets or a trip to the ice cream shop or a can of pop here and there. But all of that excess sugar that kids frequently consume can really add up and allow bacteria to thrive and eat away at their tooth enamel. Thankfully, preventing early childhood tooth decay can be easy to achieve with proper brushing, flossing, and regular check-ups with the dentist. To help keep your child’s oral health in good shape, here are some preventative tips to remember.

Visiting the Dentist

If you’re unsure of when you should begin bringing your child to a pediatric dentist, it’s recommended to schedule the first appointment within six months of seeing their first tooth emerge. The dentist will inspect the gums and tooth, and recommend any adjustments to your routine to ensure that you’re practicing good oral care with them as they continue to grow.

Teaching Your Child Proper Oral Care

It’s important to begin teaching your child how to take good care of their teeth and gums at an early age. Once some of their teeth grow in, it’s time to purchase a toothbrush for them – you can find child-sized toothbrushes that make it easier to clean. Using a small amount of toothpaste, gently start brushing their teeth. Once they’re old enough, let your child take charge of the toothbrush while you monitor their technique and ensure they don’t swallow the toothpaste. Be sure to correct them whenever necessary.

Reducing Sugar Consumption

An essential step in preventing early childhood tooth decay is limiting their consumption of sugar. Try to swap out sugar-based items for natural alternatives instead, like fruit. And since juice and pop are loaded with sugar, try to avoid these as much as possible. Sugar is one of the leading factors for developing and accelerating cavities.

As your child’s teeth emerge, they can quickly become susceptible to tooth decay without preventative measures and proper care. Reducing the amount of sugar they consume is a crucial step. Practicing tooth brushing with them is also important so they can watch and learn before taking on the task of brushing themselves. And, when it’s time to bring your little one in for their first check-up, give us a call. At Teal Umbrella, our pediatric dentists will help set their dental journey off on the right foot.

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