Taking care of your mouth, teeth, and gums is a must. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, all which can cause serious problems throughout your years, and even more so as you get older. One of the best ways to prevent the above is by starting off young, and by that, we mean teaching your little ones the proper way to look after their teeth as soon as possible. While getting your kids to brush their teeth can be a chore, there are plenty of fun and entertaining ways to familiarize them with this daily routine.
Medline Plus explains how helping your child maintain healthy teeth plays an important role in their overall health. Though some may not worry about their child’s teeth till they actually start to grow, there are actually a few things one can do to prepare them for teething as soon as they are born. For babies, it is advised to clean their teeth and gums with a soft, clean cloth or a baby’s toothbrush for those that have already started to teeth. It is also important to keep a close eye on on their teeth for spots or stains especially if you are putting your baby to bed with a bottle. As many babies fall asleep drinking milk, not being able to retrieve the bottle immediately can cause milk to hang around on your little one’s teeth.
While there is a limit of how much you can do to look after your child’s teeth while they are still so young, it’s best to start taking strict action as soon as their teeth break out. This should include familiarizing your child with a toothbrush and what needs to be done as young as 6 months old. Though you baby won’t fully understand what is going on, starting off young should make brushing a lot easier as they grow older. Mayo Clinic advise parents to register their children with their local dentists as soon as they reach 6 months of age. The American Dental Association also recommends scheduling a child’s first dental exam after the first tooth erupts, and no later than his or her first birthday. Baby’s gums and teeth may be examined during well-baby checkups, however, seeking the professional help of a dentist will provide you, the parent, with a better insight of any problems, and the answers and advice you may be looking for.
As soon a your child becomes a toddler, and right up until they reach adolescence, scheduling a dental appointment every 6 months is a must. By doing so you are providing your child with the best oral care they can have. While brushing their teeth will become the responsibility of your child as they get older, making sure you show interest in their teeth’s well being will entice them to also look after their teeth. Forming healthy habits at a young age can help your children have healthy teeth for life.
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is one of the most common problems when it comes to teeth. Despite doing your best to look after your child’s teeth, cavities can’t always be stopped, and on many occasions you will be surprised to hear your child has cavities when you next visit your dentist. The common problem affects people of all ages, but seem to cause more problems for younger ones. CDC explains how untreated cavities can cause pain, absence from school, difficulty concentrating on learning, and poor appearance. This being so, it’s even more important to implement strict rules when it comes to brushing thoroughly and daily.
A few reminders for dental hygiene for kids:
- Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when they are two years old. You might start sooner, if a dentist or doctor suggests it.
- Provide healthy foods and limit sweet snacks and drinks.
- Encourage your child to eat regular nutritious meals and avoid frequent between-meal snacking.
- Make toothbrush time fun and entertaining.
- Brush your teeth together, or make it a special family moment each morning and night.
- Educate your little ones on proper dental care, and what can happen if they don’t look after their teeth.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups.
For more information on dental hygiene for kids, see: