Child Dental Care
For the overall well-being and health of your child, their oral hygiene can play an extremely crucial role. Your child’s teeth help them eat, talk, and also have aesthetic values. When you set an example of good oral hygiene in your child from the very beginning of their childhood, you ensure that they transform into adults who have a stringent oral hygiene routine. Setting up oral hygiene habits in early childhood ensures that your kids face negligible dental problems when they grow up. If you neglect your child’s oral hygiene, then it can make them prone to infections, misaligned teeth, and other dental diseases
Parents often face an issue with setting up an oral hygiene routine for their kids. However, if you want to make oral hygiene more fun for your kids, then you can follow the below-mentioned tips and tricks:
- Children can be pretty finicky about their toothbrush. If you let them make their own choice in picking up a toothbrush, it will inculcate a feeling of responsibility in them and make them more likely to use it.
- Most children don’t like brushing their teeth because they hate the taste of toothpaste. To tackle this, you can ask your kids what their favorite flavor is and buy it from the market for them.
- Nowadays, there are several educational videos about how to brush your teeth and what are the benefits of it. If you want your child to imbibe these oral hygiene habits, then have them watch some videos of their favorite cartoons promoting healthy oral habits.
- Most of the kids who do brush, end up eating the toothpaste instead and finish brushing in under a minute. To promote good oral hygiene habits, you must set up a timer for 2 minutes and can even play your child’s favorite songs or nursery rhymes to keep them engaged.
- When your child indulges in good oral hygiene habits, it’s good to reward them for it. However, do not offer them any sugar-based treats or food. Instead look for healthier alternatives of their favorite snacks.
- To get your child more familiar with the dentist’s office, you can plan a fun activity after it and reward them for their good behavior.
Oral Hygiene Tools for Child Dental Care
Fluorides and their Importance in Child Dental Care
If you want to ensure that your child’s teeth remain cavities-free, then fluoride can play a crucial role in it. Fluoride is a mineral that is essential to maintain the strength of your child’s teeth. It helps reduce the occurrence of carious teeth in both adults and children. It hardens the surface of the tooth (also known as the enamel) and helps ward off any caries causing bacteria.
The biggest source of fluoride for your child’s teeth is their drinking water source. Several states often have additional guidelines for maintaining a healthy fluoride concentration in the state water supply. If you use a water filter at home, then don’t worry. Your regular water filter does not filter the fluoride ions from your water supply. However, a reverse osmosis water filter does remove the fluoride ions and you must find additional sources of fluoride if you use one at your home.
If the water supply at your home does not have enough fluoride in it, then you can give your child fluoride supplements. However, before giving your child fluoride supplements, it’s best to consult your child’s pediatrician about it. Also, consult a dentist about the same and they will probably prescribe a fluoride varnish or fluoridated toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth.
That said, too much of anything can be harmful for your child’s health. If the levels of fluoride in your child’s body are high, it can lead to staining of teeth and have other deleterious effects on their body. Therefore, always take care that your child does not swallow any fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash. If your child is consuming fluoride supplements, ensure that they stick to their prescription.
Daily Brushing and Flossing Routine
You must inculcate oral hygiene habits in your kids right from the time when the first tooth erupts in their mouth. When your child turns two years old, you can begin using a soft-bristled toothbrush with non-fluoridated toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth. A non-fluoridated toothpaste is safe to be swallowed by your child at this age. However, once your child is old enough to spit out, you can use a fluoridated toothpaste to clean their teeth.
Use only a grain-sized toothpaste to clean their teeth. Teach your child the right technique of brushing and ask them to clean their gums, teeth, and gums all at once. To teach your child the right way of brushing, ask their dentist to do a demonstration. You’ll need to monitor your child’s brushing habits till the time they’re 7-8 years old. Once your child attains this age, you no longer need to supervise them and can even give them a larger toothbrush to suit their dental needs.
For good oral hygiene, you must remind your child to change their toothbrush every 3-6 months and brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice daily. Another important habit to introduce in your child’s daily dental care routine is flossing. We recommend buying a floss with a handle so that it’s easier for your child to floss.
Beware of the Cavities
When caries causing bacteria attack your child’s tooth, it can result in hole formation in your child’s tooth. This hole in your child’s teeth is known as a cavity. A major driving factor behind cavity formation is your child’s diet. The carbohydrates in your child’s tooth turns into acid which then dissolves the enamel of your child’s teeth. It is harder for children to imbibe oral hygiene habits and therefore don’t brush their teeth regularly. This makes your child’s teeth more prone to caries. Caries is a dental infection and can be passed down from family members who harbor caries-causing bacteria in their mouth. You must watch out for the following signs to detect caries activity in your child’s mouth.
- Notice if there are any brown or white spots on your child’s teeth.
- If your child doesn’t visit the dentist often for their checkups.
- Premature children usually have higher chances of caries development.
The diet that your kids follow plays a major role in maintaining a healthy oral hygiene. Children who consume a daily diet filled with sugar are more prone to caries than children who consume a balanced diet. If you want your kids to maintain a healthy oral hygiene, then ensure that you don't offer them any sugar-filled snacks like biscuits, cold drink, fruit juice, etc. If your child consumes sugar in any form, then make sure that they brush their teeth afterwards.
When Should You Get Your Child to See a Dentist?
Dentists recommend that to ensure your child has a healthy oral hygiene, you must have them visit a dental clinic after their first birthday. When you take your child to a dentist from an early stage, it gives the doctor a chance to detect early caries and other lesions in your child's mouth. Furthermore, a dentist can provide you with the proper guidance to clean your child's mouth. To make your child more comfortable with the dentist, you must take them to a dental clinic at least twice a year. You can even reward your child for good behavior at the dental clinic.