Just as you take care of your own oral health, when you become a parent it is important for you to make sure your child has the best chance at a healthy mouth. Here are two tips to help you improve and maintain the good oral health of your child.
Adjust Your Child's Diet
One way to help prevent or reduce the number of cavities in your child's teeth is to adjust their diet to reduce or eliminate the amounts of soybeans and other legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts they eat. The reason for this diet adjustment is because these types of foods contain phytic acid molecules, which can cause your child's body to become starved of calcium and other teeth and bone health-promoting minerals.
Phytate foods contain many essential minerals, including phosphorous, but because of the molecular make-up of the phytic acid in the foods, your child's body can't break down the phosphorous for nutritional use. Phosphorous is an important mineral that helps strengthen your child's bones and teeth, especially when their body is growing and developing. When your child's body can't absorb the phosphorous and other bone-strengthening nutrients, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc, their bones and teeth become weakened and can begin to decay.
Instead, feed your child protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, and fish, vegetables, limited fruits (due to their sugar contents), and healthy oils and fats, such as pastured butter and coconut oil.
Monitor Your Child's Oral Cleaning
The next helpful way to make sure your child has healthy teeth and gums is to make sure they are taking care of their teeth properly. As their parent, you are responsible for the health of your child's teeth, just as you are responsible for them when they become ill or injured.
You can begin taking care of your child's oral health as soon as they are born. It is recommended to begin cleaning your baby's gums with a wet washcloth after each feeding. When their teeth begin to emerge, begin brushing their teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water or non-fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Take your child to their first dental check-up with a pediatric dentist when they are one year of age, and continue regular visits every six months after that.
You can begin to use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush with your child after the age of two, but make sure they don't swallow any. Also begin to use floss to clean between your child's teeth when they have two teeth that touch.
When your child reaches the age of six or seven, they can begin to brush and floss their own teeth twice a day. Be sure to monitor their brushing and flossing to make sure they are doing it appropriately until they reach the age of ten or eleven.
Use these tips to help keep your child's teeth and gums healthy.