Healthy Kids' Teeth: Surprising Facts Every Parent Should Know

Mom playing with her daughter

Not every child develops cavities. What is the secret to healthy kids' teeth? What are those super parents doing to protect their children from tooth decay? There is no mystery to good oral care for kids. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are the key to ensuring a healthy smile. Aside from committing to the basics, there are a few facts about caring for developing teeth that can turn any mom or dad into a super parent.

First Birthday, First Dentist Visit

In the United States, more than one-quarter of young children have a cavity by the age of 4. One way to help prevent early childhood cavities is to start those bi-annual dental check-ups early. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a visit with a pediatric dentist by one year of age. An early visit with a professional is crucial for finding out if your child is at risk for cavities. You can also learn a few invaluable oral care tips, such as how to brush your child's teeth properly and what is the right amount of fluoride for your little one.

Fluoride Protects Kids' Teeth from the Inside

Fluoride is essential for cavity protection because it hardens tooth enamel and it remineralizes teeth, reversing the natural breakdown process caused by acid. Once your dentist recommends a fluoride toothpaste, usually around age 2, you can start brushing your child's teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains this cavity-fighting mineral. The use of topical fluoride (from toothpaste, mouth rinses and professional in-office treatments) is only one way to prevent tooth decay with this mineral. Swallowed fluoride can also help to strengthen teeth in children up to the age of 16. It enters the bloodstream where it can be used by developing teeth. Drinking water is fluoridated in some communities to help support good oral health. If your drinking water isn't fluoridated, then your dentist may recommend supplements for your child.

Having Healthy Kids' Teeth Encourages Healthy Adult Teeth

Baby teeth start to fall out around the age of 6 or 7 and are then replaced by the permanent teeth. Even though your child will lose all of their primary teeth, it is still important to take good care of the first set of teeth. Untreated tooth decay in baby teeth can affect the adult teeth that are still under the gumline.

You can ensure that your kid's teeth are healthy and cavity-free into adulthood. Start early with good daily oral hygiene habits and dental visits. Ask your dentist about optimal fluoride use. Your child will be grateful that they have a super parent to protect their smile.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

More Articles You May Like

Top Tips for Good Oral Care During Childhood

  • Brushing and flossing
    Begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth when he (or she) is 2 years old. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Introduce fluoride toothpaste when your child is old enough not to swallow it. As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day. You can use regular floss or special plastic floss holders.

  • Dental visit
    New parents often ask, "When should my child first see a dentist?” Your child should see a dentist by his or her first birthday.

Brushing can be fun!

Brushing teeth with kids toothpastes and toothbrushes can be a fun activity. Check out our products to choose the one right for your child