Before your child starts teething, you might not give much thought to their dental health. However, their gums are essential. Before their teeth emerge, your toddler will be less likely to develop tooth decay on their primary teeth if they have less oral bacteria. And if you pay attention to your toddler’s gums early on, you reduce the likelihood that they may develop gum disease. So how can you then ensure that your child has healthy gums?
A solid dental foundation is unbeatable. Therefore, building on this foundation is the most excellent method to provide your toddler with healthy gums. Your child’s gums will be in the best possible shape with the correct combination of regular cleaning, diet, and trips to the pediatric dentist.
Six Ways To Get Your Toddler Healthy Gums
1. Bring Your Toddler to a Pediatric Dentist
It’s critical to take your child to the dentist as soon as possible. Even if your child’s teeth haven’t come in, the pediatric dentist can detect gum issues during your child’s appointment. The dentist can then suggest the following course of action based on their results. With the help of this prescription, you can either redesign or enhance your child’s current dental hygiene routine. Whatever the case, it’s an excellent opportunity to give your kid preventive care and promptly address any possible issues before they become major ones.
2. Clean Their Gums Regularly
Saliva removes any stray food pieces still present in the mouth, but occasionally it needs a little help. In addition to improving your mouth’s hygiene, cleaning your child’s gums twice daily after feedings remove any sugars that oral bacteria might use as a food source. Doing this prior to your baby’s teeth erupting can also help protect primary teeth from those earliest acid attacks.
3. Massage Their Gums
When your child is teething, massaging their gums might help reduce the discomfort that comes with the process. However, gum massaging isn’t just for young children with teething issues. Massaging their gums before and after their teeth come out helps stimulate blood flow. This stimulation helps keep their gums firm and healthy.
4. Limit Sugary Drinks
When it comes to oral health, your diet is just as crucial as your hygiene routine. For example, limiting sugary drinks in your child’s diet can help shield them from developing periodontal diseases as adults because sugar plays a crucial role in increasing plaque development.
5. Watch What They Eat
It is more important to watch what your child eats than what they avoid. Feeding your kids food that is good for their teeth is another approach to guarantee that you provide them with healthy gums, in addition to limiting foods that are conducive to bacteria. Apart from promoting their gum health, your toddler might even develop a preference for these healthy bites to eat over time.
6. Utilize Some Fluoride
Typically, fluoride is not yet necessary for very young children. But once they’re old enough, it’s best to introduce them to fluoride as soon as possible. Fluoride fortifies your teeth against plaque accumulation, reducing the likelihood that bacteria may create pockets beneath your gums and lead to periodontal disease. The prevention of these disorders begins with early exposure to fluoride in children.
Does Fluoride Harm Your Toddlers?
Why shouldn’t you give fluoride to your toddlers? Some claim that because infants don’t have teeth, they don’t indeed require it. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth by bonding with the other minerals that teeth contain. Therefore, there isn’t much it can do to improve your child’s dental health. But is fluoride necessarily harmful to your toddlers?
The American Dental Association’s (ADA) decision to change the recommendations for giving fluoride to youngsters prompted this resurgence in interest in the advantages of fluoride. Initially, the ADA suggested waiting until the child was at least two years of age before introducing fluoride toothpaste to their routine. Some time ago, however, it changed its recommendation to using a bit of fluoride toothpaste once the child began to show teeth.
The ADA lowering the exposure age to fluoride should then mean that it is safe enough for toddlers. It would have been better to avoid fluoridation altogether if it is detrimental to toddlers. So why should you provide fluoride to your toddlers? Here are a few reasons:
Fluoride Prevents Cavities From Developing Early
Cavities rank among the most prevalent diseases in young children. As mentioned in a previous article, asthma is second to this dental caries among chronic childhood disorders. Pre-schoolers have been experiencing an increase in these incidents over the past few years. The removal of cavities from these schoolchildren’s milk teeth even prompted some of them to undergo general anesthesia.
Preventing these issues from worsening or occurring becomes a top priority. Introducing fluoride earlier in the process may provide the necessary prevention. In addition, if the teeth are healthy, you can improve the chances of giving your toddler healthy gums.
However, there is still the risk of excessive fluoride exposure. Too much fluoride in your diet causes dental fluorosis. Hyper-mineralization disfigures the affected teeth. Parents are then encouraged to teach their children to spit out the toothpaste after brushing their teeth.
Fluoride Prevents Future Dental Issues
Toddlers with insufficient fluoride levels in their systems are typically more susceptible to tooth decay. Along with cavities, this risk makes kids more vulnerable to other oral health problems. Numerous pulp infections and periodontal disorders are among these issues.
Plaque buildup is typically the cause of dental problems. It can cause pockets in your gums and cave in some parts of your teeth if left untreated. Fluoride, therefore, makes it more difficult for the bacteria in plaque accumulation to enter your child’s teeth and gums by binding to other minerals in the teeth.
Your toddler will benefit from an early introduction to fluoride. Protecting their teeth from the start reduces the amount of plaque they’ll accumulate throughout their childhood. Because they get less plaque, they’re less susceptible to tooth decay. As a result, it makes them less vulnerable to cavities and other oral diseases. And if they learn how to spit out their toothpaste after brushing their teeth, they’re also less likely to contract fluorosis.
Naturally, one shouldn’t rely solely on fluoride. Other factors to consider are how frequently your toddlers wash their teeth or whether they consume foods that are good for their teeth. However, knowing that fluoride is safe for your kids is still helpful. It provides them with the necessary push against cavities.