The ADA – American Dental Health Association suggests that dentist visits should start early, by the time the child is 1 years old.
This is when the dentist is able to check for possible problems and start preventing them. Dentists check for abnormalities in the tissues, and they will also give precious dental health advice to the parents.
Parents will also be taught when it is time to take the child off the bottle, or that they should give their little ones fruit juices or sweetened milk only with the meals.
The acid starts attacking the baby teeth extremely fast after each meal, so it is extremely important to cleanse properly the mouth and gums of the baby after eating.
Also, the majority of the parents allow their little ones to walk around the house all day long with a sippy cup containing water/tea with honey, formula that contains sugar, or fruit juices.
All these are quite harmful for the developing teeth. So parents are taught to put in those cups nothing but plain water. All the sugary foods should be consumed with the meal, and after that their mouth and gums should be cleansed.
All kinds of sugars transform into acid quite quickly, and this is why children should not be allowed to constantly sip beverages that contain sugars.
When snack time arrives, parents are also taught to choose the healthiest snacks for their little ones, such as fruits, vegetables or cheese (which actually helps neutralizing the acids in the mouth).
Then, when it is time for a sweet treat parents should definitely avoid lollipops because these stay in the mouth for longer times and the sugars can be harmful for the teeth. Instead, they should give their little ones a bar of chocolate that goes down quickly, and after eating it the child should drink plain water in order to flush away all those sugars from the mouth.
In case parents give their children dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins, they should also teach their little one to swish with water afterwards in order to eliminate any dried fruit particles from the mouth.
According to several dental health statistics, the rate of dental decay has increased dramatically in children between the ages 2 and 5. This is mainly due to the consumption of unhealthy foods, and not respecting a proper dental regimen.
The truth is younger children, typically under the age of 7 are actually unable to brush their teeth by themselves and do a good job. Until that age parents should supervise children brushing their teeth twice a day.
Later on, when they are about 10 to 11 years old, they should also be able to use the floss on their own. But until then, parents are the ones who should reinforce the importance of respecting a proper dental health regimen every single day.