How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth
Teeth are very important, especially to children. Obviously, right? It’s because of teeth that your child can eat and talk. Plus, healthy teeth are important for your little one’s overall health. This is why you need to take good care of them.
When you take good care of your child’s teeth, you help lay the foundations of the importance of good oral care to your child. This leads to good dental habits as your child grows, in the process preventing all sorts of issues like teeth problems, infections, and diseases.
How to make oral and dental hygiene fun
The first step to making oral and dental hygiene an enjoyable experience for your child is to add some fun to it. You can do that in these ways:
- Let your child pick his or her toothbrush. If he or she has a favourite colour or character, let them get a toothbrush that reflects that part of his or her personality.
- Let your child pick toothpaste in his or her favourite flavour.
- Read books together that talk about dental hygiene.
- Use a timer to help ensure that your child brushes for at least two minutes. You can also play his or her favourite song to help keep track of time.
- Reward your child for good oral care. Instead of offering sugary treats, offer something simple like a gold star.
- After your child visits the dentist, plan a fun activity together.
Other dental care tips to keep in mind as you care for your child’s teeth
1. Take care of your baby’s gums
If your baby does not have teeth yet, you can still prepare them for the best dental hygiene. Wipe their gums off after each feeding with a clean washcloth or an infant thimble for brushing gums.
2. Start going to the dentist as soon as your baby starts teething
Your child’s first dentist visit should be at 6 months. When you start this early, you will be able to catch any potential dental issues and stop them in their tracks. It will also help your child feel comfortable going to the dentist. After your first check-up, ensure that you schedule the next visits at least twice a year.
3. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day
Once your child gets his or her baby teeth, start brushing twice a day. Encourage your child to experiment with brushing independently to help them learn this healthy habit. Teach your child how to hold the toothbrush, how to make the right motions, and how to spit out the toothpaste.
4. Be careful about thumb sucking and pacifiers
Pacifiers and thumb sucking are common childhood habits. However, if left unchecked over the years, they can do some damage to the healthy development of the mouth and teeth. To avoid these problems, try to eliminate both thumb sucking and pacifiers by the time your child is 4 years old.
5. Minimize sugary food and drinks
To prevent cavities in your children’s teeth, your need to limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet. You can do it by minimizing the amount of sugary food and drinks you allow your child to consume. Avoid soda, candy, some milk products like ice cream, and artificial fruit juice. These foods encourage bacteria growth and plaque build-up in your child’s mouth, which can lead to cavities.
6. Be on the lookout for early signs of dental issues
Take your child to the dentist every six months. Between visits, look out for signs like grinding teeth at night, speech lisp, and excessive mouth breathing, which are usually early signs of developing dental problems.
As you can see, caring for your child’s teeth is not that difficult. As long as you follow these tips and tricks, and as long as you schedule regular dental visits for your little one, his or her teeth should develop well. As a plus, you will have ingrained in them the benefits of good oral and dental health that will serve them well throughout their lives!