Unlike adults, kids need supervision to maintain proper oral hygiene.
You cannot underestimate the significance of keeping your children’s teeth healthy. Establishing a good oral health routine from an early age reduces the likelihood of them taking up poor habits that will damage their teeth in the future. It also contributes to higher self-esteem and better overall well-being.
Here are some top tips for looking after children’s teeth.
Ideally, you should start dental care before seeing your baby’s first tooth. Teeth start developing three months after conception, meaning that a newborn has 20 fully developed teeth, even if they’re invisible at birth. For this reason, it’s wise to run a clean and damp washcloth over the baby’s gums before they start teething to remove harmful bacteria.
It’s also wise to keep any equipment that goes into the baby’s mouth, especially bottles, clean. Sugars in the baby formula, milk, and other foods can increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay. When these persist, you might have to pull out the affected tooth.
When your kid reaches six months, introduce sippy cups in place of bottles. These prevent the pooling of fluids around the teeth, which increases the risk of infections.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Once all the milk teeth emerge, you can introduce a toothbrush to your child. It’s advisable to let them choose their preferred toothbrush, provided it fits children. This makes them more likely to use the brush.
After getting the right brush, purchase some fluoride toothpaste. Use a brand with a maximum of 1,000ppm of fluoride for children below three years. Otherwise, you can use regular toothpaste. Luckily, most brands have a label showing the recommended ages.
It’s also essential to make the brushing experience enjoyable. For instance, you can purchase flavoured toothpaste, offer rewards for adhering to the brushing routine and brush along to songs.
Make sure your children are brushing their teeth twice daily, especially before going to bed. More importantly, supervise the activity until they are seven years old.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Children have a sweet tooth, but it’s vital to check what and how much they eat as not to compromise their oral health. When your kid consumes sugary food, the sugar sticks around their teeth and increases the risk of bacterial infections and cavities.
If you must give sugary foods to your child, restrict it to mealtimes, then give them water to flush away the sugar and prevent acid formation. A much better solution is giving them fruits whenever they crave something sweet.
Schedule Dental Appointments
What’s the right age to take a baby to the dentist? According to the experts, your child should visit the dentist on their first birthday. Here, the doctor assesses milk teeth and advises you on preventing oral complications.
Additionally, taking your baby to the dentist eases their fears as adults because they become accustomed to the equipment and the environment.
It’s wise to take your kid to a paediatric dentist, as they are better suited at handling children. They also know when a case requires a referral to another specialist doctor.
Oral health has a significant impact on overall wellness. By equipping your kids with proper hygiene practices, you increase the chances of leading a healthier lifestyle. Specifically, they are more likely to be comfortable in social settings than individuals with poor oral health.