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Dental Health Care for Kids

 

As a parent, it’s up to you to teach your kids about proper dental health care, oral hygiene and the importance of visiting the dentist regularly. Many times, parents take their child to a pedodontist, or pediatric dentist, since they are specialized in child psychology. There are numerous products available to help your kids keep their teeth and gums healthy. Many dentists recommend specific brands such as ‘Crest Kids’ for brushing, and rinses such as ‘Act’ since they do not contain alcohol.

Losing Baby Teeth

Many times our kids’ teeth become loose before they fall out. Many parents debate on whether or not to pull the tooth out or wait for it to eject on its own. Most dentists will tell you to leave it alone because of the potential damage that can be caused with pulling the tooth out. Kids do a good enough job playing with a loose tooth with their fingers and tongue so that the parents do not have to interject themselves into the situation. If parents feel they must get involved, then of course it’s okay as long as they understand that they may cause additional bleeding by tearing the tissues. If the hole is big enough and proper oral hygiene methods are not practiced, infections can happen, which can ultimately lead to more serious problems such as gum disease.

Until your child loses their baby teeth, you will need to ensure they are displaying good oral hygiene habits in order to prevent future problems with their permanent teeth. Damaged or decaying baby teeth, even if lost, can create additional problems with their permanent teeth.

Dental Health Care Tips for Kids and Parents

It’s very important that parents understand that injured or decaying baby teeth can cause damage to your child’s gums, as well as the nerves, bone and surrounding tissues. Here are some tips to help your kids keep healthy teeth, including:

  • Sugar is in many types of foods, candies and drinks targeting kids. These sugars stick to your child’s teeth and turn to acid. Bacteria and plaque begin to form and coat your child’s teeth.
  • Flossing before brushing is ideal, however many dentists do not recommend a specific order of flossing and brushing.
  • Teeth whitening products are not made for people under the age of 18.
  • Make a bad habit out of brushing twice a day
  • Fluoride toothpastes are ideal and many companies offer several different types of flavors, and strengths for kids.
  • Early dental care can prevent future conditions, disorders and diseases. For example, your child’s dentist will be able to spot the need for braces before all of the permanent teeth are grown in, preparing both you and your child for the inevitable procedure in the future.
  • Never put your baby down to sleep with a liquid other than water. Milk and juices have sugars in them that coat your child’s teeth, and baby teeth are more susceptible to rotting teeth due to sugary beverages.
  • Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should be at the age of one.
  • Generally local water supplies contain fluoride. When your child is thirsty, give them tap water versus bottled water to ensure he or she receives additional fluoride protection.
  • Remember that the same types of conditions, disorders and diseases affect teens and kids as much as they do adults.
  • While wearing braces, it’s especially important to clean in between the brackets and bands.
  • Nutrition plays a major roll in your child’s dental development stages.
  • If you participate in sports, mouth guards can be custom-made to help prevent sports-related dental injuries.
  • In May of 2000, a study proved that over 51 million school hours were spent taking care of dental related issues.
  • Make each dental visit a positive trip and experience before arriving at the dental office.
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush manufacturers purposely promote their products using your child’s favorite characters to encourage proper oral hygiene.

Next, read:

Dental Health Care for Adults

Dental Health Care for Seniors

Page updated September 2012

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