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Three tips for keeping your child's teeth and gums healthy

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If you want to spare your child the pain of dental problems such as cavities, abscesses and periodontal disease, then it's important to do what you can to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Here are three ways to do this.

Buy them to a novelty toothbrush

A lot of young children find the process of brushing their teeth to be quite boring and will often skip their daily dental hygiene routine if their parents do not closely monitor them.

One way to encourage your children to look after their teeth and gums is to make this activity more enjoyable for them. This can be done by buying them a novelty toothbrush.

A toothbrush that features your child's favourite cartoon character on its handle, or that lights up or plays music when it is used, should help your child to develop positive associations with the process of brushing their teeth.

Bring them to the family dentist regularly

If you want your child to enjoy good dental health, it is absolutely vital to take them to a family dentist in your local area on a regular basis.

Bringing them to the dentist regularly serves three purposes; first and foremost, it will enable your dentist to carry out a scale and polish to remove any plaque build-up before it can cause cavities and gum inflammation.

Secondly, it will allow the dentist to spot and treat minor dental problems before they evolve into serious, painful ones that put your child at risk of tooth loss or gum disease.

Thirdly, routine visits to the family dentist will ensure that your child becomes accustomed to, and comfortable with the idea of receiving dental treatments and thus does not end up developing a fear of the dentist which could have a negative impact on their dental health in the future (a phobia of this kind often results in people avoiding dental appointments and thus developing serious tooth and gum problems).

Set a timer when they brush their teeth

One of the biggest hurdles many parents face with regards to keeping their children's teeth healthy is making sure that they brush their teeth for an appropriate amount of time.

All too often, a child will simply swish the toothbrush around their mouth for a few seconds instead of thoroughly cleaning each and every tooth. This approach usually results in large amounts of food particles and plaque being left to fester on their teeth; this, in turn, can increase their chances of developing periodontal disease and cavities.

To address this matter, set a timer for two or three minutes each time they go to brush their teeth and monitor them, to ensure that they continue brushing until the timer goes off. This should be enough time for them to fully remove any bacterial plaque and food from their teeth.