More than 16 million children experience tooth decay annually. As parent's, of course, your are trying to keep your child from developing cavities. Cavities cause a lot of problems! Did you know that children lose more than 51 million school instruction hours due to children needing dental work each year. Most of these cases of tooth decay are avoidable and are better mitigated by helping your child developed consistent oral health care routines.
One of the best ways to get your child excited about dental care is to let them help choose a toothpaste they like! However, trying to find the right toothpaste for a child is no easy task.
Whether they don't like the toothpaste flavor or don't want to use it, getting kids to brush their teeth can be a real challenge.
The following are some basic tips to ensure that your child's oral hygiene is on par as their teeth begin to grow in:
Tried and True ADA Seal of Approval:
To make things simple, start with choosing a toothpaste that has an ADA seal of approval to it. The seal will be viewable on the box and will assure you that you have picked a good quality toothpaste that you can trust.
So your youngest children don't need to be using fluoride in their toothpaste. To give you an idea, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents can begin using fluoride toothpaste for children as soon as toddlers' teeth appear or "erupt."
Once your child is a bit older and has the ability to both spit and rinse in a controlled manner to avoid swallowing toothpaste, toothpaste with fluoride is a great preventive tool. Fluoride helps your child avoid tooth decay and cavities when used regularly.
You want to ensure that the toothpaste your children are using isn't a whitening toothpaste and doesn't contain any other abrasives. Abrasives to avoid include ingredients such as calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, or silicates. If you stick to the kids section when shopping for pastes you can avoid most confusion, but it's go to be aware that you should avoid giving your little one adult toothpaste.
Toothpaste has come a long way in the last twenty years! Kids have a lot of fun choices! Many kinds of toothpaste are catered specifically to kids with fun flavors like berry or bubblegum. Others include superhero or cartoon characters to encourage kids to brush more regularly. A few options include:
Begin a Good Cleaning Routine Early:
Getting children used to brushing their teeth regularly from a young age is the absolute best way to ensure good oral health later in life. Before children have teeth, wiping your child's mouth with a clean, cool, damp cloth around your finger is a great start to oral hygiene. Once teeth come in, you can begin using a brush and toothpaste without fluoride in it until the child develops spitting and rinsing skills. Then introducing a toothpaste that includes fluoride is appropriate.
Brushing Twice Per Day:
Children should be brushing their teeth twice per day. Older children should learn to floss once per day as well. Visiting the dentist twice a year (every six months) is also recommended. The dentist will clean your teeth and check for cavities.
Also, keep in mind, if your child experiences any sort of tooth pain, swelling, or suffers a broken tooth, you need to visit a pediatric dentist immediately to seek assistance.
Choosing a good toothpaste for your child is critical to helping your child start life with good oral hygiene skills. You can help them avoid tooth decay and cavities as well as promote good oral health for the rest of your child's life.
If you have any additional questions about your child's oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry. We are here to help ensure that your child gets the best possible start with their oral hygiene.