About 13% of children have untreated dental caries. If your child isn’t prioritizing their oral health now, they could develop cavities in the future. In fact, the healthy oral hygiene habits they develop now can set them up for success for years to come. Not sure how to help improve your child’s oral health? Here are a few tips from their children’s dentist in Lexington!
With these tips, you can take preventative measures to keep your child’s smile sparkling! Read on to improve their oral hygiene routine today.
Brush Twice a Day
Remember, the oral hygiene habits your child develops at a young age can benefit them into adulthood. Try to help them recognize the importance of oral care while they’re still young.
First, make sure they’re brushing their teeth twice a day. Brushing will help remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque from their teeth.
When food particles are left on or between teeth, they can mix with bacteria to form plaque. Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that can hide in your child’s mouth. When left unbrushed, plaque can harden into tartar.
Tartar can increase your child’s risk of developing a cavity or gum disease.
Instead, show them how to brush properly. They should brush for two minutes at a time, using up and down motions. Show your child how to gently brush their gums and tongue to remove bacteria, too.
Make sure your child never goes to bed without brushing their teeth.
Consider talking to your Lexington pediatric dentist about your child’s brushing technique, too. They should move the brush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Brushing too hard, however, can cause bloody gums.
Recognize Signs of a Cavity
If your child isn’t brushing and flossing their teeth properly, a cavity could develop.
A cavity is a hole that forms on a tooth. They begin as small holes before becoming bigger in time. Regular checkups with a Lexington children’s dentist can help detect tooth decay before it progresses.
Signs your child has a cavity include:
- White or black staining on a tooth
- A visible hole in a tooth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth pain
If your child begins to complain that a tooth hurts, visit their Lexington pediatric dentist right away. Early detection will allow them to use fluoride treatment to restore your child’s protective tooth enamel, preventing further decay.
Otherwise, talk to your Lexington pediatric dentistry team about how you can help your child prevent tooth cavities. A few simple tips include:
- Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Limiting snacks between meals
- Eating fewer sugary and acidic foods
- Flossing at least once a day
Visiting the dentist twice a year for regular cleanings can help as well.
Replace Their Brush
Talk to your pediatric dentist about the tools your child uses to brush their teeth, too.
For example, you should switch out your child’s brush every three months. If the bristles look worn, replace the brush sooner.
Otherwise, keeping an old brush for too long gives bacteria the chance to grow on the bristles.
You might want to have your child use a fluoride toothpaste, too. Fluoride is a leading defense against tooth decay. It can fight the germs that cause decay while creating a protective barrier around your child’s teeth.
Make sure your child understands the importance of flossing their teeth, too.
Flossing can remove small food particles from between your child’s teeth. It can also remove plaque before it can harden into tartar. Flossing even stimulates the gums and lowers inflammation.
If your child is struggling to floss on their own, help them out!
Schedule Routine Appointments
Call your Lexington pediatric dentistry practice to schedule appointments for your child every six months. Routine check-ups and cleanings can improve their oral health. It also gives the dentist the chance to spot potential problems before they develop further.
Your child’s dentist and hygienist can remove any plaque that’s formed on your child’s teeth. They can also take X-rays to scan for any developing complications.
Consider Fluoride Treatment
During your child’s check-up at their pediatric dentist’s office, ask about fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments are safe for children. They’re a great way to improve your child’s oral health. Fluoride is able to strengthen their tooth enamel to prevent future cavities from developing.
Otherwise, ask the dentist for other tips and services that can help you take preventative measures.
Improve Their Diet
Your child’s diet can impact their oral health as well.
Encourage your child to eat foods that are rich in calcium, including broccoli, dairy products, and leafy green vegetables. Foods that are rich in calcium can promote healthy teeth and bones.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber. Getting the jaw working can increase saliva production, which can help wash away bacteria and food particles.
Otherwise, minimize your family’s intake of starchy and sugary foods.
Limiting your child’s overall sugar intake allows you to take a preventative step in improving their oral health. Otherwise, sugar provides a food source for bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Try to get your child to drink more water, too. Water is great for your child’s oral and overall health. Drinking water after meals or snacks can help wash away tooth particles and bacteria.
Stunning Smiles: Visit Your Children’s Dentist in Lexington Today
Taking preventative measures now can benefit your child’s oral health for years to come. Set them up for success with these tips from your children’s dentist in Lexington. Otherwise, schedule an appointment at the dentist’s office for routine cleanings twice a year.
With help, you can keep your child’s teeth healthy and squeaky clean!
Ready to schedule your child’s next appointment? We can’t wait to see you both!
Contact us today to get started.