3 Things Dentists Want Parents To Know About Their Child's Oral Health

Posted on: 8 March 2018

Parenting can be hard. From ensuring your child is healthy to providing them with a lifestyle that is safe and happy, it is easy to see the challenges of being a parent. Unfortunately, many parents do not consider their child's oral health a priority. Without proper understanding and good oral hygiene, your child can learn bad habits while increasing their risk of serious dental issues. Here are a few things dentist want parents to know about their child's oral health.

The Sooner, The Better

Most dentists recommend parents bring their child in for their first exam by their first birthday or at least 6 months after their first tooth erupts.

For some parents, this may seem too early, but early intervention is key to your child's oral health.

A routine examination at this age will help your pediatric dentist determine if your child's primary teeth are developing properly. Starting routine exams early will also help your child learn the importance of regular brushing and flossing, which are tasks they will need all throughout their childhood, teen, and adult years.

Stop the Bottle

If you give your child a bottle at bedtime, it is time to stop immediately. Even if the bottle is filled with milk, juice, or water, sucking on a bottle at bedtime can wreak havoc on your child's teeth.

Sucking on a bottle can cause your child's front teeth to move forward, increasing the risk of an overbite. This misalignment of the teeth may seem to affect your child's appearance only, but an overbite can also lead to bite misalignments that cause discomfort.

Giving your child a bottle of juice or milk at bedtime is even more problematic, since the sugars from these beverages will linger in your child's mouth overnight. Parents must remember that sugar builds up on the teeth, hardening and eroding the tooth enamel. This increases the risk of cavities and decay.

Skip the Juice

Another mistake many parents are making is thinking fruit juice is a healthy beverage option for their child. As mentioned earlier, drinking juice from a bottle at bedtime is not smart. However, juice is not a healthy option no matter how it is consumed.

Most juices, which claim to be healthy for children, contain large amounts of natural and processed sugars. Consuming juice even occasionally can increase your child's risk of teethth staining and cavities.

To protect your child's oral health, skip the juice and give your child milk and water only.

Parenting is difficult, but protecting your child's oral health does not have to be a problem. By listening to this advice from your dentist, your child can grow up with a healthy, appealing smile.