3 Ways To Help Protect Your Child's Teeth

A child normally begins teething at around four months of age. However, the first baby teeth typically present at around six months. Those first little teeth will eventually fall out. However, your child's primary teeth are important.

Baby teeth may only be thought of as placeholders for adult teeth. However, the dental decay that occurs in your child's baby teeth can invade the underlying permanent teeth. Brushing and flossing are necessary. However, there are additional ways to protect your child's teeth. Here are a few:

Give your child gum.

If your child is old enough to chew gum without swallowing it, give him or her a piece of sugarless gum after each meal. This is especially helpful when your little one is away from home and is unable to brush. 

The gum sticks to plaque and particles of food to pull them off of the surface of the teeth. In addition, the chewing stimulates saliva production to help dilute acid that may form in the mouth. If the gum contains xylitol, the gum can also have an antimicrobial effect on oral bacteria.

Have your child rinse with tap water.

Tap water, which usually contains fluoride, can be used to rinse your child's mouth periodically throughout the day. The water not only helps lessen the effect of acid in the mouth through dilution, the fluoride in the water also helps remineralize your child's teeth. 

Fluoride coats the surface of the tooth enamel and attracts displaced calcium and phosphate back to the teeth. A new tooth compound forms that is even harder than your child's original tooth material.

Ask your child's dentist about dental sealants.

Dental sealants are usually applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth. The sealants, which are made of resin, fill in the deep crevices of the molars and discourage plaque and food from resting there. The coating also helps protect the teeth from the effects of decay-causing acid.

Dental sealants can last up to 10 years. However, if your child's sealants become chipped or worn, his or her dentist can apply additional sealant material for reparation.

If you are concerned about your child's dental health, there are measures you can take at home to help protect his or her teeth and gums. Still, it is important to take your child to the dentist at least twice a year for a dental examination and cleaning. A children's dentist will be able to advise of even more ways to help your child avoid tooth decay. For more information, go to website.