Every parent is deeply concerned about their child’s health and would do anything to keep them healthy. However, some parents are unaware that their child’s oral health is equally important. Keeping your child’s teeth in pristine condition helps them learn to chew and speak correctly. It also ensures they are set up to have healthy teeth as adults. Strong oral care helps in developing beneficial dental habits as your child grows. On the other hand, poor oral care may lead to tooth problems, infections, and diseases.
If you are new at parenting and are lost about caring for your little one’s teeth, you’re in the right place. This blog will discuss all the essentials of oral care you need to practice for your child.
How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene for Your Kids?
1. Take Care of Baby Teeth
Your baby’s first set of teeth plays a crucial role in its overall development. This set of teeth is the forerunner of permanent teeth and must be well taken care of. If your child loses teeth prematurely, it may lead to crowding once permanent teeth start to come.
Therefore, you should begin caring for your child’s teeth from the initial stages. You can wipe your child’s gums with a clean, wet washcloth before they grow teeth. It will remove bacteria from their mouths and keep them fresh. Brushing at a young age is also a great idea. You can find soft-bristled toothbrushes made for infants to help them brush without hurting their fragile gums.
2. Brush Twice a Day
Children must develop a habit of brushing their teeth at least twice a day- in the morning and before bed. When your baby gets their first tooth, use a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a rice grain. Increase the toothpaste by a small amount when your child is 3 years old.
As for the older kids, using a small ribbon of toothpaste across their toothbrush’s head is safe. Teach your kids the significance of brushing regularly and ensure they brush for two minutes every time. Show your children the proper way of brushing gently, and let them try brushing on their own once you feel they are ready.
3. Make a Practice of Flossing
Flossing is a key to maintaining good oral health for kids and adults. It helps remove food particles stuck between the teeth along and under the gum line where your toothbrush cannot reach. If your child does not floss regularly, the plaque can build up and lead to tooth decay. You can make your kids floss at any time during the day. However, flossing at night before bed will help remove all the food debris, plaque, and bacteria, keeping their teeth fresh for a good night’s sleep.
4. Always Ensure Oral Care Under Supervision
As your child grows, you should let them brush their teeth themselves. However, you should always monitor them until they are at least seven years of age. This is because kids don’t know how to brush properly and how long they need to brush. They might also fail to reach the nooks and crannies, leaving food debris that will lead to tooth decay. Therefore, parents should always supervise their children as they brush their teeth and help them with thorough brushing after the kids are done.
5. Schedule Regular Visits With Your Pediatric Dentist
Visiting a dentist regularly is crucial to your child’s oral health. The dentist will check for cavities, the health of gums and teeth, the child’s dental and facial development, and will evaluate their oral habits. If they spot any issues, they can treat the kid early on and will also educate you on the basics of maintaining good oral hygiene.
The dentist will remove plaque with special tools that cannot be eliminated at home and finish with a fluoride treatment. These preventative measures keep your child’s teeth in ideal condition and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
If you don’t have a dentist for your little one, simply type “dentists near me” or “root canal near me” in Google search, and it will direct you to the nearest available dentists. Based on your preference and their reviews, you can choose one and visit them at the earliest to ensure good dental health of your child
6. Avoid Sugary Foods
If your child eats a lot of sweets or drinks soda, they are at high risk for cavities. While practicing good oral hygiene is important, none of it is useful if you don’t make healthy food choices for your kids. Both children and adults should avoid excessive amounts of sugar. Don’t let your kids have a lot of soda, juices, or sweetened drinks. Limit their intake of sweet snacks, chocolates, and beverages.
Whenever your child has sugar, make sure they floss and brush their teeth afterward to avoid cavities. If your child likes to chew gum, limit sugary gums as they can cause cavities, or give them sugar-free gum. Chewing gum can help strengthen their jaws, produce saliva, freshen their breath, balance acids causing tooth decay, and wash away bits of food.
7. Introduce Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral that helps bind the tooth’s structure, and its absence can make kids more susceptible to tooth decay. It also helps make teeth resistant to cavity-causing acid attacks from plaque. Introducing fluoride toothpaste for young children offers long-term benefits. However, you should ensure your child doesn’t use too much fluoride as it can lead to fluorosis.
8. Always Rinse your mouth After Eating
Kids don’t need to brush after a snack or a meal unless they are in braces treatment. Telling your kids to rinse their mouths after every meal is a healthy habit and does the job. Rinsing the mouth after eating or having drinks is like a bath for the teeth, washing away bacteria and food debris. Furthermore, it encourages saliva flow, demineralizing kids’ teeth.
Practicing all these habits can promise healthy teeth for your little ones. Apart from that, you should avoid threatening your children with dental visits. Doing so results in kids growing up with severe dental anxiety and fear of visiting the dentist. A better approach is to reward good oral habits and provide positive reinforcements, so kids see dentists as professionals who only want to keep their teeth healthy.