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How to Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

little boy smilingThere is a lot to know when it comes to keeping your child healthy. One part of your child’s health that you should not neglect is his or her teeth and gums. You already know that you need to brush your child’s teeth regularly, and that’s a great start, but there are other things you should be doing to make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy and strong. Read on for some tips on how to keep your child’s teeth healthy.

Oral Hygiene Is Important

Children under the age of about six do not usually have the dexterity to brush their teeth well on their own. While it’s good to encourage them to give it their best shot, it’s important to finish up the job, particularly before bed. You going over their teeth will remove the plaque that they’ve missed, and it could mean the difference between a cavity-free dental visit and further appointments for fillings. It also cements in your child’s mind the importance of good oral hygiene.

In addition to brushing, you should be flossing for your child until he or she is able to do a good job on their own. Start this habit as soon as your baby has two adjacent teeth. You can use regular dental floss or buy flossers, which are small plastic hooks with floss pre-threaded on them. Again, you can have your child try it, then you go over the job at least several times per week.

See the Dentist Early

Your baby should have his or her first dental appointment when that first little tooth pops through. This is not so much a full exam, but more to get your child used to seeing the dentist. It also gives the dentist a chance to answer your questions and check for any abnormalities that could cause problems later. After that, return every six months for periodic checkups and, once your dentist recommends it, cleanings with the hygienist.

When your child reaches the age of six or seven, find out whether they should go for an orthodontic consultation. Some conditions are treatable at a young age and doing so could save you the expense (and your child the discomfort) of braces during the teenage years.

Protect Those Teeth

Once your child starts playing sports, it’s important to insist on the use of a mouthguard. You can get one from your dentist or buy the boil-and-bite kind that you can purchase at any discount store or drugstore. This can save a lot of pain, grief, and money that would otherwise arise from an errant ball, baseball bat, or other type of equipment.

Keeping your children’s teeth healthy is largely a matter of prevention. Keep up with his or her oral hygiene and see the dentist regularly to boost the odds that your child’s smile will be healthy for many years and decades to come.

Creative Commons image by Vince Speelman

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