Tips From A Pediatric Dentist For Healthier Teeth In Children

Tips for Healthy Teeth

You’re a parent; it’s natural that you want to protect your child from anything that can harm them, or cause them a severe health issue.

Sometimes, however, we tend to overlook the importance of oral health by human error, especially in young children. Our thoughts center around “my child is too young” or “going to the dentist is too painful,” but the truth is, kids’ dental care in Aurora is extremely important to ensure that your child’s overall health is up to par. 

At Epic Dentistry for Kids, our priority is your child’s health and keeping you, the parent, well informed about any oral health issue your child can face, such as tooth decay. 

Tooth decay is a risk for every child. The enamel (hard outer covering) on baby teeth is significantly thinner and weaker, putting them at a higher risk of decay. The good news is that tooth decay can be avoided in most cases.

The term ‘caries’ refers to the process of tooth decay. Teeth can develop white chalky patches in the early stages. Teeth with brown or black spots are in the later stages. Most of the time, the upper four front infant teeth are affected.

Cavities that go untreated can cause discomfort and infections, making eating, speaking, playing, and learning difficulties. Children with poor oral health are more likely to miss school and obtain lower marks than those who do not.

As you can see, tooth decay is a severe problem, so preventing caries and tooth decay is extremely important. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you keep your child’s teeth healthy. 

Brushing Your Kids’ Teeth

The most basic rule to keep teeth healthy and establish a good oral hygiene routine is brushing. 

Brushing your teeth regularly is vital for both children and adults. It aids in the removal of bacteria and plaque that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your teeth twice a day – in the morning and before going to bed.

At first, it may be challenging to get your child to like brushing their teeth, but the good news is that it’s possible with some patience and imagination. 

Find a way to make it fun and entertaining for your child. Children learn by watching their elders. Brushing together with mom, dad, or an older sibling will be enjoyable. 

While having fun, they may also learn how to brush, rinse, and care for their toothbrush correctly. Brushing can be fun, we promise. Since you will be putting work into getting your child to brush their teeth, it’s only proper that we look into the types of good toothbrushes for kids. 

What Toothbrush Is Great for Kids?

First and foremost, buy a toothbrush with gentle bristles regardless of your child’s age. Soft bristles are kinder on your child’s fragile gums and teeth than medium or firm bristles for removing plaque. Too harsh bristles can harm a child’s gum tissue and create excessive wear on their dental enamel (the protective outer layer of the tooth).

There are a plethora of soft-bristled toothbrushes available. How do you tell which one is best for your child? How about your pre-teen?

When choosing a toothbrush for your child, remember to consider the size of their mouth. Children’s jaws are substantially smaller than adults’. Choose a toothbrush with an age-appropriate brush head size to efficiently and gently clean their teeth.

Many toothbrush manufacturers include age recommendations on their packaging to assist you in determining which toothbrushes are appropriate for your child.  But as your trusted Children’s Dental Clinic in Aurora, we have our suggestions that you can look at by reading our toothbrush showdown.

When Should I Start Brushing My Kids’ Teeth?

Brushing your baby’s teeth can begin as soon as their first tooth emerges from the gums. After meals and at sleep, gently wipe clean the front teeth and the front of the tongue using a clean, moist towel, a gauze pad, or a finger brush.

Pediatric dentists recommend using water-soaked toothbrushes with a spread of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a rice grain. Brushes should have no more than three rows of bristles and be very soft (a pediatric dentist or your pharmacist can help you find the finger brushes and a proper baby toothbrush).

Any toothbrushes with rough edges should be discarded (or that are more than two to four months old because mouth bacteria can begin to build up).

Use of Fluoride

Enamel is the outer layer of your child’s teeth. This layer acts as a barrier against microorganisms that might cause plaque and cavities. Enamel can be damaged or eroded, decreasing protection against tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to cavities. Because cavities are a widespread concern among youngsters, your children must receive fluoride protection.

When Should I Use Fluoride Toothpaste With a Baby?

You can start using fluoride toothpaste when your children’s baby teeth appear. However, it’s critical to use the appropriate amount for their age. They might swallow fluoride toothpaste if they don’t.

Use a small amount of toothpaste, around the size of a grain of rice, for babies. Brush your children’s teeth with pea-sized fluoride toothpaste when at least three years old.

If you’re unclear, we can show you how much you should use safely, or you can learn more by reading: When should a child start using toothpaste? 

