An Ounce Of Prevention: What You Can Do Now To Protect You Child's Teeth
Between scrubbing sweat stains out of soccer uniforms, scheduling haircuts, and ensuring that the laundry gets done, it can be easy to forget about your child's dental needs -- specifically, the need to keep your child's teeth clean, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing. While it can be hard to know when is the right time to institute personal, rather than parent-assisted dental care habits and even harder to make sure your kid is keeping up with good dental care, it is possible. If you're wondering what you can do to make sure your kid's teeth stay shiny and perfect, then here's what you need to know.
Do a family tree
While good habits will always win out over genetic predispositions, it can be helpful to know exactly how steep the hill is that you're attempting to get your child to climb. Genetic predisposition can lead to a greater number of cavities, a bigger chance of periodontitis (among other diseases), and even how quickly your child's teeth will yellow. Getting to know your family's health history is good in any circumstance -- there's a reason it's the first thing asked when you check into a hospital -- but is especially good to know in dental health, which can be set on a path (for good or bad) extremely early in your child's life.
Monkey see, monkey do
All of the haranguing in the world won't help if your child isn't sure if you even own a toothbrush, much less regularly used floss or half-empty mouthwash. Making brushing together a habit in the morning and night not only keeps your child accountable, but also establishes a routine that will keep your child taking care of their teeth long after they've moved out and have children of their own to brush with.
Seal it up
If your child has been brushing, flossing, and swishing mouthwash ad nauseum and still ends up with cavities, there is something you can do -- besides tearing your hair out in frustration. Ask your child's dentist about dental sealants -- a coating that helps protect your child's back molars (and pre-molars) from the wear and tear they receive during meals and snacks. The Center For Disease Control, in fact, recommends that school-aged children all have sealants put on their teeth.
Because of the shape of molars, they are uniquely (and unfortunately) protected against helpful substances like fluoride, and accumulate plaque very quickly. Sealants can help give your child a leg up in dental health -- and keep them out of the chair for emergency fillings. Talk to experts like Crest Hill Family Dental for more information.