Caring for your child's teeth starts before they get their first tooth. Unfortunately, many parents don't take oral health care seriously for a young child because they think that baby teeth are not that important since they fall out. Performing good oral care with your child helps keep their teeth and gums healthy, which can avoid premature tooth decay. In extreme situations, baby teeth may need to have cavities filled or be extracted. Here are some tips to make sure this doesn't happen to your child.

Don't Give A Bottle Of Milk At Bed Time

Some parents find that their child sleeps easier at night if they give them a bottle of milk at bedtime. This may ease the crying, but is bad for their teeth. All of that sugar in the milk will collect on the teeth and lead to premature tooth decay. Even if you brush their teeth when they wake up, that sugar has been on their teeth all night long.

If you insist on giving your child a bottle before they go to bed, giving them plain water is the best option for oral health. It won't cause their soft enamel to deteriorate over time, leading to fewer oral health problems. You should ideally try to ditch giving them a bottle at bedtime, but switching a water is a good way to wean them off milk if you have gotten into the habit.

Avoid Added Sugar

While it is difficult to avoid all forms of sugar, you should be taking steps to avoid things with added sugar. This includes sweetened cereals, which are filled with added sugar that children love. The same can be said of fruit juices, jams, and yogurt that add unnecessarily large amounts of sugar.

Help With Oral Care

Chances are that your child isn't doing a great job of brushing their teeth if you are having them do it. They may not be brushing for a full two minutes, moving their toothbrush over their gums, and moving the brush in the proper motions. It will be a good idea to help your child with their brushing at a young age. Show them how to do it for two minutes, then have them demonstrate for 30 seconds. It will get them in the habit of practicing good brushing techniques, which will encourage healthy teeth for years to come.

Meet with a family dentistry specialist for more tips on what you can do to prevent tooth decay with your young child.