More than 40% of children will have dental cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. As a parent, this can be easily avoided by instilling a healthy brushing habit in your child’s routine. This brushing habit will defend their teeth from many dangers, specifically tartar buildup.
Tartar is formed when plaque on the teeth reacts to other minerals in the mouth. When this reaction happens, a thick yellow substance is left on the teeth, which can become difficult to remove.
Luckily, there are things like tartar removing toothpaste and tartar removing dental gel to make things a little easier.
However, the best way to beat tartar is to prevent it. Here are five ways you can prevent tartar from building up in your child's mouth.
Encourage your Child to Brush Twice A Day
One of the most effective ways to fight tartar build up on your child’s teeth is by brushing twice a day. Plaque builds up on teeth every hour of every day and within 24 to 72 hours, plaque build-up will turn into tartar.
To stop this process before it even starts, have your child brush their teeth twice a day with tartar removing toothpaste or plaque removing dental gel. Doing this will reduce plaque build-up on their teeth and, therefore, will reduce the chances of tartar buildup.
Encourage Using an Electric Toothbrush
When discussing brushing your teeth with your child, an easy way to get them interested in healthy habits is to offer a character-designed electric toothbrush. A kid-friendly brush with a special character or animal on it will get your child excited about brushing and an electric one will provide an added opportunity to remove as much plaque from their teeth as possible.
Flossing is a crucial way to maintain your child’s healthy mouth. When they don't floss regularly, it's actually doing more damage as items such as sugar can slowly wear away at the teeth’s enamel. Flossing is truly the only way to remove tartar and food build-up in between their teeth.
Especially with kids who have lost their baby teeth, it is very important to help them develop a healthy habit of flossing in addition to brushing with tartar removing toothpaste in order to keep their new teeth cavity-free.
Brushing Their Gums
Tartar can build up above and below your child’s gum line, so it's important that they brush their gums regularly. Show your child how to carefully brush their gum line with tartar removing toothpaste in order to encourage healthy gums, but at the same time not damaging them with harsh brushing techniques.
Pay Attention to What you Feed Your Child
Your child’s diet can have a major effect on their overall dental health. It is important to avoid feeding your child foods that are high in sugar, including carbonated drinks to prevent plaque build-up on their teeth. Feeding your child a well-balanced diet is a key aspect to avoiding cavity growth and bad oral health.
As a parent, there are many daily habits that your child will inherit just by watching what you do. It is important to encourage healthy brushing techniques at a young age to avoid frequent trips to the dentist due to plaque build-up and cavities.
LIVFRESH dental gel is safe for children of all ages. Adult supervision during brushing is recommended for smaller children. To learn more about our products please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
As a parent, you feel a responsibility for your kids’ health and safety. You make sure they are vaccinated against diseases, fasten their seat belts, and swim with a buddy. But what about their dental health?
Dental health is essential to a healthy body for a variety of reasons:
Malnutrition: People with painful teeth are limited in what they can eat. Tooth pain can cause people to avoid exactly the foods their bodies need, like fruits and vegetables.
Infection: Dental abscesses can spread elsewhere in the body, causing problems such as bone infections.
Pain: Dental problems can lead to pain in the teeth, gums, jaws, and sinuses. These pains can severely limit activities.
Social obstacles: Poor dental hygiene can lead to missing teeth, bad breath, and facial swelling, all of which can impede a child’s social interactions.
With these consequences to poor dental health in mind, here are five ways parents can improve their kids’ dental health:
See a Dentist
Visiting pediatric dentists can be one of the most essential parts of maintaining your child’s dental health. Pediatric dentists can monitor your child’s oral growth and development and identify behaviors, such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, before they cause long-term damage.
Pediatric dentists can also keep your kids’ teeth clean and make sure their teeth are properly fluoridated. Fluoride is an essential nutrient for developing teeth because fluoride helps calcium build teeth in a process called “mineralization.” Without fluoride, teeth are at risk of tooth decay because the mineralization process is less effective.
If your child drinks bottled water, you should be aware that it may be difficult to determine the levels of fluoride in the water. In fact, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, more than 65% of parents were unaware of the fluoride levels in the bottled water their children drink.
If your child feels anxiety about visiting a dentist, pediatric dentists, and their staff often have well-rehearsed ways to calm their fears. Being able to relate to kids and having the ability to explain what is happening during a dental visit are skills in every pediatric dentist‘s toolbox.
Teeth and gums benefit from many nutrients that aid in their growth and protect them from diseases. As mentioned above, fluoride helps calcium mineralize in teeth. This calcium comes from dietary sources, such as milk and other dairy products, dark green vegetables, and some nuts.
Additionally, the nutrient phosphorus is important to developing bones and teeth. Phosphorus can be found in legumes, nuts, eggs, meat, and fish.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is necessary for healthy gums. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Avoid Sugary Snacks
The other side of nutrition is the list of foods and drinks to avoid. When helping your child to make healthy food choices, added sugar poses many health risks including:
Type II Diabetes
High blood pressure
When it comes to tooth decay, the problem with sugar is that it feeds the bacteria that live on your child’s teeth. As the bacteria consume the sugar, they excrete acid. This acid demineralizes teeth. The tooth’s molecular structure is weakened, leading to pits or cavities in the teeth. These cavities must be cleaned and filled to prevent the decay from progressing further into the tooth, further undermining its structural integrity.
Because of the health risks, sugary snacks such as candy, baked goods, soda pop, and even fruit juice should be given to children in moderation. When children do consume sugary snacks, they should brush their teeth to minimize the sugar that remains on their teeth to feed the bacteria.
Proper Cleaning Technique
There are many skills that adults take for granted, but children need to learn. Among these skills is tooth brushing and flossing. Flossing may seem simple, but there is a correct way to floss. The floss must not only pick out any food trapped between teeth, but must also clean the space between the gums and tooth root at the base of the teeth. This is a prime area for bacteria to accumulate and cause gum disease. If these bacteria and the food particles they consume are not cleaned out, the gums can swell leading to bad breath, painful gums, and bleeding.
Tooth brushing must also be taught. Brushing the teeth is primarily a matter of thoroughness. Teaching children to brush in a soft, circular motion from the gums to the crown of the tooth can help them to dislodge any trapped food particles from their teeth and remove any built-up plaque.
Plaque is a biofilm produced by the bacteria in your child’s mouth. Think of it as a slime layer that protects the bacterial colonies and helps them stick to the teeth. If plaque is not removed, the bacteria can reinforce the biofilm’s structure into a hard scale called tartar.
If your child is involved in sports, such as football, basketball, skateboarding, or other activities where tooth damage can occur, pediatric dentists recommend a mouthguard. Not only can a mouthguard protect the teeth and gums, but studies have also shown that mouthguards can reduce the risk of concussion.
As with many aspects of parenting, your child’s dental health can have a learning curve. However, teaching them nutrition and dental hygiene, taking them to pediatric dentists, and using mouth guards can be a good start.