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Cavities and bad teeth are the most common complain of children around the world. It is never too early to start inculcating good dental habits in your child. You can begin even before your child has his or her first set of teeth. Begin by being a good example and taking care of your own teeth. Along with that, here are a few dental tips to keep a bright smile on your child's face.
- Get a dental check up: Your child's first visit to the dentists should be when he is she is around a year old. Even if your little one only has two teeth by this time, the dentist will be able to take a look at how the child's teeth are developing. The first dental visit should be followed by regular checkups.
- Check your water: Your child needs water with fluoride in it. This protects the teeth. Bottled water usually does not contain fluoride and hence should not be used to make the baby's formula or given to the baby. Additionally, ensure that the baby's mouth is cleaned of all milk residues, etc. before he or she goes to sleep.
- Brush teeth: Once your child has his first set of teeth, it is time to teach him how to brush them. Ideally, teeth should be brushed twice a day for two minutes each. Use a soft bristled toothbrush for your baby with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Brushing your teeth with your child will give them an example to follow and make it easier for them to learn how to brush their teeth. You may introduce your child to flossing once they are 6 years old.
- Avoid sugar: Candy and chocolate is the leading cause of cavities in children. Sugar releases acid that takes up to half an hour to be cleaned by saliva. Thus, frequent sugary snacks can leave your child's mouth acidic for longer and make it more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
- Meal times: Maintaining regular mealtimes not only gives your baby a healthy lifestyle, but also affects their dental health. Instead of letting your child sip out of a sipper cup throughout the day, encourage him to drink a glass of juice in one sitting. Juice contains sugar and hence this has a similar effect to snacking in the day. When using a sipper cup also pay attention to the back of your child's upper front teeth. Since the sipper cup positions itself behind these teeth, this may be the first to show signs of tooth decay.