As a parent, you already know that you need to brush & floss your child’s teeth and that it is best to limit how much candy & soda they consume. However, there are some things when it comes to your child’s oral health that you may not already know. One of them may be that your child should have their first dental appointment before the age of one and can occur as early as 6 months of age or when they receive their first tooth.

It may also be helpful to know that your child can “play” and chew on a toothbrush while teething. This will help remove plaque and keep cavities away and will also make your child more familiar & comfortable with toothbrushing which means it will be less of a struggle for you as a parent moving forward. As a parent, you should be helping your child brush and floss their teeth until they develop the necessary motor skills and are responsible enough to perform the task on their own. There is no specific age for when your child can begin to exclusively perform their own oral hygiene as it is different for everyone. A general guideline for when they can take over is when they can tie their own shoes. Even then, it is still a good idea to evaluate their mouths after brushing to make sure that they are doing it properly.

It is also important to know that cavity-causing sugars & acids can be found in many foods and drinks. For instance, fruit snacks, dehydrated fruit, Goldfish Crackers, juice, and sports drinks like Gatorade are all great at causing cavities. As a general rule, if it sticks to your teeth, then it probably causes cavities. Also, all chewing gums are not created equal. Unless your chewing gum specifically says ‘sugar-free’ or it contains xylitol, it may be contributing to tooth decay.

As a parent, you should also know that frequency (NOT amount) of sugar consumption is the biggest contributing factor to cavities. Every time sugar is consumed, cavities will form for approximately 30 minutes. This means that every time your child takes a sip of juice or eats a handful of Goldfish crackers, a new 30-minute clock starts. As a result, it is better to have dedicated meal & snack times while trying to eliminate “grazing” to help reduce the risk of cavities.

Brushing and flossing frequently is something that all parents know their child should be doing, but did you know that you should not brush immediately after eating? Your child’s mouth becomes acidic after eating which temporarily weakens the enamel of the teeth. If you brush IMMEDIATELY after eating, you can actually scrub away the enamel. Wait at least half an hour after eating to brush. It is also beneficial to brush without toothpaste when you’re not at home to help dislodge food stuck to the teeth. You can throw an extra toothbrush in the car or your purse to use when you’re away from home. Swishing with plain water immediately after eating is also helpful and is a fast & simple way to help neutralize the acid and remove food debris.

Sala Family Dentistry is the Best of Reno, Best Dentist 2021!

Schedule an appointment for your child today by submitting a contact form or calling us at (775) 376-7914.



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