— Dr. Premila Naidu, Founder and Director, Small Bites, an exclusive dental clinic for children
As parents, you always want to give the best care you can to your children. So, it becomes exceptionally crucial for you to pass on good hygiene habits to them. Oral hygiene and dental care definitely top the list as kids tend to run away from toothbrushes, oral routines, and even dentists at times.
Though Pediatric oral health has always been necessary, now, during a pandemic, it is all the more essential to emphasize oral health management and disease prevention. It is also vital to help children exercise good oral and diet habits to avoid dental emergencies or other dental issues.
Getting kids to follow a dental routine may be quite tricky, but here are ten tips for all the parents out there to keep your kid’s smiles healthy and bright.
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- Kids’ oral care starts even before the first tooth erupts. Cleaning the gum pads after feeding is an essential habit to begin with.
- Once the first tooth erupts, the cavity-causing germs can colonize. Hence cleaning the gums and mouth from a very early stage helps in the long run. Especially wiping teeth after every feed helps in keeping the teeth cavity-free for a long time to come.
- A child’s first dental check-up must be scheduled when the first tooth erupts or at least around their first birthday – This helps in the early detection of problems if any, and the necessary interventions to solve them.
- Flossing and brushing every day is an extremely important habit. Kids should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and must be taught to wash their hands before and after the dental care routine. Flossing is great to remove bacteria and plaque from areas that are not easily accessible while brushing—using age-appropriate amounts of fluoride toothpaste while brushing is equally important too.
- Selecting the right kind of brush, preferably with a small brush head and soft bristles, ensures the teeth are getting cleaned effectively and reduces the chances of injury to gums.
- It is good to limit sugary snacks and sticky carbohydrates from a young age. The snacks and beverages can wear down tooth enamel and harm your child’s primary teeth. It is also crucial for parents to read labels of food to understand the presence of hidden sugars.
- As the kids grow older, rinsing the mouth after meals and making sure no food items stick on the teeth, especially the molars, post a meal for extended periods of time prevents molar cavities.
- A regular visit to the pediatric dentist helps you understand pediatric dental care’s various aspects and the preventive treatments available. Keeping the mouth free of cavities and oral diseases plays a significant role in maintaining good oral health.
- It is a good idea to substitute processed food snacks with freshly cut fruits and even some vegetables. They not only provide fibers, but they also help in keeping teeth clean and healthy.
- Staying hydrated between meals is vital in maintaining your child’s oral health. Children’s bodies are prone to losing fluids, especially when fighting off an infection resulting in dehydration and dry mouth.
Oral health involves healthy teeth, healthy gums, and good occlusion. Early detection of dental issues can result and early treatment. Habit correction, correcting Improper Proper jaw growth, making enough space for newly erupting teeth, and finally aligning all of these play important roles in giving your child good oral health.