While the tooth fairy’s gift is the last memory most children have of their baby teeth, these temporary teeth leave a lasting impression on their future dental health.
Healthy baby teeth allow children to chew food easily, learn to speak properly, and start life with a healthy smile. Additionally, baby teeth are the placeholders for permanent teeth, so preventing early disease and tooth loss can help prevent future orthodontic issues.
Fortunately, dental disease is easily preventable. Here are two simple ways for parents to help their children start life with a healthy smile.
Promote healthy eating and healthy habits
Promoting healthy eating habits from day one is essential.
Many dental caries in baby teeth are caused from incorrect infant feeding practices. Putting your baby to bed with a bottle can lead to early dental health issues. Once you notice your baby is done feeding, it is best to take away the bottle to prevent exposing teeth to liquids with sugar for long periods.
Follow meals with water
It’s not recommended to start brushing your children’s teeth until they are eating mostly table foods, but simply rinsing a baby’s teeth with water after meals can wash away many food particles that lead to tooth decay. Once your children’s teeth start coming in it is good to introduce a toothbrush, even if you’re not actually brushing their teeth. This will help prepare your children for future brushing practices and it can help remove debris left over from sugary or sticky foods.
First Dental Visit by First Birthday
Many parents wait until their children are three or older to take them in for a dental checkup. However, the American Dental Association recommends that parents take their child for his first dental visit six months after the first tooth comes in or on his first birthday.
Parents who have postponed this first dental visit due to budget concerns can save money and help prevent future dental issues by signing up for a discount dental plan. These plans allow individuals and families to save valuable money on most dental services and select plans offer two free cleanings per year.
DentalPlans.com is the industry’s leading provider of discount dental plans and select plans from the company’s offering of more than 30 regional and national plans offer discount on specialty services such as braces.