From the moment parents see their child’s first tooth erupt, they realize that they have a responsibility to help their child maintain good oral health. As most parents realize, encouraging a child to brush teeth, floss, and to stay away from foods that can be damaging to the teeth is a challenge. This is because children literally want to do just the opposite. Most children would rather do something else than brush their teeth before they go to bed or when they wake up in the morning.
For someone who has gone through the frustration of having multiple root canals, tooth extractions, and crowns, adults understand how learning good oral health at a young age goes a long way in protecting the teeth as you age.
The steps that children need to take with the assistance of their parents to maintain healthy teeth are the same ones that adults need to take. The first step in maintaining healthy, cavity free teeth is to brush and floss regularly. Dentists recommend that you brush and floss at least two times a day. If it is necessary, you can brush your teeth even more. If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, plaque will begin to form and eventually this will lead to cavities.
Parents can help their children maintain strong teeth by encouraging them to have regular dental exams. Research has shown very clearly that if children are not accustomed to visiting the dentist multiple times throughout the year, when they become adults, they will not visit the dentist. Having cleanings done every six months can help the dentist identify problem areas in advance. The dentist can teach you and your children how to prevent cavities from forming in the first place.
Diet plays a vital role in maintaining healthy teeth. One does not need to read the Journal of Dentistry to understand that if you eat a lot of sugar, you are going to form plaque on your teeth quicker. Sugary snacks and sugary beverages not only lead to plaque formation, but the bacteria that feed on these sugars produce acid, which causes tooth decay.
Finally, parents can help their children by encouraging them to get the vitamins and minerals that they need. A person with vitamin deficiencies has weaker teeth and teeth that are more susceptible to cavities. Parents can consult with their physician to make sure that their child’s diet has sufficient vitamins and minerals to keep their teeth strong for the rest of their life.