3 Ways To Reduce Dental Issues In Children

Posted on: 15 April 2019

When your child is a baby, it is time to start thinking about how you will prevent and address dental issues they may face as they grow older. Establishing good practices now will help your child realize the importance of their dental care throughout their life.

Start Visits Early

Talk with your dentist about the best age to begin having visits and what your child should be doing for oral care at different ages. When children are two or three, they should start having regular check-ups and cleanings. Around this time, you should encourage them to practice good oral hygiene. Although dental visits at a young age can be difficult, it is better to start young. Children may be less likely to have dental anxiety if they have regular visits early and often. Similarly, make oral hygiene part of their normal routine in the morning and at night. Be sure to use age-appropriate products, such as specialized toothpaste or mouthwash, since it is likely your child will swallow them in the beginning.

Curb Thumb-Sucking

Many children suck their thumb instead of a pacifier, and this behavior can go on well into their childhood. It is best to try to curb the behavior early when it is easier to break the habit. You may want to talk with your dentist or pediatrician about ways to discourage the behavior. Although thumb-sucking is not dangerous, it can contribute to crooked teeth later, if the behavior continues. Typically, when this occurs, it happens when the front permanent teeth come in and can cause them to project further outward than normal. Not only can this become an orthodontic issue later, but it may also contribute to mild speech issues, such as a lisp.

Strike A Fluoride Balance

With more households relying on bottled water, this can present a challenge to the dental health of children. If your home receives city water, it has fluoride added, which can reduce the instance of tooth decay. Relying exclusively on bottled water can contribute to children experiencing rotting of their baby teeth. Consider using filtered tap water, since most filters do not eliminate fluoride. There is also some risk associated with having too much fluoride, but these risks generally affect your child's teeth in a cosmetic way. During the development of your child's permanent teeth, excess fluoride in the water may cause white spots on their teeth.

When good dental practices are encouraged early in your child's life, it becomes a habit. Talking with your dentist about the best practices for your child's dental health can prevent common dental concerns. Contact your dental office for more information.