How You Can Help Your Preschooler’s Oral Health
It’s no secret that oral health is important for people of all ages. However, you may not realize just how essential it is for preschoolers. While their teeth are only temporary, poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities and other problems. As a result, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your preschooler has a healthy mouth. Here are some tips on how you can help your preschooler’s oral health.
1. Teach Them How To Brush and Floss Right
According to the CDC, cavities, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss are the three most common oral problems that significantly impact one’s general health and quality of life. Luckily, these can be prevented by teaching your preschooler how to brush and floss correctly.
Show them how to hold the toothbrush and which way to move it. Explain that they need to brush their teeth front, top, and back. As for flossing, teach them how to wind the floss around their fingers and gently insert it between their teeth.
It’s also important to ensure that they’re using the right toothpaste. For instance, if your child is under three years old, they should be using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. You can gradually increase the amount as they get older.
Finally, please encourage them to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. You can set a timer or play a song to help them keep track of time.
2. Schedule Regular Dental Check-ups
It’s important to take your preschooler to the dentist for regular check-ups. This way, any problems can be caught early and treated accordingly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday. After that, they should go every six months.
During these appointments, the dentist will assess your child’s oral health and provide any necessary treatment. They may also give you tips on caring for your child’s teeth at home.
In addition, the dentist can help identify any risk factors that may contribute to cavities or other problems. For example, if your child has a dry mouth, they may be more prone to cavities. By scheduling regular dental check-ups, you can help ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and strong.
3. Limit Sugary Drinks and Foods
Most people know that sugary drinks and foods can cause cavities, but many don’t realize just how much sugar is in common items. A 12-ounce can of soda contains about 40 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of ten teaspoons. If you wouldn’t pour ten teaspoons of sugar into your coffee, you shouldn’t be drinking soda either.
Sugary snacks are just as bad for their teeth. So, instead of giving your child candy or cookies, opt for healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables. If you must give your child sugary drinks or snacks, ensure they brush their teeth afterward. This will help remove the sugar from their teeth and reduce their risk of cavities.
4. Encourage Them To Drink Water
Water is essential for oral health because it helps rinse away bacteria and food particles. It’s also a good source of fluoride, which can help to prevent cavities. Ensure your child is drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially after meals.
5. Take Them for an Orthodontic Check-up
Did you know that approximately 25-50% of children need orthodontic treatment? This can be anything from braces to retainers. While it’s not always necessary, orthodontic treatment can help to improve your child’s smile and oral health.
An orthodontist can assess your child’s teeth and jaw to see if they’re developing properly. If they identify any problems, they’ll develop a treatment plan that’s right for your child.
While orthodontic treatment is not always necessary, it’s important to have your child assessed by an orthodontist. This way, you can ensure their teeth are healthy and they can bite and chew properly.
1.5 million children were enrolled in preschool this past year. This included 32% of 4-year-olds and 5% of 3-year-olds. All these children are at a critical stage in their oral development. As a parent, it is your duty to help ensure that their teeth develop properly and stay healthy. By taking the steps mentioned above, you can help your child develop strong, healthy teeth that will last a lifetime.