As parents, we are consistently attempting to take steps that will optimize the oral health of our children. We know that it is important that they brush on a regular basis, that they visit a dentist regularly, and that they consume foods that are part of a healthy diet; unfortunately, it has been determined that many of us may still be falling a bit short when it comes to oral hygiene.
According to statistics, 42% of all kids from 2 to age 11 have had a cavity in one or more of their baby teeth. Approximately 21% of kids that are 6 to 11 years old have had or currently have a cavity in their permanent teeth. In this brief guide, you will learn 3 of the most common mistakes that parents make that detrimentally impact the health of kids’ teeth.
Mistake #1: Allowing a Baby to go to Bed with a Bottle
While 85% of all parents know that it is detrimental to put a baby to bed with a bottle, approximately 20% of that number state that they have engaged in this activity. This is the most prevalent cause of tooth decay among babies and toddlers. By allowing a baby to have a bottle in bed, it keeps a constant supply of sugar and bacteria within the mouth. If a baby wakes for a feeding during the night, a bottle may be provided; however, immediately after the feeding, the mouth should be wiped with either a soft cloth or a small piece of gauze. This will help in removing the sugar and bacteria that is present within the mouth.
Mistake #2: Not Using Enough Fluoride
The next mistake that parents make when it comes to our kids’ teeth is not using enough fluoride. The main reason for this is that its use is considered to be controversial; however, the American Dental Association has recently revised what it recommends and even children under the age of 2 should have some exposure to fluoride. All tooth care products should contain this substance. You may also purchase water that includes higher concentrations of fluoride than traditional water. Fluoride aids in the prevention of cavities. For more information on how much fluoride your child should be exposed to on a regular basis, consult a pediatric dentist for professional recommendations.
Mistake #3: Inattention to Diet
It is a given that most of us parents work to ensure that our kids eat healthy foods; however, inattention to the details of these foods could result in oral health problems. For example, if you provide your child with oranges, bananas, and raisins, you are giving your child foods that contain concentrated sugars. While healthy to the body, they are not so healthy for the teeth! If you give your child healthy foods that could contain natural sugars, ensure that they brush their teeth after consuming those foods.