If you’re a parent, you may not be too surprised to learn that tooth decay is the No. 1 health problem among preschoolers. Incredibly, one out of ten 2-year-old children already have a cavity, and the prevalence of tooth decay reaches almost 50 percent by the age of 5. Since nearly all the cavities affect baby teeth, it’s tempting to think that cavities don’t matter much. However, practicing good habits such as brushing—and making regular visits to Made Ya Smile for family dental care in Houston, TX—has health benefits that can positively impact a child’s health for the rest of their life.
Learning Good Habits
Taking care of their teeth is something a child will need to practice their entire lives. With proper coaching and positive encouragement, a child can learn the essential skills to make brushing their teeth a part of their daily routine. However, it’s important to remember that, no matter how receptive they are to learning to brush, they won’t be able to brush by themselves for a while. While getting them used to the idea of incorporating brushing into their schedule, you’ll have to help them brush effectively, removing all the plaque from the teeth, and taking care to look for brown spots that may indicate cavities.
As the child becomes accustomed to brushing their teeth, take care to make sure they’re doing it properly. When they’re first learning, start with a small smear of toothpaste on the brush, and use a child-sized brush with extra soft bristles. If they’re not fond of the toothpaste, keep trying different kinds until you find one they like. It’s also important that they learn not to swallow the toothpaste, but to rinse and spit instead. Practicing this at an early age is particularly important because swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can lead to the development of white or brown spots on your child’s adult teeth.
The Importance of Diet
One of the most valuable aspects of practicing good dental hygiene in children is that it impresses upon them the impact that diet can have on the health of their teeth. While sugar is harmful in a lot of ways, nowhere is it more obvious to children than in its tendency to cause cavities. Knowing that making changes in their diet can lead to better results with their teeth is one of the first ways they’ll see the correlation between diet and health firsthand.
In addition to making sure your child learns the habits necessary to maintain good dental hygiene, you’ll want them to visit Made Ya Smile, your local family dental care office in Houston, TX . As with brushing, making regular visits to the dentist are not only vital for healthy teeth, but they reinforce good habits that last a lifetime.