Establishing Good Dental Hygiene in Young Children

Tooth decay

Children?s teeth seem to be getting worse year after year. Children are requiring more cavity fillings, tooth pulling, and dental sedation practices than ever before. Good dental hygiene should start at a young age. Children need to be taught how to properly brush and floss from the moment they have their first tooth. This not only prevents future dental problems for occurring, but it also teaches them the necessary dental hygiene habits for when they have a full set of teeth. Dentists are seeing an increase in kids with dental problems, due to a couple of common reasons.

Lack of dental education
Some children are simply not taught how to practice good dental hygiene. They fail to take care of their new teeth. The first set of teeth that children grow is weaker and more prone to falling out than the adult set of teeth they will eventually grow. They do not take care of these teeth properly, simply because of a lack of knowledge. A pediatric dentist is a great resource for teaching children how to properly take care of their first set of teeth.

Diets high in sugar
Children tend to have diets that are higher in sugar counts than adults do. They may eat sugary cereals for breakfast and then snack on many different sources of sugar throughout the day. They also may request more snack items like candy and cookies. Children who consume a lot of sugary substances are much more likely to have a mouth full of cavities.

Another common cause of increased sugar intake in children is juice. Parents tend to provide their children with juices for health purposes, unaware that many of them actually contain more sugar than fruit. These fruit juice drinks are actually very similar to consuming a regular intake of energy drinks. As much as sports drinks are harmful to your teeth, researchers found that exposure to energy drinks such as Rockstar, Monster, and Red Bull resulted in twice as much enamel loss as exposure to sports drinks such as Powerade, Gatorade, and Propel (3.1% to 1.5%).

Low levels of fluoride
Fluoride is needed for healthy and strong teeth. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth and is also important in healthy growth of new teeth. Fluoride is often found in natural water sources. Many bottled water brands contain little, if any, fluoride. In fact, one 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry found that more than 65% of parents using bottled water did not know what levels of fluoride it contained. Consider providing your child with tap water in between meals. If you insist on bottled water, find one that also filters the fluoride back into it.

Lack of calcium
Most people know that calcium is mostly found in milk. When your child does not consume enough milk, they do not get enough calcium. The biggest problem with low consumption of milk in children is that the body can only absorb calcium for a specific time period. Once the child becomes an adult, they cannot catch up on calcium intake. The body will no longer absorb it. Try to replace your child?s juice with milk as often as possible. Milk is also beneficial for bone growth, also strengthening your child?s growing bones.

Lack of dental visits
Not only is good dental hygiene important early on, but your child needs to also have regular dental visits. A dentist for children monitors your child?s teeth growth and looks for any developmental problems. Specialized children dentists are also more familiar with things like children?s sedation dentistry. As dental professionals like those at Smilez Pediatric Dental Group have gained advanced training in the proper ways to employ and monitor the use of pediatric dental sedation, its practice is becoming more widespread, with as many as 250,000 pediatric dental sedations performed each year.

Good dental hygiene needs to start from the moment your child?s first tooth grows in. Failing to educate children on proper dental tips can begin them on a lifelong path of dental problems that are both painful and expensive. Consider early education and increasing intake of calcium, fluoride, and dental visits.

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