Preventative care is a cornerstone of any Peterborough family dentistry practice. Good oral hygiene habits are best learned in early childhood, because that’s when they can take root and last a lifetime. That said, even well-cared-for mouths can sometimes have problems, and there are a number of things parents may not realize are bad for their children’s teeth.
Here are some ways to help prevent tooth problems in early childhood.
Four Ways to Help Protect Your Young Child’s Teeth
1. Start brushing as soon as they have teeth.
This might seem obvious, but it’s still important to remember. Be sure to buy a super-soft baby toothbrush that won’t hurt their gums!
2. Never leave them with a bottle of milk or juice overnight.
This is probably the #1 cause of early childhood tooth decay: well-meaning parents leaving them with a bottle of milk or juice to suckle on overnight. The problem is, those liquids are sugary, and the residue will sit in their mouth for hours while they sleep. In worst-case situations, their baby teeth might erupt already decaying.
If your child needs a bottle to sleep well, only give them pure water.
3. Discourage thumb-sucking.
Thumb-sucking might seem harmless, but it’s not. In fact, it can significantly disrupt development of their mouth and jaw. Excessive thumb-sucking can even lead to orthodontic problems later on!
4. Provide foods with plenty of Vitamins A, D, and K2
Those are the vitamins most directly responsible for growing healthy teeth and bones, so check the labels on your baby foods to make sure your child gets their vitamins. If necessary, supplement their food with a child’s multivitamin. This can help stave off potential problems!
Does Your Child Have Tooth Decay? Know the Signs!
Even if you’re practicing good oral hygiene with your child, it’s a good idea to periodically check their mouth for signs of tooth problems. You’ll want to look for off-colored white lines or spots on the teeth – that’s a sign the enamel is already wearing down. If you see dark spots, that means decay has already begun.
It’s important to take your child to a Peterborough family dentistry clinic as soon as possible if you see signs of tooth decay – otherwise it could lead to infection and severe pain. Contact Dr. Christopher Moore & Associates to make an appointment!