There might be a temptation among some parents to neglect their children’s oral health. After all, the baby teeth are all temporary, and will fall out one by one well before the end of the elementary school years. However, that would be a mistake. If a child has poor oral health, he or she has a high risk factor in having poor oral health later in life, and the same problems that plague permanent teeth can harm baby teeth as well. Your Lake Orion family dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield, discusses what parents can do to ensure their kids’ baby teeth are strong and healthy.
Oral Care Should Begin Early
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have their own dentist by the age of one. But even before then, parents should take a pro-active role in their children’s oral health. Babies should have their mouths gently wiped with a soft washcloth after meals. Once teeth begin coming in, the parent should brush the new teeth twice a day, and then teach their child to brush their teeth themselves when appropriate.
Avoid Sugar and Junk Food
Once a baby is weaned, water is the best, most healthy drink he or she can consume. Many parents, however, will put fruit juice, milk, or even soda in their children’s bottles or sippy cups. While an occasional non-water drink is OK, allowing a child to consume a steady diet of sugary drinks will allow the mouth’s natural bacteria to produce plaque and might even eventually lead to tooth decay. Milk and juice contain large amounts of sugar, and can be just as destructive to teeth as soda. For the same reason, parents should make sure their children aren’t constantly snacking, and ensure they usually eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and cheese when they do snack.
Mom and Dad Need Dentists, Too
Unsurprisingly, the kids most at risk for dental problems have parents who are at risk for dental problems. For parents who have neglected their own oral health, it is important for them to start seeing a dentist themselves on a regular basis. By striving to improve their own dental care, a parent will learn first-hand just how important oral hygiene and regular check-ups can be, and will set a powerful example for their own children.
Your Lake Orion Family Dentist is Ready to See You
Do you need a dentist for your entire family? Is it past time for your own checkup and cleaning? At Lake Orion Family Dentistry, we can provide you with comprehensive dental care for the whole family. Contact our Lake Orion dentist office by calling (248) 693-6213 to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve families from Lake Orion, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, the 48360 zip code, as well as many other areas in Michigan.