Even though the primary, or baby teeth, of your child will soon be replaced by permanent teeth, it is still important to develop good oral hygiene early on. Tooth decay is common in young children, and it is an issue that can be prevented by following some basic habits when taking care of your young child. Primary teeth allow your child to learn how to chew and talk, and they are there to keep the space for the tooth that will eventually be permanent. To keep your child's smile healthy, teaching them good habits while they are young is going to have a big impact. From daily flossing and brushing to avoiding sticky snacks, your child can develop strong oral hygiene skills that will last a lifetime.
Preventing Tooth Decay at Home
As soon as you see that first, tiny little tooth popping through your baby's gums, it's time to start introducing a toothbrush. You can find a baby toothbrush that fits on your finger, and is soft enough for your baby's mouth. To help make the enamel strong, use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and brush your baby's teeth two times a day. While you won't have to floss for some time, get your baby used to having their teeth brushed early. Flossing can begin once your child has teeth that are closer together, which occurs between 4 and 6 years old.
Go to the Dentist Early
Your baby should see a pediatric dentist as early as before their first birthday. The pediatric dentist will take a careful look at your baby's developing teeth, and your baby will have their teeth cleaned at the same time. Just like adults, your child should go two times a year for a dental checkup to check for decay and get their teeth cleaned.
Watch Sugary or Acidic Snacks
The enamel on your child's teeth can break down from too much sugar or acid. Soda is a big culprit of tooth decay in younger children, as it is both sugar-laden and acidic. Even too much orange juice can have a negative impact on your child's teeth due to acidity and sugar content. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and water for your child.
Keep your child's smile free from cavities with good oral hygiene habits right from the start. As soon as your child has teeth, it's time to start introducing teeth cleaning habits. For more information, talk to a pediatric dentist near you.