Habits that your child develops during childhood may still be present when they become an adult. As a result, it is important to help your child develop healthy dental habits while they are young. Here are a few habits that youngsters can adopt to help protect their teeth.
When a child is learning to brush their teeth, they may feel that by scrubbing the dental surfaces harder, their teeth will be cleaner. However, that is not the case. Brushing with too much force can brush away the tooth enamel over time. Since the enamel protects the interior layers of the teeth, its absence can cause the health of a tooth to deteriorate. A loss of enamel is associated with tooth decay, dental sensitivity, and tooth infections.
Teach your child to brush their teeth gently, covering all the sides of the teeth that the brush can reach. To help the child gauge whether or not they are brushing too hard, have them review the condition of their toothbrush bristles regularly. If the bristles appear warped and no longer maintain the structure that they had when the toothbrush was first purchased, the child is likely brushing too hard. Also, the youngster may notice that their gums bleed a bit from the forceful brushing.
Avoid Chewing on Hard Candy or Ice
Some children love the crunching sound that their chewing emits as they bite down on a hard piece of candy or a crunchy block of ice. However, these hard items can cause damage to the teeth due to the great amount of bite pressure that is required as they are chewed.
Biting on hard items can result in cracked or chipped teeth. If your child enjoys the sensation of chewing, offer them sugarless gum. The gum can satisfy their chewing craving while promoting good dental health.
Drink Water Throughout the Day
The regular consumption of water can help keep your child hydrated so that they do not develop dry mouth. When there is too little water available, saliva production wanes. Since saliva is responsible for aiding in the neutralization of oral acids, people with dry mouth often experience an increase in dental decay.
In addition to promoting proper hydration, drinking water can help expose your child's teeth to fluoride throughout the day. Fluoride can help remineralize the teeth and lessen the chance of cavity development.
To learn more healthy habits that your child can develop to protect their teeth, schedule a consultation at a pediatric dentist office in your local area.