4 Ways To Discourage Tooth Decay In Your Child

Your child's primary teeth may not be permanent, but they are precursors for the teeth that will be. Decay that begins in primary teeth can cause problems with underlying adult teeth. In addition, since primary teeth serve as space-keepers, your child may need braces if primary teeth are extracted early due to tooth decay. Here are a few steps you can take at home to prevent your child's teeth from decaying:

Brush and floss with your child.

Your child will learn his or her dental hygiene habits from you, and even if you are ensuring that your child brushes or flosses regularly, he or she may not be doing it correctly. Take two minutes out of your morning and nighttime routine to brush and floss with your child. Stop periodically to give your child pointers on technique, such as brushing his or her tongue and being sure to give extra attention to back teeth. Molars can be more cavity-prone because of the deep crevices in which plaque and bacteria can settle.  

Use toothpaste for kids.

Children don't tend to like the intense mint flavor of most adult toothpastes, and they may rush through their brushing routine to avoid the burning sensation that minty toothpaste can produce in a little mouth. If your child is under the age of two, he or she should be using non-fluoridated toothpaste that is specifically designed for young children. However, kids who are two years old or older can use pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. It is still best to use a brand of paste that is designed with a mild or sweet flavor for kids. Allowing your child to choose his or her own toothpaste can also encourage him or her to brush.

Throw out the bottle.

As soon as your child is capable of drinking from a cup, usually around 12 months, it's time to wean them off a bottle. Your little one may protest a bit at first. However, allowing your child to suck on a bottle filled with milk or juice throughout the day or just before bedtime can result in baby bottle tooth decay. Little teeth that were once white and shiny can become discolored and decayed.

Brush after medicine.

If your child has a chronic condition that requires daily medication, be sure to have him or her brush after you dispense the medicine. Most liquid medications for children are flavored, and some contain sugary additives to help mask the bitter taste of the drug, which you don't want lingering on the teeth.

Your child's oral health depends heavily on you. Establish a good brushing and flossing routine, and take your youngster to the dentist regularly. If you have not scheduled an appointment within the last six months, contact a company like Southridge Dental dentist today.