What Foods Have Fluoride?

Aside from using fluoride toothpaste with your child, you might also want to try some natural sources of fluoride. 

Fluoride is found in the following foods and beverages and can be consumed by your child:

  • Black Tea: Some commercial tea brands list fluoride in their nutritional information; however, it will largely rely on the water used to boil your preferred black tea.
  • Nature’s sweets, grapes: Grapes are a good source of fluoride, but they also contain a lot of fructose. Take care not to overdo it with this. You could wish to try raisins with your youngster if they prefer grape juice. Remember that dehydrated food can be excessively sweet and stick between your child’s teeth.
  • Shrimp: Have you considered including seafood in your child’s diet? You might try adding shrimp to your spaghetti, rice, or tacos if they don’t have any allergies.
  • Spinach: We understand that getting your child to eat greens can be difficult, but incorporating spinach in an omelet or salad could be what your youngster needs.

For more information regarding natural fluoride sources, you can look at Our recommendations for fluoride sources.

Using Dental Floss

Even while flossing isn’t always entertaining or exciting, it doesn’t have to be a dreaded duty. The desire to make flossing fun for your youngster will aid in the formation of a regular habit. You can assist your child build lifetime dental hygiene habits if you put in the time, effort, and persistence. The following are some suggestions for getting your child to floss regularly:

Floss with your child or the entire family – If your child is unaware of the procedures, you cannot expect them to have excellent and healthy oral hygiene. Floss with your child if you want to instill a love of flossing. It’s a lot more fun and inspiring to do difficult tasks with someone you care about, especially if they are a family member or relative. You can establish a family routine of flossing and brushing teeth regularly. Aside from that, this will ensure that you stick to your specific flossing regimen.

Making Flossing a Game – You may make a nice and humorous game out of a combination of facts about the benefits of flossing to pique your child’s interest in flossing. Turning monotonous duties into amusing games can make flossing more Palatable for your children, whether they compete against one another, their mother or father, or even the clock. Keep track of your child’s progress and reward points, or make flossing fun with pleasant music or tale. Whatever method you use to spice up this session, remember to give your youngster a prize for completing the work with diligence. Make a fun table or chart where you may give your child a star or a sticker if they floss properly.

Flossing Scorecard – One of the most innovative and inventive ways to encourage your child to floss daily is to create a beautiful flossing scoreboard and display it above or near the bathroom sink. This increases flossing enjoyment by allowing you to keep track of their progress with quirky stickers or bright markers, provide non-monetary incentives for getting the job done, and build a precious family tradition that your children will remember for years.

Dental Sealants

To prevent tooth decay, a thin, plastic coating is painted over the biting surfaces of teeth, mainly the back teeth (premolars and molars).

The sealant attaches swiftly to the teeth’s depressions and grooves, providing a protective covering over each tooth’s enamel.

Although thorough brushing and flossing can remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, they cannot always reach all of the nooks and crevices of the back teeth. By “sealing out” plaque and food, sealants protect these sensitive areas from tooth decay.

Sealants should be applied to children’s permanent molars and premolars as soon as they emerge. Sealants can protect teeth from cavities during the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14.

Dental sealants may be used on baby teeth in specific situations, such as when a child’s newborn teeth have deep depressions and grooves. Because baby teeth are vital in maintaining the proper spacing for permanent teeth, it’s critical to keep them healthy, so they don’t fall out too soon.

Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks

When you drink a sweet beverage, the sugar in the drink reacts with the bacteria in your mouth to produce acid. This acid eats away at your teeth, causing difficulties. Cavities and erosion are the most common impacts of soda and other sugary drinks on teeth.

Soft drinks corrode the dentin (the next toughest tissue beneath the tooth’s enamel layer). This exercise wears down your tooth enamel, allowing cavities to form. People who use soft drinks daily are at significant risk of tooth decay or cavities, even though dental caries or cavities develop over time.

On the other hand, Erosion happens when the acids in soft drinks destroy the tooth enamel, the outermost layer of protection on teeth. Erosion diminishes the hardness of the enamel’s surface, which leads to the formation of dental disorders.

If you continue to have any doubts or questions regarding your child’s oral health, visit our website and make an appointment for your child at our Children’s Dental Clinic in Aurora.

We look forward to helping you help your child achieve a perfect and healthy smile.