Children often forget to take care of their gums when it comes to their dental routine. After a quick brush, they’re off to bed with little thought for their gums. However, taking care of gums is imperative to dental health because gums are the structure that keeps teeth stable and strong. Neglecting gums can lead to gingivitis, periodontitis, loose teeth, and decay. Before it gets to this point, teach your child how to care for their gums. Here’s how to ensure your child’s gums are clean and healthy.
1 – Avoid the Bedtime Baby Bottle
Allowing your child to drink from a bottle before bed can lead to tooth and gum decay. Though it may comfort your toddler, it’s very destructive to a developing child’s oral health. When left in your children’s mouth, sugar from milk is consumed by bacteria that will multiply and erode the enamel. Try to remove the baby bottle from your child’s bedtime routine or fill it up with water if your child is insistent upon a bedtime bottle.
2 – Keep a Clean Pacifier
Many toddlers enjoy sucking on a pacifier. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to keep pacifiers clean and dirty pacifiers can introduce harmful bacteria and pathogens to the baby’s mouth. , The proper way to sanitize a pacifier is by boiling it for a few minutes or by running it through the dishwasher. For a mini-cleaning, just rinse the pacifier with warm water for a few seconds. Try not to use your own mouth to clean your child’s pacifier, since you can transfer your own oral germs into your child’s mouth this way. Also, resist dipping their pacifier in anything sweet such as sugar, juice or formula because this can lead to unhealthy sugar buildup.
3 – Brush Gently
Once your child’s teeth begin emerging, start brushing your children’s teeth immediately. Since children may not be able to spit out toothpaste, make sure that you use no more than a pea-sized dollop of unfluoridated toothpaste. Teach your child to brush firmly enough to remove debris, but gently enough so the gums are not damaged.
4 – Floss Daily
You can start flossing your children’s teeth as soon as they have more than a single tooth in a row. This will get them into the habit of flossing early on. Flossing is especially good for gum health because it removes plaque and food particles from hard-to-reach places in the gums. We recommend using flat, wide dental tape, which is ideal for the large spaces in children’s teeth.
5 – Establish a Dental Home Early
Get a head start by introducing your child to a pediatric dentist in Katy as soon as their first tooth emerges, which is sometime before their first birthday. At Kids Healthy Teeth, we like to make the first meeting an informal office tour to make sure both you and your child are comfortable with our office and our team. It’s important that children have a good relationship with their dentist, so they aren’t hesitant to return for future exams or procedures. That’s why we try to make our first meeting will be lighthearted and fun. Maintaining healthy gums can prevent heart disease, cavities, and the likelihood of contracting an infection. It’s never too late to begin taking care of your child’s teeth and gums, so start today!