Tooth decay is a major source of concern for many parents with children under 5 years, as more and more kids are losing their teeth or getting adversely affected by the disease. It is therefore very important that parents learn how to ensure their children's teeth are strong enough to resist tooth decay, cavities and other periodontal diseases now and in the future.
Much depends on the oral hygiene habits you teach your children and what you feed them from an early age. Here are some crucial tips to prevent children's tooth decay.
Start dental visits early
Take your children for regular dental exams at your local pediatric office as soon as their baby teeth start to form. This way, decay, cavities and other teething problems can be detected and treated early, saving your children's baby teeth from falling out or getting damaged.
Baby teeth are very important to a child's oral development, as they allow for healthy nutrition and prepare spaces for adult teeth later in life. Starting preventive care early will definitely avoid complications in your child's dental development and save you money in the long run.
Teach your children to clean their teeth from an early stage
Dental visits should be supplemented by regular brushing and flossing at home for good oral health. Most parents think that brushing baby teeth is unnecessary, but it is important that they are well cleaned each day with a gauze or baby toothbrush. Even before a baby develops their first tooth, you can gently clean their gums using water and a soft cloth.
As the child gets more teeth and starts feeding on solid foods regularly, you can start to use an infant toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to effectively clean their teeth. Dentists recommend that you supervise your child's brushing and flossing until they are around seven years of age.
Be aware of teeth-damaging medicines
Children's medicines are often flavored and sugary, which can spell trouble for their delicate teeth. Kids that are on asthma or heart medications are at high risk of developing tooth decay, since such drugs encourage the overgrowth of a form of yeast that causes a fungal infection called 'thrush'.
Creamy, curd-like patches on your child's tongue are indicators that an infection is setting in, and you should take your child to a pediatric dentist like A Wild Smile for a check-up immediately. Your dentist can advise you on what medicines to avoid and how often to brush your child's teeth if they are on long-term medication to help prevent oral thrush.