If your child is active in sports, you might want to consider having a mouthguard made. This can protect your child from injuries to the face, tongue, and lips, or from broken or knocked out teeth, and even fractures to the jaw. Ask your dentist to recommend a type of mouthguard for your child.
Fluoride is one of the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that combines with the enamel of the tooth to strengthen it. It is important that children get fluoride during the time when their teeth are forming. Children can get fluoride in a number of ways: they can drink water, take tablets, or use toothpaste or mouthwash that contain fluoride. Studies have shown that children who drink fluoridated water from the time they are born have 40-50% fewer cavities.
Decay is most likely to occur on the surfaces of the back molars. A dental sealant is a clear material that is applied to prevent decay from happening. The bacteria and acid that attacks enamel cannot get through the protective barrier of the sealant, and teeth can remain decay-free for a lifetime.
Flossing should start as soon as two teeth touch each other. A toothbrush cannot get in between the teeth, so it is important to floss once a day to get rid of the plaque that forms.
Yes. As soon as teeth form, they are at risk for decay. One serious reason for this is baby bottle tooth decay. This happens when babies are given bottles while they sleep or nap. The fruit juice, milk or sugar water pools around the teeth for long periods of time, and the teeth are attacked by the acids. If you have to give your child a bottle to nap or go to bed, make sure it just has plain water in it.
Yes. It is really important to clean your child's mouth after every feeding. Just take a damp washcloth and gently wipe the baby's gums. This takes away plaque and bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends that you take your child to the dentist by age one. The earlier, the better. The dentist can see if there are any areas of decay, advise you on how to brush your child's teeth, and determine how much fluoride your child should get.