Teach Children Good Dental Hygiene
Parents often have a tough time deciding how best they can encourage kids to maintain good dental hygiene. It is vitally important that parents assist children in understanding the importance of their teeth and gums health. Parents sometimes find it hard to judge when they should schedule their child’s first trip to the dentist. We all know about plaque and cavities, but don’t know what is the best way to prevent it. A routine teeth-cleaning habit from an early age will help them develop a good dental hygiene.
When to Start?
For New born and Infants-
A child has only 20 primary teeth at birth but we cannot see them. Dental care should start even before the child’s first tooth appears. Wipe your baby’s gums with a soft and sterile cloth at least twice a day after feeding. This will prevent the build up of bacteria.
At 6 months,you would notice teeth break the gum. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean your child’s teeth. Brush with little water twice a day
You may consider visiting your dentist when the child’s first tooth appears. Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist as he/she has additional training in addressing kid’s dental health needs.
Do no let your child sleep with a bottle filled with milk or any other sweetened liquid. Instead, you can fill the baby bottle with water.
Do not coat your child’s pacifier with honey or any sweet and sugary substance.
For Toddlers and preschoolers-
Children can be taught to brush their own teeth. A child size toothbrush and a pea-sized toothpaste should be used. Children can start using fluoride toothpaste. Your supervision is a must as children tend to swallow most of the tooth paste. The excess of toothpaste should be spit and rinsed with water. Too mush fluorine can cause permanent stain on your child’s teeth.
Visiting the dentist after the child’s first birthday is also a good time to learn about new preventive techniques in dental research.
If your child is experiencing pain during teething,let him chew a clean and cold wet cloth or a cold spoon
Children must brush immediately having medicines as the sugar in some medicines can damage teeth enamel.
For Big Kids –
When permanent teeth start appearing parents should be even more vigilant. The routine can be a little unpleasant for both of you but you must explain why brushing twice a day and flossing will help them keep a healthy mouth.
Follow-ups with the dentist can help you identify early dental problems and it will also familiarise the child with the dental procedures.
Encourage children to eat nutritious diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
Children must drink plenty of water and restrict drinking sweetened drinks.
Avoid having food that has high sugar content.
Flossing at least once a day is a must.
How to Brush your Child’s Teeth
Follow a routine,it means brushing your child’s teeth at the same time everyday.
Thoroughly brush the child’s teeth and follow the same brushing pattern.
Allow your child to spit excess tooth paste by taking small breaks.
Choose a clean and safe place to brush to avoid any injury to your child’s mouth.
Prevent Dental Injury in Children
Always use car seats and belts that are approved and safe for infants.
When your child is learning to walk be extra cautious and child proof your home.
Encourage your child to wear a mouth guard while playing sports such as hockey,soccer and baseball. Mouth guards protect teeth from severe injury.
Important Dental Vocabulary children should know
Decay(Cavities)- Tooth structure destroyed by bacteria.
Enamel- A hard material that protects the outer portion of the teeth.
Bacteria – Germs or tooth bugs.
Flossing- A thread like material used to clean contact areas between teeth.
Fluoride- A mineral that strengthens teeth enamel and prevents decay.
Filling- A metal or porcelain material used to restore lost tooth structure.
Dentin- Inner layer of tooth structure.
Dentist- A person who is trained to diagnose and treat overall oral health acre needs.
Jawbone- A hard bone structure that anchors the teeth and supports the face.
Molars- Three back teeth used for grinding food.
Plaque- A sticky colorless film which usually is undigested food particles mixed with saliva and bacteria forming a constant layer on teeth.
Sealant- A thin and clear substance which is applied to the biting surface of teeth to prevent decay.
A great smile comes from routine teeth cleaning habits and proper diet. Work with your children and practice these simple yet effective activities and make it a habit for them. Keep your children healthy and smiling!