The health of your child's primary teeth is important because it can affect the well-being of the permanent teeth that will eventually emerge. To help ensure that your child's teeth stay healthy, there are multiple things that you can do. Here are a few of them:
Have your child wear a mouth guard during contact sports.
Primary teeth serve as placeholders for the adult teeth that will erupt. When a primary tooth is lost before its time, the underlying adult tooth may present in a misaligned position. To protect your child's teeth as he or she plays sports, a mouth guard should be used. The mouth guard can help your child avoid losing a tooth to dental trauma from a blow to the mouth.
A guard can be obtained at your child's dental office or purchased over-the-counter. However, a mouth guard from your child's dentist may offer the most customized fit.
Have your child sip water throughout the day.
Water will help keep your little one hydrated and also wash away plaque and food particles that may cause tooth decay. Bottled water is convenient, but tap water may also be used.
Tap water is usually fluoridated, so it may even offer additional dental health benefits. Fluoride helps remineralize the teeth and make them more resistant to damage from acid exposure.
Give your child gum sweetened with xylitol after he or she eats.
Sugarless gum offers multiple oral health benefits. Chewing the gum can strengthen the jaws, stimulate the jawbone, pull particles of food from the teeth and incite the production of saliva to help dilute bacterial acid. If the gum is sweetened with xylitol, it may also make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your child's tooth enamel.
Don't allow your child to chew on ice or other hard substances.
Ice and other hard substances, such as hard candy, can damage a child's teeth. The amount of bite pressure that may be applied to crush a hard piece of ice may cause one of your child's teeth to crack or chip. If you notice your child chewing on a hard substance, offer him or her a healthy snack, such as a carrot or a celery stick, for a satisfying crunch. You can also give your child a piece of gum to keep his or her mouth occupied.
To learn more ways to help keep your child's teeth healthy, schedule a consultation with a pediatric dentist (such as one from Kenai Dental Clinic) in your area.