Guest Post by Kelsey Rausch
Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned veteran, oral health is something you should always be concerned about for your children. And now, the American Dental Association (ADA) is recommending a few changes to what you may have previously considered the peak of oral care.
The most noteworthy of these changes is the recommendation that fluoride toothpaste should be used on baby teeth as soon as they emerge. Whereas it was previously cautioned against, dental experts have changed their tune as record numbers of childhood tooth decay cases arise. In fact, more than 40% of children now have dental cavities by the time they're enrolled in kindergarten.
This change might be hard to accept for some parents, but the truth is that changes like these are becoming more and more common. Here are some other tips you should take into consideration when taking care of your kids' teeth.
Stay Away From JuiceAccording to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of one should avoid fruit juice at all costs. In addition, older school-aged children should avoid the sugary drink, as it can contribute to tooth decay and cavities, especially in young children. If you do serve juice consider diluting it with water.
See a DentistIdeally, a child should see a dentist before they reach Kindergarten. In fact, it's recommended that your child sees a pediatric dentist as soon as their first teeth emerge. The more familiar your child is with the dentist, the more they'll become acquainted with proper oral hygiene.
Pack Healthy SnacksUnfortunately, school brings with it unsupervised time for your children. While teachers make up 50% of the public school workforce, they're not there to provide nutritious snacks to your children. If you want to care for your children's teeth even when you're not there, make an effort to pack nutritious snacks and lunches that are low in sugar.
Brush at the First Sign of Teeth!You don't have to wait until your child has a full set of teeth to start brushing. In fact, you should do the opposite. Even before teeth emerge, you should make an effort to clean your baby's gums and familiarize them with the sensation of toothbrushes. Finally, remember that when you're helping your kids brush their teeth, you should also be teaching them how to brush their teeth. By the time those baby teeth start to drop out, many kids will need to learn these dental hygiene tips for themselves.
As new information comes to light, it helps us modify our old habits. And that's especially true for pediatric oral health.
Kelsey R. is a writer and an avid world traveler. When she's not writing or listening to 80s music, you can find her exploring different countries, taking selfies with her dog Lady, and in constant search for the perfect brownie recipe.
Disclaimer: Carol and Stacy may not agree 100% with our guest authors but we respect their advice and opinions and feel the information they are sharing is important.