Dentists across the region, in Durham, Chapel Hill and Duke all strongly urge parents to start caring for their children’s dental health with the same attention they devote to their general physical fitness in the early years.
Here are a few quick tips from family dental centers in the area, to help you prevent the bane of every parent- cavities.
Get your child into the habit of brushing and flossing from when they are young. Help them until they are about 5 or 6 years, with the brushing and until about age 9 or 10 for flossing. After that, the Chapel Hill Dental specialists say that kids should be able to manage on their own. Use fluoride toothpaste for your kids, a teeny smear when they are under 2 and a pea-sized dab after.
Set the right example- if you keep up a regular routine of brushing and flossing, so will your child. Durham Hill dentists say that kids pick-up a lot of cues from what their parents do, so your habits will likely be passed on to them.
Encourage the transition from sippy cups to regular cups. Family dental specialists say that this should be by around 12 months. Wean them off baby cups completely by 15 months.
Limit daily intake of juice to 4 to 6 oz. at most. And cut the candy if you feel your child is indulging multiple times a day. It is a nightmare for your child’s teeth and a dream setting for cavities.
Never allow them to go to bed without brushing and rinsing well. This means no bedtime bottle or sugary snacks- not even milk.
With a little care, your child should be cavity-free well into adulthood.