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Your child’s teeth are not permanent, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore them and not take care of them. Yes, they are going to fall out eventually but if you are not providing the proper care those baby teeth could become infected, causing pain and leading to tooth loss sooner than the correct age. The good news is that there are things you can do as a parent to keep your child’s teeth healthy.

1: Brush and Floss

You already know you should be brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and the prescribed treatment for cleaning your child’s teeth is no different. The difference is that a child probably won’t have the motor skills to properly remove all the plaque that can build up, so they will require your help. You can also floss as soon as your child has two teeth touching, to prevent plaque buildup and food from getting stuck between teeth. Use fluoridated toothpaste, but make sure children don’t swallow toothpaste during or after brushing. If brushing is difficult, there are plenty of apps, videos, games, and toothbrushes with technology to help your child brush for the full two minutes twice a day.

2: Limit Harmful Food and Drink

Just like you want to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, so should you make sure your child is eating the same way. Add more fruits and veggies to meals and between meals for snacks, and limit the amount of sugary treats they eat and sugary drinks they consume. Young children who have bottles or sippy cups between meals should be drinking water instead of juice, sports drinks or soda, and avoid “grazing” (snacking between meals on sugary or starchy foods).

3: Get Fluoride and Sealants

Fluoride has been shown to prevent cavities and strengthen the enamel in your child’s teeth. The most common way that children can get fluoride is through the water supply, but in Saratoga Springs the water does not contain fluoride. Therefore you should talk to your dentist about whether it’s a good option for your child, and if so, the best way to make sure your child gets it.

Another easy way to prevent cavities is to get sealants place on your child’s molars. These teeth have deeper grooves and are therefore more susceptible to cavities, but sealants can help keep plaque buildup and bacteria in the grooves. It’s a quick and easy procedure but can provide exceptional protection.

4: Dental Check-ups

In addition to all the work you do at home to keep your child’s teeth healthy, it’s also critical to schedule regular dental check-ups with your Saratoga Springs dentist. The general recommendation is to get a check-up and professional dental cleaning every six months, but depending on your child’s individual oral health needs your child’s dentist might recommend more or less often.

Visiting the dentist can be a little bit scary for some children, so before you take them to just any dentist, find a local pediatric dentist with the right atmosphere in the office to put your child at ease, and the right experience to provide exceptional treatment.