Complete Oral Care Guide for Younger Children
Your child’s general health depends on his or her teeth. They assist your child in eating and speaking. Strong oral hygiene habits help your child develop good dental habits as he or she grows. Infection, illness, and other dental issues can all be caused by poor dental hygiene.
Use these suggestions to make dental hygiene more enjoyable:
- Allow children to assist in the selection of their toothbrushes. They can choose one based on their favorite color or character.
- Allow youngsters to assist in the selection of toothpaste. They are free to choose their favorite flavor.
- Read literature about dental hygiene or watch videos about it.
- Set a timer to ensure that your children wash their teeth for two minutes. To help them maintain track of time, play their favorite music.
- Reward children who take good care of their teeth. Don’t feed them or give them sweet goodies.
- Instead, provide something healthful and straightforward, such as apple slices or a gold star.
- Plan a pleasant activity after your child’s dentist appointment so that they look forward to such visits.
- Fluoride’s Function:
Fluoride is essential for the dental health of your child. It has been shown to minimize cavities in both primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth. It also helps to strengthen teeth by hardening the enamel. Fluoride is found in most children’s drinking water. Fluoride must be added to tap water in several cities. Water filters do not remove fluoride like Brita; thus they are safe to use. Reverse osmosis water filters should not be used. Your youngster may need to take an oral fluoride supplement if your water does not contain fluoride. Consult your doctor to see if your child requires this treatment. When your child first visits the dentist, they will receive a fluoride varnish or a dental cleaning.
- Flossing and brushing:
Your child’s dental hygiene should begin when he or she is a baby. Around the age of one or two, start using a soft child-size toothbrush. At least twice a day, you should clean your child’s teeth with water. You can also use a small amount of fluoride-free toothpaste. This toothpaste is completely safe for your youngster to eat. You can switch to fluoride-containing toothpaste once your youngster is old enough to spit it out. Use only a tiny amount. Teach your youngster how to distribute it evenly across their teeth, gums, and tongue. Ask your doctor or dentist to show you how to brush your child’s teeth properly. It’s also a good idea to teach your child to brush his or her teeth—this aids in reducing microorganisms in the mouth. Ensure your youngster brushes his or her teeth before going to bed; after all, eating and drinking (excluding water) has been completed.
Cavities are holes in your teeth that emerge over time. When bacteria (germs) build up in your mouth, this can happen. Sugar in meals and drinks converts to acid, which erodes your teeth. Cavities are widespread in youngsters because brushing their teeth is more complicated. Everyone in your household should brush and floss their teeth regularly. Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed on to unborn babies, infants, and children by people who have cavities.
If your child has any of the following characteristics, he or she may be at risk for cavities:
- Their teeth have white patches or brown patches on them.
- Have a long-term medical condition that necessitates specialized care.
- Avoid going to the dentist regularly.
- Were prematurely born or had a low birth weight.
Cavities are more likely in children who consume a lot of sugary meals and beverages. Making healthy dietary choices is critical. Sugar should be used in moderation. Allowing your youngster to consume a lot of soda, fruit juice, or sweetened beverages is not a good idea. Between meals, keep sugary snacks and drinks to a minimum. If your youngster consumes sugar, encourage him or her to wash their teeth afterward.
Gum chewing is safe for older children. It has several advantages, including:
Increasing the jaw’s strength.
Assisting in saliva production.
Disposing of food scraps.
The acid that can cause tooth decay is balanced.
Sugary gum, on the other hand, can create cavities. Limit your child’s sugar gum consumption or exclusively offer them sugar-free gum.
Another important aspect of oral hygiene is safety. If your child participates in sports, he or she should use a mouthguard. This is a soft, plastic retainer that covers the teeth as well as the lips on occasion. It aids in the prevention of damage to your child’s mouth. If you require a custom-fit mouth guard, consult your dentist.
When should you see a dentist?
According to the Indian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (IAPD), children should see a dentist around their first birthday. This allows the dentist to check for early signs of tooth decay in your child. Pediatric dentists are experts in the care of children’s teeth. The dentist will discuss good oral hygiene with you. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age will make them feel more at ease. It also creates the positive habit of visiting the dentist regularly. Every person should visit the dentist at least twice a year. If your child develops dental discomfort or a tooth or mouth infection, see your dentist straight once.
A permanent tooth is lost by your child. Put the tooth in milk and take it to the dentist with you if you locate it. They might be able to reattach it.
Questions to bring up with your doctor:
- Is it necessary for my child to take fluoride pills orally?
- What sort of toothbrush is best for my child?
- Is it okay for my child to use mouthwash?
- Is my child in danger of developing cavities?
- Is it necessary for my child to see the dentist regularly?
- Is it safe for my child to have dental X-rays?
- Is chewing gum permissible for my child?