Start Early to Promote Good Dental Health
by Kathleen Rouser
Funny thing about teeth, we depend on them for chewing, but we really take them for granted unless they are causing us a problem. However, the health of your teeth is just as important as any other part of your body. Dental caries, or tooth decay, are infections. If teeth aren’t properly cared for, bacteria grow on your teeth, feeding on the sugars your food has broken down. Then the bacteria excrete acids that eat away at your teeth! Once the acids break through the enamel to the dentin layer, the tooth must be restored using a composite resin or amalgam (silver) filling. If not, the tooth will decay further, causing painful complications.
Promote healthy habits of caring for your children’s teeth by beginning early in their life.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Use only water with a soft-bristled brush to brush your baby’s teeth, and be sure to take him in to see the dentist to not only make sure his gums and first teeth are healthy but also to get him used to going to the dentist by the age of one.
- Around age two, but not before, use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush for toddlers to brush their teeth. No fluoride-containing toothpastes should be used before age two.
- As the child grows older, teach him to brush his teeth for two minutes. There are battery-operated toothbrushes for children that have timers built in. Using these can be a fun way to teach them.
- Make sure your child gets in the habit of drinking water. Limit fruit juice and soda. Continual drinking of such products can weaken the enamel on your child’s teeth, because they contain unnecessary sugars and acids.
- Take children to the dentist for regular check-ups and hygiene appointments. Find a dental office where your child is comfortable and the dentist is willing to answer your questions. Good communication is important.
I remember my earliest appointments to have my teeth cleaned. When the hygienist, Sandy, told me a story about a fish living in the bowl where I needed to spit, I was enthralled! Dental appointments don’t have to be traumatic. If you have a good attitude about dental care, your children are more likely to learn a positive attitude and have a better experience also.
Starting your family early on the road to dental health can go a long way in helping to prevent other issues later in life such as heart disease and diabetes, not to mention tooth loss and periodontal disease.
Remember, even our teeth are part of the “fearfully and wonderfully made” mortal frame God has created us to live in. And keep smiling!
Kathleen Rouser, RDA, is a former dental assistant in Michigan. She is currently an award-winning author of historical Christian romance. Her latest novel, Secrets and Wishes, was released by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas on October 2, 2017.
Find her on the web at: kathleenrouser.com