Category: Author: Grahame
Oh, the delight of those first little baby teeth. They worked hard to get them in and now those little pearly nubs bring smiles to all who see them. You realize now you need to learn all you can about children’s teeth.
Studies reveal that parents have the greatest influence on their child’s dental health. To help you give your children a better chance at success, here are five things you should know about your children’s teeth:
The first tooth means their first visit
As soon as the first tooth appears, the first visit to the dentist should be scheduled, or at least by their first birthday. Having a check-up every six months is the recommended way to prevent cavities and other dental problems.
This first visit is just as much for you as for the child. During this visit the dentist will explain the proper way to care for your child’s teeth. You’ll also get the opportunity to ask questions about what to expect as your child’s teeth develop.
Dental sealants can protect teeth for years
When looking for ways to prevent cavities, one highly effective option is dental sealants. Sealants are a thin, plastic material that’s placed on the chewing surface of teeth.
Sealants work because they shut out food particles that can get wedged in teeth, causing cavities. The procedure is fast and comfortable, and can protect teeth from cavities for years to come.
Diet is just as important as cleaning
When looking for ways to prevent tooth decay, your child’s diet is equally as important as his dental hygiene. And the best thing you can do as a parent is to teach your child how to make healthy food choices.
Start by giving your child a balanced diet which includes one serving each of:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Breads and cereals
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat, fish and eggs
Also, limit the servings of sugars and processed starches in order to protect your child’s teeth from decay. When in doubt, ask your pediatric dentist to give you some suggestions for foods that protect your children’s teeth.
Children’s teeth may need extra protection
As children grow up and begin to get active, there’s another level of protection you can give their teeth. To help protect your children’s teeth, lips, gums and cheeks from sports related injuries, use a soft plastic mouth guard.
Your child’s dentist can create a custom-fitted mouth guard for use during sports activities. This will add another layer of protection from injuries to the face and teeth.
Parents can help prevent tooth decay
In addition to taking your child to regular dental checkups, you can assist your child in developing good dental health habits. Helping them follow the recommended program of brushing and flossing can help them develop a lifetime of healthy habits.
Dr. Sommers is a Loyola Dental School graduate who dreamed of owning his own practice. He got his wish 25 years ago when he opened Sure Smile Dental in the Dental Arts Building in downtown Aurora, Illinois. When he’s not managing his dental practice, Dr. Sommers coaches men’s tennis and teaches classes at Aurora University. He also enjoys spending time with his sons and watching classic movies.