Preventative Dental Care at our South Bay Pediatric Dentistry
Ideally, preventative dental care should start when children are very young. It is usually recommended by a preventative pediatric dentist to begin establishing dental care routines and bringing children in for their first dental visit, as soon as their first tooth begins to grow. As a parent, you can begin setting up good dental habits with an understanding of what you can do at home, what needs to be done by a professional, and why it matters so much.
What is Preventative Dental Care for Kids?
Preventive dental care is the practice of being proactive with your oral hygiene and establishing healthy routines for the proper care of your teeth. It involves things such as brushing and flossing your teeth and going to the dentist. How long should kids brush their teeth? When done properly and regularly, kids should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Preventative dental care can help children to avoid cavities, tooth decay, and other serious conditions.
Prevention is especially important when it comes to children, as their baby teeth tend to be more sensitive than those of adult permanent teeth. Unfortunately, many children between the ages of 2-11 will experience some form of tooth decay. Research has shown that as many as 20% of children aged 5 to 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth, even though cavities are easily preventable. To avoid your child becoming a part of this statistic, call our Torrance pediatric dentistry today 424-999-5478.
Preventive dental care at home
Children can be difficult when it comes to brushing their teeth and especially flossing properly. It is common for them to view these things as chores and tasks to be avoided. However, it is crucial to encourage the development of these healthy habits as soon as possible.
Helping children to understand and realize the importance of proper oral hygiene when they are young, will provide the building blocks they need to maintain the health of their teeth throughout their life. This can be done by including the following basics of dental health as part of your everyday routine:
How to Make Brushing Fun for Kids
Set an example. Parents can be exceptionally good at establishing rules for brushing and flossing for their children, but many do not follow those rules themselves. The problem is that children learn by example and what they see. Model the behavior you are trying to instill. Brush and floss alongside your child and even make it into a game. If children see that oral health is important to you, it will reinforce their own habits
Teach your child that brushing, and flossing should be done as the first thing when they wake up and the last thing before bed. Setting a fixed schedule will make them more likely to complete the task out of habit and soon enough they will get used to the activity. Make it become a part of their everyday routine.
Ensure that the toothpaste you are using is recommended by a kid’s dentist. Many toothpaste brands attempt to sell their product by appealing to kids. They base the taste of their toothpaste and the color of their packaging on what they feel is appealing to kids. Be aware that while your child may love them, these may not always be the best options.
Your Child's Diet
If your child has a diet based on apples, orange, lime, or other acidic foods, encourage them to drink water after eating. This is important because baby teeth have a thin layer of enamel on them to protect them. When an acidic solution, even something seemingly healthy like an orange, is left on their teeth for longer periods, the potential increases for some damage to occur to the surface of the teeth.
Discourage the consumption of candies and sugar in their day. Expose children to healthy foods regularly and limit their access to sugary foods. By providing healthy choices throughout the day, your child will become accustomed to these foods and hopefully reach for them instead of more sugary options.
When children do consume sugar and candy, it is important to brush their teeth within 1 hour to eliminate the leftover bacteria that comes from eating sugar.
Visit a Preventive Pediatric Dentist
Even if all of the measures described above are followed, kids are still in the prime age for tooth decay, gum disease, as well as being at a higher risk for cavities. The best way to ensure your child will not suffer from tooth pain and other more serious conditions is to follow these recommendations:
Deep dental cleanings for kids should be done at least twice a year to get rid of tartar and plaques. Most preventative pediatric dentists advise scheduling a deep cleaning around a child’s first birthday. This procedure can last up to 45 minutes.
Fluoride varnish treatment can help to prevent, stop, or mitigate tooth decay. This treatment consists of applying the mineral to your child’s tooth to protect the enamel. In cases of advanced tooth decay, this varnish can be the only option to prevent the loss of a tooth. The layer is usually brushed off after 4 to 12 hours and it poses no risk for children.
X-rays can be performed to spot extra or missing teeth or problems with jaw development. While it is normally performed on children aged 5 years and older, some children may need it sooner. This is a low-radiation procedure that can last just a few minutes and it is perfectly safe for all children.
To keep tooth decay from starting, BPA-free sealants are normally applied to the biting surface of the teeth that are harder to reach when brushing (molars, for example).
Benefits of Preventative Pediatric Dental Care
The benefits of preventative pediatric dental care go far beyond just having a nice smile. The dental health of your child is just as important as their physical and mental health, in fact, it even plays a key role in both. Proper dental care and oral health can help with all of the following:
Prevention of digestive issues.
Improvement in self-esteem.
Avoid speech problems caused by poor jaw development.
Avoiding respiratory infections caused by the build-up of bacteria in the mouth.
Avoid gum diseases that are painful and can release dangerous bacteria in your child’s mouth.
Reducing the risk of future dental problems, which can be very costly.
Through preventative care and the development of healthy habits, your child can have a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. To get your child started on the right path for their dental health, call us today 424-999-5478.