Did you know that in 2002 the surgeon general reported that the dental caries ( tooth decay/cavities) is the most chronic childhood ailment – 5x more common than asthma and 7x more common that hay fever ? Then in 2005 the centers for disease control and prevention found that tooth decay is the most chronic disease that plagues children between the ages of 5 – 17 .
Teaching kids early how to properly take care of their teeth is a lesson that will last a lifetime .
Even though babies may not have any teeth until they are between 6- 12 months old , you still should try and cleanse their gums and tissue inside of their mouths. This aids in prevention of a treatable fungal infection called thrush. Thrush is caused from the constant sucking of a pacifier , bottle or breastfeeding which causes the tissue in the mouth to tear , if left untreated this can be very painful condition . The best way to try and prevent this is to just wipe the babies gums with a soft damp cloth the best you can , at least once a day .
Once the babies teeth start to erupt , this is a perfect time to begin a regular brushing and flossing routine with your child . You will want to avoid using toothpaste with flouride until they are able to understand they should not swallow the toothpaste. It is also a good idea to help your child with brushing and flossing his or her teeth until they are able to brush and floss their teeth correctly ( normally around age 6 ).
The recommended amount of time to brush is about 2 minutes. After your child has finished his or her brushing and flossing make sure to take a look to make sure they did not miss anything . Giving praise for a job well done is a great way to get kids excited about toothbrush time !
Brushing and flossing is not the only way to keep your teeth healthy – nutrition is big part of preventing cavities . Try to limit the amount of sugary snacks and encourage kids to have healthy fruits and vegetables .
Remember , just because baby teeth fall out , does not mean they should not be taken care of just as well as adult teeth. These baby teeth otherwise known as primary teeth are essential in the proper growth of the adult teeth underneath . Any dental caries or problems with the baby teeth that are left unresolved could effect the adult tooth growing beneath it , and cause your child unnecessary pain or sensitivity. Keeping up great oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are the best way to prevent these issues.