Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Five Things to Ask Your Kid's Dentist

Maintaining your child’s dental health from infancy to adolescence involves both the routines followed at home and the regular preventive care dental visits. Your child’s dentist can be a great resource for implementing the routines necessary to ensure that your child has good dental health as she grows. Following are five questions to ask your child’s dentist.

At what age should you bring your child for his first dentist’s visit?

The answer to this question ranges from the moment the first tooth comes in to the child’s third birthday. Many dentists will recommend some time before the child turns three. The American Dental Association, however, has stricter recommendations that say your child should have her first dentist’s visit when her first tooth comes and definitely no later than her first birthday. 

How should you care for your baby’s teeth? 

Babies’ teeth should be cleaned at least once a day using a specially designed infant toothbrush with very soft, flexible bristles, a soft, wet rag or tooth tissues. The cleaning should be done before bedtime to remove any dental plaque and to prevent tooth decay from setting in. 

When can you start using toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth? 

You can start using children’s toothpaste when you begin brushing your child’s first tooth. However, to begin adding regular toothpaste, you should wait until your child is between 2 and 3 years old and has figured out how to spit out so that she does not swallow the toothpaste. The amount of toothpaste for a child under five should be minimal, about the size of a pea, and she should be supervised as she brushes and encouraged to spit out during the process. 

How can you make sure you are providing the best diet to keep your child’s teeth healthy? 

The best way to help keep your child’s teeth healthy is to ensure that they are eating a balanced diet that includes the appropriate servings of all the food groups such as dairy, meats, vegetable and fruits. Additionally, you should limit the child’s intake of sugar and starches, which can harm teeth. Your child’s dentist is a good source for specific foods recommendation to benefit your child’s dental health. 

How often should children have dental checkups? 

Children should visit the dentist every six months after their initial visit even if they have no dental problems. These visits are preventative to make sure that children continue with their dental health and to track their dental development. These visits also serve to identify and treat any tooth decay that sets in between visits. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Keeping Cavities Away from Kids with These Simple Tips

Teaching children how to care for their teeth is an important part of parenting. When a child consumes food and sugary drinks, plaque can form on the teeth and lead to cavities. For this reason, it is important to begin caring for a child’s teeth from the moment that they first appear. This means, that dental care should begin in the first few months of a child’s life and carry through until they have established an oral hygiene routine that they can perform independently. Therefore, the following tips are offered to help parents begin to implement simple preventative methods to keep cavities away.

Brush and Floss Regularly

The best way to prevent cavities is to remove the food debris and plaque that can lead to a breakdown of the tooth enamel. This can be done by encouraging a child to brush after every meal and floss every day. Young children may need assistance from their parents to reach their back teeth. Additionally, older children may need a daily reminder. For children of every age, a chart can be a great way of keeping track of when they last brushed.

Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

Sugary and acidic foods are more likely to begin breaking down the tooth enamel. For this reason, it is best to avoid sugary foods and drinks whenever possible. Juice is a common culprit of cavities as many people overlook the amount of natural sugar that these drinks contain. For this reason, it is better to mix half a cup of juice with water to lower the sugar content. Rinsing the mouth out with water or brushing after consuming sugar will also help to reduce cavities.


Dental Sealants

The back molars of a child’s mouth are not only hard to reach when brushing, but they also contain tiny cracks on the surface that are prone to tooth decay. For this reason, dentists often recommend placing dental sealants on these tooth surfaces as soon as they appear in the mouth. This common dental procedure is painless, takes only a few minutes to complete, yet it will offer long-lasting results.

Regular Dental Visits

During the first year of a child’s life, they should visit the dentist to ensure that their teeth are developing properly. Then, they should visit their dentist on a regular basis for exams and cleanings. During an exam, a dentist will offer even more suggestions for how to prevent cavities in children such as whether or not they need fluoride.
Keeping cavities away from children’s teeth is simple as long as a few simple tips are followed. By encouraging regular tooth brushing, avoiding sugary foods and visiting the dentist on a regular basis, parents can begin to establish an oral hygiene routine that will ensure many years of cavity-free teeth.

Author Bio

Lyndsi is a freelance writer and mother of two. Currently she is working with a dental marketing consultant to promote dentist advertising. Lyndsi also enjoys rock climbing and camping with her husband and children.