Mistakes That Can Harm Your Child’s Dental Development
Caring for your child’s dental development requires strict discipline, not only for your child but for yourself to monitor them. Sometimes, all the hard work and consistent effort put in by both you and your child can be undone just by one simple mistake. Without being keenly aware of these potential pitfalls, you may be inadvertently causing the problems that hurt your child’s dental development. Let’s look at these mistakes and how you can ensure they do not become problems for you and your child.
Allowing Unlimited Sugar Consumption
Not only is too much sugar bad for overall health, but it has a very specific effect on dental health as well. Sugar is a prime food source for oral bacteria that can grow and thrive in the mouth, causing a whole host of oral diseases. In general, you want to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, because they can lead to tooth decay. By reducing sugar, you discourage the growth of oral bacteria. You can do this by preventing your child from consuming large amounts of sugary snacks, and limiting sweets to certain times of the day, such as after a meal.
Having Sugar In Their Bedtime Bottle
While babies may sometimes like a bottle of something warm and comforting to help them go to sleep, this can sometimes cause tooth decay, even for their baby teeth. Giving them sugar-filled liquids such as juice, milk, formula, or even beast milk would encourage bacterial growth in the night. This bacteria would in turn produce acid which can dissolve the minerals in the tooth enamel and encourage tooth decay, unless their saliva is able to neutralize the acid. However, sipping through the night would deprive saliva of having enough time to do so as well.
Skipping On Daily Oral Hygiene
Even before your baby grows teeth, their oral hygiene needs to be cared for, so as to pave the way for optimum long term oral health. All you have to do is take a clean, wet washcloth and wipe their gums and the inside of their mouths after a bout of feeding. This will help to reduce bacterial growth. When their teeth start to emerge, you can use a soft toothbrush and a smudge of toothpaste to brush their teeth every day, and increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea sized amount from age 2. And when they are ready to brush and floss their own teeth, you can hand over the job to them!
Wait Until They Are Older For Dental Visits
Some parents may think that dental visits are not necessary for their babies. On the contrary, dental and pediatric associations recommend the first dentist visit to be before the child’s first birthday. Starting dental visits early will keep you ahead of any tooth decay or other oral health issues. Another benefit is that it gets your child used to visiting the dentist from a young age, and prevents dental visit anxiety which can last into adulthood for some. If you have not done so already, be sure to check in with a dentist for your child’s oral health today!