Care of Your Child's Teeth, Brushing tips: Staring at birth, clean your child's hums with a soft cloth and water. As soon as your child's teeth erupt, brush them with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Under the age of 2, use a small "smear" of toothpaste. Flossing tips include: Flossing removes plaque between teeth and under the gum-line where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing should begin when any two teeth touch. Floss your child's teeth daily until he or she can do it alone.
Good Diet = Healthy Teeth, healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet. Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy and breath mints stay in the mouth a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese, which are healthier and better for children's teeth.
How Do I Prevent Cavities? Good oral hygiene removed bacteria and the left over food particles that combine to create cavities. For infants, use a wet gauze or clean washcloth to wipe the plaque from teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water. For older children, brush their teeth at least twice a day. Also, watch the number of snacks containing sugar that you give your children.
Seal Out Decay, a sealant is a protective coating that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where four out of five cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth.
Fluoride, is an element, which has been shown to be beneficial to teeth. However, too little or too much fluoride can be detrimental to the teeth. Little or no fluoride will not strengthen the teeth to help them resist cavities. Excessive fluoride ingestion by preschool-aged children can lead to dental fluorosis, such is a chalky white to even brown discoloration of the permanent teeth. Many children often get more fluoride than their parents realize. Being aware of a child's potential sources of fluoride can help parents prevent the possibility of dental fluorosis.
Mouth Guards, are needed when a child begins to participate in recreational activities and organized sports, to prevent injuries. A properly fitted mouth guard, or mouth protector, is an important piece of athletic gear that can help protect your child's smile, and should be used during any activity that could result in a blow to the face or mouth. Mouth guards help prevent broken teeth, and injuries to the lips, tongue, face or jaw. A properly fitted mouth guard will stay in place while your child is wearing it, making it easy for them to talk and breath.
Xylitol - Reducing Cavities, benefits recognized by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs. The use of Xylitol Gum by mothers (2-3 times per day) starting 3 months after delivery and until the child was 2 years old, has proven to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time the child was 5 years old. Studies using xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing prevention methods. This xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
Beware of Sports Drinks, due to the high sugar content and acids. Sport drinks have erosive potential and the ability to dissolve even fluoride-rich enamel, which can lead to cavities. To minimize dental problems, children should avoid sports drinks and hydrate with water before, during and after sports. Be sure to talk to your pediatric dentist before using sports drinks.