A guide to your child’s Oral Healthcare
Oral Healthcare in younger children has been neglected all these years. A recent study shows that about 70% Parents in India feel unsafe to help their kids brush teeth as they damage the gums. Helping your child brush his/her teeth is as important as brushing your own teeth. Primary teeth keep your child’s jaw straight, hold the space for adult teeth, and play an important role in how children learn to chew, smile, and talk. If Oral habits are not established at an early stage, it would be extremely difficult for your child to get accustomed once s(he) has grown up.
When is the RIGHT time to start ORAL hygiene for Kids?
There’s no thumb rule in commencing your Childs’s oral Healthcare. The earlier the better. The best time to start flossing is as soon as the child’s teeth are in contact with each other. This is usually around 2- 3 years. Once teeth reach this point, food particles can get accumulated between them and foster the growth of bacteria and the development of plaque. Not all children need to have their teeth flossed at this age, so ask your dentist for advice.
stages to a Child’s Oral Health Care:
Stage 1 when the child is around 3- 24 months old- Sticky bacteria containing deposits commonly known as Plaque get deposited due to the minute food particles which get clustered and which are the root cause to early tooth decay. Parents should begin by regularly cleaning their new born baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after all feedings (breast or bottle).
Parents should switch to a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush with a cushioned head, and a pea-sized dab of non-fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the child gets the 1st teeth. Visit to the dentist should be must once in every 6months to make sure that your child’s Oral Healthcare ahs been taken care very effectively.
Stage 2 when the child is around 2- 4 years– This age for a child is very crucial as the teeth are still developing. Children above the 2 years old can now start using fluoride tooth paste and prevent any tooth decay. Parents should now only supervise while your child brushes her teeth and encourage them to brush throughout. One quick guide is to give your child their favourite cartoon themed brush which would fascinate them to brush their teeth. Teach them to take their brush to the corner most area of their mouth and to brush in a rotational movement.
A child imitates exactly what you do and hence brush with your child so that they imitate you and get convinced on brushing the right way.
Parents of Children 2 years and older can promote healthy habits by limiting aerated drinks, packed/processed food and offer healthier meal and snack options.
Stage 3 when the child is around 5-8years– By this age your child would be matured enough about one thing, that is, brushing the teeth is the first thing they got to do in the morning. However, at this age a parent needs to train their child on the right way to brush teeth.
- Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle gently against the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently, in short strokes, over the fronts, backs and tops of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum lines, this might irritate your gums result in minor gum damage.
- Don’t forget to brush (and floss) behind your top front teeth and behind the bottom front teeth.
(a tooth brush with slightly longer tips will help to cover most of the internal area i.e. the area behind the bottom front if teeth which is always prone to tartar build-up)
- Don’t forget to gently clean your tongue with the back side of your tooth brush.
- Floss regularly
- Brush twice daily for healthier and stronger teeth.
Stage 4 when the child is around 8+ years– Your child by now will either have mastered the art brushing properly or would be lacking in oral healthcare. Your child would now be influenced with not so healthy eating and would sometimes end up eating junk.
A quick 2-minute check and follow up whether your child has brushed his/her teeth twice daily will help your child in the long run.
Aerated drinks have been proven to be the principle cause of early stage tooth decay and dental problems. Pack plenty of fruits, veggies, organic snacks to keep your child fit and maintain oral health simultaneously.
As a parent it’s your responsibility to nurture Oral Hygiene amongst kids and help them understand how meticulously it needs to be practised every day.