What you should know about your child’s oral health?

It’s never too early to start! Maintaining good oral hygiene starts even before your little ones have any teeth. Instead of waiting to get the child grow and adapt to good dental hygiene start taking care of the gums, tongue, and the bony roof of the mouth (palate). With the proper coaching, you can quickly learn the ways to clean the mouth after every feeding!

Tooth decay is the most common childhood issue, it is important to know that it can be largely preventable. We know sometimes it can be overwhelming to determine what’s the best way to protect your child’s oral health. Here are some tips and guidelines.

 

Importance of Brushing and Flossing

 

A soft-size toothbrush is perfect for kids around the age of 1 or 2. Fluoride-less toothpaste is safe for children until they have learned to spit it out directly. It is important to teach your child to spread the small amount of paste among their teeth, gums, and tongue. Some children likely will need help brushing their teeth until their early pre-teens, which is fine because they need to learn the right way for adult life. By the time, they are 7 or 8 years old, you can switch to the larger-sized toothbrush.

 

Some of the things to keep in mind;

  •         In every 3 to 6 months, change their toothbrushes especially before bristles look worn out.
  •         Teach your children to brush their teeth for 2 minutes.
  •         Apart from brushing, add flossing to your child’s oral care routine. It should be done at least once a day.
  •         Make them practice cleaning tongue which reduces the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
  •         Remind your child to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially before bed, after all, eating and drinking is done.
  •         Encourage children who play sports to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from injuries.

 

Even babies are born with all their teeth! We can't see them because they are hidden in the gums but they need to be protected since day one. Tooth decay in infant years can damage the adult tooth too! Ignorance in the early years leads to uneven gaps and spaces or overcrowding in any part of adult life. 

 

How to prevent early childhood cavities?

 

Dental caries, ‘Cavities’ occur when bacteria build up in the mouth and destroy the outer protective layer (enamel) of a tooth. In children, cavities are likely to be common due to negligence and improper brushing. People having repetitive cavities can pass the cavity-causing bacteria to unborn babies, infants, and children. Nevertheless, you can help prevent cavities in children by adopting the following healthy habits:

 

  •         Take your child to the dentist within six months after the first tooth erupts. You will be trained to brush and clean an infant’s teeth.
  •         Avoid baby bottle tooth decay. Never let a baby fall asleep with their bottle or pacifier in mouth ensuring to prevent prolonged contact with sugars in formula and breast milk.
  •         Introduce cups for drinking beverages (milk, juices, & water) at age 12 months or earlier.
  •         Avoid sharing spoons and other utensils with your baby that may spread oral infections.
  •         Avoid sticky foods such as honey, caramel, or taffy as these can be difficult to remove from the teeth and contribute to acid formation and rapid tooth decay.

How nutritious diet is linked to children’s oral health?

 

We all know the importance of a balanced diet! The contribution of a nutritious healthy diet isn’t sticking to the metabolism or development of bone density. Even your good oral health requires a full range of vitamins and minerals, plenty of calcium, phosphorous, and proper levels of fluoride to developing strong, healthy teeth.

Offering a balanced and nutritional diet is an essential aspect of taking care of oral health, but that doesn’t mean banning the favorite snacks! You can serve them as a part of their meal instead of keeping a full plate of snacks alone. As the saliva produced during the meals can help in rinsing the acid-creating sugar and starches from the mouth.

Consuming dairy products play an important role in protecting and rebuilding your child’s tooth enamel. As a specialist, we suggest parents keep their children away from binge-eating especially the products having high sugar like candies, soft drinks, cookies, and chocolates. Instead, replace those things with fresh and juicy fruits, explains the senior dentist of Prakash Hospital. 

As a parent, if you don’t teach your children the importance of routine dental care, they could face some very uncomfortable dental procedures in the future. Talk with your child's dentist if you detect any sign of decay in your child's teeth or if you have any concern’s regarding their oral health.