There are a number of things parents can do to help their children enjoy a lifetime with healthy teeth and gums, a dental expert says.
Start by creating a foundation of a balanced diet, limiting snacks, and brushing and flossing each day. Of course, regular dental checkups are also crucial.
Today, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among many children. Consuming too many drinks with natural or added sugar is a major cause leading to tooth decay.
Each day, children should have three balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy. This will reduce their need to snack during the day, and lower their risk of tooth decay. Make sweets a treat. On a normal day, parents should limit their children to a combination of one or two sugary drinks, desserts or candies.
Dentists say tooth decay, especially 'baby bottle tooth decay,' is all about the amount of time a child's teeth are exposed to sugars. If you use a bottle or sippy cup, use it while the child is at the table for mealtime. Do not allow children to carry the cup around with them, and never allow them to sleep with it.
Parents should brush their young children's teeth for two minutes twice a day and focus on where the teeth and gums meet. It is crucial to floss between baby or permanent teeth that touch together.
Parents should brush their children's teeth until they are coordinate enough to brush on their own; even then, parents should make sure they do an inspection after children brush their teeth.