You should begin looking after your child’s teeth early to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Now is the time to teach your child proper dental care. Here we have compiled a practical guide on how to help kids of all ages take great care of their oral health.
Table of contents
1. Start brushing when the first tooth appears
As soon as the first tooth of your child grows through the gum, make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles for your babies to clean the teeth. Using only water is okay. For the initial period, there is no need to use toothpaste just yet.
2. A Little Indulgence
Banning your children from having confectionery altogether will only make them crave for more. An effective way to handle this is to allow them to enjoy eating sweets and candies on holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. But ensure that your children are practicing good routine for their hygienic oral health even on those special holidays.
3. Follow up with water after snacking
Always try to give your child some water after he finishes a snack that may be stuck in his teeth. Water is great at washing away food remnants that stay in the teeth.
4. Visit the dentist early
As soon as the first tooth of your child erupts, make sure you take him to the dentist. In the first dental checkup, the dentist will ask many you and your child many things about your child’s dental health to prevent dental problems from happening afterwards. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask your dentist any questions regarding your child’s oral health that you may have on your mind.
5. Get your child into good tooth brushing habits
Give a toothbrush that has soft bristles and of size that your child can hold easily. It is important for your child to learn how to brush his teeth with a manual toothbrush properly even though giving him an electric toothbrush is an excellent way to make him excited about the activity of brushing teeth itself. Switching between these two types of toothbrush is also a good alternative. Make sure your child brush for two to three minutes every time and twice a day.
6. Avoid fluoride initially
Save fluoride toothpaste for later until your kid becomes good at spitting out on his own. Your child will be able to do this when he or she is 3 to 4 years old. However, what you can do before that time is to help your child practice spitting with only water first.
7. Sharing stories about healthy snacking
As your children grow, you are unable to monitor everything that they put into their mouths. Begin teaching your children about selecting healthy snack options to eat during special occasions such as Halloween. Get apples, cheese and carrots sliced up for your children during snack breaks. Feel free to let your kids indulge with some treats like chocolate rather than sticky chewy ones. Last but not least, you need to practice what you preach because your children will certainly take positive action by literally seeing you pursuing your own tips.
On the whole, as your children age, make a plan for their routine dental checkups anywhere between once every quarter to once a year, based on your dentist’s advice. Obvious activities such as regular tooth brushing and flossing and keeping sugary and acidic snacking to a minimum and with your dentist will contribute to keeping your child’s teeth in good health.