At Dentistry on 7th, we are fortunate to have many clients who are as passionate as we are about improving their children’s oral hygiene. When they ask us for advice, we always share some important tips. These tips are easier to follow when you understand the process behind tooth decay.
Tooth enamel is one of the major tissues that form a tooth. It’s the most visible part of the tooth and protects the crown. When you look in the mirror, the white part of your teeth is the enamel. Below the enamel are other layers like the dentin, cementum, and dental pulp.
The enamel is the hardest substance in your body and consists of the most minerals. Although the enamel is incredibly strong, it isn’t invulnerable. Every day it is exposed to food debris, sugar, acid, saliva, and bacteria.
Whenever we consume food, bits are left behind on our teeth, which can attract germs. Sugary foods as especially bad for teeth.
The bacteria, acid, and food combine to form plaque. This is a thin sticky layer that contains thousands of bacteria and clings to your teeth. Left alone, plaque can harden into a substance called tartar, which is harder to remove and can cause more serious problems.
The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel. Over time, the acids can create holes in the enamel called cavities. Children can be more susceptible to cavities for the following reasons:
- Many children consume junk food that encourages the formation of plaque. Children especially love sodas, chips, and candies.
- Regular cleaning of teeth can fight plaque. Unfortunately, many children don’t brush their teeth regularly.
- Some children have uneven bites, which are harder to clean. Food can get stuck between crooked teeth and attract germs.
As a parent, you can take a few steps to combat these problems.
#1 Create a Culture of Oral Hygiene at Home
From the moment your child is born, they will try to imitate everything you do. If you shave your beard, they’ll also pretend to do the same. If you cook in the kitchen, they may also try that game with their toy pots and pans. Good oral hygiene starts with you.
Brush and floss your teeth regularly and bring your child along when you visit the family dentist. Your actions will help your kid appreciate the importance of good oral hygiene. Also, make them comfortable with oral care. Start cleaning their teeth with a clean, soft, and wet baby cloth when their first tooth erupts. As they grow older, use non-fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth until the age of two.
After the age of two, start using children’s fluoridated toothpaste to clean their teeth. Remember, fluoride helps make the tooth more resistant to plaque and can also reverse tooth decay. Your tooth contains many crucial minerals and these minerals are lost because of plaque. In young children, fluoride helps fight against the demineralization of teeth.
It’s recommended that you brush their teeth twice a day, and once at bedtime. Their teeth must be brushed before they go to bed, otherwise, germs in their mouths will play their part for the next eight to ten hours.
You should brush your child’s teeth or supervise them until they’re old enough to do so on their own. Usually, this is until the age of six.
#2 Bring Them for Checkups
Your child should come for regular checkups to the best pediatric dentist in Hamilton where the highly qualified, friendly, professional, and passionate staff can make sure that their teeth and gums are healthy. We can help educate your child about the importance of oral care, guide them on the correct toothbrushing techniques, clean food from hard to reach areas of their mouths, and check for any potential issues.
It’s important to learn how to brush and floss your teeth correctly. Not only will this leave you with a cleaner mouth, but it can protect gums. When gums are attacked consistently at the wrong angle and pressure by a toothbrush, they can eventually recess.
- Gum recession results in gaps between the teeth and gum line that can be easily filled by bacteria
- Left untreated, this can result in tooth decay
- Gum recession can lead to an unsightly smile, which can lower your self-confidence
At Dentistry on 7th, we can also identify during a checkup if your child will need the services of Hamilton’s favorite orthodontist in the future. While people of any age can get orthodontic help, treatment is most effective in childhood while jaws are still developing and can be more easily influenced by dental appliances to grow into correctly.
People with misaligned jaws can have trouble biting and swallowing. Orthodontic problems can cause pain in the jaw, ears, neck, and shoulders. Children with unresolved orthodontic issues may feel more stressed, perform worse at school and have lower self-confidence.
#3 Improve Their Diet
With our busy lives where we’re juggling work, family, and home, we can sometimes give in to our children’s demand for fast food. Many kids consume more burgers, pizzas, soft drinks, sweets, and chips than they should. We don’t think these foods should be banned completely. Completely depriving children of treats can have the opposite effect. However, these foods should be eaten in moderation by children and adults alike because they can damage teeth and gums.
Again, as a parent, you can lead by example. Encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese, and other good foods that nourish teeth. If life is too fast-paced, then consider using meal kits to quickly cook tasty and nutritious meals at home.
#4 Keep the Number of an Emergency Pediatric Dentist
Even if your child brushes and flosses their teeth regularly, eats healthy food, and visits their family dentist, they may need to see a pediatric dentist urgently. Children can be adventurous and hurt their teeth. At Dentistry on 7th, we practice good emergency pediatric dentistry by being accessible and trained to help kids with damaged teeth, avulsed teeth, toothaches, tooth sensitivity, dislodged fillings, displaced braces, and more.
Because children can sometimes be stubborn and resistant to good oral health practices, it can be challenging to take care of their oral hygiene as a parent. But, by leading by example, following the steps in this blog, and staying focused, you can improve their oral health.