There’s nothing worse than seeing a child in pain, which is why it’s important to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy. That’s because if you don’t take care of your child’s teeth, cavities can form, which can become quite painful and even eventually cause tooth loss. To make sure your child has healthy, cavity-free teeth, follow the advice in this post.
Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day
Dentists recommend that adults brush their teeth twice a day – the same goes for babies and children too. In fact, you should start brushing a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, which is usually between four and seven months.
For babies and children, it’s best to use a toothpaste that’s relatively low in fluoride – around 1,000ppm will do the trick. Adults are better off using a toothpate with around 1250ppm of fluoride, which is a bit stronger. Children need a weaker toothpast because they’re more likely to swallow the toothpaste than adults, and swallowed toothpast can cause a condition known as fluorosis if it’s ingested often enough. That’s why you should only use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies and a pea-sized blob for children.
If you find that your child refuses to brush his teeth, then there’s a few things you can do to overcome the problem. First, let your child choose his own toothbrush – the ones with cartoon designs on them are often popular with children. Second, try using a flavoured child’s toothpaste as they can be more agreeable to a child’s palate. Third, make sure your child sees you brushing your own teeth, as there’s nothing a child likes more than copying Mum and Dad.
Take your child for regular dental checkups
It’s said that adults should see a dentist at least once a year. Children should see a dentist even more frequently – around every six months or so. This is because children tend to eat a lot of sugar in their diet and this can quickly lead to cavities. Dental checkups are important because a dentist can give a filling if the cavity has become too large, thus preventing further damage to your child’s teeth.
Many children are apprehensive about going to the dentist. If your child feels this way, then don’t worry; it’s entirely normal. You can help your child to overcome this fear by teaching her about what happens at dental checkups and by letting your child watch you yourself go through your own checkup, if possible.
Limit your child’s sugar intake
As mentioned, children tend to eat a lot of sugar. Sugar is found everywhere nowadays and it’s especially prevalent in kids’ diets – sweets, chocolate, biscuits, breakfast cereal, whole fruit, dried fruit and fruit juice are just some common sources of sugar. Try to limit your child’s sugar intake as much as possible because it wreaks havoc on children’s teeth. Sugar is the main cause of cavities in the UK, not only among children but with adults as well. Children should be eating no more than 25 g of sugar (that’s six teaspoons) per day.