3 Things To Know About Your Children's Dental Health

When it comes to taking care of your teeth and gums, the earlier you develop good dental habits, the better. Regular visits to the dentist, along with good oral hygiene, are essential throughout childhood. If you have children, their dental health should be a priority. They are more prone to cavities and dental decay than you may realize. In fact, around 42 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 11 have cavities in their baby teeth. Here's what you should know about your child's dental health:

Start Early

The first thing that you should know is that starting early with brushing and flossing is a must. While you may not think that cavities in baby teeth are a big issue, they can have an impact on the development of the permanent teeth. Babies should have their gums softly wiped in order to remove bacteria. Once teeth erupt, you can graduate to brushing with a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste. Once your child is 3 years of age, you can start using a pea sized amount of toothpaste when brushing their teeth.

Visit The Dentist

It's more than just brushing your child's teeth and ensuring that they are practicing good oral hygiene -- regular dental visits are a must, too. It's recommended that you take your child to the dentist for a checkup by their first birthday; after that, cleanings and exams are recommended every six months. Your dentist will start looking for cavities and other signs of decay early on. They will also monitor the development of the permanent teeth and start evaluating whether or not orthodontics will be necessary. Family dentistry practices are a great option for you and your children, since they offer dental care for the entire family.

Prevention Is Key

While proper brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are key parts of preventing dental decay, there are a other things that you can consider doing. Applying dental sealants and doing fluoride treatments can also help prevent cavities in your child's teeth. Dental sealants range in price from $30 to $40 per tooth and are often applied to permanent teeth when they erupt. Sealants can reduce cavities by up to 60 percent for four years or even longer.

Your child's dental health is important and you will want to set them up for healthy teeth and gums for life. Starting early is key -- teach them to brush and floss early on, and help them develop proper habits. Visiting the dentist by their first birthday is also important. You may also want to consider certain preventative steps, such as having sealants applied as their permanent teeth come in.