Oral Hygiene Tips for Parents of Young Children
As a parent, you understand the importance of good oral hygiene in children. Kids who take care of their teeth are less likely to develop conditions like cavities, periodontitis, and tooth loss, which can affect their wellbeing and self-confidence. The pain, discomfort, and unsightly smile can also affect their performance in school.
While many children are resistant to adopting good oral health care practices, there are steps you can take to put them on the right path. It’s important to do so when they’re younger because they’re more likely to adopt good habits at an early age.
#1 Start Early
Many pediatric dentists advise parents to clean their baby’s gums after every meal with a clean damp cloth or a gauze pad. This will discourage bacterial growth and get your baby prepared for oral care before their first tooth appears.
As soon as your baby’s first tooth has popped out, you can use a clean damp cloth or a gauze pad to wipe it after they’ve eaten. Remember to be gentle because baby teeth and gums are sensitive. If they’re unhappy,you can whistle a tune or play a game at this time to make the activity more fun.
#2 Let the Baby Have a Go
Once the baby is a little older, you can let them hold the brush to make them more comfortable with oral care. Let them try to brush their teeth if they’re capable, though make sure that they don’t hurt themselves. Afterwards, clean their teeth yourself as usual.
#3 Take Them Shopping
If your toddler doesn’t like brushing their teeth, then you can take them to your local drugstore to pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste. Many children are more receptive to oral care when their toothbrush features their favorite cartoon character. They may also prefer an electronic model that lights up.
You may also try flavored toothpaste if your child doesn’t like the taste of the regular variety. As a last resort, try brushing their teeth with just water. Experts say that it’s better to brush without toothpaste than not at all.
#4 Take Them to the Dental Clinic
Take your child to the dental clinic six months after their first tooth appears. A good pediatric dentist who is friendly, qualified, and passionate about treating children will ensure that your child’s baby teeth are kept in place until they shed naturally. A dentist who uses the latest technology is more likely to offer comfortable treatment options. There are many reasons why baby teeth are vital for long term oral health:
Healthy baby teeth allow a child to chew correctly and consume good food
Infection from baby teeth can spread to developing adult teeth
Space created from the premature loss of baby teeth can be filled by other teeth, resulting in crowded teeth
#5 Encourage Good Eating Habits
While it’s fine for your child to occasionally have treats, minimize their consumption of chocolates, sweets, and sugary drinks. Sugar from such foods can attract bacteria, which can encourage the growth of painful cavities. Offer them more vegetables, fruit, water, cheese, and other healthy snacks.
These are five ways you can improve your child’s oral hygiene. With some discipline and perseverance, you can make sure that your child maintains healthy teeth and gums well into their adulthood.