Nearly 20 percent of children aged 5-11 have at least one cavity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In honor of Children’s Dental Health Month approaching next month (February), Great Expressions Dental Centers is sharing three dental care life hacks for parents to use to keep cavities at bay.
· Keep gums clean beginning with newborns. Your child may not even have teeth yet, but it’s critical to keep gums healthy for proper development of future teeth. Gently wipe the gums with a clean baby washcloth and gently brush with a soft baby toothbrush once you see the first tooth. For older children, use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush teeth.
· Bottle-less bedtime. This common mistake not only overloads your child’s teeth with sugar, it also increases their chances of choking. Instead, provide your child with a bottle prior to putting them to sleep and wiping their teeth with a soft baby toothbrush before their head hits the pillow. For older children, make sure they avoid sugary drinks like soda or juice packs right before bedtime.
· Prevent fear of the dentist. It’s recommended that children visit the dentist twice a year to keep teeth as healthy as possible. Because many children fear the dentist, it’s important for parents to make the process stress-free for their kids. We recommend using music, a favorite stuffed animal and educating children on dental visits with a children’s book prior to the visit. Doing this from an early age will minimize, if not eliminate stress, ultimately making trips to the dentist less stressful for the remainder of their lives.
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