4 Ways to Protect Your Kids’ Oral Health
One of the most important jobs you can do as a parent is to get your kids’ oral health on the right track early on, setting them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This includes care at home and at the dentist’s office — and from a very young age.
Just as our name implies, Beaumont Family Dentistry is a family dental practice that’s committed to helping keep our patients’ mouths healthy from babyhood on. We offer a full array of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures. If you live in the Lexington area, contact one of our three locations to set up an appointment.
1. Teach Them Good Habits at Home
The word “habit” is key. Kids should be taught from a very early age that regular brushing and flossing is not optional. Did you know that you can “brush” your baby’s teeth even before the first tooth appears? Before the teeth emerge, wipe baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth instead of brushing. Start using a dab of toothpaste on a baby toothbrush once that first tooth comes in. When your baby has two teeth next to each other, it’s time to introduce flossing. Establish a routine of flossing daily and brushing two times per day early on, and oral hygiene will become second nature.
2. Take Them to the Dentist Early and Regularly
The ADA recommends children see the dentist for the first time around when their first tooth emerges or by their first birthday. This is just as much about getting them acclimated to the dental chair as it is about the nitty-gritty of the cleaning and exam. Again, it’s about establishing habits and routines. We can also spot any potential problems, and can advise you on concerns you have — for example, about thumb-sucking, teething, or pacifier use.
3. Prevent Cavities with Sealants
When your kids are a little older, we may recommend sealants to protect the surfaces of their teeth. A sealant is a totally safe plastic-like coating that we apply to the back teeth. Sealants prevent destructive bacteria and the acids they produce from reaching the tooth enamel and have been shown to be effective in preventing tooth decay. According to a CDC report, kids without sealants are an astonishing three times more likely to get cavities than kids with sealants.
4. Shield Teeth with a Mouthguard
For kids who play contact sports or ride bikes — or engage in any activity that could result in a mouth injury — a mouthguard is an easy way to protect the teeth and sensitive gums. Unlike drugstore mouthguards, ours are custom-made and fit perfectly in your child’s mouth for comfort and optimal protection.
Good oral hygiene habits and dental visits should start young — when your child is a baby. If you establish routines early and keep them consistent through childhood, you are setting up your kids for a lifetime of excellent oral health.
If you live in the Lexington area, schedule appointments for your family at Beaumont Family Dentistry today. Get in touch online or call one of our three offices.