Our teeth are an important part of our anatomy, but they’re often overlooked. This is, of course, until they start giving us some problems.
Dental issues – especially those which cause pain – aren’t something any of us want to go through. But it’s especially heartbreaking when our children end up in pain or losing teeth because of decay.
Thankfully, parents in Falls Church can take steps to ensure their children’s teeth remain healthy.
But first, let’s consider some of the reasons why dental home care is so important.
Why Proper Dental Care Is So Important for Families in Falls Church
Our children’s teeth – even though they will eventually fall out – are vital. They allow children to chew food properly, which contributes to healthy digestion.
Primary teeth also act as space maintainers, allowing the adult teeth to enter the mouth in the optimal places. Losing teeth prematurely can lead to crooked and even impacted permanent teeth – both of which will cause problems down the road, costing discomfort and money to fix.
As soon as the teeth come in, they’re at risk for decay.
Even before the teeth come in, we can prevent bacterial and fungal infections by wiping their gums down with a damp washcloth after their meals.
Once the teeth do come in, start brushing regularly. Otherwise, both the primary and permanent teeth are at risk for infection and decay. This can result in a lot of pain for your little ones.
4 Dental Home Care Tips to Put into Practice Daily
Here are some dental home care practices to teach your child to do regularly.
1. Proper Brushing Technique
Most people (this includes both children and adults) don’t brush properly. They brush vigorously in a back and forth motion, but this doesn’t remove plaque very well.
Additionally, they don’t brush for a long enough period of time.
Brushing should take three to five minutes. This can be difficult for little ones who have a very short attention span. But you can make this job fun by playing some music or turning brushing into a game.
Also, make sure to show your kids how to brush properly.
Start off with a toothbrush designed for a child’s tiny mouth and make sure the bristles are soft. Hard bristles wreak havoc on gum tissue. Gently brush using a circular motion, focusing the bristles at the gum line. This is where plaque tends to build up the most.
Brush the front, back, and tops of teeth using less than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Then, rinse thoroughly.
2. Start Flossing at a Young Age
Flossing has a two-fold purpose. It is necessary for cleaning food and plaque out from between the teeth, as well as keeping these things out of the gum pockets.
As soon as your child’s teeth touch, flossing should be done once a day, preferably at night.
The best way to floss is called the C-shaped technique. This technique allows the floss to slide down between the teeth and into the gum pocket to clean it out well.
3. Brush Teeth Twice a Day
In addition to ensuring your child brushes long enough, make sure they brush at least twice a day. It’s preferable to brush after every meal. However, this is not always possible. Therefore, make brushing first thing in the morning and at night before bed a daily habit.
4. Keep Sugary Treats to a Minimum
Besides brushing and flossing, the best way to minimize the risk of decay is to reduce the amount of sugary foods our children consume. This includes soda, candies and cakes, and dried fruits.
The bacteria in our mouth feed off of sugars and turn them into acids, which eat away at the enamel, causing decay.
When your child consumes sugary foods, make sure they brush their teeth as soon as possible afterward.
Start Dental Home Care Steps from Day One for Best Results
When should you start taking care of your children’s teeth? The answer is: from day one.
As your children grow, teach them how and why to properly brush and floss their teeth. Doing so will make dental home care a habit which they will carry on into adulthood.
And make sure to keep dental home care fun for them, too. When our kids have fun they’re more likely to stick with it. And when it comes to something as important as their dentition – we want to do all we can to ensure they pick up and practice healthful habits from day one.
Contact us today or schedule an appointment to ensure a long your child has a long lasting healthy smile.