How to manage children’s teeth - Part 1


There are so many aspects to parenting: Making sure children are healthy and safe are in addition to the many life skills that must be taught to establish healthy lifetime habits.  Tooth brushing habits and establishing a routine cleaning of the teeth is an important habit that can’t be often rushed through or even overlooked. According to the CDC, dental cavities are the most common chronic condition that affects children. This is a hard statistic to swallow since dental cavities are usually preventable. Children can get a cavity from the moment they get their first tooth.  Creating good tooth cleaning habits is critical and cannot be overlooked. Pain from cavities can affect a child’s ability to eat, speak, and even how they learn in school. Concentrating while having a toothache is difficult.  Here are some basic tips to get you started!

- Removing dental plaque or biofilm is a big part of keeping children from dental pain, but diet and pH control are also important variables to consider. Sugar is an obvious culprit but also being mindful of refined carbohydrates will be helpful. It is easy to give little snacks of crackers or “goldfish,” but these can also be a cause for childhood tooth decay. Even fruit juices can be an issue.  Water is always a better option!

 - Keeping baby teeth healthy for as long as possible is critical. Baby teeth are important and allow children to chew their food efficiently, and they save the space for the incoming adult teeth.  If they are lost too soon, this can affect children in years to come and could require orthodontic intervention to save the space until the adult teeth erupt.

- A great start to develop good habits for children is to be the best example. Make sure you have your own healthy habits, and they see the efforts you put into cleaning your teeth.  When we share eating utensils, snuggle and kiss children, or any event when saliva can be shared, you can be exchanging the harmful bacteria from your saliva with them. 

      Sometimes brushing our teeth when we are tired is a chore, but we know the consequences if we don’t do it.  The same goes for children’s tooth health. Having tooth pain at a young age can be agonizing and scary. Developing good, healthy habits when young is a great way to prevent any unnecessary discomfort. If you want to know more about how to manage your child's dental habits at home, stayed tuned for more TePe Tips.


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