Dental Safety for Kids

Many kids are adventurous by nature, and this can be dangerous to their teeth. Accidents through indoor and outdoor sports are to be expected as children develop, and it’s important that we do everything possible to help our children prevent serious dental problems.

Build Basic Habits

Good basic oral hygiene is fundamental when it comes to maintaining good health throughout our lives. Start building good oral hygiene habits early by teaching your kids the proper way to brush their teeth as well as how to floss. Your dentist, like this kid-friendly dentist in Vancouver, Washington, can help teach your child how to appropriately care for his/her teeth.

When shopping for toothbrushes, make sure to choose one that is age-appropriate. It shouldn’t be too big to cause damage to your child’s mouth, but the toothbrush shouldn’t be too small that it doesn’t adequately clean your child’s teeth. Also consider buying fluoride-free toothpaste – too much fluoride can be dangerous, especially for young children. They’ll often swallow toothpaste while brushing instead of rinsing and spitting. Ingesting too much fluoride can also discolor your child’s teeth.

The Value of Good Nutrition

A regular diet of fruits, vegetables and whole-grains can help keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong. While sugary snacks contribute to the formation of cavities, crunchy fruits and vegetables help clean teeth through getting rid of harmful bacteria. A well-balanced diet will help your children avoid unnecessary problems and pain.

Avoid cavities

Regular good oral hygiene will help your child avoid cavities, but ask your dentist about dental sealants. If your children are like mine, they graze throughout the day and don’t brush after every snack. Food can easily get caught between teeth, and sealants help protect teeth from developing cavities. This procedure is also quick and painless!

If cavities are already an issue, consider a mercury-free dentist. Standard fillings are made of amalgam, a mixture of silver and mercury. Due to recent concerns regarding the toxicity of mercury, some dentists have switched to fillings made from porcelain or other durable composites that look and wear like teeth.

Let Teeth Develop

It can be exciting when your child develops his/her first loose tooth. It might also be tempting to yank it out, but this can cause infection and unnecessary pain. Let the tooth work itself out, with a little wiggling from your child. When it’s extremely loose, give it a gentle pull – if it doesn’t give, continue to wait.

Guard Your Mouth

It’s important for children to avoid walking, running or playing with their mouth full – usually these situations involve gum, hard candy or lollipops. When your child eats these snacks, he/she is basically giving their teeth a sugar bath. Soda will also harm teeth in this way – water and milk are great alternatives.

It’s also important for children to protect their teeth while playing sports or during outdoor activities like skateboarding, bicycling and rollerblading. A wide variety of mouth guards are available for purchase, and this initial investment will be worth any potential damage to your child’s teeth.

Regular dental visits every six months will help you and your children keep tabs on their dental health. There’s no substitution for preventative care, especially when it involves our teeth!

Kelly Wilson is a freelance writer interested in safe dental practices from professionals like this mercury free dentist in Vancouver, Washington.

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